I have the opportunity to go into the right seat of a regional jet or go to Africa and fly for an air taxi company. I know that when I take the Jet job I will prob never go back and fly the dark continent. I have no wife/gf and no kids, but do have a pile of student loans. What would you do in my situation??
Which one will let you pay off the student loans the fastest ?. This is not a simple salary question, make some carefull judgements on cost of living and likely spending. Also consider which type ratings etc will have the best influence on your longer term career. Finally evaluate your personal objectives and sense of adventure against the above results. Only you can decide.
Totally agree with Ancient geek (btw think that your nick name should be Ancient Greek…there is a lot of wisdom in the advice given).
Would like to add that also depends the country were you have been offered the job. Don’t forget that living conditions and quality of life in some African countries are very low (lack of infrastructure, blackouts, no water supply, diseases, crime etc) and the aviation sometimes is dangerous.
Africa will give you some adventure and probably good stick and rudder skills but regional carrier world in US will provide more experience in the real airliners environment.
Which country in africa were you offered the air taxi job?
Just my 2c - I've only regretted the things I didn't do in life when I had the chance. You've got the rest of your life to fly a shiny jet in the USA... why not take the chance to have a real adventure before you do get tied down? There is more to life than progressing quickly in your career.
Easy for me to say tho - I don't have any offer of a jet job
Having done both, I would highly recommend flying in Africa first. Regional airline flying is fun for about the first 6 months, and then becomes a grind. Pay as an FO is miserable, and the flying isn't terribly exciting.
Fly in Africa for a couple of years and have some of the best and most exciting flying around, then cash in on the hiring wave that will be unleashed in 2012 when the retirements start in force in the US.
If I find the right gig, I'll be out of the US regionals at the first available opportunity.
The regional is obviously the safer bet. Assuming that there is a wave of mainline carrier hiring in the offing, you'll be well positioned to take advantage of it. Further, your pay will probably always come on time, in a currency recognised everywhere. OTOH, you are young. Will you someday look back and wish you had spent a couple of years on an adventure, before assuming the responsibilities, as well as the joys, of a stable life in the US?
Location: KGRB, but on the road about 1/2 the time.
If yoU want to be a US PAX airline pilot, doing the RJ thing is a better option. If yoU want to be an internation PAX airline pilot, doing the RJ thing is a better option.
Since it is Air Wisconsin, I would lean to that job...but it depends somewhat on what the Africa job was. Some Africa jobs are pretty good, and some not. ALSO, it depends on your sense of mission. If the Africa job was for a good cause (relief flying, etc.), then you may want to do that first, as you would be helping others, and that might be important to you.
in the 90's i went to Kenya to fly a twotter for Air Serv International. the next year flew one for Air Seychelles.
even today when i am in my business jet and my FO is retired airline and the talk comes round to previous lifes i always fondly bring up my Africa time.
sounds like you made your decision and i am sure its best for you, i always took the road less traveled. cheers
I have flown with a few ex Air Wisconsin guys who came out to africa for an adventure post retirement (you may well be instructed by one of them!). For some it was the best flying they ever did, for others not so great. What struck me though was that all of them had at some point in life been placed on furlough, so you could always use that time for something different.
Right now and as of this moment, SAA has an intake which means that pilot pond life is stirring from the bottom up, at least here in South Africa. This intake will, as always, create job opportunities across the aviation spectrum. The gloopy noises of wannabees as they extricate themselves from the sticky slime of unemployed despond is unlikely to last long and it won't be long before everything is once again calm and stagnant at the water hole. Have yourself declared a bankrupt and walk away from the tribulations of life. Come down to Africa while you can and have some fun in the flying before returning as the prodigal pilot to the computer generated toy land which characterises modern flying in the uncivilised world north of the Equator. It is actually quite possible still to have a real, no pretence, adventure here. But make no mistake though, sometimes the road less travelled can be a little stonier.
Well go to Africa if you can. I was there for some time in the 90s. Did not do the bush stuff, but very good experience. Was flying the West African cost on airline stuff. I thing that you learn how to be PIC when there is non radar so you do all the things all the time. And no Met reports, and a lot of CB and rain and so on. Still to this day I am missing it. Go for it.
I think it is only fair to point out that those who were not born and raised in africa are due for a major culture shock. Life in the major cities can feel familiar but outside of these small areas it really is a different planet.
Having watched the reactions of many new arrivals from europe and the USA it is safe to assume that around half will be going home within a few months. Those who stay and fit in will have a great time but those who expect a degree of "home comforts" will be disapointed.
Location: KGRB, but on the road about 1/2 the time.
I will second that. At my job, there were 9 guys from outside Africa with no prior African experience who worked for my company in about 2 year period. I was the only one who stayed more than about 2 months. The other non-Africans that stayed all had previously flown and lived in Africa.
Im 25 I work at a US regional airline. 25-30K a year, benefits, CASS, the whole bit. 3-5 years to upgrade to captain. I was just offered a position flying PC-12 in Africa, or King Air 350 in USA. PIC Type in the BE-350, School on the Pilatus. Pay for the position is 100K+, Benefits. 75 on, 45 off in Africa. Housing and Per Diem paid for by company in Africa. Stay and log SIC or Move on? 75K in student loans also...