JC Sounding Board

ozziecat35

4 out of 5 great lakes prefer Michigan.
#1
So I'm flip flopping on potential career paths, and guess I'd just like to hear a variety of opinions. I just got laid off today from my Pt 91 Citation XLS gig. Coincidentally, I interviewed yesterday at a fairly popular Jetcareers 135 charter operator...overall it went well, I should know more by the end of the week. I'm pretty close to 121 mins, and have other time building stuff lined up to hit 1500 by this summer.

Do I go get another type (on a fairly sexy air frame) and do the 135 dance for a year or more, get some cool experience and flying in and see where I'm at in 12 months (Assuming I get an offer obviously) or, keep my nose to the grind stone, finish my time building, and hit the regional market ready to go?

I got into aviation because I always wanted to be an airline pilot. If I'm being honest with myself, I want to end up at the airlines long term. I'm looking at the 135 opportunity as a potential chance to skip the regionals, and maybe in 2 or 3 years, be competitive to get to NK, F9, B6, or (GASP) AA. I have a fairly diverse non-flying background, 4 years active duty army, 10 years of IT / systems administration.

I have my gut feeling, but think it'd be helpful to hear other points of view. Thanks in advance!
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#2
So I'm flip flopping on potential career paths, and guess I'd just like to hear a variety of opinions. I just got laid off today from my Pt 91 Citation XLS gig. Coincidentally, I interviewed yesterday at a fairly popular Jetcareers 135 charter operator...overall it went well, I should know more by the end of the week. I'm pretty close to 121 mins, and have other time building stuff lined up to hit 1500 by this summer.

Do I go get another type (on a fairly sexy air frame) and do the 135 dance for a year or more, get some cool experience and flying in and see where I'm at in 12 months (Assuming I get an offer obviously) or, keep my nose to the grind stone, finish my time building, and hit the regional market ready to go?

I got into aviation because I always wanted to be an airline pilot. If I'm being honest with myself, I want to end up at the airlines long term. I'm looking at the 135 opportunity as a potential chance to skip the regionals, and maybe in 2 or 3 years, be competitive to get to NK, F9, B6, or (GASP) AA. I have a fairly diverse non-flying background, 4 years active duty army, 10 years of IT / systems administration.

I have my gut feeling, but think it'd be helpful to hear other points of view. Thanks in advance!
Hard to argue against 121 in the current environment.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
#4
So I'm flip flopping on potential career paths, and guess I'd just like to hear a variety of opinions. I just got laid off today from my Pt 91 Citation XLS gig. Coincidentally, I interviewed yesterday at a fairly popular Jetcareers 135 charter operator...overall it went well, I should know more by the end of the week. I'm pretty close to 121 mins, and have other time building stuff lined up to hit 1500 by this summer.

Do I go get another type (on a fairly sexy air frame) and do the 135 dance for a year or more, get some cool experience and flying in and see where I'm at in 12 months (Assuming I get an offer obviously) or, keep my nose to the grind stone, finish my time building, and hit the regional market ready to go?

I got into aviation because I always wanted to be an airline pilot. If I'm being honest with myself, I want to end up at the airlines long term. I'm looking at the 135 opportunity as a potential chance to skip the regionals, and maybe in 2 or 3 years, be competitive to get to NK, F9, B6, or (GASP) AA. I have a fairly diverse non-flying background, 4 years active duty army, 10 years of IT / systems administration.

I have my gut feeling, but think it'd be helpful to hear other points of view. Thanks in advance!
Very few people "skip the regionals."

Everyone I know who tried, and the few who succeeded, will tell you that bypassing the regionals added time to their journey to get to the job they wanted to be at in the end.

Get the time to get to a regional, then take the money and run. You can't imagine how good of a spot you're in compared to just a few years ago.
 

ppragman

Direct Yeska
#6
Very few people "skip the regionals."

Everyone I know who tried, and the few who succeeded, will tell you that bypassing the regionals added time to their journey to get to the job they wanted to be at in the end.

Get the time to get to a regional, then take the money and run. You can't imagine how good of a spot you're in compared to just a few years ago.
I know tons of people who've "skipped the regionals." But you are correct, it takes longer.
 

skypilot6

Well-Known Member
#13
Very few people "skip the regionals."

Everyone I know who tried, and the few who succeeded, will tell you that bypassing the regionals added time to their journey to get to the job they wanted to be at in the end.

Get the time to get to a regional, then take the money and run. You can't imagine how good of a spot you're in compared to just a few years ago.
^This

I am one of those that successfully "Skipped the Regionals" While I wouldn't trade my 135 time for anything and I enjoyed it very much I am a few years behind my peers that went from CFI to the Regionals then to the Majors. If its a good 135 operator, and you get in a good amount of flying (You need TT) then it might not be a bad idea short term. But it's been proven more times than not, the fastest way to a Major is thru the Regionals.
 
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JordanD

Honorary Member
#16
While the grind can definitely suck depending on airline/seat/base, a good schedule at a 121 is the best "part time" job you'll ever have. Unless you massively screw up, once you leave the airport the door generally doesn't hit you in the ass on the way out, and once you're off reserve you're generally free to pretend like work doesn't exist on your days off.

Plus, ditto on what everyone else said about trying to skip the regionals. 9 times out of 10 you'll end up doing time at a regional anyway.
 

BigZ

Well-Known Member
#18
I'm at a regional schoolhouse right now. My type ride is in early April.
Buddy left 135 same week I did and we started the class at the same time - he's at Spirit. He passed his type ride today there.
So the program is somewhat more intense at the bigger boys'.
While the pace here is killing me after the bonegrinder of a busy 135, I'm learning to learn the airline way, which is different, if a bit annoying. If nothing else, I think that'll help in the future 121 training.
Now, would I get to the "Spirit mins" faster if I stayed at the old job? Definitely, no questions about it. Get paid 2x while at it too. But the schedule there wasn't working out with commuting to see the family. And here they gave me a hat and stuff.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#19
I have heard great things about Ultimate Air Shuttle/Charter if that's the company you were in touch with. The pilots seem happy and they're treated well, not to mention that an 8/6 makes it easy early on as you won't be too hurt by seniority when it comes to scheduling and you should get one of Christmas or Thanksgiving of. If you can get on with a rotation over something more on demand or uncertain it should be a no brainer for your QoL. You can always come back to the pt 91 stuff llater when you have more experience and you'll likely be a quicker upgrade to captain that way.
 
#20
I have heard great things about Ultimate Air Shuttle/Charter if that's the company you were in touch with. The pilots seem happy and they're treated well, not to mention that an 8/6 makes it easy early on as you won't be too hurt by seniority when it comes to scheduling and you should get one of Christmas or Thanksgiving of. If you can get on with a rotation over something more on demand or uncertain it should be a no brainer for your QoL. You can always come back to the pt 91 stuff llater when you have more experience and you'll likely be a quicker upgrade to captain that way.
This reads like an infomercial
 
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