Comair hiring US express pilots?

**DONOTDELETE**

New Member
I was curious if anyone knew how Comair's recent statement of "preferred hiring" for US Airways Express pilots (as US mainline is struggling) would affect Comair academy grads? also, any other insight regarding Comair academy's program is greatly appreciated! i'm a career-changer leaning toward attending Comair academy, though still considering FlightSafety.
much thanks!!
 

d_gelling

New Member
I just went and visited both....Flight safety is head and shoulders above Comair with regards to professionalism, facilities, and personality/friendliness of all people that I had a dhance to talk to on campus.

I definately suggest taking a visit to see both. You will be shocked by the disparities.
 

pscraig

Well-Known Member
I agree with the last statement-please visit these places first, and things become clear. I visited six flight schools in FL in the same week, and was amazed at the differences, and in particular how much Flightsafety was ahead of the others, in many ways-professionalism and openness. At Comair I was kept on a short leash with my tour guide, and the people I met were "preselected". Flightsafety took me on a thorough tour, speaking to people from the chief pilot to mechanics. Afterward I was free to explore, and I did, and found everyone helpful. I read some magazines in the library, and was invited to take a peek in the Saab simulator. I'll be there over Christmas.
 

Pirep

New Member
I'm surprised to hear someone say they were kept on a short leash while visiting Comair. I always see on the tours of the school that they highly suggest you talk to the students and instructors to get a real response to what's the real scoop on the program and, most importantly to me, getting a job after being a CFI. That's one area I know where Comair excels. They have a great program, as does FSI, but you don't have the same price tag, and the CFI's have never stopped being hired to the airline. I'll take that any day out of the week over another program. As far as the short leash, again, the only area that you might be kept on the "short leash" is the ops area which leads to the flight line. Don't forget, Sanford is an International airport, and a busy one at that (second busiest in Florida(great training environment, also)). They have security issues there that alot of other flight schools at smaller airports don't have to deal with(thank goodness for now). There was a regular military patrol that cruised the airport and our flight line in their HUM-V with m-16's locked and loaded. Strange to see on a pre-flight, but it is a quick jaunt over to the terminal where there is the usual plethora of 737's, 727's, 767's, A320's, and A330's sitting at their gates. Unfortunately, but understandably, they have to be a bit more restrictive in those areas.
 

**DONOTDELETE**

New Member
I recently went and visited flight schools in FL as well and found the programs at both Comair and Flight Safety to be similar. I was less impressed with ATA and Pan Am, but that was mostly personal. It's true the facilities are a bit worn at Comair but it appears (after talking to students and pilots as well as my own observations) that the quality of both programs are fairly high.
Also, does anyone have an opinion about Embry Riddle's 12 month direct path to an RJ program? it's supposed to start in Dec./Jan. at around $66K. Also, does anyone know how Comair's hiring academy grads may or may not change with it's recent statement to offer "preferred hiring" to US Express pilots?
 

d_gelling

New Member
They also have "preferred hiring" for all of the now defunct Midway Airlines pilots who flew the RJ and found themselves out of a job when the airline went bankrupt. Also to 75-85 pilots currently flying the 7 remaining Brasilias will need to be transitioned over to the jets since they plan to have all of the turboprops gone by October. I'm not a math major, but Comair planned to acquire 12 RJ's this year(about 130 pilots needed)....the Bombardier strike pushed all that back a few months (not as many planes means not as many pilots).....75-85 Brasilia pilots that will be switched over before anybody else is hired.....combine that with "preferred hiring" to Midway and US Express pilots. Despite what marketing tells you do you think they are going to hire academy grads over pilots who are already type rated in the RJ and have already flown the line? Let's be serious.....If you were running a business, and could have an academy grad who was still wet behind the ears and no hours in the jet, or somebody with experience....and they would both cost you the same amont of money....who would you hire?
 

172_Captain

New Member
I can speak from personal experience as a recent former student. Comair lacks greatly in customer (student) service area. My advice to anyone considering Comair Academy is to reconsider your options.
 

Pirep

New Member
d-gelling- Just one quick fact (not theory) finding question: Were all of Comair's Academy grads that have been hired to the airline in the last few months a grand marketing ploy? or have all of my friends that got hired to the airline lying to me about actually getting the job? Because if they moved (or are moving) to Cincinnati, and are flying (or will be flying) the RJ, I'd actually be impressed with how far they carried out Comair's "marketing plan". I knew they were pilots; I didn't know they were actors too.
I know in times of stagnant hiring, everyone tends to take the "Well, were not getting hired, so they won't be getting hired either" attitude. But fortunately for people at Comair, that theory doesn't match the facts. Let's just hope it lasts, and also hope everyone else starts getting back on the hiring train.
 

**DONOTDELETE**

New Member
Appreciate the info. from the previous posts! From what i understand, Comair has firm orders for 68 new RJ's and options on 194 ("Air Transport World" 5/02) and it seems they would need more pilots in the future, including Academy pilots, but am unsure of the timeframe. Comair Academy also mentioned they were working on a direct to RJ program with an Oct. to Jan. window and are just waiting for the new sim to arrive. If all goes as planned, this would make a great addition to their program. As far as Flight Safety, I was impressed by their new aircraft and facilities and the students I spoke with had only good comments to make. I am skeptical that the ASA program will resume in the near future and am unsure of the overall placement opportunities there. I do believe it is a good program though and am hopeful the industry will turn around. One wild card I am still considering is the Embry Riddle direct to jet program with an Oct. - Jan. timeframe though it is a bit more expensive. Note the link:
http://cater.erau.edu/pro-pilot.html
Any opinions out there on this program or FlightSafety or Comair?
 

d_gelling

New Member
Calm down....this is what I was told from one of the CFI's on campus. He was obviously a little frustrated with his situation I believe. As it was, the comment was taken with it's appropriate weighting considering his position. The delayed delivery of the twleve RJ's came directly from CAA's admissions people, along with the warning about the Brasilia pilots backing things up a bit. That's all. I am not knocking Comair or its program at all. They definitely have a great thing going and are one of the only regionals hiring now. I hope to hear you are flying for them some day down the road.
 

Pilot877

Well-Known Member
I'm curious to know how Sanford, a lowly class D that serves airlines on Tuesday and Thursday, gets to be the second busiest airport in Florida? Where's the traffic count that proves it?
 

ncm4y

New Member
I have to agree with Pilot877 on this one. I would guess that MCO, MIA and JAX all have more traffic than Sanford. Just my $0.02 worth.
 

pscraig

Well-Known Member
I agreed with you guys, but decided to check myself out of curiosity. From airnav.com, extracted from government records I believe, Sanford has 1002 operations a day. MIA has 1401, JAX 412, MCO 941, TPA 753. You wouldn't think that place was so busy. Are there a bunch of flight schools there? Sounds like practice-area hell.
 

Pilot877

Well-Known Member
Nah, just that Comair has so many airplanes, it looks like someone took a baseball bat to a beehive when they are out flying. I am impressed, though. I bet Comair is like 80 percent of that traffic.
 
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