BREAKING INTO BUSINESS AVIATION AS A CORPORATE FLIGHT ATTENDANT

How I transitioned from Part 121 ( Commercial Aviation ) to Parts 91/135 ( Business Aviation )

The last airline I flew for in the mid 1980s, Capitol Air, went bankrupt. I always noticed these cool, outrageous jets while we were taxiing and I knew I wanted to be on them. The moment Capitol shut down, I went to Aircare FACTS Training for “corporate specific egress training ” ( I actually coined that terminology 25 years ago ) and started flying.

In life, there are things you are just good at and things that you are not…. It’s amazing…. I was good at this from day one. My first trip was on a Falcon 50 with 8 pax from VNY – DCA and they wanted a four-course hot dinner with a small HIGH-LOW oven with four small racks. I pulled it off in a galley the size of a minute, and no space. And I knew I had arrived in DCA literally and figuratively into a new and amazing industry!

I believe these are some of the essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant career –

* Flexibility
* Creativity
* Personal accountability
* Integrity
* Interpersonal skills
* No ego
* Taking direction
* Confidentiality
* Constant professionalism
* Being multi-task oriented
* Ability to compartmentalize
* Out-of-the-box thinking
* Effective time management
* Book trips, keep and maintain schedules
* Manage themselves as a business
* Interface with several flight departments
* Adapt to various flight departments’ SOPs
* Remain open-minded at all times
* Be impeccably organized
* A passion & LOVE for food!
* Perform safe and creative menu planning and food execution
* Maintain recurrent egress training annually
* CRM ( Crew Resource Management )

The advice I would impart if you are looking at a career as a corporate flight attendant would be -

Have a great resume and cover letter. Direct it TO the company with whom you are applying to. Never send a generic cover letter. The cover letter is the most decisive part of a CV/Resume packet!

Vet your training options. This is not an easy industry to break into so you need to be tenacious and do not give up! I look at this as a sales job, you are selling “you.” When a true salesperson hears “No,” that translates into not now, but maybe later. You really need to understand the cabin dynamics involved in this type and venue of flying. It is totally unlike Part 121 (commercial). When you are doing this work, whether full time or contact, it is the passengers’ world not yours. It is a flying office or a family’s personal mode of transportation.“You are a paid guest on the plane,” I can’t stress that enough.

Susan C. Friedenberg – President & CEO
Corporate Flight Attendant Training & Global Consulting
241 South 6th Street – Suite 1806
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106 USA

The Corporate Flight Attendant

Deciding to make a living at 30,000 feet in the air while serving corporate executives food and beverages isn’t a career choice made lightly. The life of a corporate flight attendant has its ups and downs between take off and landing, as well as after the plane has parked and shutdown for the evening. The following are a few noteworthy pieces from one of our partners, Susan C. Friedenberg – President & CEO of Corporate Flight Attendant Training & Global Consulting.

In-Flight Service – Professionalism – Egress Training
In the winter of 2011, a business jet preparing to depart a London airport was deiced shortly before its 4:00 am departure. Having been “egress-trained”, he was schooled in emergency procedures and the use of lifesaving equipment to quickly and safely evacuate passengers, upon boarding the aircraft, the flight attendant pre-checked all of his emergency equipment, including the smoke hoods and life vests stowed in the “doghouse” under each seat.
Fortunately, the company permitted him to sit in the cabin in an aft-facing seat adjacent to the over wing exit, a recognized “best practice” for business jet flight attendants. As the aircraft climbed to 3,000 feet, the cabin filled with dense black smoke. The attendant could just make out that the pilots had donned their oxygen masks. Immediately, he went into emergency mode, putting his flashlight between his teeth to free his hands while getting the smoke hoods out from under the seats and onto himself and the three passengers. The pilots were able to land safely less than two minutes later, at which time they learned that the aircraft’s Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) had been saturated with deicing fluid which turned to deadly smoke as the APU heated up. Had that quick-thinking flight attendant not been in the back – or if he’d not had the proper training – the ground crew very likely would have found four dead upon landing.
Today’s corporate flight attendant is charged with much more than simply serving beverages and a meal service. He or she is, in every sense of the word, the first responder in the cabin in the event of any emergency, medical or otherwise.
The professional corporate flight attendant -
In the early, post-World War II days of business aviation, aviation managers and chief pilots often used flight mechanics in the back of larger cabin aircraft for cabin service. The advent of the jet age spawned a new generation of aircraft now flying 500 MPH eight miles above the ground. These jets offered more complex and customized interiors, and more of a need for high tech and elaborate passenger amenities due to the aircraft’s range. The galley equipment became more elaborate and extensive, as did the high-tech electronic communication and in-flight entertainment systems. The third crew member – known by the 1980s as a “corporate flight attendant,” now handled specialized & a safe food service, as well as serving as a trained safety device in the cabin.
What to look for when you hire a corporate flight attendant –
Business aviation is a world and environment of total flexibility. So whether you hire one or more dedicated flight attendants for your own aircraft, or use a contract flight attendant, you will want someone who can adapt quickly and graciously to your often-changing schedule and evolving needs. That said, it is incumbent upon you to be sure that the individual(s) you hire are “corporate specific” trained and maintain their yearly recurrent training in three primary areas:
• Emergency procedures: first aid and CPR/AED and procedures for a decompression and planned or unplanned evacuations.
• Culinary arts: designing and preparing a menu (assessing the credentials of any caterer globally) that meets your preferences and dietary needs whether food allergies or religious restrictions, as well as those of your guests.
• Food safety: those who handle the catering have a legal, ethical, and economic responsibility for keeping the food safe to eat and keeping it temperature safe on the aircraft. In addition to the safety of the passengers, a physically compromised pilot due to food poisoning jeopardizes the trip.
In addition to superior training and experience, and the aforementioned ability to be flexible in all situations, a professional flight attendant should possess the following qualities: creativity and “out of the box” thinking; personal integrity and accountability, including absolute discretion and confidentiality; excellent time management skills; and the ability to take directions from multiple sources, including the CEO, his/her corporate and personal family, the aviation manager, the chief pilot, the dispatcher/scheduler, the chief flight attendant, and the maintenance staff, among others.
Hiring a Contract Flight Attendant –
When the need to hire a contract flight attendant arises, please understand that contract flying is the most difficult, challenging, and rewarding type of flying. The professional contract flight attendant – while eager to serve you well and do his or her job to the highest standard of excellence – is unfamiliar with your specific preferences, needs, and requirements. He or she interacts daily with those from many different cultures, corporate personalities and on a wide variety of aircraft from various aircraft manufacturers. Each aircraft has its own separate and unique features. Each plane has its own distinct galley set-up, different onboard amenities, aircraft-specific emergency exits, emergency equipment and configurations. Some of the galleys may or may not be “flight attendant friendly.” Unlike your own dedicated, full-time flight attendant who is accustomed to the same environment each time he or she flies, and who is keenly attuned to your passenger profile, the contract flight attendant is always acclimating and adjusting to a new work environment. They are always reinventing themselves.
In addition, each flight department has different standard operating procedures (SOPs) and philosophies to which the flight attendant must adhere, and each has a subtly different role for their third crew member. The contract corporate flight attendant must adjust all of the time, while recognizing his or her role as a paid guest on your aircraft.
The corporate flight attendant – whether an employee or contractor – is there to serve you. You are your company’s best asset or your family’s very important person/loved one, so please remember: Safety always comes first!

Your Ticket to Getting an Interview: FlightLevelJobs.com Professional Resume Writing Service

On August 1, 2014 FlightLevelJobs.com launched a NEW Professional Resume Writing Service for its members. After many years of being in the aviation employment business and having seen thousands of aviation resumes, the staff here at FlightLevelJobs.com has become well qualified to ascertain a “good” aviation resume from a “bad” one. Building a resume as a professional pilot requires the ability to make your qualifications stand out. Having a strong resume is the KEY to getting the job you want. Over the years the staff here at FlightLevelJobs.com has poured through literally thousands of resumes in our database of over 28,000+ aviation jobseekers. Sadly, many of them are very poorly written.
As most of us are aware, the HR person who reads your resume, looks at it for an average of only about 15 seconds. Your aviation resume needs to stand out and put you in a competitive advantage. But, before you run out to your favorite book store and buy a book written by some English major with a PHD in resume writing, you may want to think twice. The aviation industry is one of the few that generally does not require a standard functional resume that emphasizes detailed work experience. You may be the best candidate for the position, but a poorly written resume will leave a lasting impression. Remember: You only get one chance to make a great first impression with the hiring department. If your resume is not well prepared and you don’t get an interview, it could take 1 to 2 years to get another chance. Increase your chances of being hired the first time by having your resume created by Flightleveljobs.com. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just starting your aviation career, we can help!

Shortage of pilot candidates puts a drag on regional carriers

As recently reported by the Dallas News:
Pedro Fábregas did the math, and the math wasn’t good.

Fábregas, president and chief executive of Envoy Air Inc., says Envoy hired about 52 pilots in the first quarter. But 20 pilots were moving each month to parent American Airlines Inc. and 22 to 24 were leaving for other jobs or for other reasons.

“You can see the deficit there,” Fábregas said recently.

Envoy, formerly known as American Eagle Airlines Inc., isn’t the only regional carrier having trouble with pilot math. For a combination of reasons, regional carriers are having a tougher time finding enough qualified pilots to keep their cockpits manned.

“I think it is a very, very real issue,” aviation consultant Bill Swelbar said. He noted that some regional carriers have already had to park airplanes because they don’t have enough pilots and can’t hire enough replacements.

“This all speaks to an industry that is concerned about having sufficient bodies to fly the schedule that’s in the computer today,” said Swelbar, executive vice president of InterVistas Consulting LLC.

He led a study that projected that the four largest U.S. carriers, American Airlines Inc., United Airlines Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co., will need 14,000 pilots by 2022 just to replace pilots hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Regional carriers as a group currently employ about 18,000 pilots. And regional carriers are the primary source of candidates for pilot jobs at the mainline carriers.

Another consulting firm, Flightpath Economics Inc., looked at the number of retirements at the mainline carriers, including US Airways Inc. as part of American, and predicted nearly 18,000 mandatory retirements through 2022.

“Over the next eight years, the largest network carriers will retire approximately 50 percent of their pilots, resulting in a hiring frenzy that will extract pilots currently flying in the cockpits of lower-paid regional airline affiliates,” Flightpath said in its study.

That could lead to a pilot crisis at the regionals. Some have already had to reduce service.

Forced to cut flights

Since Jan. 1, Great Lakes Airlines has stopped service to 14 small cities in eight states, places like Hays, Kan., and Jamestown, N.D. In its annual report filed April 9, the Cheyenne, Wyo.-based airline said it didn’t have enough pilots to support the service.

In fact, Great Lakes cited the pilot shortage as a primary reason that doubts have been raised about its ability to continue operating.

On April 9, Silver Airways Inc., a small carrier based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cited a “nationwide shortage of regional airline pilots” as a primary reason for its decision to stop service between Atlanta and five Southern cities.

Silver had been offering $6,000 hiring bonuses to attract first officers. On April 3, it increased the bonus to $12,000.

One of the largest regional airlines, Republic Airlines Inc., blamed a shortage of pilots earlier this year for its decision not to seek renewal of contracts to fly 27 Embraer jets for mainline partners American and United when those contracts expire this year.

In February, United announced a pull-down of service at its Cleveland hub. One reason cited was that regional partner ExpressJet Airlines Inc. had difficulty finding enough pilots to operate its flights there.

Regional Airline Association president Roger Cohen said his members are more important than ever as they fly nearly half of the scheduled flights in the United States.

“But I must say the single thing that has thrown not just sand in the gears but has the potential of dramatically reducing that footprint is the issue of having enough pilots to fly the schedules,” he said.

New federal rules

While the need to replace retiring pilots was already going to be a problem in coming years, Cohen and others said two factors have suddenly brought the issue to the forefront:

First, the federal government began requiring pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight time before joining an air carrier. Before Aug. 1, 2013, the requirement was 250 hours.

Second, new federal restrictions on flight time and duty time in January increased the number of pilots needed to fly the same airline schedules as before.

Speaking to industry analysts in February, Republic Air Holdings Inc. CEO Bryan Bedford said the 1,500-hour rule and the pilot duty limits “are adding new crew resource challenges for all regional airlines.”

Mainline carriers haven’t had any problem. They’ve been draining the regional carriers. It’s the regional carriers that have had to deal with getting enough qualified pilots in the door.

The new federal rules put up a roadblock for college students wanting to be pilots, said Cohen and Swelbar, the aviation consultant. They have spent huge amounts of money to graduate as pilots. Now they have to pay for more expensive flying time to meet the 1,500-hour rule.

“It used to be I could go to a four-year university and come out with 300 to 400 hours and be able to move immediately and take a job with a regional airline,” Swelbar said.

The union view

Unions representing pilots say the industry would lure enough pilots if carriers would pay them more.

With starting pay for first officers at $22,000 to $23,000, new pilots start out at low levels after spending a small fortune to get through school and get their necessary licenses.

Pilots at three carriers — Envoy, Republic and ExpressJet — have rejected new contracts recently. Envoy’s parent company, American Airlines Group Inc., had insisted on cost-cutting contracts as a condition for Envoy to get larger jets.

On Thursday, pilots union leaders from those three carriers and 10 other regional airlines signed a joint pact not to accept concessionary contracts and allow managements to play one union against another.

“With the shortage of qualified pilots who are willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits at fee-for-departure carriers, the time is now for true cooperation,” the union leaders stated in their communiqué.

Cohen, head of the airline trade group, expressed doubt that a higher starting wage would help in the face of the 1,500-hour limit.

“It doesn’t matter if you triple the starting salary tomorrow,” he said. “That’s still not going to create one more person that’s got 1,500 hours tomorrow.”

The 1,500-hour rule, as well as the duty-time rule and heightened requirements for training, stem largely from a Colgan Air Inc. crash on approach to Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009. There was evidence that pilot errors and fatigue played big roles. For that reason, the rule probably won’t be changed.

“On the political side, it’s untouchable,” Swelbar said.

He expects more effects of the pilot shortage to show up in airline schedules next fall and winter, but he thinks the industry will mitigate the impact for a few years. He sees 2017 as the year when a lack of cockpit crews could force carriers to significantly reduce service to the smaller, less profitable cities in their networks.

“I don’t think we’re going to do much in this space until airports en masse begin to go dark,” Swelbar said. “That’s when it hits home.”

If you are a pilot with at least 1500 total time and are interested in joining with an airline, FlightLevelJobs.com can assist you in obtaining your goal. Many of our regional airline employers are now offering a sign on bonus as much as $12,000.

Your pilot job search begins and ends at FlightLevelJobs.com .

Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots

As reported by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO): GAO found mixed evidence regarding the extent of a shortage of airline pilots, although regional airlines have reported difficulties finding sufficient numbers of qualified pilots over the past year. Specifically, looking at broad economic indicators, airline pilots have experienced a low unemployment rate—the most direct measure of a labor shortage; however, both employment and earnings have decreased since 2000, suggesting that demand for these occupations has not outstripped supply. Looking forward, industry forecasts and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections suggest the need for pilots to be between roughly 1,900 and 4,500 pilots per year, on average, over the next decade, which is consistent with airlines’ reported expectations for hiring over this period. Yet studies GAO reviewed examining whether the future supply of pilots will be sufficient to meet this need had varying conclusions. Two studies point to the large number of qualified pilots that exists, but who may be working abroad, in the military, or in another occupation, as evidence that there is adequate supply. However, whether these pilots choose to seek employment with U.S. airlines depends on the extent to which pilot job opportunities arise, and on the wages and benefits airlines offer. Another study concludes that future supply will be insufficient, absent any actions taken, largely resulting from accelerating costs of pilot education and training. Such costs deter individuals from pursuing a pilot career. Pilot schools that GAO interviewed reported fewer students entering their programs resulting from concerns over the high costs of education and low entry-level pay at regional airlines. As airlines have recently started hiring, nearly all of the regional airlines that GAO interviewed reported difficulties finding sufficient numbers of qualified entry-level first officers. However, mainline airlines, because they hire from the ranks of experienced pilots, have not reported similar concerns, although some mainline airlines expressed concerns that entry-level hiring problems could affect their regional airline partners’ ability to provide service to some locations.

Airlines are taking several actions to attract and retain qualified commercial airline pilots. For example, airlines that GAO interviewed have increased recruiting efforts, and developed partnerships with schools to provide incentives and clearer career paths for new pilots. Some regional airlines have offered new first officers signing bonuses or tuition reimbursement to attract more pilots. However, some airlines found these actions insufficient to attract more pilots, and some actions, such as raising wages, have associated costs that have implications for the industry. Airline representatives and pilot schools suggested FAA could do more to give credit for various kinds of flight experience in order to meet the higher flight-hour requirement, and could consider developing alternative pathways to becoming an airline pilot. Stakeholders were also concerned that available financial assistance may not be sufficient, given the high costs of pilot training and relatively low entry-level wages.

Why GAO Did This Study

Over 66,000 airline pilot jobs exist for larger mainline and smaller regional airlines that operate over 7,000 commercial aircraft. After a decade of turmoil that curtailed growth in the industry and resulted in fewer pilots employed at airlines since 2000, recent industry forecasts indicate that the global aviation industry is poised for growth. However, stakeholders have voiced concerns that imminent retirements, fewer pilots exiting the military, and new rules increasing the number of flight hours required to become a first officer for an airline, could result in a shortage of qualified airline pilots.

GAO was asked to examine pilot supply and demand issues. This report describes (1) what available data and forecasts reveal about the need for and potential availability of airline pilots and (2) what actions industry and government are taking or could take to attract and retain airline pilots. GAO collected and analyzed data from 2000 through 2012, forecasts from 2013 through 2022, and literature relevant to the labor market for airline pilots and reviewed documents and interviewed agency officials about programs that support training. GAO interviewed and collected data from associations representing airlines or their pilots, and pilot schools that accounted for about half of the students who graduated with professional pilot majors in 2012. GAO selected the airlines and schools based on factors such as size and location. GAO is not making recommendations in this report. The Department of Transportation and others provided technical clarifications on a draft of the report, which GAO incorporated.

“A BROKEN BUSINESS MODEL, NOT A PILOT SHORTAGE”

As reported by ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION ON GAO PILOT SHORTAGE REPORT: “A BROKEN BUSINESS MODEL, NOT A PILOT SHORTAGE”

FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 28, 2014) — The president of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, applauded the newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the regional airline industry’s growing pilot shortage.

“The GAO report reinforces what pilots have known for a long time — there’s a sufficiently large pool of pilots to meet current and projected demand,” said APA President Capt. Keith Wilson. “They’re just not interested in working at entry-level pay in the regional airline industry, which is the typical starting point for new commercial pilots. It’s a broken business model, not a pilot shortage.

“Right now, thousands of pilots are sitting on the sidelines engaged in other occupational pursuits. Considering entry-level pay at regional carriers is comparable to what fast-food workers earn, it’s a rational choice.”

The GAO report notes that in 2012, the United States had a total of 66,000 airline pilot jobs. By contrast, almost twice as many pilots held commercial pilot certificates, including many with an instrument rating.

“Those numbers suggest a ready pool of future airline pilots,” Capt. Wilson said. “The challenge will be to persuade them to put their skills to work. What we’re seeing now is the result of long-term wage pressure on pilots across the entire industry.”

To address the shortfall, some airline executives have advocated relaxing the more stringent pilot hiring standards enacted in the aftermath of the 2009 Colgan Air accident.

“APA was an aggressive advocate for increasing minimum standards for first officers, which became law last year,” Capt. Wilson said. “Sacrificing safety by diluting those standards is the exact wrong prescription. Instead, we should acknowledge that a regional airline model built around low pilot wages isn’t sustainable.

“For bright young men and women considering an airline pilot career, there has to be an appropriate return on their investment. Right now those numbers don’t add up.”

Other countries such as Canada have adopted the multi-crew pilot license to ensure a supply of new-hire pilots. The International Civil Aviation Organization-designed program takes ab initio students through airline-oriented flight training and ground school and makes them first officers on airliners in 12-18 months.

“The multi-crew pilot license approach does not properly prepare pilots for the rigors of operating a high-performance jet airliner in congested airspace,” Capt. Wilson said. “An airliner is not a video game. Pilots carry a great deal of responsibility for life and property with every flight, and there’s no substitute for real-world experience.”

Pilot Shortage Beginning to Unfold

As previously predicted from the FlightLevelJobs.com staff, the US pilot shortage is finally upon us and it’s effects are starting to take hold. In a recent press release on January 27, 2014, Great Lakes Airlines announced that it will be suspending service to multiple US cities previously serviced. The suspension of service is due to the severe industry-wide pilot shortage. Charles Howell, CEO for Great Lakes Airlines released the following statement: “Due to the unintended consequences of the new congressionally mandated pilot regulatory requirements, the Company feels it is in the best interest of our customers, communities, and employees to suspend service from these stations until we are able to rebuild our staff of pilots in order to provide reliable service. We deeply regret and apologize for this inconvenience.”

The staff here at FlightLevelJobs.com has begun to put in extra hours to work with aviation employers to help address the pilot employment shortage and to help alleviate the ill effects it will have on air travelers all across the USA and abroad. We predict that this is just the beginning of the pilot shortage and the situation will become more intense as time moves forward. Although we at FlightLevelJobs.com have one of the largest US pilot resume databases in the country, it is still not enough to fill the void. We encourage all Commercial and ATP rated pilots to update your resumes and upload them to our database. By working together we can make a difference and get through the pilot shortage crises looming ahead.

FlightLevelJobs.com Launches Mobile App

November 18, 2013

Your aviation job search just got easier!

On November 18th, 2013 FlightLevelJobs.com launched its first mobile phone app for your Android smart phone. With the new app you can be in the know even when you are on the go!

With the new mobile phone app you will be able to see the latest aviation job postings in real live time as they are being posted while you are out and about. As first recorded in John Rays collection of English proverbs, “the early bird catches the worm”, the phrase equally applies to the aviation industry. Aviation jobseekers that are better poised to be the first to learn about new aviation job postings and submit their resumes ahead of others will be in a better position to land the job. The new FlightLevelJobs mobile phone app makes that a reality. What’s the best part about the app? It’s FREE.

Installing and launching the new app couldn’t be any easier. To install the app using your Android smart phone, just go to the app store and search on FlightLevelJobs. Once found, click on “install” and the application software will be loaded on your smart phone. Finally, to launch the new app, look for the FlightLevelJobs icon (FLJ) on your smart phone and tap on it.

Don’t have an Android phone? No worries! FlightLevelJobs.com will soon be announcing the same app for your IPHONE and IPAD devises. Look for it soon.

With the new FlightLevelJobs mobile access, finding an aviation job just became that much easier.

American Airlines to Hire 1500 New Pilots

As reported in USA Today by Bart Jansen
As airlines plan to hire hundreds of new pilots, industry officials warn that a shortage looms because of retirements, greater training requirements and longer rest periods between shifts.

American Airlines, which is reorganizing in bankruptcy court while proposing to merge with US Airways to become the world’s largest airline, announced plans this week to hire 1,500 pilots over five years.

Capt. John Hale, American’s vice president for flight, said the company is excited to build its team through hiring and recruitment, with greater opportunities expected after the proposed merger.

A month ago, United Airlines announced it would recall nearly 600 pilots, the last to return from furloughs in 2008, to fill gaps from retirements and rest rules.

But a pilot shortage is looming because of increased training of pilots, extended rest periods for pilots and a mandatory retirement age of 65, which was extended from 60 in 2007. The lure of foreign airlines in China or elsewhere could also reduce the domestic supply of pilots.

Kent Lovelace, chairman of the aviation department at the University of North Dakota, studied pilot retirements, surveys of potential pilots and projected a shortfall of 35,000 pilots in the next 20 years.

“I know regional airlines are having challenges right now,” Lovelace said.

That study didn’t factor in a Federal Aviation Administration rule that took effect Aug. 1, requiring 1,500 hours of flight time for all co-pilots, to match the minimum requirement for captains. The rule grew out of the fatal Colgan Air crash in 2009 that killed 50 people and was partially blamed on pilot training.

There are exceptions for military pilots and graduates of four-year colleges, but airlines are reluctant to hire pilots who aren’t close to the requirement.

Also, in December 2011, the FAA adopted an anti-fatigue rule that lengthened the rest period between shifts for commercial pilots flying passengers. Pilots are now supposed to get 10 hours off, including eight hours for uninterrupted rest, between shifts whose length varies depending on the time of day.

Without criticizing the extra training, regional airlines worry that the cost and difficulty of obtaining the training could discourage people from becoming pilots. Regional airlines, where pilots build their experience, are key because they represent half of all flights as they feed larger hubs.

“It remains a pressing concern. It should be a pressing concern not just for airlines, but for any community that isn’t in the top 30,” said Roger Cohen, president of the Regional Airline Association. “If they’re not concerned about losing air service, they ought to be.”

Clair Tosino, who flies nearly every week as a consultant from her home outside Columbus, was heading home from Boston through Chicago on Aug. 23. But she said her American Eagle connection at O’Hare was canceled for what was announced as a lack of an “available” co-pilot.

As an executive-platinum member, she was rebooked on another flight an hour later.

“Nonetheless, I got home late with more or less a wasted evening at the airport,” Tosino said.

A spokesman for American Eagle said the problem was not caused by the new training rule and said the airline finished its new qualification program early.

“American Eagle hasn’t had any issues related to the 1,500-hour rule,” Matt Miller said.

The training requirement remains a concern generally for regional airlines. Cohen noted that reaching 1,500 hours would require flying three hours per day, five days a week — a significant and costly commitment for a student.

“That’s an enormous amount of time,” Cohen said. “That’s pretty daunting.”

A first officer for a regional carrier typically makes $18,000 to $20,000 a year. But flight school loans can reach $100,000.

“Students want a defined path,” said Lovelace, the professor.

Academic programs and airlines are working to attract young pilots and expedite training. For example, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Cape Air, ExpressJet and JetBlue have a University Gateway Program to provide training and mentorship for students to become pilots.

Participants have to maintain a B average and work as a flight instructor at the university. As they accumulate hours, participants can join Cape Air and eventually perhaps, JetBlue.

Since launching in 2007, the program now has 150 pilots; 20 have reached Cape Air, and eight have reached JetBlue.

“It’s a definite path with clearly obtainable goals,” said Capt. Krista Poppe, the program’s manager at Cape Air. “They know how to get to JetBlue.”

To apply for pilot positions at American Airlines, please log into your account at FlightLevelJobs.com.

Pilot Shortage – Just around the corner?

As reported by By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, January 6, 2013, a pilot shortage is looming for US Airlines that could start this year. As the economy is slowly starting to rebound and new FAA rules start to become reality coupled with approximately 8,000 retiring pilots each year, the airline industry could be faced with a huge pilot demand. If the shortage does take effect, some experts are predicting that the major airlines with scoop up qualified pilot applicants and leave the regional airlines in a tail spin.
Pilots looking to seize the opportunity need to ready themselves now and be poised should the shortage become reality. Pilots need to re-look at their resumes posted at FlightLeveljobs.com and make sure they are up to date and current. All reported flight hours need to be current and accurate. If you have not yet posted your resume, upload it as soon as practical.
To read more about the potential shortage please refer to the USA Today article at: