Real Answers from Real Pilots

November ‘17 Schedule

59 hours. 75 credits. 13 days off.
Decided to change it up this month for a change in scenery.
13 more ERJs will begin to arrive on the property, starting March 2018 with 10 more to come in 2019.

DH = Deadhead
VJM = Voluntary Junior Man

  1. VJM
  2. SEA-SMF
  3. SMF
  4. SMF-SAN-FAT-SEA
  5. DH to SJC, SJC-BUR-SJC
  6. SJC
  7. SJC-PDX-ABQ
  8. ABQ-SNA-ABQ-SEA
  9. SEA-ICT-SEA-PDX
  10. PDX-SJC
  11. SJC-PDX-SEA
  12. SEA-FAT-SEA-SMF
  13. SMF
  14. SMF-SAN-FAT-SEA
  15. Thanksgiving
  16. SEA-ICT-SEA
  17. SEA-SMF
  18. SMF
  19. SMF-SAN-FAT-SEA
1 Like

Looks like some darn nice flying to me.

Wow, you got Thanksgiving off?

Yeah. Good to get out to the Midwest for a change.

I did :grin: my seniority won’t last long. I’ll go back to the bottom when I
upgrade, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Tory

How do you spend your days off away from base?

Do you ever nonrev home during a trip?

Kevin,

I spend my days off doing what anybody else does, enjoying days off, doing things with my kids, etc.

I have never non-reved while on a trip. The company is expecting you to be in a certain place and you had better be there in case they need you earlier than expected.

Chris

2 Likes

Kevin,

As Chris said it’s generally not a good idea to non-rev home during a trip, although I know pilots who have. Thing is if you’re on a trip you’re still technically working. Schedules can change, flights cancel, mx issues etc. While you certainly can get out and about, you don’t want to get a call that they need you to leave a day early or take the plane elsewhere and you’re not there. Also should weather or other issues arise while you’re home and you have trouble getting back you’d really have some explaining to do.

Adam

2 Likes

Kevin,

When you say “days off away from base” I think you mean “layover.” If so, it depends on where I am and who I’m with. I try to reconnect with friends mostly. For example, on the 17th I met up with another former CFI at ATP. I hadn’t seen him since my last day at ATP. On the 20th I went out to dinner with my family. On the 29th I visited the ATP SAC location to meet the new students and say hi to the CFIs that I taught.

I never nonrev home on a layover. Like the other mentors have said, that’s too risky.

Tory

1 Like

Tory,

When a regional airline guarantees their pilots a minimum number of days off per month (ex: 11), is there any “standard” way they schedule these? For example 2 days off at a time or 3 days off at a time? It looks like you have a few 1 or 2-day blocks and a 4-day block of time off for Nov '17. I ask due to my location in the country; I will have to commute which will affect my child visitation schedule…

Thanks!

In all honesty, I’m not sure. All I know is that the program that creates
our schedules uses an algorithm. We can set preferences to tell the program
what we want, like, “avoid check in times between 6am-9am,” “prefer off
weekends,” “award trips with employee number ######…etc.”

However, you need to have enough seniority in order for the system to give
you what you asked for. So, as a new first officer at a Regional, you have
to go with the flow for a while until you’ve moved up the seniority ladder.
My situation is unique because I am still in my first year at Horizon, but
my schedule does not reflect a typical new hire schedule. I was hired
around the same time as Horizon started training pilots to fly the ERJ.
That put me at the top of the seniority list among the other ERJ First
Officers. I’m not special. I just got lucky.

So for you, you will most likely not be able to have set days off. I would
certainly try, though. You might get lucky like me. Just don’t count on it
is all I’m saying.

Tory

No there is no standard pattern. The airlines have scheduling software that builds “lines” for the pilots. The software assures that the pilot gets their min days off and also must comply with the FARs regarding required rest so the pilot remains legal. Pilots can enter their preferences for days off (or days on) and pretty much any other parameter you can think of. With that all said it’s seniority rules and the senior pilots will get their preferences down the line until the most junior pilots get what’s left.

Adam

Tory/Adam,

Thanks for the insight.

1 Like

Tony,

With all of the things you stated you can choose to bid for, can you bid certain destinations?

Thanks

Yes, you can bid certain destinations and many pilots do just that.

Yes. The preferences are endless. It’s a new program to me. So, I don’t
know all of them. You can also avoid destinations.

Tory

Is it common for commuting pilots to bid overnights in their home city, and if they do, is there enough time for them to spend the night at home?

Hey Jon,

Yes. I’ve seen some pilots do this. Another thing I’ve seen is let’s say a pilot is SEA based, but lives in Portland. On the last day of some trips, the second to last leg is a flight to PDX, and the last leg is a deadhead to SEA (because trips begin and end at a pilot’s base). A pilot in this situation might actually like this trip, because when they get to Portland, they can call scheduling and drop their deadhead. By doing this, they just saved themselves the hassle of finding a commutable flight from SEA-PDX.

Tory

Jon,

Some people bid overnights at home, but they usually aren’t really long enough to make it worthwhile.

Chris