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Does it help to have more flight hours?

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Does it help to have more flight hours?

Old 16th Nov 2020, 02:16
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Does it help to have more flight hours?

I am debating whether or not to take a specific opportunity abroad. I am part-way through my PPL in the UK at present.

UK: Complete my EASA/CAA modular training and graduate with approx 225 flight hours with minimum ME hours
Abroad: Complete my training to FAA standards, have 500 hours including 50+ ME and at least 10 hours turboprop time (at a cost of £10-15k more) on a sort of on-the-job course which gives a decent amount of work experience of professional piloting

My real question is, would those extra hours and the turbine time make much difference in terms of being hired (I appreciate there are no jobs at the moment anyway, I'm talking generally)? If anyone is a recruiter or has recruiting experience I would love to know your thoughts.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 12:25
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We need more information to make an educated statement.
What is the turboprop time in and doing what?
Turboprop time is expensive but not THAT expensive.

Total time Total Time Total Time
Multi engine time Multi engine time Multi engine time
Instrument time Instrument time Instrument time


Honestly the difference between the 225-250 and the 500 is not enough to make a difference unless the extra 250 is High Quality Time.

For instance dropping jumpers for another 250 hrs is of limited value as itís all day VFR with no crosscountry or IFR or approaches involved.

As a quick check consider the number of columns filled out in your logbook in a single flight as a guide as to the value of that time.
  • Total time
  • PIC time
  • XC time
  • IFR time
  • Night time
  • Turbo prop
  • Turbo jet
  • Multi crew

Last edited by B2N2; 16th Nov 2020 at 12:38.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 15:30
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My understanding is that I would get as much or as little IR, ME and Night Flying as I would want within the scope of the total hours. If that is all that's required by recruiters though, surely gaining a couple hundred hours is not all that important (assuming I get plenty of ME, IR and Night hours before doing my CPL).

With the 10+ hours turboprop time (in a Beechcraft King Air - multicrew), would a Jet Orientation Course/APS MCC course be just as useful/more useful and at a lower cost?
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 18:50
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Is this TP through Eagle Jet? I won't get into a pay to fly argument so I will just give my opinion on the hours. Do not do your TP hours in a Metroliner, Beech 99/1900 or any other plane that can be flown single pilot. Embraer 120, Shorts 330/360 are the ones you should look at.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 19:13
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RobThePilot

Probably not. In today's pilot market with tens of thousands of unemployed experienced pilots the chances of landing a job are minimal. But even in the pilot markets of yesteryear it wouldn't have helped much: airlines wanted either (a) experienced type rated guys with 500 or 1000 hours on type or as multi crew, or (b) brand new cadets with 200 hours ready to be moulded. They wouldn't really differentiate between 200 hours and 900 hours (if anything Ryanair preferred 200 hours - the more single pilot hours you have the harder it is to train you multi crew, apparently)
In the US (assuming you have a US passport as well) - single pilot hours are valued more, as you need 1500 hours for an airline job (with a few exceptions). Also, any turbine hours you have on a US licence wouldn't be worth much in the UK as it wouldn't get you out of the requirement for a type rating over here unless you have hundreds hours on type as well.

Get the licence appropriate to where you intend to finally be working.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 21:10
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It isn't through Eagle Jet, no. Kingairfirstofficer.com

I suspect it would not have been a bad option for me had I not already started my PPL, as the costs would have been broadly similar, but as I have already shelled out for the PPL the costs don't add up. The advice you folks have given, along with advice I have received from a few HR people at airlines, makes me confident that it isn't worth it from a financial perspective, although flying in LA is undoubtedly an experience in itself.
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 00:19
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Any type hours in less than 20tons(iirc) while under 1500tt is worthless to airlines in Europe.

Take it from me. Worked years in corporate abroad (best flying i ever did BTW) when I went to the airlines in Europe with a fATPL got lumped up as a 200hr cadet. Even TAP and wizzair/easyjet that at the time factored the hours barely raised my total and would have to join still as non-experienced.

If you are considering paying any cash for a ride in a type aircraft with a view on airlines it won't do jack. Especially what 10hrs you said? Take the money and get a CFI in America in a sunny state and fly a bunch.
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 01:33
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Since you have at least 2-3 years ahead of you take it easy on the spending and try and do all your training with the minimum amount of debt.
Then start looking at ways how to increase your hours at minimum expense.
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 15:34
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kingairfirstofficer.com ?

$80,000 for the course, and you have to share a bedroom ?
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 21:33
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In 2019 I was looking for a job with close to 4000 hours total, most of which was on a 76-seat turboprop, including a year as PIC, and in most airlines I had to apply as cadet. They mostly care only about jet time.
I'd rather find a real job and try getting in flight instruction, skydiving, glider towing or agriculture on my free time. That will help keep your ratings current, give you some fantastic experience and once the market is good again, you'll get your turbine job. I'd take it slow now though, 'cause, you know, the c-word.
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Old 20th Nov 2020, 11:00
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We often tend to equate more flight hours with more “experience” so it seems as if it should help. It really depends on whether the added “experience” is relevant to what the buyer wants? There are times when it can sometimes have the opposite effect. It is really a case of “relevant experience,” A case point is somebody who buy’s their own type rating on say an A320. For a company looking to employ experienced A320 type rated applicants they would reasonably expect to see “relevant experience” attached to that rating. Maybe a minimum of 500 hours but probably significantly more. Without that relevant experience it immediately raises the question “why?” There might be a very good reason, for example the employer went out of business or made (as is now often the case) redundancies. Then it would be less relevant. If however the applicant had just bought a rating, it would raise a red flag. Most airlines are TRTO’s and have little problem training their own non-experienced candidates where required. It would therefore suggest an unnecessary risk to recruit from this profile.

For light aircraft jobs (where they still exist?) such as bush flying in Africa. Insurance requirements often set a minimum benchmark for the level of quantitative experience (hours) required. That won’t be the only requirement, but the sort of thing you are suggesting might provide a better pathway in the right circumstances.
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Old 20th Nov 2020, 15:33
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Another way of looking at the "magical" number of minimum hours for any given job is that it's a tool to reduce the number of applications the HR team have to read through. Until this winter (and shortly before COVID hit and nullified all zero-experience job opportunities), a certain European LCC required a minimum of 300 hours for a NTR cadet. Why? Do you reckon it was because an extra 100 hours of SEP (because nobody will trust you with flying their MEP with a fresh CPL these days) would have made you a far better A320 pilot? I don't think so. First, it was quite likely an attempt to significantly cull the number of applications so that the HR team don't spend their entire time scrolling through thousands of applications of 200-hour guys and girls. Second, it was perhaps one extra hurdle to test the motivation of the cadets, i.e. is the candidate serious enough to find some way to do 100 extra hours?

There has always been a huge oversupply of applicants at the very bottom of the experience ladder - and that's precisely why getting that proverbial first job was no easy feat for the vast majority of pilots. The higher up the ladder you climb, the less equivalent-or-better competitors you have. That's largely why there are often those hour requirements - because the company wants to try and hear from the best candidates first. If no suitable person is found among those, the minimum requirement goes down. The exception to this are airlines with a long-term career orientation and highly consistent training philosophy. They are often the ones who dedicate a certain percentage of their vacancies to cadets because they want to work with people who were trained their way and have been working up to their standards from early on in their careers.
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Old 21st Nov 2020, 09:55
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The LCC you mention just before Covid-19 lowered the requirement from 300 to 200 for cadets.
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Old 21st Nov 2020, 15:12
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Yes - that's why I said it was until this winter. It was changed about January or February time. And some internal applicants actually lost their advantage over it as before the change it had been possible to apply internally with 200 hours after an employment history of at least 6 months within another role in the company.
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