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MrAV8OR
10-22-2018, 07:30 PM
First post - long time reader. I have the hours to apply to a regional now and need to decide where I am applying. I have savings and a business I run around the greater Washington DC region and am equidistant to IAD, BWI, and DCA.

I realize pay will suck for some time as will schedule. I have two soon to be three young kids at home, good extended family support, a nanny, and a spouse with a good income as well.

With the looming pilot shortage I will kick myself for not getting my ATP now and getting twin turbine time and eventually turbine PIC time.

Again, fully understand Iíll be gone a lot at first and hope I can trade pay for better QOL after a year or two and then again should I move up to a major, cargo, or corporate/contact gig. I realize Iíll miss bdays, weekends, etc for some time.

CommutAir is attractive for the following reasons:
-Base locations. I can get IAD pretty soon if not immediately.
-Classroom training is at IAD so I can be home at night for INDOC (sims are not local)
-Quick upgrades, growing fleet, lots of flying

Bad:
-Away too much during the month.
-I hear odd thing about junior manning, Captain qualified FOís,
-Only reserve is airport reserve. If in base 2 hour or even 12 hour reserve would be nice.

Question at CommuteAir:
1. How many 1 and 2 night trips are offered out of the Dulles base?
2. Is it possible to teach some of the classes and also fly?
3. It is possible to hold 2 1 night trips in a row so you fly four days but are only gone 2 days?
4. What is the minimum amount of hours to fly and keep your contact?

I think my family could deal with me being away 8 nights a month. 12-16 probably not.

Thanks.


Flyhayes
10-22-2018, 07:52 PM
Most trips are 3 and 4 days. there are some day trips and some two day trips but not all that many. In this industry you should expect to be sleeping in a hotel 15 days a month or so. If 8 days in the road is all that you can muster 121 isn't going to work for you.

MrAV8OR
10-23-2018, 08:31 AM
Most trips are 3 and 4 days. there are some day trips and some two day trips but not all that many. In this industry you should expect to be sleeping in a hotel 15 days a month or so. If 8 days in the road is all that you can muster 121 isn't going to work for you.

15 days a month in a hotel is too much for my family. That said, for a little while that's fine as long as when I build senority, swapping/dropping flights, and getting the right schedule built, I would spend less nights away from home.

I hear you loud and clear and it's a reason I have not yet applied. That said, right now, to get my ATP and some turbine time would be huge for any future period in aviation. I won't regret not doing it in 20 years.


MrAV8OR
10-23-2018, 08:35 AM
Revised questions for CommuteAir:
1. How many 1 night (2 days) and 2 night (3 days) trips are offered out of the Dulles base?


2. Is it possible to teach some of the ground school classes at CommutAir and also fly? This way I would be home those evenings. As an example, fly two 3 day/2night trips and teach eight-ten days a month - that's the full time frame but I'm only gone 6 nights. It's okay to be gone most weekends.



3. It is possible to hold two separate one night trips in a row so you fly four days but are only gone 2 nights? Meaning you leave day 1 overnight somewhere, come back to IAD day 2, go home, go back the next day 3 to IAD and fly, overnight somewhere and come back day 4? That way on a 3 night 4 day drip, you are home on day 2 and only spend nights 1 and 3 away. If they are not bid this way, can you swap with other pilots to be this way (obviously not guaranteed)?


4. What is the minimum amount of hours to fly and keep your contact? I know 75 is the minimum paid guarantee if you try to schedule and fly, but what is the minimum you can schedule for and keep your contract as a pilot with CommutAir?


Thanks!

marshal
10-23-2018, 09:01 AM
Revised questions for CommuteAir:
1. How many 1 night (2 days) and 2 night (3 days) trips are offered out of the Dulles base?

In Nov there were 11 one day trips, 7 two days, 34 three day, 56 four days, 28 five days trips. It changes every month so this is just a snap shot

2. Is it possible to teach some of the ground school classes at CommutAir and also fly? This way I would be home those evenings. As an example, fly two 3 day/2night trips and teach eight-ten days a month - that's the full time frame but I'm only gone 6 nights. It's okay to be gone most weekends.

We do have ground instructors in IAD, but with the compay going with off line instructors in the sim, who knows what the future holds here too.


3. It is possible to hold two separate one night trips in a row so you fly four days but are only gone 2 nights? Meaning you leave day 1 overnight somewhere, come back to IAD day 2, go home, go back the next day 3 to IAD and fly, overnight somewhere and come back day 4? That way on a 3 night 4 day drip, you are home on day 2 and only spend nights 1 and 3 away. If they are not bid this way, can you swap with other pilots to be this way (obviously not guaranteed)?

possable, but not likely just because of the available options.

4. What is the minimum amount of hours to fly and keep your contact? I know 75 is the minimum paid guarantee if you try to schedule and fly, but what is the minimum you can schedule for and keep your contract as a pilot with CommutAir?

I know you can drop trips below guarantee, but donít know what the min is. If you drop below gaurantee, you decrease your pay. The hard part is finding someone willing and able to take your trips.

Thanks!

See above.

We also have a few split duty trips available. Low on flight time, but lots of time at home. They work by flying the last flight out from IAD usually around 10, sleeping for 3-4 hours and then flying the first flight back in the morning. They can be hard on the body, but you are gone when everyone else is asleep and home when they are awake. Usually they go Jr.

Typically the trips are set up so we do mornings or evening flights. If you are have the mornings, your last day should finish early to mid afternoon. If you have the evening, your first day usually does not start until the afternoon.

Last month my awarded schedule was 10 nights away (not days worked), this month it is 15. It constantly changes

MrAV8OR
10-25-2018, 01:07 PM
Thank you for your answers:

Does anyone know the minimum number of hours to fly to keep the contract?

I fully recognize it will result in less pay. Thatís not the issue. QOL is. I want to be able to fly less with low seniority until seniority builds a bit and I can get a schedule that works for my family. I know the first six months to a year Iíll be gone a lot. I want to know if that is possible at C5 after a while to have QOL or if I should head to PSA, RAH, or a different local based regional.

I want to choose an regional with a DCA/IAD/BWI = WAS base where I can get my 2000 turbine time including 1000 pic, ATP, and the experience to then go to a major or simply contract fly around DC.

Itís all about being home enough for my family. As noted, this may not work out - but Iím going to kick myself in 20 years if I didnít get my ATP and 2000 hours turbine when I could have.

Thanks!

Freebreakfast11
10-25-2018, 03:10 PM
Thank you for your answers:

Does anyone know the minimum number of hours to fly to keep the contract?

I fully recognize it will result in less pay. Thatís not the issue. QOL is. I want to be able to fly less with low seniority until seniority builds a bit and I can get a schedule that works for my family. I know the first six months to a year Iíll be gone a lot. I want to know if that is possible at C5 after a while to have QOL or if I should head to PSA, RAH, or a different local based regional.

I want to choose an regional with a DCA/IAD/BWI = WAS base where I can get my 2000 turbine time including 1000 pic, ATP, and the experience to then go to a major or simply contract fly around DC.

Itís all about being home enough for my family. As noted, this may not work out - but Iím going to kick myself in 20 years if I didnít get my ATP and 2000 hours turbine when I could have.

Thanks!
You can drop as many hours as you want, but you have to personally find people to pick up your trips. People try to drop trips every week and can't find anyone. Overall C5 is, and always has been short staffed, meaning there just aren't pilots available and willing to take your trips. QOL is important to you, and you won't find that here without a few years of seniority.

Flyhayes
10-25-2018, 03:30 PM
You don't lose a "contract". You would be hired as an employee, and if you don't live up to the conditions of employment you get fired.

You can't just chose to fly below minimum gurantee. You will bid for the schedule that you want, but having low seniority you pretty much get what ever you get. This isn't some part time type of a career where you can work part time just because you feel like it.

The minimum gurantee exists to give you pay protection should there not be enough flying to give you a full line of flying, and in today's environment going below min gurantee just doesn't happen.

Now as has been mentioned, you can trade trips or even sell off trips to your cowerkers if you are so inclined. But at the rate people are being worked your coworkers might not be inclined to take on any extra flying.

If you move into the airline world, realize that this is a full time job. You WILL be away from your family. The upside is that with a little seniority, you can eventually hold 15 days off a month to spend with your family.

This will be the same at any regional you go to. There may be other quality of life differences between carriers but the above applies across the board.

hawk1123
10-25-2018, 08:17 PM
On average, how many extra flights can you pick up on reserve and then when you start holding a line?

PosRateGearUp
10-26-2018, 05:33 AM
On average, how many extra flights can you pick up on reserve and then when you start holding a line?

As many as you like, as long as itís legal under FAR 117. I have heard of them restricting guys to 95 hours so they canít time out, though...

Keep in mind on reserve youíll only get 11 days off a month, so itís at your own peril. Line holders vary from 12-15 days off. Youíre free to pick up trips as you please.

On reserve you can pick up open time on scheduled work days as long as it falls within the footprint of reserve days and starts or ends on the same day as your reserve block.

PosRateGearUp
10-26-2018, 05:34 AM
If you move into the airline world, realize that this is a full time job. You WILL be away from your family. The upside is that with a little seniority, you can eventually hold 15 days off a month to spend with your family.

This will be the same at any regional you go to. There may be other quality of life differences between carriers but the above applies across the board.

This is the real answer here. If you come into this industry thinking you can be home 20 nights a month youíre gonna have a bad time.

DirkDiggler
10-26-2018, 11:57 AM
This is the real answer here. If you come into this industry thinking you can be home 20 nights a month youíre gonna have a bad time.

I do it. It just depends on where you're at, what seniority you hold and what your contract allows.

hawk1123
10-26-2018, 09:10 PM
As many as you like, as long as itís legal under FAR 117. I have heard of them restricting guys to 95 hours so they canít time out, though...

Keep in mind on reserve youíll only get 11 days off a month, so itís at your own peril. Line holders vary from 12-15 days off. Youíre free to pick up trips as you please.

On reserve you can pick up open time on scheduled work days as long as it falls within the footprint of reserve days and starts or ends on the same day as your reserve block.


Thanks for the quick and informative response! So overtime picked up on trips are full day legs or just one/two flights here and there on your days off. The way overtime works in the airlines is much different than what Iíve been used too.

JediCheese
10-26-2018, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the quick and informative response! So overtime picked up on trips are full day legs or just one/two flights here and there on your days off. The way overtime works in the airlines is much different than what Iíve been used too.
We call it picking up for CASH. It all depends on what your availability is and what they have available.

You can pick up a day of reserve, a set of reserve days, a turn (an out and back), or a whole 4 day trip. You pick it up for a multiplier of normal pay, 100% is at normal pay and 200% is double pay.

hawk1123
10-27-2018, 07:31 PM
Glad to see there are plenty of opportunities to pick up overtime! As to being on reserve, I understand that you have to do 8 hours at the airport while on reserve if you arenít flying. Do you tend to have a slightly later report time if you are a commuter, or is it the same as if you lived in base? Also, do most reserve commuters stay in the area during their days on, or just commute everyday trying to save the free rooms in case there are no more flights out?

JediCheese
10-27-2018, 07:43 PM
Glad to see there are plenty of opportunities to pick up overtime! As to being on reserve, I understand that you have to do 8 hours at the airport while on reserve if you aren’t flying. Do you tend to have a slightly later report time if you are a commuter, or is it the same as if you lived in base? Also, do most reserve commuters stay in the area during their days on, or just commute everyday trying to save the free rooms in case there are no more flights out?
Your report time is your report time and the company doesn't care about how commutable it is. Your status as a commuter has no bearing on what reserve shift the company assigns.

One thing to keep in mind is the company will not give you commuter rooms in the middle of a block of reserve days. You can get one before the first reserve day or on your last reserve day.

Commuting to reserve every day is a level of hell I couldn't even imagine. Most pilots I know in EWR get a crash pad. IAD is primarily people living in base (or close enough that it's drivable).

misterpretzel
11-01-2018, 01:25 PM
Thank you for your answers:

Does anyone know the minimum number of hours to fly to keep the contract?

I fully recognize it will result in less pay. Thatís not the issue. QOL is. I want to be able to fly less with low seniority until seniority builds a bit and I can get a schedule that works for my family. I know the first six months to a year Iíll be gone a lot. I want to know if that is possible at C5 after a while to have QOL or if I should head to PSA, RAH, or a different local based regional.

I want to choose an regional with a DCA/IAD/BWI = WAS base where I can get my 2000 turbine time including 1000 pic, ATP, and the experience to then go to a major or simply contract fly around DC.

Itís all about being home enough for my family. As noted, this may not work out - but Iím going to kick myself in 20 years if I didnít get my ATP and 2000 hours turbine when I could have.

Thanks!The only regional that might fit the bill is PSA with their SAP, but even then it's only for lineholders. And from what I've read, PSA reserve might be the worst in the industry.

Don't expect to cruise through the regionals for 1-2 years and then magically get a call from a major, you might get disappointed

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