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Old 05-15-2018, 11:22 AM   #1  
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Default QOL and time at home questions


I've been asking many questions on APC to get a fuller picture of what to expect as an airline pilot. Many of you have given helpful comments which are greatly appreciated.

This topic is very important as it involves time with family. My situation is such that I am divorced with joint custody of my 3 kids, ages between 8 and 12. Right now i have a rotating schedule where i have my kids overnight 4 days one week and then 2 days the next, rotating every two weeks.

No question once I get to the airlines my custody schedule will need be amended and my ex wife is very amenable and understanding, so i'm not worried about that.

Could some of you provide me a typical monthly schedule with a regional? Lets say for a pilot who has been in the door for a year or so. What would be typical schedules to include days off? How much would the schedule improve over time with seniority, say at the 5 year mark? I recognize that there are many variables with each company and each situation, but hopefully you can provide a picture.

Generally, how many days off in a month are new hired pilots getting? Pilots with 3 years or 6 years at the airline?

Ultimately, I hope that I will have more time off than my current 9 to 5 gig which gets me home every night with 2 days off each weekend. I'm hoping with some comments I can have a better understanding of what to expect at the regionals.

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Old 05-15-2018, 02:23 PM   #2  
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This really cannot be answered generically. It TOTALLY varies by airline, base, equipment, and relative seniority. I'd ask in specific regional forums about specific bases... tell them what you're looking for and they can tell you how long to get it (if at all).

I have seen schedules of 3x commutable 4-day trips, with 18-19 days off, for about 75 hours. But that was a long time ago, before 117. Most regionals are not going to be that efficient today.

The worst schedules I'm aware of are long-day low-credit locals, so you typically work five days on, 2-3 off. Up to 10-12 hours duty, so 12-14 hours door-to-door if you live in base.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:32 AM   #3  
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Then being based away from the kids is another ball of twine. I don’t think there’s an easy answer with schedule expectations.

When one is starting out flying, you just about have to be willing to go where the job is.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:32 AM   #4  
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Airline reserve, if you live in base, can be pretty sweet or living hell, depending on manning in category. Then, lines can be all over the place, but 3 on, 3 off; on being away, are probably as good as it gets until very senior. There are exceptions. A friend at FDX did his last ten years sleeping at home every night doing his layovers at the “out station”; a short drive home.

When I retired from the USAF Reserve where I was, no kidding, working 24 days a month, I went corporate. Went to training, came home to find the plane sold and three month wait for the delivery. The old guys at the coffee shop thought I was having delusions about being a pilot. Then the plane delivered and they wondered where I went and made jokes about institutions. When I was at Eastern, I thought 3 on, 3 off was a drag, it seemed like I was always transitioning and never adjusting.

Aviation has lots of deals but being about traveling, most involve time away. If you want to live in North Dakota, you can, but it will involve more time away.

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