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ATR Captain or 737-400 F/O???

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ATR Captain or 737-400 F/O???

Old 12th Nov 2013, 09:45
  #1 (permalink)  
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ATR Captain or 737-400 F/O???

Hi guys,

I'd like to know what would you do in my case. I have been offered an ATR 42 Captain position and at the same time been offered a summer contract to fly the 737-400 including off course the 737 type rating (CL and NG). What would you do? I have assumed I will make between 300 and 500 hrs, but I wonder if the hours on the 737-400 ares still "valid" to look for a job once the contract is over.

aircowboy is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2013, 13:50
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Speaking from my own experience, go for the 737 if they can assure you you can make 500 hours. That might get you to other places, like where I am now.

I have too little knowledge about ATR jobs to say something decent about it - it doesn't sound like an easy decision, good luck!
MD11Man is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2013, 18:17
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Depends what company (for both gigs) & what previous experience you have.

I have an ex-colleague who gave up a 737 right seat to take RIGHT seat on an ATR with JetTime flying the SAS contract (lifestyle decision I believe)

At the moment a seat with Wideroe on a Dash is probably more highly valued by Norwegian guys than a seat on a 737 with NAS , but . . . usually. . jet is best. If you have no jet-time & the rating is paid, go for the jet, if the price is "reasonable", I would also say go for the 737.
Is there any chance at all of the contract being extended/ renewed at a later date ? 500hr is not too unique, a lot of guys with this level of experience waiting their 2nd jet job after a (usually) P2F contract.

Very few good turboprop jobs/operators. . not so many good 737 jobs either, but at least a few more bucks (normally) & a better chance to change to another jet type.

If you search there was a similar thread here within the last year & it was done to death.

Fair to say, you pay your money (or hopefully THEY pay you) & take your chance.
No right or wrong decision . . you will only get personal opinion disguised as advice here
captplaystation is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2013, 19:32
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Funny how this question surfaces every year.
Jet is best (usually) for your longterm career prospects, if you have any interest in flying for larger airlines or larger jets or (obviously) long haul.
ATR command, if it puts you securely in the base/country you want/need to be in. Don't dismiss the damage a nomadic lifestyle can be. You could argue that the ATR command would be a good 'foot in the door' for an interview for a jet job, but you have already achieved that, so whats the point? Take the jet, work hard and hope for an early jet command, thats about as secure as this industry gets, these days. ATB
macdo is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2013, 13:00
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There is no quick and simple answer, but I would say - Go for 737.
It may be a good gate to start your "jet career".

It is always difficult to get first airline job. And it is also difficult to transfer from turbo-prop to jet. You have a chance now to make this step.

But as always there are many pros and cons. You need to take a final decission.
A320_jockey is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2013, 19:29
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I personally would go for captain position....plenty of B737 fo on the market still with no hours on it, captain position is more valuable on the market as to me, and on ATR expecially
liftman is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 00:02
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In the US it would be a no-brainer: Go for the ATR CA... PIC time is what you need to move on, regardless of whether it's a prop or jet. Moving to the left seat demonstrates career progression. Right seat, even in a jet is considered a lateral move when you have an upgrade opportunity.

Europe? No clue... seems to be done a lot differently over there. Maybe right seat in a 737 after right seat in a prop is viewed as progression?

As an example... Back when I flew for Atlantic Coast Airlines (United Express out of IAD), I got hired as a J41 F/O... Within 6 months I could move to CRJ F/O, but would incur a 2 year lock. J32 Captain upgrade was about a year after new hire, so I would have locked myself out of Captain upgrade. I said screw off to the CRJ F/O and held out for J32 Captain. Mind you, the CRJ was tempting..comfy, jet, F/A while the J32 was a particularly nasty kind of hell. No matter... PIC time is king!
aa73 is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 01:28
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A wrong choice of airline could see someone doomed to be a career F/O. It happens for a variety of reasons, not always due to any lack of ability. Airlines go belly-up, for example, then you start again somewhere where they run a strict seniority system, or maybe they need you to have prior command time to upgrade because of insurance or client requirements etc.

So, my advice - for what it is worth - is to look past the aircraft type and decide on the basis of how you see the risks - a stable and profitable turboprop operator, or maybe a jet operator with equipment that is rapidly becoming obsolete and no replacement plan?

So often now it seems that operators require recency on a given type, rather than generic experience. Are there more ATR-72 jobs than B737-400 jobs? If you did have to convert to, say Airbus, would it be easier to do it from an ATR or from a Boeing? It is unlikely that either path would be any more difficult than the other, if you are competent.
Mach E Avelli is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 01:45
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PIC time in Coca-Cola Jets is king. Coca-Cola Jets are sought after, widespread and very marketable. Airbus 320 and B737 get the gold medal. Embraer 190, Airbus 330 Boeing 777 and 787 follow. In Europe, USA...and everywhere. Period.

It is sad but it is like that. Until you do not log jet PIC airline time, it seems you are not a pilot.

But do you homework. You have to adapt and study your environment to get your wishes. What are your goals? Define them.

If your goal is flying a B777 at Emirates or bank tons of money flying the A320/B737 in China you should study what is best. What are the minimum requirements for that kind of job you are looking for? What is the fastest way to get those minimums?

If you prefer to operate from your hometown in Europe and do not give too much importance to the type of aircraft, money involved or airline you will choose other path. But IMHO this is a mistake. I see many pilots in their late 40's early 50's with tons of experience jobless and bankrupt for doing this. They supported a dead horse.

Joining a big carrier like Emirates may require you log hours on heavy jet first, so discard your turboprop captaincy. Log hours in a Jet, apply to Emirates and the likes and stick to that job till you get your left seat...and never ever give up that job till you become Captain or are offered a Jet Captain position (signed) anywhere else, otherwise you will be performing lateral moves for your whole career.

The other option is figuring out if there are carriers hiring DEC in the type of turboprop you fly and will give you the chance to upgrade as DEC in Jet in the future...or they accept PIC turboprop time for DEC positions in Jet, some new outfits or start ups offer this from time to time. It seems it is difficult to switch airlines in Europe and get a DEC position from turboprop to jet. You may find yourself stuck after several years flying as Captain in a turboprop to end up in a right seat of an A320 after 5 years.

But remember, in terms of job security, unless your ATR airline offers upgrade in a Jet (therefore career opportunity) you will eventually have to move. Target is A320 Captain job or equivalent. Write down your plan. Go for the fastest track. Never look back. Explain very well the career path you designed to your family so tehy become part of the team and please, enjoy every minute of the journey to achieve your goal.

Good luck.
Rayoflight is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 05:49
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Some good, balanced advice here I think.

However, as a general rule I would say it has to be the jet.

Some operators like mine (Boeing/Airbus operator) look at hiring pilots on a Zero Flight Time basis and only jet airliner type hours count. I'm not saying I agree but that is the way the rules are written.

Good luck all the same.
BBK is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 08:57
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Go for the 737,being "upgradable" on the ATR means you will be upgradable as a fast track as a 737 fo.
de facto is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 13:39
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ATR time is worthwhile if you want to continue to fly ATRs - plenty of those jobs in Indonesia and Malaysia. I would get the jet type rating and experience flying the jet and move on from there. 500 hours of 737 time seems to be the minimum requirement for many opportunities out there.
Iver is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 13:56
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As a former Turboprop captain and now a Jet captain (I was lucky as my company expanded) I would recomend jump to a JET SIC. Both with the same job security.

But Job security is a big issue (family needs to eat, kids to play). If it is only a summer job and the ATR a full time job with job security is a tough choice.

Flip the coin.
7Q Off is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2013, 04:54
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Arrow Hi guys, I'd like to know what would you do in my case. I have been offered an ATR 4

Hey mate, I f you want a good advertise, please, choose your captaincy option and you will work as Captain, otherwise you will be inside this big and rotten cake that is the airline world mounted in your new type rating only for 6 months validity. As captain you will be a pilot with job, as new B737 type rated you will be a "lookingforjob" in everywhere. Don't be blind because to receive too much brightning lights.
Excuse my grammar and good luck in your decision.
Arcomarino is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2013, 13:19
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Look at all of the Flybe Dash and EMB pilots who are getting no love in the Gulf because they don't have the types or experience needed to get noticed. Sure, no problem if you never want to go to the Gulf, but the point is that in Europe, having the right type ratings and sufficient experience on type can bring you to the head of the queue. It's a fact of life.

Everyone wants PIC time, but you should consider the job that will advance your career faster unless you want to slow it down. Look at the recent Jet2 ads - they are looking for people with 737 experience. I say the 737 choice is a no brainer.

Good luck.
Iver is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2013, 13:56
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Some operators like mine (Boeing/Airbus operator) look at hiring pilots on a Zero Flight Time basis and only jet airliner type hours count. I'm not saying I agree but that is the way the rules are written.
Not necessarily so according to my understanding of CAP 804, as long as you have the right sort of hours on a heavy turboprop then this isn't an issue:

"When a pilot is changing from a turbo-prop to a turbo-jet aeroplane or from a turbojet to a turbo-prop aeroplane, additional simulator training shall be required."

FCL.730.A is the reference from CAP 804
RAFAT is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2013, 17:24
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Is the summer contract on the 73 just the one summer, or is it for a fixed number of years with a stable outfit which will bring you back the following season? My personal perception is that those airlines who do recruit experience type rated crews from outside, and the numbers of such airlines is diminishing, will be looking for a couple of thousand hours on type rather than a single season's worth. If the contract is locked in for several successive summer seasons with a decent operator, then consider it, but if not, I'd recommend taking the promotion where you are.

In the EU and most of the world, it seems a different rule from what has been said about the US - here jet hours are required to get into the legacy airlines, not command hours, so if you are confident of gaining a significant amount of time on the 73, that would be better for the CV than the ATR command.
Aluminium shuffler is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2013, 16:10
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I used to fly turbo props, got a chance of an upgrade to command and took it, wasted hours and time- unless you want to stay.

Jet every time.
JackDymomax is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2013, 17:26
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You possibly/probably have to be British of a "certain age" to understand this, but, as Cilla used to say

"Contestant A, will you come back next week and let us know how you got on"

Seriously though, it would be interesting to know your eventual choice & what tipped the scales one way or another.

All & all though, not a bad situation to be in
captplaystation is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2018, 04:16
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neither a captain nor an f/o

Dear all ,

Heres the lowdown, need advice.

first the constants : self sponsored TR.
now the variables : A320 or ATR

320 market players : air india- vistara-indigo-go air - air asia

ATR : indigo - alliance air- trujet

Indigo is the strongest contender in terms of acquiring new aircraft and making profits, Air India is in the doldrums with the govt failing to disinvest the airline. GO Air, Air Asia and Vistara are making their footprint with positive futures,especially Go Air.

Pax growth in Asia Pacific is set to expand, India being second after China,overtaking the UK. This growth will be supplemented by inducting new aircraft which will require more personnel. Great news for a jobless bloke such as me. However, the dilemma is between the 320 and the ATR. Both have jobs, the former with stiffer competition. Consider this a desperate call to those who've been here before me. What did you choose and why? Is the Airbus really a laptop with wings? Is the ATR really that taxing to fly? Jets>T/P's in the real world. Will this fancy with wanting to handle a plane as opposed to monitoring be short lived?
skip_distance is offline  

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