...Another Coming Back Story

970Flyer

Well-Known Member
So, after a 10 year absence from aviation, I'm thinking of a return to flying. I have R-ATP qualifications and an Aviation degree.

Have any of you been in a similar situation? How many hours before you felt ready to interview? I have a ton of studying to do before I even get back in the plane, that much I know.

Thanks if advance for your thoughts.
 

zippy

Well-Known Member
Pass the written test and have the mins and you'll get an interview... They have no issues with you being out of the game, but expect to be humble during training.
 

Zapphod Beblebrox

Well-Known Member
How bad is it?
It depends on where you work. Some places it is tolerable other places it is not so good. I would say that this is a better time than others to return to the industry. There is a pilot shortage and you are not as immediately replaceable as you once were.
 

stradamus

Well-Known Member
970 flyer, you are not alone- I got out of flying daily for management five years ago, and now have been out of the aviation industry all together for the last three- Now I'm feeling a real desire to get back in, missing my passion and am more comfortable with a lifestyle job than I was in my twenties.
 

970Flyer

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I had to get out... Wife's request. Now that I'm free of that obligation, it's time to get back at it. I'm okay with the abuse. I love airplanes... I'm one of those people who goes to the airport just to be at an airport. And I certainly will be humble. I have an incredible work ethic, and I think that will be what gets me through training. Thanks for your comments.
 

ComplexHiAv8r

Well-Known Member
970Flyer said:
So, after a 10 year absence from aviation, I'm thinking of a return to flying. I have R-ATP qualifications and an Aviation degree. Have any of you been in a similar situation? How many hours before you felt ready to interview? I have a ton of studying to do before I even get back in the plane, that much I know. Thanks if advance for your thoughts.
You interested in 121? Hit me up if so.
 

CloudSurf

Active Member
So, after a 10 year absence from aviation, I'm thinking of a return to flying.
Thanks for posting - I have a similar situation/question. I was a military pilot for many years, left to get a "real job," and am missing it all! I has been about 7-8 years since I maintained my currency, and I am researching what the path looks like for returning to flying and applying for an airline job. I know I can use GI Bill benefits to help cover the costs of additional ratings - I need my ATP and do not have a type rating - and am open to any other advice on getting recurrent and qualified to the point of becoming a competitive candidate once again. Thanks!
 

zippy

Well-Known Member
If you have ATP mins go to a regional and get it all paid for.

If you have a lot of multi turbine time from the military, apply to an overseas contractor.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Thanks for posting - I have a similar situation/question. I was a military pilot for many years, left to get a "real job," and am missing it all! I has been about 7-8 years since I maintained my currency, and I am researching what the path looks like for returning to flying and applying for an airline job. I know I can use GI Bill benefits to help cover the costs of additional ratings - I need my ATP and do not have a type rating - and am open to any other advice on getting recurrent and qualified to the point of becoming a competitive candidate once again. Thanks!
I have a close friend who was in just your same boat about 6 months ago. He is a retired AF fighter dude who took a 5-year detour working for USAA and, although the money was good, he just had the itch to get back flying again.

He bought himself a couple hours at the local air patch to get himself a flight review, and then applied at several regionals. He was hired by XJT (he lives in Dallas, so he picked it based on the DFW base), who paid for his CTP prior to training and his ATP as part of training.

One of his hurdles was that he had the centerline thrust restriction on his CMEL. Initially XJT told him he had to go take a checkride to remove the centerline restriction before showing up to training, but XJT later worked with the FAA to add in the Vmc demo into their training program and allowing CL-restricted pilots to get their ATP in initial qual with no additional training. Although several regionals are currently including the CTP as part of their hiring process, not all of them have the ability to train CL-restricted pilots. If you are a pointy-nosed guy, this may apply to you, too -- if it does, that's a question you need to ask as you send out applications and accept interview invites. If this is a player, also note that the contractors aren't doing CTPs or CL-restriction removal as part of any of their training programs.

IMHO this is a great path to take. The contractors are a much less sure path to the majors than going to the regionals. I know a number of non-current (but otherwise highly qualified) military pilots who have taken this route to get back into the game. I went to the 121 regionals myself, after retiring from the AF non-current a year ago. I started getting interview calls from the majors after about 6 months and 200 hours flying at the regionals.

On the same token, I know a number of guys flying at the contractors who aren't getting interview calls even after a year or two of overseas flying. @bunk22? What's your take on this -- you're way more recent in working with these guys and trying to get interviews.

There is some good reading on precisely this same subject over on APC if you are so inclined to look for it. I give the same advice over there as here; I think the regionals are a better overall path to the majors than the contractors are (if you can stomach the pay hit).

http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/military/92097-af-airlines-8.html#post2054665 (lots of chaff to sift through in this thread, but some good nuggets of info)http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/military/92097-af-airlines-8.html#post2054665
http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/military/94890-getting-back-saddle.html
http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/military/7129-centerline-thrust.html
http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/military/92748-rehack-se-turbop-majors.html
 
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CloudSurf

Active Member
Awesome info - thanks, @Hacker15e! Fortunately I went through the exercise of removing the centerline thrust restriction already, so that's not a factor. That just leaves the recency of experience and the missing ratings. I'm currently living in New England so will sniff around for what's happening at regionals around here. Thanks!
 

zippy

Well-Known Member
Dudes seem to be leaving the ISR gigs for the majors on a regular basis. Think Bunk got the call for a couple interviews shortly after leaving his contractor gig.

The majority of guys I know who have done it got calls 12-18 months after starting provided they had the fixed wing multi hours in the first place (a lot of helicopter to fixed wing transition guys seem to find their way into the gig).

I personally know guys who went to AA, DAL and Frontier after their ISR hitches. I also know of guys who have left for jetBlue United and Atlas. Guys who don't go the major route (or don't get called quick enough) seem to end up at Gama after they get burnt out from ISR life.

Guys I know at the regionals seem to be getting interview calls after 12 months on property.

Someone getting back into aviation gets to to pick their poison.

ISR gig pays great and you can live where you want when you're off rotation but you're gone living in austere conditions with your customers, and the contractor landscape changes constantly as companies win or loose contracts and programs go away... Not to mention it's a presidential election cycle so there's no way to predict how contract ISR will fit into US foreign policy after next year.

Regionals work you hard, or pay crap, or both. But at least your not getting shot at in the terminal area or getting mortared in your hotel room while you drink your beer and watch cable.

If you like money (a month down range pays my buddy more than his first year at PSA did) and can tolerate the risks and living conditions, and maybe an extra year delay in getting hired at a major then go ISR.

If you want a more normalized civilian flight experience and can afford a gigantic pay cut ($75k+ in some cases), go to the regionals.
 

BrettInLJ

Well-Known Member
A bit late seeing this thread, but I'm also returning after a 10 year absence. I actually was a CRJ FO when I left for the tech world. The catch is that I had less than the 1500 hours that is now required so I'm back instructing and time building.

After being out of 121 for so long, my focus is not just on hours but being 100% ready for the interview. The good news is I'm almost there and after renewing my medical as 1st Class next week plan to pull the trigger on applying to a certain regional with west coast bases.

Let me know if you would like more perspective after being out of the game for so long.
 
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