boeingnut
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How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:29 pm

Now that NWA is getting their a330s, they are retiring their DC-10s.

Obviously, the FE is losing his spot on these planes since the new ones are 2 person cockpits.

But is NWA retraining the Diesel10 pilots for the 'bus, or are they promoting up pilots from the a320? I know that it takes a day or two to train an existing airbus fbw pilot for one of the other types (one of the most hyped features of the buses), but how long would it take to retrain a pilot from the DC-10 to fly these new birds?
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Rick767
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Fri Aug 27, 2004 12:59 am

From a non-Airbus type (like the DC-10) it is a full type rating course, so about 28-35 days depending on the training schedule to get the rating.

From the A320 series it is a CCQ course, and this is around 8 days depending on the specific airline authorisation. I believe the 2 day course is to add the A330 to an A340 ticket, or maybe A330 to add A320?

I think NW will be re-training the DC-10 pilots onto the A330 via a full type rating, as if they were upgrading the A320 pilots they would have to pay for the CCQ, then pay for the DC-10 pilots to be rated on something else. I also recall that the DC-10 pilots were being ETOPS trained on the DC-10 (following ETOPS procedures on DC-10 flights in preparation for their new jobs with only two spinners).
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gigneil
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:34 am

I think the question is are NW's FEs professional FEs, or are they pilots filling the role of FE.

If they're pilots operating as engineers, they probably still can get a job. If they're professional FE's, they're SOL.

N
 
AAR90
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:18 am

The answer to your questions is exclusively within the terms of the NW pilots' labor contract. I don't know the details of that contract, but in generally accepted major USA airline/pilot contract terms the basics would be...

Obviously, the FE is losing his spot on these planes since the new ones are 2 person cockpits.

There will be a net reduction in total cockpit crew positions at NW IF there is a one-for-one replacement of equipment. I think UA was the last major airline with professional (non-pilot) Flight Engineer positions so the NW DC10 FE's would bid for any job openings within the NW system that their seniority could hold. Any excess pilot(s) would be furloughed, again based upon company-wide system seniority.

But is NWA retraining the Diesel10 pilots for the 'bus, or are they promoting up pilots from the a320?

Probably a mixture of both as the positions will be filled by those who bid for the opening based upon seniority and the specific details (rights and limitations) provided for in the NW pilots' contract.

I know that it takes a day or two to train an existing airbus fbw pilot for one of the other types (one of the most hyped features of the buses),

Maybe yes, maybe no... depends upon what the FAA has certified NW's training program to perform.

...but how long would it take to retrain a pilot from the DC-10 to fly these new birds?

Generally one can figure aprox. 4 weeks: 2 weeks of ground school and 2 weeks of simulators.
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boeingnut
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:51 pm

Thanks everyone for your answers!
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SlamClick
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:15 pm

Under US FARs the 320 and 330 are NOT a single type. They should have to do a full type rating checkout even if they are coming from the 320. The similarities are pretty much superficial. The differences are more than just a "differences" course.

I am typed in both and I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a single system that is identical between them, not even the MCDU software.
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Rick767
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:45 am

The A320 / A330 are not the same type in the strict sense of the word (and they cannot share a type rating by virtue of the massively different weights of the aircraft) but that is why CCQ exists, so pilots can fly both types after passing a CCQ course (not a differences course) and relevant line sector experience.

If what you're saying is the FAA do not allow this CCQ, well that's a bit narrow-minded of them I think, the A320 and A330 fly exactly the same, systems wise it's just a case of remembering the differences.

I used to fly the 757/767 on a dual type rating and I know a number of guys who moved from that rating onto A320/A330 dual ratings and fly both types who now swear the 757/767 should never have been on the same ticket (incidentally I agree with that sentiment, they handle very differently from one another, and I was never happy with the arrangement).

The A320 > A330 conversion though is easy according to my friends who have done it and continue to fly both types. Can't see the FAA logic on this one with the 757/767 approved as a dual rating.

If it works / has worked for Monarch, bmi, MyTravel, Thomas Cook, Swiss, Sabena, etc... then why not Northwest, US Airways, etc..
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SlamClick
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RE: How Long For NWA Pilots To Retrain?

Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:41 am

As the original thread starter asked about Northwest Airlines, a US Flag air carrier, the answer will be in US FARs, not any other country's rules.

I've not been involved with pilot training for a couple of years and can really only speak of FAR Part 121 Subpart N training, whereas NW is probably on AQP now, which might change everything. Under traditional training these are completely separate types and require initial training for each.

I also flew B-757 and 767 and I think the differences between the Airbus types are greater than the differences between 757 and 767. They might seem less so only because (under our training program) there are no "memory items" and all one does is follow the ECAM. In other words, the training is "dumbed down" to the point that many pilots are not even aware of the differences. Of course it might be argued that that is a good place to leave it.

Anyway, the difference between a type rating checkout and a non-type rating checkout at airlines here in the US is negligible. Mostly it amounts to declaring an intent to acquire the type rating before starting the program so that the secretary can have the paperwork made up and they can schedule a check pilot who is also an FAA designee to do the final proficiency check. Oh, and first officers who will be type-rated will have to jump over into the left seat after the ride is passed and demonstrate taxiing the simulator. So it is really a non-event.

I would also assume that they are going to qualify their first officers for international relief and that will likely require a type rating and a virtual captain's PC.

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