Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

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Flightman7
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:38 am

Yeah I definitely have to agree with you. There is a large hierarchy of progression from instructing. During the couple times I went for an intro I was thinking man if I could do this everyday life would be amazing. It builds some of the best hands and feet aside from way up north, gets you the elusive ATPL quite fast and is ultimately a job that many seem to reflect back on as some damn good times.
loopa wrote:Ultimately, chase the pilot in command hours and when you have that, chase the quality pilot in command hours (turbine, ifr, above 12,577lb aircraft, etc), and once you have a bit of that, chase the life style you want - not the airline, air plane, destinations, and etc.

Cheers
This is to live by :lol: Thanks again loopa you've been a huge help.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by L1011 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:46 am

Wow, there is a lot of good info here for ya Flightman.

That being said, a few posters have mentioned to you that you are putting the cart before the horse a bit. Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic that you are so enthusiastic and ambitious about a career in aviation but I think at your stage you should be more focused on how to get your training done. Have you done research and picked out a flight school/college yet?

Trust me, I had the same kinds of ideas when I was nearing the end of my training as to how I would get in to the industry...and as it turns out, I have gone down a path that I had not envisioned in any way whatsoever. There are a lot of factors that are out of your control too. Talk to guys that got their CPL signed off on September 10th, 2001 or after a stock market crash. As Big Pistons Forever said, at that point any job in aviation is better than no job. In fact, it was the non-flying jobs in aviation on my resume that really helped me get my current flying job. Not to mention that I took a great deal of experience out of those jobs while earning money towards paying for more training.

As for flight instructing versus working the ramp, they each have their benefits. But I'm sure you'll find that once you really start job-hunting as you near the end of your training you'll see that the best idea would be to go for the best opportunity available to you at that time. As far as ATPL requirements, you can cross that bridge when you get there.

Best of luck!
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by 172pilot » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:08 pm

Sounds like the ultimate combination is a ramp/office job with good 703/704 company - along with instructing on the weekends.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by loopa » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:17 pm

As far as ATPL requirements, you can cross that bridge when you get there.
Only true to some extent. There are certain requirements that are very hard to achieve if you don't keep an eye on them. The big one being the 25 hours PIC XC night requirement.

25 x 200/hr (on the bold side) for a C172 works out to be roughly 5000 dollars needed to be put aside to meet that requirement.

It's good that a guy like Flightman is educating himself (as much as possible on these boards) of what to expect, and as for the route he pursues, you're bang on - each route has its own benefits.

But don't totally ignore the requirements you are forced to face, because if it's too late you may need to pay off some more debt. 8)
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Colonel Sanders » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:30 pm

200/hr for a C172
That's crazy! I'll rent you a 172 with new paint, new interior and
new avionics for $120/hr, fuel included, commercial registered
(CAR 406 FTU OC) and maintained.

No airport fees, no NavCan fees, no fuel surcharge, no insurance
surcharge, no waiting to taxi, no control tower or FSS hassle.

4000 foot paved runway with arcal lights and papi, 2 instrument
approaches and 24 hour self-serve fuel. You can fly all day and
all night, just like a renter did last summer to finish off her ATPL
in a matter of days, after I checked her out.

Only drawback is that there are multiple biplanes and russian jets
doing surface-level aerobatics. Occasionally the runway will briefly
go IFR from the smoke.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Beefitarian » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:46 pm

Colonel Sanders wrote:
200/hr for a C172
That's crazy! I'll rent you a 172 with new paint, new interior and
new avionics for $120/hr, fuel included, commercial registered
(CAR 406 FTU OC) and maintained.

No airport fees, no NavCan fees, no fuel surcharge, no insurance
surcharge, no waiting to taxi, no control tower or FSS hassle.

4000 foot paved runway with arcal lights and papi, 2 instrument
approaches and 24 hour self-serve fuel. You can fly all day and
all night, just like a renter did last summer to finish off her ATPL
in a matter of days, after I checked her out.

Only drawback is that there are multiple biplanes and russian jets
doing surface-level aerobatics. Occasionally the runway will briefly
go IFR from the smoke.
Can you start up a sattelite location for this at CEF4 please?
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loopa
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by loopa » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:24 pm

Colonel Sanders wrote:
200/hr for a C172
That's crazy! I'll rent you a 172 with new paint, new interior and
new avionics for $120/hr, fuel included, commercial registered
(CAR 406 FTU OC) and maintained.

No airport fees, no NavCan fees, no fuel surcharge, no insurance
surcharge, no waiting to taxi, no control tower or FSS hassle.

4000 foot paved runway with arcal lights and papi, 2 instrument
approaches and 24 hour self-serve fuel. You can fly all day and
all night, just like a renter did last summer to finish off her ATPL
in a matter of days, after I checked her out.

Only drawback is that there are multiple biplanes and russian jets
doing surface-level aerobatics. Occasionally the runway will briefly
go IFR from the smoke.
So there is money in flight training is what you're suggesting LOL!
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by 'CauseTheCaravanCan » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:33 am

I'll try to keep this short, 'cause I want Flightman7 to read the whole post.

I'm glad Slats said what I was thinking, you don't HAVE to instruct OR work the ramp when you graduate.
Find small operators with what's called "Open Pilot Clauses" It means insurance
companies let the owner decide who flies their plane, #of hours doesn't apply at entry level.
(search it on AvCanada, there are other forums naming a few of them in NWONT and MB.)
Go work for one of them, straight onto a forklift and occasional PIC 206 or 207 gig.
This isn't some magical idea either, it REALLY does exist, and they hire new guys every spring.

Oh and one other thing, and I'm glad you're asking these questions before you start flight training,
the guys I work with now are all kicking themselves in the ass for not doing
more of their cross country time building at night, it doesn't cost anything extra and you'll save yourself a real headache.
Get the 25 night cross country PIC required for your ATPL while in school.
That'll be the only hang up you'll face later, if you're hoping one day for the airlines.

Good luck man!
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:53 pm

Thanks a lot, yet another thing I wasn't aware of, night rating requirements. Cant thank you all enough, the one great thing the industry still has is great pilots who are great people (for the most part that is). No need to keep em short or anything like that, I read it all start to finish. I have been doing research on and off since grade 10 and just talked to an air Canada new hire over the phone last weekend who filled me on some stuff as well. That in conjunction with all you great guys on here has gotten me enough knowledge to truly know if I want a career as a pilot, Its no longer a pipe dream--as it is for many my age, two of which I know. I cant wait to get started in the industry, despite the drastic sacrifice that has to be made for the first ten or so years. Its not all that bad however, nothings for free, and a dream job is no exception.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by tester » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:01 pm

As well as sifting through all the detailed information this thread has produced, don't forget to keep in mind the BIG PICTURE also. Like any other industry, aviation works on pretty much the same principles of supply and demand for its HR needs. The demand is what the operators need in terms of number, experience and skills of their pilots; and the supply side are the pilots looking for jobs. Unfortunately, it's often very difficult for the supply of new guys to get the required minimum experience. Take a look at the job postings on AvCanada and most will have minimum flight hours requirements for Total Time (TT) and often for Multi and Multi PIC. Whichever route you take, you are most unlikely to meet the Multi and Multi-PIC minima when the time comes to apply for that first flight deck position. So what can you do about it?

Well, if you are working the ramp (or dispatch/office) and did your research thoroughly, you will be with an outfit that has ways of getting their new pilots the experience required; Sunwest or North Cariboo, for example, have such schemes, but others may not, so make sure you research the market well, before taking a ground post in the hope of going flying one day.

If you've gone down the Flight Instructor route instead and spend a couple of years at an FTU you will probably meet the TT requirements, but still be way short on Multi-time for most job postings. So don't expect to get a flying job around the popular locations. Look at places where most people don't want to be and the chances are that you will find a post where you do meet the requirements. Commit yourself to spending a couple of years there and you will gain the experience required to move somewhere else subsequently, if that is your wish.

Basically, the BIG PICTURE is that, as a newbie commercial pilot, you should expect to work hard, somewhere you would rather not be, and to be paid a pittance for it. I'm sure that's not how flight crew would wish it to be, but that is the reality of the situation at the moment and probably still will be when you go looking for your first job in the industry.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by whipline » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:49 pm

Sorry Loopa, your story about your friend at Sunwing not being upgraded because she lacks PIC is untrue. For an upgrade you need an ATPL, 5000 total time and 2000 on type. I'm also going to wager our minimums for upgrades are close to every other airline in Canada. We have several Captains that went straight out of flight school to the back seat of a 727 then on to Sunwing with virtually no previous PIC time.

Oh, and it doesn't matter what route you take. You'll end up at the same place at almost the same time. Just enjoy the ride :D

Cheers
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by ybwflyguy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:42 pm

tester wrote: If you've gone down the Flight Instructor route instead and spend a couple of years at an FTU you will probably meet the TT requirements, but still be way short on Multi-time for most job postings. So don't expect to get a flying job around the popular locations. Look at places where most people don't want to be and the chances are that you will find a post where you do meet the requirements. Commit yourself to spending a couple of years there and you will gain the experience required to move somewhere else subsequently, if that is your wish.

Basically, the BIG PICTURE is that, as a newbie commercial pilot, you should expect to work hard, somewhere you would rather not be, and to be paid a pittance for it. I'm sure that's not how flight crew would wish it to be, but that is the reality of the situation at the moment and probably still will be when you go looking for your first job in the industry.
Best advice I've read for a long time. If you take the instructor option it will get you the PIC time, but as lots of guys are finding out these days 1500hrs with 100 or so Multi means squat! As has been said on here many times, whether you go the ramp route or instruct it's likely after 5 years or so you'll be in a similar job whichever way. From what I've seen in the past year, Borek and Courtesy both seem to be two companies offering fairly rapid progression from the ramp/office to flying. Good luck!
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:58 pm

Just curious, anything else required to get a ramp/office job besides standard pilot education?
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by MIQ » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:08 pm

Colonel Sanders wrote: That's crazy! I'll rent you a 172 with new paint, new interior and
new avionics for $120/hr, fuel included, commercial registered
(CAR 406 FTU OC) and maintained.

No airport fees, no NavCan fees, no fuel surcharge, no insurance
surcharge, no waiting to taxi, no control tower or FSS hassle.
Where do I need to go and where can I sign? ;)
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by thegrimm » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:26 pm

Been an interesting read. My 2 cents.

Choose lifestyle. I went the instructor route based solely on this. Wife wouldn't have had it any other way. Think ATPL while in flight school. This will help greatly later on. The 25 hours night XC PIC is the big one. I have always told my students this.

I have been very fortunate and certainly don't take anything for granted. Being at the right place at the right time is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. Got my ATPL at 1500 hours due to making smart choices while instructing. Got a good transport category twin turbine job at 1650 hours. I'm now on my way to the left seat and it should happen quickly. I know of two other instructors who have similar stories to mine. The key while instructing though is getting to teach in a twin. Find a good school which will allow this and work your butt off until it is your time, usually around 1000 hours.

I do agree that the 230 hour green instructor is very inexperienced but he will learn very quickly. I know that I learned much from my instructing days.

I also have friends who seem to be doing well working the ramp at a few local companies. Sunwest, Cariboo, and Borek all seem to be good choices.

Either way, you are young and have lots of time to figure it out. There are no right or wrong answers. Just make sure you enjoy the journey.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Colonel Sanders » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:26 pm

You must be the one person on this website who doesn't know who/where I am :wink:

Send me a PM.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:16 pm

Hey colonel your quite an interesting guy, I'd be interested to your your story :)
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by davesok » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:31 pm

I started with a private in high school in 1973. Things were different than but much the same. I have worked with hundreds of F/O's over the years and have always asked them how they got started. The guys I have had the most respect for with regard to ability, work ethic, etc have been the ones that went north. Ones that spent 5000hrs pounding around in the right seat of a C150, well, not cut from the same cloth. Forty years in the business has told me I am not alone in this point of view. Fact is you will learn a lot more scud running in a C185 on floats for your first job than telling a student when to turn a base leg. Most guys that start as instructors, don't wish to leave home and travel 1000 miles to a reserve in northern Ont. There is a job out there for anyone willing to do what it takes to get one. Three years at a desk, to ride around in the right seat of a single pilot airplane, thats better than just about nothing in my option.

My first 600 hours where in the right seat of a C150.!!
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:03 pm

While i agree 100%, I have talked to many who could care less about their actual skills in comparison to there career progression. While id like to be the best I can be as a pilot, I don't have until I am mid 30s to land a liveable job, and to me, that is in a city wether its calgary, toronto etc I dont care really but id prefer to live in the northern prov I live in Toronto now and it sucks, the general attidtude is me first and im better then you, but thats of topic :wink: Back to what I was saying, living in a city with a job that pays a salary to live comfortably on is a good liveable job for me, I don't need much. Im going to do whatever I feel is best for my career at that point in time, not was is best for my skills. Call me out on it, but that's just how I feel. I still like the idea of ramping because it isn't an extra 4-8 grand for the intructer rating and while you don't fly, your still guaranteed a good multi job in 2 years or less on av.

Its all hard as hell to decide, and its hard as hell to be successful in the industry. On top of all that, west jet coming out with a regional, jazz's agreement with air Canada is going to be up in 2020 and sun wing is composed more of European than Canadian pilots, who knows what in store for me there is all sorts of odd things going on. Their calling for pilot shortages, and suppsivly 20% of air canada's pilots will have retired but 2013 :o By the time is set foot in a plane the industry could be very different, for better or for worse. Well see what happens :| A new hire at AC told me over the phone ;

AC lost 135 last year
Georgian lost 75
jazz lost 35
Here is something interesting to prove that---

http://www.pilotcareercentre.com/Aviati ... ional+Post

Hes worked for all the companies so i'd expect that to be reliable. There is just so many factors that will come in to play in the next 10-20 years that predicting routes and outcomes is next impossible. What worked for you guys 5-10 years ago may not be so great anymore.


BTW, remember im a complete idiot in aviation don't be offended by anything I say, guys like me :prayer: to guys like you and most other that have helped me.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Slats » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:23 pm

Flightman7 wrote:I have talked to many who could care less about their actual skills in comparison to there career progression......Im going to do whatever I feel is best for my career at that point in time, not was is best for my skills.
That's the spirit! Why waste time getting good at your job? Just chase the big paycheck! After all, a flying career should be about chasing the big paycheck, not devoting yourself to mastering the art of flight and being able to handle your vessel with the utmost precision. That's why god invented computers and stuck them in airplanes anyways! Hopefully you and your future passengers can both take comfort in this attitude.

God help us.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:28 pm

First off, all flying jobs make you a better pilot and secondly you can't tell me every job you have taken was for your skills only, not for lifestyle or career progression I mean c'mon let's be realistic here. Oh and thanks for editing out my reasoning as an attempt at making me look like an idiot. Not all of us want to live on almost nothing so we can 'master the art of flying'. Honestly you don't think ten years with shit pay and living conditions in conjuction with flying around in tiny planes in Canadian weather isn't enough mastery to be responsible for your passengers safety? I can almost guarantee you've taken a job that wasn't the best possible option for your skills but all bet it still made you a better pilot
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Last edited by Flightman7 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Colonel Sanders » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:48 pm

Son: when you have 1000 hours, you will have a considerably different opinion about aviation, and will likely cringe at what you wrote here, not unlike what I do every morning when I'm hung over.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Flightman7 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:57 pm

I really don't think so, I think I'm just realistic. everybody is looking for the job that looks good in there resume not necessarily the job that's best for there skills, why should I be singled out for admitting the reality?
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by Slats » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:11 pm

Edited........

Let the race to the bottom resume.
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Re: Flight instructing vs Working the ramp. Doesn't add up?

Post by C-GGGQ » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:42 pm

I don't think flightman posted anything out of line or ill conceived (other than the age old "baby boomers will be retiring soon" that every one of us have heard for the past 10-15 years). Flying a plane is not difficult, and not all of us are acrobatic airshow performers or military fighter pilots. Will my "skill" as an aviator be adversely effected because my first job was a turbine FO instead of a FO on an old Navajo, or a Single pilot on a light twin vs a 206? No, it wont. At any of those jobs I would have done my best, learned my plane and safely flown my passengers around. The important thing to consider when looking for that job is the company. Making sure you are working for a good operator. If you are working for a good operator they will train you well on whatever you are flying, and improve your skill. Saying anything else is just bias in my opinion because it was the way YOU did it. Of course the guy who worked his ass off on a dock in the middle of nowhere to finally get his shot at the 185 feels that anyone who went through anything else didn't learn as much as him. Same as the guy who spent every night after his ramp shift studying the systems of the turbine twin he hoped to fly feels the guy in the 185 had it easy cause he didn't have to memorize 3 tech manuals and a CRM course. As long as both the above pilots flew for people who didn't bend the rules, push weather, weight, fuel, and rest, they both will have come away from either job with the valuable knowledge and skills to safely and professionally do his job. As everyone on here repeatedly states, this industry IS about the journey. However, there are a thousand different variations on that journey, each on of them as viable and important as the next.
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