Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flying experience but no recency...best way forward?

So, I’m a little less than a year from transitioning out of the military at age 42, and timing for the airlines is looking good! But…it’s been about 7 yrs since I’ve flown a manned aircraft (all my recent time is UAV). Before that, I racked up about 2300 ME jet time, so while my numbers may look good, they’re “old” numbers! My goal is to get to a major (Hawaiian being my top choice!), but my question is how best to get to that point. I imagine they won’t even look at me without recent (manned) time, so do I not approach them until spending some 121 time with the regionals, or do I show interest early? I’m assuming I’ll spend a year or three flying with a regional…given my long term goal, is there any advantage to trying out with someone like Island Air vs a contintental based regional, or is it the other way around given aircraft types/size and experience with a variety of destinations? Between now and when I’m “available”, I plan to knock out the ATP/CTP and written on my own dime, because I think it will demonstrate at least a currency of knowledge, and given the current regional bonuses I may see some of that $ back anyway. However, I’d be happy to hear of any holes in my plans.

Tim

(BTW, I posted here vs airlinepilotcentral because I’ve seen a lot of discussions degrade into unexplained opinions there, but have been impressed with the quality/impartiality of answers given by the mentors here…just sayin)

Tim,

While you will most likely need to start at a regional, it is never too
early to put in an application at a major (Hawaiian in your case). You
never know when the metrics will change. Get your application in and just
keep updating it.

Tory

Aloha Tim,

Not sure if you know but I’m the resident Hawaiian Airlines guy since I’m a Hawaiian A330 FO (soon to be 717CA). So here’s a couple of fun facts you might not know. First, Hawaiian Airlines LOVES the military. We actually have (percentage wise) more former and current military than any other airline in the country so that’s a huge plus. So how best for you to get here? Now at 42 you’re not old but you surely don’t want to waste time so here’s my 2cents. Forget Island Air, SkyWest and every other Regional you’re thinking about. If I were Tim I would give the fine folks at Empire Airlines in Hayden ID a call. Now you’re probably wondering why would Adam suggest I call a relatively small turbo-prop cargo operator in Idaho? Well here’s Fun Fact #2. Empire Airlines also operates Ohana by Hawaiian (aka Hawaiian’s Regional partner) and they are having a heck of a time finding pilots to come to the Aloha State. To entice would be pilots they’re currently offering a $5000 hiring bonus (which should cover most of your ATP/CTP), a starting salary of $60k (almost double any Regional AND Hawaiian’s first year pay) AND (are you ready?) a guaranteed interview with Hawaiian Airlines! Soooo, if I were you I would bangout that ATP/CTP stuff, get yourself current and give them a call.
http://www.empireairlines.com/careers/ohana/

While I hesitate to make promises and there are of course no guarantees, I’d be willing to bet a whole lot of money being former military and flying for Ohana you’ll be my FO in min time.

Adam

Guys , thanks, that is good info!

Adam, I was hoping you’d chime in! :slightly_smiling_face: Didn’t know some of that, and I’m liking your suggestion. They wouldn’t have trouble convincing me to move to the Aloha state, I’ve spent a few years in Guam and love the island life.

Thanks again,
Tim

No worries Tim,

One of our IT guys just went to Empire and he loves it. Says it’s a great place to work, good equipment, great Interisland flying, and as I said they all just got big raises. I’d give them a call and explain your situation, they may be able to fast track you some?

Adam

Thanks Adam,

I will plan on doing just that --there doesn’t seem to be a downside. Turboprops will be a new thing for me, but hey, it’s flying! I don’t expect any special treatment, but who knows, with a little luck maybe I will see you as your FO someday on one of your HNL-NRT lines! Love the Pacific. Fair warning: if questions come up along the way, I may just bother you again!

Tim

That’s what we’re here for Tim!

But I hope you’re wrong about the HNL-NRT. I’m really over long haul and hope to be back to II soon. Hopefully I can resist the money and stay there for good?

Adam

1 Like

Haha, fair enough, I can’t blame you for that! During some of my longer flights, after the 2ND air refueling :roll_eyes:, I was ready to be DONE!

BTW, as far as references, my situation is a bit weird…recent ones can attest to character/UAV flying, but flying references would be pretty dated…would you list a few of each, or…?

Tim

Tim,

I think your recent ones will be fine for Ohana (or whichever Regional) and then get a few from the recent flying and you’ll be set. Usually the more the merrier but if we’re talking over 10yrs old I don’t think they’d be beneficial.

Adam

Copy that, thx!

Tim