Bryan Becker From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 333 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1144 times:
This is for you airbus pilots.Well really for the 319,320,and321 pilots. I'm a really big airbus fan I love those planes. Well eny ways how long did it take you to become a airline pilot and fly airbuses.How much did you payto become a pilot. And what is the road you took to become a pilot and fly airbuses?
Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 917 times:
It depends on so many things including luck, however if you are in the US 10 years from your private costing you $30,000, would not be unrealistic. However you have to think about what would happen if an airline who does not operate A320's (Celta, American, Continental) offers you a job, would you take it?
A319Pilot From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 893 times:
Ok Brian, I fly Airbuses 319 and 320 for a Brazilian airline (that's why my messages have so many grammar errors ) . I started to fly at the age of 16, flying gliders. Got my Commercial/Instrument/Multi license at the age of 18, and started flying a Piper Seneca II as captain at 19... You may be thinking "Oh! What a meteoric carrer!" Well.. I've spent the next 6 looooong and painful years flying this same plane (The Seneca is a wonderful plane, but my boss wasn't), then I was hired by an Airline, to fly as a Fokker-100 first officer. Spent two very very nice years flying the F-100 and then moved to the A-319/320. I've logged around 2600 hours in light singles and twins (1800 in Senecas II and III), 1700 in F-100 and around 500 in the AIrbus. I hope your dream come true and you get the chance to fly one of these fantastic planes made by Airbus!
A320FO From Austria, joined Oct 2000, 211 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 885 times:
in the US it will take you several years (~6-10) to get into the right seat of an airliner with a major airline. We in Europe are lucky, as airlines employ pilots from their own schools who have just minimum hours (~200h). That makes it possible to be sitting in the right seat of an A320 at the age of 21, the lowest legal age, after having completed ~2years of training.
DG_pilot From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 856 posts, RR: 3 Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 804 times:
""We in Europe are lucky, as airlines employ pilots from their own schools who have just minimum hours (~200h).""
I wouldn't call it lucky. Building time here is half the fun. You meet many people, fly many different aircraft, and fly to more places. I would even suggest the training is better. Why do I say that? Well, pilots here receive more training before they are hired, their training/flight building experiences are more varied, the aviation scene is richer, and our training is not as rushed as the carrier's own "ab initio" programs. Yes, we DO have a handful of airline ran ab initio programs here in the U.S., but I have heard very little good, if any, about them at all.
Sorry, I guess all that is for an entirely different thread, but I just couldn't stop rambling. Forgive me if you find what I said above deeply offensive, but that is just how I see things.
Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 787 times:
DG_Pilot, I doubt you understand the training that takes place over here in Europe. It is very different then yours over in the US. The main difference is that over here, the empahizes is on written test for your commercial ticket there is 13, while in the US you put the emphasize in on practical.
A320FO From Austria, joined Oct 2000, 211 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 785 times:
As this is not the appropriate thread for discussing the different types of training, I will just stay with a short comment:
Not the total hours are important, the quality of the training and flying is important. I know from a lot of instructors that people with considerable hours in general aviation are a lot harder to train to airline standards, as they have all adapted their own procedures. Taking somebody from zero and starting with airline style procedures on his first flight will actually give better quality results than trying to reshape someone who has flown a Cessna 152 or similar for several hours on his own, without ever paying attention to CRM and SOPs.
Taking young ab-initios is actually what the Airbus training department recommends, as they tend to understand the FBW philosophy faster and easier.
DG_pilot From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 856 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 754 times:
Thanks for replying.
There is no way a 200 total time "airline-ready" ab initio "student" can be more prepared than their typical airline-ready American counterpart with 2000 total time. Varied aircraft, varied equipment, and varied conditions is the way to go. It allows a pilot to be more prepared, more in-depth, and more attached to the aviation world. It enables the pilot to be more confortable and competent with difficult real-world scenarios.
No one is going to tell me that the hasty "assembly line" training environment is the way to go. I have respect for airline procedures-don't get me wrong, but a student that is sent through those programs simply cannot be fully ready to fly the larger iron.
Perhaps other countries do not have other methods of adequate pilot training, but the United States does. We have no shortage of very good instructors and planes. General aviation flourishes in the U.S. because there are no senseless user fees--but that is yet a different topic.
No offense, but like I said earlier, I have heard very little good (if any) about diehard ab initio programs and the pilots they educate.
PW4084 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 291 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 725 times:
FBW philosophy? Quantity vs. Quality? Airline-style procedures?? User-fees?? The fundamental ideas debated here are as dividing as the Atlantic Ocean.
This thread makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be flying here in the United States. Here, aviation is more accessible for some reason. Without commenting on which system is better at creating airline pilots, I will say that I have to agree with DG_pilot on one point for sure:
'Building time here is half the fun.'
2000 hours of flight instruction, flying checks, towing banners and flying turboprop commuters just seems like it would be more enjoyable and rewarding than completing an intense 200 hour ab initio program. To me, being an A320 F/O at age 21 seems like it would be a letdown...there are so many other cool jobs in aviation to experience on the way. By that same token, anyone who is accepted into an ab initio program and becomes an A320 F/O at 21 gets my respect...that's impressive. Like I said earlier, its two drastically different systems.
P.S. Its not unheard of for a pilot in the US (with the current economic situation) to go from zero time to the right seat of a major in as little as 3 or 4 years...it is possible.
Sabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2697 posts, RR: 49 Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 706 times:
One remark to you DG_pilot.
In most cases those 2000+ hours of experience are logged as instructor time, but how much hands on stick time do new airline F/O's really have?
About 300 or so?
That's about the same as we have after the ab-initio airline training program, but with one big difference.
Even our very basic PPL training was done with senior airline training instructors according to up to date CRM and SOPs as used in a major company.
Anyway, how much is 2000 hrs of VFR Single Engine instructor time worth for an airline in Europe do you think? At Sabena, if you haven't run through their ab initio program, all they care about is IFR jet time.
DG_pilot From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 856 posts, RR: 3 Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 678 times:
""In most cases those 2000+ hours of experience are logged as instructor time, but how much hands on stick time do new airline F/O's really have?
About 300 or so?""
Good point, but I have to disagree with your numbers some. I'd argue that new airline F/O's have around a 800-1000 hands-on stick time--and that's if they solely instruct to build their time. Most use some combination of instructing, banner towing, pipeline and traffic patrol, or small charter ops. All of them but instructing most likely involve pure hands-on time. Keep in mind this is if they pursue an airline job at the 'beginning' of their flying career. The ones that do this later are going to have much more hands-on time.
Do I have data to back this up? Nope, none. I am just going by what I have seen and read.
Sabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2697 posts, RR: 49 Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 684 times:
Well, I suppose you can be right on those numbers DG_pilot.
After all, I have no idea on how the logbook of a junior F/O on a jet looks like in the USA. Alll I know is the different steps he/she has to go through before moving into the right seat.
Indeed, it is (sometimes) great fun to fly banner flights or do some instruction. I do so as well, but I do it in my free time on top of my regular airline job as F/O at Sabena. Single Engine VFR flying is hobby flying; I can assure you that it has nothing to do with flying a B737, A32F or similar across the continent in sceduled operations.After all, flying for a major airline (be it in the USA or Europe) has hardly anything to do with flying at all!
To put is somewhat simplified: all you ever do is pull the plane off the ground and follow the flight director on the initial phase of the Standard Instrumental Deparure as loaded in your Flight Guidance Computer before selecting the A/P on after one or two minutes for the rest of the flight.
Same for approaches; if you're lucky you'll get to fly the last part of the ILS approach (let's say once you're established at the Outer Marker, about 5 miles on final).
A non precision approach or a visual approach is something you do once a month or so...
All the rest of the flighttime (i.e. the other 99,5%) is what we call flight management:
Do we arrive on time?
Too late? (try to fly faster or ask for a shortcut)
Too early? (fly slower to save some fuel)
How's the wheather at destination? What alternate is suitable both from a commercial and an operational point of view? What does our dispatch think about this?
How about the connecting flights for our passengers?
And that special assistance for the disabled guy on row 5A?
Do we get catering after landing?
What's the shortest way to the gate? Wasn't that taxiway closed by NOTAM? Can we get a follow me or do we have to pay extra for that?
How about the ground power unit? Is is included in the handling fee or do we start the APU after landing?
Do we have a slot on the return flight?
And how about that rerouting they gave us? Do we need extra fuel for that?
s**t, we'll need deicing here; how's that done in outstation?
Oh no, a small technical problem: can we leave with one Pressure and Air Conditioning Kit u/s? What's the Minimum Equipment List saying about that? We have to fly at lower level... that will take us into bad clouds... Maybe yet another rerouting due to technical reasons would be the best, but what are the consequences for our slottime?
Are we going to exceed our duty limitations? And how about the duty time for the cabin crew?
Ah, our slot expires in 20 minutes and we still have to solve all this before we can push back from our gate.
You see, all of this happens to us almost every day and can only be learned when you actually fly on the line; it has nothing to do with having 300+ or 3000+ hrs in your logbook.
On the planes of today, every pilot can fly a SID or an ILS approach. There is nothing really difficult about that. I dare to say that each airline trainee can land his plane back on the runway without major problems right on his first simulator session. And that's how it should be!
Airbus says so themselves; if you fail to land their plane on your first ever attempt in simulator, then they have failed to deliver your airline the best plane possible.
PW4084 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 291 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 671 times:
Sabenapilot said: Same for approaches; if you're lucky you'll get to fly the last part of the ILS approach (let's say once you're established at the Outer Marker, about 5 miles on final).
Sabenapilot, I know your comments have been directed at DG_pilot, but I wanted to ask you a question. Do your company policies prohibit you from hand-flying the airplane from say, 20,000 feet to touchdown?? How about from 10,000 feet. Just curious.
Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 672 times:
I hate to disageree with you DG_Pilot but most instructors only instruct! People who fly banners generally only fly banners, ect. I am not sure where you heard that from, however I will assure you it is not the norm. Sabena Pilots, estimate of 300 hours is about right, you might say that instructing sharpens your skill but they intense ground school required for your ATPL over here, provides as much if not more knowledge then what you do in the US!
Sabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2697 posts, RR: 49 Reply 24, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 666 times:
from your question I can make that you are a pilot too, so that's why I'm sure you know what I'm talking about when I say that it can be quite bussy during the approach phase into a big airport.
To answer your question I have here for you a typical approach situation like I do them every day at Sabena:
During the initial descent to our destination most of the time we are flying in what's called a split cockpit situation, with one guy handling the plane and doing the ATC communications and the other guy on the line to get the latest ATIS, ask dispatch about our next flight (due to a short turnaround), sorting out minor technical malfunctions with maintenance etc.
In such a situation it would not be a good idea to handfly the plane, and even if I'd manage to do so, I'd have a huge SOP problem: i.e. when I'm flying without autopilot I'm not allowed to make mode changes.
In other words: I'd have to ignore my flight director (or switch it off), but the other guy (who legally has to have his FD on anyway) will have no idea of what's going on since he'll be looking at a flight director that is pointing in a completely opposite direction from theone I'm flying in! Very confusing.
At 10,000ft the split cockpit situation has to end, so as from 10,000ft I could switch of the A/P and leave the mode selections to the non-flying pilot.
However, company procedures require us to make the best possible use of automation so as to concentrate more on the comfort of the flight.
In other words: keep the A/P engaged.
Next thing to consider; if you have approaches to parallel runways like in Brussels, it is highly recommended to intercept the Localizer on A/P to avoid going through it and ending up in the approach of the other RWY (something not appreciated by ATC...).
Finally, once you're established and approaching the other marker or Final Approach Fix, you'll normally be sequenced into a comfortable position by ATC and thus less concentration is needed for what's going on around you. It is at this point that I normally feel comfortable to disconnect.
Mind you that disconnect does not imply a raw data approach! You still have to keep the flight director on and follow all its commands.
To do a Raw data approach Sabena wants us to be visual with the field well before crossing the Final Approach Fix and have a ceiling above the initial missed approach altitude. In other words: you have to be able to land visually.
A raw data approach down to the minima (or even minima + 500ft to say something) is something that itsn't done for real... You must always remember a jet has quite some inertia so a stable raw data approach down to the minima is not that easy.
Of course, as I have said before:
on a very nice day going into a smaller airport and being number one for the approach when you're still 25NM out the situation is completely different and in that case I'll handfly the plane from around 5000ft on the final intercept heading. Sadly this does happen only once a week or so...
I hope this gives you some insight in how our standard operating procedures work. I don't know for sure about other companies, but I have seen on TV and during a flight on the jumpseat with Air France recently that things go very similar.
25 JG: Gentlemen, There are many ways that are equally as good to get to a major airline job. Each has advantages and disadvantages. In the US, ab initio is
26 Oldman: Wow, I'd say that sums it all up. I hope the young men here read and digest this wisdom. You speak the absolute truth. You have a very excellent handl
27 DG_pilot: Just thinking about all that and I recall several instances in where more experienced pilots have told me that in often certain areas of the industry
28 XFSUgimpLB41X: I don't have much time to post, but JG said it all... also on hand flying, I am good friend with a Northwest DC-9 captain, and on those airplanes they
29 PW4084: Well, what an interesting thread this has become. Thanks Sebanapilot for your detailed answer to my question. It is always interesting to learn about