Airlines

Fly Jets, See the World, Get Rich!

The career of airline pilot isn't what it used to be in the US. It used to be prestigious, respected, and pay ridiculously well. Nowadays, either you spend 10 years flying for the military, or you starve for up to 10 years flying for the regionals. Then, finally, you get hired by a major airline and start living the good life. (But the pay today is generally less than what it was before 2001, before you even start talking about inflation.) It's not the same level of good deal that it used to be.

Military Pilot: Should I Give Up Retirement to Join the Airlines Now?

Edits

24 Jun 16: Added some thoughts about financial security, and pay at other airlines.

23 Jun 16: Thanks for all your feedback! I've added a couple extra considerations at the end. I've also corrected Delta's 401(k) matching to 15% in the article body here, I'd erroneously put 16% before. I haven't updated the spreadsheets. I'll leave that to you.

Aviation Bull for All Our Friends!

A few months ago I wrote an article aimed at helping military pilots convert their logbooks to civilian standards, specifically in preparation for airline interviews. I had occasion to share it with a group of pilots on Facebook and received a lot of positive feedback. The moderators of that group thought enough of the post to include it in their quarterly newsletter, The Pilot Network Quarterly. You can read my article in TPNQ, along with past editions of the newsletter for free on iBooks.

Proof That The Great Pilot Shortage Is Real

Remember when you took the SAT or ACT and started getting flyers in the mail from colleges all over the country? It's flattering at first, but as more and more flyers start to pile up, you start to wonder how desperate those colleges must be. I applied to (and got hired by) a major US airline last year. Apparently my name got sold to someone because I've started receiving flyers from regional airlines.

The flyer I got in the mail yesterday shocked me. It offered me a $50 Amazon gift card if I'd just show up to an interview.

MRJ and Compadres Nearing Completion

I almost can't believe that I first wrote about the Mitsubishi MRJ more than 7 years ago. Mitsubishi has a new website for the project and it looks like their jet is almost ready for its first flight. (7 years later!) It seems like a pretty impressive aircraft. It's geared turbofan engines save money, burn less fuel and make less noise than competitors. It's a Cat IIIa airplane and has the latest Collins avionics. I'm excited to see this clean-sheet design about to hit the market.

Military Pilot - Why Should I Get My CFI?

For a long time, military pilots have been able to obatin an FAA Commercial Pilot certificate by presenting proof of passing a military check ride in an aircraft of any given category and class (and type if applicable.) Several years ago, the FAA approved a long-overdue decision to grant military instructor pilots a free CFI rating under a similar rule. (For reference, the approval for both cases is specified in 14 CFR 61.73(g).) This is a huge benefit for military pilots! A CFI add-on costs civilians thousands of dollars at places like ATP Flight School.

Military Pilot Logbook Conversion

Updated 06 January, 2016: Discussed logging SIC in Cessnas.

As a military pilot who is also involved heavily in General Aviation, a lot of people ask me how to translate their military flight hours to meet the criteria for an airline application. Unfortunately, this isn't a simple answer. I've tried (and failed) several times to write a single-source document to explain how to do this conversion. This page is my latest attempt.

How Do I Get My Airline Application Noticed?

Updated 5 January, 2016: Added points 15 and 16 on social media and additional training.

I recently got hired by a major airline and have been asked several times for advice on applications, interviews, etc. from other hopeful future airline pilots. One of the questions I’ve repeatedly fielded is: “My app has been in the system for a while, but I haven't heard from anyone. What can I do to make my application more attractive?” I’m writing this in hopes of sharing my advice with a larger audience.

Disclaimers: 1) Some of this will be tailored to military pilots applying to the airlines, but I think most of it still applies to pilots who haven't served in the military. 2) There is no magic "right answer." If I knew that answer, I probably wouldn't give it away here for free. 3) I’m no expert at this. I was probably just the guy on top of the “meh” pile and the hiring department needed to meet a quota for that month. I can’t promise you that any of this will get you an interview or a job, but I sure hope it helps!

Now, without further ado, if I had submitted an application and hadn’t heard back from any of the companies I want here are some things I’d consider doing:

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