Real Answers from Real Pilots

Headed to ATP, stay as instructor after or go part 135?

Hello all, I’ve been watching posts on the forums for awhile but haven’t posted anything yet. Tons of great info on here! Anyway I’m headed to the the Mesa center (currently in the bay area) and will officially start 8/14 so I figured it was good time to say hello!

Between the time of coming out of ATP’s program and entering into the regionals, I know some people don’t stay with instructing but instead go on to a part 135 and work there to build up the hours required. Of course instructing for ATP has it’s benefits (and then again so would other places). I figuring it would also depend on who you’re on with or what you’re flying in, but what would be your general thoughts on this alternate route of going 135?

Thanks,
-Cody Spangenberg

Cody,

Opinions vary on the subject but I’m a big fan of instructing. While most people would rather start flying something bigger and faster equipment and wearing epaulets ASAP there’s really nothing that’s better for honing your skills than instructing. I don’t want to offend or frighten anyone but new pilots can be REALLY scary and can (and will) do some stupid stuff. If you’re not getting into the cockpit as a CFI thinking the person next to you is trying their best to end your life you don’t appreciate the volatility of your situation. Instructing, looking at for traffic AND trying not to die combine to make someone a very sharp pilot which is why I’m a huge fan of it. Ultimately of course it’s up to you.

Adam

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Cody,

I, too recommend instructing. Like Adam said, being a CFI is by far the best way to hone your skills and really turn you into a competent aviator. Plus, the airlines like to hire CFIs as they know that they are sharp and on top of their material.

I actually really enjoyed instructing. I got to meet alot of really interesting people and had fun sharing my knowledge.

Chris

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Cody,

Who do you think will stand out more in an interview at a regional? I
interviewed the same day as a regional airline pilot, an osprey pilot, and
a corporate pilot. Sure the other applicants had more experience than me,
but guess who shook hands with the chief pilot at the end of the day? The
humble FII, MEI with 900 hours in normally aspirated piston airplanes.

Part 135 flying is a good resume builder, but do yourself a favor and
instruct for at least a year first. You will be amazed at how much more you
will learn as an instructor in the first 3-6 months.

Tory

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Adam, Chris, & Tory,
Thanks for your insight guys, very valid points. You bring a ton of great stuff to these forums!

-Cody

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