Interested in Contracting for NOMADIC?
We get DOZENS of resumes, calls, and emails every week from pilots looking to work with us - and we understand why! Working as a ferry pilot is one of the biggest challenges and greatest adventures one can undertake as a pilot. Unfortunately, there are only so many opportunities out there and a lot of willing professionals ready to step up and accept the challenge. Because of the level of interest, we have put together this page which should answer most of your questions. If you think ferry-flying is for you, you can submit your information through the form on this page, and you will be considered for future operations.
How many pilots do you have?
A: NOMADIC has a total of 4 full-time pilots consisting of the 2 Managing Partners (Steve & Bob) and 2 Project Managers (Wes & Chris) In addition to the core-four, we supplement the crew ranks with experienced ferry pilots from a contractor-pool. The pool currently stands at around 20-25 pilots, located all over the world, and that have been working alongside us for years; even decades in some cases. Generally speaking we use the same 10-12 pilots in a rotation based on their availability and qualification for a particular trip.
Do you ever expand the "pool"? and if so, how can I get into the mix?
A: YES! It doesn't happen very often, but we bring new crews in from time to time to satisfy a tough requirement or a last minute substitution. I'd say that the "pool" grows by about 2-3 pilots every year (and also shrinks about the same). The ONLY way to get into the mix is by submitting your information on the form below, being patient, accepting the assignment when you get called. Getting into the "pool" as a regular in the rotation requires competence, reliability, aptitude, and above all else PERSONALITY. Ferry flights are long and crews spend a lot of time together in close quarters accomplishing difficult tasks.
What is ferry flying like?
A: The short answer is: It's a lot more challenging than airline flying. Pilots coming from long-haul nonscheduled air carriers tend to do very well at adapting to the pace of ferry-flying. We operate under Part 91 - so we're not subject to the same Part 121/135 time and duty limitations that most professional pilots are used to. This doesn't mean that we assign trips where you're going to be working fatigued, but it means that you should be prepared for some long working days. In most cases any trips where you'll be flying for more than 12 hours in a day are assigned as "heavy crews" with 3 or more pilots. With a heavy crew, one pilot can be in rest aboard the aircraft at any given time. There are exceptions to this rule though; mainly because trips never seem to depart when scheduled and a crew of 2 might find themselves needing to fly a long day after a ground delay getting out. We'll never force a crew to fly fatigued, but at the same time, we expect our crews to be highly versatile and capable of operating on some pretty extreme duty days. Some people can hack it, some can't. If you are the type of person that finds yourself questioning whether you can fly 20 hours between rest periods when needed, you should probably re-assess your desire to ferry planes.
Nomadic has in-house flight planning and dispatch, and the quality of the flight support you will receive is in line with what international airlines have. Our support team will file and provide detailed flight plans, trip support/information sheets, arrange travel and all logistics for a trip. That said, in the business of irregular operations, the crew must be proactive and highly competent in trouble-shooting technical issues with engineering support over the phone. A crew must also be able to figure out how to get to and from an assignment, how to effectively communicate with onsite representatives and Nomadic management, and be self-sufficient enough to overcome the many obstacles that present themselves throughout the course of a trip. If you are a highly motivated "can-do" type of person - you will do well working with us. If you feel like you need to call management to figure out what to do when a taxi misses it's pick-up time in Nairobi, this probably isn't for you. The bottom line is that we do whatever we can to best support you in the field, but the job requires a level of independent problem solving that goes way above and beyond the requirements of an airline job.
International Long-haul travel to/from an assignment is ALWAYS done in business class. Domestic or short-haul travel is done in economy class. All airline travel is paid for by Nomadic. Ground transportation is arranged by each crew member and reimbursed after the trip is complete. All hotels and trip-expenses are paid by Nomadic (unless a special circumstance requires otherwise). Crews are paid a daily rate from the day they leave home until the day they arrive back home. All contractors will complete a W9 or W8 (as applicable) and are responsible for their own tax withholdings. A signed crew contract is also required.
How do I stay current?
A: Part 91 operations require a recurrent proficiency check on type every 24 months, and at least ONE proficiency check in any type every 12 months. Under no circumstances will Nomadic pay for your proficiency check, although we can assist you in setting up a training event if you need help. It is the responsibility of the contract pilot to maintain their own proficiency. We realize that it's expensive to get a PC with no guarantee of work - but we also are happy to work with contractors that work with other ferry companies as well. If you invest in a proficiency check, it would be likely that you'll find work with us or someone else to make that expenditure worthwhile.
Can I contract as a ferry pilot if I am employed at a Part 121/135 Air Carrier?
In theory - yes. Most airlines have rules against doing this, but if you decide to contract on days off, you do so at your own risk. We have a few regular contractors who are employed at major airlines, but they acknowledge the risks, track their duty time, and work their schedule to be able to balance it all. That said, ferry flying isn't something that goes by the plan very often. Typically, we know about a trip for weeks/months in advance, but only have a "target" date for departure. In reality, these flights RARELY occur as scheduled, and often delay for days/weeks/months due to a number of issues that come up. Flexibility is key, and often contractors are utilized in last minute short-call situations. If you're on the list and get a call - try and do your best to move things around and accept the trip, because when someone declines a trip more than twice before ever actually working for us, it's rare we revisit them with a 3rd opportunity. While we understand things come up, it's critical that every one of our contractors that accepts a trip, see it through to the end once they depart for a project.
Ferry pilots that have a lot of flexibility (retired, employed outside of aviation, professional contract pilots, furloughed, between jobs) get the most work because it's difficult to balance this type of work with airline flying. There are always exceptions though.
What are the minimum requirements to fly for Nomadic?
To contract for Nomadic, you will need to have an ATP or ATPL, a current 1st or 2nd class medical, a passport, be vaccinated for COVID-19, and possess a PIC type rating for the aircraft you are assigned a trip on. The majority of our operations require either an EASA, FAA, Transport Canada, or CASA license. We do also validate to several other registries, and we in certain very specific cases will seek out China, Korea, UAE, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, South African, or (other) foreign licenses for a particular assignment. Even if you don't have an FAA or EASA license, feel free to submit a form anyway because we never know when a foreign reg trip will come up - and we look to source local crews before seeking validations for existing crews.
Nomadic doesn't have a published minimum experience requirement and everyone is assessed on a practical case-by-case basis. For the most part our contract crews typically have between 5000-15,000 hours total time with 500-1000+ PIC time in type. Again - it's more about the person and the person's attitude than what a person looks like on paper.
Please give me some tips on how to stand out and get called!
1 - Do NOT constantly call and/or email us begging for work. We appreciate your enthusiasm, but we're busy and when we need contractors, we go to the list!
2 - There are a LOT of A320 and 737 pilots out there, so if that's all you have - it doesn't mean you WON'T get called, but the fact remains that the list of 737 and A320 crews is LONG. That said, they're the most common types we fly and there are always A320 and 737 ops on the schedule. If you live somewhere like Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, China, Japan, or pretty much anywhere in Europe - the chances are your number will be called at some point.
3 - 757, 767, ATR-72-600, 787, A350, CRJ, and ERJ pilots will likely get called at some point. We do a lot of 757/767 ops and current/qualified 7576 crews are getting tougher to find as the types get phased out of mainstream service. We don't have any ATR-72-600 qualified pilots in our group of regulars at the moment, and CRJ/ERJ drivers with international experience are always tough to find! 787 Drivers are still tough and A350 drivers in the USA are REALLY tough to find. These types are valuable for us right now.
4 - Accept a trip and commit to it. The best way to get into the mix of regulars is to accept a trip if and when you're called. I know life is busy, but if this is something you really want to do - and if the call comes - be prepared to make it happen! If you do, and you work out well you WILL be called again. It's that simple.
5 - Show up ready to learn. Even if you've been a contract pilot elsewhere in the past, you will find that working at Nomadic can be a unique experience. If you show up ready to absorb knowledge like a sponge - you will do great. We have specific ways of doing things and every trip is really a team effort between pilots, management, and dispatch/flight support. If you are open minded, likable, friendly, and skilled you will fit in at nomadic perfectly.