If your goal is to fly cargo, the UPS FlightPath program might be the way to go. With two different tracks you can set yourself up for success at Ameriflight and then UPS.
UPS FlightPath I
- UPS FlightPath Intern (12 months)
- Ameriflight Pilot (30 months)
- UPS Interview
To be eligible for this program you’ll need to have your Commercial Pilot Certificate with Multi-Engine and Instrument ratings, have graduated within the previous 24 months, or be currently enrolled as a junior or senior (undergrad or grad program), with a 3.0 GPA, or higher.
You can apply to the program on the UPS FlightPath website.
UPS FlightPath Intern (12 month program)
You’ll gain experience on an airframe in the sim department and the operations department. Along with responsibilities in the Operations department, UPS will have you train on a specific fleet (systems, flows and procedures, and sim sessions!), to assist with customer tours and the flight testing program. This is a great way for you to gain experience not only in how UPS flies but also how things work behind the scenes in operations. And, of course, a great way for UPS to get to know you and how you’ll perform in the company.
With 500 hours total time, and a recommendation from UPS, you’ll transition to Ameriflight for a 30 month pilot program.
UPS uses your time at Ameriflight in the same way AA and United use your time at the regionals. You’ll build time flying smaller aircraft, upgrade to captain and learn the ins and outs of working as a crew, managing a crew as a Captain, and working with the flight department and operations. Your UPS Intern training should give you a nice head start in training since you’ve more or less already been through an airline training course.
In your 30 months at Ameriflight UPS pilot mentor to help you out if you need it, and keep you on track. During this time, UPS is looking for a type rating as well as 1,500 hours turbine PIC, with at least 500 of those hours in the Embraer 120 (or another crewed aircraft). Once you’ve met the requirements, you’ll need a recommendation from your Ameriflight Chief Pilot and the Director of Training, you’ll have to take and pass a Hogan test (more or less a personality test), and obtain your ATP. From there, you’ll be on your way to a First Officer Interview at UPS!
UPS FlightPath II
FlightPath II gives current Ameriflight pilots an opportunity to get their foot in the door at UPS!
- Ameriflight Development (24 months – this can change, more below)
- UPS Development & Mentoring (12 months)
- UPS First Officer Interview
To be eligible, you’ll need a minimum of 1,000 hours, a bachelor’s degree (or in the process of getting one), be in good standing with the company, and to be selected internally be Ameriflight. UPS also wants to see turbo prop captain time by the end of the Ameriflight stage.
Ameriflight Developmental Stage
UPS isn’t looking for any run of the mill pilot. With this program, UPS is targeting driven pilots who are setting themselves apart from the crowd at Ameriflight, and in their personal endeavors.
Not only do they want to see Captain experience, but they also require you to be a Check Airman, Instructor, or in a Management Role. On top of this, they prefer you have a Bachelor’s degree, and also want “verifiable activities to foster leadership abilities, expert industry skills, and personal growth.” Examples include, leadership training, a graduate degree, foreign language studies, volunteer work, and military reserve or National Guard. As we mentioned before, UPS wants driven pilots who are working to improve themselves and their piloting abilities.
The Ameriflight Developmental Stage is advertised as a 24 month program, but that can vary based on the amount of time you’ve been with the company.
- A pilot employee with 20 months of service already holding an ATP, type rating, and a check airman letter may be allowed to complete the program in 18 months
- A BE-99 rated pilot with 30 months of service, service as an instructor pilot, and an associate degree may begin the program at the 12-month mark
UPS Development & Mentoring Stage
The UPS Development and Mentoring Stage is setup to introduce you to UPS. To get here, UPS wants to see at least 1,000 hours PIC (jet or turbo prop), with international experience preferred as well as a recommendation from your Ameriflight Chief Pilot and Director of Training. You’ll spend a year completing UPS FlightPath Development courses, including a jet transition course, while jumpseating to on UPS aircraft to see how real world line operations work. At the end of the course you’ll need to meet the UPS First Officer hiring minimums, pass the Hogan test (more or less a personality test), and apply for a UPS First Officer position!
Let’s Sum it Up
If your goal is to fly cargo, one of these programs should be a great option to get your foot in the door at UPS. Although neither will necessarily steer you wrong, FlightPath I seems to be the more desirable option on paper. You keep more control, applying directly into the program, spending your first year learning the company and then moving on to fly with Ameriflight with the intention of returning to UPS vs. starting at Ameriflight and working to set yourself apart and be internally selected to enter the program.
Again, they’re both outstanding options, and I’ve only ever heard great things about UPS from people who work there, especially pilots. UPS has a reputation of taking great care of its employees. If UPS is your goal, one of these programs should be part of making it a reality!
The majority of the information we have here comes directly from the UPS FlightPath website. If you have more personal knowledge of the program we’d love to make this article more useful to everyone. Feel free to shoot a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about your experience.