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Pilot in Waiting Summit Air

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Pilot in Waiting Summit Air

Old 19th Nov 2021, 03:16
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Kerala
Posts: 3
Pilot in Waiting Summit Air

What you guys think about joining pilot in waiting programme by summit air?
Any one knows anything please reply me, that would me much appreciated.
Joyal Flyer 545 is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2021, 02:35
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by Joyal Flyer 545 View Post
What you guys think about joining pilot in waiting programme by summit air?
Any one knows anything please reply me, that would me much appreciated.
So having read the job posting you would be a glorified ramp rat with a pilots license.
Bksmithca is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2021, 18:58
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 60
Posts: 5,009
I can't speak for Summit Air specifically. Generally, if you want to work in aviation, place yourself as near to airplanes and airplane people, as much as you can. Sure, working the ramp or the dock is unglamorous. To be honest, some parts of being a high time pilot are also unglamorous, so get use to it. Working the ramp or the dock does two things for you: It keeps you closer to where aviation is happening, and it gets you seen, and hopefully, appreciated by the people who make decisions as to who will fly the planes. Very certainly, I have been hired into desirable flying jobs because someone got to know me on the ramp.

It is very likely that the person who makes pilot hiring decisions now worked the ramp/dock early in their career. They are likely appreciative to a person who is willing to handle boxes, bags and rope at the beginning of their career, as they did. Shine at the unglamorous work first in life. What's the theatre saying....? There are no small parts, only small actors....
Pilot DAR is online now  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 22:20
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wherever I go, there I am
Age: 41
Posts: 726
I worked for Summit for about six months after they merged with Arctic Sunwest (ASC) in 2013. I was happy where I was but was unhappy with the direction the merger was going. I've since come to learn that's just how mergers go. Looking back, part of me wishes I had stuck it out, but then I'm very happy where I am now, so such is life.

My information is almost ten years out of date, but I found Summit was a well-organized company. They treated people right, even if at the time I was one of the ones who lost out on the lower wages paid by Summit compared to ASC. I look fondly at my time spent in a pilot-in-waiting program (PIW), although my time was in the office, not the ramp. As Pilot DAR mentioned, you get a lot of good contacts, it's fun work until it's not, and you'll eventually get onto an airplane - unless you prove that moving boxes, dispatching, or filing paperwork is too hard a job. If nothing else, the time I spent in the office set the rest of my career on a trajectory I didn't expect. It's allowed me to expand into areas outside of simply flying airplanes. It worked for me and I've been very successful since because of my PIW experiences. It doesn't work that way for everyone though.

There are two problems with a PIW program: You never know how long it'll be and in some cases, you're paid less to do the same work.

I know some really smart people who were on the wrong side of the aviation cycle and spent 5 years or more working the ramp. Others, like me, were very fortunate to be at the right place and the right time before quickly getting onto an airplane. It's been my experience that most people spend two years waiting for an airplane, not the 8 months I did it for. The company may promise you'll see an airplane within 6 months or a year, heck they might even type you on it, but plan for two years minimum before you're doing any serious amount of line flying - and that's during the good times. If a recession comes along or another pandemic, you're the first to get chopped and you'll start at the bottom of the ramp list at any other company you move to. There is also no seniority in a PIW program despite all the senior guys telling you they're "next in line." You get an airplane only if and when management has a spot and they think you're ready. If those conditions are not met, you're not getting an airplane, no matter where you think you sit on some imaginary list.

Then there is the pay. Some companies, ASC was one of them, had two pay rates for ground employees: pilots and non-pilots. Non-pilots were paid rather well. Pilots were paid about half what a non-pilot was - about minimum wage. I've never understood that mentality despite owners and operators giving a whole bunch of reasons why it makes sense. I don't know if Summit has fixed that or not, but if not, you'll have to decide if you're comfortable working beside someone making double than you even though you both start the same day. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't. But that's very easy for me to say sitting where I am.

With all of that said, the friends I made in Yellowknife are closer than family. I never had a brother growing up, but (and it sounds corny I know) I now have two brothers, two more sisters, and whole wack of friends that are far closer than the "Instagram friends" you'll have in a city. I wouldn't give up my time there for anything, and part of me regrets moving on from that lifestyle. You'll have lots of fun, make lifelong friends, and learn more about yourself than you would flight instructing. If nothing else, the PIW program at Summit is worth that.
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