Archive for the ‘Aviation Careers’ Category

What are “quality” flight hours?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Soon after getting your flight certificates and ratings you will want to start building up flight time.  If flying is a hobby, getting quality flight time will not only be fun, but it will make you a safer pilot.  If being a professional pilot and flying for a living is your dream, logging quality time is not an option, it’s a necessity.
But, what is “quality flight time”?  Consider Silvia and Nelson, both have just finished their flight training and are anxious to start getting paid to fly in hopes of becoming airline pilots one day.
Nelson marches himself to the local airport and applies for a sight seeing pilot position.  He gets the job and is soon taking passengers on sight seeing tours in a Cessna 182 showing them the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon and area around it.
Silvia, on the other hand, starts flight instructing at her local flight school and soon has a couple of private pilot students and an instrument student.
Nelson logs almost 600 hours his first year!  Silvia only logs 430 hours.  Who has the most fight time?  And, more important, who has the most “quality flight time”?
While Nelson may have more hours in his logbook, most, if not all, of that flight time is VFR (Visual Flight Rules) day time.  Nelson probably hasn’t flown in instrument conditions very much (conditions in which you have no reference to an outside horizon and you have to fly and navigate with reference to the airplane’s instruments only).  Nelson also has little night time in his logbook.
Silvia has less total time, but her pilot skills are as sharp as they’ll ever be – student pilots tend to ask tough questions, keep you on your toes, and really test your abilities as a pilot.  Instrument students (students working on their Instrument rating) have kept Silvia’s instrument skills razor sharp.  She’s also been able to log a decent amount of cross country time and night time.
The point is, as in other aspects of life, you should concentrate on Quality as much, if not more so, than Quantity.  Employers hiring pilots know (or should know) the difference between someone who’s logged a lot of VFR day time versus someone who’s been willing to stretch outside their comfort zones in order to keep learning, improve their piloting skills, and really grow as a pilot.
Some of the best lessons I’ve learned as a pilot have come from flight instructing private pilot students or flying as a ferry pilot.  These experiences are priceless, but it required a commitment to seek out opportunities that would require stepping outside my comfort zone.  As a result, I can often hold my own when talking to pilots with a lot more flight time than I, but without as many interesting experiences.
Now, don’t get me wrong, any time you get an opportunity to fly (even as a sight seeing pilot), take it!  VFR day time is still better than no time.  But, make sure you continue to learn and grow as a pilot by seeking out opportunities that stretch your boundaries.
Here are 6 ideas to do just that:
1. If you’re a CFII, take on a good balance of primary and advanced students
Primary students will keep you on your toes and, since they can’t fly yet, will allow you to demonstrate many of the maneuvers before they can do it themselves.  Being a CFI, in and of itself, is a great way to stay sharp as pilot, be sure to check out the FAA handbook for flight instructors on the FAA website (http://www.faa.gov)
2. Attend FAA Safety Seminars
In addition to getting free information to keep you safe and legal, these are great opportunities to network with pilots in your area.  You never know who you might meet.  To sign up for these FREE seminars, visit the Flight Safety website (http://www.faasafety.gov).
3. Join an organization and do some x/c flying
Many airports are home to flying clubs or other flying organizations that will offer you the opportunity to participate on fly-ins and other adventures.  A great way to meet other pilots and gain from their expertise.  Social Flight (http://www.socialflight.com) is a great site that will keep you updated about flying activities in your area. (Social Flite)
4. Participate in a race
There are several air races throughout the year.  Even if you don’t own an airplane, you could join a team and become a involved in a race as a supporting member.  The Air Race Classic (http://www.airraceclassic.org) is one example of a fun race that happens annually.
5. Get an additional endorsement or get checked out in a different aircraft
Flying as many types of airplanes as you can is a great way to gain an indescribable type of experience.  It helps you become more in touch with the machines that you operate as your body and senses start discerning all the different nuances of different aircraft.  For example, the lessons I learned when earning my tailwheel endorsement translated to making me a much better pilot in any airplane I get to fly.
6. Offer to ferry airplanes
When I was building up flight time, ferrying was the bets way to do it fast!  You really have to be on top of your game, since you will be flying unfamiliar airplanes whose history you don’t know much about.  You’ll be flying over unfamiliar terrain, into and out of unfamiliar airports, and it’s almost a given that you’ll run into un-forcasted weather or unplanned mechanical issues.  Visit PilotTricks.com to read about my own ferrying adventures.
In conclusion, make sure to keep you skills sharp, always look for opportunities to learn and, of course, stay safe!
For more ideas on building “quality” flight time, visit: http://www.pilottricks.com/when-it-comes-to-flight-time-is-quality-better-than-quantity

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What should I study to become a pilot?

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

photo by PilotTricks.com

photo by PilotTricks.com

The question comes up over and over, “I’m not good at math, but I want to be a pilot, what should I study in college?”
There is no right or wrong answer to this question…at least not in the sense that you might be thinking.  Perhaps because the question itself is flawed.  The real question should be, “How am I going to go about making my dreams a reality?”

 

Answering this question is going to take some soul searching.  First you have to determine what your dreams are.  Then, you have to determine what the steps are to achieving your dreams.  And the most important step, of course, is to start taking action.

Let’s go through this step by step:

1. What are you passionate about?

If you think you might be passionate about flying, you need to get specific and clear on what your ultimate goal is.  In other words, what type of pilot do you want to be and why?

If “money” or “status” are high on the list of reasons why you want to fly – you need to do some more soul searching.  Passion lies beyond material things – it’s something that you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it. The type of flying is also important – airline flying, for instance is different than corporate flying, different than military type flying, different than cargo flying, etc.  Find out what type of flying would suit you best.

2. Depending on the type of career you want, you now have to figure out a road map to get there.

Find companies offering the types of career you want or individuals who already have the type job you want.  Figure out what the requirements are.  College degree? Any special certifications?  For instance, most airlines require a college degree – they don’t specify what type of degree.  This is probably due to the fact that today’s aircraft are so sophisticated that they do most of the work for you.  If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you have the required math skills required to be an airline pilot.

Other type of pilot careers may require more advanced degrees, e.g. Test Pilots usually have engineering degrees.

3. Take massive action.

Once you know the requirements, find out where get them.  Research schools, talk to others who have already achieved some level of success, and then act.  If you’re still not sure what to choose as a field of study in college, check out this article that will give you plenty of ideas.

Article Author: Ruth Morlas is dedicated to helping others reach their dream of becoming a pilot.  For more information visit http://www.PilotTricks.com.

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Recalled Airline Pilots Face Tough Re-Evaluation Interviews

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
commuter turbopropBy Angie Marshall, Cage Consulting

Several airlines are in the process of  ‘calling back’ airline pilots who were hired several years ago but never given a class-date.  That means it is now time for the often misunderstood and neglected Re-Evaluation Interview.

Many things can change in a few months, much less a few years. Your potential employer will review your qualifications—both personally and professionally—in order to remain confident that you are still the right person for the job.

The first rule of interviewing remains true for the Re-Eval Interview: it is your responsibility to present your information in the clearest manner possible.

Towards this goal take the time to review:

LOGBOOKS

  • How much time have you flown since your last interview?
  • If you have NOT flown, what is your reason?
  • If you have any problems with check rides since your initial interview you must be able to explain the problem and why it occurred. It may also be necessary to provide a written addendum (written explanation about the reasons and outcome of the check ride).
  • Be able to list your job titles/dates of employment for the jobs you have held (especially) since your initial interview.
  • If you have been unemployed, be able to clearly explain the circumstances.
  • If you had an opportunity to upgrade BUT DID NOT, you must be ready to explain why you passed on the opportunity.
  • If you received a driving violation, FAA accident/incident/violations, job suspension or termination or any other ‘negative’ in your life you must be ready to explain the situation to the employer.
  • One-hour basic brush-up.
  • Assistance with preparing addenda for Special Concerns.

CHECK RIDES

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

SPECIAL CONCERNS

ATTITUDE

A Re-Evaluation Interview (or any interview for that matter) is not the time to discuss the difficulties and unfairness of your work situation. Everyone has their story but if you use this venue to vent you will find yourself without a job offer!

REMEMBER! Every person you come in contact with during your pre-employment process could have input into the hiring decision. Be clear, be courteous and be kind to everyone. Good luck!

Cage Consulting Re-Evaluation Interview Prep Services

Cheryl Cage & Angie Marshall
Cage Consulting, Inc.
www.cageconsulting.com
720-222-1432

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Is Accelerated Pilot Training Right For You?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
757 landing at sunset

Accelerated pilot training can get you here, faster.

By 

We’ve posted another great article on pilot training. If you’re interested in flying for a career, this one is a must-read. Here’s a quick look:

Is your flight training goal to start a flying career? If so, an accelerated flight school may be just what you’re looking for. Imagine, if you will, learning to fly, starting with no experience, in a few short months and starting the aviation career you’re dreaming of rather than years of training once a week or less for the same thing. At the right flight school, this is easily possible, because accelerated training programs allow your training to progress faster, more efficiently, and save you money….

Click here to read the full article: http://www.aviationschoolsonline.com/faqs/article-three-reasons-to-go-accelerated.php

See our Featured Flight Schools directory here: http://www.aviationschoolsonline.com/school-listings/flight-schools/1.php

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Spartan College of Aeronautics & Technology Gets 727 From FedEx

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

FedEx-donated 727 on the ramp at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

By 

FedEx Express donates Boeing 727-200 to Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The Boeing 727 will provide a continued training resource for aviation maintenance, avionics maintenance, nondestructive testing and quality control students.

Special thanks to FedEx Express for donation of Boeing 727-200. Spartan’s students are excited about this new training tool!

Click the links below to get more information about Spartan’s aviation programs.

Spartan’s FAA approved Aviation Maintenance Technology program

Spartan’s Avionics Technician Program

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Tweeting and Terminations: It Can Happen To Pilots!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Cage Consulting logo

By Angie Marshall

I recently discovered Facebook. I know what youre thinking, Where have you been? I will have to admit, it is a lot of fun to see what all of my friends are doing. By the same token, Im still not a huge follower of any of the social networking sites due to privacy concerns. Needless to say, I have been very guarded with my photos and personal/family information with regards to the social networking scene. Just as I started to loosen up and thought about posting some family trivia to my Facebook page, I received a call from a seasoned airline Captain that stopped me immediately in my tracks.

For simplicity sake we will call this person John. John stated that he had recently been fired from a long term flying job because of a situation in his background that he had been so careful not to disclose to any of his co-workers and especially his employer.

Four years ago John was arrested and convicted of a crime. He did exactly what the court required, completed his probation, paid his fines and then retained a lawyer to have his records expunged. Because of the expungement proceedings, John felt that he could keep the embarrassing matter to himself and not have to discuss it with anyone, ever again.

Last month, as John was preparing for one of his trips, he received a call from his Chief Pilot. John was asked to stop by the office before checking in for his shift. John was greeted by the Chief Pilot, the Director of Operations, and the Director of Human Resources. After sitting down, John was handed a piece of paper that had been printed from the internet.

John was devastated to realize that his arrest and conviction had been discovered by a coworker and had been passed along to the Chief Pilot. What is even more amazing was how this co-worker had been able to find out this information.

Apparently John’s arrest took place in a small town where EVERYTHING gets written about in the local paper. An acquaintance of Johns, saw the small town article and asked another friend about it on Facebook/Twitter. Before long, several people on Facebook/Twitter were talking about the incident and one of the Friends of a Friend happened to be a co-worker of Johns. As a result, the co-worker did some Googling on John and found the article regarding the original arrest. The co-worker then passed the information on to the Chief Pilot. Unfortunately, John was terminated on the spot.

Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet are all wonderful tools that allow us to learn, work, research and communicate with the rest of the world. The problem is that most everything is recorded on the internet. Whether it is pictures of our new baby, a snowstorm in the Northeast, a School Teacher winning an award in the South, or a local resident getting arrested in a small town. Once the information is captured by the Internet, it is permanent; there is no getting rid of it. Never assume that just because your paper records have been expunged or sealed or because you have not spoken to anyone about the matter, that a situation will go unrecognized.

The good news is that John was able to find another flying position. With a lot of hard work, he was able to present himself and his past situation in a manner that allowed his current employer the opportunity to see that while John had made a big mistake he was well worth the effort for training and employing.

While this story is not meant to have you feeling like youre under a microscope, it is meant to make you think. With the anticipated hiring expected in the aviation community for this fall, there are some areas where pilots need to be cautious. Remember that potential employers are Internet savvy. Use discretion in what pictures you post and what you say on your social networking pages. Do a Google/Facebook/Twitter search on yourself and see what others might find. If you have difficult areas in your background, be prepared to discuss them openly, take responsibility, and have your documents in order. And remember, being a pilot doesnt mean you have to be perfect, it just means that you have to prepare accordingly, present your background appropriately and accept responsibility for your actions.

Angie Marshall
Cage Consulting, Inc.
720-222-1432

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Community College Adds Pilots Training Programs

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Students in New Jersey now have another option for starting an aviation career thanks to new programs at Atlantic Cape Community College.

On June 26, the Atlantic Cape Community College Board of Trustees voted to add two new aviation programs to the college’s tuition and fees schedule for the next school year. The programs include an instrument pilot course, which costs $12,000 and a commercial pilot course, which costs $21,000.

At the completion of the programs students will receive an associate in science degree in Aviation Studies. The goal of the program, which also offers a professional pilot option, is to prepare students to transfer to a four-year aviation degree program. To that end, Atlantic Cape Community College has signed articulation agreements with several colleges to ensure a smooth transfer for their students.

With the professional pilot option, students will graduate with a Commercial Pilot Certificate and instrument rating. To take advantage of this option, students must apply for the program, meet all FAA requirements for commercial pilot training, and have a second-class medical certificate.

The degrees require 66 credit hours, which cost $300 in addition to the flight training fees. These fees cover the colleges program costs, while the flight training fees cover flight training costs at Big Sky Aviation of Millville, which is the college’s training provider for these programs.

These two programs are a great addition to the large number of aviation programs available throughout the country and are very competitively priced. They will be a huge benefit to the students of Atlantic Cape Community College and those in the surrounding area who may have been considering a career in aviation.

Furthermore, they are a great template for other community colleges to consider when adding degree programs. They allow the school to do what they know best, while contracting with a flight school to perform the flight training. This benefits the college, which can offer in-demand aviation degree programs, the flight school, which has a new source of regular students, and the students, who can get a great head start on a career as a professional pilot.

For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center or find flight training near you.

Source: Future Pilots Can Learn at Atlantic Cape Community College
This article was written by Matthew Everett, a private pilot, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to AviationSchoolsOnline.com. You can follow him on twitter @leaving_tf or find his blog at http://leavingterrafirma.com.

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Foreign carriers offering lucrative contracts for U.S. pilots

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Due to booming economies and rapid expansion of commercial aviation, foreign airlines are offering lucrative contracts to combat a shortage of qualified pilots.

For pilots, or aspiring pilots, who won’t mind working overseas international airlines are in a bit of a bidding war.

With the consolidation of several U.S. carriers, the job market for airline pilots isn’t as attractive as it once was. Pilots face a long climb to the top and compensation along the way can pale in comparison to what foreign carriers are offering.

Due to booming economies in places like China, commercial aviation is rapidly expanding and facing a very real shortage of qualified pilots. This has resulted in foreign carriers offering signing bonuses, housing, and other attractive bonuses to experienced pilots.

A report from the Civil Aviation Administration of China indicates a need for more than 15,000 additional pilots by 2015. Since Chinese airlines are having a hard time filling the need domestically, they’re looking overseas to fill the need.

According to an industry analyst, these deals may not be as attractive to pilots at major U.S. carriers who are well compensated, but rather the large contingent of highly experienced regional airline pilots who feel limited by their prospects for advancement.

A first officer with plenty of experience may be waiting quite a while for a captain position at a U.S. airline, but in China the same first officer’s upgrade can come right away accompanied with twice the pay.

Pilots seeking overseas work can negotiate directly with the foreign airlines or through a recruitment service which matches pilots and airlines and handles the negotiations. Some of these companies currently have listings for hundreds of positions.

Deals like these are great for both pilots and foreign airlines as they provide lucrative contracts to pilots who are filling the needs of the airlines. Perhaps more importantly, they are also good for aspiring or furloughed airline pilots in the U.S. who could leverage these contracts to accelerate their domestic job prospects.

Flight training in the U.S. is still more affordable and quicker than in other countries, but pilots’ job prospects are often weakened by lack of experience in larger jets. Since many foreign airlines are offering to pay for type ratings, many U.S. pilots will see an increased demand for their skills back home after only a brief contract overseas.

For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center or find flight training near you.

Sources:

U.S. pilots find high demand, high pay overseas

China Lures U.S. Pilots Tired of 14-Year Wait for Airline Captain’s Seat

This article was written by Matthew Everett, a private pilot, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to AviationSchoolsOnline.com. You can follow him on twitter @leaving_tf or find his blog at http://leavingterrafirma.com.

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How Seniority Affects An Airline Pilot’s Daily Life

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Airline pilots preparing for takeoff

How important is airline pilot seniority to your career... you may be shocked.

Airbus A320 captain and frequent AviationSchoolsOnline.com contributor Michael Moore shares some of the stark realities of airline pilot seniority. If you’re considering pursuing an airline pilot career, this article is a must-read.

“When” you get hired by an airline is almost as important as which airline, and the bottom line for any aspiring pilot is “the sooner you start pilot training, the better”.

Here’s a quick preview of Captain Moore’s latest contribution with links to the full article…

If you were to ask an airline pilot what one factor affects his or her daily life the most, they would most likely say “seniority”.  This is because where you fall on a pilot seniority list dictates what aircraft you fly, your pay rate, and even when you are able to take vacation.

There are three different types of seniority.
  • Relative Seniority
  • Captain or First Officer Seniority
  • Aircraft Seniority

>> Read the full article

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The Logbook Checklist

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Cage Consulting logoBy Angie Marshall & Cheryl Cage
Cage Consulting: Helping Pilots Reach Their Goals Since 1988

While the aviation industry is still slow, there has been some subtle movement over the last few months. Several companies have been quietly recalling furloughed pilots, in fact, some have even started to do some hiring. Now is the time for you to start preparing your logbooks, your resume, and your game plan.

Logbooks must be up-to-date and neat.  Sloppy, disorganized, inaccurate logbooks will be the cause of a great deal of questioning and concern on the part of the interviewer.  Before you hand-out your resume at job fairs or submit an application please review the following:

1.  Audit your flight times BEFORE you do anything with your resume or application.   Applicants have been escorted out of an interview because their flight times did not match their application.

2. If you find that a mistake has been made, make the necessary changes to correct the error. Do not erase or white-out information. Instead, go to the next available entry space in your logbook and write AUDIT and the date of your corrections. Then write in the corrected times.

3.  Tab your checkrides. This helps the interviewer locate the information quickly and it will also allow you a chance to reflect on your checkride history prior to answering questions on an application or during your interview.

4.  Remove any notes, folded paper or trash from your logbooks. You don’t want the interviewer to open your logbooks only to find your grocery list!

5.  Make sure all your pages are signed.

6.  Be sure to give accurate flight times on all resumes and applications. Potential employers want to know your actual hours, not “approximates” or “guesstimates”.

7.  Be sure to read the application flight time requirements CAREFULLY!  All companies request flight times to be broken out differently. What you have on your resume may not look exactly like what’s on your application. If they ask you to give your PIC without student time, then you break down your PIC without student time. Read, reread, and then read again before placing your flight times on the application.

8.  It is acceptable to use computerized programs to keep track or your flight times, however, you need to have your original logbooks with the original checkride sign offs to present at the time of the interview.

9.  NEVER, NEVER overestimate your flight times for any reason.

10.  If you have lost a logbook, you must strive to recreate your flight time.  Remember, this is a legal document with legal signatures in it.   Contact the FAA for your Complete Airmen’s File which will have your FAA ratings and sign-offs, contact past students/instructors for letters to verify your time, ask former companies for flight log print outs, etc.

Worse case, if an error is discovered during your interview; don’t be afraid to admit that you were wrong.  By taking responsibility for your error, the interviewer will hopefully understand your oversight and make note of your humble approach.

For more information on our pilot career services such as resume development, career/special concerns/furlough consulting, and job fair/interview preparation services please contact us at:

Website:  www.cageconsulting.com

Email: info@cageconsulting.com

Phone: 720-222-1432

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