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Subject: So you want to be a Corporate Pilot?
 
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JUSTHELICOPTERSUser is Offline
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01/30/2005 6:28 PM  
People frequently ask about Corporate flying so I put this together from a couple of sources. Perhaps it may be of use to someone. Generally speaking there are 3 different types of Corporate Flying. 1. Corporate Flight Department for a Large Corporation, i.e., Merck, Pfizer, Avantis, FPL and so on. 2. Flying for a very wealthy Private Owner 3. Fractional Operators – Flying for many businesses I work in a flight department for a large corporation that has several jets and two Agusta A109E’s. In my opinion, this is the best situation for a pilot, but everyone has different needs. Typically, we have very good pay and benefits and a very stable schedule……meaning everything is scheduled in advance and you are not called up on a Sunday morning to fly. Based on my experience, you typically will not work holidays or weekends, as the company exec’s typically do not work at those times. You will also typically fly some of the nicest equipment with top notch training every 6 months to a year. I also think that it can be one of the most stable of the 3 with respect to job security, although several flight departments have been shutting down as of late, i.e., Phillip Morris is on their way out from what I hear. Here is an excerpt from another post in another forum from another poster that I saved on the highlights of flying for a Private Owner or a Fractional. [b]Flying for a Private Owner[/b] Upsides: 1. Flying new equipment (EGPWS, TCAS, 4 axis autopilot) 2. Cross trained into fixed-wing. I know everyone here thinks fixed-wing sucks, but it has just doubled my chances for future employment if the need arises. 3. Making MUCH more money then when I was doing EMS work. 4. Pretty much a member of the bosses family. Treats me like one of his kids when we are on the road. Has even invited my family on several trips. 5. FlightSafety twice a year. 6. Full time mechanic that doesn't have to scrimp on maint. costs. 7. Owner doesn't need to feel important by having me look like a stooge. Wear either dockers or jeans and never have to wear a tie. 8. A real Christmas bonus. 9. Almost always 24+ hours notification of a flight. 10. Have never been questioned on an expense account. Even when I should have been! 11. Not questioned when I turn down a flight due to wx. He gets bummed, but doesn't want to be a statistic either. Downsides: 1. Pretty much a member of the family. Sometimes it gets a little akward doing things like you are a family member of a rich guy. Feels like I'm on somebody's possie. 2. Almost always 24+ hours notice of a flight. You notice I did say almost. 3. Long days. Usually when I fly, I can plan on 12+ hours duty. Fortunately we don't fly every day. 4. It is a private aircraft that does not generate any income for the owner. If he gets tired with it, it goes away. The bottom line for me is the personality of the owner. If he is a nice guy (yes there are several rich nice guys out there) that thinks about his employees as people and not just slaves, corporate for a private individual can be one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have. The flip side is the guy that treats you like crap and thinks you owe him for the privilage of working for him. [b]Now from the Fractional side of the house:[/b] We kind of fill the gap between Corporate flight departments and Private owners. Some of our owners are corporations, and some are individuals. It definitely keeps it interesting, as you never know quite what to expect from day to day. In the case of the corporate owners, we'll fly company execs around as if we were a corporate shuttle. These flights can turn into long days, and lots of sit time. Normally we'll fly a group to a meeting in one city, wait for them, then fly them to another meeting in another city...wait for them... and so on. I've done as many as 8 stop-and-waits in one day for one owner. Thats not the norm, but it does happen. On the flip side, flying for the individual owners consists of taking the Mrs. and her friends shopping in the city, flying the dog to a vet appointment, flying the family up for a Ski weekend, taking the kids to a soccer game, or taking the Boss and his buddies to Atlantic City on a Friday night. Our aircraft are all super sexy, top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art, go fast, full IFR machines. They are meticulously maintained by the best mechanics available, and have all the bells and whistles (EFIS, FADEC, EGPWS, TCAS, Wx Radar, Dual AP, Etc). The pay is normally a bit higher than most other Helo gigs, but not as high as a straight Corporate flight department. Advantages: 1. Fractional pilots normally have a set schedule (i.e. 7 on, 3 off, etc) 2. Above average equipment, maintenance and training (FSI twice a year is the norm) 3. Above average pilots. Lots of pilots want to fly corporate, so we have a large pool to select from, and we pick the best. No offense to any other type of pilot intended. 4. Excellent Benefits. Full medical, dental and vision immediately. 5. Two pilot cockpits. No single pilot ops in the Fractional world. 6. Better than average salary. Not the top, but better than most. 7. If you don't fly, you don't report to the office. No "Face" time, standby or additional duties. 8. No jumping thru hoops at the last minute because the boss decides he wants to go somewhere. We have a set callout time, which allows for plenty of preflight planning time. 9. Weather calls are non-negotiable. No pressure to fly in bad weather. Disadvantages: 1. Long, change-filled days. But thats nothing new to a helo pilot. 2. Unpredictable hours. 6am show one day, 9pm the next. 3. Dealing with rich people who think they're better than you are. (But we know they aren't) 4. Salary is not up to par with big Corporate flight departments. (But a great place to meet people and network) 5. Having people look at you with the deer-in-the-headlights/clueless look when you tell them you fly for a Fractional. All things considered, Fractional is a great compromise. It's not quite as high paying as true corporate, but you put up with far less BS as well. The benefits are good, the aircraft are top-notch, the pilots are great. END EXCERPT As a side note, whichever you choose to do, there are two things that are required. Number one, the experience and qualifications for the job (and be good at it). Number two, you really do need to know someone. It is very much who you know and being in the right place at the right time. Never miss a chance to network! Good Luck!
htmcgsUser is Offline
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01/30/2005 9:41 PM  
Lyn, Thank you very much for yore advice. Right now I work for PHI on the EMS side have about 3600hrs, but my down fall is twin time any advice for that. Thank you htmcgs
FraxPilotUser is Offline
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01/31/2005 4:59 PM  
JH Forum Folks, I am a Fractional Pilot in the NYC area, and would be more than happy to correspond to anyone wanting to take a peek into the Corporate/Fractional side of the house. I wrote the fractional excerpt Lyn used above, so that kinda gives a quick rundown of what it is we do, but if you'd like more information on Corporate ops, flying in NYC, etc, please let me know. I am not an overflowing font of information, but I do have access to answers for 99% of the questions I've been asked thru the years, so fire away. Blue Skies, Gene
htmcgsUser is Offline
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01/31/2005 8:06 PM  
Hey Gene, Its me again , I really like to thank you for all youre help.I belive you have a copy of my resume tell me what you think.
FraxPilotUser is Offline
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01/31/2005 8:43 PM  
Hossam, Hi! Yes, I have forwarded your Resume to the appropriate people. I also talked with RM on the radio the other day. He said to say hello. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything! Best regards and blue skies, G
goflyheloUser is Offline
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02/01/2005 7:30 PM  
Hello Gene, what kind of min times do fractional/corporate look for? I'm assuming it'll be like: ATP , with min of 3000 or somehting similar..right? Would that also be the case for a First Officer requirement? Thanks!

Ruben A Campos
San Diego, CA.
FraxPilotUser is Offline
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02/01/2005 7:48 PM  
Hi, Actually the minimums are not as high as you may think, at least not for my company. They are as follows: Bell 430 Captains: FAA Helicopter ATP & Instrument rating 3,000 hours min TT 1,000 hours PIC helicopters 500 hours multi-engine helicopter preferred 50 hours instrument 50 hours cross-country 50 hours night First Class medical Bell 430 First Officers: FAA Commercial Helicopter with Instrument rating A minimum of 1,000 hours At least 750 hours in helicopters 300 hours cross-country 100 hours of night flight A turbine transition 50 hours of actual or simulated instrument time A current Second Class medical Now keep in mind, these are minimums, and Corporate/Fractional jobs are getting more and more competetive. We also do a fair amount of instrument flying, so the more hood/instrument time you have, the farther ahead you'll be. The starting salaries are $65K Captain, and $55K F/O, but we normally hire F/Os and promote Captains from within the company. Now, if you want a true Corporate job with a Fortune 500 company, you're probably going to need at LEAST 3000 hours and an ATP rating just to get a second look. And that's not to mention an impressive list of references, and probably 500 hours in the NYC area if thats where the company is located. For more information, go to www.heliflite.com . We (I believe) are currently interviewing pilots for future positions, hopefully starting late spring, early summer. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. Regards and Blue Skies, GB
goflyheloUser is Offline
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02/02/2005 6:42 PM  
Thanks for the info Gene! :) I've just sent you a PM on the subject...

Ruben A Campos
San Diego, CA.
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02/02/2005 7:51 PM  
Anytime R, Replied to your PM. Let me know if I can answer any more questions! Regards, Gene
goflyheloUser is Offline
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02/03/2005 1:08 PM  
Thanks Gene! :)

Ruben A Campos
San Diego, CA.
HeliPilotRobUser is Offline
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02/03/2005 4:25 PM  
Very excellent information. Even though I am not a pilot...yet, it is very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing all that. Take care, Robert
Hoss-FlyUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 4:59 PM  
I kinda like the sound of the fractional outfits. When I leave the army, my patriotism for my home state of Texas requires that I live within its borders. Anyone know of any helo fractional ops. in Texas? Vince
FraxPilotUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 5:14 PM  
Vince, The only two helo Fractional operators I know of are both here in the NE (HeliFlite and Associated Aircraft Group, dba Skiorsky Shares). My company, HeliFlite shares does have corporate offices in TX, but no aircraft there. I have an idea.... start your own! Its a great concept, and I am not sure why there are only two companies in the country doing this... Maybe there is not a demand for Bell 430s or S-76s outside of NYC, but I dont see why 206s, A Stars, R44s, etc would not work for a fractional in a different location. Wish I had better news for you. Blue Skies, Gene
Hoss-FlyUser is Offline
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02/08/2005 4:07 AM  
Gene, Thanks for the reply. Starting your own sounds like something way to complicated for this country boy. THough, I have often thought that someone providing service between, DFW area, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio would be a great idea. A helo could get them their faster than a car, and it would be even faster than a regional flight since one could bypass things like big airport parking, security, and all the waiting in lines.......come to think of it, if anyone reads this who has a few million dollars laying around, give me a call when I get out of the army in a year and we'll make it happen. How does "Lonestar Fractional Heli" sound? Have a great day, Vince
chu082011User is Offline
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06/22/2012 2:50 PM  
I like So you want to be a Corporate Pilot? very much. Thanks for all. It's wonderful.

If you want to do more info, you also visit at:http://pilotinterviewquestions.info/corporate-pilot-interview-questions/


Warrior58dUser is Offline
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08/17/2012 11:27 AM  
is anyone around that is flying corporate. I notice this thread was started in 05 and I would like some info on where to even begin to look for a corp gig.
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Forums > JH Alternate Forum > General Helicopter Discussion > So you want to be a Corporate Pilot?



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