The start of a new career outside military / corporate pilot interest

gwill10

New Member
Background: I'm currently 26 years old. I just got off active duty Navy about 9 months ago and am currently a reservist. I served 8 years as a helicopter crew chief in MH-53E Sea Dragons with 1300hrs and 5 deployments. I am now a UAV operator for a reserve NSW unit and start multiple UAS qualification courses this March. I will be mobilizing with my unit for one year starting November to include another deployment. I am currently taking online courses with Embry Riddle Worldwide to obtain an BS in Aviation Business Administration with a minor in UAS. Keep in mind, I won't be done with my mobilization and begin to start flight training until I am at least 28yrs old. Which means I probably won't be done with all my pilot ratings until I am at least 30. Is this a good age to start something like this?

Career Intentions: I originally had the idea to fly UAV's as a military contractor once my reserve mobilization is complete. Now, I have an itch to fly as a corporate pilot. I had originally planned on taking flight courses with Embry Riddle at their Prescott Campus and it is still an option as I live 20 min from the campus. But I'm not sure if this is the best route to take to obtain the ratings needed at a decent price and in a timely manner.

Questions:

Degree: The R-ATP requirements are only applicable to certain FAA-approved aviation degrees here at ERAU, with the Aviation Business Administration degree NOT being one of them. Should I change me degree so I can knock 500hrs off my total flight time requirement? Is this a degree that will be helpful for me in the corporate aviation industry? I feel like having this degree would be beneficial in more ways than having an aeronautical science/professional pilot degree. Everyone says to have a backup plan and an actual degree you can use if becoming a pilot doesn't happen (for whatever reason that may be).

Certs/Ratings: I have searched some corporate pilot positions just to see the requirements and some do require an ATP cert and some don't. If I'm considering corporate flying as my ultimate end-goal, should I start at the regionals to obtain my ATP rating and build hours? Or can I get by without one? Would flying for the regionals seem like a waste of time if I already know I want to fly corporate? I understand many of you say flying corporate is all about networking so I am currently asking around (yes, I know it is an early start). I got extremely lucky that I have a engineering friend at a local energy company who got me a meet-and-greet with their current flight crews and the Direct of Flight Ops next week. What questions should I ask? What is important for me to know before meeting them?

What certifications should I prioritize obtaining first (besides the obvious PPL, Instrument, Commercial)? Should I focus on building Multi Engine flight hours? MEI? ATP?

Building hours: ERAU does have a program in place that offers students flight instructor positions to build hours before heading off to a career. Is this something I should consider? Or should I get my ratings somewhere else, where I can possibly obtain them sooner and apply for a CFI position before I even graduate? Keep in mind, I will be around 30yrs old by the time I finish my degree and all of the ratings with them. I just don't want to postpone a career any longer than I need to.

If you don't recommend ERAU for flight time/ratings, where else would you recommend in the Phoenix area? I've looked at ATP but after hearing all about it on here, I don't think that's the best option.

I have another friend who is a regional FO at Skywest. He started his career flying helicopters as a CFII to build flight time and transitioned later. He recommend to fly with the same business now that they offer fixed wing instruction. He also said he can get in contact with the Director of Flight Ops with SkyDiveAZ to build hours in Skyvans and Twin Otters if needed.

Bottom line:

-What ratings should I prioritize my time and money to become a corporate pilot?
-Is it possible (or recommended) to skip the airlines completely and instead focus on building hours to apply ?


Thank you for your time and I appreciate all feedback.


Very Respectfully,

Grayson
 

tbflyer

Well-Known Member
See bold
Background: I'm currently 26 years old. I just got off active duty Navy about 9 months ago and am currently a reservist. I served 8 years as a helicopter crew chief in MH-53E Sea Dragons with 1300hrs and 5 deployments. I am now a UAV operator for a reserve NSW unit and start multiple UAS qualification courses this March. I will be mobilizing with my unit for one year starting November to include another deployment. I am currently taking online courses with Embry Riddle Worldwide to obtain an BS in Aviation Business Administration with a minor in UAS. Keep in mind, I won't be done with my mobilization and begin to start flight training until I am at least 28yrs old. Which means I probably won't be done with all my pilot ratings until I am at least 30. Is this a good age to start something like this?

Career Intentions: I originally had the idea to fly UAV's as a military contractor once my reserve mobilization is complete. Now, I have an itch to fly as a corporate pilot. I had originally planned on taking flight courses with Embry Riddle at their Prescott Campus and it is still an option as I live 20 min from the campus. But I'm not sure if this is the best route to take to obtain the ratings needed at a decent price and in a timely manner.
I too am a UAS operator, with 8 years active duty. Then 3 as a contractor. IO/SO qualified.
If you want to get a good contractor job do everything in your power to get IO qualified.


Questions:

Degree: The R-ATP requirements are only applicable to certain FAA-approved aviation degrees here at ERAU, with the Aviation Business Administration degree NOT being one of them. Should I change me degree so I can knock 500hrs off my total flight time requirement? Is this a degree that will be helpful for me in the corporate aviation industry? I feel like having this degree would be beneficial in more ways than having an aeronautical science/professional pilot degree. Everyone says to have a backup plan and an actual degree you can use if becoming a pilot doesn't happen (for whatever reason that may be).
The RATP only applies if you do the training at one of the campus'.

Certs/Ratings: I have searched some corporate pilot positions just to see the requirements and some do require an ATP cert and some don't. If I'm considering corporate flying as my ultimate end-goal, should I start at the regionals to obtain my ATP rating and build hours? Or can I get by without one? Would flying for the regionals seem like a waste of time if I already know I want to fly corporate? I understand many of you say flying corporate is all about networking so I am currently asking around (yes, I know it is an early start). I got extremely lucky that I have a engineering friend at a local energy company who got me a meet-and-greet with their current flight crews and the Direct of Flight Ops next week. What questions should I ask? What is important for me to know before meeting them?

What certifications should I prioritize obtaining first (besides the obvious PPL, Instrument, Commercial)? Should I focus on building Multi Engine flight hours? MEI? ATP?
Getting someone to pay for as many of your hours as possible. Use the GI bill for all it's worth. If you don't want to do regional, some corporate places will hire without the ATP but the GI bill will cover the ATP at several schools. if your heart is set on corporate having the ATP will open more doors. The hard part is getting from 250 to 1500.
Building hours: ERAU does have a program in place that offers students flight instructor positions to build hours before heading off to a career. Is this something I should consider? Or should I get my ratings somewhere else, where I can possibly obtain them sooner and apply for a CFI position before I even graduate? Keep in mind, I will be around 30yrs old by the time I finish my degree and all of the ratings with them. I just don't want to postpone a career any longer than I need to.
If you can get a CFI job to build your hours do it, the goal is to build enough hours to get the job you want.
This is only if you want to teach.


If you don't recommend ERAU for flight time/ratings, where else would you recommend in the Phoenix area? I've looked at ATP but after hearing all about it on here, I don't think that's the best option.
Use your GI bill at a 141, there is a tool that the VA has to search for flight schools by state and program
https://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchInstitutionCriteria.do;jsessionid=qtMbSxQFpzyL7GpnQrtnNGv6G9CGQQvb2YqM9Cvw3vB2pv2lXhfJ!-1531379871

I have another friend who is a regional FO at Skywest. He started his career flying helicopters as a CFII to build flight time and transitioned later. He recommend to fly with the same business now that they offer fixed wing instruction. He also said he can get in contact with the Director of Flight Ops with SkyDiveAZ to build hours in Skyvans and Twin Otters if needed.

Bottom line:

-What ratings should I prioritize my time and money to become a corporate pilot?
-Is it possible (or recommended) to skip the airlines completely and instead focus on building hours to apply ?


Yes you can skip the airline, there are 135 and fractionals that will hire you once over 1000ish hours. But you still need to get there.

As for ratings, get all the basics com sel+Mel inst and cfi++ if you plan on teaching.

Thank you for your time and I appreciate all feedback.


Very Respectfully,

Grayson
 
A minor in UAS?!? From an "accredited" institution? Holy F. The end-times are here.

As for the rest, get all your Civvy Certs/Ratings. Then instruct like your life depended on it... 'cause it will. Fly nothing but tailwheels and multis... preferably multi-tailwheels. Serve every student with the same intensity and focus as you apply to your own career advancement. After a couple thousand hours of this, call me. I'll have a job for you.
 

46Cub_Driver

Well-Known Member
A minor in UAS?!? From an "accredited" institution? Holy F. The end-times are here.

As for the rest, get all your Civvy Certs/Ratings. Then instruct like your life depended on it... 'cause it will. Fly nothing but tailwheels and multis... preferably multi-tailwheels. Serve every student with the same intensity and focus as you apply to your own career advancement. After a couple thousand hours of this, call me. I'll have a job for you.
Any suggestions of where to go to get experience teaching tailwheel and multi-tailwheel?
 
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