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Leaving the Air Force for the Airlines

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It’s a valid backup plan that furthers your objectives if you don’t get the call in time for your primary plan. 

 

But it prolly doesnt need to be your primary plan 

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Huggy is right. If you're not getting hired at the majors, flying for the regionals is not wasting your time.

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15 hours ago, flyusaf83 said:

How far out from your separation date should you start creating apps? 

I started a year out... there's lots of stuff you need to do...

Request all transcripts from colleges you attended

Make sure passport/First Class Medical/FCC Restricted Radio Operators Permit is good to go

Get addresses/phone numbers of all your previous squadrons

Make a resume/cover letter for each company

Ask (and receive) Letters of References.  How many is up for debate. 

Application review company (with turn around time) if you want

Read up on companies background

FOIA'd my home state drivers record and National Drivers Register databse 

 

And then there's the hours breakdown, since airlines have a different system then the AF. While not required, I manually transcribed all 648 sorties into an Excel spreadsheet, which made the numbers easily manipulatable. I did about 15-30 minutes a night for a couple weeks and was no big deal. Other people can wag them, but I flew a couple different planes, so my hours aren't as clear cut as someone who did KC-135/C-17s their entire career.

 

There's an AF dude (I think) who runs www.milkeep.com that will do them all for you as well. 

 

The Cockpit to Cockpit book is also a good resource. It's written in AF talk which is nice, and the author is pretty humorous in translating airline prep into something we can understand.

 

Good luck!

 

Edited by xaarman
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20 hours ago, ImNotARobot said:

 


 a masturbatory waste of time. 

 

Your analogy lost me, how could masturbating ever be a waste of time?

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The "year out" timeline is valid.

It seems like that is too far in advance, but you'll quickly find out that it will take a L O N G time to actually get your applications and resumes actually completed.  You will inevitably run into a number of points where you'll need specific data (addresses from old units, specifics about driving infractions, etc) and it will halt actually getting it completed.

Add to it that you'll probably want to get some professionally-paid eyes on the completed product before you actually have anyone important look at it (like when you pull the trigger on that email to the hiring folks from your Delta bud), and it can all add up to some serious time.

I had been keeping close tabs on all this stuff for most of my career (and thus thought I had my crap pretty well prepared), and I started my AirlineApps 6 months prior to terminal leave.  It took me about 3 months just to get all of the basic data completed in the application, and then I used that as a springboard to populate the PilotCredentials applications.  I did not get hired by my career airline until 18 months after that initial start to my applications, and I was constantly adding, tweaking, and improving those apps the whole time.

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Hitting “publish” on a well crafted and reviewed app about 6 months prior to your availability is about as late as you want to go. 

Taking 6 months to go from zero to ready to publish is about right. You can certainly get it done quicker, but it will be a thrash. 

Don’t forget to budget time for interview prep, testing prep (which can be significant for delta and Fedex), suit procurement, etc. 

i started about 18 months out (7-day opt) and it was a comfortable pace.

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14 hours ago, xaarman said:

I started a year out... there's lots of stuff you need to do...

Request all transcripts from colleges you attended

Make sure passport/First Class Medical/FCC Restricted Radio Operators Permit is good to go

Get addresses/phone numbers of all your previous squadrons

Make a resume/cover letter for each company

Ask (and receive) Letters of References.  How many is up for debate. 

Application review company (with turn around time) if you want

Read up on companies background

FOIA'd my home state drivers record and National Drivers Register databse 

......

^^^^Bingo, and don't skimp on any of this stuff.  For example, if you think you can wait until you get an interview to blow the $150 on the First Class Medical , you are wrong.  If that box is not checked, for example, you will not get a call. And if you check it and then get the medical later, they might find out the dates don't match and...well..not good for you.  I had a friend ask pilot selection if it was required before actually getting an interview and the answer was yes. 

Also, do the interview prep now at the latest.  If you think you don't need it, then you absolutely must register right away, because you really need it in that case.  I was glad I knocked it out months before I got an interview.  Plus I had access to the audio files, phone top offs, and if I wanted to, I could have attended an entire seminar again before the interview (at least these were the rules with Emerald Coast).  

 

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20 hours ago, HuggyU2 said:

Disagree.

I know plenty of high-time guys with single-seat time AND crew time that are not getting the call.

Part 121 Regional work should not be removed from the decision matrix.  

Of all this stuff about hours and being automatically qualified for a major, I think this statement best fits what I have noticed.  It still amazes me that people post nothing but their flight hours followed by a "here's what got me hired" or "how competitive am I," despite the mountains of information out there that very clearly state that hours are not the most important thing in getting hired at most majors.  I hate to sound like an Air Force recruiter, but I think most majors look at the "whole person concept" thing.  Your prospects are also very heavily influenced by what color your skin is, what organ is between your legs, who you know, and of course, according to most majors website, your college, grad school, ratings, awards, extra "stuff" in aviation, and so on.  Oh, and flight hours is in that mix too. 

I know of many people who got hired with the absolute minimum flight hours (like 1000) at more than one major airline.  I met a guy, happened to be white male, who got hired with minimal hours and ZERO letters of rec from anyone.  I also know scores of super-qualified folks with thousands if IP/EP hours, master's, safety backgrounds, 6+ internal letters of rec, who never got called by their prospective major airline.  The magic formula is difficult to decipher, but when the company's own website lists like 10 items they look for, and flight hours doesn't even make the top 3, that should clue you into the algorithm a little (can't post the Delta internal list here but it is out there in several places).   

Flight hours are definitely part of the hiring equation - maybe even about 1/10th of the total package - but to conclude that hours alone drive the hiring process, or that it is even mildly correlated to your getting hired is grossly inaccurate, in my experience over dozens of data points. 

Keep checking off extra boxes like safety, PME, medals, ratings, regional airline work, etc and your chances go up considerably from what I have heard from folks who sit in on the interviews. 

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6 hours ago, JS said:

Your prospects are also very heavily influenced by what color your skin is, what organ is between your legs, who you know, and of course, according to most majors website, your college, grad school, ratings, awards, extra "stuff" in aviation, and so on.  Oh, and flight hours is in that mix too.

So that's why most of the folks in the newhire class pictures are women and minorities....

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Not what I said, nor did I imply that the classes were filled with minorities and women. 

We all know there is a severe "under-representation" of women and minorities in the industry, hence why the standards are definitively lower for them.  Unless you have data showing otherwise, I don't think that fact is disputable.   

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10 hours ago, JS said:

Not what I said, nor did I imply that the classes were filled with minorities and women. 

We all know there is a severe "under-representation" of women and minorities in the industry, hence why the standards are definitively lower for them.  Unless you have data showing otherwise, I don't think that fact is disputable.   

No, it was sarcasm.

It is amazing how many people I hear complaining that they're not getting "the call" because a lesser-quaified minority was called up instead.  While there's no question that the airlines are definitely interested in hiring minorities, and thus may have their finger on the scales behind the scenes, given the sheer volume of hiring over the last 3+ years it is ridiculous to think that this is the reason anyone isn't getting called.  I could just see the follow-on posts of guys bitching about it, as if it were 1994 all over again.

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Yeah, I think that is a different story if guys are blaming the minorities for not getting hired.  This all goes back to trying to figure out the secret formulas of getting hired, which some folks are obviously not figuring out if they are not getting called.  But one way for sure to get extra points on your application is to check off one of those sex/race boxes - that was my point. 

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So if you identify as a female and a minority, does that count?

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15 hours ago, JS said:

Not what I said, nor did I imply that the classes were filled with minorities and women. 

We all know there is a severe "under-representation" of women and minorities in the industry, hence why the standards are definitively lower for them.  Unless you have data showing otherwise, I don't think that fact is disputable.   

I believe the standards are the same across the board: have an ATP, pass a Class 1 physical, US Citizen, no criminal history, etc.  Do you mean to say is what looks like on paper a lesser qualified candidate?  Some of the other things driven by HR are IMO totally subjective: interviews, personality tests, etc.

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