Multi time is the key. An airline is interested in one thing when they hire you. They want to be fairly certain that you can pass their training program. One key indicator of this is your multi engine experience. Having ME time shows them you can fly a complex aircraft. A ME airplane by itself is more difficult to fly and master than a single engine turbine aircraft. (In most cases)
When you start training at your airline, they want to be able to focus on teaching you the aircraft specific items. They don't want to have to teach you, or give you time to become proficient in multi engine flying. Learning to fly with a different engine is fairly simple once you are a proficient multi engine pilot.
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That being said, how much multi-time would be considered competitive at this time?
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Enough that it isn't an issue. ..
Remember those days of 1000TT and 100ME were the MINIMIMUS back then, just so your app doesn't get tossed... But nowadays, the amount of ME time is only one of the factors that plays out. Figure on having a SOLID aviation background working in ANY aviation capacity for a few years. If you have 3000hrs TT and 30% is ME, but you have been working at Denny's I suspect a 2000hr CFI with 30% multi will pass you while you are standing in line.
How much multi is competitive?? Well let me put this way - I wouldn't mind flying for Comair(I can explain later if any body really cares why!) - I've had 8 resumes walked into the Chief Pilot and Pilot Recruiters by several friends that are currently pilots at Comair. My stats are 3650 total time, 2600 multi turbine time, 750 jet(including 265 in the CRJ). I have 3 type ratings - King Air 300, Challenger 600, and Challenger 604. I am currently flying the CL604 which is virtually identical to the CRJ except that the 604 is a little shorter. I have 121 airline experience at 2 previous airlines.
I can't even get Comair to call me! My first resume went in amost 5 months ago.
Am I saying that you need 3 or 4 or 5 thousand hours of multi time to be competitive? NO What I am saying is that there is such a huge number of pilots triing to find a job it's not just about hours anymore!! I don't mean to damper anyone's hopes but remember that for every guy out there with 500 hours of multi time there is a furloughed airline guy with 10,000 hours of multiengine jet time.
These days you need to have not only the hours but also incredible luck to get a flying job.
Just wondering is you subscribed to the theory that some pilots are "overqualified" for regional jobs....I've heard lots about that in recent years. Think maybe that's why they call you back? Just curious - I know a guy that interviewed (about 4 years ago) with Con Ex, and had 6,000 hours, about 4,000 ME, and and ATP....and they didn't hire him!!
Yeah Jason, I know of a few CFI's that are getting hired, at entry positions of course, with 1500 TT and 350 multi minimums. I think there could be an overqualified thing going on there.
It's not at all the same situation, but when I was looking for a summer job when I was in college running parts for a auto parts warehouse, they said I was overqualified. It didn't make sense to me. I was willing to accept the meanial pay and work hard for them. I just needed an extra job. I think they were looking for someone a little less ambitous. I don't know.
I had 1150tt and 43multi when I got hired to fly a BE1900. This was last week. There are some jobs available with low time, but you have look for them and be able to move. I came to Alaska because I knew there were jobs up here. They list minimums but they really don't mean anything here. If you walk your resume in, you normally talk directly to the chief pilot. The operators up here don't pay too much attention to resume's mailed in. They want someone that has been to Alaska and shows them enough interest to come in.
Quantity of flight time to a certain extent is needed, but quality of flight time is just as important. The military is competitive in that many of the pilots come out of the military to the airlines with much lower total hours than their average civilian counterpart, but still get airline jobs (I'm speaking hours only, not the rest of the hiring process).
Within the military, IMO, transport time is therefore far more lucrative than fighter time so far as airline hiring would be concerned. Guy flying USAF T-43s or USN C-40Bs (737 typed), or USAF KC-10s (DC-10 typed) or C-32s (757/767 typed) would definately have the edge over the F-16 guy who may have a ton of turbojet-ASEL time. Not just in the hours sense, but in the operational sense too: not much done in fighters carries over to flying heavy pax airliners, nor cargo airliners either, for that matter.