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British Pilot working for US airlines

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British Pilot working for US airlines

Old 15th Apr 2016, 21:57
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British Pilot working for US airlines

Hi All,

I was wondering if I could get some feedback and thoughts from our cousins over the pond.

I'm a British citizen married to an American, and we are currently living in the UK. I am due to start flight training at Oxford Aviation Academy in September, an ab initio course that will see me qualify with an EASA frozen ATPL and approximately 200 hours TT. I will also be doing the addon BSc (Honours) degree in Air Transport Management. This is sufficient to get into the RHS of an airline in Europe. If all goes to plan I will get my first job and type rating with a european airline (probably a low cost) and build up my hours.

I believe, after gaining enough hours, I can then convert my EASA ATPL to an FAA ATP - with a bit of paper shuffling, an exam and a check ride. Am I right in making the assumption that I will be more desirable to the US carriers with 1500 hours on type vs a US pilot who has 1500 hours as a CFI or such like? Or do recruiters like to see that their pilots have put that hard graft in of hour building?

If I am employable in the US with 1500 hours on, say a 737, would I more likely have to apply to a regional or could I apply straight to the majors? Will the majors recognise my Bachelors degree even though isn't not from a US institution?

Thank you in advance, any and all advice or info will be greatly appreciated.

AM
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 04:23
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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With just 1500 hours, regardless of type, you won't be competitive for anything other than a regional airline. Civil background pilots needs 3,000-5,000 hours of RJ time, 4-year degree and some other resume stuff, like LCA, Safety, or volunteer work, etc to be competitive.

GF
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 05:47
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With 1500 hours, you will only be competitive at a regional, and right now regionals are hiring any 1500 hour pilot with a pulse, regardless of its A380 time or Cessna 152 time. I just saw an infographic today and in 2015, the AVERAGE amount of flight time for a new hire was 5,900 hours. Delta and American are about the same.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 09:56
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Would I be correct in assuming then that most successful candidates for the majors would be mid to late twenties at the earliest? Looking at the very poor pay in the first few years at the majors, when I guess most people would be at the age of wanting to start a family it seems impossible unless you're willing to commute out to the country with a lower cost of living. Am I missing something? All the majors seeks to quote an hourly pay figure for around 75hr pm.
careerSO is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2016, 15:35
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Ten years ago most 121 companies wanted, ATP, and at least 1000 hours of pure jet time. Turboprop did not count. Now, things have changed, the ATP is still a must but the turboprop restrictions have been deleted. Age wise, young or old doesn't matter. I know of pilots in there mid fifties have been hired, (most will never see the left seat.) The four year degree is desired but not required. As for pay, that is also a supply and demand. In the 1980's there were lots of pilots in the market. Today the number has almost disappeared. Get an ATP, fly for a regional for a couple of years and you will be very attractive to any of the majors.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 18:53
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Hi,

Thanks for all of your replies, really helpful. Just to clarify, will my jet experience put me in a better position than my American counterparts? Would I have a better chance at getting a job with one of the better regionals? Which ones are considered the better ones?

If, hypothetically speaking, I wanted to end up working for Delta, should I aim to land a job with Endeavour Air or does it not really make that much difference.

Also, if the regionals are hiring anyone they can get their hands on, this pilot shortage I keep hearing about is actually real. Or is that me being naive and optimistic?

AM
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 19:18
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The pilot shortage is real at the regional airline level, this isn't being felt at the major airline level yet. As long as you fulfill the time requirements for getting your FAA ATP you should have a good shot at which ever regional airline you decide on regardless of experience.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 19:49
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Not at all. If you can see lightning, hear thunder and have 1500 hours you can pick and choose which regional you want to work for.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 22:08
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A four year degree is mandatory at any of the majors. Sure, some people will say you can get hired without, and sure, there are a few that have been, but the vast, vast majority of your competition will have it, and you don't want to give them any reason to toss your application to the bottom. Your degree should be fine, but conventional wisdom is to get one unrelated to aviation so as to have something to fall back on during the hard times (accounting, engineering, etc). And there are always hard times. US Majors don't care what your degree is in, and in fact, they like to see some diversity and interests outside of aviation.


Practically all of the US regionals operate jets of some kind. The majors don't care if it's a Airbus or a Embraer. The regionals don't care if you flew a Gulfstream or a DC-3. That your 1,500 hours is in a jet won't matter to anyone. There is zero chance to get on with the majors with that time, or even 3,000 hours for that matter.


Civilian track it is a LONG road to the US majors. Figure at least 6-7,000 hours total time, irrespective of the types flown (no one cares), including some good PIC time, a clean record and at least some instructor/checkairman time. That's 7-8 years of busting your tail.


Major US carriers simply do not care about type specific experience. Their point of view is that a good pilot is a well-rounded individual that has strong basic flying skills transferrable to any aircraft. They'll train you to fly their aircraft their way (and on their dime). Rather, they see the long period as a vetting process. If you survive the 8 years, most of which flying 121, and keep your nose clean, then you have a high probability of being OK, especially since all 121/135 training has a paper trail they review prior to hiring.


All US carriers, regional and majors, have a high expectation that you can manually handle airplanes PRIOR to showing up for training. The training is focused on systems and procedures with zero hand holding for basic flying skills. You are expected to have very strong hand flying instrument & flying skills from day 1.


Something relatively new in the hiring process over the last few years is that most US Majors want you to have some kind of community involvement...volunteering, interests outside of aviation, or similar.


Hope this isn't too discouraging.


Nu
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 02:24
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Yeah, that community service requirement is a sign of HR gone wild.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 18:30
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Incorrect.

Even though most regional airlines in the US are hiring, you simply can not pick and chose. The top 3 will still have you go through quite a thorough selection process. The rest, reminds me of one in FL and one out of AZ among others, will take those who do not make it to the top 3.

Good Luck!
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 22:22
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NuGuy,

Thanks for the detailed reply, very informative and not discouraging at all, very aware of the long road ahead but definitely excited to go down it.

If time and money were no object I would absolutely invest in an unrelated degree. As it is, the FTO offers the Air Transport Management BSc alongside the flight training, so for only a little extra investment and in a shorter amount of time I can get the letters after my name to please the majors.

About this hand flying experience...obviously part of my training involves gaining an EASA CPL, mostly in a Piper PA28 but various other single and multi engine aircraft as well as sim time, so I do gain some 'true' manual flying experience. Obviously the course is specifically set up to give me the skills to be an airline pilot. But once I am in the RHS, I get the impression the manual flying time is limited.

I know the airlines require you to manually take off and land, plus there are sim assessments every 6 months. Is this enough to keep your handling skills sharp or do you do other things? Obviously the FAA think this is an issue, hence the 1500 hour limit. Do the pilots feel it was necessary or has made a difference? Or is there another reason that the FAA introduced that rule? Or are those questions best saved for another thread?

AM
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 04:36
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A four year college degree is not required to get a major airline job IF you go to one of the regional airlines that has a 'flow through' agreement to a major airline.
misd-agin is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2016, 04:38
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In the U.S. your manual flying time is limited to how much you want to do it. Most guys hand fly for several thousand feet on departure and arrival.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 08:18
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By the time you get 1500 hours, and transfer your stuff to US licenses, with your larger aircraft time, you can probably get a job at a major straight away. There will be regionals with flow-through agreements to the majors that will fight over you.

As of 6 months ago, there were flight instructors with FIVE and SEVEN NEW HIRE CLASS DATES!!!...not interviews, actual class dates. The Pilot Shortage is gathering strength...still the tsunami wave to come...
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Old 21st Apr 2016, 13:57
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Or is there another reason that the FAA introduced that rule?
Yes - a former flight instructor who had worked for a contractor, coincidentally used by Oxford Aviation Academy, played a part in a nasty accident in 2009:


http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/A...s/AAR1001.aspx
Reverserbucket is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2016, 20:04
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Originally Posted by atpcliff
By the time you get 1500 hours, and transfer your stuff to US licenses, with your larger aircraft time, you can probably get a job at a major straight away.
It's reassuring that you think the pilot shortage will get to that level in 5 or 6 years time. Is there any precedence of the majors lowering their requirements before?

Originally Posted by misd-agin
A four year college degree is not required to get a major airline job IF you go to one of the regional airlines that has a 'flow through' agreement to a major airline.
Is there anywhere I can look up which airlines have relationships with each other? I apologise that I don't know much about the American airline industry. Presumably it's still better to have a degree than not to have one? How do the flow through agreements work, are you guaranteed to move up to the majors or are you competing for spaces still, you just have a better chance than someone not in a 'flow through' agreement.

Originally Posted by Reverserbucket
Yes - a former flight instructor who had worked for a contractor, coincidentally used by Oxford Aviation Academy, played a part in a nasty accident in 2009:

http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/A...s/AAR1001.aspx
I knew that the 1500 hour rule was implemented after an accident, although had never looked at the report, so thanks for linking that. I have only read the conclusion and recommendations, so apologies if I missed something. Whilst it is obvious that the pilots' inexperience and inadequate training, amongst other things, lead to the accident, there is no mention of changing the hour requirement for Part 121 pilots. At least I didn't interpret any of the recommendations that way. So did anything else lead to the introduction of this rule?

AM
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Old 22nd Apr 2016, 21:29
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The families of the victims of 3407 lobbied Congress to do something. Congress passed the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. Mixed in with the year's funding for the FAA and airport improvements on Midway Island was the requirement to change the way ATPs are issued, limit flight and duty times to limit fatigue and insure flight crewmembers have proper qualifications and experience.
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Old 22nd Apr 2016, 22:08
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The American Eagle branded airlines (Piedmont, PSA and Envoy Air) are wholly owned by American Airlines and offer flow through agreements to their parent company. Although, I hear that it can take some time before you flow through.

United recently purchased a large stake in CommutAir (which is slated to grow by 300% over the next few years). Concurrently with this they announced a Career Pathway Program (CPP), which allows you to chance to interview directly with United Airlines. I f accepted into the CPP program, once you meet the qualifications you will be placed into the pool of candidates awaiting a class date (So it's not a true flow through agreement per se, but you will upgrade to captain much much faster than at the American branded regionals).
ExpressJet also just recently announced a CPP program with United, although that airline is shrinking, and the CPP was probably a way to slow the attrition.

Full disclosure, I am a pilot with CommutAir.

Better info can be had at the well known US Airline forum regarding these airlines.
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Old 22nd Apr 2016, 22:11
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Forgot Delta, they own Endeavor Air. Which has a flow through agreement.
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