Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Inexpensive Way to Reach 1,500 Flight Hours


Air carriers have ramped up hiring to contend with a surge of retirements.  Mesa Regional Airlines is also working hard to overcome the pilot shortage.  The biggest hurdle to finding employees is the high cost of earning the flight experience necessary to fly for an airline. 
Pilots, once earning their commercial pilot certificate at around 250 hours, are generally left on their own to get the flying hours necessary for their ATP certificate.

Many pilots become flight instructors, while others fly smaller aircraft for hire, known as Part 135, for example, glider towing, areal photography, scenic flights,
crop dusting, banner-towing jobs, etc.  Other pilots just fly for fun — often to earn the requisite number of hours for a Part 135 job.  Many of those opportunities require 500 hours or more. 

Perfect Solution:

Mesa Airlines offers flying opportunities in a Pipistrel Alpha Trainer 2 aircraft.  Pilots can fly up to 40 hours per week, and the flying will be billed at $25 per hour — a rate significantly below market for aircraft rentals - just over 10% of what a Cessna 172 costs.  It means, in the best case a pilot could accumulate the necessary flying hours in only seven months!  It would cost the young pilot only $7,500 which is payable (interest-free) in three years, while she or he works as a first officer at Mesa Airlines.

Mesa's initial fleet of 29 aircraft will be based in Inverness, Florida, and eventually, in Mesa's home state of Arizona.  Pilots will be able to earn time on sensational favorable terms, earn a spot on Mesa's seniority list, and earn flight benefits before they are eligible to become Mesa's first officers.  Participants in the program are also eligible to join United Airlines' Aviate program, the carrier's pilot pathway program.  In exchange, Mesa gets three years of service from these pilots at a time when pilots often spend two years or less at regional airlines.  

Best-paid in the Regional Airline Industry

Pilots will fly for Mesa upon reaching 1,500 hours and will pay back their flying costs over a three-year term during their employment at this regional airline.  The pilots at Mesa Airlines are about to be the best-paid in the regional airline industry. Mesa began paying its first officers a starting rate of $100 per hour, the highest rate in the regional industry. The Phoenix-based regional airline, which operates the Canadair Regional Jet 900 for American Airlines and the Embraer 175 for United Airlines, will pay its first officers a starting rate of $100 per flight hour and its captains a starting rate of $150 per hour, the union representing its pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association, announced on Friday. It's the first regional airline to break the $100 per hour starting pay mark for first officers. 

This new Mesa Pilot Development Program is not a training program — pilots who apply need to have a commercial license with a multi-engine rating add-on.  Instead, it's designed to be an economical way to get pilots to the 1,500 hours they need to earn an FAA airline transport pilot certificate (ATP), the license that's required to fly as an airline pilot.

Mesa is the first airline in the industry to help pilots reach 1,500 flight hours as quickly and inexpensively as possible.  Hopefully, other airlines follow their example!

The 1,500-Hour Rule Will Stay

The FAA denied regional airline Republic Airways' request to hire certain pilots with fewer flight hours. The nation's second-largest regional airline will not be allowed to move forward with a plan to hire pilots with fewer hours than what would normally be required.

The Federal Aviation Administration denied an exemption petition from Republic Airways that would have allowed it to hire graduates from its flight training academy with 750 flight hours.  The Indianapolis-based Republic Airways operates Embraer E170s and E175s for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. It also operates the LIFT Academy, a flight school that trains students from zero hours of flight time.  Republic had argued that graduates of LIFT Academy were trained in a closed-loop format, similar to how the U.S. military conducts training.  Military veterans are eligible to receive what's known as a restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate at 750 hours.

The FAA finds that the supporting materials and LIFT historical data do not sufficiently support the Republic’s claim that their R-ATP Program is comparable to the training program of a military branch to warrant a reduction in flight hours.

Many in the industry believe that this so-called 1,500-hour rule, which was part of a package of aviation safety legislation enacted a year after the Colgan Air Flight 3407 accident in 2009, is one cause of the pilot shortage.  The FAA's denial comes amidst a significant lobbying campaign by both Republic, in favor of the exemption, and the vocal opposition, led largely by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing pilots at many regionals, though not specifically at Republic.  ALPA had argued that Republic would be compromising safety had it been allowed to proceed with the exemption. However, the regional air industry strongly denied ALPA's claims.


The Only Exceptions to the 1,500-Hour Rule:

You can earn an ATP with restricted privileges at age 21. A restricted ATP (R-ATP) lets you serve as a first officer, but not as a captain.  In certain cases, you can even get an R-ATP with fewer than the usual 1,500 flight hours.  Here are the exceptions:

  • Military pilots only need 750 total flight hours.

  • Graduates holding bachelor's degrees from aviation programs at qualified four-year universities only need 1,000 flight hours if they completed at least 60 credit hours of aviation courses and received their commercial pilot certificate through the school's Part 141 training.

  • Graduates holding associate degrees from aviation programs at qualified two-year colleges only need 1,250 hours of flight time if they completed at least 30 credit hours of aviation courses and received their commercial pilot certificate through the school's Part 141 training.




Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Successful Publishing - October Newsletter

Content of this Newsletter

- Independent Authors

- Help a Reporter Out - HARO

- Grants

Freelance Writing

- Writing Contests

Welcome to the October Newsletter. 

Are you falling for Fall like me? Pumpkin pie and spiced coffee, glorious tree colors, mild Indian Summer weather, crisp colorful leaves, delicious food and wine, country hikes - and yes, lots of new books. Get the (maybe much-needed) motivation for the busy fall season and read these valuable publishing tips:

Independent Authors

Think about it: How can you be an independent author if you are under the control of Internet giants? The only way to throw off the shackles is to become an independent publisher. You can take full control of your writing, publishing, and income.  Read more reasons why Authors Should Stay INDEPENDENT




Help a Reporter Out (HARO) platform is giving writers important opportunities. And you have the opportunity to be interviewed for a longer story. The basic subscription level for HARO is free, whether you register as a source or as a journalist, and it’s a great way to forge some new connections. As you can see above, it’s also a great resource for finding ways to promote yourself as a writer and find more paying opportunities to further your writing career.

- Discover new outlets or job opportunities. Subscribing to the free emails can introduce you to a wide variety of paying outlets in search of writers.

- Gain visibility by responding to requests for quotes

HARO IS not only for non-fiction writers and freelancers - but a way for writers to get better known:  https://www.helpareporter.com/


Neal Pierce Travel Grant

 Our travel grants of up to $1,500 enable journalists to travel to cities within the U.S. to produce one or more stories for publication. The awards, selected through a competitive review process, cover travel expenses necessary for on-the-ground reporting.  Full-time freelancers as well as journalists currently employed by a news organization are invited to apply.  Reporters, writers, editors, and photographers working in print, online, radio, television, and multimedia are eligible for travel grant awards if they have had stories published or aired in the previous three years.  Deadline October 15 https://www.nealpeircefoundation.org/apply/


Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants 

Individuals are offered unrestricted grants of $5,000 to creatives and gig workers to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and set a path for growth.  To apply for this grant, an applicant must be an artist or cultural practitioner active in any artistic discipline or cultural tradition; a teaching artist/scientist/humanist; or a cultural worker in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences in the state of Massachusetts.  Deadline November 1. 


The American Gardener

Among the topics of particular interest to us are profiles of individual plant groups; innovative approaches to garden design; profiles of prominent horticulturists whose work has a national impact; plant research and plant hunting; plant conservation, biodiversity, and heirloom gardening; events or personalities in American horticultural history; people-plant relationships (horticultural therapy, ethnobotany, and community gardening);  environmentally appropriate gardening (choosing plants suited to one’s region, using native plants, conserving water, etc.); and plant lore and literature.  Feature articles run 1,500 to 2,500 words.  Departments run 600 to 1,000 words.  Payment for feature articles ranges from $300 to $600 on publication.  Payment for departments ranges from $150 to $200.  



The Sun

Seeking short stories and personal essays for The Sun magazine that will make the editors laugh.  When you message the editor, provide a summary of your piece. They only read finished stories and essays.  If interested, they follow up and ask you to email the submission. Direct message https://twitter.com/Barelyoutofblue (Anna Gazmarian).  Pays Nonfiction/Fiction $300 to $2,000 and Poetry $100 to $250. The Sun is an independent magazine that uses words and photographs to evoke the splendor and heartache of being human.  https://www.thesunmagazine.org



Seeking US-based medical/health/science freelance journalists.  Query mlooi@bmj.com.  Rates vary depending on story complexity but the range is between £350-700.  The BMJ can be many things to its diverse audiences: an international research journal, a member magazine, a think tank, an investigative campaigner, an educational resource, or even a trusted and inspiring friend.


Chicken Soup for the Soul

Funny Stories. Genre: True stories. "Share your funny stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud.  Payment: $200.  Did you mean for it to be funny?  Did the other person mean to make you laugh?  Did a situation just get out of control?  Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors?” Deadline: October 15 



McKitterick Prize - UK

It is given annually to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel, published or unpublished. The prize money is £4,000 for the winner and £2,000 for the runner-up, with each shortlisted author receiving £1,000 (up to four authors). The work must either have been first published in the UK between 1 Nov 2021 and 31 Oct 2022 (and not first published abroad) - or be unpublished. The deadline is October 31


Women's Prize for Fiction

Genre: Published novel by a woman. Entrants must be writing in English and must be published in the UK between 1 October 2022 and 31 November 2022.  All subject matters and women of any age, from any nationality or country of residence, are eligible.  Prize: £30,000.00.  Deadline: October 21.  https://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/enter


National Award for Arts Writing

The Mar-field Prize, also known as the National Award for Arts Writing, is given annually by the Arts Club of Washington to nonfiction books about the arts written for a broad audience.  Prize: $10,000.  Genre: Non-fiction book. Self-published books are not accepted.  Deadline: October 28 https://themarfieldprize.com/


The Writer Magazine Fall Short Story Contest

Submit works in any genre – fiction OR nonfiction – in less than 2,000 words for your chance to win $1,000 and publication in our magazine. Our grand-prize winner will receive $1,000, our second-place winner will receive $500, and our third-place winner will receive $250. The first-place story will also appear in a print issue of The Writer.  $25-30 Entry Fee.  Early deadline October 25, last call deadline November 8.  https://www.writermag.com/contests/


“October: crisp, sunny days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.” ~ John Sinor.  Have a great October and happy writing!

Visit my Author Page too - lots of books to help writers market their books: