What is your opinion?

As a college student, I have been trying to make as many connections as possible. A student in a class I TA for mentioned that his dad had a chartering and overnight cargo company, and that he could likely get me a job once I get my commercial license. What are your opinions on this option instead of flight training? My dream job is to fly commercially for United, but I wouldn’t be opposed to flying a jet for 5-7 years as I gain hours and pad my resume. Do airlines have a preference on how and where you gain your hours? Also, if I fly these private jets, how long do you think I would need to fly so that I have the credentials to go straight to the Majors? Thanks again for all your help!


If your goal is to fly for a major airline, I would stay well away from any of those sorts of gigs. Think about it, the majors are airlines, as such, they like to hire airline pilots. A pilot that has been at the regionals for the past few years will have a far better understanding of the airlines than a corporate pilot will. Also, regional pilots tend to fly much more than corporate pilots do.

A lot of the corporate jobs that low time pilots are hired for are basically radio operator jobs, they don’t involve a lot of flying. Versus flight instructing or being at the regionals which involve a lot of learning and a lot of flying.

I would pad your logbook with as much airline time and total flight time as possible, that means instructing and going to the regionals.



I’m with Chris on this one. Now if you can get a charter gig when you’re low-time and do that rather than flight instruct that’s fine (although instructing will improve your skills better than slinging gear in the right seat). But as Chris said if you’re goal is United they’re much more inclined to hire a Regional Capt who’s been working as an airline pilot and knows the system, regs etc.



I agree with Chris and Adam. If your goal is to fly for a major, you should find a gig that helps you build quality flight experience, like instructing and then get on with a regional. Flying charter will delay your path to a major and it is not a substitute for regional flying. Now, if you’re not in a rush and you want the 135 experience for whatever reason, that’s your decision. I have a friend that flies a Phenom 300 in Florida and he loves it, but he’s way behind his peers in terms of getting to a major because he decided to go down that path.


Not totally what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate all the info! Lots to consider in the near future!

The key to making this type of decision: seniority.

How will flying 135, 91, 91k or 121 impact my getting my seniority number at a major airline?

Instructing: part 91; 70-100/month, all PIC, no turbine, little multi

Corporate: part 91/135; 30-50 hours per month, limited PIC time better pay, advanced equipment

Can you get hired at a 121 (airline) as a flight instructor? Yes, with your multi-engine rating and 25 hours multi, 1500 total, 1000 PIC

My advice, get the time as fast as possible (drop everything! You will thank me later) as you approach 1500 hours, pick up some right seat in a jet or turboprop and take a prep course for the regional jet.

The hiring wave has begun already. You will have an enjoyable, lucrative career - if you surf the front side of the wave… the back side of the perfect wave still sucks!