Real Answers from Real Pilots

July '17 Schedule

(Tory) #1

2nd month flying the line. Schedule was built for me because I finished IOE in June and missed the July bid window.

Started with 13 days off. Picked up 5 Premium Pay trips. Total of 96 hours of flight time.

  2. Home Reserve
  4. PDX
  7. Deadhead to PDX, PDX-STL (200% Premium Pay)
  8. STL-SEA
  9. SEA-COS-SEA-YYC (200% Premium Pay)
  11. Deadhead to YYC
  12. YYC-SEA
  14. SEA-STL (150% Premium Pay)
  15. STL-SEA, Deadhead to PDX
  16. PDX-STL
  17. STL-SEA, Deadhead to PDX
  19. SEA-SJC-SEA (200% Premium Pay)
  20. Deadhead to PDX, PDX-OAK-PDX
  21. PDX-STL
  23. YYC-SEA
  24. SEA-SJC-SEA (200% Premium Pay)

(Scott Gendron) #2


Thanks for posting you schedules. It would appear you are hard charging to stack your hours, is that the case or is this typical of most regional guys?

Also was wondering if you (or anyone!) could help me translate this: “Minimum daily guarantee at 4:12 hours. 1:4 time away from base pay guarantee.” It is from Skywest, I’m still trying to decipher some of the airline scheduling terminology. Thank you for all your postings, really appreciate the insight.



(Tory) #3


Yes. I am working more than the average regional pilot. I have ~$70k in
loans (at a 9% interest rate) and some credit card debt that I’m trying to
pay off.

As for the ratios, 4:12 equals 4 hours and 12 minutes which equals 4.2
hours. So, when you’re scheduled to fly, you’re guaranteed to be payed a
minimum of 4.2 hours per day. 1:4 equals 1 hour for every 4 hours away from
base. So, if you’re on a 4 day trip and you spend 76 hours away from base,
you’ll be payed for 19 of those hours. This is so pilots don’t get screwed
(for lack of a better term) on inefficient trips.

Good questions! I’ll be honest…I had to ask my former instructor who
works for Skywest about those ratios :nerd_face:


(Scott Gendron) #4

Thank you Tory that makes it clear now. I really appreciate you reaching out.


(Ilya) #5

Thank you Troy for sharing your schedule, I’m happy that I found a person as hardworking as myself Lol. It seems you don’t have more than a week off including weekends. That’s what I like sir. By the way I would be thankful if you can give more explanation about premium time and how it’s calculated to be double or 1.5 .

(Tory) #6

I’m not sure what it’s like for every airline, but for Horizon, if a pilot
picks up a trip on their day off, our contract requires Horizon to pay 150%
for that trip. I earned 200% in July under special circumstances. I
probably won’t see that at Horizon again.

(Ilya) #7

Tnx Troy you are a very good example of a person who is successful in this career and is still at the starting phase of professional position and is dealing with hard years of its financial aspect. Well I thought it’s like regular employees. You know holidays are double for most employees in industry but of course pilots are not in the same situation. Is it possible to say on average how many hours we can receive 1.5 per month? Let’s see, 1000 hours flight per year is 84 hours per month averagely. Then if we say we might be able to book 90-95 hours per month, does it mean that premium time can reach up to only 10 hours or 15 hours per month if we are very lucky? !!! If that’s the case it may not be realisticly considerable to count on it. What do you think about it sir?

(Tory) #8


You know I’m starting to side with Chris on this one. Please don’t take
offense. I appreciate your admiration towards my work ethic, but you seem
to have a different outlook on the early stages of a pilot’s career.

When I decided to quit my career after college I accepted the fact that I
was going to be a starving pilot for at least the first 5 years. I fly
because I love to. I consider myself lucky every day I come to work because
I get to be responsible for other people’s lives. I do what I can to
survive by picking up extra trips and hunting for affordable living
situations to maximize my income. So, yeah it’s worth every hour I’ve spent
in a piston airplane in 100 degree weather with no a/c and then some.

(Ilya) #9

Well I got the point sir, I did from Chris post. To clarify that it means if we are considering this career we may accept the hardness of it during first 5-7 years till we make it to major airlines. Going around the mentioned condition is not what I am considering, But personally I usually take a deep observation before making decision, so basically I am just thinking about possibilities and I understand there is no guarantee for it. So if you don’t mind I would be thankful if you can give your idea about the truth of my previous post. In this way if anyone in the future is concerned about it can know what is the most can expect, however, it’s just possibility, not guarantee. Tnx again

(Tory) #10

Horizon has a minimum monthly guarantee of 75 hours in the jet and 70 hours
in the Q400. So, there’s a potential of flying an extra 25-30 hours per
month. Personally, I would only be able to manage 15-20 hours of extra
flight time. At $40/hr that gives me the potential to earn $900-$1,200 more.

(Ilya) #11

Tnx a lot Troy. Wish you a fortune in your career life

(Sean Robinson) #12


You say that you probably wont see 200% pay at Horizon again and that it was under special circumstances that you received it. If you don’t mind me asking, what circumstances called for the pay bump that day?

(Tory) #13


During June and July Horizon was forced to cancel over 318 flights due to a
pilot shortage. The company decided to offer 200% pay for flights picked up
on our days off to help soften the blow so to speak. 200% was only offered
for about a month. As time went on Horizon started pre-canceling flights
instead of scrambling for pilots last minute. Now that the company has a
manageable number of flights premium pay was reduced to the standard 150%.


(Sean Robinson) #14

I see. I was just curious why it was offered. I couldn’t tell if you were just special or it had something else to do with you. I didn’t realize the airlines were hurting that bad for pilots. Stuff like this just motivates me to get everything started sooner before they slow way down on hiring.

(Tory) #15

Nope. Had nothing to do with me. The company was just trying to get as many
flights covered as they could until they developed a plan to recover from
the deficit. The pilot shortage is expected to continue for the next two
decades according to rescent studies.

(Sean Robinson) #16

Wow. Two decades is a crazy long time. I guess that’s good news for fresh pilots wanting some overtime money.

(Tory) #17

(Alex) #18

In the future once the pilot shortage is nearly done and over with, will it become harder to pick up extra hours for major and regional carriers ? Or will there be almost no difference?



First as we’ve all said, the shortage isn’t going away any time soon. Second even if it did airlines follow “staffing models” based on the number of airplanes, routes etc. They will never hire more pilots than they need and there will always be pilots who want to fly alot and those who don’t. I’m short the answer is no pilots never have issues picking up extra flying.




There will always be extra time to pick up. That is not so much a function of any pilot shortage as it is airline staffing models.