Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Questions For Regional Pilots  
User currently offlineGregjet From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 115 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3206 times:

I am deciding a career to go into and I wanted to be a pilot since I was 2 but I heard that pilots have to be away from home a lot and I plan to have a family SO I wanted to know do regional pilots have to be away a shorter amount or is it the same and how is the pay scale for regional pilots thanks a lot for info this is helping me decide my future

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3161 times:

Hi Gregjet,

Most pilots who want to be airline pilots do not aspire to be "just" regional pilots. I work for Air Wisconsin, a "regional" airline", but I hope oneday to work for a "legacy" carrier. I used to work for SWISS International, but due to layoffs there, I have returned to the US to work.

Anyway, with regards to your question, the pay at a regional is not great, but with time at the airline it becomes better and better, especially at some of the more reputable airlines.

More important than pay, though, is lifestyle. At least it is to me. You mention that you want to be at home enough and have a family. This is a very important thing to you and you will want to make your choices accordingly. I am in hotels about 8-12 nights per month. But I also have a decent number of days off.

One issue to be aware of is that it is very often not possible to live where you work. I work in Washington Dulles, but I would like to live in Minneapolis. This makes for a commute of several hours.

The career is a wonderful career with many rewards. But as you already see, it is not perfect. Like any career, it has its plusses and minuses. I do not like living in a hotel, but the view from the "front office" makes it worth it, to me at least.

Every pilot has their own personal reasons for wanting to fly. Be aware that the industry is going through a period of great turmoil and that right now it is tough. But it is also a cyclical (sp) industry and by the time you are ready it may well be great. Nobody knows. I hope to work at United or AA someday and fly 777s! But to be honest, right now there is ZERO chance of that happening in the next few years.

Get your licenses, fly safely and enjoy your flying. Those are the most important pieces of advice I can give.

User currently offlineDogfighter2111 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1968 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

I suggest, you get in contact with your local airline, or an airline that flys in to your local airport, i always wanted to see what an ATC tower looked like, so i got in contact with the ATC company and they setup a date for me to go.

User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

When regional pilots are dispatched, do they fly back and forth on one route each day they fly, for example would they fly DEN-ASE-DEN-ASE-DEN-ASE and stay with the plane until their day ends, or do they go to many cities each day?

User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3121 times:


There are different types of schedules. But basically we fly similar schedules that the "mainline" pilots fly.

For example, on Friday I start a 4-day trip and the first day I go IAD - MCI, then MCI - DEN, finally I finish up with DEN - MKE. None of these is a "regional" airport. But that is another story....

Anyway, my 4-day trip has many different destinations and I will not see my home airport until the final flight of the final day on Monday.

But we have other days which are out-and-back types of days. For example, last week I had three days where all I flew was IAD to ATL and back to IAD. These were relatively easy days, but still added up to about 7 hours from check-in to check-out.

User currently offlineMATURRO727 From Colombia, joined Apr 2004, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3091 times:


Saab2000: Thank you very much about that, now, let's say im from Colombia, can I fly with a Mexican airline ? Does natonality matters??? Also are you a Cap. Or a F/O ? What equipment do you fly ?, how much money do you earn a year or monthly ?

Thank's for your info again !

P.S. Welcome to my respected users list

User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2153 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

Hey Saab2000, have you heard what's going on w/ the ACARS installations? I heard that the 146's they did have bugs with the system and aren't working too well.

User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3005 times:


Regarding your nationality.... well, I don't know. I am in the unusual situation of having both FAA and JAA licenses. Also, I can work in both Europe and the US. I have met very few people who are in this situation. Can you work in Mexico? I don't know. The only thing you can do is to find out if Columbia and Mexico might have any agreements on working relationships. Good Luck and Safe Flying! Have fun!

I fly on the CRJ-200 and work as an F/O. Had I been able to stay at SWISS, I probably would have been upgrading now, but the situation there is not so great. At least I have a job. Most of my colleagues who lost their jobs did not get so lucky.

How much money do I earn..... ???? Secret.....  Smile/happy/getting dizzy... The information is available online. I am not ashamed of it, but for the US, especially in Washington, it is not much. But I do not think it prudent to discuss my wage on an open forum. Sorry...  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

UAL Bagsmasher,

At risk of divulging company info, there have been some hiccups with the ACARS installation. It is our plan to continue to implement these. United wants us to have them, and it will be a huge plus when they are finally up and running. The priority is on safety for the time being and we are concentrating on having it right rather than rushing to have all of our aircraft outfitted ASAP.

As with any new technology (for us at least) there is a learning curve. Once it is functional though, it will be great! I think having it will be better than not having it.

User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2979 times:


As someone who is finishing up an aviation degree, I might be able to offer a different perspective on your career planning.

It's great to plan ahead like you are, but remember to keep your options open. In 8-10 years, when you're about ready to get your first flying job, you will almost certainly have different preferences, priorities, likes, dislikes, etc. The job that looks attractive to you now may not appeal to you at all in the future. I mean, who's to say you won't get to fly a seaplane one day and then decide that's what you want to do for a living? Stay focused on your goal, but also keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Here's a link to another post you might find informative:


You're already doing the right thing by following the industry on here. That will give you a great heads-up on how things work. Or, at the very least, the current status of Northwest's DC-9 fleet. : ) In all seriousness, though, you've got access to a LOT of knowledge on these forums, so keep asking questions and gathering information. If you have any questions about the college end of things, just ask.

Best of luck,


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineAv8trxx From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 657 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2940 times:


Southfield, MI! Hey that's where I was born.

You are still young and have plenty of time to figure out what you want to do. If you start saving now, you could get your PPL in H.S. I suggest getting your Private and Instrument before deciding to go full on and spend lots of money to pursue a pilot career. Often people imagine what airline life is like, and "living the dream" as an airline pilot is not quite the same as "living the reality" everyday.

True, a fair amount of time is spent away from home, but depending on the company and your base it may not be as much as others. I live 100 miles from my base and often get overnights at home. So, while I am 'gone' on a trip I am at home for one night of 3 overnights too! Plus, some guys get schedules that are 2 day trips (1 night away and then home again) back to back. There are also some schedules that are day trips where you begin and end in domicile everyday. My schedule is 6 on, 2 off, 5 on, 3 off, 4 on and the rest of the month off (even without vacation). I get an overnight at home each week. So while I get worked hard at the start, I have the end of the month off to kick back! The schedules can vary widely by carrier, so it really depends on where (airline) someone works that affects their lifestyle. My trips are all within 500 miles of my base, where other carriers pilots may end up on overnights a time zone or two away from their base.

If you want to get more informed about the career visit http://www.jetcareers.com. It's the premier forum on the web for aspiring pilots. They have message boards to ask advice too.

As far as pay, it's awful start out. Basically is you can get $1800 a month to start, that's good. (Ask your parents what they think about that!) This link is very popular for pay info- http://www.airlinepilotpay.com.

Good Luck

Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Questions For US Regional Pilots posted Mon Mar 31 2003 09:16:07 by Saab2000
Air Traffic Control Broadcast Questions For Pilots posted Wed Aug 11 2004 21:08:24 by BIGBlack
Questions For Recently Hired Airline Pilots posted Fri Oct 3 2003 03:28:14 by Pilot727aa
A Few Questions For Pilots/FA's posted Sun Aug 8 1999 19:35:20 by Aircanada
Questions For Dispatchers posted Sat Oct 21 2006 01:15:58 by Lincoln
Jetways For Regional Jets? posted Mon Jun 5 2006 18:49:48 by Teixeim
Judge Gives 6 PM. Deadline For NWA, Pilots posted Thu Mar 2 2006 20:17:36 by KarlB737
Air Algerie Looking For Regional Jets posted Fri Feb 10 2006 21:33:58 by FCKC
Japan Asia 747 Questions For 2006 posted Fri Jan 13 2006 04:15:07 by AirAmericaC46
Flying International For Private Pilots? posted Fri Nov 18 2005 18:09:19 by Dstefanc