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Part 135 Part 135 commercial operators

Alpine Air Hiring

Old 09-22-2021, 09:18 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Alpine Pilot View Post
Indoc for new hires is done at the Billings base.

The BE99 training is done in Billings, Montana. You have about a week of ground training and about a week of flight training, and all of the flight training is all done in an actual aircraft.

The B1900 training is done at ATS in Centennial, Colorado. Again, you have about a week of ground training and about a week of flight training, but this time all of the flight training is done in a 1900D full motion simulator. Also, we lease a classroom and a simulator at ATS, but all of the actual instruction in the classroom and sim is provided by Alpine Air instructors.

For recurrent training, every 6 months you travel to either location for a few days.
That would be nice to see pics of the facility. No worries if youíre unable to though. What are the schedules like? Is it mostly night flying? Scheduled routes? Unscheduled? Or a mixture of the 2?
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:00 PM
  #32  
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The short answer is that you typically go out in the morning, hang out at an outstation for about 8 hours, and then come back in the evening. We fly scheduled routes for UPS, FedEx, and USPS.

Iím just on reserve tomorrow so Iíll make a couple longer posts that cover our normal routes and outstations in better detail.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:20 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Alpine Pilot View Post
The short answer is that you typically go out in the morning, hang out at an outstation for about 8 hours, and then come back in the evening. We fly scheduled routes for UPS, FedEx, and USPS.

I’m just on reserve tomorrow so I’ll make a couple longer posts that cover our normal routes and outstations in better detail.
Thanks for posting that info. Seems like a much better schedule than the other cargo operators that do the out at night, back in the morning turns.

Cheers!
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:41 AM
  #34  
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Based on a couple messages I've received I want to tell you about how we fly at Alpine Air. As a reminder, this is all just my personal opinion.

The BE99’s fly well and can handle some serious icing conditions, but honestly they’re pretty old and many of them look like it. While they may look a little ugly on the outside, we have a good maintenance team and they really are well maintained. I have never been forced to fly a plane I wasn't comfortable taking into the air. The BE99 is not pressurized, so you’ll be flying with a nasal cannula for oxygen up to 18,000 feet because there's lots of mountains in our area. To me the BE99 is a very fun and nimble aircraft, but it doesn’t like to trim out and just sit still for long periods so you're always truly involved when hand flying it, which is part of why it's a fun aircraft for me.

The B1900’s are smoother, quieter, and also handle ice extremely well. They’re much more comfortable because the engines are behind you, they're pressurized, and they have a better environmental system. They also trim out better and have a Yaw Damper system installed. However, while they do trim out better and the Yaw Damp lets you relax on the pedals, you're still always hand flying this aircraft as well.

Our aircraft are not automated. Both aircraft are flown single pilot, with a six pack of gauges, in all kinds of weather conditions, and mostly without an autopilot. Only a couple aircraft in our company, a couple of B1900’s, have an autopilot installed. So in our aircraft you’ll hand fly through all weather conditions, at all times, and usually all by yourself. It's a very connected kind of flying and it's the kind of flying that will really sharpen your raw skills.

For navigation we do have an approved EFB system so all of our logbooks, performance, and charts are on company issued iPads with a backup iPad mounted in each aircraft. The B1900 has touchscreen Garmin 750’s, and the BE99 has Garmin 500 series. We occasionally fly one or two short VFR hops, but most of our flying is done on IFR flight plans and we have a flight following department that monitors.

I hope this gives you a better idea on what you can expect.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:52 PM
  #35  
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Here's more on the daily schedule. Like I said before... you typically go out in the morning, hang out at an outstation for several hours, and then come back in the evening. We fly scheduled routes for UPS, FedEx, and USPS. But the majority of our contracts are with UPS.

We have a show time in the mornings, it's usually between 5am and 6am depending on the base and day. Some of the Saturday runs have later show times like 7am. You arrive by your show time, you go out and prep the plane, and then you hang out and wait for the cargo. The cargo might be ready to go right away, or it might be ready in an hour or two. That depends on if the big jets are on time, how long the sorting process takes, etc. While you wait you've picked up a departure clearance, checked weather and notams, and ordered fuel if needed.

After the loaders get the cargo on the plane you depart and fly to your outstation. Most of the lines are single leg out and single leg back. Some are two legs going out, and one leg coming back. And only a couple get more complicated than that. Many of the legs are barely an hour actual wheels up time to wheels down time, but of course that varies. After you get to the outstation sometime in the morning to mid morning, the drivers meet you and unload the cargo and then you're done until the evening pickup. For the next 8 hours or so you have a crew car and a crew apartment at your disposal. You can sleep all day, watch movies, play games, go hiking, hit the gym, go fishing, you get the idea. In the evening around 5pm to 6pm you go back to the plane, pre-flight, and meet the drivers who load the afternoon cargo. Once loaded you fly back to your home base, park and let the loaders unload the plane, and that's it.

This is again just kind of an average breakdown. On the less average side of things there's a few runs where it works better for the pilots to live at the outstation instead of the base, but we open specific listings to hire pilots for those unusual positions. We also have one or two unique runs like a postal run that goes through the night to multiple outstations, and a single run out of Ontario (California) that only requires a couple hours in the afternoon. But what I've posted here gives you a good idea for most of the normal flying we do.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:18 PM
  #36  
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Oh yeah, forgot to cover Reserves.

Reserve pilots show up at the normal show time and hang out with a reserve plane. If cargo is too heavy for the normal plane assigned to a run, then they might load the excess on the reserve plane and send it as well. Only this time you'll fly there, get unloaded, and then immediately fly back empty. If you launch on one of these you'll probably be home by lunch.

Reserves sometimes cover other carriers routes as well. If a route serviced by another company like Ameriflight or Gem Air overflows, the carrier (UPS, FedEx, or USPS) might opt to use our reserve to cover the excess. Also, if another company can't send aircraft because of maintenance issues or something, you might go instead and cover their entire day at their outstation.

And if one of our pilots calls in sick, you'll simply go cover his entire run is his assigned aircraft.

As a reserve many times you simply show up, watch everybody else load and fly away, and then go home. However, that happens less and less often as we approach peak season (which is Mid-November to Mid-January) and the cargo loads increase to overflowing more often.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:52 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Alpine Pilot View Post
Oh yeah, forgot to cover Reserves.

Reserve pilots show up at the normal show time and hang out with a reserve plane. If cargo is too heavy for the normal plane assigned to a run, then they might load the excess on the reserve plane and send it as well. Only this time you'll fly there, get unloaded, and then immediately fly back empty. If you launch on one of these you'll probably be home by lunch.

Reserves sometimes cover other carriers routes as well. If a route serviced by another company like Ameriflight or Gem Air overflows, the carrier (UPS, FedEx, or USPS) might opt to use our reserve to cover the excess. Also, if another company can't send aircraft because of maintenance issues or something, you might go instead and cover their entire day at their outstation.

And if one of our pilots calls in sick, you'll simply go cover his entire run is his assigned aircraft.

As a reserve many times you simply show up, watch everybody else load and fly away, and then go home. However, that happens less and less often as we approach peak season (which is Mid-November to Mid-January) and the cargo loads increase to overflowing more often.
Thanks alpine pilot! Great info! I will be submitting an app tomorrow. Hopeful to hear back from them. Iíve been wanting to fly freight for a long time. Sounds like itís a lot of fun. Iíve always been drawn to Beechcraft too. How is the company in terms of backing up pilot decisions regarding wx? Do they respect your decisions to delay/divert if necessary?
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:02 PM
  #38  
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Pro tipÖ.. if flying UPS and based in FSD or BIL one can time their arrival to the airport based on FlightAware since their runs depend on the UPS jetÖno sense in showing on time if itís late. Enjoy hitting the snooze an extra 30 min or an hour. I throughly enjoyed snoozing an extra hour when they were late or the airport was fogged in and couldnít land. You wonít get that at DEN and SLC and I believe you got to show up at the same time everyday regardless of delays/weather since their operation doesnít depend on a single jet.
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Old 09-25-2021, 05:56 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 250kt Final View Post
Pro tipÖ.. if flying UPS and based in FSD or BIL one can time their arrival to the airport based on FlightAware since their runs depend on the UPS jetÖno sense in showing on time if itís late. Enjoy hitting the snooze an extra 30 min or an hour. I throughly enjoyed snoozing an extra hour when they were late or the airport was fogged in and couldnít land. You wonít get that at DEN and SLC and I believe you got to show up at the same time everyday regardless of delays/weather since their operation doesnít depend on a single jet.
Yeah, the SLC pilots still check the status of the UPS jets on FlightAware. But like you said, they have three jets to worry about. They especially watch the Memphis jet since it usually has like 2/3 of the expected daily freight. If itís a couple hours late the Chief will usually clear them to arrive a little later. Just more moving parts to worry about at the bigger airports so itís not as easy to pull off.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:40 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Cleared4appch View Post
Thanks alpine pilot! Great info! I will be submitting an app tomorrow. Hopeful to hear back from them. Iíve been wanting to fly freight for a long time. Sounds like itís a lot of fun. Iíve always been drawn to Beechcraft too. How is the company in terms of backing up pilot decisions regarding wx? Do they respect your decisions to delay/divert if necessary?
Absolutely. Weather happens, so if itís questionable at the destination just talk with UPS or FedEx and tell them what the closest alternatives that are forecasted to work might be, and ask them which alternate they would prefer.

Hailey, Idaho (KSUN) is a good example. It gets socked in all the time in the winter. Itís in the bottom of a steep valley and the approach only lets you get down to about 900 feet. If that flight canít get in then UPS usually prefers to have it divert to Jerome followed by Twin Falls, depending on what the weather allows. If the weather is currently barely legal, but itís forcast to clear up in a hour and a half, then theyíll let you wait on the ramp for better conditions at the destination before you depart. Thatís better than flying up there, ending up in a hold, and then diverting to Twin Falls where itís an extra 2 hour round trip for the drivers as the weather now begins to break at SUN.

In general, itís simply expected that youíll make good PIC decisions and try to reach the original destination if possible, and in a safe manner. If you canít get in we already have a few prefered alternates, and if things really go sideways Iíve simply returned to SLC with the cargo still in the plane because even the alternates started looking bad. In that case I got fuel, waited a couple hours for weather to get better at a suitable airport, and then launched again.
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