Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Pay To Play: Eagle Jet International
Eagle Jet’s unique “internship” program builds hours fast
Formed in 1996, Eagle Jet International is an alternative to instructing. The company provides programs whereby potential airline candidates can build significant multi-engine time in both turboprops and pure jets toward getting hired for a regional airline. "Our original idea was to find a better way to build flight time rather than as an instructor," says Eagle Jet founder and President, Rick Gabor. "At the time, there were too many instructors and not enough schools, so building time took forever."
Eagle Jet specializes in building time in a hurry. The program is simple: Students come to Eagle Jet with a commercial certificate, and both multi-engine and instrument ratings. They're carefully screened specifically for their instrument and commercial pilot skills. If they pass (and 30% don't), they move into an intense and focused training program where they learn skills and procedures specific to the airlines. Then the candidate is placed into the right seat of a commercial Part 135 operator flying actual flights in aircraft that range from Beech 1900s and ATRs to European JAA-ATP Boeing 737 programs. The student pays for a specific block of experience in that aircraft, and packages run from 100 to 1,250 hours depending on the aircraft type. What the student walks away with is actual time in multi-engine aircraft flying commercial operations in real scenarios—something airlines are clamoring for.
Eagle Jet helps airline candidates build flight time outside of the traditional instructor path.
The training to be qualified as a Part 135 First Officer on most of these aircraft takes approximately four to seven weeks, and consists of turbine transition, ground school, flight and simulator training, and an FAA checkride. Eagle Jet International is based in South Florida, though they have training bases in different states. Once pilots are trained and qualified, they're moved to one of several bases located throughout the U.S. and Canada, where the operators are based. Most flights are scheduled cargo operations and take place during the night. Each pilot flies approximately 40 to 60 hours per month. Most of the flights are domestic with some bases flying to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
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