Real Answers from Real Pilots

The Boeing Yoke vs Airbus Sidestick

Curious as to the details in transitioning from one to another or visa-versa. Understanding everything is seniority based when bidding, scheduling, etc… and assuming everyone is trained to fly using the standard yoke controls, if you’re currently flying the B737 and bid into a spot on, say an A-320, are you required to have training/qualification on the Airbus and sidestick controls prior to bidding or are you trained by the company once you win a theoretical bid change like this? What are you responsible on your own vs what your employer will train you on when you bid on to a new plane/system?

Scott,

Anytime you bid and are awarded a new aircraft you MUST complete transition training. That training will be provided by the airline AFTER you’re awarded that aircraft. While all training programs must be approved my the FAA and are in all cases very complete, it’s often ALOT of material and every pilot I know starts studying at least a month prior to the training in an effort to not simply “pass” but to do well.

Since you mention going from the Boeing to the Airbus both me and Chris have done those transitions and in my opinion the stick is the least of it. Engineering wise the 2 manufactures are very different in design, systems and even conceptually how the pilots get trained. I’m in the process of going back from Bus to Boeing and while I enjoyed the Bus I’m VERY happy to be returning to the yolk.

Adam

Slightly related, when an airline such as Delta, retires a fleet like the 747 and swaps out with the A350, is it safe to assume the 747 captains and FO would get first dips at those spots? I understand seniority never wins (sarcasm) but when your employer changes the aircraft would this be situation where seniority might take a back seat to these pilots? Granted I don’t think anyone on this site works for delta but I assume the same thing is happening to United for the 747 and 787.

Question is just my curiosity, by the time I get to get fly a wide body well be flying A390’s and B797’s.

Generally speaking, when a fleet is retired those pilots have displacement rights to whatever aircraft their seniority can hold. In the case of the 747 at UAL, most of those pilots went to the 777 or the 787.