Ameriflight Visits ATP

ATP has a very long history of training pilots to be professional aviators. Most of these talented students go on to fly in some the best cockpits in this country and the world, but they don’t all fly passengers.

Today ATP was visited by Sheri Hudson who is the lead recruiter for Ameriflight, the leading Part 135 air cargo company in the United States. Sheri visited us with a very interesting message that I wanted to share with you. Today I am posting the first part of Sheri’s comments, with the second half posted tomorrow.

“It will come as no surprise to aviation industry watchers that there will be many, many opportunities presenting themselves in the near future.

What is happening that precipitates these opportunities? The two main factors that will be affecting aviation professionals are 1) the new rule for minimum flight experience changes the 121 regulations to require crewmembers to have accumulated at least 1500 hours total time (currently all that is required for SIC is Commercial/Multi-Engine/Instrument rating which can be gained at less than 200 hours!) and 2) the mandatory retirement age of 65 years will be capturing many, many pilots that elected to continue flying past the previous retirement age of 60.

o What does that mean to you? The changes mentioned above will create pressures on the largest pilot employers, the airlines, to train and employ thousands of pilots each year beginning in 2013. These pilots will come from various venues; regional air carriers, air taxi (Part 135), corporate, charter, military, and many others.

o OK, what does that mean to you now? It means that there will be many, many diverse opportunities to choose between. Which is best? The one that most prepares you for your goal AND satisfies as many of your life’s priorities as possible. Many of today’s flight students and instructors are led to believe that the way to any “decent” job in aviation is through the regional airlines but that simply is just one way of moving your aviation career forward and it is not for everyone!

Please consider Part 135 Cargo as an intriguing career step. Contrary to popular belief, the Part 135 cargo pilots are some of the most gifted, compliant, and intelligent pilots in the aviation profession. These individuals not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. They are stepping into the same airspace as their fellow pilots; yet they are by themselves, without too much sophisticated automation, without someone to help them with their workload, and many times without magenta lines to follow. What they do have is a big smile on their face as they prove their determination to complete a flight safely and compliantly. They wait patiently and excitedly for a chance to takeoff into conditions that they once avoided due to lack of experience or equipment capabilities. They are satisfied when another flight comes to a safe conclusion after breaking out at the decision height. These are 135 cargo pilots!”

The second part of Sheri’s comments will be posted tomorrow on