Real Answers from Real Pilots

Career Change from IT w/ 1500 Hours Already

Long time listener, first-time caller here. :slight_smile:

I’m looking to make a career change from the IT field to the airlines and am hoping for a review of my plans and feedback from this community. A bit about me:

Age: 44 (I’ll just be turning 46 when I go to a regional.)
Hours: 1651 total (1597 PIC); 44 multi; 978 instruction given; ** 319 X/C **
College: BS in Communication (1996) & MBA (2001); 49 aviation credit hours in the 1990’s while working on my BS in Communication with no aviation degree received

My flying “career” has been on and off. I actively flew 1992-2000 as a student, instructor, and jump pilot. I took off 2000-2014 due to work & life. I flew again 2014-2017 as an instructor. Life got in the way again the last half of 2017 but I’m actively flying again now. I’m planning to apply at a regional late May 2019 (gotta get the 2-year mark at my current job first due to relocation assistance).

My plan to get to get to a regional in May 2019 is:

  • Fly X/C flights between now and then to get to 500+ hours (no instruction)
  • Do a bit of studying towards ATP (I feel my private / instrument / commercial knowledge is up to par due to recent instructing)
  • Loose weight to get under 30 BMI for general health reasons (ok, so that’s a personal goal - current 280 pounds at 6’0")

My questions:

  1. Would getting an MEI (and in effect boost my multi hours to 50+) be necessary?
  2. Is it fine to do personal flying for the 180 X/C hours or would it be better to get most of that time volunteering for Angel Flight / Pilots for Paw / other charities?
  3. Do I even need that 180 hours X/C given the college courses I took (remember - no aviation degree)? Regardless, I have to fly actively during the next 15 months anyway.
  4. What else am I missing or what else should I do in the next 15 months?

Edit: corrected year to apply to 2019.

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Eric,

Let’s see if we can’t help so here goes:

  1. No need. You have your ME rating. While an ATP requires 50hrs of ME time, up to 25 can be in a sim and you’ll get the 6 you need from the Regional that hires you as part of your ATP CTP training. Save your money.

  2. You need 500hrs X/C, the reg makes zero reference to whether it’s personal or otherwise. Why would it matter?

  3. Not sure why you would think your college courses would reduce your flight time but they won’t.

  4. I think you’ve got a solid plan. I recommend you contact the Regionals you’re interested in and tell them exactly where you are and they can tell you exactly what you need. The Regionals are desperate for bodies and if there is anything you’re missing they can tell you for certain.

Adam

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Eric,

Let’s get to your questions:

  1. No need to get an MEI, although it would of course not hurt.

  2. Personal flying is just fine, just get the time.

  3. College has no bearing on flight time requirements unless you graduated from an approved aviation program,

  4. It sounds like you have a pretty good plan. Like Adam said, Iw ould contact a few recruiting departments and run your situation past them.

Chris

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Thanks Chris and Adam. I appreciate your advise. I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions as time draws near!

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