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North America Still the busiest region for commercial aviation.

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Old 7th Sep 2016, 23:37   #1 (permalink)

Probationary PPRuNer
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Anything But A CFI Job!

How's it going all? I am a single 23-year-old dual degree holder from Embry-Riddle and Metropolitan State University of Denver. I am currently a CPL Multi and Single Engine rated pilot with about 300TT. I really don't want to invest the money into becoming a CFI as I feel the return on my investment is nil and I'm not actually flying the airplane (which I like doing). I've been looking at jobs overseas in Europe, Africa, Asia and even the Caribbean and South America but just don't know what the best path for me is. I really want the opportunity to live/fly in another country, flying cargo or medical services in and out of remote locations. I have been looking at some of the Low-Cost Passenger Carriers in Europe and their hiring minimums for FO's into 737s and A320s are ridiculously low ranging from 70 Hours PIC to 500TT (some requiring you pay for the type rating others issuing a bonded type rating). Albeit their safety records are respectable I still want to make a "safe" decision that benefits me. I've even been looking at getting my EASA conversion so I can apply in Europe. I'm open to any path (not strictly cargo and medical) and any advice you have to offer me is welcomed and appreciated. Location does not matter, pay is somewhat important as I need to pay these student loans off, but the experience is what matters most to me. I chose this career because of the uniqueness of our industry and the work we do. I would not change my career path for anything.

What is a bonded type rating by the way?
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 01:20   #2 (permalink)
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First, do you have the right to work in any foreign country you are interested in? If not, especially EU, will be near impossible to work/fly in.

Second, try missionary work.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 03:23   #3 (permalink)
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I have done the EASA conversion. It is very expensive, and if you don't have European citizenship, you will get 0 return on your investment.

Latin America is a closed shop if you don't have citizenship. The exception is Belize, but that is pay to fly, and you might as well find a job in the US that will actually pay you.

I know some guys who went to Indonesia and found jobs at Susi Air a few years ago.
I have a friend who went to Botswana and knocked on doors for two months before he got a bush job.
Most of the jobs in Asia are for guys with lots of time in jets if you aren't a citizen of said country.

In the US, there are some jobs for low time guys. Below 500 hours is really tough to find a non-CFI job, but there are some out there. Jetcareers and airlinepilotforums are much better sources for US centric job hunts.

If you get your CFI, you will definitely find a job in the US, right away. Your investment will not be nil. You will learn a lot. It will help you get to the 500TT mark very fast, and also the 1200 mark (for Part 135), and also the restricted ATP minimums very fast.

Bonded type rating typically means that you can't leave the company for a specific time or you owe them money.

You can also check out Star Marianas. It is technically a US territory so you do not need a visa or anything, and your FAA certificate will be required, but it may feel like a foreign country to you. They hire low time pilots. Alaska is another place to check out, but you will have to go in person and knock on some doors.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 09:22   #4 (permalink)

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Missionary work is something I would not qualify for instance MAF requires 20 credit hours of bible study. I am able to obtain EU citizenship (possibly). I really want to move out of the states and get into flying in other countries but this whole citizenship and right to work thing are really holding me back. Susi Air I heard is hit or miss with hiring. Africa really interests me however I just do not know where to begin and the forum on this website is really scarce as to the information I'm looking for. Thanks for steering me towards Jetcareers!
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 16:59   #5 (permalink)
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Do yourself a favor and get that CFI, go back to Riddle and teach for a year, especially now with the need for CFIs in America(specifically Riddle). Then with 1000+ hours you will be more marketable overseas, plus, if you play your cards right and network, you might find your way into a turboprop doing fire work or cargo very quickly. But do get that CFI: you are forced to really learn flying through teaching it to others, and you network along the way. Cautionary tale- i had a buddy that tried to go your route, found his way into a beat up old King Air carrying skydivers, but he just wasn't building time fast enough. He gave in, got the CFI, and now he has more students than he can handle. One more year and he'll be well past 1500 hrs.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 17:21   #6 (permalink)
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I didnt go the CFI route i did some flying elsewhere in the world. lots of hands on stuff. I also didnt bitch and whine as much as you are and did my own research of which there is more than enough info out there. You sound like a typical riddle kid who most people dislike in aviation except for other riddle kids. why not go flight instruct and gain some experience dealing with other people in the cockpit.. youll need it.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 22:25   #7 (permalink)
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Here are a couple of posts about an entry-level C172 job offered by the hiring guy on another forum. Notice the level of interest and how quickly the spots were filled. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE COMPANY OR JOB QUALITY...JUST OFFERING AN EXAMPLE OF A JOB FOR FRESH CPL's. Six spots...40 "basically qualified...". It's a glimpse of the situation here. Best of luck :

Aug 9

Again this year I'm getting a ton of resumes before I was really ready to start that process (22 basically qualified resumes in the last week) but I can't fault someone for being eager or early. So, I'll start officially accepting resumes at this time, however it will likely be several weeks before I really start processing them.

Here's the link to our employment page: Pilot Employment - SkyLens LLC
Follow the directions exactly to submit your resume or yours could be lost in the black hole of my many email boxes. Qualified applicants will receive an email back from me with a pilot info sheet/ application to fill out and return.

Aug 31

UPDATE: I have stopped accepting resumes for the upcoming classes. I will be filling the last available seat by this evening. I had 61 resumes and about 40 of those were basically qualified, 16 very qualified for only 6 available seats. As always I had many similarly qualified applicants so it comes down to splitting hairs. I've heard from some that they had offers from other vendors so that is good to hear. I'll have 5 applications from pilots that had phone interviews that I will be leaving in a primary hiring pool in case there are any that do not make it to training for some reason. If you were not selected for this round, please do not be discouraged. Feel free to re-apply when you see me posting for pilots later on. Good pilots/employees eventually rise to the top. Many thanks to all who applied.
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 03:03   #8 (permalink)
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FlyingAlly, only the ignorant claim that instructors don't fly the plane. When demonstrating a manoeuvre, not only must you fly the plane accurately, but clearly describe what you are doing.

Your view of flying the plane - which seem only to entail hands on the controls - isn't correct. A very large part of flying is thinking ie to manage the flight. Handling the controls should be 2nd nature. Like other pilots, instructors spend a great deal of their energies thinking and managing the flight, but in the instructor's case they also have to provide for their students learning needs as well.
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 16:44   #9 (permalink)
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Here we have a Riddle graduate who left school not knowing what a training bond is. What do they teach there, dominoes?
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 17:16   #10 (permalink)
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To be fair, in the US the term "training contract" is more common.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 01:22   #11 (permalink)
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Dual degree holder..God forbid you do something useful with it...like teaching other people.

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Old 12th Sep 2016, 03:41   #12 (permalink)
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Another 'I don't want to be a CFI' thread? Think any of the airline pilots today really wanted to do ANY of their early jobs for a career? No, it's about gaining experience, learning, maturing, etc. Read the last sentence again and again and again. Eventually it might sink in.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 06:43   #13 (permalink)
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I think the OP's second sentence is quite telling..

I am really rather fed up with people assuming they are above instructing when in fact it is probably what most newly trained commercial pilots need!

I don't know what it is like in 'Murica but in Europe I get the feeling flying schools (in particular the big shiny ones) produce candidates with a very skewed view of aviation and some odd sense of entitlement.

I was one those candidates and waited longer than I should of to train as a FI and regret that delay the most. It improved my hands on skills, my ability to manage a flight effectively, my knowledge, captaincy, airmanship and most importantly gave me a realistic view of aviation and a bit of a grounding of expectations.

I'm now in the right hand seat of a Turboprop with a great job that I feel I've earnt and would 110% say I find a lot easier having instructed and learnt my hard lessons early on.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 09:07   #14 (permalink)
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being a flight instructor was a fantastic learning experience for me, now having thousands of jet hours later I have no regrets! dont put options off the table
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Old 7th Aug 2017, 08:39   #15 (permalink)
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If one follows the FAA instruction form before we went all scenario The CFI/II/MEI gets plenty of hands on time. 1) Instructor does and explains the maneuver as he does, 2) the student explains the instructor does, 3) the student does and student explains. Some CFI's think if the student is not flying he is not leaning as do some students. When I receive flight instruction, if the instructor does not follow the above flow my first assumption FI is a poseur, know what you did wrong yet can't demonstrate how to do it correctly. When doing real primary instruction, I do all the landings until the student is fully capable of landing. It a real boost for them to nail there first landing, and I like it when they do. I explain that to land you need to have slow flight and ground reference maneuvers down to the point that you can do both at the same and still have processing power left over look for traffic and use the radio. Take a student to the pattern for their first landing and they bonce it or drop it in. Is a setup for the 'I can never do it' mind set.
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Old 7th Aug 2017, 12:06   #16 (permalink)
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I find it interesting that so many here have offered advice by way of persuasion that FlyingAlly should take up instructing when it's clear that is not what he/she wants. Frankly, anyone who considers instructing a poor return on an investment hasn't got the required intelligence or interest. Building time shouldn't be the driving influence behind gaining a CFI (although in my experience, it usually is).

Anyway, I wonder what FlyingAlly ended up deciding to do
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 04:37   #17 (permalink)
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I could never understand the contempt so many had towards the concept of becoming a flight instructor. I did basic/commercial/instrument and multi instruction for a few thousand hours at the beginning of my career. I made life long friends doing it and I'm a firm believer that you never truly understand a discipline until you have to teach it, assuming you are doing it correctly. I have instructed all the way up to wide body training Captain and have to say the most enjoyable flying if my entire career was that early few thousand hours spent as a basic flight instructor. To the original poster...you only obtained your certificates because someone was willing to sit with you and teach you, hopefully patiently how to fly. If everyone thought being a CFI was not worth the return on investment then the whole process would go into a tail spin. Unless you have a chronic personality disorder you will enjoy it, give it some consideration.
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 09:16   #18 (permalink)
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I was told early on in my flying career by a sage former WWII fighter pilot and then flight examiner, following my first instructor check ride, "now go and learn, pass on what you learn, and never forget, flying instructing is not a dirty word".
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 09:52   #19 (permalink)
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Great statements by the last three posters.

By the way, Major airlines look very favorable to extra curricular activities like donating your time and doing something helpful to others.
Things that are called 'community service'.
Flying for MAF will surely get you brownie points with an airline like JetBlue as they ride the reli-train.
20 hrs of bible study must be too much effort for somebody with two degrees.
Indonesia will eat inexperienced pilots by the way.
And arrogance will get you to be a statistic on a hillside in Africa too.
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 18:26   #20 (permalink)
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Ah the old "I'm too good to have to be a CFI" windup!

Well some pilots aren't well suited to be a CFI. Do we really want such individuals teaching the next generation of pilots anyway? If someone doesn't want to be a CFI, they shouldn't be. Now maybe this is just a misguided or "entitled" youngster who can be convinced to rethink their take on things and maybe not. Either way, there's s great training ground out there where you get to benefit others even as you benefit yourself. It's called instructing! You really begin to see the benefits of having done it years down the road. But then I was never smarter or better informed than the years when I was a teenager to twenty-something. I always knew more than the previous generations! Since then...
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