Just a quick question here. Currently a PPL student that plans on powering through given the current economic condition. My question is do the regionals care how you get your 1500 hours? Do they prefer flight instructors over somebody that has their own plane and flies it a ton? Just trying to plan ahead here, considering buying a Cessna 150 and flying with a buddy to cut fuel costs and get to 1500.
Short answer is no. You’ve got the 1500hrs, a clean record and you will get hired. Getting hired is easy. Successfully completing newhire training is not. You will be put in a sim and you will be expected to have VERY solid instrument skills. All your focus will be on learning the airplane and the airlines procedures. If you’ve spent the last year buzzing the pattern and taking short $100 hamburger hops in your 150 you’re going to have an issues.
This is one of the reasons the Regionals are experiencing such high washout rates. They’re grabbing everyone with 1500hrs some of who were solely looking at quantity and not quality.
While 1,500 hours is 1,500 hours, the regionals do tend to think more highly of CFI time. Now chances are you could get hired just fine with 1,500 hours that you flew with your friend, but odds are that kind of flight time will not do much to help your flying skills. In fact, it will probably be pretty detrimental to them. I personally feel that being a CFI is the absolute best way to build your flight time, while still learning. Not to mention the fact that you will be getting paid to fly instead of shelling out your own money.
Have you heard from colleagues what the current washout rate is for new pilot hires are at the regionals? I saw from a post 3 years ago that you stated from your own experience, when regionals were more selective I’m sure, was 10%. Now that they are less selective, I’m curious how much higher that number is today if you know.
I actually did hear from one friend that it had almost doubled. Honestly I’m not sure if it’s the selection process as it’s more applicants not appreciating it’s not simply the quantity of the hours but the quality. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to hit the magic 1500 which I understand, but there’s a reason the FAA made those the mins for an ATP. It’s supposed to be sufficient time to build a fair amount of skill and experience but again if you’re simply counting and not trying to improve you’re literally just wasting time.
Makes sense, but still hard to believe after all those written exams, studying, training, and checkrides, not to mention 1500 hours of any type of flying, that approximately 20% (or even 10%) of people are still failing at the regionals as new hires. If nothing else, this will hopefully keep me from getting complacent once I get that job hire offer that there is more to come before I put on those 3 strips as a FO. Thanks for the insight.
Actually it shouldn’t be hard to believe. Pilot skills are “perishable” skills. I can tell you if I haven’t flown for more than a few weeks it requires a little extra attentiveness on my part. Many pilots build time with VFR flying (initial instruction, banner tow, scenic tours) which does zero for your IFR skills. When you show up for newhire training you’re expected to be a VERY competent Instrument pilot. If you haven’t shot an approach in a year, or only practiced that one ILS and your home field you will have some difficulties. Some people think I learned this skill, passed the checkride I’m good. It’s not enough. You MUST be current.
Fair enough. I must say this actually makes me feel better. Since I’m on deployment, I purchased the entire King School Professional Pilot courses back in November and was lucky enough to complete the PPL course and take the PAR a month later while on R&R scoring 95%. Since returning to my deployment, I completed and took notes on both the Instrument and Commercial King courses, studying non-stop for 2-3 weeks for each course in addition to my job, then taking a 2-3 week break after I finish each respective course (I plan on brushing up for a couple days then taking the actual exams once I return to the states). As I write this, I am currently taking CFI courses which is mostly material I already learned. Before watching the each video, I am jumping to the questions and am shocked how much I am forgetting after taking about a 2 or 3 week break in between each course. It makes me feel dumb asking myself “what do those numbers mean on the sectional chart again”. At least it’s not just me.
I have some questions about newhire training. I heard that there is a lot of information that must be studied but on the other hand, there is information that really doesn’t need to be studied and knowing what you need to study and can “ignore” is difficult. I’ve also heard that it is recommended to seek the advice of the more senior people in your class and that those who try to lone wolf newhire training will have a difficult time. As you can tell, all of this is hear/say so I want to get actual opinions from those who experienced this. How/what did y’all do that helped you get through newhire training. Also, are the 121 checkrides based off the ACS or a different set of standards and are you able access the standards beforehand as we can with the ACS? Thank you.
Couple of things. First there will not be any senior pilots in your newhire class. You’re all newhires. That said inevitably there will be gouges floating around and your instructors will provide you with study guides etc. Everyone wants you to be successful. What they will not do is hold you hand and no there is no ACS as each airline has their own curriculum. They will point you in the right direction but it’s YOU that needs to do the work.
The airline will use an AQP syllabus which you will have access to. Expectations should be set in the beginning of training. This is a good opportunity for you to ask your questions if you need direction. Some airlines also have mentorship programs. Connecting with a mentor is a good idea.
Once you get to new hire training, you will have access to all of your study materials. It’s like eating an elephant. One bite at a time. As you progress through the training, you will be guided through the syllabus. If you ever have questions or need clarification, the instructors will be able to help. If you can’t speak to an instructor or you want a second opinion, reach out to a mentor.
The syllabus should provide a window into what lies ahead so you should always be able to stay on top of the next lesson.
And unless other airlines do it differently, you are not hired as a captain. You’re hired as an FO. If you pass training in the right seat, you bid for CA upgrade just like anyone else. If awarded, then CA training starts. Get ready to sit reserve as almost everyone above you will have at least 2-3+ years of seniority on you.
Typically the airlines that are hiring direct entry captains are those that have a high flight time requirement to be a captain, say either 1,000 hours of jet time or 3,000 hours of total flight time. The airline might have a large pool of first officers that do not yet meet those requirements, so they cannot yet upgrade. The airline will hire other pilots with prior airline experience who do meet those requirements.