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Dispatch

Old 02-01-2024, 07:43 PM
  #1  
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It's really a great career if:
  • You lose your medical.
  • You want to come home every night.
  • You still want the ability to jumpeat.
I've been doing it for about 7 years so I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 02-24-2024, 02:01 PM
  #2  
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Hi, I'm a new 121 pilot who is starting to find the "come home every night" perk increasingly tempting lately. Would you say that being a former 121 pilot makes the training and transition easier?
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Old 02-24-2024, 03:12 PM
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I assume you would have to live in base and physically show up to the Ops center every day for duty? No remote work?

Also, if one is an ATP 121 pilot, and they lose their medical, can they slide over into dispatch, or do they need to go work for a 135 or regional and work their way up to a legacy dispatch? Also are dispatchers unionized?

What is the pay range?

I too have thought about it as a plan in case I ever lose my medical.
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Old 02-24-2024, 07:36 PM
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The dispatch knowledge test is about the same the ATP with dispatcher duty time questions added. The practical is to generate a flight plan and performance information for a airline flight. So you'll be figuring time and fuel burn for a couple dozen waypoints from takeoff to touchdown. If you have 2 years 121 or military flight experience you can go for it. See FAR 65. Otherwise it's about a 5 week ground school. Even if you've got the flying experience some of the training centers run a week or two week class to get you ready for the practical exam which I would recommend. Most of the majors hire new folks as assistant dispatchers who assist the official dispatcher who's putting their name on the release. When you upgrade to dispatcher you'll probably start out getting the night shifts so you'll sleep in your own bed every day. 135 operators officially don't have dispatchers but they might hire a dispatcher for an operational control position. 121 supplemental carriers are not required by the regulations to have certificated dispatchers but all the job openings for supplemental flight followers I seen recently require a dispatcher certificate. Whether they're union or not would depend on what company they work for.
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Old 02-29-2024, 12:59 PM
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Way higher pay working as a simulator instructor or working for the FAA in my opinion.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeCPA View Post
It's really a great career if:
  • You lose your medical.
  • You want to come home every night.
  • You still want the ability to jumpeat.
I've been doing it for about 7 years so I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
Jumpseat was limited to 2x(??) for training/observation every year. That's my recollection from the very infrequent dispatchers I had on my jumpseat. It's not the unlimited access you have as a CASS pilot.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by NatGeo View Post
Way higher pay working as a simulator instructor or working for the FAA in my opinion.
Had a dispatch instructor on my jumpseat back in 2018 +/-. Big 3 airline. He made big bucks. It was either $200K+ or $300K+. Yes, he was senior, top qualifications so he could do everything, teach, evaluate, etc, and played the overtime game HARD, but it was still a lot more than I expected. He wised up...took a Kona trip. Four day trip (back at 0500 on day 4), had to pay for one hotel night as he stayed an extra day, got 3 rds of golf in February/March.
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Old 04-26-2024, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Sliceback View Post
Jumpseat was limited to 2x(??) for training/observation every year. That's my recollection from the very infrequent dispatchers I had on my jumpseat. It's not the unlimited access you have as a CASS pilot.
You would be wrong on that.. Most dispatchers are in CASS and can and do have the same offline jumpseat bennies as the pilots do. Now each airline has a jumpseat listing priority that differs from airline to airline so don't know where they would fall in the boarding . But yes on their own metal dispatchers have the required FAM ride a couple times a year . Think it's 4 hrs total they can also do it in the sim if they want.
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Old 04-26-2024, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SonicFlyer View Post
I assume you would have to live in base and physically show up to the Ops center every day for duty? No remote work?

Also, if one is an ATP 121 pilot, and they lose their medical, can they slide over into dispatch, or do they need to go work for a 135 or regional and work their way up to a legacy dispatch? Also are dispatchers unionized?

What is the pay range?

I too have thought about it as a plan in case I ever lose my medical.
Some airlines will hire their own employees before going to the street Fedex and Delta come to mind . But like any position you will start at the bottom working nights for a long time. Other airlines want experience in that role and tend to hire from the regionals . But top pay at the big 3 or 4 is close to 200k before OT .
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Old 04-29-2024, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratosphere View Post
You would be wrong on that.. Most dispatchers are in CASS and can and do have the same offline jumpseat bennies as the pilots do. Now each airline has a jumpseat listing priority that differs from airline to airline so don't know where they would fall in the boarding . But yes on their own metal dispatchers have the required FAM ride a couple times a year . Think it's 4 hrs total they can also do it in the sim if they want.
Correct, at my airline they have unlimited access to the jump seat but at a lower priority than pilots.
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