Archive for the ‘Aviation Jobs’ 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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Business Ideas For Commercial Pilots

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

business ideas for commercial pilots - Cessna Caravan

The Cessna Grand Caravan is popular with aerial tour operators

Good pilot jobs in today’s economy have become harder and harder to find. Landing a major airline job is difficult and applicants face lots of competitors who have been waiting in line a long time for each opening. Many new pilots have to settle for low paying entry level jobs and sometimes even need to find additional non-aviation jobs to pay the bills. Some wonder if there is anything they can do to build a profitable business in the aviation industry. There are many options available to the commercial pilot who is willing to put in some capital and a little risk. Here’s a few business ideas for commercial pilots.

Charters, Tour Operators, and More

One option in pursuing a business is to purchase your own planes and provide chartered flights for business, individuals, or celebrities. There are some businesses or executives that will hire one charter business to be their permanent carrier. With time and marketing, the number of clients looking to hire you could grow. Other pilots might start a tour business flying over scenic locations. With an aircraft, or a fleet of aircraft, there are many other options that can be pursued which include air taxi, agricultural spraying, flight instruction, emergency search and rescue, etc.

Banner Towing

Marketers out there still love to hire pilots to tow banners in front of large crowds of people or during events. Typically these pilots fly low and slow in a single engine airplane. Banner towing is a great way to build up hours to transition into agricultural flying as well. Towing a banner does require some extra skill especially when taking off and landing the aircraft.

Aerial Photography

The advancement of cameras combined with social media on the Internet has created the opportunity for many amateur and professional photographers to make a living in aviation. Pilots can either work for hire or can do their own photography/videography from the air.

Even though times are tough as a pilot there are options for the spirited entrepreneur. Whether you invest funds and time into a charter business, banner towing, aerial photography, or many other options, there are those waiting for your services and expertise.

As an author, Jordan McPelt writes about various subject matter including aircraft, pilots, business, airport safety, and low profile airport barricades. Learn more about airport safety and airport barricades at trans-supply.com.

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Piloting Is A Career With Plenty Of Room For Growth

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
American Airlines jet on the groundBy Paul C. Guerrier

The airline industry is booming, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at job growth numbers these days. Both the airline and air shipping industries need a substantial number of new pilots, and that need is expected to grow over the next fifteen years both in the U.S. and abroad. It’s a double-edged sword though since airlines aren’t always profitable.

Digging Into Pilot Salaries May Spur Growth

It’s unfortunate, but the airline industry has been cutting back on pilot salaries for a while to keep airline ticket prices low. The cuts have been so severe that some experts say that the glory days of being a pilot are all but over. Those cuts may force some pilots to seek other jobs or retire. Because of this, the airline industry could face shortages.

While no one is attracted to a job with the lowest wages, those wages are unlikely to remain low during a pilot shortage. When pilots start leaving the industry, there’s a break-even point. Airlines need a certain number of pilots to run their airline. When that threshold is hit, expect salaries to climb. If a young pilot times it right, he could get in on the ground floor of a new hiring wave with a decent salary.

The Airline Industry Projects Growth

Boeing has forecast that it needs another 466,650 more commercial pilots by 2029 – a truly staggering number of pilots. Forty percent of those pilots are needed in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 97,000 will be needed in North America. It’s not a mystery to major airlines what will be required in the future.

Some airlines are expected to increase reliance on technology, rather than human beings, but there will always be a need for a human pilot to oversee flight operations. Many of the new pilot opportunities will be in Asia – especially China. While the economy isn’t growing as much as it was two years ago, China is still seeing a demand for increased travel.

Retirement May Spur Growth

Retirement is a reality in the airline industry. At age 65, pilots must retire by law. This fact alone serves as a warning to many airlines who have older pilots. In the 1980s and 1990s, being a pilot was pretty glamorous. That’s when airlines received the bulk of their now-veteran pilots. Today, those same pilots are approaching retirement. That former hiring boom is turning into a retirement boom – and a supply problem.

New pilots are needed, but not just any pilot will do. Airlines have quite a problem to solve. Older pilots have much more experience than new pilots. What’s needed is a gradual integration of new pilots, accompanied by seasoned veterans, to ease the industry into a new era.

The Air Shipping Industry

FedEx, UPS, and other air freight companies are doing more business by air these days. Even with the cost of fuel, consumer demand and increased online shopping is pushing the industry to put in more flight time. While fuel costs push companys’ profits down, the fact is that these same companies still need pilots to fly their aircraft and deliver goods.

 

About the author – Paul C. Guerrier recently completed his flight certification. He loves writing about his aviation hobby, and he blogs for a number of different websites in his spare time. Looking for an internationally recognized flight training program? Click here.

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New Way To Find Airline Jobs – ATP Launches PilotPool.com

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

PilotPool.com logo

By 

ATP (Airline Transport Professionals) recently launched its new PilotPool.com website which promises to help pilots find airline jobs and airlines find pilots. The new service is available to all pilots at no charge and is available now at http://PilotPool.com.

ATP’s new service is unique in the industry because instead of including only pilots who may already have all of the required prerequisites for an airline job, PilotPool.com keeps track of a pilot’s progress and notifies potential employers automatically when a pilot makes a significant achievement like earning a type rating, for example. Pilots seeking jobs are encouraged to add their profiles to the site and to continually update their experience information as new licences, ratings, and endorsements are earned.

PilotPool.com chartATP says one of the advantages to using PilotPool.com is that pilots “gain the advantage of establishing a relationship with their target employers as they work toward meeting hiring minimums”.

According to an ATP press release, “With concerns of hiring shortages, solutions for finding good quality pilot candidates are needed. Many airlines are unable to  see candidates until they have met hiring minimums and send in their resume which delays finding eligible pilots and prohibits a forward-looking hiring process. PilotPool.com pilots can be viewed and their progress tracked by airline recruiters, simultaneously allowing recruiters to solve for future supply and demand constraints.”

“PilotPool.com includes a proprietary tracking program of flight times of pilots, giving airlines accurate projections of when pilots will meet minimums and be eligible for airline new-hire classes.  Many recruiters find that data in their files of potential candidates is outdated and misrepresents the real status of pilots seeking employment. Pilot pool gets airlines access to the most relevant pilot profiles for recruitment and relationship-building so airlines can meet their hiring needs over a longer term time horizon.  Along with this, ATP provides partner airlines with a dedicated representative to assist with workflow integration.  Partner airlines who use PilotPool.com can be assured that the information they are receiving about candidates through PilotPool.com is up-to-date.”

“Today ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program prepares pilots for airline careers with nationwide flying experience in multi-engine aircraft. In partnership with the leading regional and national airlines, ATP offers its students an airline-sponsored career track from zero time to 1500 hours, with CFI job placement and airline employment. ATP flies over 9,000 hours to provide more than 350 FAA pilot certificates every month across 28 locations nationwide.”

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Wall Street Journal: Airlines Facing Pilot Shortage

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
United Boeing 777 - are the airlines facing a pilot shortage?

Photo © copyright Brandon Farris

By 

In an article published November 12th, The Wall Street Journal cited multiple conditions that appear to be leading to a very real pilot shortage in the next few years.

“U.S. airlines are facing what threatens to be their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with higher experience requirements for new hires about to take hold just as the industry braces for a wave of retirements.”

Upcoming forced retirements, a slowdown in new pilot training, and a new 1500-hour requirement for airline operators look like the combination for the “perfect storm,” creating a lack of pilots.

“This is going to come to a crisis,” said Bob Reding, recently retired executive vice president of operations at AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and now a consultant to FlightSafety International Inc., an aviation training provider.

Added Kit Darby, a consultant on pilot-hiring trends: “We are about four years from a solution, but we are only about six months away from a problem.

Estimates differ on the problem’s magnitude. Airlines for America, a trade group of the largest carriers that collectively employ 50,800 pilots now, cites a study by the University of North Dakota’s aviation department that indicates major airlines will need to hire 60,000 pilots by 2025 to replace departures and cover expansion.

Mr. Darby’s firm calculates that all U.S. airlines, including cargo, charter and regional carriers, together employ nearly 96,000 pilots, and will need to find more than 65,000 over the next eight years.”

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here

If you’re interested in becoming a pilot, check out our pilot training resources.

Related articles:

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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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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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