The Pains and Benefits of Commuting For many, a great thing about being an airline pilot is the schedule flexibility. You often have multiple consecutive days off with no work responsibilities. This is different from other jobs where you may have to do work at home, monitor a phone or even just be stressed about work. Often, […]
It’s not just the regional passenger airlines that need pilots, so do the regional cargo airlines. These companies fly secondary routes for the for UPS, FedEx and DHL and they are looking to hire. Check out the full article from thestreet.com
Inspiring Youth to Learn to Fly There’s a flight school in Erie, PA that has been looking toward a pilot shortage for years. They recognize that the high cost of learning to fly and the commitment before seeing a return on that investment are keeping the young from the magic of learning to fly. To […]
Manipulating Your Schedule After Award
Here we are, approaching the end of our journey on how airline pilot schedules work. For the final installation on getting your schedule before the month starts, we need to talk about what happens once your schedule is awarded. As with everything else we’ve talked about: pairings, bidding and reserves, the specifics will vary with each airline. Some will have systems like I describe here, others will have more or less flexibility. This is a general overview. I encourage you to leave some examples of how it works at airlines you’ve been at in the comments.
Once you’ve gotten your schedules for the next month, that often isn’t the last chance you have to adjust your schedule. Often, all the available flying isn’t covered because of things like training, bidding preferences, vacation, etc. You get the idea. Many airlines will take this left over flying and create lines of flying, sometimes mixed with reserve days which can then go to junior pilots.
Looking at the Changed FAA Procedures
The FAA has published a draft version of the Instrument Procedures Handbook, the official textbook of sorts for flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions. It has been some time since I last looked at the IPH, probably 15-20 years. Back then it was a hardcover book in black and white that even then seemed outdated. This new version is exactly the opposite, with great color diagrams, modern material and even some discussions on things that aren’t yet in place. I give the FAA a lot of credit. It’s still a draft but it looks good.
We’re Here to Help
If you’re like me, and have been flying in instrument procedures for years but haven’t looked at this manual, you probably aren’t inclined to look at the new one. As I went through this, I took […]
The value of assumptions in making the choice of which pilot jobs to pursue (or not)
For the last 10 or 15 years pilots have had an easy time making career decisions. That’s not to say that ‘making it’ in the pilot profession has been easy but as the saying goes, when you got nothing…you got nothing to lose. It’s odd to think that just 10 years ago three of the five ‘super majors’ were laying off pilots and going into and out of bankruptcy. Today, that’s not the case. It seems we’re reading now hearing all about how the transport industry is booming. Most of us realize the cyclical nature industry and look askance at the headlines. […]
How Airlines Cover Flying That Isn’t Assigned
We have talked about how airline pilots get their schedules and how they work. There are some pilots who don’t have assigned flying at the beginning of the month. They are used to cover flying not covered by other pilots because they’re sick, no one was ever assigned, they had delays and cancellations in their original schedule or any number of reasons. These pilots are generally called “reserve” or “stand by” pilots. In this article we are going to discuss aspects of this type of schedule and what it can look like. Just like in the other cases, every airline will be different, in fact with reserves it will be even more so. I’ll cover some of the general aspects but know that a particular carrier will some unique characteristics.
Usually, at the beginning of the month, a reserve pilot will know what days they are working. Typically, once all the lines are assigned, reserves will have the opportunity to bid (or they may have already bid and their schedules are assigned.) This usually consists of a series of days during which they are responsible for being within a certain distance of the airport. For many carriers, this time is around two hours to the crew room from the time you get a call with an assignment. Some carriers have a concept of long call reserve which may be 14 hours or more, giving them time to commute to base from home (sweet!). […]
Getting the Bad News From My Doctor About 9 months ago I was sitting in my Doctor’s office at the age of 42 listening to how I would likely be a candidate for a statin prescription and back surgery at some point in the near future. This information didn’t come too much of a shock […]