Flight Time Presentation

I am in the process of filling out airline applications.  I’m not sure about how to list PIC time, as the PIC time in my logbook is different than what will be listed on the application.  Do I need to make changes in my logbook to have my times listed exactly as the application wants it?

There is nothing worse than having an Interviewer look at your logbooks and say, “WHY did you list your time THIS way?”

You are right to be concerned about presenting your flight time correctly. Flight time is the one area that every airline critiques when deciding on whom to invite for an interview.  The extra time you spend assuring your numbers are accurate will be well worth your while when you are sitting in front of an Interviewer.

Let me share some simple rules to follow that will help you to alleviate mistakes when filling out airline applications.

FAA logbook requirements can be different than what an airline requests.
Do not become confused with what the FAA allows you to log versus what and how an airline may want you to list your flight time.  Flight times may well be different in your logbook versus what is listed on your application.  Remember you LOG your time per the FAA; you LIST your time on an airline application per the application directions…two different processes.

Let’s take PIC time as an example.  You may have 1200 hours PIC time in your logbook, but on an airline’s application you may only be able to list 1050 hours.  Why?  Because the airline may have directed you to NOT list any PIC time other than when you were totally responsible for aircraft and crew.  Under the airline’s definition you would not be able to log student solo time (for the simple reason that if something had happened during a solo flight, your instructor would have been also found responsible), or dual time.

Fill out one application at a time.
Trying to complete multiple flight time applications based on different directions will result in confusion and mistakes.

Read each airline’s flight time application directions carefully.  As you read the directions, make a list of the specifics of the airline’s directions. Refer to the individual airline ‘highlight’ list while filling out the application.

Once you complete your application, put it away for at least 24-hours. This will allow you to review each application with a ‘fresh’ eye prior to sending it to the airline.

Leave your logbook alone.
Do not make changes in your logbook in order to reflect your airline application time. Your logbook is a legal document and you should never make arbitrary changes to your logbook.

Present specific numbers.
Never anticipate flight time.  I have seen too many pilots approach an application with the thought of, “Oh, I will have flown 100 hours more by the time I’m called for an interview.”  Then, due to unforeseen circumstances, they do not accumulate that flight time by their interview date.  To an interviewer they may then appear to have ‘padded’ their flight time in order to receive an interview.

Always err on the side of being conservative. It is possible to explain why your listed time is LOWER than required per the airline directions, it is almost impossible to explain why your time is HIGHER.

Still confused? Ask!
When in doubt, ASK! If you are truly confused by the directions, have a pilot friend that works for the airline call the recruitment office and ask for clarification of the directions.
Cheryl Cage is the author of the best-selling Checklist for Success: A Pilot’s Guide to the Successful Airline Interview. If you would like to arrange a Special Concerns Consultation, Interview Preparation or Career Consulting appointment with Cheryl please contact her at 1-888-899-CAGE (2243) or email her Cheryl@cageconsulting.com.