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Manufacturers - How Many Pilots Do They Employ?  
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3996 posts, RR: 5
Posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4156 times:

Anyone in the know how many pilots companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier or Embraer employ?

Are there different "categories" of test pilots? I.e. those who do the most demanding stuff like testing new/modified airplanes and others who are doing more routine stuff like taking the 5786th Boeing 737 on a pre-delivery flight?

What would be the typical background of pilots employed by manufacturers? Military, (retired) civil?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8471 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4154 times:

Someone pointed out that Boeing's special 747s will be in the air virtually non-stop once the 787 line gets rolling, carrying components. They will need quite a few pilots just for that.

User currently offlineNorCal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

It depends on a number of factors:

1. Do the test pilots have a CBA? If so what does it say about duty time, work rules, time off, etc.

2. What rules do the LCF fly under? I'm guessing Part 91, but I'm not sure about that

3. How many are there? Wikipedia shows 3

4. How are the pilots assigned to work? i.e. do they hold type ratings on all the aircraft? Some of them? One of them?

5. Does Boeing do all the test flying before the delivery or does the airline send it's own pilots?

These are a few factors I came up with off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more. Maybe someone with inside knowledge can share? The real question is how do you become a Boeing test pilot?


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4114 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 1):
Someone pointed out that Boeing's special 747s will be in the air virtually non-stop once the 787 line gets rolling, carrying components. They will need quite a few pilots just for that.

The Boeing 747 LCF are operated by Evergreen International Airlines not Boeing.


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3996 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3983 times:

I guess the bulk of the pilots are "just" regular test pilots who are doing pre-delivery flights with well tested aircraft, whereas a small group is doing development work in newly designed or modified aircraft.

Anyway, aircraft manufacturers who are dleivering 30+ airplanes a month must have quite a few pilots on their roll to meet all the flying tasks, so I am wondering at what figure we are looking.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3936 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 4):
Anyway, aircraft manufacturers who are dleivering 30+ airplanes a month must have quite a few pilots on their roll to meet all the flying tasks, so I am wondering at what figure we are looking.

Boeing (company) pilots will always perform the first flight and pilot or assist as required on any other pre-delivery flights, but the owner/operator will provide the crews for the delivery flights.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15729 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3914 times:



Quoting NorCal (Reply 2):
2. What rules do the LCF fly under? I'm guessing Part 91, but I'm not sure about that

It is operated by Evergreen as mentioned above so I would guess just normal Part 121. I would be curious as to whether Evergreen will dedicate pilots to the LCF or just have those flights as a 747 bid.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 2):
do they hold type ratings on all the aircraft?

According to the biographies of the pilots on newairplane.com one of their pilots (and perhaps the other profiled) has ratings on all Boeing aircraft.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 2):
Does Boeing do all the test flying before the delivery or does the airline send it's own pilots?

Boeing does their own tests on every aircraft that rolls off the line. The customer also does a test I think and I know that the actual delivery flight is done by the airline.

Quoting Vfw614 (Thread starter):
What would be the typical background of pilots employed by manufacturers? Military, (retired) civil?

Both of the pilots profiled on Boeing's website are ex-military. One was ex-USN and the other retired from the Air Force. Needless to say, they are probably pretty good sticks.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3996 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3897 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 5):
Boeing (company) pilots will always perform the first flight and pilot or assist as required on any other pre-delivery flights, but the owner/operator will provide the crews for the delivery flights.

I did not mean to say that company pilots do the delivery flights. I meant to refer to the pre-delivery flights including the first flight of 30+ or so aircraft coming off the production line every month.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3849 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Thread starter):
What would be the typical background of pilots employed by manufacturers? Military, (retired) civil?

Background of the Boeing pilots who made the 787's first flight here:
http://www.newairplane.com/dreamlinerfirstflight/pilotbios.html

And an article on the captain on the 777's first flight in 1994. He retired in 2007 after 40 years with Boeing.
http://www.seattlepi.com/business/299460_cashman12.html


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3709 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Thread starter):
Anyone in the know how many pilots companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier or Embraer employ?

On the order of hundreds.

Quoting Vfw614 (Thread starter):
Are there different "categories" of test pilots? I.e. those who do the most demanding stuff like testing new/modified airplanes and others who are doing more routine stuff like taking the 5786th Boeing 737 on a pre-delivery flight?

Most organizations have production pilots (test fly the stuff coming off the line) and engineering pilots (test new stuff). There can be lots of overlap, but that's an normal way to divide up the pool.

Quoting Vfw614 (Thread starter):
What would be the typical background of pilots employed by manufacturers? Military, (retired) civil?

Lots of both. I only know one, off the top of my head, that's both non-military and non-commercial (came through the biz jet path).

Tom.


User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3638 times:

I know Captain Peter Chandler from Airbus used to fly for Virgin Atlantic...
http://www.airbus.com/en/myairbus/events/ila_berlin_2006/crew.html



I gladly accept donations to pay for flight hours! This thing draws man...
User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5150 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3564 times:

Interesting story by the 777 test pilot -- how the thing inverted when stalling in the first stall test at full flaps. Yikes. Just imagine if they had had to bail out and lost the airframe. Plainly, there's a good reason for a thorough flight-test program. It is also interesting how these guys are all Mr. Aviation -- flying old aircraft for the Museum of Flight, doing envelope expansion flying on military models, etc. -- just the right kind of mentality for a Boeing Company Man.

User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3996 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3446 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 9):
Most organizations have production pilots (test fly the stuff coming off the line) and engineering pilots (test new stuff). There can be lots of overlap, but that's an normal way to divide up the pool.

Would be interesting to know what the incentive is to become a production pilot rather than stay with an airline. Certainly an interesting job to fly factory-fresh aircraft, but not as challenging as being an engineering pilot. So much incentive must come from either the pay or the life-style (being at home each night etc.)

Thinking about it, particularly Airbus must have quite a few extra company pilots as they also need to shuttle aircraft between Hamburg and Toulouse for outfitting.

The bios of the Boeing pilots all mention, by the way, that these top brass company pilots are all fully rated for every commercial airliner produced by the company. I am wondering if this would also be true for lower ranks (I have some difficulties believing that one day a "regular" company pilot flies a 737-600 and the next day a 777-300).


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15729 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3446 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 12):
Would be interesting to know what the incentive is to become a production pilot rather than stay with an airline.

Well for one thing they get to be in their own beds every night.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
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