Hi everyone! I’ve been around the forum for a little bit and after much movement of my finances I’m finally able to start my journey here in ATP!
I always like to have a plan going into anything (and expecting that plan to change) and I was looking into becoming an Air Interdiction Agent in the US Customs and Border Patrol after graduation. I know a lot of people may not have experience in this route, however, I was wondering if these hours may be able to transfer over to a major? Or is going regional the only way to transfer into a major?
My two cents on this From when I looked at that job is that those positions are done in a Cessna 172. Which won’t get you the experience you Need to just skip the regionals.
Going to a Regional is not the only route. The problem is to the best of my knowledge CBP only flies single pilot piston aircraft and the Majors want some turbine and crew hours. There are Regional pilots with literally thousands of hours flying jets within the commercial airline sector which makes them much better candidates for a Major.
I think that working for Customs and Border Patrol sounds pretty interesting, but do it for that reason and because you believe in their mission, not as a path to the majors. The majors want to see jet time and you will not get that flying for Customs.
I appreciate the insight! After some digging, I found it is very hit or miss on the flight time as well. Not very conducive for getting up those hours anyways.
Would you say the majors look objectively at turbine/jet and crew hours as opposed to regional flying alone? I’ve looked at companies like “JSX” (I’m still learning all the terminology, so I am not sure what they are classified under. But I know it is not your typical regional) and was investigating going that route as well.
Thank you for the reply.
I agree, I’ve always looked towards law enforcement agencies with respect. Though, I think in this particular position, it would be more law enforcement with a sprinkle of flying rather than flying with a sprinkle of law enforcement.
JSX is a small Regional/Charter operation flying ERJs. I suppose time built there would be as good as any? My question is why would you choose to work there vs the more conventional Regionals and why the desire to go a different route or are you simply looking for alternatives?
I’m not convinced that JSX will be able to provide a direct path to the majors. The majors really prefer to see quality time at a regional. Exceptions can be made, but they are usually given to pilots with military experience. I haven’t heard of anyone going directly to a major from a charter, even the ones with 10,000+ hours (my perspective is limited. Just an observation). It may help and you may not spend as much time at a regional if you gain TPIC xp at JSX, but I don’t see it taking any less time than if you were to start with a regional from the beginning.
I mean after two years as an AIA, getting paid $114,000 to fly around 206s doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world. I’d imagine that goes a long way in the remote areas you’re stationed in.
Nobody said it would or wouldn’t. Gavin originally asked if flying for AIA, Border Patrol or JSX would suffice to move directly to a major. I’m just saying I don’t think flying for either would be enough to achieve the goal of reaching a major if that’s the goal.
Gotcha. Just saying if you like fly low and slow, it’s not a bad career alternative to the airlines. Less in career earnings, but unrivaled job security.
Didn’t Southwest regularly pull Phenom 100/300 PICs from Executive Airshare for their new hire classes before COVID-19? Also, FedEx hired the Director of Operations from my small family owned Part 135 last year.
A lot of my experience in Aviation has made me a firm believer that “who you know” is worth just as much as “what you know”. I am still considered low time but am expected to become the director of training at my company in he next couple of weeks. Build the resume, build the multi engine turbine PIC time and I think the world could be yours for the taking once everything settles with the virus and the flying public returns in large numbers again.
Everyone knows a guy who knows a guy who ended up beating the odds and that’s great but ultimately it’s about those odds. The vast majority of Major airline newhires came from Regionals and that’s not likely to change. No one is saying there aren’t other routes but again your chances are much better following the herd.
Yes, everyone knows a guy. Maybe I should’ve left that out so it wouldn’t muddy up my main point/question. I’m a 135 guy while I still work towards 1500 and wait for airlines to start hiring again and in my part of the industry Executive Airshare was “the place to be” before COVID because the rumor was Southwest pulled from them regularly. I was asking to see if anyone could confirm since Tory stated he had not heard of anyone going Charter direct to a major.
I have heard of a few pilots going straight from charter companies to the majors, but they are few and far between.
I’m currently at Southwest and every 91/135 pilot that I have met here put over 2 decades into their career before getting the call from SWA. There may be exceptions and slightly lower numbers, but it is definitely the long route. And usually the least common background of anyone in new hire classes.
I also said my perspective was limited, which Jordan’s reply affirmed.
It was just a question, not a personal attack, or trying to argue that the regionals are or are not the better route.
Thanks for the insight and answering the question, Jordan.