I am a First Officer with Central Mountain Air (CMA) based in Vancouver. I am 30 years old and was hired at CMA in August of 2004. I am still an FO but looking forward to being upgraded to Captain.
The majority of my flying has been in BC, Canada. I acquired my licences and class IV instructor rating at Pacific Flying Club, Boundary Bay airport. I was hired as an instructor at Altair Aviation where I built time instructing and charter flying Cessna 172s.
After a summer of employment at Altair I completed my Multi-Engine Instrument Rating at Pro IFR, at the main terminal, Boundary Bay Airport. I was hired at Professional IFR to teach basic IFR in an ATC-810 simulator which would later lead to teaching in the Beech Duchess. This was a major springboard for my career. Once I was promoted to a flying position I was training students toward multi-engine and instrument ratings and building valuable command time in the twin.
Over the years I have used the PCC website to research companies and read the latest industry-related news. The resume service at PCC proved to be outstanding as I gained insight on how to better format my resume to improve its appearance.
I was soon hired at CMA and training on the Beech 1900D. My experience at CMA has been very gratifying. The company treats their employees extremely well. We bid for preferred base and type of flying as well as vacation time. The scheduling department accommodates shift trades. We are scheduled for 19 days a month which normally includes reserve days. In Vancouver we fly to Comox, Campbell River, Williams Lake, Quesnel and Penticton. Single day pairings can range from 4 hours to over 12 duty hours. We have 2 and 3 day overnight pairings as well as “standups”. I average 50 hours a month and find that I have a lot of time off. Standups involve a short late-night flight to either Penticton or Campbell River followed by a short sleep in the hotel. In the morning we return to Vancouver by 7:00am. Low time (250 hr/IATRA) pilots can interview for future training on the Be1900D but typically start on the ramp or dispatching. Salary for a first year FO is low but increases annually. New hires with an ATPL start at a 2nd year FO salary and benefits. Benefits include travel benefits with other airlines and extended health. The best thing about working for CMA is the people. CMA offers an excellent career opportunity and appears to be an excellent stepping stone to major carriers like Air Canada and Cathay Pacific.
I recently interviewed with Air Canada. To prepare for the interview I used the PCC Pilot Interview Prep service and was thoroughly impressed by it. I highly recommend taking this seminar to prepare for any commuter or airline job.
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