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The switch between AIRLINE job and BIZ jet job

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The switch between AIRLINE job and BIZ jet job

Old 21st Dec 2011, 10:46
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The switch between AIRLINE job and BIZ jet job

Hi everyone!

I am thinking about making the switch from Airline to Biz jet. Has anyone got any experience with this kind of move? If so:

1. What are the main differences in lifestyle that one can expect?

2. Is this an advisable move? (I have not heard of many people in my airline making this switch!)

3. As an FO, what are the general chances of being upgraded? (perhaps lack of proper career progression structure compared to an airline?)

Ok keeping it short for now! Anyone with any general advice to give, it would be much appreciated.

Many thanks!

Last edited by jimsmitty01; 21st Dec 2011 at 11:16.
jimsmitty01 is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2011, 15:16
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Hi Jim,

Well, maybe I can shed a little light. While I'd not strictly from an airline background per se, I did fly scheduled for a few years and have experience of both sides a little.

1. What are the main differences in lifestyle that one can expect? My personal circumstances in the job right now... I hardly ever get up before 10am, when I do, it's the occasional early morning and that's about it. I rarely get home later than 10pm, when I do it's the occasional night flight. I have around 20 days a month at home and when I work I tend to do a flight and then settle down for a sauna followed by a nice meal in a 4* hotel. I get paid reasonably well, regularly go to around 30 different destinations, get to see a few odd ones in my travels and I thoroughly enjoy the job. On the other hand I have thousands of less hours than my equivalent airline friends, but have the joys of Russia, the Middle East, Africa and the America's to play with. Having said that I had cultivated (cultivate) contacts to get me into the good jobs, which is very very hard to do. Downsides, my telephone is never off. No such thing as saying NO. They call, you work, simples.

2. Is this an advisable move? (I have not heard of many people in my airline making this switch!) - It's advisable if you want to be a biz jet pilot. But remember this, you WILL be doing LOTS of Jeppessen updates. You will be cleaning the interior, making coffee, lifting bags, having to be extremely flexible, sitting on the plane for 5 hours delaying a flight plan waiting for a punter who's perpetually '20 minutes away'. You'll also be doing your own drop line loadsheets, your own paperwork and possibly your own slot coordination and even potentially filing flight plans.

3. As an FO, what are the general chances of being upgraded? (perhaps lack of proper career progression structure compared to an airline?) - Upgrade tends to be face-fits coupled with ability (ability is not just techs and no-techs, it's front of house customer service). Passing a command assessment is irrelevant. Standards are all. Do you keep high personal presentation standards, a clean cockpit and a spotless cabin?

Hope that helps shed some light on your questions.

Regards

PW
potatowings is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2011, 15:35
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Are you being a jerk PicMas?

Jimsmitty01

I have met some that have made the move - it's not for everyone and most don't like it. You are effectively on your own with a lot of the day to day chores to be done by you. Interpersonal skills and smart dress are vital as you will be meeting, greeting and dealing with your passengers. Remember their time is valuable - your's is not!

Roster is frequently a figment of Ops imagination - you could well end up being on standby duty most of the time. Some didn't mind but long term it grated with me. You lived your life around the standby - which is no life!

I have moved the other way but still do some work on the Citation XL. I would NEVER go back to full-time corporate. At least now I have a roster which is honoured so planning one's life is much easier.

That said there is some great flying to be had and some fun places downroute. Most of my ex-colleagues, both pilots and hosties were top notch!

Corporate is a bit of an enigma - it has both the very best job conditions and the very worst, with most somewhere in the middle.

In conclusion, even if you are with Ryanair I'd stick with it or try Emirates or Qatar Airways.
KyleRB is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2011, 16:32
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Funny. I asked my colleague who has an extensive airline background a similar question the other day: Which does he prefer, airline or corporate?

His answer? Corporate has better equipment, better pay, better schedule, better diversity of destinations, better crew hotels and ground transportation, more time to visit cities during layovers, better passengers,...did I say better pay? Downside? Airline guys don't have to "do anything" to prepare for a flight but show up on time.

Now, which sounds better to you?
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 17:40
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Join Date: Sep 1998
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Made the move in 2009, never looked back!more time off, better epuipment,longer lay overs in interesting places,more destinations, VIPs never like early starts,the writing is on the wall for airlines...low cost will be the way of the future! The choice is yours u can always go back to airlines!enjoying my 7 day off in a row, the yacht beckons!
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 19:30
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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The thing with corporate is you could ask 50 different pilots of their experiences and get 50 different answers. There are some absolutely amazing corporate jobs out there and there are some dreadful ones, and everything in between. Often though (especially with the smaller ones) it's hard to tell what it will be like until you are in.

It's not for everybody, much depends on your personality and ability to adapt.
I do lots of earlies, have a roster which is very stable (for corporate), get paid well and visit some cool places. We get a decent allowance when we're away and are able to plan stuff while down the line. I do about 500 hours a year and get rostered days off allowing me to go away etc. I know of others who are effectively on standby 7 days a week, with the exception of their 25 days annual holiday.

So come on then, is RYR really that bad? You do seem very desperate to jump ship.
corporate-pilot is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2011, 21:01
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There are airlines and there are airlines.And there are bizjet jobs and bizjet jobs.

If you work for a national/legacy/better airline then that will generally be better than one of the lo-cos.

On the bizjet front working for a private owner will be different to working for a public transport operation.

IF you get a really good private owner then you are in heaven. But a bad owner will be misery. Phone calls at 3 in the morning-I want to fly in an hours time. It's not happened to me but I've heard rumours of it. A good owner will respect your private life and give you plenty of notice. But I think that the grapvine works well and that all of these really good jobs will be filled by word of mouth and a "stranger" to that world won't get a look in. The down side of that is that you will possibly go to the same 6 airports that you always go to as the owner has properties/businesses/friends in those same 6 airports. I have also heard rumours that some private owner don't seem to understand the concept of FTL and I seem to recall reading on this website of a captain who resigned on the spot when, after an 18 hour day his owner wanted him to continue on for another ??hour sector. Can you blame him.

If you are on the PT side of things then your choice of destinations will be much wider, however generally "on-call" times will be longer and in some companies (so I have been told) if you didn't fly yesterday then that was a day off.

So to summarise, in both sectors there are good and bad. Of the 4 options above I have experienced 3 of them (not lo-co) and, unless you can get a really good owner would suggest PT corporate (but with the right company) mainly due to the variety of destinations (but if there are any really, really, really good owners out there my contact details are on this website.............)
rightbank is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2011, 21:50
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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please

The big difference is can do attitude of business pilots,

and the can not do attitude of airline pilots.

Airline pilots need a manual, a procedure and guidance on any level.
Creativity is non existent and any order/ request is countered with the
words; that is not procedure.

Also lack of a Union makes ex airline pilots always complain if they have to go a little the extra mile.

So please, stick to your job.
let us do ours.

Thank you
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 00:57
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Ericthepilot,

Really liked your post. It says it all.

Anyway, let's give jim a chance to try it. I used to be an airliner... flew in it for 16 years (major one, no lo-co), changed 4 years ago to a quite nice job. I have no intention in going back... at all!

Best luck everybody and happy holidays!

Sydy
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 02:17
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In a corporate environment, you are more than a number. The customer knows your name and trusts you. Going to the street and hailing them a taxi in the pouring rain is just not beyond you. You'll be working in a small company with approachable management who are likely to still be flying. The management will know the names of your kids and come and help you move house. It sounds like you feel isolated by your present company's magnitude. Give it a shot, it's not for everyone, but I sure go to work feeling i'm worth something.
Sir Korsky is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2011, 03:10
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Airline guys don't have to "do anything" to prepare for a flight but show up on time.
Corporate pilots don't have to do anything to prepare for a flight but shown up on time We have "people" tasked with doing everything else

Mutt
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 03:39
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Asking the difference between airline and corporate epitomises the question "how long is a piece of string". Over the years I have: paid for the fuel, catering, hotels, Jepps subs, medication for the boss and crew, maintenance away from base, airline tickets and god only knows what else using my credit cards. I have done or helped with the washing up, cleaning the aircraft and loading the baggage, planned and filed for the trip, organised ground transport and the list goes on and on. Having said that, I love it. I have always been reimbursed (except for one unfortunate freelance episode) and have enjoyed some fantastic relationships with owners/principles. I have operated on AOC where all was organised for me and private/corporate where the burden of responsibilty was far greater. Over thirty years no two jobs have been the same. You won't experience this in the airlines, be careful what you wish for.
NuName is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2011, 05:57
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As many views as questions asked

Corporate is a life style statement.

Many corporate go to airlines, I know two specific examples, on is on a 747 freighter, and the other just finishing his 777 simulator training.

Mutt is a spoilt brat. Get a real corporate job......99% of corporate is a DIY exercise.

Would I swop my Corporate and get a real job ( as my son said many years ago) why should I...... I play with the latest big boys toys, stay in 5 star hotels and beach resorts, eat excellent inflight catering, work with a great bunch of girls, and play on the best beaches.

And they PAY me...... I would be mad to go airline.

Corporate is a state of mind....... I dont mind, I love it.

glf
Gulfstreamaviator is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2011, 08:26
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Mutt is a spoilt brat.
Ha ha ha, so true I see nothing wrong with REQUESTING which runway I want to land on. from "OUR" Air Traffic Control, and knowing that they wont refuse.....

But first round is on you in the Irish Village next Feb

Mutt
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 08:40
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And just to caveat the above post for every job like the one above there are 10 where you pitch up to the aircraft with no fuel on, the hunt for a computer with Internet access which also has a printer with toner...is like the hunt for the holy grail

The guy tends to pitch up with extra pax last minute so can't get fuel till you get the wx, just when you decide a figure mutt turns up with his heavy iron and trumps the queue for fuel, so you sit in the aircraft in winter with the door open because the cartridge bog smells.....no apu means checks on the battery which is at 22v when you switch it on, you rub your hands and see your breath.

Your 0800 becomes 0830/0900/0930/1000z as "something's come up"

You witness the ATC guy arriving and put the lights on in the tower

You KEEP touching the wing to ensure its just condensation, if it does frost over you're knackered because there's no de-ice facilities anyway, you look,longingly at the hangars.

You get inspired when a challi / gulf / global driver meets you on the coffee bar and asks you what you're flying....they tell you they used to fly one of those and it was "proper" flying and the "time of their life"

Makes you feel better until said bigjet disappears to somewhere hot and it's only an hour or so till the crew are enjoying lobster tails and pedigree coffee..

Still want to get into GA?
G-SPOTs Lost is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2011, 08:54
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After having suffered for years on end from total brainless ops ladies that would put you in a 60 hotel in Rome because 100 close to the airport was too much to spent (for a minimum rest stay), only that the hotel was an hours and a half away (Rome is small...or rather the ladies brain?), so we spent twice the difference for the transfer and were quite knackered on check in...

Now I finally manage 'my' little FD with one airplane and just us 2 pilots and love every minute of it. It also saves a lot of telephone cost, I just complain to myself when the hotel is shitty...
Whilst the airplane got a little smaller (CL30 to C680) the fun got bigger and we have loads of it. What I miss is the shiny destinations like Cannes, Mallorca or Fuerteventura, but hey, I will be getting an Aktau/Kazachstan frequent traveller card soon....and who can say THAT!!!
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 09:27
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My Airport so I will used any runway I want

Mutt,

OK, I had the same situation on my way to your place..... requested other runway, and direct to FIR Bdy.....

Well why not we do own the airport, airspace etc, ect.

Beer order placed.

Glf
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 10:14
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HD are you my German brother? Maybe we can cover each other whilst we have a holiday?

I'll spell that word for you because doing what we do it's not a frequently used word.....

H...O...L...I...D...A...Y........
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Old 22nd Dec 2011, 10:26
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Thank you for all your replies! I've read through them a couple of times now, so I really appreciate all your input.

I was aware that many of the questions I asked really depended on the operator that you join. But from the posts I've looked at we're pretty well covered with opinions from both sides of the fence now.

To summarise what's been said so far, I think it's fair to say:

That it would be harder work, when your actually at work.

There is generally more time off (but many, many standby days).

Greater responsibilities (Customer Service, Aircraft cleanliness, Operational roles).

Some interesting and random destinations with longer layovers, but more waiting around and uncertainty.

More highly regarded as a professional (depends on the client), but I would imagine more so than flying a load of drunk customers down to the Canary's. - "More than just a number" as Sir Korsky mentioned.

All in all, a lot more face time with the clients, and a lot more of a 'personal experience'.

I reckon that you would also have to be an extremely flexible / adaptable character, to put up with a variable roster (unless you join a large operator e.g. NetJets).

Note to PicMas:

It pains me to reply to you, but if I am honest, I do actually understand and respect your opinion. However if you could just disseminate your outlook on flight training in, a) The correct forum / group / thread. b) In a polite and mature manner. I am positive that people would take you more seriously.

Thanks again for everyone's comments. Hope this thread is helpful for those thinking of making the switch. It is imperative to think twice before undertaking such a massive career change!!
jimsmitty01 is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2011, 10:45
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That it would be harder work, when your actually at work.
Er not always, my airline chums work harder than me. I have minimal stress and a lot of fun and do about 500 hours a year.

There is generally more time off (but many, many standby days).
Yeah I do probably get a bit more time off than some of my mates, very few standby days though.


Greater responsibilities (Customer Service, Aircraft cleanliness, Operational roles).
Yes, making sure their taxis have arrived and of course keeping the aircraft clean and stocked up.


Some interesting and random destinations with longer layovers, but more waiting around and uncertainty.
I'm home most nights, but I do look forward to night stops. Random as far as mainly European destinations. No puddle jumping for me.


More highly regarded as a professional (depends on the client), but I would imagine more so than flying a load of drunk customers down to the Canary's. - "More than just a number" as Sir Korsky mentioned.
Our passengers are professionals and they treat us as professionals. A mutual respect I guess.


All in all, a lot more face time with the clients, and a lot more of a 'personal experience'.
Absolutely! Best bit of the job, a bit of banter in the FBO or at the bottom of the air stair (depending on how well I know them of course)


I reckon that you would also have to be an extremely flexible / adaptable character, to put up with a variable roster (unless you join a large operator e.g. NetJets).
I work for a private owner and have a fairly fixed rosta, multiple aircraft and a decent number of crew to share the workload. You do however have to keep flexible. "You might need to go to xxx tomorrow", to which I normally answer "why tomorrow, I can go now".
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