Sunday, January 07, 2007

Landing the Job

Some of the most popular posts on my blog were from the Flying Careers series I wrote in late 2005 and early 2006. I still get the occasional comment or email about it from people who thought it was a good source of information on the piloting profession. Still, the posts largely about making the decision to pursue aviation as a career, rather than providing practical information to those already working their way up the ladder. I'd like this series to pick up where "Flying Careers" left off, by talking about the process of getting hired for a flying job, whether it be your first CFI gig or dream airline job.

In this series I will discuss how to scout out available jobs, how to get an interview, preparing for and performing well in the interview, and surviving training. Many of my readers seem to be in the beginning stages of their career; I hope they find this information useful. Those who've been around the block a time or two, please feel free to chime in with your own advice, as my job-hunting experience is somewhat limited (I've interviewed for two CFI jobs, two freight dog positions, and three regional airlines).

I have my own reasons for posting this series. I've been at my airline for three years now, which is the longest I've gone without playing the hiring game; I can use a refresher. There's another reason. In the three years I've been here, I've moved a little over 1/3 of the way up the first officer seniority list. The company just revealed they're planning on upgrading only 28 FOs this year, out of 370. I'm starting to get a little concerned; if this pace continues for much longer, I need to look at other options. I'd rather not make a lateral move to another regional; I'm starting to dust off the resume and hunt for other positions that I'm qualified for. Posting about the process will discipline me to do it.

Incidently, I'm looking to get my ATP sometime soon. I would have done it a long time ago, but wasn't old enough to take the checkride when I was hired at my current airline. Does anybody have any recommendations on where to do it? Cost is a big factor; if the aircraft was a Seneca, it'd probably be much easier to do thanks to significant time in type. Thanks!

In the next post: Scouting Open Positions.


Ron said...

If you want to do your ATP in a Seneca, I'd recommend ATP (the flight school, that is). They have nothing but Seminoles and their ATP rating is fairly economical in terms of both time and money.

Denver said...

I've heard the pros and cons of ATP flight school. Met a guy not too long ago who used them for his MEI. Walla Walla College just got a very nice Turbo Seneca. Took the ATP ride in it a few months ago. If you're interested, you aught to call Shawn. You may already know him; he flew for Ameriflight a few years back out of Portland. Great guy and an excellent instructor. 509-527-2323

LoadMasterC141 said...

Well, from one of your target readers of this new posting endeavor, I "Pre" thank you for all the time and effort you are going to put into this to help people like me out.

John said...

ATP, Inc. is probably your best choice for the knowledge test prep (if you haven't yet taken it) and the practical test. Their planes are well-maintained and they have plenty of them.

I doubt you'll have any trouble with the Seminole, though the rate of climb on the single-engine missed approach (required on the ATP practical) is ... well ... a sobering look at light twin performance. Try to do your check ride on a cold day with an examiner who doesn't weigh very much! Email me if you want more info ...

Sam said...

Thanks for the advice, all. Yeah, I'm sure a Seminole would be fine, I actually got my Commercial-ME in one and remember it being very docile, even moreso than the Seneca. I'm doing this on a budget so I'm thinking about doing the checkride with the Feds...I chafe at the idea of paying a $400 examiner's fee. I suppose I could look up one of the examiners I sent students to in SoCal and see if they'd cut me a deal.