Retiring Military Pilots & Corporate Pilot Jobs: Expert Advice


dave-riddleWe interviewed long-time Member and retired U.S. Air Force pilot Dave Riddle to get his thoughts on military pilots transitioning to Part 135, Part 125 and Part 91 pilot jobs. Today, Riddle is a G-V Captain out of Houston Texas and he loves his job. He has been an ally for dozens of friends and friends-of-friends as they transition from the military into their first corporate pilot job. He’s helped by providing insights and advice on how flight departments are organized, schedules, key contacts, and how to prepare for an interview. He has also encouraged many of his friends to sign up on

“ does a great job of showing where jobs are geographically so you can start determining your future,” says Dave.”Guys will say to me, ‘Hey, I’m not retiring from the military for 2 years,’ but that’s actually perfect timing. If for example they know they’d like to live in Salt Lake City, they can sit on the pilot job board and monitor the pilot job listings in that city for the next two years and see what pops up. It’s the best way to get a handle on the market.”Monitoring pilot jobs can help you steer clear of companies that have noticeably high turnover, or appear to be a bad fit for someone with a military background.Those who know Dave speak highly of him and the insights he can provide into the corporate world. A graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he has coached friends and acquaintances transitioning from the military on how to network effectively, and how to find the corporate pilot job that’s a perfect fit.

“ has a great user interface and gives good guidance on when to apply and get a resume in,” he says, “but I always warn people that submitting your resume online isn’t the be-all-end-all to finding a great job.”Riddle instructs that joining gives you the visibility you need into this often secretive industry.”Some companies have their own flight departments, others contract the work out to a charter company. You may think you want to work for a company based out of Dallas, but with a closer look learn that the company managing their planes is in Tampa, and this is where you would spend the majority of your time.”

The jobs themselves are your “window” into the often-shrouded world of corporate aviation, where the best jobs are the hardest to find, and take more time to get.We at know Dave personally and have supported him over the years. Since we work directly with many aviation employers, we can provide additional insights that often make the difference.”Once you understand who is hiring and in what types of aircraft,” says Riddle, “you need to personally visit their office or flight department to get your name out anytime you are where they are located. This way, you can be ahead of the job posting, and you already have connections who can help you get the job you want. If you’re a G-V pilot, it makes sense to be aware of and connected with companies flying G-Vs. Once the job you want pops up, you’ve done your research, you understand the company and the job itself, and you’re ready.”The same thing applies once you’re hired. Even when you love your job and can’t imagine being anywhere else, it makes sense to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing corporate flight departments. This is why so many of our pilots continue to be Members year after year. It allows them to keep their fingers on the pulse of the corporate aviation industry.

If you’re retiring or separating from the military and looking for a pilot job, Dave Riddle can provide additional insight. See if a friend of yours can help you connect with him, or reach out to us here at and we’ll see if we can help make the connection.