airlineecon
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Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:09 am

I have a several questions about pilots that I bet a lot of you could address. (This is my first topic starter on A.net)

I was under the impression that to fly commercial jets in the US its almost impossible to do it without first having flown for the military. I guess this isn't true anymore in the US, but do military pilots have better job prospects? Second what about pilots in countries besides the US. For example do Korean, Korean Air pilots start out in the military?


Is there, (or was there) an old boys network among pilots? Just for example, are AA pilots ex-navy and prefer new hires that are ex-navy. And UAL pilots ex-airforce and hire ex-airforce.

A few more to go...

What about pilots flying for foreign airlines? Are Cathay pilots from Hong Kong or Korean air pilots from Korea? I suppose not, but is there a shift from foreign to local pilots on these airlines? Do local ones get paid less?

Finally, with all the talk about foreign ownership of airlines in the US, are there foreign pilots that fly jets for US airlines? If not, is there strict regulation that prohibits it? What about Europe?
 
futurecaptain
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:28 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
but do military pilots have better job prospects?

Most employers have hiring minimums for pilots, they include total time, multi engine time for most airlines, and some even want jet time. While total time is easy to build as is multi time as a flight instructor it is hard to get jet time as a civilian without a real job. Unless you have money or know somebody, we all know it's about who you know, not what. As far as having better job prospects a military pilot will most likely have an ample amount of jet time logged in a very structured and safety oriented way, thus making a resume with military experience look a bit better. Not to say we civilian pilots are out of luck, hell, I am one. We just work harder at showing off other sides of our abilities.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
are there foreign pilots that fly jets for US airlines?

AFAIK anyone who is going to command a FAA registered aircraft is going to have a FAA issued license. As far as I know this is the same in other countries. This is why Boeing and Airbus put temporary registrations on new aircraft, so their test pilots can fly the plane. Then the registration for the airline is painted on, the airline takes delivery and sends its own crew to take the craft home.
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BladeLWS
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:30 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

They come in 747's instead of storks!

LOL
 
HAL
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:32 am

Where do we come from?

Well, there's this special magical tree deep in the forbidden forest, and on nights when the moon is full a circle of elfin maidens appears out of the darkness and starts dancing around the tree to the throbbing beat of Whitney Houston music...

Oops, almost let the secret out there!

In all seriousness (ha - bet you never thought you'd hear an airline pilot say that!!), the airlines in the US today are mostly made up of civilian pilots, especially those hired in the last ten years or so. The US military has been shrinking the number of pilots turned out each year, and has been doing more to retain those that they have for longer periods of time. Most civilian US pilots these days have either gone through an aviation school/college like Embry-Riddle, or gone the old fashioned way (as I did) of getting their ratings at the local flight school and picked up time by being a flight instructor, parachute jump pilot, cargo pilot etc.

At the majors (at least the ones I've been to) there is a sort of old-boy network, but it mostly applies to people that the current pilots know, not necessarily pilots from a particular branch of the military. Personal recommendations count for a lot when an airline hires, because there are a lot of pilots that may meet the minimum requirements to fly for an airline, but the airline also wants pilots that they have some knowledge of in terms of their personality and flying skills & habits. That comes from personal knowledge of that applicant by another current pilot at that airline. It's a small business, and who you know counts for a lot.

You don't have to be a US citizen to fly for a US airline, but you do have to have at least a green card.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
graphic
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:42 am

Quoting HAL (Reply 3):
Well, there's this special magical tree deep in the forbidden forest, and on nights when the moon is full a circle of elfin maidens appears out of the darkness and starts dancing around the tree to the throbbing beat of Whitney Houston music...

I came from mommy and daddy's special night out, does that mean I can't be a pilot now?  Wink
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airlineecon
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:53 am

Quoting Graphic (Reply 4):
I came from mommy and daddy's special night out, does that mean I can't be a pilot now?

OK: bad title for the topic

Another question: Do pilots have a lot of job mobility? Can you bounce around from airline to airline to advance your career, or do you tend to stick with one your whole career?

For the jokers out there, of course they have job mobility, their job is to move hunks of metal around the globe.
 
MCOflyer
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:59 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 5):
do you tend to stick with one your whole career?

Some tend to stick with one your whole career. My friend has 20 years at United and has nearly flown all their a/c that they use currently.

MCOflyer
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calpilot
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:02 am

The last few classes at one major airline I know; 14 military, 49 civilian.
 
futurecaptain
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:09 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 5):
Do pilots have a lot of job mobility?

Being a pilot is all about senority. The longer you stay at one place the more older people retire and you move up the list. If you change jobs generally you are put on the bottom of the senority list for the new company. Many pilots stay at one major job their whole life.
Senority affects everything, the routes you bid on, the times you work/are off, the aircraft you fly, ect. The more senior you are the better chance you have of getting to fly routes you like, when you want to fly them, on the aircraft type that is your favorite.
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highflyer9790
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:09 am

What is the hiring outllok 10 years from now do you think? will the legacies have a hiring trend due to retirements?
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airlineecon
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:33 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
Being a pilot is all about senority.

There is something about the seniority system that strikes me as quite odd. For just about every other high skilled professional job out there, people don't just wait for the guy above them to retire. They bid their services around to lots of companies and get promotions that way. And if you're the guy above, you always have to worry about somebody taking your place who could do a better job.

You hear reports that the average college grad will have something like 9 jobs in their career. In theory, this sort of job mobility promotes efficiency.

Why not the same for pilots? My hunch is that its an artifact of the labor union contracts. (Lets not start a conversation criticizing pilot unions)
 
graphic
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:36 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 10):

Why not the same for pilots? My hunch is that its an artifact of the labor union contracts. (Lets not start a conversation criticizing pilot unions)

Pretty much the unions.
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AlexPorter
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:38 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 2):
They come in 747's instead of storks!

LOL

That's the first thing I thought when I saw the title, too!

Except I was gonna say something more like "A 737 painted like a stork flies over the house and drops baby pilots down the chimney."

But on a more serious note, I believe that a good portion of pilots come from the military. It is common to find Air Force Academy graduates flying commercial jets.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
thegooddoctor
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:40 am

Quoting HAL (Reply 3):
Where do we come from?

Well, there's this special magical tree deep in the forbidden forest, and on nights when the moon is full a circle of elfin maidens appears out of the darkness and starts dancing around the tree to the throbbing beat of Whitney Houston music...

LOL! Don't let him fool you - there really is whitney houston music involved, but the circle of elfin maidens is probably only something that occurs in the "production" of SOME airline pilots  Wink
The GoodDoctor
 
highflyer9790
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:52 am

Also, unlike other jobs, there is no merit pay as a pilot or promotions due to merit.
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HAL
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:54 am

Quoting Graphic (Reply 11):
Pretty much the unions.

You can say that, but (without getting into pro/con union hype) there is a reason for it; one agreed upon years ago by the airlines and the unions.

In a job where safety is paramount and so much responsibility and thousands human lives ride on the shoulders of the pilots, both the airlines and unions decided that there should be a way to take 'politics and greed' out of the hiring/promotion part of the equation. The thought ran that if you were promoted based on performance as judged by the company, some pilots would cut corners to look good to their bosses. Pilots might take chances, and maybe try and land in less than legal weather, or push a flight running low on fuel so they'll have a better on-time record than the next guy when upgrades were being handed out. If the hiring/upgrade/promotion part of the job was handled strictly on a seniority basis, then the possibility of getting a promotion based on unsafe actions was ruled out. In concert with that idea, the unions police their own members in order to ensure the highest level of safety is observed, and that we are all trained and tested to the highest possible level. Believe me, there are many, many eyes looking over our shoulders watching what we do, making sure we are safe and standard in what we do. If we fail a checkride or upgrade, we have very limited options for a 'redo' before we are on the street. We work for safety first, not to look good for possible promotions. Yes, this plan means that if we leave one job we end up back at the bottom of the seniority ladder at the new company. But in return, the flying public (and us pilots and our families too) have the knowledge that the airlines are being flown as safely as possible, without personal gain or greed on the part of the pilots being involved.

Now before you go and tell me that is so much tripe, think about how much office politics there is at your job where you have to vie for promotions not only with your co-workers, but with outsiders who want the job too. Haven't entire books, TV series and more been produced based on just such office backstabbing? Don't you think that such stuff should be (and is) removed from the hiring and promotion of airline pilots? Shouldn't the safety of our passengers (and in connection, ourselves) be the primary factor in how we work? I believe the answer is yes.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
lowrider
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:11 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Kick over any decent sized rock and you will find a few.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 5):
Do pilots have a lot of job mobility?

Depends on how much hiring is going on.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 5):
Can you bounce around from airline to airline to advance your career, or do you tend to stick with one your whole career?

Both occur. It partially depends on how your selected carrier fares. For example, imagine what the Eastern guys who got hired on at TWA were thinking in about 1995. It also depends on your goals. If, for example, Continental is your goal and no other airline will do, you will do whatever you need to do to be competative for the job. If a particular aircraft or level of income is you goal, you will alter your strategy accordingly. If you are fortunate, you

Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 9):
What is the hiring outllok 10 years from now do you think? will the legacies have a hiring trend due to retirements?

No one can say for certain. You might as well ask a magic 8 ball. Lots of theories though. Some people think it is a 7 year cycle, others a 12 year cycle. Some say even numbered years are better than odds.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 10):
There is something about the seniority system that strikes me as quite odd.

It was implemented to help reduce favoritism. It still occurs at non-union shops without a defined merit system.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 10):
You hear reports that the average college grad will have something like 9 jobs in their career. In theory, this sort of job mobility promotes efficiency.

Why not the same for pilots? My hunch is that its an artifact of the labor union contracts. (Lets not start a conversation criticizing pilot unions)

I dont know what leads you to believe this is the case. I can tell you for certain that many, if not the majority of pilots go through just as many companies as anyone else. There is more to it than just the majors. There are various flight schools, traffic watch, towing banners, flying pipelines, fire watch, hauling checks, 135 freight, charter passenger, commuters, regionals, etc. Your typical airline pilot may go through any number of these during thier career.
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highflyer9790
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:58 am

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 16):
Your typical airline pilot may go through any number of these during thier career.

and start out with no seniority each time.... sarcastic 
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MCOflyer
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:10 am

Over at American Eagle there is a pilot named Sam who has lots of seniority. He has flown nearly all of thier a/c and will retire soon. Saw this in airliner world article.

MCOflyer
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JRDC930
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:15 am

Hi welcome to Anet, as a student pilot myself finishing up my instrument rating, i can tell you its not necessarily impossible to fly airliners without flying for the military. Im going to a flight operations program at a college in Salt Lake city. the downside however is its quite a bit more expensive (guaranteed debt for at lest 10-15 years), and you dont necessarily finish up with enough hours to get hired. the outlook for the next 5 years based on my information at my school is good especially with large pilot shortages expected. In SLC for example SkyWest is hiring like crazy and is expected to for at least 5 to 6 years. The hardest part of training outside the military is getting Multi-engine time, its the most expensive and hard to come by. My school does have a multi-engine trainer thou, a Piper Seminole, but i dont really start that until i start my multi engine rating. In short there are lots of ways to become a pilot, but the military is probably one of the cheapest, but also the hardest to get into. The military is highly selective, but you can get almost as good a training at a good flight college as in the military. Hope this helps, im not an airline pilot Yet, but i think ive got a decent idea of how to get there... Smile
JRDC930
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cirrusdriver
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:20 am

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 12):
"A 737 painted like a stork flies over the house and drops baby pilots down the chimney."

Now days, baby pilot's are shot through the window on a laser guided missile system, by a 737 painted like a stealth bomber. Some are more like bunker busters (see some Mesa pilots).

I am taking the expensive route. With a pair of 4 year degrees, and a jumbo sized "flying" loan I am in trouble when the deferment period expires! I now instruct at an academy in Glendale, AZ. where we are currently under review from the Chinese government to train they're future pilots.

[Edited 2007-04-09 04:51:40]
 
highflyer9790
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:21 am

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 18):
Over at American Eagle there is a pilot named Sam who has lots of seniority. He has flown nearly all of thier a/c and will retire soon. Saw this in airliner world article.

if that was repsonce to my post, sorry i meant that seniority cant be carried airline to airline...
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lowrider
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:43 am

Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 17):
and start out with no seniority each time

Its part of the price you pay. You won't go straight from a flight school to a United or a Southwest. Each time you change jobs you have to weigh what you are gaining verses the loss of seniority. Its a fact of life in the business, like the medicals and checkrides. No sense in complaining about it. Accept it or find a way to change it.
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JRDC930
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:54 am

Quoting CirrusDriver (Reply 20):
I am taking the expensive route.

Same as me...  Smile it will be interesting to see how i pay off my loans on the measly salary a Regional Airline Pilot makes, but at least it will be something i love to do, its too bad that the military options are much less viable now days...
U.S. Legacy carriers,STILL leaders in lowering industry standards...
 
jetjeanes
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:18 pm

I think Cathay pacific is the only airline ive heard of hireing a greenhorn off the street and send him to school to fly a 747.. they must have some intense training
i can see for 80 miles
 
graphic
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:26 pm

Quoting HAL (Reply 15):
Now before you go and tell me that is so much tripe, think about how much office politics there is at your job where you have to vie for promotions not only with your co-workers, but with outsiders who want the job too.

Actually I'm an unemployed student pilot, aspiring to be the airline pilot type  Wink

While we're on the subject of unions, I think the things you say are very true, the only problem I have with the unions is the favoritism they seem to have with higher seniority, not so much for promotional purposes like you describe, but specifically, pay issues. Technology is progressing to the point where, except the actual hands-on driving, flying a CRJ is going to be about the same workload as a 767 (it seems). I'm not advocating a flat pay scale by any means, but when the newbies to the industry find themselves doing the overall bulk of the flying, for pay that barely breaks the poverty line, whereas the 58 year-old vets fly only about whenever they want to just meet minimums and get paid very handsomly to boot, its kinda unfair (yeah I know, you work longer you get rewarded, life is tough, yada yada).

Examples of pay scales:
USAirways A330 captain 16yrs: $160/hr x 72hour/month guarantee = $138,240/yr
Flying 72 flight hours/month, say an average A330 flight is 8 hours duration, means that an A330 captain at US works for 9 days a month. That's at minimum hours. I'll wager a guess that a US A330 captain spends 14 days a month at work, and probably spends 10-12 hours actually "at work" with one, maybe two flights to work.

Pinnacle CRJ F/O New hire: $21/hr x 75hour/month guarantee = $18,900/yr
Flying 75 flight hours/month, say an average CRJ flight is 1.5 hours, means that a CRJ F/O at 9E works just about a full schedule, say 20 days a month, averaging 2.5 flights a day. Since it's damn near impossible to fly half a flight  Wink , I'll say 3 flights a day. So 3 legs of 1.5 = 4.5 flight hours, + 45 minutes between the two flights = 6 hours, plus an hour at work before first flight/after last flight, means a Pinnacle pilot is probably working 8 hours every day, assuming everything runs completely smoothly (I keep feeling like 8 is a low number, anyone care to correct?). Quite often things don't (as the NW 757 at LAS thread demonstrates), on that last flight of the day, the pilots could have been awake for almost 24 hours before even starting the flight. At what point do I, as a passenger, have to question the safe completion of the flight because the flightcrew can barely keep their eyes open?

A question for the pilots on here: How many of you have been the guy that looked over to the person in the seat next to you, to see your other crewmember nodded off in their seatstraps? How many of you have been the guy nodded off in the seatstraps? Under normal conditions, I'm sure it's perfectly safe, but what if something goes wrong? How would you react if you woke up to alarm bells?
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Curmudgeon
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:31 pm

My airline does this from time to time. The only catch is the applicant has to have $110,000 for the training, after which a job is pretty much a given. The trade-off is the high pay for new hires: 65K in S/O training, 120K line pay first year rising to approx 150K for S/O on 744 (3rd year). (aud=.82 u.s.)
Jets are for kids
 
airlineecon
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:42 pm

Quoting CirrusDriver (Reply 20):
where we are currently under review from the Chinese government to train they're future pilots.

Chinese aviation is growing quickly, and I guess they don't have enough home grown pilots yet. What are the pros/cons of flying in China? Is it a fast track to flying bigger jets for younger pilots, and then come back to the US, Australia, wherever to fly big jets, without the heavy workload of flying RJ's first?
 
HAL
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:47 pm

Graphic, there is a fairly simple explanation to the pay scale differences;

A330 Captain = 300+ lives he has final responsible for
CRJ FO = 1 life he has final responsibility for, and 50 others he shares responsibility for.

By Federal Air Regulations, the Captain has final responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft, and for everyone else onboard.

Pay at the airlines is decided during contract negotiations between the pilots (or their union) and the airline management. As a simple business decision, the people who run the airlines have decided that greater responsibility deserves higher pay. Of course there will always be people who hate the idea of unions and will scream bloody murder about their greediness, and there's no amount of rational debate that can change their minds. But in the real world, it's not all about the number of days worked, or the number of hours flown, or the number of landings made. If that were true I'd still be back flying Navajos out of Fairbanks Alaska and making more than I do now as an FO on a 767. But on one flight in the 767 I have as many people on my plane as I flew in a couple of weeks out of Fairbanks. If I made a mistake in the Navajo, I might have splattered three or four of us across the tundra, and it would have been a big story in Fairbanks, and a minor page 13 item in Seattle, and most likely the airline would continue operation. If I make a mistake in the 767, 250+ people die, it becomes world-wide news, and an airline with a 78 year history and 3000+ employees teeters on the brink of failure. The amount of responsibility is reflected in the pay we make, not only for the job we do, but for the responsibility to our passengers and our employers. Of course if you want to look at it in a different way, I make a lot less now per passenger than I did back in Alaska, so it's all in how you look at things.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
graphic
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:22 pm

Quoting CirrusDriver (Reply 20):
where we are currently under review from the Chinese government to train they're future pilots.

My current instructor is also instructing future China Air Lines pilots as per their contract with my school, and there are also quite a few Saudi Arabian students here from a school in Ryadh.

Quoting HAL (Reply 28):
CRJ FO = 1 life he has final responsibility for, and 50 others he shares responsibility for.

With the amount of CRM taking place these days, I can't see how that argument quite stands anymore. True, the FARs do give full final authority to the captain, and by legal standards yes, but with so much shared responsibility that is taught today I think it needs to be considered that, though the captain runs the ship, everyone in the flight crew is responsible for the safety of the passengers.

In Aviation Safety class, we aren't taught "Captain is the be all and end all," we are taught "Safety is everyone's business." That means that CRM is key, the bigger the loop the better. For example, you see the oil temp gauge on one engine run yellow, you're 15 minutes from destination, what do you do? Some pilots would just shut down the engine, but you read the checklist and it says "may be run in yellow for 15 minutes." Do you question the pilot or just shut down the engine? If you shut down the engine and develop another problem later, you might wish you hadn't, but the probability of that is fairly low...low enough to just go with what the pilot tells you, or do you bring it up? Say you did bring it up and the engine is still running, you go to start final approach and bring up the power as the flaps are added, and sure enough the engine temp spikes red, the captain says shut 'er down. Do you go with captains word then, or do you bring up the checklist again that says "may be run for 5 minutes in red." You're on final by now, on the ground in 2 minutes, do you bring it up to the captain, or just shut down the engine? "Nah...shut 'er down, we'll be fine without it." Ok, you shut it down.

2 mile final, one engine, and you encounter a bird strike in the good engine. What then?
Demand Media fails at life
 
HAL
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:20 pm

Graphic,

I agree with everything you're saying. I've been through many CRM classes over the years and I fully agree with what the process is trying to accomplish. However you glossed over the fact that it is the Captain that is PIC, and his decisions are the ones that count in court if something goes wrong. Yes, as an FO I have a duty to inform the Captain if something is going wrong that he doesn't notice, and between the two of us we need to make sure we are making the right decision. In fact, that kind of decision making is one of the biggest part of the interview process at most airlines. If you don't have the right attitude, you won't make it to the airlines to begin with. The only qualitative difference between him and me is that he's been at the airline longer, and it's his name that is signed on the flight plan: When you get to fly for a part 121 airline you will fully understand what that difference means. That covers the difference in pay between the Captain and the FO, but has little bearing on the difference between 747 pilot and RJ pilot. I guess in my previous post I should have listed an RJ Captain instead of an RJ FO - that's more of an apples-to-apples comparison. Those differences have much more to do with the size of the aircraft, the number of passengers, and the financial risk posed to the airline every time a larger aircraft takes off. That is why the pay scales for pilots of larger aircraft are more than those of smaller ones.

HAL

[Edited 2007-04-09 07:22:23]
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
aircanada014
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:50 pm

My joined the Royal Canadian Airforce for 10years and with all of his experience of flying with the AirForce he decided to join the airline, Air Canada. So thats how he joined the airline and start flying Boeings and McDonald Douglas planes.
 
burnsie28
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RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:04 pm

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
I was under the impression that to fly commercial jets in the US its almost impossible to do it without first having flown for the military. I guess this isn't true anymore in the US, but do military pilots have better job prospects?

Not anymore, most of the pilots in the military are older when they come out, airlines are also looking towards places like University of North Dakota, Embry Riddle, Middle Tennessee and other places like those now.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
Is there, (or was there) an old boys network among pilots? Just for example, are AA pilots ex-navy and prefer new hires that are ex-navy. And UAL pilots ex-airforce and hire ex-airforce.

No.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
What about pilots flying for foreign airlines? Are Cathay pilots from Hong Kong or Korean air pilots from Korea?

Most asian carriers have a lot of American's and british. Cathay for example has thier big pilot base in San Francisco.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
are there foreign pilots that fly jets for US airlines?

Yes, NW has a few from Jamaica, as do many other airlines.
 
AA717driver
Posts: 1502
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:27 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:12 pm

Graphic--HAL is being very polite and charitable. I think you will have a very different idea of how things work 10-15 years from now.

The decision-making process in the cockpit is not democratic. The Captain has an obligation to CONSIDER all factors including input from the FO (and even OAL jumpseaters) but the final decision MUST be made by the Captain.

Do yourself a favor, when you get out of school go get a job flying single-pilot night freight. It will either kill you (natural selection) or make you a really good pilot. You'll get better experience doing that job than in a lifetime of sitting in the right seat of a CRJ.

Have fun! TC
FL450, M.85
 
727forever
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:50 pm

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:46 pm

Anyways, back on topic a bit...

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 5):
Another question: Do pilots have a lot of job mobility? Can you bounce around from airline to airline to advance your career, or do you tend to stick with one your whole career?

Think of it from a building blocks perspective. Your first "airline" job will probably be flying a turboprop or rj for crappy pay. You will stay there for 5-7 years, make captain on the said turboprop or rj, then start applying to other carriers. If you are lucky you will have accumulated the experience and have friends at a major to help you get an interview. If not, you may have to make an interim jump to a company that is not the "dream job" but is better, with better equipment and better pay than flying the rj around. From there you will gain the experience needed to have a better shot at your dream carrier. It is possible that you could have an airline go under or you could get furloughed during this rise which throws everything out the window. If this happens you will have to start your current phase over which guarantees another couple of years stuck in your phase. This is where I am now and yes it sucks. Really sucks. That's part of the game.

Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 9):
What is the hiring outllok 10 years from now do you think? will the legacies have a hiring trend due to retirements?

I think the age 60 rule change to 65 is going to slow things down for the short term outlook, but I see things really changing after that. My opinion only, but I see so many pilots who are in the RJ Captain and have been for the last 5 years stage getting burned out and saying "I can make so much more money doing something else and sleep in my own bed everynight" and leaving the industry that this could create a shortage down the road. When you combine this with the fact that student starts are almost non-existant in about 10-15 years, yes we could be in serious trouble. We already are seeing signs of this at airlines such as Mesa, Comair, TSA, and others that pay their pilots "minimum wage."

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 10):
You hear reports that the average college grad will have something like 9 jobs in their career. In theory, this sort of job mobility promotes efficiency.

Why not the same for pilots? My hunch is that its an artifact of the labor union contracts.

HAL pretty much has the reason for this spot on. However, this doesn't mean that it is perfect or that it doesn't need to be changed. I for one am of the opinion that ALPA should have a national seniority system that allows pilots to carry their seniority with them to another carrier under certain circumstances. Other unions do this and it gives them much greater strength. Time will tell.

Hope this helps answer some of your questions.

727forever
727forever
 
jpdflymhtmlb
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:47 pm

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:55 pm

As far as how the industry is looking over the next couple of years, you can already start to see a trend right now, with many of the majors calling back furloughed pilots, and the regionals are constantly hiring and even lowering minimums to insanely low numbers, we were told the other day of a regional looking for 250/50 (250 total and 50 hours multi time), which is unheard of, meaning they are getting desperate for new pilots. If the age 65 rule goes into effect, I could see some slowing down, but who knows what political hurdles have to be crossed before that takes effect.

Fly
Landings are just controlled crashes.
 
georgiaame
Posts: 955
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:57 pm

The stork brings them, when they are very little.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
Gr8Circle
Posts: 2397
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:44 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Thread starter):
Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

From planet Earth, to the best of my knowledge... Big grin
 
TIA
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:42 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:42 am

Quoting HAL (Reply 28):
If I made a mistake in the Navajo, I might have splattered three or four of us across the tundra, and it would have been a big story in Fairbanks, and a minor page 13 item in Seattle, and most likely the airline would continue operation. If I make a mistake in the 767, 250+ people die

While I see where you going with this, it's not that simple. I don't think that when you were flying in Alaska you were being less rigorous about your job since fewer people could lose their lives. In that aspect, the responsibilities are the same. If you and your passengers died who cares if you made world wide news rather than local news. However, one can argue that a pilot who flies larger jets tends to fly from busy airports and air spaces where there is less room for error so to say. I would rather see pilots get paid on the level of flight difficulty, rather than just seniority, but I'm sure that there are other issues with that which I might be ignoring.
 
f4f3a
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:07 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:38 am

In the us it seems from the posts that the flight deck is an autocratic environment and that the Fo has limited responsibilites and role. In my company however FOs are not seen in this way but more as 'captains in training' in our sops encourage FOs in the decision making process.


In regard also to the original post you can go strait to flying jets i did this myself. strait after flying school ME IR atpl on a light a/c to a Boeing 737-7. You dont need to have worked your way up through instructing and turboprops.

My brother also went straight onto 757 /767 getting his 200th flying hour on a jet.

In relation to nationalitys at airlines in europe anyway its fairly mulitnational. our pilots come from everywhere Europe US canada Asia and Australia
 
Yflyer
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:25 am

Funny that this thread should come up now, because I had a sort of related question I was thinking of starting a thread about.

When a pilot is applying for his (or her) first airline job with an airline like Mesa, does he need to have a CRJ type rating (for example) before applying for the job, or does the airline train the pilot on the type of aircraft he'll be flying after he's hired?

Along the same lines, if a pilot's been with a major airline for a while, and has the opportunity to move up from say the 737 to the 757, does the airline provide that training, or does he have to do it on his own time, and out of his own pocket?
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 40):
When a pilot is applying for his (or her) first airline job with an airline like Mesa, does he need to have a CRJ type rating

No. In fact, at many regionals, a pulse is sufficient, currently.

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 40):
or does the airline train the pilot on the type of aircraft he'll be flying after he's hired?

Usually, with a few notable exceptions. Southwest requires a 737 type to be hired. Some other companies want to see any transport catagory type, probably to show you can pass the ride. Short term contract jobs usually require you to be current and qualified in the aircraft. Corporate flying is a whole other story.

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 40):
Along the same lines, if a pilot's been with a major airline for a while, and has the opportunity to move up from say the 737 to the 757, does the airline provide that training,

Yes

[Edited 2007-04-09 19:46:26]
Proud OOTSK member
 
brettbrett21
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:08 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting Jpdflymhtmlb (Reply 35):
As far as how the industry is looking over the next couple of years, you can already start to see a trend right now, with many of the majors calling back furloughed pilots, and the regionals are constantly hiring and even lowering minimums to insanely low numbers, we were told the other day of a regional looking for 250/50 (250 total and 50 hours multi time), which is unheard of, meaning they are getting desperate for new pilots. If the age 65 rule goes into effect, I could see some slowing down, but who knows what political hurdles have to be crossed before that takes effect.

Fly

Ryanair currently only wants 200 total and 100 multi:

Entry requirements

To qualify as cadet applicants must have a valid JAR Frozen ATPL (Air Transport Pilots Licence), which can be obtained from a JAR (Joint Aviation Requirement), approved flying school. A list of JAR approved flying schools can be obtained from the CAA website.

JAR approved flying schools offer either an integrated course or a modular course.

Cadets who have conducted an integrated course need to have a minimum of 100 hours Pilot in Command (PIC) and a total time of around 200 hours.

http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/about.php?sec=careers&ref=NJAR25
i'm so excited i wish i could wet my pants!
 
cirrusdriver
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:29 pm

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 27):
Is it a fast track to flying bigger jets for younger pilots, and then come back to the US, Australia, wherever to fly big jets, without the heavy workload of flying RJ's first?

From what I have heard (believe me, that's not saying much) my flight school has offered to conduct the training for ALL of China's future pilots, instead of a portion of them. That is, Chinese born citizens who qualify. As we speak...err.... type, a team of Chinese officials are at the school conducting the final sight inspection. If we are accepted (it looks like we will be) they will be shipped here, taken all the way to the ATP written (yes, they will get all of the CFI ratings) and sent back to China where they will be placed directly into the right seat of a jet aircraft.

I have also heard of U.S. born pilots taking jobs in China to get the experience. In fact, I heard that both those drunk America West pilots who were caught in Miami are now flying there.
 
airlineecon
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:22 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:10 am

Quoting CirrusDriver (Reply 43):
I have also heard of U.S. born pilots taking jobs in China to get the experience. In fact, I heard that both those drunk America West pilots who were caught in Miami are now flying there.

Wow! They must be really short of Pilots
 
threepoint
Posts: 1292
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:31 am

Quoting JetJeanes (Reply 24):
I think Cathay pacific is the only airline ive heard of hireing a greenhorn off the street and send him to school to fly a 747.. they must have some intense training

Many larger carriers used to do this (BA comes to mind), but most have abandoned the ab-initio cadet training approach. And yes, the training and the entry requiremnents were very demanding.

Quoting AirlineEcon (Reply 27):
Chinese aviation is growing quickly, and I guess they don't have enough home grown pilots yet. What are the pros/cons of flying in China? Is it a fast track to flying bigger jets for younger pilots, and then come back to the US, Australia, wherever to fly big jets,

While the Chinese are currently short of Chinese pilots, they have addressed that shortage by training thousands of young cadets worldwide. Most westerners flying in China are not 'gaining experience' in hopes of landing a major job at home, they have that experience already.

Quoting TIA (Reply 38):
I would rather see pilots get paid on the level of flight difficulty, rather than just seniority, but I'm sure that there are other issues with that which I might be ignoring.

One could argue that the single-pilot Navajo flight in Alaska is much much more difficult and demanding than the heavy jets out of larger airports, the latter of which generally enjoy the benefits of a large support staff that the overworked Piper pilot can only dream about.

Quoting F4f3a (Reply 39):
In regard also to the original post you can go strait to flying jets i did this myself. strait after flying school ME IR atpl on a light a/c to a Boeing 737-7.

I'm guessing you hired somebody to write your resume?

Quoting CirrusDriver (Reply 43):
my flight school has offered to conduct the training for ALL of China's future pilots, instead of a portion of them.

I'll bet a lot of flight schools have offered, but the chances of training all that country's pilots are well, slim at best. There are many Chinese flight schools that would have something to say about that development.

Quoting CirrusDriver (Reply 43):
If we are accepted (it looks like we will be) they will be shipped here, taken all the way to the ATP written (yes, they will get all of the CFI ratings) and sent back to China where they will be placed directly into the right seat of a jet aircraft.

A common occurrence in Canada, the US and Australia at schools which cater to students from countries where aviation is booming, but the training infrastructure lacks. India and China are the biggies - although the Chinese are quickly building their own system. The first five students I taught went from C150 to Seneca to the right seat of a 737 (4 students) or an A320 (1 student), each with a grand total of 250 hours, an ICAO license with Group 1 instrument rating and a passing grade in the Indian aviation authority's commercial pilot exam. Say what you will about that country, but the Indian exam rivals any in Europe and makes the North American equivalents look like jokes.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
HAL
Posts: 1743
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 1:38 am

RE: Where Do Airline Pilots Come From?

Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:33 pm

Quoting TIA (Reply 38):
While I see where you going with this, it's not that simple. I don't think that when you were flying in Alaska you were being less rigorous about your job since fewer people could lose their lives. In that aspect, the responsibilities are the same. If you and your passengers died who cares if you made world wide news rather than local news.

I think you missed the point somewhat on this. I was trying to say that it isn't the pilot who cared less if involved in an accident, but rather the company who employs them. At a smaller company (especially in places like Alaska) there is a certain amount of 'breakage' expected. If I had somehow messed up and killed myself along with a couple of passengers, it wouldn't affect whichever airline I'm flying for as much as crashing a 767 load of people into a mountain would. The risks for the company are higher for larger airplanes, and in response to that risk, the airlines pay the pilots more.

I wouldn't dream of saying that I flew with less precision or professionalism in Alaska - I try to be the best no matter what type of aircraft I'm flying. The difference is in the company and the effect a crash would have on them.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.

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