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Pilots - When Are They Informed About Aircraft?  
User currently offlinemaddogjt8d From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 401 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4417 times:

Hi All-

I realize the title is a bit ambiguous, let's see if I can give you some context...

This weekend we were slated to fly FLL-ATL, scheduled on a 757. About 3 hours before the flight, I checked the status and we were equipment swapped to a 767-300 (an awesome upgrade BTW!)

My question is - at what point is a pilot informed of the aircraft type he/she will be flying on the legs they are scheduled to fly? Obviously on some fleets where there is only one type, this may not be a factor as the pilot will only be flying one type based on their type rating. But at larger airlines where pilots are type rated on some differing models (A319 vs. A320 vs. A321, or 757 vs. 767, or 73G vs. 738 vs. 739), at what point would the pilot be informed of the type scheduled to be flown? At what point would the pilot be informed that there was an equipment change such as what happened with our flight from FLL?

Thanks for any input!

Andy

[Edited 2011-05-27 11:28:26]

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3152 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4396 times:

When it pulls up to the gate. It's really not that big a deal.


DMI
User currently offlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4341 times:

Maybe not a big deal if you're TR, but what I think the OP means is if the pilot is not TR for that particular eqpt change. How far in advance would the same (said) pilot be awares, or to put it another way, would the roster have the eqpt change in the system within an acceptable time so as to allow for a new crew to be allocated? (To answer my own Q, of course it would but what would a reasonable time be for the change?).
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineYYZRWY23 From Canada, joined Aug 2009, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

Quoting spencer (Reply 2):
How far in advance would the same (said) pilot be awares, or to put it another way, would the roster have the eqpt change in the system within an acceptable time so as to allow for a new crew to be allocated

These kind of swaps can be planned well in advance (so the system updates the pilots schedule and such) or they can be last minute. If for example, a pilot is inbound to an airport, going to switch aircraft, then fly the next leg, he/she would/could be informed via ACARS in-flight saying the equipment has changed and they are no longer operating the flight. This would probably include instructions on the rest of the day (dead-head to another airport, overnight, etc). As for common aircraft under a certain type rating, it can switch at the gate for all they care. Last time I flew CO and visited the flight deck of the 738 the FO had already flown a 735 and 739 that day.

YYZRWY23



If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5716 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4140 times:

Quoting maddogjt8d (Thread starter):

My question is - at what point is a pilot informed of the aircraft type he/she will be flying on the legs they are scheduled to fly?

When they get the flight release. They may find out beforehand based on the published schedule and/or an early swap, but officially it's when they get the release.

If the pilots are not rated for the aircraft that is swapped in, crew scheduling will notify them as such and give them their next assignment. If new pilots are needed, they will be called in or "tagged" from another flight.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently onlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1632 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4135 times:

Back when auto freight was hopping and I was a Lear and Falcon FO we would fly both types on the same day sometimes(you can do that 135). I had a time or two when the stuff would show up, not fit in a Lear and we would get it in the Falcon, get the customer to pay the difference, file a new flight plan, do a pre-flight and off we went. Those were fun days.


Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2843 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3871 times:

As late as when the plane pulls into the gate. If you are qualified on the plane it is of no consequence. If you aren't you will get some kind of routing change to your trip. It happens all the time.

User currently offlinee38 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3494 times:

Andy, with reference to your question, "at what point is a pilot informed of the aircraft type he/she will be flying on the legs they are scheduled to fly?"

As previous posters responded, "it depends."

Normally, when your monthly schedule comes out, generally around the 15th of the month (prior to the next month), the schedule will identify the aircraft scheduled for each flight. In the event of a change, as happened to you on the FLL-ATL flight, if the aircraft change is within the crew's qualification, the crew would not be notified at all. At Delta, the 757/767 qualification is the same (including all 757-200s, 757-300s, and 767-300s), so in your case, it really would have made no difference to the crew whether they were working a 757 or 767-300. The A319/A320 qualification is the same, as well as the A330-200/A330-300 and MD-88/MD-90 (currently only MSP and CVG based MD-88 crews are also qualified on the MD-90 but that is changing to qualify all MD-88 pilots on the MD-90). The 737-700/737-800 qualification is the same. The 767-400 is a separate qualification from the 757/767-300 category and of course, the 747-400, 777, and DC9 qualifications are separate from any other aircraft. Previously, the qualification on the DC9-10/30/40/and 50 was the same.


If the crew had been laying over in Fort Lauderdale prior to the day's flight, they would have received a call from scheduling informing them they would not be working the flight (deadheading or working a different flight). Or, as YYZRWY23 and PGNCS stated, crews are often notified in flight by scheduling (via ACARS) of schedule changes.

e38


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4751 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3332 times:

With the 75 /67 Aircraft I have had a mechanical in a 767 and switched to a 757 (and vice versa) with just a call from flight operations.


No big deal, of course we need new paperwork which can be sent to the new gate or we pick up in the weather / flight planning room.


If we had been planned on 767 originally and switch to the 757 we still will be paid at the wide body rate as well !



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinemaddogjt8d From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 401 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

Fascinating stuff, I never knew things worked like that. Thanks for all of your responses, very helpful!

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