I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

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ski_bum
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I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

Post by ski_bum » Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:38 am

Any advice on working my way into this type of postion as a corperate pilot, any good company's to get on with in Canada? I know there is not as many places as the US but is there any good company's to start with in Canada? What hours do they look for and what is a normal minimums for a FO? I am instructing currently and what to start getting myself geared for that direction, any advice would be great.... Thanks
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Post by Rubberbiscuit » Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:50 am

I have I only done a little bit of corporate type flying myself but I've heard Magna's aviation division is good, as is Wal-Mart and Imperial oil. Hard to get in though as there is only a few positions and little turnover.
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Post by New Guy » Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:08 am

I think Skyservice has the largest corporate flight department in the country now. Starting psotions are on Jetstream, King Air 350 and Lear 35 but you can progress right up to a G4 or Challenger 604 within the company.
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Post by bizjet_mania » Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:23 am

Skyservice is a great company generally the minimum requirements are ATPL and 2500hrs with 500-1000 multi. Checked into it myself and most companies have same requirements although I think Skyservice is 3000-3500hrs.
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CaptPup
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Post by CaptPup » Sat Jun 18, 2005 5:11 pm

awesome post ski_bum, i'm also in your situation and am really curious as to how to become a corporate pilot. what route should be taken? where should i focus my flying? it's really difficult to find these companies, does anyone have a list of them or where one might be able to easily find them?

Thanks to anyone who has any type of advice for us!
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Post by bezerker » Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:12 pm

In my mind there is a huge difference between being a pilot on a "corporate jet" and being a corporate pilot.

There ae getting to be a few more "corporate jets" in the this country, and many of them are with larger operators, such as Sunwest or Skyservice. Get a job with Sunwest and in 5 years or so you may be a "corporate jet" pilot. It will be a very good job and you will be one of the few in Canada, outside the airlines, that get to log jet time.

A corporate pilot is someone who flies for Shaw, Syncrude, Alberta Government, Shell, Suncor, TCP, etc. (can you tell I'm from YYC?)

What is the difference? Asides from better days off, holidays, benefits, and bonuses, about 20-60 grand more a year.

If you could name more than a few dozen companies like that in Canada, I'd be suprised. My feeble math skills can tell you how easy it will be to get one of these jobs.

Say there are 50 aircraft in this role in Canada. Say 3 pilots per aircraft (some have 2 crews, many have 1), 50 times 3 equals about 150 available positions. I'm sure that at least two thirds have decided that their job hunting days are over. So asides from attrition, that leaves about 50 pilot positions. I'm guessing here, but lets assume that most guys stay at their jobs for about 5 years before moving on to something else (probably another corporate job on better equipment or with better pay). 50 pilots divided by 5 years equals about 10 job requirements for these premium positions per year.

You have very similar odds of becoming a pilot with the Snowbirds.

The hiring practices vary among these companies. Some use the companies Human Resources Dept. Others have only hired the CP's best buddies. Networking is about the only advice I could give someone. You could have 10,000 hrs on a Citation X and find that a company hired a flight instructor for the position because someone knew him from somewhere before and liked 'the cut of his jib'. Uncles, Aunts, and other lost relatives can also help you to attain one of these lofty positions. Also remember that it's a small country when it comes to aviation. Don't piss in too many coffee pots.
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Post by oldtimer » Sat Jun 18, 2005 7:52 pm

In my humble opinion one does not just decide to become a corporate jet pilot and go out and apply for the job. It is not what you know but who you know. Many good jobs are advertised, many are word of mouth and many are "friends of friends". How you break in is more luck and connections but being in the right place at the right time is a big factor. Schmoose corporate pilots and watch the hiring trends.
Once in it can either be gravy or a nightmare. So much depends on the CEO of the company. Larger flight departments with multiple airplanes can be the best job ever with a good schedule, good pay and excellent equipment. These jobs depend on retirement or loss of medical for job openings. Nobody quits Imperial Oil's flight department. They retire. On the negative, if you have an "come hell or high water, damn the torpedoes" type of CEO, life can be hell. On call 24,7. One operator profiled in a Pro Pilot magazine operating a Falcon 900 out of Singapore spends 200 to 250 days per year away from home. You were pilots, mechanics, cooks, bottlewashers and in their spare time, drove the company limo. Fortunatly, that is the extreme, especially in Canada. But there is a company in Alberta that owns a Navajo that you see in Calgary quite often and it is the prettiest looking airplane you could ever see.That airplane is flown often but it is quite obvious that there is no penny pinching when it comes to operations. Now that pilot will likely be with that company until he retires. biggest hazard is still company wealth. If times get tough, the first to go is the company airplane. I know one pilot that was 6 months into a $15,000 two year bond with a charter company when he got hired by a former boss to fly their DA900EX. He ate the bond and paid for it with his per diems while on training at Flight Safety. But he spends 6 month a year away from home.
So stick it out, keep you ears to the ground and if you hear of an opportunity, jump on it.
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joe to go
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Post by joe to go » Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:41 pm

out of curiosity, what does magna fly?
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Post by fougapilot » Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:13 am

Lobbying and networking. Took me over 3 years of "work" before I was hired where I am now. And I was rated to boot!

Now a days, a fair amount (if not most) corporations will have thier airplane(s) managed by companies lie Skyservice or Execaire. It simply makes it quite simpler to them to have an airplane. They can rely on their experience to better operate the airplane. Most CEO know little about airplane and much prefer paying $X per month to have their bird managed. This way they only have to sign a check and get on board.

I agree, there are differences between flying a corporate jet and being a corporate pilot. Most management companies will try to charter out the airplane and if the owner agrees, you can easily find yourself becoming a charter pilot yet again.

There are 2 different type of Corporation; privately controlled and public. There is a major difference between the 2. Public corporation usually change CEO every 5 years (ish). One never knows what the new guy will be like. The worst that can happen is he doesn't like the airplane! This very situation happened to one of Canada's largest bank. The new CEO hated the concept of a corporate jet, and when he was appointed, the first thing he did was sell the 601. 5years later, after his time is done the guy that replaced him bought a 604 on the first day! But what do you do for those 5 years??? But you could be luckier, the new CEO could only lives in California while the head office is in YYZ and have to spend every single weekend on the road (it happens)

Privately controlled corporations are much better (IMHO). Chances are the CEO wont change that often. The CEO for the corporation I fly for recently changed, it went from the dad to the oldest son (after 30years). But I dont think I will see another change until I retire. Patern changes are few. On know what season it is. Some flight are scheduled a year ahead of time. You know where they spend Xmass. And if you are lucky, they even send you home from Europe when they go skiing the Alps over newyears. We have 10pilots, 5 tech and 1 secretairy for 3 airplanes. I can pretty much garantee my 10days off per month. The pay is great, no hope of ever making AC A340 Capt's pay, but if you average me and him out over 25years I'd be curious to see the result. But I dont think my boss will ever go bankrupt (and no, I will not say whom I work for. It is after all the reason they are with a management cie). But most importantly, I am respected by my boss. Which to me is worth more then $$.

I love my job and would recommend to everyone who wants to hear to go corporate. Unfortunately, for every job like mine there are 20 crappy ones. I guess I won the lotery.

D
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Post by hydro » Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:14 am

joe to go wrote:out of curiosity, what does magna fly?
Falcon 50, Falcon 900EX and a Citation 560 (or was it an excel?)

hydro
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Post by yycflyguy » Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:42 am

hydro wrote:
joe to go wrote:out of curiosity, what does magna fly?
Falcon 50, Falcon 900EX and a Citation 560 (or was it an excel?)

hydro
The 560 IS an excel
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Post by hydro » Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:52 am

Theres a Citation 560... and then a 56X

C560 http://www.aircraft-charter-world.com/jets/cit560.htm
C56X (excel) http://www.aircraft-charter-world.com/jets/citxl.htm

Unless you meant.. that Magna's GMKZ is an Excel? Then you're correct, sorry.

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Post by ski_bum » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:50 pm

Thanks for the info so far, I guess more than anything you have coinfirmed what I didn't want to believe, but it is great to know that stuff now, so I can work on it for the next year or years I guess. Just like everyhting else in the industry networking is the key to sucess. Now lets see how brown my nose can really get..... :shock:
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Post by 125 » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:39 pm

Does anyone know if the larger companies in Canada (Skyservice and Execaire) have pay scales, and if so what the ranges are? Thanks
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Post by bizjet_mania » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:50 pm

Used to work at Execaire in Toronto, I talked to a crew flying for RBC and if i remember correctly the F/O was making $60K and the captain $80K with short hops once or twice a week to places like Ottawa, Washington DC. Pretty sweet job.
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Post by xsbank » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:33 am

edit
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Last edited by xsbank on Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by U/S » Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:23 pm

Does anyone leave to go to the majors from those good companies mentioned above? I guess I'm wondering if you can make a career out of it or do most people feel called by the heavy iron.
Does anyone know anything about London Air Services in Vancouver? I think that is a corporate gig too. What do you need to get in there?
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Are we there yet?

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Post by xsbank » Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:36 pm

edit
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Last edited by xsbank on Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

Post by LIQUIDWRENCH » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:37 pm

xsbank, sounds like someone got turned down for a job
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Re: I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

Post by ski_bum » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:51 pm

Wow, I started this thread 3 years ago. I am now a "busniess turboprop pilot". Close to the goal, who would have thought... Now i'm thinking the life on call may not be so glamourous, and the Heavy's may be the way, its amazing how things can change in such a short time.
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Re:

Post by AuxBatOn » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:59 pm

bezerker wrote:You have very similar odds of becoming a pilot with the Snowbirds.
Funny, I know someone that did both :lol:

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Re: I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

Post by sissyphus » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:28 pm

First thing...apply. Ya never know.

Secondly, start prepping your self for long periods of time waiting. I highly recommend getting a blackberry, it has all your email/phone/text, and yet has brickbreaker/texas hold em/worms and facebook. Laptops with t.v shows and movies are key. That should take care of the waiting at work. Waiting at home on call, I suggest a hobby. Making wine, breeding dogs, growing facial hair, building decks, creating a mould farm. The possibilities are endless. You must grow emotionally unattached to waiting. You'll have plenty of time to practice

I work for a private corporation, same pax, routine trips and the odd surprise here and there. I highly recommend it. Most flights are at the end of the business day, so I rarely get up before noon. Fly high, fly fast. Cool machines. I can't say enough.

It takes a different kind of person to excel at this job as it is a different kind of job. You'll find yourself in a strange city in the middle of the night searching for mustard as if your job depends on it, because it might. If you're looking for a stable, predictable job, this isn't it.
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Re: I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

Post by CAL » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:44 am

Very good post sissyphus....sounds like you have been there....
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Re: I want to be a "Business Jet Pilot"

Post by Changes in Latitudes » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:16 am

Skylink Express is currently looking for corporate first officers to fly cardboard executives on their converted 1900's. Good lifestyle, pleasant place.
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