01 February 2008


I have received my first response to my airline application. Unfortunately it is as frustrating as receiving no response at all.

I applied to four regionals, actually submitted the final application yesterday, so to have heard something personal back already is good. The response came from Mesa, which is mostly a holding company of sorts that owns jets and pilots and flies routes for other airlines' regional carriers. Good company to work for, lots of domicile options.

My applictaion looks good. Actually, it looks "really good." But they're not interested in interviewing unless I can get current again.

My application indicated that I was currently unemployed, so presumably I have the time to get recurrent, which is true. What I lack is the money, and I have to assume they know that. I couldn't craft a response to their message that didn't sound petulant so I just haven't responded yet; if they can't guess that I can't afford to get current (if I could, wouldn't I have done so before applying?) is telling them as much going to get me anywhere? Or is it just going to be insulting and make me look like an entitled shitbag who doesn't deserve a job anyway?

It costs $90 an hour to fly even a simple Cessna 172 at the local airport, plus I have to pay the instructor. To get recurrent I need to pass a checkride, but what's the value in passing a single-engine check when I want to fly multi-engine aircraft? Even with the single engine it's going to be 10 hours minimum, so over a grand by the time I pay an instructor and checkpilot for their time. I don't have that money right now. It simply isn't an option.

To get recurrent on instruments would require renting an instrument certified plane, the cheapest one of which at the airport is $150 an hour plus an instructor. Fortunately there are a lot of available approaches around here--an NDB at Knight, ILS at Vandenberg and PIE, a VOR at Whitted, and there are GPS approaches everywhere. But to feel comfortable again with any of them? Another 10-15 hours, plus a checkride, at least two grand before all is said and done.

I suppose at some level I knew this was going to happen. I could have tried to get recurrent last fall, but the money coming in then was being stockpiled into savings so we could survive now, and three grand out the door then would mean three grand less in savings now. And since I won't be actually starting work until August... well, anyway, it wasn't until December that I learned the regionals were even accepting applications from peaople with less than 2000 hours.

There are still three other carriers. I kept hoping, as I was filling this out, that one of them would be able to take a chance on someone who's noncurrent but has a lot more hours than they require. Maybe one of them will; all along I've been hoping it would be American Eagle. I have less hope for Pinnacle and Comair, though; Mesa was my plan B, Comair and PInnacle were my C and D. I might be surprised, but I might not.

Fun way to start my Friday. I really should've waited to check the mail.

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