Is Part 91 Corporate Aviation this messed up or am I just an idiot... your thoughts?

TexasFlyer

Living the Dream (well at least trying to)
So here I am back in Texas once again scratching my head about this whole aviation flying career. I been trying to build something outside the typical airline route as my heart is in corporate aviation. Now I am thinking the airline world may be worth a shot as it seems much more stable and logical. Yeah, seriously I just said that!

The good news is in a matter of two hours on the phone on my first day of unemployment I acquired a multi-engine student to teach (starts next week), a G1000 checkout and familiarization flight (next week), and a couple corporate flights as PIC for a company that flies a small twin a few times a month (first flight this week). All that based on my reputation with these people who have worked with me before. So I hate to think somehow I am the issue here on what appears like I been done wrong twice this year by Cessna Mustang owners.

So here is the weirdness.

Earlier this year I get a Citation contract as SIC on a CE510 Mustang. I end up with an SIC type and get about 90 hours total time with about 30 hours legally logged as SIC. Slowly they take away benefits such as paying for hotels on some trips . Then they fly a little less. And they ultimately decide to go back to making it a single pilot operation. I was told it was too expensive to run with me as SIC. I was paid what would equate to a day rate for flights of $350 plus $150 per every overnight. We flew about 3 trips a month with each trip being about 3 days. You can do the math. This contract ended recently.

Due to that experience I end up with a call last month and take myself clear across the country to begin on an actual W-2 to fly as SIC on another CE510 Mustang. This is to directly support a high net worth individual who is the PIC (he is not single pilot typed so he requires an SIC on board). Pay is around the $55k mark plus full benefits and many nice perks. It seemed to be the perfect job for my lifestyle since you needed the ability to actually live in two different locations. So you better be single or you are going to be soon! The owner also said he would cover my type rating in the near future and eventually would like to have me fly the aircraft for his business as he transitions out of the left seat over time. The flying was about 8 to 10 flights a month with about 15 nights away from home base. This week I was in the process of moving to the home base with Uhaul booked, condo deposit and lease in the works, etc. On the morning of my move, the owner tells me that he found a young kid that would do the job for less than $30k, sign a three year contract to stay with him for that price, will get an SIC rating on his own from someone he knows in order to qualify on the insurance, and does not require any relocation help since he already lives local. The owner told me he cold not refuse such an offer so he has decided to give the kid a chance since he'll cost about 1/3 of what I was hired in at overall. So as of yesterday, which was the day to start my move, I was told the job ends.

So here are my thoughts:
1) Most Citation Mustang owners are idiots. But then that can't be. Idiots do not make enough money to own one!
2) I am an idiot. But then that's not true. I was highly successful in my last career and in this career I have a very loyal client following as a CFI and Contract Pilot. These clients keep returning for more business. And upon my update to them they have shown me complete enthusiasm upon my return back to Texas. So I can't be the idiot either.
3) So if I am not an idiot and the jet owners are not idiots, then maybe the world of Part 91 Business Aviation is messed up, although it seems like the best place to be. At least from the outside looking in it seems like the best place. Yet from my experience if you want to make enough money to eat and have a sense of stability and not be an expense cut you best look elsewhere. Hmmm... I really do not want to believe this.
4) I simply had bad luck. This must be it. Just bad luck. But really, this bad?

What's your thoughts?
 

SrFnFly227

Well-Known Member
I think it is a combination of many things. Bad luck is probably part of it, but I think it mostly comes down to the airplane. You are flying right seat in an airplane that was designed to be flown by one pilot. Unless you can do that very inexpensively, you will not have long term stability. Is an SIC in the Mustang even required to fly right seat? I know you said the owner wasn't single pilot typed, but can't he just have basically anyone sit right seat?

Also, I'd hate to say it, but $55k is way over paid to sit right seat. As a comparison, I am PIC on a Mustang. I am single pilot typed (which is why I don't know the SIC question above) and was hired to fly mostly Part 91 with occasional 135 mixed in. My salary is $50k with $25/hr for charter flights. This was to fly 300-350 hours per year.

What are your times?
 

Jimmy_Norton

Opie killer
Welcome to aviation.....it sure sucks sometimes. I've gotten jerked around three different times in the past year or so, and I am getting tired of it.

The CE510 job you were moving for, was it one based out of somewhere in Delaware?
 

FlyingScot

Spanish Proficient
Your a low time pilot without a type rating trying to break into corporate aviation in a poor economy. It will suck somewhat less when you are a high time type rated pilot. Job searching in this economy is tough, especially as a pilot.
 

Mark815

Well-Known Member
the owner tells me that he found a young kid that would do the job for less than $30k, sign a three year contract to stay with him for that price, will get an SIC rating on his own from someone he knows in order to qualify on the insurance, and does not require any relocation help since he already lives local. The owner told me he cold not refuse such an offer so he has decided to give the kid a chance since he'll cost about 1/3 of what I was hired in at overall. So as of yesterday, which was the day to start my move, I was told the job ends.

Time to start breaking some legs.

Seriously though, that pisses me off big time. Every time I run into someone who asks me for advice, one of the first things I tell them is to NEVER sell themselves short, because it won't only ruin a job for a qualified candidate, but it may one day ruin a job they might be applying for as well. Now this kid that offered to do it at a rate of $30k for 3 years is going to be hating his life when he realizes that $30k won't pay his bills.
 

SrFnFly227

Well-Known Member
Seriously though, that pisses me off big time. Every time I run into someone who asks me for advice, one of the first things I tell them is to NEVER sell themselves short, because it won't only ruin a job for a qualified candidate, but it may one day ruin a job they might be applying for as well. Now this kid that offered to do it at a rate of $30k for 3 years is going to be hating his life when he realizes that $30k won't pay his bills.
While I agree with you about not selling yourself short, that is not what I think is going on in this case. Right seat in a Mustang is probably a $30-35k job. That sucks, but that's reality. Hell, there isn't a salary listed for Mustang First Officer on the Pro Pilot survey. Citation 1 is listed though.

Pay numbers are Average Low High
Corporate FO Citation I
35,000 32,000 47,000

Charter FO CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2
44,000 35,000 48,000

I think the Mustang would pay less than this specifically because the plane was designed to be flown single pilot. Sadly, that is the reality.
 

Jimmy_Norton

Opie killer
While I agree with you about not selling yourself short, that is not what I think is going on in this case. Right seat in a Mustang is probably a $30-35k job. That sucks, but that's reality. Hell, there isn't a salary listed for Mustang First Officer on the Pro Pilot survey. Citation 1 is listed though.

Average Low High
Citation I 35,000 32,000 47,000
CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2 44,000 35,000 48,000

I think the Mustang would pay less than this specifically because the plane was designed to be flown single pilot. Sadly, that is the reality.
So then why did the OP get offered a job that payed more than what you are posting? If the owner only wanted to pay $30k a year, they he should have advertised that rate. And there should be a special place in hell for whoever comes in an undercuts people on jobs. I know a good friend that lost his job because some retired airline pilot wanted something to do, and said he'd work there for a much lower salary and no benefits.
 

N519AT

Ahh! This is how I change this!
I have a very high opinion of principles who treat their employees in the flight department the "right" way. i.e. Good salary, good benefits, doesn't treat his employees like crap, etc.

Sounds like this guy doesn't want to do things the right way and honestly I think you'll be better off by not working for this guy.

One of the things that pisses me off greatly about corporate aviation is people who buy multimillion dollar airplanes which cost $1500+ per hour to operate all things included will balk at paying their employees to operate said machine a reasonable, respectable wage. Nothing like paying $1500/hr and bitching about paying your pilot $50/day more than you want to. There are corporate outfits that actually DO the right thing and pay their pilots as professionals, but those are few and far between it seems.

BTW- $55k is a very reasonable (maybe even a bit low) wage to babysit someone in the V-tail bonanza of jets.
 

UAL747400

Well-Known Member
My thoughts are that unless you're in a flight department for a large company(John Deere, 3M, ect..) part 91 and 135 can be some of the worst aviation jobs out there. Seems the majority of the straight wing citation jobs out there are absolute crap. One, ONE guy I've had conversations with had a great setup. The rest have all been lots of on call, pathetic salary, and lots and lots of time away from home. The polar opposite of the good corporate gigs.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
I think $55k is more than fair, but not obscene. My displeasure is more at yanking the rug out from under Tex after preparations had begun in good faith, and that's all on the owner.

Odds are, he'll get what he pays for, and I can't say I'm upset by that prospect.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
My thoughts are that unless you're in a flight department for a large company(John Deere, 3M, ect..) part 91 and 135...
Jet Charter is awful, with no exceptions of which I'm aware. Obviously, some are worse than others, but at best it's a job you tolerate long enough to get the experience necessary to bail for a 91 gig. Or, in my case, don't tolerate long enough to bail for a 91 gig! ;)

I'm actually embarrassed to say what I was getting paid to be a Jet Charter PIC, but suffice it to say that I'm making substantially more dosh now flying a sofa and (ocassionally) a Pilatapus. *shakes head*
 

Jimmy_Norton

Opie killer
My thoughts are that unless you're in a flight department for a large company(John Deere, 3M, ect..) part 91 and 135 can be some of the worst aviation jobs out there. Seems the majority of the straight wing citation jobs out there are absolute crap. One, ONE guy I've had conversations with had a great setup. The rest have all been lots of on call, pathetic salary, and lots and lots of time away from home. The polar opposite of the good corporate gigs.
I disagree with that, I know a few people that have very good gig's flying citations. I'd say anyone that has a job flying a lear with tip tanks probably has a crappy job.

91 jobs are either the best in the world, or the worst in the world. 135 jobs generally lean towards the crappy end of the spectrum, but there are always exceptions.
 

UAL747400

Well-Known Member
Jet Charter is awful, with no exceptions of which I'm aware. Obviously, some are worse than others, but at best it's a job you tolerate long enough to get the experience necessary to bail for a 91 gig. Or, in my case, don't tolerate long enough to bail for a 91 gig! ;)

I'm actually embarrassed to say what I was getting paid to be a Jet Charter PIC, but suffice it to say that I'm making substantially more dosh now flying a sofa and (ocassionally) a Pilatapus. *shakes head*
You just can't stand that there's not a garret on the front of that thing! :)
 

Crockrocket94

Well-Known Member
There is something to be said about owners who thread the needle with money. If they are concerned about cost owning a jet most likely isnt going to be a happy spot with them.
Get on with a company that a) has more than one airplane or B) has deep pockets :)

I know a number of people flying smaller turbine stuff that are compensated very well both with a good QOL and a good paycheck.
 

Mark815

Well-Known Member
While I agree with you about not selling yourself short, that is not what I think is going on in this case. Right seat in a Mustang is probably a $30-35k job. That sucks, but that's reality. Hell, there isn't a salary listed for Mustang First Officer on the Pro Pilot survey. Citation 1 is listed though.

Pay numbers are Average Low High
Corporate FO Citation I
35,000 32,000 47,000

Charter FO CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2
44,000 35,000 48,000

I think the Mustang would pay less than this specifically because the plane was designed to be flown single pilot. Sadly, that is the reality.
The OP had an offer on the table, and then the owner went for the lowest bidder. Basically without hearing the other side of the story, the OP stated that this kid agreed to a 3 yr $30k offer. Not getting a raise for 3 years and only making $30k will NOT go far. While $55k may not be the average, it really says a lot about this owner who is willing to go with a young/low bidder.

One of the things that pisses me off greatly about corporate aviation is people who buy multimillion dollar airplanes which cost $1500+ per hour to operate all things included will balk at paying their employees to operate said machine a reasonable, respectable wage. Nothing like paying $1500/hr and bitching about paying your pilot $50/day more than you want to. There are corporate outfits that actually DO the right thing and pay their pilots as professionals, but those are few and far between it seems.
I agree 100%

I used to laugh when I worked line service because I'd routinely have people fly in, in their brand new Mooneys or Cirrus, and they'd scoff at paying a nickel more for fuel at our FBO then the one next to us.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
I disagree with that, I know a few people that have very good gig's flying citations. I'd say anyone that has a job flying a lear with tip tanks probably has a crappy job.
In general, this seems right. But you just know that there's some Good Ole Boy out there who made his money in like Trucking or Gun Running or Pit Fighting who has a Lear 24 and pays a couple of old tobacco-spitting, cowboy-boot-wearing hardasses well to fly 100 hours a year at .86 and 45k.

Maybe he's hiring...
 

TexasFlyer

Living the Dream (well at least trying to)
I'd hate to say it, but $55k is way over paid to sit right seat. As a comparison, I am PIC on a Mustang. I am single pilot typed (which is why I don't know the SIC question above) and was hired to fly mostly Part 91 with occasional 135 mixed in. My salary is $50k with $25/hr for charter flights. This was to fly 300-350 hours per year.

What are your times?
If you knew the whole job description the $55k range on the position is reasonable. I won't put any more detail than I listed though since it's as far into it as I am comfortable describing. It is a very tough work environment where you need 'thick skin' but any professional should be fine with that in my opinion as it makes the experience interesting and at times humorous.

My times are just about 2600/ 400 with 50 logged turbine as SIC (90 total turbine for insurance purposes).

Oh. And no . If the pilot is sinlge pilot rated an SIC is not required and there are only certain conditions under which the SIC can log time.

In the ladder case I was required as the pilot was not single pilto rated. He was required to have an SIC at all time. The SIC could be almost anyone. I can only pray the new guy has enough experience to keep the PIC safe.
 

TexasFlyer

Living the Dream (well at least trying to)
Welcome to aviation.....it sure sucks sometimes. I've gotten jerked around three different times in the past year or so, and I am getting tired of it. The CE510 job you were moving for, was it one based out of somewhere in Delaware?
I won't provide any furhter details beyond what I put here since I do not want to incriminate anyone. The world is too small. And what comes around goes around. So I never complain, I just seek comments and advice. I take what is handed to me and run with it. I always do the best job possible. And never be negative and keep a good sense of humor as the more you smile the more opportunity you have.
 
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