Real Answers from Real Pilots

Regional choice

(Jacob Wilson) #1

So I decided to do ATP after I get my degree next June, thanks to Chris and Adam’s advice, appreciate the responses.
I already have a good friend who is also in ATP right now, and is trying to get the license so I learn a lot from her about the ATP agreement with the regional
So my question is I know you can get a interview with Great Lake with only 200 hours, and become a FO there. since I wont have the ATPL license, will the time I work there as FO actually go on the record, or will it just disappear or not take into consideration in the future?
I am wondering if this is a good option, because my goal as of now is probably Cathay Pacific/Emirate, and it seem like ME time is more important to them, and I cant really get ME as a instructor. It will probably be Beech 1900D that I will be flying if I decide to go with this route, just want to ask if what I am thinking is actually doable/ realistic. Or if you guys have other advice for me. Thanks



Great Lakes is in a different category than other regionals as they operate under a different set of rules because they only carry nine people at a time. So yes, you can go to work there with a lot less time. And yes, your flight time there will count, but I would doubt that it is really the kind of flight time that Cathay Pacific or Emirates would want to see. It might be multi-engine time, but it isn’t jet time and that is what airlines really want to see. I would recommend sticking with the more traditional regional airlines, but that is just me.




I agree with Chris on this one. Great Lakes can be very inviting because it allows you to basically skip the flight instruction phase, but if your plan is to move on up, turboprop time isn’t the ideal option.
I recommend that you put the topic aside for now and focus on flight training. You will learn a lot about the industry during the 6 months of ATP and then you will be able to make a much more educated decision based on your personal preferences.


(Jacob Wilson) #4

Thanks for the replies, I will definitely keep that in mind. I will start fall 2017, so now i am just wondering which option can possibly work for me. Thanks for the advice again.


Hey Jacob,

I have a slightly different opinion then Chris and Yarden on this one. Great Lakes is a way to build time other than flight instructing and there’s nothing wrong with that. But do not suppose that Cathay or Emirates will look at you coming out of Great Lakes. It would be the same as an ATP instructor with 1500 hrs applying to them as a first airline. Cathay has some of the toughest hiring practices in the industry and you’d be competing with pilots with thousand of hours of turbine PIC and Emirates is right there too. Jacob it’s great to have aspirations and with hard work there’s a great chance you can fly at any airline you choose, but this is serious business and there are no short cuts.


(Jacob Wilson) #6

Thanks for the input Adam. I am not looking for a short cut, I am just thinking in the future when I do apply for the airlines, instead of instructing in a SE aircraft, being a FO in a ME one will give me a bit of an advantage on the resume. I am hoping to get my goal by the early to mid 30s, and by the time I start training, I will be 23. If I go with this route, and lets say I work there for couple years until I reach the 1500-2000 hours, I can still apply to other regional and from there work my way up to the major? Thank for the response again.



Yes, you can apply to the regionals in between Great Lakes and the majors, in fact you will have to. I see where you plan is coming from and it does have its merits, although with the industry where it is right now it won’t really matter if your instructing time is largely in a single engine airplane, as long as you have about 100 hours of multi-engine time.

One thing that being an FO at Great Lakes will not do for you is build Pilot-In-Command time, which being a CFI will. This isn’t really a big deal, just something to think about.




Yes as I said I would really look at Great Lakes as simply an alternative to flight instructing. Once you build your 1500 hrs moving over to a 121 Regional and getting the turbine time, THEN you can talk to the folks at Emirates and Cathay. BTW, I have friends who worked at Cathay, apparently you need a engineering level of comprehension regarding aerodynamics so start studying now! :slight_smile:


(Jacob Wilson) #9

Thanks for the info, I dont know they have that requirement. Definitely will look into it!



It’s not really a formal 'requirement", they just dig considerably deeper into aerodynamics than your average carrier.


(Jacob Wilson) #11

Ah okay, thx for the info Adam.