Returning to flying - Looking for advice

Panda1801

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

After a failed 2-year business venture, I have decided to return to flying. I currently have about 2,500 TT, of which around 1,500 is SIC B737/8 time (expat Copa Airlines flying).

I've been browsing around the different job listings, and though I seem to meet the published minimums at some of the major carriers, I must ask - What do you think my odds really are after being absent from flying for two years and no college degree?

A little background: I worked as a CFI and imagery pilot but left for Copa before being picked up by a regional. As I left for Copa with only a CMEL, I never obtained my FAA ATP. I did, however, complete my ATP written and required CTP course after returning to the US. No ding/dents on record or checkride/written failures (YET!) knocks on wood

I'm in my mid-thirties, single and quite flexible in terms of where I can live and equipment I fly. I would prefer a carrier that would allow me quite a bit of time at home -- even if this means sitting on reserve.

Long story short, I am looking for suggestions as to which path(s) would be best and realistically attainable in my current state. Also, has anyone been through a similar transition? If so, what materials would you recommend for bringing myself back up to speed aside from the FAR/AIM?

Many thanks in advance!
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Hi all,

After a failed 2-year business venture, I have decided to return to flying. I currently have about 2,500 TT, of which around 1,500 is SIC B737/8 time (expat Copa Airlines flying).

I've been browsing around the different job listings, and though I seem to meet the published minimums at some of the major carriers, I must ask - What do you think my odds really are after being absent from flying for two years and no college degree?

A little background: I worked as a CFI and imagery pilot but left for Copa before being picked up by a regional. As I left for Copa with only a CMEL, I never obtained my FAA ATP. I did, however, complete my ATP written and required CTP course after returning to the US. No ding/dents on record or checkride/written failures (YET!) knocks on wood

I'm in my mid-thirties, single and quite flexible in terms of where I can live and equipment I fly. I would prefer a carrier that would allow me quite a bit of time at home -- even if this means sitting on reserve.

Long story short, I am looking for suggestions as to which path(s) would be best and realistically attainable in my current state. Also, has anyone been through a similar transition? If so, what materials would you recommend for bringing myself back up to speed aside from the FAR/AIM?

Many thanks in advance!
Come to Alaska
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
I'm in my mid-thirties, single and quite flexible in terms of where I can live and equipment I fly. I would prefer a carrier that would allow me quite a bit of time at home
So you want to come work for the airlines and sit at home? Maybe a different career is a better choice. Sorry to be that guy...
 

Cloud Surfer

All Roads lead to Trantor
So you want to come work for the airlines and sit at home? Maybe a different career is a better choice. Sorry to be that guy...
I know of many pilots doing just that.... It is indeed possible. I have a buddy here at SkyWest doing that as a first officer on the ERJ. He bids reserve, and is basically paid to sit at home playing video games since he is never called. And my friend at Spirit is on reserve during his first year, and flies perhaps five hours per month. He is currently recording songs for his rock band.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
I know of many pilots doing just that.... It is indeed possible. I have a buddy here at SkyWest doing that as a first officer on the ERJ. He bids reserve, and is basically paid to sit at home playing video games since he is never called. And my friend at Spirit is on reserve during his first year, and flies perhaps five hours per month. He is currently recording songs for his rock band.
Of course it's possible. But if you're trying to get back into this industry for the sole purpose of sitting at home there's some better ways to make money than put up with the BS that also comes with this job.
 

Cloud Surfer

All Roads lead to Trantor
Of course it's possible. But if you're trying to get back into this industry for the sole purpose of sitting at home there's some better ways to make money than put up with the BS that also comes with this job.
Well, it seems as if Panda wants to return to flying, and have ample opportunity for time off. That could be done either through reserve at a part 121 air carrier. If airlines are not what the OP desires, I could recommend part 135 operators in the lower 48 which also seldom ever fly, and they keep you on standby for weeks at a time (not very fun doing that, been there done that as they say).
 

Panda1801

Well-Known Member
Of course it's possible. But if you're trying to get back into this industry for the sole purpose of sitting at home there's some better ways to make money than put up with the BS that also comes with this job.
Thanks Mike, but it's not the sole purpose I'm returning to flying. I very much enjoy the job, just seeking a carrier that would allow me more at base time ... those 3 (maybe 5) village kids will need my attention.

I know of many pilots doing just that.... It is indeed possible. I have a buddy here at SkyWest doing that as a first officer on the ERJ. He bids reserve, and is basically paid to sit at home playing video games since he is never called. And my friend at Spirit is on reserve during his first year, and flies perhaps five hours per month. He is currently recording songs for his rock band.
Thanks CS ... I'll look into them
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Of course it's possible. But if you're trying to get back into this industry for the sole purpose of sitting at home there's some better ways to make money than put up with the BS that also comes with this job.
Are there though? Not trying to be obtuse, but as best as I can tell aviation offers about the easiest possible way to do stuff you like outside work, and all things considered flying has significantly less BS than, say, sales or an office job.
 

Panda1801

Well-Known Member
Are there though? Not trying to be obtuse, but as best as I can tell aviation offers about the easiest possible way to do stuff you like outside work, and all things considered flying has significantly less BS than, say, sales or an office job.
I can tell you first hand, both of these statements are true. When I left the line to do my business full time, I thought I'd have more freedom and flexibility to do the things I wanted to do, but this was far from the truth. I now work a desk job and when your boss never is far, and you see the same faces every day and have to deal with the same people's BS Monday - Friday ... it's a quick reminder that we really do have it (in the overall scheme of things) quite plush in the sky.

Could things be better? Sure. But I think it's a matter of picking the lesser of two evils ...
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
I know of many pilots doing just that.... It is indeed possible. I have a buddy here at SkyWest doing that as a first officer on the ERJ. He bids reserve, and is basically paid to sit at home playing video games since he is never called. And my friend at Spirit is on reserve during his first year, and flies perhaps five hours per month. He is currently recording songs for his rock band.
When the industry goes south again, let me know how long guys last who only got in the game to get paid to do nothing.
 

Cloud Surfer

All Roads lead to Trantor
When the industry goes south again, let me know how long guys last who only got in the game to get paid to do nothing.
I would be willing to bet a Delta captain's yearly salary that they would keep doing what they have always been doing: sitting on reserve, playing video games. :p
 

Markf64

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

After a failed 2-year business venture, I have decided to return to flying. I currently have about 2,500 TT, of which around 1,500 is SIC B737/8 time (expat Copa Airlines flying).

I've been browsing around the different job listings, and though I seem to meet the published minimums at some of the major carriers, I must ask - What do you think my odds really are after being absent from flying for two years and no college degree?

A little background: I worked as a CFI and imagery pilot but left for Copa before being picked up by a regional. As I left for Copa with only a CMEL, I never obtained my FAA ATP. I did, however, complete my ATP written and required CTP course after returning to the US. No ding/dents on record or checkride/written failures (YET!) knocks on wood

I'm in my mid-thirties, single and quite flexible in terms of where I can live and equipment I fly. I would prefer a carrier that would allow me quite a bit of time at home -- even if this means sitting on reserve.

Long story short, I am looking for suggestions as to which path(s) would be best and realistically attainable in my current state. Also, has anyone been through a similar transition? If so, what materials would you recommend for bringing myself back up to speed aside from the FAR/AIM?

Many thanks in advance!


Welcome back to flying. I just saw an UPS add for pilots over in the jobs available thread, with a degree as preferred. My guess is that being UPS, a degree is probably 'required' but I'll let theUPS guys speak to that. There are a few of them running loose on this website.
 

Fearless

Dash Dominatrix
Panda -

I think you could easily get hired by a regional or possibly a LCC (say Allegiant, Spirit, or Frontier). You'll need to get current. Most of the regionals want to see 50 or 60 hours in the last 6 months. I'd concentrate on the instrument stuff. You could probably substitute SOME simulator or FTD time for part of the actual flight time.

At my regional, classes are filled for the next 5 or 6 months.

Many of the regionals are somewhat fat on pilots right now, although this can depend on what regional / what base / what equipment. I think our management got spooked a couple of years ago when they realized that the "pilot shortage" might be a real thing. As a result, we have a lot of guys sitting around on reserve and not doing too much. This is VERY unusual for our company. Our management generally views unused reserves as "deadbeats" and generally isn't happy until 100% of the reserves are working 100% of the time. Most of the time, being on reserve is the WORST possible flying job at our company. Lineholders do O.K. I get about 14-16 days off per month.

Good luck!
 
Hi all,

After a failed 2-year business venture, I have decided to return to flying. I currently have about 2,500 TT, of which around 1,500 is SIC B737/8 time (expat Copa Airlines flying).

I've been browsing around the different job listings, and though I seem to meet the published minimums at some of the major carriers, I must ask - What do you think my odds really are after being absent from flying for two years and no college degree?

A little background: I worked as a CFI and imagery pilot but left for Copa before being picked up by a regional. As I left for Copa with only a CMEL, I never obtained my FAA ATP. I did, however, complete my ATP written and required CTP course after returning to the US. No ding/dents on record or checkride/written failures (YET!) knocks on wood

I'm in my mid-thirties, single and quite flexible in terms of where I can live and equipment I fly. I would prefer a carrier that would allow me quite a bit of time at home -- even if this means sitting on reserve.

Long story short, I am looking for suggestions as to which path(s) would be best and realistically attainable in my current state. Also, has anyone been through a similar transition? If so, what materials would you recommend for bringing myself back up to speed aside from the FAR/AIM?

Many thanks in advance!
I thought Copa didn't take expats. At least that what I was told once.
 
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