Pilot Career Centre - Global
Pilot Career Centre - Global

Falcon 20 Jet Captain

Pilot's Blog

Pilot Details
Company Knighthawk Express
Based in Calgary, AB
Age 32
Gender Male
Pilot's Blog

KnightHawk Air Express is an excellent company to work for and one of the

best places in Canada to gain the type experience afforded by flying a jet.

I have been working at KnightHawk for two years now and am currently 30

years old. I was hired with aproximately 4000 hours and now have just over

5300. Pilots are required to sign a two year contract valued at $20,000 to

secure training costs. I'm a little fuzzie on the companies minimum

requirements but 2000 total/1000 multi rings a bell. All training is

completed at Simuflite in Dallas Tx using a Level D simulator. The initial

course is two weeks long, very intense, and by far the best training I have

recieved in my career to date. The first recurrent course is at six months

and annually after that.

The company understands that most pilots will view this job as a

transitional one due to the nature of the work and the size of the aircraft.

They demand a high degree of professionalism and dedication and are also

very supportive of the future career endeavors of team members who have

completed their contracts (or made arrangements to pay them out!). The pay

scale somewhat reflects the companies attitude that they are a stepping

stone as it doesn't supply a whole lot of incentive to stay long term.

First Officers start at $32,000 and Captains at $43,000. Per-diems are paid

at $2/hr while you are on duty. Upgrades are based on performance rather

than seniority, although seniority is a factor. Traditionally, a pilot can

expect an opportunity for upgrade to Captain within a year, although the

market as of late has stiffled this somewhat. Pilots are schedualed to work

12 - 15 days per month and KnightHawk is generally very accomodating about

schedual requests. The time off is great and usually comes in blocks of four

or five days (and we don't work weekends). A typical duty day is 10 to 14

hours long in which time you might fly 3.5 to 8.5 hours depending on what

run you are doing. Flying nights is not easy. The worst time for me is

after about 4:00am until the sun comes up. A very strict SOP helps combat

the effects of being awake all night by giving you a habit to fall back on

when thinking clearly can be very difficult.

The fleet consists of 4 Falcon 20's and 1 Beech 1900. I must add a bit

about the Falcon. Even though it is a vintage model, it is very cool. It

was Dasault's first attempt at a business jet and all the experience they

had to draw on was from their fighter jets. This thing is built like a tank

and has no poor flight characteristics. It is fast, very manouverable and a

blast to fly. The airframe has been supersonic with no adverse tendencies

(Dassault video) and high and low speed buffet boundries are so far apart as

to not even be an issue. You can roll this thing into a steep turn up in

the flight levels (350) and not worry about it. It has a very effective

airbrake and in emergency decent configuration has been clocked at over

23000 feet per minute. Obviously we don't wring the thing out like this at

work, but its nice to know you're flying around in quality hardware.

Although most of the company's flying is nocturnal, there is one route on

the east coast (between Moncton and St.Johns Nfld) that flies during the

day. There are two pilot bases, the main one being in Ottawa and the

sub-base in Calgary. For more info on the company you can visit the web

page at www.knighthawk.ca .

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