FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & OUR PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS
I just called a flight school and they told me they had a direct airline program and all I had to do is fly with them and teach for them to obtain the new 1500 hour airline minimums. Should I go to that flight school?
Beware of the old flight school sales pitch “learn how to fly here, flight instruct here”. The flight school is telling you the truth but let’s do the numbers on this statement. If the flight school brings in 10 new students in January and every month thereafter and it takes you 6 months to get your CFI, you now have 10 instructors for 10 new student’s mid-year and you are adding 10 new instructors per month. At the end of the year, you have 60 instructors fighting over 10 new students per month. Doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to build flight time, does it? You will get limited chances to build your multiengine time and it could take you several years to build 1500 hours. Eagle Jet International can give you all multi turbine time and get you to 1500 hours usually in less than a year.
How do I pay for my multi turboprop program?
50% of the 100 hour program will be your down payment and that will guarantee your position and starting date. 2 weeks prior to the class starting date, you will pay the other 50% of the 100 hour program. Once you are close to completing the 100 hours, you will pay the program cost difference to fly to 250 hours. When you are close to completing 250 hours, you will then pay the program cost difference to fly to 500 hours.
Example: So for the BE1900, your payments will be as follows:
- $8,450 is due upon signing your contract (100 hour BE1900 program cost is $16,900)
- $8,450 is due 2 weeks prior to your class starting date
- $3,900 will be due prior to completing 100 hours if you choose to extend your program to 250 hours
- $6,700 will be due prior to completing 250 hours if you choose to extend your program to 500 hours
*Heavy Jet program payments vary upon program.
Many schools and simulator companies in the United States claim to offer joint airline training programs. I am a US citizen with all of my FAA licenses and ratings. Should I join one of these accelerated programs?
There was a time during the recent acute pilot shortage of 2007/2008 that these programs may have been feasible. When the airlines start hiring again, the minimums will have substantially increased. As one airline human resources person stated to us…”you can only log so much time in a simulator”. Many airlines have canceled their programs with these companies. Beware of false claims to fast track airline programs that do not exist. Always verify with the named airline that the flight school or simulator company is advertising a joint program with is valid before entering one of these programs. Taking the time to build 250 to 500 flight hours in one of our programs will catapult your airline career goals!
I have graduated or I am about to graduate from a flight school. What are my chances to get hired by an airline?
To the opposite of what flight schools usually tell potential students, the fact is that once you graduate from a flight school with a commercial pilot license with instrument and multiengine ratings, the chances to get hired by an airline are remote to none (with the exception of a high shortage of pilots worldwide) due to a lack of flight experience. Most regional airlines would like to see at least 100 hours of multi time on your resume within the last 6 months.
What experience are the airlines looking for?
Many airline human resource professionals feel the best experience you can receive to get hired by an airline is to have flown for one. You are then considered as a professional pilot with airline experience and not as a flight school graduate without exposure to the real world of commercial aviation. Eagle Jet International’s main objective is to provide you with this unique airline pilot experience, which will make you a very marketable candidate for the airline interview. European, Asian and Middle Eastern Airlines in fact require experience on the type of aircraft they operate.
I am considering obtaining a Flight Instructor License (CFI/CFII). Should I do this instead of a first officer program?
Any type of professional flight experience you can receive is good experience in order to build your aviation career. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the following prior to investing in a flight instructor program.
What is the ratio of students/flight instructors at the school where I will teach?
A small ratio means a small amount of hours flown every month therefore a longer duration to meet a total flight time requirement therefore higher living expense costs.
In order to meet the airlines flight time requirements, several hundred hours of multiengine flight experience are required (turbine strongly preferred). Will I be able to teach in a flight school piston twin aircraft in order to meet these multiengine requirements? If so, how many hours will I get in the flight school’s twin per month?
The fact is that out of a 250-flight hour commercial pilot curriculum, most flight schools give you only 15 to 25 hours in a twin aircraft. It is also important to consider that your school might not have a twin aircraft or might have just a few twin aircraft for a large number of instructors. You may not be able to teach in a twin immediately since you will first need to meet your school’s flight time insurance requirements at which point the instructors are authorized to teach in the twin designated by a seniority list. A large number of pilots joining our airline programs are flight instructors who did not have the opportunity to build up a significant amount of twin time and therefore meeting the airlines total flight time requirements but not the multiengine requirements.
In order to save time compared to a flight instructor program, I am considering purchasing a block of hours on single or multiengine aircraft with a flight school. Is this more beneficial than a first officer program?
Our programs are designed to provide you with actual airline first officer experience in transport aircraft for a lower price (training & FAA check ride included) than renting most single engine aircraft such as a Cessna 150 in a flight school. Here are some examples:
- Turboprop Beech 99 (training to be qualified included): a 250 hour program comes out to $75.60 an hour and a 500 hour program comes out to $49 an hour.
- Heavy turboprop Beech 1900 (training to be qualified included): a 250 hour program comes out to $79.20 an hour and a 500 hour program comes out to $51 an hour.
I have decided to join an airline first officer program. Why choose Eagle Jet International?
Eagle Jet International has been the largest company specialized in airline first officer programs worldwide for several years. We currently have under contract more than 400 transport aircraft. Our programs take place on several different types of aircraft in each category (piston, turbine, heavy turbine, executive jet and heavy jet). Our expertise and full time commitment to our airline programs will provide you with the ingredients needed to jumpstart your career. We are ex airline pilots and as such will offer you the valuable guidance while you are going through the steps of your airline pilot career. We will also do our level best to provide you with interviews with the airlines upon completion of the program. Our programs are designed by pilots, for pilots, in all of their aspects. Here are some of the benefits to the pilots:
Payments are broken down into options for the turboprop and piston twin programs. Should you wish to join a 250 or more hour program, we suggest that you do not pay the entire program upfront but instead first enroll for 100 hours with the option to extend to 250 hours by making the payment difference between 100 and 250 hours once you have completed the initial 100 hours. The same holds true if you wish for further program extensions. A large number of our first officers are hired with less turbine hours than they initially expected, thus a lower program cost.
Our goal is not to provide you with only turbine hours. Instead, we optimize your airline program by providing hours the airlines prefer to see along with airline turbine experience, which are actual IFR experience hours and night hours. Even though Eagle Jet International is based in Miami, our executive jet, turboprop and multi programs are based in various US states where the chance to obtain a very significant portion of actual IFR hours in your logbook is high. In order to optimize the amount of night hours you will receive, we are primarily contracted with cargo airlines.
With the same concern of providing you with the best opportunities, our executive jet, turboprop and multi programs take place during FAA Part 135 operations. The reason is that once hired by an airline (we will concentrate on obtaining an interview with airlines flying regional jets as part of their fleet), you will go through the entire initial training of this airline regardless of your past experience. On the other hand, if hired by a Part 135 company, you might get reduced training if you were previously qualified Part 135 on the same type of aircraft. Optimizing our airline programs to our pilots’ best benefit is our main goal.
Airline new hires are given a seniority number. What is its purpose?
The seniority number given to you by the airline will dictate your advancement within the airline (upgrade to a larger aircraft, upgrade to a captain position etc). The earlier you are hired by an airline, the better the seniority number and the faster you will advance. Our airline programs are designed to provide you with the ideal airline experience the airlines are looking for thus increasing the possibility of getting hired by an airline much earlier than by pursuing a flight instructor progression. Financially, this means a higher income earlier and generally speaking, access to financial benefits throughout your airline pilot career earlier as opposed to an initial flight instructor career path. Your airline pilot career will be advanced by several years. This is especially important to college graduates who will need to start reimbursing a university loan soon and pilots making a career change. Eagle Jet International is approved by many student loan institutions so pilots joining our programs can obtain a student loan and /or consolidate this loan with a past loan.
I am considering getting a transport aircraft qualification (type rating) with no actual airline experience on type. Should I do this?
Unless you already have a significant amount of experience with turbine aircraft during actual commercial operations, getting a transport aircraft qualification will not improve your marketability except in the rare case of an airline or company with which you have a signed contract guaranteeing employment if you obtain a specific type rating. The airlines are much more interested in a pilot with a significant amount of actual piston twin or turbine flight experience (even in a different type of aircraft than what they operate) than in a pilot without piston twin or turbine experience and who has completed a type-rating course. A much higher level of proficiency and actual airline experience has been acquired with the first officer time building program.
What are the requirements in order to join one of Eagle Jet Internationals airline first officer programs?
Joining an executive jet, turboprop or multi program requires to hold a current FAA commercial pilot license with instrument and multiengine ratings and a second class medical. No minimum amount of flight time is required for most of our first officer programs. It is important to be current flying instruments prior to the first day of class. In case you have not flown instruments recently, one of the best and most economical ways to get your instrument proficiency back is to rent a basic flight school simulator at your local airport and have a CFII conduct one or more review sessions in the simulator, getting you up to the point that you feel confident again. The airline with which you will train will teach you everything you need to know about its flight operations and the transport aircraft you will fly but will not make any review of basic instrument procedures that you are supposed to have acquired during your initial commercial and instrument pilot training. Our airline programs are designed for low time pilots coming out of a flight school with no previous turbine or airline experience. For this reason, the normal training duration is 4 to 6 weeks.
Joining a heavy turbojet program requires to hold a current JAA, FAA, Canadian, Australian or other ICAO commercial pilot license with instrument and multiengine ratings, the corresponding type rating and a first class medical.
I am leaving the military with pilot experience. Is an airline first officer program a valuable option to me in order to be marketable to an airline or an executive charter company?
The airlines do appreciate your military background with most of them considering this a plus. Nevertheless, they normally like to see actual civilian commercial experience prior to hiring an ex military pilot. The time and efficiency of our programs will enable you to be an excellent candidate for both airlines and executive charter companies. A program consisting of transport aircraft with 100 hours of actual flight time as an airline pilot during commercial operations is a valuable option along with the possibility to extend to 250 hours if really needed. This is more important for ex rotary wing pilots since most airlines require a substantial amount of multi fixed wing time.
I do not have previous turbine experience and I am considering receiving heavy turbojet first officer experience in order to get hired directly by an airline flying heavy jets. Is your heavy turbojet program for me?
In order to get hired by an airline flying heavy jets based in the United States or Canada, in most cases it is required to have approximately 2,500 hours total time with 250 to 500 hours of turbine preferred. Receiving turbojet experience will indeed place you in an excellent position to get hired by such airlines since they strongly prefer past experience on aircraft of the same category. Nevertheless, if upon completion of one of our heavy turbojet programs, you fall short of these minimum flight time requirements, joining a heavy turbojet program might not be the best option for you at this stage of your pilot career. Due to the increased program costs involved with a heavy turbojet program as these prices are higher than a turboprop program. For the same price, you can receive more flight time hours in a turboprop aircraft versus a heavy turbojet aircraft. This is to be considered, especially if you currently have less than 1,000 hours total time. It is important to not only obtain the ideal airline experience the airlines are looking for but also to build up your multiengine turbine and total flight time at the same time in order to be in an excellent position to get hired by a regional airline or an executive jet company. Your entry level pilot position is the most difficult to get and it is important to optimize your experience in order to obtain it. Once hired, you are already working towards your next move to the heavy jet airline by accumulating additional turbine experience with your initial airline.
It is also important to consider the fact that the major US airlines are starting to discontinue short and medium range routes due to the fact that their aircraft flying these routes are too large and not cost effective compared to the regional jets of the regional airlines. Even if the major airlines are still selling the tickets for such routes in some cases, they sublease the flight to a regional airline they are associated with. The regional airlines flying regional jets as part of their fleet will continue to expand their share of the market for the years to come. This is important to you since a regional airline is the preferred place of employment for your first position as an airline pilot.
Also keep in mind the mandatory retirements of major airline pilots in the years to come (60 years of age is the maximum age authorized to fly for the FAA Part 121 air carriers).
In order to get hired by an airline flying heavy jets based in western Europe, the requirements are different. Holding a current JAA frozen ATPL and a first class medical with heavy jet first officer experience is generally sufficient even if the pilot’s total flight time is low per US heavy jet airlines requirements. A 18 to 24 month duration for initial frozen ATPL training which is always geared towards airline flying coupled with actual airline heavy jet first officer experience can give pilots better possibilities to get hired directly by JAA heavy jet airlines making Eagle Jet International’s heavy jet programs an excellent choice to JAA pilots. In order to optimize the experience received during our heavy jet programs, pilots are based in Europe or nearby countries and fly most of the time within the western European airspace.
Pilots interested in getting hired by heavy jet airlines based outside of North America and western Europe will have to meet requirements, which will vary depending on the geographical area and each individual airline. In most cases, a type rating with 300 to 500 hours of experience on type will be enough for a low time pilot to secure a position with a heavy jet airline.
I have a non-aviation related job and I hold a commercial pilot license with instrument and multiengine ratings. I am now ready for a career change to become an airline pilot. Why should I choose one of your programs?
The Eagle Jet International airline first officer programs will give you the airline turbine experience the airlines are looking for. This experience, which would normally take several years to have access to and complete, is available to you immediately. Our training philosophy parallels the training used in the military where low time pilots are provided with the appropriate training in order to be qualified on a turbine aircraft and start flying during actual operations immediately after completing our training. This is an important consideration when making a career change since you might only have a short amount of time available before being in a position of receiving a steady salary and establish yourself with this new career.
I do not have a four-year college degree. Will this limit my pilot career advancement?
Most of the US major airlines require you to have a degree. So if you plan to join a major US airline in the future, it is recommended that you obtain a four-year college degree. In order to optimize their aviation career, more and more pilots first concentrate on getting hired by a regional airline or executive charter company. Once a position has been secured and the pilot is established within the company, he/she then takes advantage of the correspondence Internet college programs available in order to obtain his/her four-year college degree at their own pace while increasing their airline turbine experience and receiving an income from the airline. Even though it will take a longer duration of time to complete this degree compared to a full time college attendance, this is an option to consider since usually a minimum of two to three years with a regional airline is needed in order to become a competitive candidate for a major airline. This is especially interesting to pilots who have already completed part of a four-year college degree. Unlike major US airlines, most heavy jet airlines worldwide do not require a 2 or 4 year college degree.
What are some of the features unique to the Eagle Jet Internationals first officer programs?
- Complete JAA and FAA certified transport aircraft training curriculum undergone with an airline and not with a private training center which gives pilots the opportunity to be prepared from the first day of training to the actual line flying.
- Extensive Crew Cockpit management training and experience during actual airline flight operations.
- Advanced turbine aircraft training and experience during actual airline flight operations. Most airlines prefer pilots already qualified on a transport aircraft since this represents a level of knowledge and proficiency on turbine equipment that these pilots have already acquired. This means that the pilot was able to satisfactorily complete an FAA oral examination and check ride on a turbine aircraft. This is the reason why the airlines are interested in pilots with actual airline turbine experience as a first officer.
- Pilots become fully operational as an airline first officer by being trained to the various tasks that an airline first officer needs to accomplish, along with the actual flying of the aircraft and conducting these tasks during actual airline operations. Thanks to the “real world” experience received with Eagle Jet International, the pilot is now able to fulfill these tasks in an efficient and timely manner while flying on line.
- Eagle Jet International will prepare your resume in a professional manner.
- Eagle Jet International will submit your resume for you to a number of regional US airlines currently employing our past graduates.
- Eagle Jet International will prep you for your airline interviews.
- Pilots completing an Eagle Jet International airline first officer program meet or exceed the flight time, proficiency, and operational skill requirements of most airlines and charter companies.
- Eagle Jet International will be there for you even after you are hired for your initial airline job. We stay with you and your career! A simple phone call to any of our professional airline advisors will get you the important answers to any of your career questions. We are more than just about time building; we are successful airline careers!