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Old 09-24-2006, 08:23 AM   #1  
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Default Typical Junior Pilot Lines?

I am not too familiar with how each airline conducts business yet. As my time in the military comes to a close, I have been doing a lot more research on civilian flying opportunities. This forum has been a great tool to get information so far.

I haven’t seen any threads, though, comparing typical monthly schedules for the different companies. I know that the answer is ‘it depends’ on seniority, where you are based, what aircraft you fly, what company you are with….etc. It would be nice to get a general feel for what types of lines are typical in different situations and what the more junior guys are doing on a monthly basis.

I am most interested in comparing the airlines to the cargo guys. How long are the typical trips? 3, 4, 5 days? Longer trips for the cargo guys? How many days a month do you typically work? How many hours a month do you end up flying? How much time on reserve?

Companies most interested in: Alaska, SWA, CAL, FedEx, or UPS, but any other inputs welcome.

Thoughts on whether there will still be some hiring going on in about a year?
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:13 AM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baghdaddy View Post
I am not too familiar with how each airline conducts business yet. As my time in the military comes to a close, I have been doing a lot more research on civilian flying opportunities. This forum has been a great tool to get information so far.

I haven’t seen any threads, though, comparing typical monthly schedules for the different companies. I know that the answer is ‘it depends’ on seniority, where you are based, what aircraft you fly, what company you are with….etc. It would be nice to get a general feel for what types of lines are typical in different situations and what the more junior guys are doing on a monthly basis.

I am most interested in comparing the airlines to the cargo guys. How long are the typical trips? 3, 4, 5 days? Longer trips for the cargo guys? How many days a month do you typically work? How many hours a month do you end up flying? How much time on reserve?

Companies most interested in: Alaska, SWA, CAL, FedEx, or UPS, but any other inputs welcome.

Thoughts on whether there will still be some hiring going on in about a year?
Thanks for your service in the sandbox. I see your avatar says non-flying. Most places do put a premium on recency of experience. Can you get some flying when you return? Best of luck.

Fish
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:06 AM   #3  
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Yep, I should get at least 4-5 months of flying on active duty when I get back and then will probably transition to the reserves and continue to fly. Hopefully somewhere in there I might get picked up on the civilian side. We'll see.
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Old 09-25-2006, 06:12 AM   #4  
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Default I'll give it a go

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baghdaddy View Post

...... It would be nice to get a general feel for what types of lines are typical in different situations and what the more junior guys are doing on a monthly basis.

.....How long are the typical trips? 3, 4, 5 days? Longer trips for the cargo guys? How many days a month do you typically work? How many hours a month do you end up flying? How much time on reserve?

Companies most interested in: Alaska, SWA, CAL, FedEx, or UPS, but any other inputs welcome.

Thoughts on whether there will still be some hiring going on in about a year?

First of all welcome to the forum and thanks for your service to our country! CAL anticipates to continue hiring for the forseeable future. We recently adopted a system of monthly bidding called PBS (Preferential Bidding System). It essentially allows pilots in seniority order to more finely construct their schedule. For example: One might ask for overnights in SFO on Tuesdays and Fridays rather than just pick a published monthly schedule like in the past that may have a little of what they want but not everything. One could also ask for two day trips and no four day trips as well. The computer actually goes into the pool of trips and pulls out what you want (assuming it is still available) and builds you a custom schedule. Of course the more junior guys have to have some flexibility and may not get what they ask for. The good thing about this system is that it is much more efficient at building schedules and will build a pilot staffed at about 90 percent a schedule where in the past if you were much below the 75 percent line, you could count on being on reserve. The phraseology for being off reserve at CAL is "holding a line." CAL has four crew bases (IAH-Houston, CLE-Cleveland, EWR-Newark and GUM-Guam). New hires are assigned primarily to EWR on the 737 and some on the 757-767. Some, although less, have been assigned to IAH on the 737 and very ocasionally there is an opening in GUM but not too often. I am aware of no new hires being assigned to CLE because it is a smaller base and there are locals there who don't want to commute making it a more senior base. All start on reserve but I have flown with many FOs who have been on reserve less than six months before getting a line. The new PBS system will get guys off reserve faster. Reserve pilots have twelve days off per month and I would guess the average pilot holding a schedule has about 15 or 16 days off per month. The most senior is 19 to 20 days off with the most junior line holders getting about 13 or 14. On average your trips will be about five or six days of flying per day. A four day trip might be worth 19 to 25 hours where a two day might be worth eight to ten. Some one day turns (out and back - home every night) appraoch eight hours but are very senior. FARs do not allow flying more than 30 hours in a 7 day block and we are also limited to eight hours in a 24 hour period for a two man crew. If a crew were to do a international turn on their last leg, like Mexico City and back, the FARs would allow you to fly to 32 hours in the seven days. We must also have a 24 hour break every seven days so a reserve could not stand duty more than six days in a row. International crews who are scheduled to fly over eight hours are supplemented by IROs (international relief officers) which are just extra FOs to allow for crew breaks and some inflight rest for the crew. These supplemented crews allow for the long haul flying. The typical pilot flys about 78 to 85 hours a month. There are two categories of reserve pilots with the difference being how much time you are allowed to get to the airport. Our longer call out pilots (nine hours) are guaranteed 72 hours pay per month and the shorter call out (three hours) are guaranteed 76 hours. In Houston, some of our reserve pilots will bid the longer call out times if they live nearby (Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans and others) where they can essentially sit home and wait for the call knowing they can get to work in the nine hours. Someone commuting from Seattle would obviously bid the shorter call out since they wouldn't usually benefit from the longer call out time and would therefore come to Houston and sit in a hotel or crashpad but get the higher pay guarantee.

I hope some of this has helped. Some of my explanations have some minor exceptions for various things but I think I covered the basics. I am afraid I can't help from the cargo side but I am sure you will get some good info from cargo guys as there are many good ones who are regulars here. I transitioned from the military (Navy) as well and it has been a good ride. Never looked back!

Please feel free to PM (Private Message) me with any specific questions and I wish you the very best as you wrap up your tour of duty. Give Saddam my best.
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Old 09-27-2006, 08:16 AM   #5  
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Default Great reply

Thanks for the great, thorough reply CalCapt. I would have PM'd you to say thanks, but I am still accumulating posts. One more down now.
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:23 PM   #6  
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I knew CalCapt couldn't stay away forever!!!
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:10 PM   #7  
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Excellent gouge calcapt.

As ski inferred, I'm glad you could not keep away.

Also, I am sure I am not the only one here that is trying to get on with CAL that reads your responses in hope of gaining information and in-site into CAL's operational workings.

Thanks for starting a good thread daddy and thank you for the good info calcapt.

v/r

Breckster

Last edited by shiftwork; 09-27-2006 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:39 PM   #8  
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Thanks for the nice words guys. I am happy to spend time on good threads like this one but there have been so many "others" in the past alot of good folks have left the site. Let's hope we can keep it helpful and dignified so all of us can learn here.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:01 PM   #9  
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Default I'll give it a try too

Baghdaddy--

Here's my quick gouge for SWA:

It's a pretty simple operation here.

--Pilots on reserve get 15 days off per month with a 2 hour call out. You will fly most days on reserve.

--Pay for reserve and line holders is 90-96 trips per month (80-84 hours).

--Hard lines have 16-20 days off per month. The bulk have 18 days off. With about a year's seniority you can easily have 17-18 days off per months.

--We fly AM and PM trips only which is great for your body clock. I haven't flown an AM trip in over 5 years.

--Duty days are 9-10 hours with 6:30-7:30 block per day. We have no trips over 4 days because we fly so much block time each day that a 5 day would be illegal. Most trips are 3 days.

--We will hire almost 600 pilots this year and 500+ per year for quite a while. Upgrade is running about 7 years and in my opinion will get longer as we grow.

If I left anything out please ask. Take care--

S.B.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:44 PM   #10  
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Sr. Barco

Nice gouge, and right to the point. That's great info about SWA, I'm in the pool and hope to be in one of the Jan 07 classes. Thanks!
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