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Old 08-13-2011, 02:33 PM   #11  
...Whatever It Is!
MD11Fr8Dog's Avatar
Joined APC: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,677

About half of the domestic flying is day flying, and the growth at FedEx is currently In the international markets. Internationally, you can go to HKG or CGN and do the hub turn thing, or you can fly the MD11 around the world or bounce around Europe or Asia for up to 12 days (not really day or night flying if you ask me), or fly long haul shorter duration 777 trips. Of course, any and all of these options require at least a tiny bit of seniority, and most should be attainable within the first 3-5yrs.

Personally, I liked the 12 day around the world trips for about 8-10 yrs, until I upgraded to Capt (at the 10yr mark). I can't hold that regularly as a junior MD Capt now, but I get lucky every now and then. Other than that, I try to minimize my commutes - week on/week off ideally. Deadheads help too, ie. traveling on the clock as opposed to a day off to get to/from MEM. When all else fails, I sleep till I'm hungry, then eat till I'm tired.

For demographic and comparison purposes - been here 15 1/2 yrs, 50 yrs old, have a wife and 7yo daughter and I commute (3-3.5 hrs door to door, house to MEM, on a FedEx Jumpseat - was 7.5-9 hrs before we moved 5 yrs ago). When I'm home I do ALL the school pick ups/drop offs, volunteer when needed at school, run my daughter to her events (soccer, gymnastics, golf, riding, etc.) and give my wife a break. I just spent 4 days on a road trip with my daughter - amusement park, hiking and mtn biking in the mountains, etc.. Also, I will not think twice about going to the crashpad in MEM rather than hang out and wait for a jumpseat home if I'm really tired when I arrive in MEM at night at the end of a trip - I then get sleep at a more normal time, then catch a pax jumpseat home in the morning..

YMMV, void where prohibited, some contents may have shifted during shipping and handling....
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:36 PM   #12  
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Joined APC: Mar 2011
Posts: 206


As has been said, live in whatever domicile you're assigned to. Expect to get your last choice of lines/reserve for perhaps a year or so, depending on when you're hired, relative to the ongoing hiring. If you're at the front of the wave, you could possibly be off reserve in as little as 3 or 4 months, but if you're at the back of the wave, with no hiring for some period, it could stretch on for 3, 4, or even 5 years. 5 years on reserve could suck, but living in base could make it a little better.

Night flying is a fact of life here, and if you feel you can't adjust to it, based on your previous flying, then I'd look for other employment, where they don't do much night flying. One saving grace is that as we get older, we usually sleep a little less, so you have that going for you.

As for "keeping your family together", I don't believe that there's really one answer that fits all. That said, it does help if you have a spouse who understands the rigors of your job, and is willing to give you a little slack the first day home from a week-long trip. The kids will also have to understand that while you're working, you're gone, but when you are home, they can be made your first priority, after your wife of course.

However, this entire discussion may be a moot point, unless you've already been offered an interview. Good luck.

And for HankHill, all I can say to you is: That's some beautiful butt you show there, and that's all I'm going to say about that.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #13  
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Joined APC: Aug 2011
Posts: 5

thanks for the last few comments guys. now i'm getting the picture, and i didn't have that before from anyone. but if anyone else has more to add feel free. the more to draw from the better.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:46 PM   #14  
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Position: WB Cap
Posts: 2

I was hired in the spring of '87-and the union brief at the time included a comment that be sure your family is going to be happy wherever they live since they'll be there full time and you won't. I have commuted to fly 5-6 six day pairings my entire career and had the good fortune to be senior enough to hold double deadheads. My current a/c doesn't have too many d/h's-so I commute to MEM. It beats living there even if I have to pay for a crashpad and car.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #15  
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Joined APC: Oct 2006
Position: 777 Capt
Posts: 403

busc, you might be surprised how much day flying you could be doing within a few years, if you are willing to not upgrade and go for quality-of-life over money. As stated above, about half our flying these days is daytime.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:40 PM   #16  
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Joined APC: Dec 2007
Position: Front
Posts: 206

Originally Posted by beatupsuitcase View Post
ok, I expected this but I was hoping to get answers HOW guys did it. not non-certified counselors answers telling me to find a diffferent career? i'm not some kid here....i got quality time just like alot of others here and am looking for the next option.
If you have been lurking on here for a while then you should know that you need to have some "Thick Skin" whenever you post a question to the masses. If flying by night was so bad, then why did 'RUSH" do a song called "Fly by Night?" I relevance! Sounded good though, eh?
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:41 PM   #17  
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Joined APC: Nov 2006
Position: MD-11 Capt
Posts: 48
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I have been in ANC for 15 years and bid mostly reserve. It has been the best way to maximize my time at home with the family.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:49 PM   #18  
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Joined APC: Apr 2006
Position: MD-11 Captain
Posts: 4,293

Beatup ...

As about a 75% MD-11 Captain, I've been able to hold daytime Reserve (1330 - 0130L) for several years (so I don't fly very many nights). Everything is a trade-off. Being on Reserve means I make slightly less money and work an extra day or two a month. As a commuter I have to have a crashpad and a car.

So, there are ways to avoid night flying if that's what you are interested in (but like someone said, we are in the overnight freight business).

This is a pretty good gig, most people find a way to make it work ...


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Old 08-13-2011, 04:50 PM   #19  
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Joined APC: May 2006
Posts: 1,359

I have done very few night hub turns in my 10 year career here at FedEx. Went to ANC and mostly international with very few Subic night hub turns. Bid down to the planet (MEM) and did lots o day flying. You can be very creative with your schedule if you watch open time.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:09 PM   #20  
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Joined APC: Aug 2006
Position: leaning to the left
Posts: 4,184

You could always go into a flt management position, after probation. You don't see those guys during the AM hub-turns too often.
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