Building your time
For a pilot to be marketable, his experience is crucial. In order for companies to consider a candidate, they set requirements based on three concepts. The first one is about the FAA regulations dictating for example who can be a single pilot in a part 135 freighter or who can be a first officer on a regional jet. The second one is based on the hiring trend of the industry, in regards to total flight time for example. The third and last one is based on their own pre-requisites criteria, like quantity of multi-engine time, turbine time, pilot in command time or perhaps seaplane experience. Needless to say, depending on the status of the industry, those concepts can vary tremendously. For example, in 2007, regional airlines were hiring pilot with less than 500 hours total time and some multi-engine time. In late 2010, those same positions were going to pilots with upward of 1500 hours total time and valuable experience flying multi-engine planes. Remember, it is a very cyclic business and with the new FAA rules implemented in 2014, the new absolut minimums for a position at a PART 121 passenger carrier, are ATP requirements. The more pilots are on the street looking for jobs, the higher the minimum requirements are. For you to become competitive, you will need to spend possibly the next couple years building your own experience and total flight time. To complete this next step, there is the option of renting an airplane, from a friend or an F.B.O, and fly around on your own time but also own dime and accumulate thoses hours. It can be a very rewarding experience especially if you can use the plane a few days at a time and go across the country to enjoy the landscape diversity that the United States has to offert. If you do not have access to an airplane, the next few pages will explain various way to achieve this step.