brian415
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:05 pm

pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:51 pm

I wanted to know which of the scenarios below are permitted from a regulatory/safety perspective (FAA) and/or airline policy perspective. This question relates to what kind of equipment pilots are allowed to pilot on consecutive legs of their journey. Some aircraft have common type ratings that are built-in (e.g. 757 and 767), while other type ratings are granted, based on pilots taking "diff" training (e.g. A330 and A350). In other cases, I know that some pilots have type ratings on aircraft that are completely unrelated (e.g. E190 and A320). Lastly, I wanted to know if there are minimum wait times that a pilot (with multiple type ratings already under their belt) must wait to switch flying let's say, from 737s on a regular basis to A320s on a regular basis, in order to avoid pilot confusion on how to fly the thing.

Scenario 1 - pilot is type rated for both 757/767 (of course these aircraft share a common type rating):
leg 1: SFO -> ORD (pilot flies 767)
leg 2: ORD -> BOS (same pilot files 757 after layover/rest)

Scenario 2 - pilot has type ratings for A330 and A350 (has taken the differences training):
leg 1: JFK -> CDG (pilot flies A350)
leg 2: CDG -> AMS (same pilot files A330 after layover/rest)

Scenario 3 - pilot has type ratings for 777 and 787:
leg 1: LAX -> HNL (pilot flies 777)
leg 2: HNL -> NRT (same pilot files 787 after layover/rest)

Scenario 4 - pilot has type ratings for MD-80, MD-90 and 717:
leg 1: SEA -> MSP (pilot flies MD-80)
leg 2: MSP -> ATL (same pilot files MD-90 after layover/rest)
leg 3: ATL -> MCO (same pilot files 717 after layover/rest)

Scenario 5 - pilot has type ratings for unrelated equipment (A320 and E190):
leg 1: LAX -> FLL (pilot flies A320)
leg 2: FLL -> BOS (same pilot files E190 after layover/rest)

Scenario 6 - pilot has type ratings for unrelated equipment (A350 and 747):
leg 1: SEA -> SEL (pilot flies 747-8)
leg 2: SEL -> SIN (same pilot files A350 after layover/rest)
 
739er
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:53 am

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:23 am

it’s not about being type rated on a particular aircraft that determines what you can fly, it’s about maintaining currency on the particular aircraft. Maintaining currency involves successfully completing a recurrent simulator check ride in the aircraft type every 9 to 12 months as well as completion of aircraft specific recurrent ground training. All of this is mandated in the airline’s Ops Specs as per the FAA (in the U.S.)...Of course, the pilot must first complete initial training on the particular aircraft when they are hired, upgraded, or transitioning from another aircraft type. Initial training usually takes 4 weeks or more. Pilots bid what aircraft they want to fly and are awarded those positions in seniority order. In general, airline pilots only fly one type of aircraft at a time regardless of what other type ratings they have in aircraft that they have previously flown.
 
Max Q
Posts: 6085
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:49 am

As far as the 757 / 67 is concerned you can
switch from one to the other at will

The common type means they can be treated effectively as the same aircraft

I have flown a 767 on one leg and a 757 on another leg later that same day


As Boeing designed, it’s no big deal, you train to fly both and they can schedule you in either

Having said that, the 767 is a much nice aircraft, and more importantly it pays more!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
ilovelamp
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:45 am

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:49 am

Scenarios 4-6 would never happen. Scenario 1 happens at Delta all the time. Our pilots in the ER fleet fly the 767-300/300ER and all 757 models as part of one category.

Scenario 2 wouldn’t happen at Delta because the 350 and 330 are considered different fleets. In fact, the 330 has more flight deck commonality with the 321/20/19s than the 350 due to the latter’s more advanced cockpit.

Scenario 3 may happen but not at any US airlines. Like Delta, both AA and UA treat their 777 and 787s as separate fleets and this staff them with pilots that only fly those aircraft until the pilot chooses to bid another fleet.


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brian415
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:01 am

Thanks for all your replies!
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 18120
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:34 am

There's no need for a time limit. It's not like an extra day would make you less "confused". ;)

In fact it is the opposite. In order to maintain currency on two or more types you must fly both within set time periods
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
brian415
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:12 am

Starlionblue wrote:
There's no need for a time limit. It's not like an extra day would make you less "confused". ;)

In fact it is the opposite. In order to maintain currency on two or more types you must fly both within set time periods


So, let's there's a hypothetical pilot with type ratings on the 737, 757/767 and A330 that works for a hypothetical big airline that operates all these types. Is the following situation possible?

In January, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on a 737.
In February, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on a 757/767.
In March, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on an A330.

Also, does the pilot have to jump though extra hoops during the January -> February or February -> March "transition" for something like re-familiarization training or doing time in sims?
 
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Starlionblue
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:38 am

brian415 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
There's no need for a time limit. It's not like an extra day would make you less "confused". ;)

In fact it is the opposite. In order to maintain currency on two or more types you must fly both within set time periods


So, let's there's a hypothetical pilot with type ratings on the 737, 757/767 and A330 that works for a hypothetical big airline that operates all these types. Is the following situation possible?

In January, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on a 737.
In February, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on a 757/767.
In March, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on an A330.

Also, does the pilot have to jump though extra hoops during the January -> February or February -> March "transition" for something like re-familiarization training or doing time in sims?


If a pilot does run out of currency he/she can be rostered for a sim to regain it, for example after sickness or unexpected roster changes. (Regularly rostered sim sessions also play a part in currency.)

You couldn't do that particular example and stay current since you'd be out of currency on the 330 by sometime in February. ;)

I'll add that what you are imagining is highly hypothetical. It would be illogical for airlines to allow rosters like that.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1536
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:21 pm

brian415 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
There's no need for a time limit. It's not like an extra day would make you less "confused". ;)

In fact it is the opposite. In order to maintain currency on two or more types you must fly both within set time periods


So, let's there's a hypothetical pilot with type ratings on the 737, 757/767 and A330 that works for a hypothetical big airline that operates all these types. Is the following situation possible?

In January, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on a 737.
In February, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on a 757/767.
In March, said pilot bids for and flies all his/her duty time on an A330.

Also, does the pilot have to jump though extra hoops during the January -> February or February -> March "transition" for something like re-familiarization training or doing time in sims?


There are pilots who have multiple type ratings. There are some pilots that collect type ratings and have several dozens of type ratings.

From a regulatory standpoint, as long as a pilot is type rated, qualified, and current the FAA does not care flying a 737, 757/767, 330 in the manner you are hypothesizing.

The limitation from flying different aircraft in airline service is due to the pilot contract. So it will never work where you bid to fly one fleet type one month, a second fleet type in a second month, and a third type a third month.

The airline establishes fleet types and establishes a training program to transfer between fleet types.

The pilot contract governs when pilots are able to transfer between fleets. At a minimum, if the pilot is current in the fleet type they are transferring to, usually it’s just a proficiency check and some supervised flying. If the pilot is not current, then it will involve a requalification course. It depends on how the training program is established at the airline.

As sending a pilot through training involves extra costs to an airline, the pilot contract will usually stipulate a “seat lock” of some determined time before a pilot can voluntarily transfer between fleets. If the airline needs you to fly a different type, that is an involuntary transfer and you’ll fly what the airline tells you to, but if you want to fly a 777 but you’re on a 737, it only happens when conditions established in the pilot contract allow the transfer. If you don’t meet the conditions you don’t get to do it.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
Max Q
Posts: 6085
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: pilot type ratings and equipment change on next leg

Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:04 am

We called it an ‘equipment freeze’ and it used to be four years at Continental


They didn’t want you jumping from one type to the other too often as training is expensive


There were exemptions, if you upgraded from engineer to FO or FO to CA they would release you from the freeze or if your seniority no longer allowed you to stay on that type


Otherwise you were stuck on it, great if you like the aircraft and it gives you a good quality of life


On the other hand it could really suck if you didn’t like it as that was where you were staying!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.

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