How did you get started?

**DONOTDELETE**

New Member
I was wondering if any corporate pilots could tell me how they got started flying corporate. What kind of qualifications are needed? What kind of companies do you fly for? What are the pro's/con's of flying corporate versus flying for regional or majors? How much do you make? What kind of jobs are there going to be in the next four years. My e-mail is Avi8er10@aol.com. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a ton.
-Andy
 

**DONOTDELETE**

New Member
Im not a corperate pilot but i work closely with them. The qualifications to fly corperate are usually just the same or a more than a regional airline or the majors, at least for (EJA). you can expect to earn up to 25,000 your first year in a citation as a first officer and of course when your seniority rises so does your salary. Some EJA pilots like the fact that they fly higher and faster than the majors other pilots hate layovers and a 12 hour duty time. you will not be making 6 figures untill your flying FO or CPT in a widebody aircraft. (Gulftream 3,4 or 5, Falcon 900, BBJ, Global Express etc..) I know most companies flight departmens require an ATP.
 

FalconCapt

New Member
EJA is NOT Corporate Aviation, their pay is SIGNIFICANTLY below that of average Corporate Flight Departments.

EJA is Fractional Flying, not Corporate. Big difference.
 

xdashdriver

Well-Known Member
I got started in corporate aviation by being in the right place at the right time, knowing the right people. That's about the only way to do it in the real world of corporate flying.

The type of equipment flown and pay that goes along with it can vary greatly. I fly a Cessna 414 and Kingair B100 and I'm paid $200 a day for my services. I would say my pay is significantly below the national average for the type of flying I am doing though.

Both aircraft I fly are managed by the company I work for. They are both owned by several different owners ranging from construction companies to banks to doctors and lawyers.

Qualifications vary with the type of equipment used. For single engine aircraft you could probably expect to need at least 500TT with several hours of complex time thrown in. Flying any kind of a twin PIC is going to require probably at least 1000TT with 250 multi. The bigger the twin, the higher the minimums for the PIC. It mostly depends on the insurance company requirements.

As for jobs in the next 4 years. I would say things are probably going to be pretty soft for the next 12 months, but picking up. The following 3 years should see a reasonably steady increase in the number of jobs avilable out there. This is based on what I think the business aircraft market will do. A lot of companies cut back during the recession. They're just beginning to pick up again now.

As for the pro's and con's of airline vs. corporate, I highly suggest Doug's stuff that he's got on this website that talks about the different kinds of pilot jobs. I personally prefer routine and structure to my life, of which my corporate job (as with many corporate jobs) has absoutely zero, and is why I'm looking to make the switch over to the airlines / fractional.

Ray
 

FalconCapt

New Member
Hey Ray,

From what you described, you aren't flying "Corporate", you are flying for a Management Company, which is just like flying FAR 135 Charter except instead of carrying passengers for hire, you are carrying the aircrafts owners... Your Quality of Life (QoL) issues will be as bad as flying Charter.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
I'm sure by corporate they mean corporate jets, I've never heard of them refered to as ''Hey did you see Cessna's new charter jet'' or ''Gulfstream's new Fractional Jet''. What you call them? Can't call them bizjets because they're not being used for businiess, right?
 

FalconCapt

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I'm sure by corporate they mean corporate jets, I've never heard of them refered to as ''Hey did you see Cessna's new charter jet'' or ''Gulfstream's new Fractional Jet''. What you call them? Can't call them bizjets because they're not being used for businiess, right?

[/ QUOTE ]

If you take the time to re-read his post he states: "I got started in Corporate Aviation" he doesn't say I started flying "Corporate Jets".

He is flying a Cessna 414 and a King Air 100, neither of them hardly qualify as "Jets" let alone "Corporate Jets".

There is a huge and ongoing misconception that any type of "business type" flying that isn't scheduled airlines is Corporate Aviation. This is incorrect. There is a HUGE difference (career-wise and other) between Corporate, Fractional and Charter.

The devil is in the details.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
If you take the time to re-read his post he states: "I got started in Corporate Aviation" he doesn't say I started flying "Corporate Jets".

He is flying a Cessna 414 and a King Air 100, neither of them hardly qualify as "Jets" let alone "Corporate Jets".

There is a huge and ongoing misconception that any type of "business type" flying that isn't scheduled airlines is Corporate Aviation. This is incorrect. There is a HUGE difference (career-wise and other) between Corporate, Fractional and Charter.

The devil is in the details.

[/ QUOTE ]

I get what you're saying, oh yeah I was responding to your original post not the second one about the King Air pilot.
 

Dubbs42

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
There is a HUGE difference (career-wise and other) between Corporate, Fractional and Charter.

The devil is in the details.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's interesting, could you elaborate more on the differences in each of the respective career paths? THX
 

FalconCapt

New Member
Typically Charter will offer low pay, older equipment and on-call scheduling, with a lot of pop-up trips. Pay is typically far less than Corporate pay, and usually in the range of Fractional pay. Upgrades depend on the company, sometimes seniority, sometimes performance. Charter is in the business of making money with the aircraft, they typically do not equip the aircraft with any more "bells & whistles" than they are required to.

Fractional typically flies newer equipment, has a set schedule i.e. 6 on, 4 off or something like that) but you end up commuting nearly every trip to meet the plane somewhere. The pay isn't usually much above charter. I had lunch with a 5 year NetJets Citation X Captain about a year ago and he was barely making $50k. New hires at NetJets start somewhere around $28,000-$30,000. Upgrades are typically all based on seniority.

Corporate typically flies top of the line equipment, the companies will typically equip their aircraft with all the latest equipment (HUD's, EVS, EGPWS, etc...) The pay is general the highest of the 3 (for example, at my company, new hires start first year in the $80,000 range with full benefits, pension, profit sharing, bonus, stock purchase plans, 401k, etc...). Our trips are all generally scheduled 2-6 weeks in advance, and we very rarely have a pop-up type trip, if you get called short notice it is usually because another pilot called in sick. In 7 years I have had 5 "pop-up" calls. Upgrades are generally based on performance, not seniority.

Corporate jobs can vary greatly from company to company. Just like there are good and bad airline jobs, there are also good and bad Corporate jobs.

Hope this helps...
 

xdashdriver

Well-Known Member
Talk about mincing words. It is difficult to describe what life as a corporate pilot is like because it vary so widely. Corporate pilots may have a lot of popup trips, they may not. They may fly Cessna 182s and 206s or they may fly GIVs and BBJs or anything in between. It all depends on the different personality and needs of the company aircraft users. So, corporate flying may or may not be like charter, or even fractional flying. Some companies have corporate shuttles with many pilots and have a scheduling system much like fractional or airlines. Even some charter outfits have a more structured scheduling system. So on quality of life issues, it's really hard to distinguish between corporate and charter.

Pay can vary widely too, but is usually commensurate with the type of equipment flown. It is probably safe to say that in general, when comparing similar aircraft types across the 3 (corp, fractional and charter) that the corporate pilots make out better.

My flying is part charter (Part 135 on-demand, flying paying, non-owners) and part corporate (part 91, flying for the owners). Who writes the paycheck is irrelevant. Across the board, I would say I get more hours than the typical corporate job, and I am paid less but that has much more to do with the owner of this business and our sorry market area than anything else.

Ray
 

FL270

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Corporate jobs can vary greatly from company to company. Just like there are good and bad airline jobs, there are also good and bad Corporate jobs.

[/ QUOTE ]Well said Falcon Capt! I am one with a "bad" corporate job ... strictly Part 91, but 100% on-call with no scheduled days off (except my two weeks of annual vacation) and a 60-minute beeper call-out policy. That said, there's been only one same-day pop-up trip in two years. We've had a couple of 24-48 hour notice trips to take people to funerals for retired employees or friends of the company, and most others are scheduled 3 days or more out, often a week or two ahead.

What makes my job "bad" is the non-flying duties. I wash our airplane, clean our hangar floor, clean the bathroom in the hangar, cut the grass outside the hangar, spray weed killer on the cracks in the ramp, drive our "tug" (an old International tractor that doubles as a lawn mower) two miles down the highway to put gas in it, run the weed whacker outdoors, and so on. Most "quality" corporate operators would have people hired out to do these tasks (most likely contractors) but my employer sees fit to have its pilots doing them.

Moral of the story: now I know a few questions to ask at my next interview, which I'm hoping will be soon!

FL270
 

FalconCapt

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Well said Falcon Capt! I am one with a "bad" corporate job ... strictly Part 91, but 100% on-call with no scheduled days off (except my two weeks of annual vacation) and a 60-minute beeper call-out policy. That said, there's been only one same-day pop-up trip in two years. We've had a couple of 24-48 hour notice trips to take people to funerals for retired employees or friends of the company, and most others are scheduled 3 days or more out, often a week or two ahead.

What makes my job "bad" is the non-flying duties. I wash our airplane, clean our hangar floor, clean the bathroom in the hangar, cut the grass outside the hangar, spray weed killer on the cracks in the ramp, drive our "tug" (an old International tractor that doubles as a lawn mower) two miles down the highway to put gas in it, run the weed whacker outdoors, and so on. Most "quality" corporate operators would have people hired out to do these tasks (most likely contractors) but my employer sees fit to have its pilots doing them.

Moral of the story: now I know a few questions to ask at my next interview, which I'm hoping will be soon!

FL270

[/ QUOTE ]

Yup, you got a bad one... Outside of flying our guys really don't have any "extraneous" duties. We have a full time maintenance staff, 2 aircraft cleaners, 3 dispatchers and the hangar work in contracted out. Basically when our guys are not flying, we are at home. Our "On-Call" period, if you want to call it that, is Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm. Basically don't have a beer during that time. All of our stuff is scheduled well in advance.
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
Spot on analysis sir.
There is a huge difference in the types of part 91 flying and it is measured in the ways you've said, money and quality of life. We also develope an "intimate" relationship with senior company officials that many trying to climb the corporate latter envy. While they are lining up to kiss arse, we are having beer and dinner with them on a regular basis. We know what is going on in the corporation before mid level management knows, and that is why discretion is a comodoty in this business. Our corporate president calls us Value Added Employees, we don't neccessarily contribute to the bottom line but we contribute in so many other ways that makes it possible for the senior leadershie to accomplish what it needs to to insure the prosperity of the company.
Great to have you on board.
 

shooter13

New Member
Let me ask. I have been working on an MBA for a while but I am about to quit becuase I am sick of the classes. (interpretted I can't believe people get paid for this crap...)

Do you think a corporate department would care one way or the other if a prospective pilot had a master's? If they do do you think if it was in business it would help the applicant?

I enjoy school and taking classes but I really don't think business is my calling.
 

FalconCapt

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Let me ask. I have been working on an MBA for a while but I am about to quit becuase I am sick of the classes. (interpretted I can't believe people get paid for this crap...)

Do you think a corporate department would care one way or the other if a prospective pilot had a master's? If they do do you think if it was in business it would help the applicant?

I enjoy school and taking classes but I really don't think business is my calling.

[/ QUOTE ]

Having a Bachelor degree is pretty important in Corporate Aviation, a Masters is not required...
 

FL270

New Member
Second what FalconCapt said. I would add that a business degree might not hurt. You're not being hired to run the company, but rather to fly the company airplane(s). However, in a corporate operation, you may be called on to make some business-style analyses related to aviation ... i.e., evaluation of new/replacement aircraft, cost analysis of aircraft operation, development of department budget, etc. This will hold especially true if you are Chief Pilot or Director of Aviation. So, some of those "MBA" skills might come in handy. However, my degree is in Aeronautical Science (I'm a Riddle guy) and I haven't had any trouble performing these types of tasks in my career, so the business degree is certainly not an absolute.

So ... as far as your MBA classes go ... stay or go, your call. Really don't see it having any impact on your employability or career advancement in aviation, corporate or otherwise, since you already have the Bachelors. Good luck with the decision.

FL270
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
FalconCapt,

I am glad to see on board at JetCareers. I have a few questions for you and anyone else.

I would love to work a Corporate flying gig, what do you think, in your opinion, is the best way to get there? I know there are so many variables to this question, but if you were to concentrate soley on a Corporate Job, what would you do?

I guess my anwser to this would be to NETWORK. That seems to be the biggest factor in finding a corporate flying job.

This brings me to another question, how does someone get the time be able to have that corporate job. There seems to be many jobs in the corporate world or any other non-airline job, but the time requirements go something like this

2500 TT 1000 PIC, 500 JET.....

Flight instructing would only knock off so much, so would someone have to work for a regional first before they jump to the corporate side to get these times and experience? Any info you have would be greatly appreciated, or from anyone else

Thanks
 
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