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I have 13 years. Do you think this is a better COA than just staying in for the same length of time? I don't know if I have the financial capability to stomach regional pay for that long. 


It may be doable if you have a ANG gig to supplement.


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"The best" fluctuates as contracts change. Also part of what is considered "the best" is where your seniority will be for the duration of your expected career, and in what base/equipment/seat. There i

Just got an interview with SWA with: 2,800 total 1000 hrs in T-6 1500 hrs in KC-135 Not sure how close that is to “min time” but probably pretty low comparatively.

I can't do a decent job explaining it but i'll try. First let me say I have an inclination toward cynicism. Be it innate or just bitterness over organizational failures I've seen in the AF. My bullshi

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2 hours ago, FLEA said:

I have 13 years. Do you think this is a better COA than just staying in for the same length of time? I don't know if I have the financial capability to stomach regional pay for that long. 

Can you go do a UPT IP gig for that 2-3 years instead of regionals? That’ll get you plenty of PIC time.

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32 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

Can you go do a UPT IP gig for that 2-3 years instead of regionals? That’ll get you plenty of PIC time.

It's a possible COA for sure, if I can avoid a wing or group job there and just focus on flying. However, being an FGO, everyone seems to think I'm being under utilized by just being a line pilot. So who knows. 

Yeah I'm really in a tough spot and as much as I want to airlines to work, I just continue to see obstacles that delay my getting there. 

I also can't appropriately illustrate the total amount of nausea I have from continuing in the AF. This was a rough year for me that irreversibly flipped some triggers for me regarding my tolerance to stay. 

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It's a possible COA for sure, if I can avoid a wing or group job there and just focus on flying. However, being an FGO, everyone seems to think I'm being under utilized by just being a line pilot. So who knows. 
Yeah I'm really in a tough spot and as much as I want to airlines to work, I just continue to see obstacles that delay my getting there. 
I also can't appropriately illustrate the total amount of nausea I have from continuing in the AF. This was a rough year for me that irreversibly flipped some triggers for me regarding my tolerance to stay. 

Similar boat, and I essentially decided I disliked AD so much I built myself a bubble that I’m going to work with while at the regionals. Probably going to be some lean times, but I’m going to make it work.
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It's a possible COA for sure, if I can avoid a wing or group job there and just focus on flying. However, being an FGO, everyone seems to think I'm being under utilized by just being a line pilot. So who knows. 
Yeah I'm really in a tough spot and as much as I want to airlines to work, I just continue to see obstacles that delay my getting there. 
I also can't appropriately illustrate the total amount of nausea I have from continuing in the AF. This was a rough year for me that irreversibly flipped some triggers for me regarding my tolerance to stay. 


Plenty of FGO ADOs (including several O-5s) in the squadrons at UPT. T-6 (and probably T-38) buys you some schedule flexibility, since you can usually find time to squeeze in a 2.5ish hour flight period (1 hr brief, 1.3 flight, and a quick debrief) even when you have office duties, and everyone seems to welcome guest help. Just got to avoid sitting SOF or RSU...
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Plenty of FGO ADOs (including several O-5s) in the squadrons at UPT. T-6 (and probably T-38) buys you some schedule flexibility, since you can usually find time to squeeze in a 2.5ish hour flight period (1 hr brief, 1.3 flight, and a quick debrief) even when you have office duties, and everyone seems to welcome guest help. Just got to avoid sitting SOF or RSU...

And that’s exactly why I’m going to stomach a third of the pay for a while: the ability for my duty to be just flying.

It’s not the most exciting flying in the world, but there aren’t any ADO qweepdoms. But that’s what will work for me. YMMV.
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Take the pay cut. Live like many Americans have to for their whole lives, and in a couple years you're golden. It's worth it. 

You are choosing between doing something that makes you miserable and living a median lifestyle. You may be surprised how easy it is to be very happy making very little. And in a few years, you'll be making a ton.

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10 hours ago, SurelySerious said:


And that’s exactly why I’m going to stomach a third of the pay for a while: the ability for my duty to be just flying.

It’s not the most exciting flying in the world, but there aren’t any ADO qweepdoms. But that’s what will work for me. YMMV.

The queep only takes up as much time as you let it. 
 

what are they gonna do, fire you from your admin crap?  Stop giving you important but non-flying tasks?  It’s only as hard as you allow them to make it. 

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:57 AM, contraildash said:

This. I'm curious how much is spent on dentists and doctors every year. I think we can safely argue that the Air Force would run just fine if it had neither. Kinda need those pilots though.....

The same could be said about many career fields..

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The queep only takes up as much time as you let it. 
 
what are they gonna do, fire you from your admin crap?  Stop giving you important but non-flying tasks?  It’s only as hard as you allow them to make it. 

AD is enough pain in the ass in my neck of the woods to not even make dodging qweep just to fly worth my time, which is why I’m taking my talents to the part-time force.
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2 hours ago, HossHarris said:

The queep only takes up as much time as you let it. 
 

what are they gonna do, fire you from your admin crap?  Stop giving you important but non-flying tasks?  It’s only as hard as you allow them to make it. 

If you don't keep up with the queep you run the risk of getting a worse assignment. You might be fine for three years but then you're primed for white jets or non-flying staff or whatever the current bad deal is.

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If you don't keep up with the queep you run the risk of getting a worse assignment. You might be fine for three years but then you're primed for white jets or non-flying staff or whatever the current bad deal is.


Staff assignments are getting rarer due to the pilot shortage, so I guess there's that silver lining. Though I guess mobility pilots are still going to TACC

UPT flying is pretty much flying for flying's sake. I was pretty disappointed when I got tagged to go, but it turned out to be an absolute blast, and I think I'm a better pilot and instructor for it. It also helped that I had a great, tight knit squadron.

Not a hard pitch to stay in, everyone's got their priorities and what they want it of their career and life. Just a different viewpoint so the younger guys don't just see doom and gloom.
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7 hours ago, 1:1:1 said:

If you don't keep up with the queep you run the risk of getting a worse assignment. You might be fine for three years but then you're primed for white jets or non-flying staff or whatever the current bad deal is.

Eh, 2-3 years may be plenty of time to get the PIC hours for an airline.  Then when they try to give you a worse assignment, you bounce for the airlines.

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Hey everyone; thanks for the contributions. One thing I will undoubtedly miss about the AF is the "bro culture" of helping each other out and trying to take care of our own. 

 

So if suppose I decide 100% to get out; what are some other options to accrue time? I mean, I know there are regionals, but any non-traditional opportunities I might not be thinking of? For example, a friend at work mentioned maybe something like the GOCO MC-12 thing the Army has going. Its a quick transition to left seat, flying focused, no admin BS, and probably pays better than an entry level regional. Thoughts?

 

Also, back to the topic of Kalitta, their requirements seem lower but their pay is higher than most regionals I look at. Whats the catch here? I've talked to one of their pilots who has said I would definitely be competitive in the upcoming environment, but not so much so that he would guaranteed I would get hired. But he has said that he has definitely flown with people with less experience. 

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One guy I know got hired at a job fair Kalitta was at, but that was about 6 years ago.  I know a few folks that went to Atlas, as well but they all jumped to UPS/FedEx when their number was up.  About 7 yrs when I asked, Atlas started with an internal rec.  When it came to the flying, 747/767 flying and types were cool, the long trip length worked for most, but liked the shorter trips in the majors a lot more.  Commuting was positive space, but imputed income.  Nutshell, not a bad place to start, but many look for better.  I do think that jumping to a major from an AMCI has higher chances than a regional.  The worldwide experience just seems more competitive.

If you have a connection, go for it.  If you want to continue the brosepher-ness, rush an ANG unit too.  I've know a few dudes that did ACMI/ANG.  And I've known a few folks that did Avenge to build time/experience.  They joked that they called it the future airline pilots group with just about everyone there working on time, building resumes, and perfecting the apps.  A contract or 2 and you're set.  My info is old, so try to find someone more recent.

Keep talking to friends, make the contacts, and get the info.

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5 hours ago, FLEA said:

One thing I will undoubtedly miss about the AF is the "bro culture" of helping each other out and trying to take care of our own. 

 

Unless you already have your 20, rush a Guard unit, you'll still get that but not all the rest of the full time ass pain.  Otherwise bail, every single Captain I've flown with who had recently gotten out, didn't regret it one bit.  Most say they missed it for like 2 weeks, then they realized there was a whole other life they now get to live.  I absolutely can't wait...have my 20, just another year for my 3 years in grade. 

 

5 hours ago, FLEA said:

So if suppose I decide 100% to get out; what are some other options to accrue time? I mean, I know there are regionals, but any non-traditional opportunities I might not be thinking of? For example, a friend at work mentioned maybe something like the GOCO MC-12 thing the Army has going. Its a quick transition to left seat, flying focused, no admin BS, and probably pays better than an entry level regional. Thoughts?

 

Is going overseas, spending more time away from home really worth it to you?  I've flown with a few guys who did that stuff and there is NFW I'd be doing that shit.  However minuscule, it's honestly just not worth the risk IMHO.   You'll make yourself a much better candidate by doing some regional/ACMI flying.  I'd apply at the ACMI carriers, Spirit or a regional where you can live in base.  In my both of my legacy airline indoc classes, there were former mil guys who had been at a regional...most of them barely finished OE when they received the call.  Basically, as soon as they finished their checkride, they updated their resume/checked the 121 box and were immediately called for interviews. 

I'm convinced that going to a regional is the only reason I got hired so early in 2014.  At the time, only shop chiefs/DOs/CC/s, who had 1700+ Viper hours (IP/EP quals) were getting called.  Then here I was, a scheduler with 850 in the Viper (1700 TT) and only a 4-ship FL, getting hired by two legacies.  A good friend in the squadron was hired circa 2016 at UPS and FDX (and interviewed at another legacy), with basically the same quals as me (lower time Viper driver/NON-IP).  We're both convinced the only reason we were called was because we had both gone to a regional.  I actually only had a little 100 hours of 121 time...I think checking the box was enough.

 

 

5 hours ago, FLEA said:

Also, back to the topic of Kalitta, their requirements seem lower but their pay is higher than most regionals I look at. Whats the catch here? I've talked to one of their pilots who has said I would definitely be competitive in the upcoming environment, but not so much so that he would guaranteed I would get hired. But he has said that he has definitely flown with people with less experience. 

 

I wouldn't hesitate to go to Kalitta if they offered an interview.

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Going to a regional basically allows a legacy carrier to verify you can make it through a 121 training program and get through OE.

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Flea, one thing to think about when considering Kalitta or other ACMIs is upgrade time. Not sure what your situation is or how much PIC you’ve accumulated in the military, but if you think you need more, upgrade at the regionals will likely happen more quickly than at the ACMIs. A place like Kalitta can be a great intro to the part 121 world for a mil guy. Just be careful not to paint yourself into a corner. 

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22 hours ago, 1:1:1 said:

You might be fine for three years but then you're primed for white jets... or whatever the current bad deal is.

I did 6 years on two different assignments in “white jets”.   Bad deal?  Not for me.  
I got a shitload of flying and instructing, and became a WAY better pilot as a result. 
 

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I did 6 years on two different assignments in “white jets”.   Bad deal?  Not for me.  
I got a shitload of flying and instructing, and became a WAY better pilot as a result. 
 

White jets get a bad rap for no good reason. After ~20 yrs of flying jets all over the spectrum in awesome places, my 3yr punishment tour at Laughlin was a great time when on paper it is ha far the worst jet and location of my career.




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Posted (edited)
On 5/5/2021 at 11:24 PM, HossHarris said:

The queep only takes up as much time as you let it. 
 

what are they gonna do, fire you from your admin crap?  Stop giving you important but non-flying tasks?  It’s only as hard as you allow them to make it. 

^^This. So much this.^^

Case in point, I was a squadron exec at one point during my white jet assignment…the ONLY one in our squadron. No civilians to help out either. I min-ran the qweep like a champ so I could still double turn every day. Boss never said a word about it, either. I don’t know your background, Flea, but sounds to me like you grew up in the MAF…for some reason they get off on the desk jockey shit. Don’t let it get to you, there’s more to life, despite what the AF makes you think.

And I’ll add my plug for the white jet gig if you’re looking to build your PIC time. Best damn assignment I’ve ever had, hands down. Super tight-knit group of dudes. And even if you get stuck in a group/wing job, the mission of the wing is to FLY - students can’t graduate unless you’re out there making the donuts (will 19th ever reach their annual quota? They’ll kill us trying, but I digress). 

Best of luck to you on your decision!

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Great advice all around from everyone and I'm appreciative. 

Two more questions. 

1.) Anyone have any info on the Nellis air taxi contract? Perhaps that's a good way to build expereince a bit more while still getting out of the AF and not having to take a tremendous pay cut? 

2.) More of a question on airline lifestyle, what is your social life like at an airline? Asking because I think the majority of adults make their friendships based on who they work with. Something about the airline life though tells me it's harder to build a robust network of close friends since it appears you are constantly changing crews, people base different places and you are often  working less frequently. It's not a deal breaker for me, just curious how people adapt to that. 

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I had similar concerns, but here’s what I found to be a lot easier than I initially thought:

- Make “real” friends with neighbors...they don’t need to be pilots (or mil) to be more than just the guy you say hi to occasionally. I do a lot of things with a few neighbors, none of whom have any connection to the mil/airlines.

- Get involved in local clubs/groups who have a common hobby. I’ve met a lot of guys in the local shooting/hunting and GA flying communities...I think my beer drinking and bullshitting hours after I told my wife I’d be home has only increased!

- Find a side job that’s something you enjoy, while also having the bonus of “work friends” / a work culture you like. Basically, you’re not doing it for the money, you’re doing it for the culture/hang out time and the job itself is fun/interesting. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, FLEA said:

2.) More of a question on airline lifestyle, what is your social life like at an airline? Asking because I think the majority of adults make their friendships based on who they work with. Something about the airline life though tells me it's harder to build a robust network of close friends since it appears you are constantly changing crews, people base different places and you are often  working less frequently. It's not a deal breaker for me, just curious how people adapt to that. 

I live in airline base and I'd only call one other airline guy a close friend.  Everyone else is from church, kid's soccer, Scouts.  Especially if you commute, you probably will have zero airline friends. 

I'll say it was a little lonely the first year or two after leaving the AF cocoon.  Nobody I met (except one sheriff's deputy) could remotely relate to my last decade+.  But, the longer I'm out, the less I can relate to my active time and the more I relate to my civilian friends.  Now that I'm not dealing with deployments, PCSs, MPF, and the latest OPR drama, I relate more to my civilian friend's preteen problems, their public school gripes, their IRA strategies, and that spot in their yard where grass just will not grow.  None of those things are airline-related, so they're easy to build relationships around. 

I assume you're a reasonably well adjusted officer.  You'll do fine.

Edited by nunya
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I've still got airline friends but they are harder to coordinate things with due to scheduling.  I see a lot more of my neighbors, church group, etc. and, just like my AF friends, they call me, I call them when I need help or they need help, meet up for dinner, whatever.  I left Active Duty and went into the Reserves as a full timer then went part time and to the airlines so my transition out of the military was gradual.  You will be fine and, I'm guessing, much happier.

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