The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Instructor moving to charter

Old 1st Aug 2014, 10:34
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Australia
Age: 32
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Instructor moving to charter

would greatly appreciate feedback and advice on the situation.

I have decided to hang up the instructing hat and have a crack at the charter game. I have around 1000 hours (all experience gained from instructing, 840ish PIC including 100 night), current MECIR with ATPLs completed with 0 time on 200 series aircraft. I understand GA in AUS is in quite a bit of a lull at the moment however I have decided that it is the best time to make the move at this stage in my life, still young and extremely motivated to 'make it'. So I have a few questions that hopefully a few of you can answer to get me on the right track.

1. Is it going to make the job hunt more difficult without 200 series time or will my slightly higher hours preclude that requirement? I also understand operators run through a rather rigorous ICUS program before letting you loose on one of their machines.

2. Is getting a job as simple as approaching operators and having a chat or is a good recommendation from someone already in the industry an almost must have.

3. Driving through the centre to the top, how long should I budget to spend in the places I stop at. How often does someone just stop by and get a job on the spot?

4. Where is the best place to position myself? Darwin, AS, Katherine? Also how much should I budget for a week?

Any pointers or words of constructive wisdom are appreciated, obviously it is a big move and want to go into it with as much information as possible.

Cheers MaxFL360
MaxFL360 is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2014, 18:50
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Bots
Posts: 118
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I moved away from instructing late last year. After close to 1100hr of teaching, I decided to follow a dream and chase an adventure. However, I moved from NZ to Africa. I can't answer your questions given that I've not been in the Aus market, but I can offer advice from my experience...

Be prepared to constantly defend your dream. A pilot with your total time turning up in an area where there is mostly 200hr newbies can seem suspicious.

Even if your credentials look great on paper, it could be harder than you think to land a job. Stay positive and never give up.

Don't be surprised if you find some very basic manoeuvres more difficult than you'd expect. How often as an instructor do you fly straight and level? (You in control, not watching someone else do it!). All that time in the right hand seat and my taxiing wasn't quite up to scratch either. Learn to laugh about it

Good luck!
PilotInPink is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2014, 23:04
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 13
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You may have an advantage over the other newly minted commercial pilots. Back in the day, a lot of companies had a 500 hour minimum requirement for insurance purposes.
Look for charter companies that also do flying training.
Do some research before you go and start communicating with them. Find out from them what qualifications they require for employment. Cessna 200 time?
Twin rating?
Without being too windy, explain to them your desire to broaden your aviation experience by moving into charter and larger aircraft. It's a natural thing to want to do and they will understand.
Australian airliners are crewed by many guys who started out instructing, but you are right to make the move now.
Good Luck and have a blast. I've never met a guy in an airline flight deck that didn't love his Northern Australia GA adventure.
Jimnhorace is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2014, 06:50
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ecuador with J.Assange
Age: 70
Posts: 39
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To answer that question one must know whether you are prepared to go bush. What is 200 time?
As a previous poster said an instrument rating is a must and a Baron or C310 rating handy. Try the Territory maybe a road trip up around WA Northern region.
Actually the job in yesterday's Australian for fire spotters in WA is a good one to put in for. Your young I presume, enjoy the ride. I have 20,000 hours now and started with instructing like you, got sick of it and wandered around Australia for 6 months got nothing then one day one of the people I dropped in on rang up and said you still looking for a job, the rest is history.
Ret Sabala is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2014, 07:33
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Aus
Posts: 203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1000 TT used to get you a start on islanders in the Torres Strait. Fun flying, and a good community of pilots. Most enjoyed their time up there.
Unusual-Attitude is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 02:30
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 148
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Max, I've met plenty of ex-instructors that made the transition successfully.

Things are very quiet at the moment up north, you've missed all the tourist seasons in Kunners and Broome so your decision to come north is not a bad one. Hopefully once the government budgets start flowing through things will get busier, but movement up top has slowed so progression has slowed down with it.

Unless you are really lucky you won't see a twin for a while and some operators won't really take you as a 1000 hour pilot. I found some ex-instructors really struggled with commercial reality. I met a young fella that canned a flight because there was 10 knots of cross wind at the destination aerodrome and his former flying school would cancel flights if crosswind exceeded 8 knots. Needless to say said lad did not have a job for long.

If you do make it up north before the wet season and score a gig get ready for some serious learning, the wet season is something else

Otherwise I would suggest wait it out til the end of the wet and start making your move around February-March, pick an area and hunker down, your hours should set you out from the crowd. 5-10 hours in a 200 series would definitely help you but may not be a deal breaker if you've flown a twin used in commercial ops, such as a Baron or 310.

Go in with an open mind, a willingness to learn and work hard and you'll do fine.
iPahlot is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 03:28
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NSW
Posts: 67
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thumbs up

1000 hours will help no matter what, but the main deciding factor is your attitude. Don't go up there thinking you should walk into a job over the 250 hour newbie. You will be washing planes, loading bags, helping in the hangar etc. Be prepared to do some casual work for 6 months other than flying while you wait, which shows commitment. I personally don't think it's a bad time to move. Operators like familiar faces. Head up now and get yourself known, hang around during the wet and keep showing your face, I picked up my first job in Jan. But, as I said before, don't expect to walk into a gig.
If you are doing the drive, sure pop into companies on the way, but I would recommend having a destination such as Broome or Kununurra. Darwin is a bit harder, maybe Hardys is possible with your hours but I think they like a few wet seasons under your belt. Generally blokes/girls who turn up once and drop a resume off are forgotten about pretty quickly.
As for 200 time, wouldn't hurt, but not essential. Just don't go up there saying you have a 210 endorsement or a frozen ATPL, you will be laughed at.
Last of all NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!! It's hard but try and get into the current working pilot group, or even better live with them if you hear of a spare room. Always handy to know when the boss is around and in a happy mood.
Jetdream is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 04:04
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,180
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
but the main deciding factor is your attitude. Don't go up there thinking you should walk into a job over the 250 hour newbie. You will be washing planes, loading bags, helping in the hangar etc. Be prepared to do some casual work for 6 months other than flying while you wait, which shows commitment
Its a funny old game this job hunting business. Why is it that in Australia you have to do all of the above to compete for a job flying a single engine Cessna and yet it never happens overseas where 250 hour newly graduated cadets pilots walk into the right hand seat of big jets in Asia and Europe without having to go on their knees to lick boots and wash hangar floors, wash planes and pull drinks at a local bar.
Centaurus is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 04:23
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NSW
Posts: 67
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Centaurus, I certainly don't agree with it, just pointing out the facts. I think a good attitude and willingness to learn are important no matter what the job is, but the rest is absolute bull
Jetdream is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 07:07
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: rookie land
Age: 29
Posts: 153
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't wait to Feb-March. Hiring is done by then. Need to be up here by the end of December
the_rookie is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 09:47
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Skipton
Age: 17
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Its a funny old game this job hunting business. Why is it that in Australia you have to do all of the above to compete for a job flying a single engine Cessna and yet it never happens overseas where 250 hour newly graduated cadets pilots walk into the right hand seat of big jets in Asia and Europe without having to go on their knees to lick boots and wash hangar floors, wash planes and pull drinks at a local bar.
But those cadets end up having no stick and rudder skills and no appreciation for what it it takes to be an aviator.
BlatantLiar is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 10:38
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: All at sea
Posts: 1,948
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The main reason 250 hour pilots can slide straight into airlines in Europe and Asia is because these areas are so densely populated that they don't need general aviation, and don't encourage it. If there is virtually no GA and the smallest aircraft operated is about an 80 seat turboprop, it is logical enough that young pilots will get a start on that equipment at the very least, and the luckier ones will go straight to jets.
Here we may ask why bugsmasher operators require five space shuttle missions and a degree in brain surgery to start. Like dogs licking their privates - because they can.
Whether a GA pilot with 2500 hours makes a better airline pilot than a 250 hour cadet is debatable. Maybe in the first few hours the GA jock will have an edge in handling skills, but it all evens out according to individual talent and dedication soon enough. The reverse of this argument was tried years ago, when airlines recruited fast jet fighter jocks alongside GA pilots who had only flown bugsmashers. Initially, of course, the fast jet boys did better, but after three or four years on the line the average ability across both cohorts was much the same. The more outstanding pilots were, as always, a few individuals who were either 'naturals' or who were particularly diligent in their pursuit of excellence.
Back to the OP's questions:
Much good advice above. Get there early, make a direct approach, neatly dressed according to the climate and armed with licence, logbook and c.v., network, show willing to do anything from sweeping the hangar to driving the tourist bus. (If you haven't already got one, get a light rigid vehicle licence and if you are at all nautically inclined, a coxswain's ticket is also a plus because you may need to work at other jobs in town while you wait for a flying gig).
If I was starting out with 1000 hours I'd try a drive north up through Central QLD dropping in everywhere along the way, but particularly Emerald, Townsville and Cairns. Then hitch a ride to Horn Island. If you haven't cracked anything there, time to head west, young man.
Mt Isa, Kununurra and definitely look in on Kakadu. If still no joy, prepare yourself for one of the less desirable towns. I won't name them (for fear of causing offence) but basically, the worse the sh!thole, the better chance of a job.
Glad it's you and not me...good luck!

Last edited by Mach E Avelli; 4th Aug 2014 at 02:29.
Mach E Avelli is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2014, 02:07
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yellow Brick Road
Posts: 1,131
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Instructor moving to charter

What I admire about this thread is the honesty of this community. It's very competitive trying for GA now. My mates have 2,000 hours and they're still struggling to land a job. Even if you're willing to consider Asia or Africa, it's no longer as easy as it was (lots of local protectionism). Even back in Oz, the airlines are moving away from taking instructors and preferring those with charter experience (not like the USA). Not thrashing instructors - I hold an FIR myself - but I am wary of going down that route to build more hours. Doesn't mean a lot any more.
ReverseFlight is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2014, 02:35
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Vietnam
Posts: 1,243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What makes me laugh is the ever changing requirements of GA in Australia. One minute you need a Baron endo next a NVFR is essential. No matter what you have they all seem to want something you don't have.

I'm sad to say that many operators will think your a little over experienced for an entry level position. The magic number for the first job seems to be 400 hours. Convincing the CP of whatever company you apply to that you won't run away after getting a few multi hours will be tough also.

Good luck in your travels and I hope your successful in your quest. The whole 200 series time thing is just a filter to get less people knocking on their doors. I wouldn't waste money on renting one.
pilotchute is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2014, 03:14
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Australia
Age: 32
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the feedback, it is appreciated. It is a little disheartening to hear that operators may be reluctant to hire me for having too many hours and with a few multi hours under my belt I will be off. Where do they think I will go in the immediate future, as I understand it everyone in GA is at a standstill.

Another question, is it even worth applying to companies that only operate SE aircraft as there will be no progression onto multi and after 2000 or more SE hours how difficult will the transition be to one of the bigger companies such as Chartair or Hardys?
MaxFL360 is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2014, 11:54
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia at the moment
Posts: 171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We had a fella recently with a grade 1 instructor rating join us as an F/O 3000+hours instructing including twin training approval. He was hopeless a liability and after I think 6 years left and is back to instructing now.
I think he spent too long instructing and never gained any real commercial experience in 10 years of working as an instructor.
So as a young pilot I think it best you take the leap and as others have said go North/bush.
Craven
Cravenmorehead is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2014, 03:04
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 959
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The best way to show you won't run away as soon as you get a few twin hours under your belt is get involved in the community. Get a casual job, don't live in the backpackers, have a PO Box in town and most importantly get involved in community activities, play for the footy team, join the basket weaving club committee or volunteer for the SES.
mcgrath50 is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2014, 07:15
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Perth
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I suggest you ring them and say hello, just a general call, say I know you probably have no vacancies but would you mind if I send you an email with my resume. Then lob in on all the operators you have approached ask to talk to the Chief Pilot etc.
See what happens.
Socks First
Midvale school for the gifted class of 84
socksfirst thenshoes is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.