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North America Still the busiest region for commercial aviation.


Old 28th Dec 2014, 15:07
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I am a 1600 hour pilot, FAA commercial multi engine IFR, who never flown commercially.

I am 47 years old (09-09-1967), specialized in Aviation Safety, currently working for an Organization, where I am responsible for Aircraft Accident Investigation, Aviation Risk Management and Aviation Safety Assessment of operators (contractors), military (contracted States) on all aviation activities.

I hold a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Science, Master in Organizational Leadership and a bachelor in Computer Science. Have done 5 years of studies in Aviation Safety with the University of Southern California besides the above education (i.e SMS, Accident Investigation, Human Factors, etc.)

NOW...I want to fulfill a dream, become a commercial pilot at this stage of life and want to know WHERE TO INVEST...
AIRBUS 320 or Boeing 737?

Please help with your professional experience, which market I may be able to fit in faster! IF EVER POSSIBLE DUE TO MY AGE.
Be honest,
Appreciated in advance.
brazeagle is offline  
Old 28th Dec 2014, 18:22
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Most airline pilots start out at a regional airline. So Boeing or Airbus type won't help you with either. You don't have enough experience to go straight to a major airline (at least not competitive hours anyway).
Have you looked at the regionals? You don't need to buy a type rating - they will give you one.

There are other ways to fly commercially also - not just airlines. I don't know much about corporate aviation though - perhaps someone else will chip in if this is where you are looking.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 23:26
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Try corporate, as it will be tough to go the airline route. For reference, I know several CFIs in the mid 20's with as many hours as you that are trying get to the airlines, some of them also fly heavy iron in the reserves still. These kids are much more attractive to an airline than you. I won't say it will never happen, but the reality is that it will be pretty difficult.

Corporate on the other hand is another story. You have a great background for a chief pilot or director of ops...if you just had 4 times as many flight hours. But in the corporate world, a lot is who you know. I met a guy years back when I was working line service. He was 50 years old, and flew G5s and 4s for some big corp. I asked him how he got into it and he said he started flying at 45 for fun, ended up getting his ratings, knew a guy that flew for the company, and he got him typed and in the right seat with <300 hours. Unbelievable.

So my advice to you is to focus on corporate/large 135 ops that have 737s or A320s. I would leverage your professional background to get your foot in the door. Apply for safety or management positions where you'll be more valuable, but let them know up front that you would like to get some time in the right seat. If you're serious about it, got to NBAA conference and shake hands, work the connections you already have, which should be many given the work you're in. Maybe you can get hired straight in a pilot position, maybe not, but your professional experience is probably your best tool to crack that door.

In the states I see more 737/BBJs for charter and part 91, so I'd personally focus on that as opposed to the 320.

To sum it up- Think part 135 or 91, forget airlines. Work your connections, work your connections, work your connections. See if you can get in on the saftey/management side and work your way into the right seat. Be honest, be humble.

For what it's worth, I'm kind of like you- pilot/mechanic on the insurance/safety side of things and I deal with a lot of corporate iron. It's doable, I've seen it happen to guys older than you with less time. Just use the assets you have- connections, education, work history. Good Luck!!
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