SIC time versus none


New Member
I have a question for you already professionals out there. I am starting my flight training in August after many years of tossing around the idea and trying to figure out how to pay for it. Well, That day has finally come and I can't wait. I have one question though. I have the option of adding 250 hours SIC time in a Beech 1900C as part of the program. With this time, after I finish training I would have about 500TT, without the 1900 time, the program would give me about 290TT. My question is, are FO/SIC programs worth the extra cost? I am wondering how valuable SIC time will be when interview time rolls around? I had started out believing anything you could put in your log book was beneficial, but I am wondering now if that is really true. Thanks for your input!
Its not that SIC time isn't valuable. Its just fine- if you're getting PAID to be an SIC. If you're paying for it, you're scum 'o the earth in many peoples' eyes. Get your CFI, and go instruct. That time is way more valuable, you get paid for it, and its fun!
.... you've opned up a can of worms on this one. here's my take. there are a lot of people out there that are dead set against the SIC program. then there's people like me who aren't so against it. I'm personally doing something like that this summer. sure i'm paying for it. i'm not scum of the earth either
i do flight instruct, but i'm also wanting to try something different that will help me get my time up, and get some damn good experience too. hey don't get discouraged by what people have to say about it. hey-back in the early days of Southwest Airlines, they did the same thing in the 737's.... pay for SIC time. and then they ended up getting hired by Southwest. a lot of pilots didn't like it, but those pilots that paid for time then are now the most senior captains making the 6 digit salaries..... so do what you want buddy... goodluck
The program your describing sounds alot like The Gulfstream Academy.

Run a search on any aviation forum and you'll have your answer.
I'd almost suggest putting away the extra money for the SIC program into a bank account and saving it for a B-737 type rating down the road when you build up your flight time.

In this economy, 500 hours total time is not competitive whatsoever. Even if all 500 hours are in a Boeing 767, or Canadair CL-700 -- I kid you not.

Put the extra money in the career "War Chest". Trust me, you'll thank me down the road.
Does your SIC program include you paying to sit in a seat that is a required flight crewmember seat? Or could they dispatch the aircraft whether you show up or not? That's where I draw the line. Paying to build time in a seat that would traditionally be a paid F/O slot does nothing more than lower the bar for the profession. You wanna go there? I guess it's your choice, but don't expect professionals in this business to be impressed with your turbine time or how you gained experience in the industry. Time gained in a PFT operation will follow you around as you interview for different's in your can't hide it. Some operations have figured out a way for you to log SIC time in an aircraft that could be operated single pilot...if that's the case, then you have to look at the cost to benefit ratio and whether you think you can get a right seat job with low total time.
Actually the 1900C and D are single-pilot certified.

In fact my 1900 type rating has the "Second-In-Command" required because our company wouldn't enable us to demonstrate single-pilot skills during our type rating checkride.

I guess that was just their way of not giving us Skyway "SkyDogs" anything we could get free and market ourselves with!
Yes, the 1900C is certified single pilot. The student actually becomes an employee of the company, and logs SIC time. Putting aside the right and wrong of FO programs like this one - is the SIC time something that will benefit my career in the least bit. I will be getting all of my instructor ratings and will be instructing with my school after I complete my initial training. They claim that the program offers SIC time both PF and PNF, so it doesn't seem that I would be just 'riding' around as a front seat passenger. Bottom line: is legitimate turboprop SIC time worth having, without taking into account the cost of the program, or would I benefit much more by putting that money into PIC ME time?
I'm leaning away from this FO option, but would like to hear as much as possible! Thanks for all of your help already!

ps. Doug- This is an absolute dream come true for me! Your web page and forum have given me so much valuable information to help me in my journey! Thanks a ton!
You should just work on all of your training (including CFI) for now and think about it as you go. Personally, I was so sick of paying for flight time by the time I finished, I couldn't wait to get out and start MAKING money by flying (instructing).

The student actually becomes an employee of the company, and logs SIC time.

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Yeah, after they pay $25000+.
Yes, the 1900C is certified single pilot. The student actually becomes an employee of the company, and logs SIC time.

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How can you log SIC if the aircraft is certified single pilot. I am trying to log SIC in a single pilot certified Citation and I can't figure out a way it can be done. See my post in the Squawk Box about Citation SIC for more info. The only way you can do it is with one pilot under the hood and that will be a double whammy for you, PFT time and bogus safety pilot time....
I'm sure the experience would be helpful to you as far as improving your abilities and making you a better pilot are concerned. The actual IFR would be helpful as would the time in the larger equipment. Any of us would like to have some 1900 experience. But I don't think it will provide a huge time advantage over someone who has instructed or flies in some basic commerical capacity. It may just cost you more money to get to the same place as others who do it the old fashioned way.

I know of a pilot who did the Alpine program. He has less than 1000 hours and did the program some time ago. It does not appear to have given him a jump on his career. Maybe in a strong economy it would be different, but not now.

I personally know four pilots who have been hired at Skywest in the past half year. None of them had purchased a FO position at Alpine or Eagle Jet or any other such operation. Each has instructed, had between 1200 to 1500 hours TT at the time of hire, simply networked a bit and studied like crazy before the interview.

I have to agree with other posters that we create a greater problem in this industry when we tell companies that we are willing to pay good $$ out of our pockets to work for them. In the long and short term it sets a precedence that hurts all up and coming pilots. We are telling employers that we are so desperate to fly that instead of getting paid, (even though it may be very little) we will purchase a job.

If no pilots would buy into the Alpine or Eagle Jet programs then those companies that contract with them would be forced to hire pilots.

I would agree with Doug. Save the $$ for a type rating in a few years.

Please don't take this as an attack. There was a time I put some heavy consideration into one of these programs. I decided it wasn't the best thing for me or this industry.

I finished my CFI last fall with 466 hours, found a good place to instruct, fly a traffic plane once a week and I should break 1000 hours by early next month. It has been hard work and fun at the same time. I am glad I did it this way.

My .02 cents. I will get off my little soap box now.
If its under part 135 or 121, the company ops. specs. can require one.

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even under part 91, if the insurance company requires it you can log SIC, the important part is you **MUST** keep a good record of your training, if for example, you have 100 hrs SIC time with no ground school, no training flights, that would pop the BS flag pretty fast.. I have a separate binder with all of my Ground school stuff, if it ever comes up (it won’t as I am flying pt 135, and the records are quite clearly defined) I have a back up for my back up.