Real Answers from Real Pilots

Current and Former Students, Please Check In

Kamrin,

Thank you for the update and pictures! The 767 is a wonderful airplane to fly, I am sure you are really enjoying it. Those routes and destinations look cool as well.

Such a great success story, thank you again.

Chris

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Kamrin,
Wow, what a jump! So cool to see you take a risk leaving what was good in pursuit of something great! Good for you. Thanks for the update and the pics! As you continue taking on new routes and have stories, come back and bring us updates! :slight_smile:
-Hannah

This is a HUGE step for you, Kamrin!!! :grin: It sounds like you’re living your best life. I’m really happy for you!

I’m curious to know what your experiences will be like as a cargo pilot. We don’t chat with many on the forum. It would be good to get your perspective on the industry.

Tory

P.S. I heard you ran into my buddy at Contour! I know this was a while ago, but if my memory serves me well you guys were sim partners? I was happy to hear you guys got connected.

Trying to remember who that was? I do remember you coming up with someone in conversation but just can’t figure it out.

Joey P?

Ah yeah. That was Ameriflight. Last time I talked to him he was a captain at boutique I think?

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Congrats @kcbaker! That’s great news! I have an upcoming interview with ABX air and was wondering if I could pick your brain for a bit. Thanks in advance!

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Time to check in. Well i have time since i tested positive and have to do a 14 day quarantine per company policy. Regionals life, real possibilities. Crash pad coworker tested positive and i had to get tested, no symptoms at first and now I have what looks a strong cold.

Anyway, quick recap: April off 2020 i finished my type rating for the e-175. After being sent home to get ready for IOE, covid hit big time and had to sit and wait. October of 2020 came and i was furloughed. December came and i was furloughed no more , but was listed as inactive employee.
Took an Amazon delivery driver job, got in shape and finally was recalled for June 28 class date.
Came back around for a second round of what i did back in April, but this time for the e145.

Thank you covid! now i have two type ratings!!
Well, let’s go to the fun part! I finished my training and type rating in September, and 3 days after i was on my first trip of IOE! Keep in mind i am ORD based so for those of you who fly or have flown into Ord, you know the level of craziness you can find!
It took me all two ioe trips to get comfortable with the radios but once you get the hang of it, piece of pie!

Flying the 145 was another story, it became natural and my most criticized item was flatting a little too low. Line check was fantastic. GRB to ORD, IOE CA and also my line check airman was great. We had an observer (jumpseater) soo i had full eyes on me. We take to the runway and after d completing my flows, it was my turn to fly us back. CA looks at me and says “Shirley, we are counting on you!” Needless to say the rest of the trip was uneventful and actually one of my most demanding fun flights ever! Did i pass, yes i did, but not perfect. Soo during IOE the one thing that got all new FOs was slamming the nose wheel after touchdown. You need to break the fall by using back pressure on the yoke. Well i was soo thrilled of completing ioe that i completely forgot to arrest the nose and slam dunked it! The whole trip didn’t do it once, but it had to be sitting line check! Afterwards we talk about it, we laughed about it and it was time to move on.

I missed the bud windows for October (since i was in IOE) and Crew scheduling has a great feast with it. But overall I flew 26 hrs for October. Bud bid came out for November and got a nice reserve schedule with three days off i needed. Flew a total 2.44 hrs. December is reserve again but i get 23, 24 and 25 off.

I’m not to return until December 3rd which is my first day of reserve in December. I have to consolidate by January 3rd so i suspect i will be busy flying this coming month.

For all of you who think you are too old to do this, maybe yes or maybe not; training and getting your hours is one thing, but the real challenge starts when you become a commuter.
When you leave your family and see you wife and kids maybe a couple of hours between you getting home and having to leave again.
You laugh now at those memes where the pilot is seen at the gate waving at the flight been pushed back… until you are the one on the picture in you overnight at the airport because is too late to shuttle out anywhere and hotels are booked!
Living in a crash pad sharing 20 out of 31 days with 4 to 6 other guys at the same time. Walking everywhere to get groceries, or to the airport and back to get to your flight. Or like others that had to buy a cheap disposable car to move around.
Let me explain, is not a complain but this is what people don’t want to hear. Reserve life is difficult but are you prepared to pay the price?
Look, here i am, quarantined after a crash pad coworker tested positive and soo did I, and we both are fully vaccinated! It’s part of the risk but if the rewards outweigh them, why shouldn’t you do it? It is not about the money.
No matter what they say, your first 5 years you will not see anything better than a 35-50k year income.
My first year as student i had a -84k income! Second year some months I saw 7.89 /hr and some other 17.00/ hr depending on student loan. Lst year was supposed to be better but covid hit, soo i don’t count it. Fourth year! Things are finally looking brighter, but we still have a long ways to go.

The hiring is real, the shortage is real but do you have what it takes to make through too the other side? I Im not trying to discourage anyone but make you think about all other factors. It takes a lot of Will and determination. Do you have it? Can you make the sacrifice? Then by all means do it!! Best of luck!!

Cesar,
I loved reading your post. You’ve had quite the wild ride these last two years or so. I had quite a few laughs talking about your IOE, being based out of ORD and Reserve life… only because I can TOTALLY relate! Im Chicago based on reserve right now as well. Part of me was relieved just to make it through training thinking, “the worst of it is over”. But really, it was just the start of a new challenging chapter but in a different way. Making it to the regionals is an amazing step but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and everything lovely. Reserve life is hard. It’s time away from family and lots of idle time. However, it’s just temporary! Being a pilot is truly the best job in the world… just comes with a few rough patches to endure before making it to the promise land :slight_smile:
-Hannah

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Cesar,

Thanks for the update. Covid def put a damper on our careers no matter where you are in the good chain. That said you seem to have come through it relatively unscathed. Believe it or not you’ll look back fondly on this time. All part of the process.

Adam

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Cesar! Welcome back and congratulations on completing IOE!

I must say, you sir have had your fair share of obstacles to overcome. It sounds like you are taking it in strides all while maintaining a positive attitude.

It’s good to hear from you!

Tory

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Cesar,

Thank you for sharing your insights and congratulations on getting to the line.

As many of you know, I adamantly preach against commuting. I have done it my entire career and wish that I had not. This is one of the only industries where people do not have to live where they work. Do yourself a huge favor and move to within a two hour drive of your base. Your family and you will be much better off in the long run.

Chris

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Hi

Hannah!
thanks for your comment! Yes reserve life is part of the little things that we don´t consider when signing the ¨I do¨ with the regional of our choice. My best friend who is a over 10000 hr CA told me, choose the regional that best gives you quality of life. I never understood what he meant until now. But my choice was not QOL but other perks and factors that benefited more the family than myself. The important thing is to have a positive attitude!
The good thing is that as you grow on seniority you will be less reserve and closer to getting a line which in turn, changes things!
Hope to meet you sometime in ORD!

Adam, Tory,

Yes, I have come quite unscathed compared to what you guys have lived through. I was furloughed, rehired, done two type ratings and suffered of a serious virus in less time than anyone else, but my case is the norm for most of our 2020 class. The only point I wanted to try to get across my post was that you need to always remain positive, as much hard as it gets. I Believe you when you say ¨you´ll look at it back fondly … ¨ If I would change anything since I started, it would be to try to start it much sooner!
I hope my experience gives answers to many ¨Am I too old to do this¨questions. I am 47 now and started this when i was 44. The only time it will be too late is when you try to do it and realize in fact it is too late and you should have done it before.

Chris,
Yes, commuting is hard and not ideal, and I agree with you that the best ideal situation is to live in base.
But I would like to suggest the following:
First, regional life can have you 3 months on a base and suddenly you get displaced to another base, and then back. Not ideal uprooting a whole family for this situation, so best to coupe as best as you can for that initial part.
If you are young, and don’t have a family to uproot, or if it is only two, yes, living in base is completely doable and the best deal ever!
I was highly suggested by CA friends to wait until you are at a major to considering uprooting and moving to base.
Also your living might depend on state and federal taxes. If my base is LAX, but my income is MIA, maybe LAX living is not ideal situation. NOw if it where the other way around, that would be another story.
I think living in base has to be considered by each individually depending on where the bases are located, the regional or major you are looking at, taxes, family situation, etc. MAybe we could start a whole new subject about it,but at the end, living in base would be the most ideal situation!

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Got another update. Today I completed the simulator portion of my initial training at Horizon Air, which means I officially have an ATP certificate and Q400 type rating!

With flying slowing down going into the winter and a growing pool of new hire FO’s needing to complete IOE, I likely won’t actually fly for a while, so I’ll have to do my best to stay up on flows and procedures while I wait my turn to do IOE. But I’m excited to get out and start flying when I get the chance!

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Kyle,

That is awesome news, congratulations!! What are your initial thoughts on the Q400?

Chris

I think it’s a pretty fun airplane. It has some features that, to me, seem very advanced and sophisticated as well as some quirks, especially with the autopilot panel and FMS that just make you scratch your head. Definitely took some practice for me to get decent at the single engine stuff like V1 cuts and single engine missed approaches.

Kyle,

I’ve never flown one but I’m thinking when you got those big props out there and one stops spinning, it’s gotta be wayyyyy different than a Seminole!

Adam