While Flight Options requirements seem less stringent, Eric Gerhard, the company's pilot recruiter said, "Competitive candidates usually possess at least 2,000 hours total and significant multiengine experience." There is no typical profile of the 380 pilots who fly Flight Options' 90 pre-owned airplanes. "We have a mix of military, retired airline, corporate, and freight pilots. Our average pilot possesses approximately 5,000 hours of total time and 3,000 hours of turbine experience." According to Gerhard, Flight Options is currently hiring approximately 10 pilots per month.
CitationShares hasn't had any recruiting problems. "We're having no problem getting people," Schultz said. "We've got a steady supply of about 2,500 r?sum?s that we're rotating through." NetJets, whose requirements fall in the middle of the range (2,500 hours total time, 500 hours multiengine time, 250 hours of instrument time and an ATP certificate), received about 8,000 r?sum?s last year and hired some 500 pilots. According to Peters, "Pilots come from just about every facet of aviation." Last year's hiring pace is expected to continue, Peters said.
The new airplanes, reasonable pay, advanced scheduling and varied routes make piloting for a fractional an appealing prospect. One trend at NetJets illustrates this; some pilots have left EJA to go to the majors but have returned to fractional flying. Dan Lucey, NetJets assistant chief pilot, remarked, "When you consider they were pretty high on the seniority list when they left and came back at the bottom, there's obviously something about our brand of flying that they find very, very attractive."