Airline Pilot Forums

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Excargodog
03-01-2018, 12:57 PM
As a newbie starting with no 121 time, I'm going into a situation where Compass is short in FOs because of their hiring freeze, so short that they are starting to look at right seat captains and giving new hires credit for prior 121 time, both because they desperately need FOs and because that FO shortage ought to gradually morph into a captain shortage as they continue to lose captains and start to run out of FOs who have 1000 hours of 121 time to upgrade to captain. That sound about right?

If so, it would seem that a new hire starting training today would sort of have the best of both worlds, if their goal were to fly in the majors. They'll have little reserve time before they are holding a line, and be flying their butts off both on reserve and as a line holder. So they ought to gain the 1000 house they need rather quickly and Compass will upgrade them quickly because by then that's where the shortage from the ill-advised hiring freeze leaves the company.

Of course by that time anyone the company did lure in with prior 121 time may have already upgraded, but because they have a more recent date of hire, they will be junior to those FOs hired today, so these quasi-street captains soak up the reserve flying (if any) and the new captains may well be flying lines immediately after upgrading. Or am I missing something here?

And then, since by that time the FO shortage will have become a captain shortage, they will again be flying their tails off and accumulating the 1000 hours of TPIC that seems to be the door opener for selection by some of the majors. Or again, am I missing something?

If I'm viewing this correctly, this would seem about as speedy an opportunity to get the regional time you need to be competitive applying to the majors as you are going to get.


poorflyer
03-01-2018, 01:35 PM
If I had the regional airline crystal ball I'd tell you that you're correct. The problem is, it doesn't exist. The threat right now is that if we can't hire enough FOs they aren't going to upgrade any. We're throttling upgrades to 10 a month due to FO staffing. Right now upgrades are in seniority order are are slightly above 24 months which is way over what it takes to gain 1000 hours and will only go down if we can hire FOs. If we can stay fat on FOs it will be a good place to be, since our captains are leaving at a high rate proportional to our small size. However, another threat is the flying contracts expiring in a little over 3 years. I don't need to mention the devastion that a lose of flying brings. Our strengths are that we are a small group of pilots who want to leave, even if that means a ULCC. So when given the chance, seniority flows pretty fast. Our opportunities include holding onto our flying and maybe gaining more reputation with delta to gain career progression but that's a stretch. Our weaknesses are definitely management, but that goes for most regionals.

mpet
03-01-2018, 02:28 PM
If I had the regional airline crystal ball I'd tell you that you're correct. The problem is, it doesn't exist. The threat right now is that if we can't hire enough FOs they aren't going to upgrade any. We're throttling upgrades to 10 a month due to FO staffing. Right now upgrades are in seniority order are are slightly above 24 months which is way over what it takes to gain 1000 hours and will only go down if we can hire FOs. If we can stay fat on FOs it will be a good place to be, since our captains are leaving at a high rate proportional to our small size. However, another threat is the flying contracts expiring in a little over 3 years. I don't need to mention the devastion that a lose of flying brings. Our strengths are that we are a small group of pilots who want to leave, even if that means a ULCC. So when given the chance, seniority flows pretty fast. Our opportunities include holding onto our flying and maybe gaining more reputation with delta to gain career progression but that's a stretch. Our weaknesses are definitely management, but that goes for most regionals.

for what it's worth... i had a sim instructor in the jumpseat recently and he was showing me the list of the people in the training pipeline and it looked reasonably long.


ConfCodeCOOL
03-01-2018, 02:33 PM
If I had the regional airline crystal ball I'd tell you that you're correct. The problem is, it doesn't exist. The threat right now is that if we can't hire enough FOs they aren't going to upgrade any. We're throttling upgrades to 10 a month due to FO staffing. Right now upgrades are in seniority order are are slightly above 24 months which is way over what it takes to gain 1000 hours and will only go down if we can hire FOs. If we can stay fat on FOs it will be a good place to be, since our captains are leaving at a high rate proportional to our small size. However, another threat is the flying contracts expiring in a little over 3 years. I don't need to mention the devastion that a lose of flying brings. Our strengths are that we are a small group of pilots who want to leave, even if that means a ULCC. So when given the chance, seniority flows pretty fast. Our opportunities include holding onto our flying and maybe gaining more reputation with delta to gain career progression but that's a stretch. Our weaknesses are definitely management, but that goes for most regionals.

Contracts are up for renewal at all carriers at all times. Who knows what this industry will look like in 3 years, but if we continue to lead the pack for performance, we'll be safe. I will say OO certainly has more diversity so if they lose a little, they aren't impacted as much as say we would be. However if we get a third codeshare partner, we'll be in pretty good shape. As for the throttled CA upgrade, yes that's a thing and that's why it's in the LOA that until we are properly staffed they will be able to right seat captain because I think as soon as that LOA is signed you'll see them upgrade a ton - currently they have to be very careful because we don't want to be short CA but they can easily put us too short FO if they upgrade too many at once. Anyway, the right seat captain scenario will fix that...

Baradium
03-01-2018, 04:06 PM
Contracts are up for renewal at all carriers at all times. Who knows what this industry will look like in 3 years, but if we continue to lead the pack for performance, we'll be safe.

I've seen this a couple times here... but what metrics are you leading in? For both carriers?

ConfCodeCOOL
03-01-2018, 04:44 PM
I've seen this a couple times here... but what metrics are you leading in? For both carriers?

For January, we beat Endeavor, OO, Gojet, Expressjet and even mainline Delta out for D0 as well as D30. Our B0 was ahead of every other regional. Our A14 was higher than every other regional including mainline.
Similar metrics on the American side. Closing the MSP base and moving out west has greatly tackled the performance issue, and the LAX terminal move.

Excargodog
03-01-2018, 04:54 PM
Anyway, the right seat captain scenario will fix that...

I would agree, but because of it I donít understand why it would be advisable to throttle back upgrades. That threatens to turn an FO shortage that CAN be solved by right-seating captains into a captain shortage that CANNOT be solved by left seating FOs.

Thatís just basic demographics. As that 7-8 month period of no-hires works its way through the system the only likely way to avoid a captain shortage is to upgrade on the usual schedule and hope that the high utilization rate of new hire FOs will get enough of them 1000 hours before the coming captain shortage becomes the limiting factor. Nor do I think that hiring people with prior 121 time will solve this problem, especially if you only grant half credit for pay per year of 121 time.

It would seem to me that a street captain, or even someone simply upgrading out of priority sequence, is going to have a tough enough time watching FOs senior to him make captain above him/her and will be holding a junior line (or reserve) longer than anyone else. It ainít that great a deal under the best of circumstances.

How many FOs Compass has currently ought to be irrelevant. Thatís a situation that is survivable, albeit costly. A captain shortage potentially shuts the place down.

Compass ought to be upgrading captains to offset attrition, regardless of FO numbers. Thatís the price you need to pay for the mistake you made with the hiring freeze. Freezing (or throttling back) captain upgrades only compounds that, at least unless you have a healthy surplus of upgradable FOs. Doesnít sound like thatís the case.

Poser765
03-01-2018, 05:17 PM
Let's keep in mind... There is a LOT of big things that have to take place before captains are flying in the right seat. BIG things. I wouldn't count on seeing it happen anytime soon.

Excargodog
03-01-2018, 05:26 PM
Let's keep in mind... There is a LOT of big things that have to take place before captains are flying in the right seat. BIG things. I wouldn't count on seeing it happen anytime soon.

All the more reason it seems imprudent to throttle back captain upgrades to less than normal attrition

ConfCodeCOOL
03-01-2018, 05:40 PM
They haven't throttled it that hard. We've seen plenty of months of 12-16 captain upgrades, which pretty much matches or exceeds attrition, keep in mind a decent % of our attrition has been FO's leaving, not all certainly, but just because 20-25 leave a month, it's never 20 captains a month... it's always some % of that. Also, classes are starting to be OK. 8 is starting down the bad path of being short captains, but they do have other "levers they can pull" such as raising the floor, TDY's (which we have already seen), etc. The actual footprint for captain upgrade is VERY small and quick, they can get 30 more captains on the line pretty quick (the biggest hold up being waiting for the fed ride), not so compared to FO's. Keep in mind captains already know how to fly the plane and the captain flows are very minimal, it's a few FPTs and sims and a leadership class and boom you are a captain here... IOE is still airplanes being flown and moved around as they are needed, so even though those captains aren't bidders, they're still flying (granted, it takes two captains out of the system as line check airmen are all captains obviously...) :D
They also historically run fatter on captains for vacations, SLIPs, line check airmen etc, some of that buffer can be run a little bit leaner for a month or two.
I know pilots think they can run the airline better than management, and with this management group that wouldn't be hard but... they aren't entirely braindead outside of that 6 month hiring freeze. That was just hubris and lack of foresight on their part (and every pilot correctly predicted what would happen...). Our gain since we have a new LOA and a bonus that wouldn't exist otherwise.

Excargodog
03-02-2018, 06:19 AM
They haven't throttled it that hard. We've seen plenty of months of 12-16 captain upgrades, which pretty much matches or exceeds attrition, keep in mind a decent % of our attrition has been FO's leaving, not all certainly, but just because 20-25 leave a month, it's never 20 captains a month... it's always some % of that. Also, classes are starting to be OK. 8 is starting down the bad path of being short captains, but they do have other "levers they can pull" such as raising the floor, TDY's (which we have already seen), etc. The actual footprint for captain upgrade is VERY small and quick, they can get 30 more captains on the line pretty quick (the biggest hold up being waiting for the fed ride), not so compared to FO's. Keep in mind captains already know how to fly the plane and the captain flows are very minimal, it's a few FPTs and sims and a leadership class and boom you are a captain here... IOE is still airplanes being flown and moved around as they are needed, so even though those captains aren't bidders, they're still flying (granted, it takes two captains out of the system as line check airmen are all captains obviously...) :D
They also historically run fatter on captains for vacations, SLIPs, line check airmen etc, some of that buffer can be run a little bit leaner for a month or two.


Lot of very good points. Nonetheless, everyone taking a job at compass has other choices and is betting THEIR CAREERS in aviation on management too to some extent on the successful execution of management, so the "hubris and lack of foresight" so concern that the "hubris and lack of foresight" does not recur seems warranted.

Now while I would concede that indeed the process of captain upgrade is quicker than FO qual, it is quicker ONLY for those already possessing 1000 hours of 121 time, which will not soon be the case for the vast majority of those hired after the freeze. And yes, I'd concede (and even be heartened by) the fact that not everyone leaving to go on to bigger and better things is a captain, I would be greatly surprised if the high time (and hence upgradable) FOs were not over represented in this group. It's just basic queuing theory. The input was disrupted long enough that there will be ripples for a complete cycle - maybe slightly longer. And while those ripples ought indeed to be manageable, they do need to be managed, not left to work themselves out because ofbhubris and lack of foresight. :D

FlytheSky
03-02-2018, 07:58 AM
As a newbie starting with no 121 time, I'm going into a situation where Compass is short in FOs because of their hiring freeze, so short that they are starting to look at right seat captains and giving new hires credit for prior 121 time, both because they desperately need FOs and because that FO shortage ought to gradually morph into a captain shortage as they continue to lose captains and start to run out of FOs who have 1000 hours of 121 time to upgrade to captain. That sound about right?

If so, it would seem that a new hire starting training today would sort of have the best of both worlds, if their goal were to fly in the majors. They'll have little reserve time before they are holding a line, and be flying their butts off both on reserve and as a line holder. So they ought to gain the 1000 house they need rather quickly and Compass will upgrade them quickly because by then that's where the shortage from the ill-advised hiring freeze leaves the company.

I believe your assumption that we will run out of FOs who have 1000 hours is incorrect. We currently have plenty of FOs who have the 1000 hours, and only got close to "quasi street captains" in 2015 when we were growing by 50% (taking delivery of the 20 AA birds we fly) and simultaneously flowing guys to Delta in addition to normal attrition. Those two things are not likely to repeat themselves (despite how many guys we have leaving for Delta and the DPI for people who were hired before August 2015). I doubt we're in a position right now to accept more flying even if we were offered it due to staffing, and Delta has expressed no interest in going back to a flow of 20/month.

Couple that with management DECREASING CA upgrade rates (albeit slightly) to make sure we have enough FOs on property to keep the place running, I highly doubt we will ever reach the point of "quasi street captains" again. If we do, we will be far from alone in that experience since we're not growing and don't have a flow. Couple that with the fact that with decreased CA upgrades (for now) means that fewer people are starting their "Part 121 PIC" chapter in their career when they're most likely to get hired after reaching "X" number of PIC time. That could potentially slow our CA attrition for a bit in the future (again, since we have no flow and no growth). Of course, that could change as the "pilot shortage" causes carriers Compass pilots want to go to, to lower their standards for what becomes "competitive" (and thereby decreasing the effect that decreasing upgrades now has).

That's not to discourage you from considering coming to Compass. I fully believe we have a great group of people, and if you want west coast bases, we should be on your VERY short list of places to apply (especially since we have the quickest upgrade in LAX, if that's where you've got your eye on being based at).

VIRotate
03-02-2018, 08:53 PM
for what it's worth... i had a sim instructor in the jumpseat recently and he was showing me the list of the people in the training pipeline and it looked reasonably long.

We had 37 start class in January with a goal of 40. In Feb, it was the mid-20s. We are getting people in class and it will take them awhile to get online. Judging at material I've seen, early summer is when all the junior manning will stop. We should have enough new guys online so that doesn't become a problem.

Good news for new hires is that RSV in LAX for example is 1 month.

PositveRate
03-04-2018, 09:53 AM
To add onto V1ís post, there is no reserves that weíre posted today in LAX.

Fpmx772
03-04-2018, 05:40 PM
We had 37 start class in January with a goal of 40. In Feb, it was the mid-20s. We are getting people in class and it will take them awhile to get online. Judging at material I've seen, early summer is when all the junior manning will stop. We should have enough new guys online so that doesn't become a problem.

Good news for new hires is that RSV in LAX for example is 1 month.

Only prob with the number of new hires through the door is only about 60-70% actually get out of the door and onto
The line. Full classes are great but everyone actually passing training is another can of worms right now

yrbroom
03-04-2018, 05:53 PM
Only prob with the number of new hires through the door is only about 60-70% actually get out of the door and onto
The line. Full classes are great but everyone actually passing training is another can of worms right now

Is training really that tough? Or is it a matter of hiring anyone that can get through the interview process without judging their piloting?

Fpmx772
03-04-2018, 05:56 PM
Is training really that tough? Or is it a matter of hiring anyone that can get through the interview process without judging their piloting?

You have to keep in mind that our training was originally designed for pilots with previous 121time. Cpz doesnít hold your hand through training. For me it was easy because I came from another airline. With that being said, cpz wonít just cut you loose at the first sign of issues with training. We are very good about helping new hires through training that struggle, as long as your show continual progress

yrbroom
03-04-2018, 07:36 PM
You have to keep in mind that our training was originally designed for pilots with previous 121time. Cpz doesnít hold your hand through training. For me it was easy because I came from another airline. With that being said, cpz wonít just cut you loose at the first sign of issues with training. We are very good about helping new hires through training that struggle, as long as your show continual progress

As someone hoping to interview and get a class in 3-4 months with minimums, anything I should prepare for beforehand while I have time? Not sure if 500 multi is something that will help in the first place too.

Fpmx772
03-04-2018, 07:41 PM
As someone hoping to interview and get a class in 3-4 months with minimums, anything I should prepare for beforehand while I have time? Not sure if 500 multi is something that will help in the first place too.

5hours of multi or 500hrs of multi. Itís all
The same and wonít air a difference since this is a jet and not a prop. The biggest thing most guys/girls struggle with is crm as most have never flown as a crew before. Our training isnít hard however you have to put in the effort. Once you get here study flows and call outs and know them like the back of your hand!

yrbroom
03-04-2018, 07:48 PM
5hours of multi or 500hrs of multi. It’s all
The same and won’t air a difference since this is a jet and not a prop. The biggest thing most guys/girls struggle with is crm as most have never flown as a crew before. Our training isn’t hard however you have to put in the effort. Once you get here study flows and call outs and know them like the back of your hand!

5 hours SIC ferrying a CL-30! Guess I've got a leg up with the CRM. :rolleyes:

Fpmx772
03-04-2018, 07:56 PM
5 hours SIC ferrying a CL-30! Guess I've got a leg up with the CRM. :rolleyes:

If you decide to come here you will be fine. Like I said, just put in the effort and hit the books through training and you will be fone

VIRotate
03-04-2018, 08:57 PM
Yeah I came here with 0 jet time, whilst I did have 135 crew time, as long as you study hard, take your time, and make conservative decisions, it should be no problem. Ask the school house, we are seeing older guys who wanted a career change and they seem to be the ones struggling.

mpet
03-05-2018, 11:57 AM
Guys stop freaking potential new hires out with training pass rates. Compass while originally designed for people with 121 experience has not been like that for a few years now. Initial is AQP, which made the training infinitely easier than places like awac that were easily washing out more than 50% of applicants. Any cfi that went through a structured program and has the right attitude will excel in training here. The one guy I knew that didn't get through training here had over a years experience 121 flying a CRJ. Just because you don't have 121 experience does not mean you're at any real disadvantage, there's a lot more to it than that.

BobbyLeeSwagger
03-05-2018, 12:09 PM
Before I came to compass I was drinkin ginger ale out of a paper bag outside a McDonalds, now I'm a real compass airlines pilot! Training was fun and a good time, I had to learn everything from scratch, including how to fly. Y'all will be good, just have a good attitude and work on your double waving.

VIRotate
03-05-2018, 04:12 PM
Before I came to compass I was drinkin ginger ale out of a paper bag outside a McDonalds, now I'm a real compass airlines pilot! Training was fun and a good time, I had to learn everything from scratch, including how to fly. Y'all will be good, just have a good attitude and work on your double waving.

We all know that wasn't ginger ale!

Fpmx772
03-05-2018, 06:06 PM
Before I came to compass I was drinkin ginger ale out of a paper bag outside a McDonalds, now I'm a real compass airlines pilot! Training was fun and a good time, I had to learn everything from scratch, including how to fly. Y'all will be good, just have a good attitude and work on your double waving.

Like Bobby said, just put in the work, have a good attitude and drink lots of ginger ale and you newbs will be just fine

GrumpyBear
03-06-2018, 08:46 AM
To: mpet, BobbyLeeSwagger, Fpmx722 and VIRotate

Thanks for insights as well as support. There are currently 4 of us about to finish ATP/CPT and head over to MSP for Indoc. We all know that so long as you work hard and have the right attitude, things will work in your favor. It does no good for guys to talk about "wash out" percentages. Yes, we know its reality. As a current MIL guy, I know all about that. That being said, be happy that Compass with have four new additions to the team. For BobbyLeeSwagger, looking forward to sharing a bottle of Old E in a brown paper bag with you and teaching me the double wave. Blue Skies!

~Grumpy

ConfCodeCOOL
03-06-2018, 01:36 PM
Yeah I went through initial several years ago and people had me all concerned about washout. I worked hard and they held my hand the whole way through. But I stayed ahead on my studies waiting for it get "really hard" at any minute. Somewhere near the end of sims I realized as long as you put some honest work in, it never gets hard and they want you to succeed. Made training a breeze. Put in a few hours of studying a day from the get go and don't work too hard, have some beers with your classmates too, don't go home every weekend and just stop studying and you'll be fine. (You can go home, but make sure you keep studying and practicing flows, procedures is where people have the most issues... its a dance and you gotta learn the moves.)

CARS II
04-04-2018, 04:04 PM
I'm getting back on the horse and as a previous OO employee of 17 years in management I was very convinced that I wanted to go back to OO since I know the company, what they offer new hires is no appealing at all, I've been reading about Compass and I've change my mind, not only I may be able to get LAX as a domicile ( will be commuting from SMF which is very easy to do ) but pay is more, bonuses, hotel and a few other things that OO doesn't offer at the moment,.

VIRotate
04-04-2018, 05:40 PM
I'm getting back on the horse and as a previous OO employee of 17 years in management I was very convinced that I wanted to go back to OO since I know the company, what they offer new hires is no appealing at all, I've been reading about Compass and I've change my mind, not only I may be able to get LAX as a domicile ( will be commuting from SMF which is very easy to do ) but pay is more, bonuses, hotel and a few other things that OO doesn't offer at the moment,.

You will get LAX if you want it. We do a lot of SMF flying so you will own those JS. 3 total extras jumps on the Delta birds.

poorflyer
04-04-2018, 05:50 PM
There's SMF overnights as well so you could possibly sleep in your own bed.