Real Answers from Real Pilots

July 2016 Schedule


(Tory) #42

Bob,

I’ll leave this one for Chris and Adam because I don’t know.

Tory


#43

Bob,

No, that is not possible. There are a few factors at play here. To begin with, the FAA requires pilots to notably be trained on a type of airplane, but to be current on it. This means a check ride on the airplane within the last twelve months and three landings within the last ninety days. It would be a logistical (and expensive) nightmare for the airlines to try to keep pilots current and qualified on more than one type of airplane at a time.

Also, most union contracts prevent pilots from being assigned to more than one airplane at a time as the union feels very strongly that it is safest if pilots are very familiar with the airplane they are flying and not trying to keep two completely different airplanes straight in their minds.

You have to remember, airplanes are very complex and the systems, flight control feels, sight picture onboard computers can be very different from one to the next. Even the 737 and the 757 are vastly different from each other.

At my airline pilots are essentially locked onto an airplane type for two years when they switch from one to the next. Now of course one can stay longer than two years, but two years is the minimum.

Chris


(Tory) #44

Bob,

Don’t know if this pertains to your question, but aI talked to my Buddy at
Skywest and he said he can fly a CRJ 200, 700, or 900 in the same month
because he has a CL-65 type on his ATP Cert. If he starts a trip in a 200,
for example, he will remain in the 200 for the entire trip. Like I said,
still a possibility of flying all three in the same month. The CRJ 2, 7 and
900 have identical flight decks.

Tory


#45

Tory’s friend can switch back and forth between CRJ types because it is considered to be a “common type” by the FAA. If his friend had previously flown the EMB 170 for SkyWest, he would not be able to bounce from the EMB one month, to the CRJ the next, and back again.

Chris


(Jason Shank) #46

Hey Chris,

Similar to the above about the CL-65 type and staying on the same size equipment during a trip, is it the same at United? If for instance you start a trip on a 738 do only fly 800s that trip, no 700s or 900s?


#47

Jason,

No. You could easily fly all three 737 types that we have during a trip, in fact, it is pretty common to do so.

Chris


(Jason Shank) #48

Thanks Chris… I figured that was the case from looking at the city pairs in your schedule but wasn’t 100% sure so I figured I’d ask.


(bob saggot) #49

In this schedule, it shows, for example, day 5, day 6, and day 7 as on duty- how much of those days are spent on duty? Did you leave LGA on day 5 in the early morning and return very late at night on day 7…or was day 7 more of a half day because of an early flight home?

If so, how often, on average, would you say you’re able to work days in which you arrive to the airport later in the day or arrive home early in the day?


#50

Bob,

On the days in question, I left early and got home late. Generally this is true for domestic flying, while international flying usually involves late departures and early arrivals.

Chris


(bob saggot) #51

how late are you able to modify your schedule after it’s initially released? also, do you know of any pilots that get a schedule similar to the normal 9am-5pm, or get home most nights of the week?


#52

Bob,

As always the answers can vary from airline to airline but generally most airlines have what’s a “Trip Trade/Open Time Window” (or something similar) that opens maybe a week after the lines (schedules) are published. Once the window opens any trips the company has that haven’t been assigned posted and pilots can “advertise” trips they want to trade or drop. If you have enough hours and there’s sufficient coverage you can simply drop the trips you don’t want provided you don’t go below the minimums (at my company that’s 75hrs). That window remains open till the end of the month and pilots can try to move, trade or drop trips up to the day before. Personally I’m ALWAYS browsing Open Time because there’s ALWAYS a better trip out there.

Bob pilots are funny. As much as we all claim to hate the 9-5 many pilots strive to have that kind of schedule. Any time many pilots desire the same thing that catch all answer SENIORITY kicks in. If there are such trips you can bet they’re SUPER-senior and only a hand full of pilots have them. That said most airline operations simply don’t lend themselves to those hours (flights start early in the am and finish late in the pm) and most airplanes don’t return home every night. Honestly with the exception of the Hawaiian Airlines Interisland operation (which has no overnight trips), I don’t know another airline that offers the possibility of being home every (or even most) day(s).

Adam


(bob saggot) #53

Are pilots required to go through the x ray machines in security for every trip? also, how far in advance do pilots usually need to arrive at the airport for flights?

Thanks!


#54

Bob,

For a while host of reasons we do not talk about any security related issues on the forum.

For domestic flights, we generally arrive about an hour prior to push, international flights is 90 minutes.

Chris


#55

Bob,

I’m back to interisland where we only have to be there 30min prior (but most pilots show up much earlier). When I flew international it was an hour. As you can see it varies by airline and operation.

Adam


(Daniel Held) #56

Hi Adam,

Is seniority strictly based on time with the airline or does having a degree help with seniority?

Thanks,

Daniel


#57

Daniel,

Seniority is strictly based on date of hire at the airline, nothing else matters.

Chris


#58

Daniel,

Great question. If you’ve never worked in a seniority based system it can seem complex but it’s actually incredibly simple. Your seniority is based solely on the day you start training (aka Date of Hire). NOTHING else matters. Degrees, previously experience, age, NADA! You could be the son of Delta’s CEO who flew F22’s in the AirForce with a Doctorate in Aviation Science and wrote the Flight Ops Manual for the 747. If a new kid with no degree who was flight instructing the day before starts a day before you they will be senior to you, period.

Make sense?

Adam


(bob saggot) #59

In you guys’ experience, are the hotel rooms airlines provide on your trips usually nice (3-5 star rating)? Did the regional airlines that you went through provide similar hotels as the majors?


#60

Bob,

Both at the Regional and the Major I’ve flown for we always stayed in REALLY nice hotels. Honestly I always preferred the 3 Stars to the 4-5’s. I’m not a fancy guy, I like vending machines on my floor and if I need a treat I’d rather grab some Twinkies in the lobby than having to pay $12.50 for a slice of the Chef’s Flourless Truffle Dragonfruit Chiffon Gateau. But that’s me.

Adam


(Tory) #61

Bob,

I am pleased with our hotels so far. If we have an issue we can submit
feedback and it usually gets resolved if enough people complain. The
airline likes to book us in hotels like Red Lion, Shilo, Doubletree,
Marriott, Holiday Inn…

Tory