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International Pilots  
User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 4
Posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

Hi, this has been bugging me for some time now, but I would like it if some one could tell me what the international airline pilot does after completing his/her flight to a foreign destination.
Everything from taxi to getting to the hotel room.
When do you guys log your flight hours into the book? Directly after the flight?

Just curious as to what happens.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1288 times:

After parking checklist has been performed,we usually pack up all our things like maps,approach plates,etc.,clean up the flightdeck area for the next crew,then leave the plane.
Usually,we have to proceed through some sort of customs and immigration control.Almost every airport has it's own arrangement,it seems.Transport,in the shape of taxi's,limo's or minibuses,usually wait on the landside of the terminal,but there are variations.London Heathrow,for instance,allows buses onto the airport and crews are picked up at the aircraft and brought through special exits were an ID check is performed.
Arriving at the hotel we check that the rooms provided are according to the agreement,such as quiet locations,smoking or non-smoking rooms,etc.
Pick-up time next morning is confirmed and a wake-up call in accordance with that is ordered.
I usually note the flying times in a notebook and then enter the flying times in my logbook when I get home.Occasionally,I may have brought my logbook with me on flight duty,and then I enter the details in it after the day's flying is complete.
In SAS,my company,pilots are not required to keep logbooks as the company stores all the necessary data in a database.I've kept logbooks since 1972 and still do.

"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1273 times:

FBU, what aircraft for SAS do you fly? Do you usually just stay at your destination only for one night and go home the next day or does it depend on the length of the flight?

User currently offlineFirebird From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1271 times:

I thought the first destination was the BAR after arriving at the hotel!!!

Sorry, not trying to stir up a hornets nest.............

I have had this discussion with many flight crew members. I personally cannot see the point of being a pilot or flight crew, if on arrival and departure all you see is the bottom of a glass!!!

If I were flight crew, I would want to rest/sleep. Go to the gym or swim have a look around the place I'd then like to have a meal and perhaps a couple of alcoholic drinks.....and not 10 gallons!

Keeping fit is the key to flight crew, not getting pissed on every sector!



User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1267 times:

I fly the MD-80 and -90's
Yes,usually we only stay for one night and then continue next day.
In SAS,we've got 2 different working arrangements:One is the so-called "Fixed Group" in which pilots fly for 5 days then have 4 days off,the other,to which I belong ,is the "Variable Group".I may fly 1,2,3,4 or 5 days in a row with at least 2 days off afterwards.Occasionally,I may have up to 4 days off and 5 days have happened.
It happens from time to time that we spend 2 or 3 nights at one destination,but there will always be some flying during the days in between.
Some nightstops can be as short as 7 or 8 hours,while others may be up to 24 hours.This goes for the short-haul operations.Long-haul is different.Our New York stops are in the region of 24-26 hours,while other destinations might mean up to 3 days.

"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1257 times:

If the stop permits,we usually go out for a meal and a couple of glasses of wine or beer will be the usual drinks that go with it.
Our stops are usually in the region of 10 hours or so and our rules state that SAS pilots should legally be able to drive a car 8 hours before commencing flight duty so that effectively puts paid to anyone getting pissed.
At most destinations we have an agreement with the hotels and/or a nearby gym where we get a disount
and most,if not all,flight crew members take the opportunity to get in some excercise if,and when,they can.
I agree with you completely on the excercise aspect,but I feel the attention on pilots being pissed at stops is much larger than the situation really warrants,as most of these problems have been largely eradicated by the war-time pilots going into retirement during the last 2 decades.

"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1258 times:

As they say, 8 hours from throttle to bottle  Big grin

FBU, sorry If I sound like im getting too personal here. But, I'm a Danish citizen and currently getting my pilots licence with about 12.hrs now in a C152. I am hoping to be hired by an airline (dont we all). I was wondering what the pilot oppurtunities in Denmark are like? Thats if you know about it, since your either in Norway, Denmark or sweden  Big grin

Getting back to the topic here. You coplete the checklists, go through customs/immigration, go to the hotel and rest. What about the start of the next flight? Is it pretty much all that was mentioned above but just in reverse?

User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1267 times:

Yes,it is more or less the same procedure in reverse.However,at som stage we retrieve weather info,Notams and our flight plans.Usually at our company's office or from a computer terminal at the gate.
Congratulations on your choice of carreer!
Your best bet for gaining a job with a company like SAS,Maersk or Sterling will be to graduate from an acknowledged flying school and gaining your hours by flying for commuter or taxi companies.
SAS has an ab initio-program where selected students go through either the Swedish State Airline Pilot Academy,TFHS,or the Norwegian Flight Academy at Bardufoss in Northern Norway.Problem is you have to finance the fun yourself.No mean thing,the cost is at least 600 000NKR for the 2-year course.But if you complete,you are very likely to land a job with SAS or SAS Commuter.
Good luck!!!

"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1254 times:

First of all I'm hoping to finish school here, then I'll try get a scholarship with Qantas (not likely that they will accept me) or just finish my PPL with the local aero club. I have been kind of promised a job with a sky diving group here for when i get my PPL so If I can get some weekend job flying the C182 and make some money while I am at it, then I may be able to soon finance my own training. At the moment my parents are helping my finance the training, but whatever money I make I try to pay them back as quick as possible.

Thanks for everything  Big grin

User currently offlineAria From Iran, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1206 times:

Hi Qantas737

Yes, I agree with FBU 4EVER..it is a great career...most people I work with are happy to be there....about the drinking in slip ports...well, we are Aussies, mate!!..but, generally the amount of frivolity depends on the amount of time in the slip port...we are all getting older, after all!
If you are interested, I went the GA route (being female, in those days, there was no choice..but I would have anyway)...My parents helped tremendously with the financial side, but you always have to work to keep it going...just GET the hours, fly friends around, fly parchute drops etc, just do what you have to do...I went the Instructor route, followed by the instrument rating, multi-engine, etc, because, in those days it was easier to get a job instructing...
As far as the Qantas thing goes...keep your file thick, is the best thing I can say....I used to write to them every month, with my latest hours , or any new experience I had...remember, the people interviewing you, mostly came from a similar background..and they are looking for pilots!..I don't mean today, but, when they do, they are looking for someone like you...dedicated and persistent....just stick with it...the most common factor I have noticed with my colleagues is the will to be there.

See you around

User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1158 times:

Hi Aria,
Thanks for the info. I prefer to go the GA way, since I am not too keen on the RAAF way plus If I were to join the RAAF I would have to seek Australian citizenship which would eliminate my Danish passport and any oppurtunities to move to any Euro country for work. I have put a lot of thought into this and found that this would be the best thing to do.

I have now reached around 14 hours (slowly getting somewhere) and I am definately going to be looking at getting into Metroliners or BAe J32s with Macair or Flight West. Of course building up hours is the hard part. As you said bring friends up and bill them half or trick them into more than half  Big grin

Once again thank you for the info Aria.

User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1157 times:

Hi Qantas 737 - Good luck also from me on your career. I also am self financed, and it turned out to be a long slog with many sacrifices, but an enjoyable one and the end result by far outweighs any of the hardships. Most of us airline pilots are being paid to do the thing we love, which isn't true of many peoples' jobs.

Anyway, I fly around Europe and judging by the amount of Aussie and NZ accents we hear on the RT, and indeed the number we have working for us, I don't think losing your Danish nationality will hurt your chances of getting a job in Europe! Actually theres more to it than this, the ones I know have a British parent or some other legit. connection. And I'm not having a gripe, I only wish it was as easy for us to get jobs down there!

Regards - Musang.

User currently offlineAria From Iran, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1141 times:

Hi Musang,
I agree with what you say, about the advantages outweighing the disadvantages...
Just wanted to remind you, though, that, possibly (and, not, necessarily with your company), that most of the domestic pilots in Australia were "black-listed" during the 1989 pilot's dispute (except the scabs, & the hurriedly-immigrated foreigners), & just about all of them went overseas to get work...except the ones who got out, & took up taxi-driving, & stuff like that...so, spare a thought for some of those Aussie accents you hear on the radio...they went through hell, believe me..&, I have to say, OZ doesen't seem to be so tough to get a job, judging by the accents I work with (but, as you say, all of them legit..)
Hope you get some decent weather there sometime!!

User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1118 times:

Aria - I take your point about the Aus pilots, I wasn't having a go at anyone!

I understand that to get into Qantas one has to put up with two years in the jumpseat on long haul as a "cruise pilot" and/or Captain's "gopher"! Can this be true, and is it just a way of weeding out the real enthusiasts? I heard this from 3 different QF pilots on a recent visit.

Hey, speaking about weather, we went out to see Uluru and the sunset/rise. Weather was so bad the 737 missed the first approach! Anyway I understand its pretty rare to see waterfalls running off the rock!

Regards - Musang.

User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1106 times:

Musang, as far as I know the Qantas "cruise pilot" is indeed true. When first accepted by Qantas you become a second officer where you take the first officers seat during cruise for those whole 2 years. Must be hell. Aria is sure to correct me if I am wrong.


User currently offlineAria From Iran, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1104 times:

Hi Musang & Qantas737

Sorry about the cheap shot on the WX!! serves me right!

About the "cruise pilot" (great name - I'll use that!)..actually, traditionally, they were known as the Captain's sexual adviser, in that, if they said anything the response was "If I want your f*****g advice, I'll ask for it!!!" Ahhh...the good old days....
Yes, every pilot who joins Qantas starts as a Second Officer....this is related to the long flight times of many of our flights, & the CAO flight time limitations. A Second Officer is not licenced to sit in a front seat for take-off & landing...but they are often given the flying for climb, descent etc....sort of "given the sector"....it tends to serve as a sort of apprenticeship, but there is no set time for that. We work on a straight seniority system, so that, when your number for promotion comes up, you get a shot at the training..when business is good, promotional training comes up fairly quickly...& vice versa...It's not really hell (hell is working six days a week, often for 12 hours a day, for $300 a week, before tax!) mostly, I think, we were just so happy to be IN....and, there is a lot to learn in long haul flying.....anyway, the system seems to work fairly well, & it's always good to have another set of eyes on the flight deck...I have often noticed that, the further back towards the flight deck door I am, the better I am at doing everyone's job!!


User currently offlineFlying_steph From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1065 times:

The rule is actually: 8 meters from bottle to throttle.

What's wrong with trying to relax a bit (no matter what you may think, the job brings stress), talking to other crew members, getting to know each other after a entire day of "work", and enjoying life for a few moments before crashing into our beds, snoring for hours ? The bar is the most convenient place in a hotel to do that. If people take a few drinks and still respect the rules, why not ? We're not monks after all ! Most of us already have to forget about having a normal family life... Why can't we have a social life like anybody else ? We're just bus drivers you know !
 Wink/being sarcastic

Of course I don't encourage alcoolism and drinking problems here... but give us a break, folks.

User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 2 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1069 times:

Flying international or "domestic" (national) routes is of little pratical differences... When I flew a contract for Cargolux, was "difficult" to fly any "domestic" sectors...
Flying international simply requires one more formalities on arrival (immigration and customs), some countries make it important and check passports/visas and customs inspect baggage of crews, some hardly make any difference whether the crewmember is on international or domestic flight.
The USA is one of the most restrictive nation for inspection of international crews... I am USA citizen but fly for a foreign airline, and subject to delays for entry inspections...
Dealing with crew transport and hotels is the same for crews assigned to national flights... other than languages, english is generally spoken and understood, yet I speak fluently 4 languages and do well with basics of 2 more languages... and can say hello or thank you (or order a... cold beer) in possibly 20 more languages... My only concern is ending up with money chan

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