Getting into the Cargo side of things

Hi there, i am a 30 year old, highly considering a career as a pilot. I do not want to fly tourist though. I want to fly cargo… for obvious reasons if you know anything about FARs. I have my SEL, HP rating, retract. Commercial endorsement.I have about 800 hours in 152s,172s,182s, PA-28. I want to further my career. Im a stick and rudder guy, not a classroom guy. I enjoy low approaches, spin recovery and ILS approaches that i have piloted “under the supervision of a CFI”

What is my best move going foward???

I know quite a bit about the FARs but not sure why that would make you want to fly cargo? (Btw we also fly people other than tourists).

Regardless you need to complete your training. You’ll definitely need a your Instrument and multi ratings and then you could apply for some light cargo ops. Know that the major cargo carriers require ATP ratings and that’ll mean at least 1500hrs.



You pretty much can’t do anything without an instrument and commercial rating. You could apply to some part 135 light cargo carriers flying Cessna caravans to build time. From there, you’ll need to get your CMEL and ATP and build part 121 turbine time. The only way you’re going to do that is flying passengers through a regional airline. Now Atlas could hire you with as little as 500 hours of 121 time but if you’re dreaming about the US giants (FedEx/UPS), you’re going to need to build more time.

After 1000 hours of 121, you can upgrade to captain. Right now, Fed Ex requires applicants to have at least 500 hours of turbine PIC time. Once you log that, you can throw your apps.



I’ll admit, I’m confused. You have 800 hours and no instrument rating? Seems like you need to complete more training of certificates like your Commercial, Instrument and Multi-Engine add-on before too long. Have you thought about getting those anytime soon? After you get the ratings and time, you can look at feeders to build turbine time.

Here is the FedEx Purple Runway, seems like they have a wide network for cargo operations: