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Number of flight hours

Old 11-27-2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Number of flight hours

I mentioned the number of flight hours that I might fly in a calendar year and I'm thinking that compared to most other communities - both civilian and military - that my community doesn't fly that much per year.

On a really good year I might fly approx 350 hrs/yr - and these years have only been during my time instructing which commonly garners more flight hours on the average than "fleet" flying unless you are deployed; especially to Iraq or Afghanistan where you may get as high as 400/yr I was recently told. As for me, 250 hrs per year is more typical across my career.

What do other people out there typically fly per year? CFIs - what are your typical yearly times like? How about you 135 freight haulers? Regional guys/Mainline guys? Speak up you heavy drivers in the USAF! I know that there might be good years and not so good years - but tell me your averages if that is so.

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Old 11-27-2008, 08:20 PM
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The most I flew as a CFI in the peak portion of my year was 180 hours in about six weeks. If you want the hours bad enough and the students are lined up . . .

Typically I did 80-110 a month though.

Now airline flying has me doing about what everyone else does -- 60 to 90 hours in the plane per month.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:27 PM
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My previous 121/regional job, in 5 years I never flew more than 6-700 in a year. My current one it's around 900.

But now for the IMPORTANT part. My previous job I could get paid for 12-1300 hours a year, but fly less than 700. Current job, not so lucky.

Sorry for the drift. But myself (and many others) are about working smarter not harder. Whenever I hear a guy in the crew talking about how much flying he's doing I wonder why he's trying to kill himself.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:58 PM
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Sorry for the drift. But myself (and many others) are about working smarter not harder. Whenever I hear a guy in the crew talking about how much flying he's doing I wonder why he's trying to kill himself.
Don't know if it is necessarily drift - because I can understand wanting to get paid more for less work I guess. Since I don't get paid based on the amount I fly it is hard for me to understand. I talk a lot with our reserve guys and listen to them while they try to explain how they work the schedules to get paid more for flying less. I'm not there yet obviously so it is a hard concept for me to understand. I guess I still love the actual flying part right now. Even if taking that flight in the day means that I stay until later into the night to do the paperwork - I do it. I've taken this week off for the holidays and it is killing me looking out the window at all this beautiful weather we're having and not flying! I'm sure I'll get a lot smarter as I get closer and closer to that hopeful new career. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 11-27-2008, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by USMCFLYR
Don't know if it is necessarily drift - because I can understand wanting to get paid more for less work I guess. Since I don't get paid based on the amount I fly it is hard for me to understand. I talk a lot with our reserve guys and listen to them while they try to explain how they work the schedules to get paid more for flying less. I'm not there yet obviously so it is a hard concept for me to understand. I guess I still love the actual flying part right now. Even if taking that flight in the day means that I stay until later into the night to do the paperwork - I do it. I've taken this week off for the holidays and it is killing me looking out the window at all this beautiful weather we're having and not flying! I'm sure I'll get a lot smarter as I get closer and closer to that hopeful new career. Thanks for sharing.

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Sorry, even MORE drift.

I still like flying as well. But it's no secret, airline flying simply isn't the same as military. Especially something like single or two seat tactical jet.

I see what you're saying. And if I'm not mistaken, in your job for every hour of flight time you're probably looking at what, 4-5 hours AT LEAST with briefings? In airline flying, it's not uncommon to fly 5-6 hours a day. Problem is, it can take 10-12 hours duty sitting in the airport to do it. Do this 4 days in a row, with progressively earlier and earlier wake up calls, 1-3 hours ahead of your body's time zone. Also, for every hour flown you can count on 3-4 hours time away from base. There were many months where I flew 80 hours, it took 300+ hours away from my house to accomplish this. If you choose to commute, toss that in there as well. With that being said, many times the LAST thing you want to do is get into an airplane. Hence the mentality, extract MAXIMUM pay credit for the least amount of time away from home. It's all a part of the career choice and more than likely isn't going to change soon. It will be years (if ever) if we se the kind of work rules the majors had pre 9/11.

Now if I was in your shoes, I'd feel like I was getting ripped off only getting to fly as little (relatively speaking) as you do.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:21 PM
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DDD -

I'll try to keep this thread on-line and respond via PM.

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Old 11-27-2008, 09:27 PM
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My AK 135 summer duty day was 14hrs on call, and 8hrs of that was allowed to be actual flying. That's a typical summer duty schedule. Winter obviously shorter because there's less daylight and lower demand for flights. 5 or 6 days a week depending on how the season goes, pilot staffing situation, number of passengers, and amounts of freight and mail. Impromptu charters come up fairly often too. When there's bad weather, you do lots of sitting around, checking weather, webcams (google FAA Alaska Webcams- neat), getting reports from outlying stations, explaining what's up to waiting passengers, and talking to other outfits to see what they are up to (or not) that day.
Some days involve no flying because of weather- boring. If you are lucky you'll be at an outfit that allows you to roam away from dispatch if you are punctual about returning when called. This is when you want to take naps or grab something to eat. Other outfits need you to stick around and help with loading and unloading planes. Caravans full of freight for example. And then there's the inevitable catch-up when the weather improves. Many summer days are so busy that you have to be careful not to exceed the eight hours and are lucky to eat a sandwich and empty your bladder in relative privacy.
At the end of the day you hopefully know what your schedule roughly looks like for tomorrow. A good dispatcher will look after their pilots. For example- if you have to show for the early scheduled flight you'll be done and on the way home before the pilots who were scheduled to show up for later flights. Does not always work out that way. You have to be flexible and not take it personally sometimes if you show at six am and aren't heading home until 8pm. Probably the biggest factor in seasonal pilots not being invited back is that they constantly bump heads with dispatchers on this.
Different outfits pay differently. Some have a flat daily rate, some (not many) only pay by flight hour, and some work a combination of the two. The combination is my preferred way. Last outfit- $140 per day plus $25 a flight hr based on hobbs time. Some outfits also have safety and or completion bonuses at the end of the season which can be pretty substantial. Basically if you bend anything though, even pretty minor, don't expect to get it if they've got one.
As far as hrs per year- depends on the season, company, aircraft, and your employment status. A good average for a new 207 pilot in Juneau would be around 450-500 hours for a summer flying job. Could be less, or quite a bit more. Last summer in the Beaver was not so good for me- lots of bad weather days, high fuel prices, and lower passenger loads than past years. Still good stuff though.
Cheers,

Last edited by Kilgore Trout; 11-27-2008 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:45 PM
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[QUOTE]
Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout
My AK 135 summer duty day was 14hrs on call, and 8hrs of that was allowed to be actual flying.
Sounds familar If I ever work a 8 hr/day job I won't know what to do with myself!

When there's bad weather, you do lots of sitting around, checking weather, webcams (google FAA Alaska Webcams- neat), getting reports from outlying stations, explaining what's up to waiting passengers, and talking to other outfits to see what they are up to (or not) that day.
Highlighted parts sound familar too - all done from the ready room phone.

As far as hrs per year- depends on the season, company, aircraft, and your employment status. A good average for a new 207 pilot in Juneau would be around 450-500 hours for a summer flying job.
Summer season would be April - Sep/Oct? 450-500 hrs just in that amount of time is a lot of flying!

Thanks for the info Kilgore.

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:08 PM
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USMCFLYR,
But that F-18 goes so fast that you're covering way more sky than I would be in a Beaver. Can't you kind of pro-rate your yearly hours upward to adjust? Time versus distance covered?

But seriously, your workload has to be pretty heavy doing that, and I'd think any worth prospective employer is definately going to take what you've been doing into account. Even if your total time looks relatively low compared to other pilots.

As I write this I remember one season a few years back where I worked with a former NFO (BN?) out of A-6's. Neat guy. After he got his civilian pilot stuff done he came to fly a 207 specifically to build time relatively quickly. I think he had less than the customary time when hired, but the company really had confidence in him based on what he'd been doing prior.

And yes, Juneau 135 seasonal stuff starts around late march/early april for a company ground school usually. Lasts through September. Best bet for interested pilots is to start looking early- like January/February timeframe.

Cheers,
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:41 PM
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But that F-18 goes so fast that you're covering way more sky than I would be in a Beaver. Can't you kind of pro-rate your yearly hours upward to adjust? Time versus distance covered?
Don't think I can get any conversions based on that - but some employers do seem to give some time conversions based on the fact that our times are figured from takeoff to landing. Of course every company seems to do it differently There was a thread some time ago which talked about how to log time in the civilian world. Whether taxing and aircraft out to the end of the runway and then taxiing back was legal to log. that might not be, but it is my understanding that if you started up (hobbs meter running) and waited for 30 monutes for traffic, weather, maint., etc... and then flew for 30 minutes that you log 1.0 hr of flight time. If this were the case - I could add quite a bit more to the total time column!

But seriously, your workload has to be pretty heavy doing that, and I'd think any worth prospective employer is definately going to take what you've been doing into account. Even if your total time looks relatively low compared to other pilots.
They do...as dicussed above, and I've even heard that in some jobs you are not really competing against your civilian counterparts but the other military applicants when comparing resumes. I have no idea if this is true or not, but obviously there is something that helops us out because if not then we (military - especially tactical guys) would never be competitive against pure civilian or military heavy pilots

As I write this I remember one season a few years back where I worked with a former NFO (BN?) out of A-6's.
You've got that right. BN type of NFO. Sad thing in a way for those guys with NONE of their flight experience counting for anything. One of THE best guys I ever saw going through flight school was a BN transition.

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