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I want to be a professional (non-airline) pilot when I grow up

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
Guys - asking for some open advice about reentering workforce as a professional pilot. I just had a great discussion with my AME on my health, labs, family medical history,my medical history, etc. Long story short he is very bullish that I should have no problems maintaining a First or Second Class medical to 65.

I am 53.

I've flown over 120 PIC airplane the last 12 months, and am well over the 250 PIC Airplane for the R-ATP and I have about 100 PIC ME. I feel very current as far as being back in the details of training and ops and regs. I had been toying for a while about jumping to a regional if my Fortune 10 employer gave me the boot in a RIF- which I keep thinking is inevitable but they keep me around even after multiple RIF's. Not sure how much more I can take though.

My expenses are low - my condo is sub $1K per month all in. No debt, no car payment, kids on thier way and provided for, etc. I can live eanywhere obviously, but seems wise to hold on to a home scenario that is so affordable (and close to multi carrier hub like CVG).

So what options woud you recommend that I go after - ISR? Back to helo EMS? Cargo haulers? Something forward deployed as a contractor? CPB?

Without the hate - what do you guys think I could successfully pursue? In addition to a Part 121 Regional.

A genuine thanks in advance for your thoughts and professional advice.

Chuck
 
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Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
One of my first questions would be if CVG is a junior pilot base for any of the regionals- or which junior bases are one leg away, since it is a hub.

Then compare that to hypothetical commuting plans for 135, EMS, contract ISR, etc.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
Guys - asking for some open advice about reentering workforce as a professional pilot. I just had a great discussion with my AME on my health, labs, family medical history,my medical history, etc. Long story short he is very bullish that I should have no problems maintaining a First or Second Class medical to 65.

I am 53.

I've flown over 120 PIC airplane the last 12 months, and am well over the 250 PIC Airplane for the R-ATP and I have about 100 PIC ME. I feel very current as far as being back in the details of training and ops and regs. I had been toying for a while about jumping to a regional if my Fortune 10 employer gave me the boot in a RIF- which I keep thinking is inevitable but they keep me around even after multiple RIF's. Not sure how much more I can take though.

My expenses are low - my condo is sub $1K per month all in. No debt, no car payment, kids on thier way and provided for, etc. I can live eanywhere obviously, but seems wise to hold on to a home scenario that is so affordable (and close to multi carrier hub like CVG).

So what options woud you recommend that I go after - ISR? Back to helo EMS? Cargo haulers? Something forward deployed as a contractor? CPB?

Without the hate - what do you guys think I could successfully pursue? In addition to a Part 121 Regional.

A genuine thanks in advance for your thoughts and professional advice.

Chuck

One of my first questions would be if CVG is a junior pilot base for any of the regionals- or which junior bases are one leg away, since it is a hub.

Then compare that to hypothetical commuting plans for 135, EMS, contract ISR, etc.
PSA... CVG is a junior base.

Fixed wing ISR? That’d be a stretch... maybe an SIC program but for what those pay I’d stay at a regional... at least until I could go make money as a PIC

Helo market is dicey...

CBP? Too old most likely...

Cargo? ATI ABX use CVG a lot as does Atlas... your best bet getting on with them is building time as a 121 regional pilot or an ISR PIC...

Regional pay is the suck, but a part 121 background is going to keep the most doors open for you...
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Helo market is dicey...

CBP? Too old most likely...

The helo market isn't dicey right now. It's actually relatively hot, but it just might not be where you want and for the pay you think you deserve.

CBP? Not too old. Given a stat that was put out at Heli-Expo this year by A&M, Chuck is by no means the oldest to apply. He just needs to hit the physical wickets.

That's NOT to say that -121 isn't the bet path, as it may (or may not) be the way to go for Chuck.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
The helo market isn't dicey right now. It's actually relatively hot, but it just might not be where you want and for the pay you think you deserve.

CBP? Not too old. Given a stat that was put out at Heli-Expo this year by A&M, Chuck is by no means the oldest to apply. He just needs to hit the physical wickets.

That's NOT to say that -121 isn't the bet path, as it may (or may not) be the way to go for Chuck.
CBP is giving age waivers to folks in their 50s?

I’m impressed at how things have changed in the last couple years...
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
Preliminary NTSB report on the Liberty Helicopters AS350 mishap - agrees with my personal conjecture after I read about the first person accounts.

I'm amazed to see how many of these operators employ non military experienced pilots - not saying that was a causal factor in itself. Just amazed that people spend $60K + in helo training (sans fixed wing training) , instruct to build hours , then move on to seasonal tour jobs flying complex turbine equipment and then engage in challenging passenger operations like these doors off operations.

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/ntsb-issues-preliminary-report-east-river-helicopter-crash/
They employ who they can get for the wages they pay.

That said, I never understood why civilians pay out of pocket for RW ratings. The flight time is so expensive and the entry-level jobs pay so little it makes no sense going into debt like some do.
 

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
If money isn’t an issue do the kind of flying you want to do. Personally, I would not want to fly for the show regardless of the pay but that is me - I am certain many people find it rewarding. I have a friend, former snake driver from the Corps who is flying air attack out west. Sure, he is only employed something like four or five months out of the year, but he loves the flying and money isn’t an issue for him (he married up). In the end you’ve got 14 professional flying years in you as an airline pilot or more of you do some Part 133/135 flying. My point, don’t turn it into a job...you’ve already had one of those.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
CBP is giving age waivers to folks in their 50s?

I’m impressed at how things have changed in the last couple years...
The recent hire was 53. The age waiver is for greater than ~39 (+ or -...I can't remember exactly). The one thing @ChuckMK23 needs to make sure he has is some VA disability rating.
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
Guys thanks for all the solid input - much appreciated. Back to our regularly scheduled programming!
 
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