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rg828
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Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:19 am

Hi guys,

Just curious about something, hope someone can enlighten me.

Usually the pilots with enough seniority can bid for the heavier aircraft types, and usually its the pilots nearing retirement that have oodles of seniority.

Now lets say if I was 58, worked for SQ/EK/QF, had enough seniority to win a bid to fly the A380, and the production delays were enough to go past my retirement date, what would happen to me? After all the training, expense, etc. Would there be enough time for me to switch, go into early retirement, etc?

I realize there might be more lead-time organizationail details involving training, aircraft procurement scheduling, etc, but lets say its worse than it appears and I - the pilot - am caught in the middle of it.

Just curious, because I am sure there are numerous pilots out there who already bid to fly it and are already being trained - before the current delays came to fore, and now have to wait even more to actually fly it. Is there a chance one might not actually get to fly it?

Lets say the 380 finally goes into service a couple of months before my hypothetical retirement (considering I bid several months/years before,) would I still be allowed to fly it?

Might be a dumb question, but I hope the pilot community here can clear my doubts.

Thanks!
I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:37 am

Quoting RG828 (Thread starter):
Now lets say if I was 58, worked for SQ/EK/QF, had enough seniority to win a bid to fly the A380, and the production delays were enough to go past my retirement date, what would happen to me?

You will be out of a job.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:40 pm

Out here.Senior Pilots very near Retirement Age do not train on the New Fleet.Its only the Senior pilots with a years of service left that do.
Faced a similiar situation when B752SFs joined our B732SF fleet.Fresh Commanders on B732SFs atayed on B732SF.Some Senior Commander with more no of Hrs on B732SF moved over to B752SF along with a few Senior F/Os.
regds
MEL
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Dufo
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:54 pm

Do any of these companies use the ICAO 65 year retirement rules?
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PhilSquares
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:00 pm

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 1):
Quoting RG828 (Thread starter):
Now lets say if I was 58, worked for SQ/EK/QF, had enough seniority to win a bid to fly the A380, and the production delays were enough to go past my retirement date, what would happen to me?

You will be out of a job.

You would most likely receive "by-pass" pay. Depends on the airline.
Fly fast, live slow
 
SlamClick
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting RG828 (Thread starter):
if I was 58, worked for SQ/EK/QF

The correct answers ultimately could only come from those companies and their contracts but I think the system as described above is pretty prevalent. The airlines will not normally train a person who does not have a year or so remaining to serve in the new capacity. They quite commonly, however may be obligated to pay for that position if your seniority would otherwise hold it.

An exception might be for a pilot who is working in the training department and the company intends to keep him on the property in a non-flying position. In such cases they might go ahead and do the training, but this is really an off-contract issue.

In my last three years I had a 'standing' bid back up to the heaviest equipment we operated. I was hoping it would get as far south as my seniority even if only for pay purposes. These bids were only for international but had I been willing to accept domestic routes I would have found out whether they would have trained me back to currency or just paid me the salary.
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rg828
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:41 am

Thanks for all the answers.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 5):
They quite commonly, however may be obligated to pay for that position if your seniority would otherwise hold it.

So that means that even if one had enough seniority to win a bid, he would get to get pay equivalent to the aircraft, though he would'nt fly it?

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 4):
You would most likely receive "by-pass" pay. Depends on the airline.
I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
 
SlamClick
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RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:52 am

Quoting RG828 (Reply 6):
So that means that even if one had enough seniority to win a bid, he would get to get pay equivalent to the aircraft, though he would'nt fly it?

Under my ALPA contracts, yes. Similar for other pilot unions and even non-union jobs are often patterned after them, though usually not as generous.

I know of three MD-80 first officers whose company was bought by a larger one. The larger company operated, among other types, the BAC 1-11 and these guys took one look at the seniority list and bid captain on that. They were gambling (and won) that the company would not train them because they were going to park the BACs in the desert. Sure enough, these guys flew MD f/o at BAC1-11 captain pay and got to stay at their preferred domicile. That is 'tournament level' bidding.

As I alluded, during my last three years I got bumped down off the big stuff but left my bid there. In the last year I was kind of hoping I'd get awarded the 767 again. Here's the deal.

  • I'd get 767 pay.

  • I'd continue to fly a smaller airplane over good routes.

  • My seniority was far better on the smaller planes.


  • Alas, the position never got down to me before I retired.
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
     
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    rg828
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    RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

    Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:46 am

    Hello Slamclick, thanks very much!

    I was curious about the risks - if you can call it that - pilots take when upgrading to a newer, untested aircraft when nearing retirement.

    Just a silly question: did you crave new aircaft types (disregarding pay) when they got introduced in your airline? Are 'experienced' pilots more interested new aircraft they can fly, or the higher pay they provide?

    I have a pilot friend (now retired) who could have flown any plane in UA's fleet, but stuck to one type because he just liked it more.

    cheers
    I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
     
    CosmicCruiser
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    RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

    Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:40 am

    Quoting RG828 (Reply 8):
    Just a silly question: did you crave new aircaft types (disregarding pay) when they got introduced in your airline? Are 'experienced' pilots more interested new aircraft they can fly, or the higher pay they provide?

    If I may add my 2cents and I'm sure SlamClick will have a view as well. You can ask this question to 100 pilots and get a 100 different answers. Everyone has their idea of what they want to fly and where they want to go so there is no definitive answer. Sometimes it might be a little of both; a new jet and a new payscale. Some folks hate the school house and try to avoid trg., others prefer, like myself, upgrading when seniority will hold a new seat. I never passed a chance except for the MD-11 which I passed on 2 bids before taking it. You may bid a particular jet for the cities it serves but never be surprised when the put a different jet in that city. You can see just by these few examples that it's, with most carriers, up to you to make your own lifestyle.CC
     
    SlamClick
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    RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

    Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:46 pm

    Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 9):

    Yep, that pretty well sums it up.

    I might look at a new type of airplane and think it would be nice to fly it, but other considerations were always more important to me.

    Nearing the end of my career I had not flown glass cockpits and I had never flown the north Atlantic. I wanted to do both. I ended up doing those things but for different reasons.

    If you have a large airline with, say six domiciles and five different airplanes, each with two different seats to bid that is sixty different choices one pilot can make.

    Where is their seniority best?
    Which pays the highest?
    What are the routes flown?
    Is the base commutable?
    What is the crashpad situation like at a base?
    What kind of days off can you expect?
    What's the training like?
    Do you like or dislike the airplane?

    ...and so on. Many choices.
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
     
    AirWillie6475
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    RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

    Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:16 am

    It usually depends on the pay, where the pilot base will be for that aircraft. A lot of pilots just become lazy overtime and do not want to move from their position or make a life style change, for a better airplane. Plus some airlines have a 3 strike policy. It's interesting. If a FO tries to upgrade to captain position and fails 3 times he or she will be terminated from the company. Don't know if this applies to upgrading planes, I think it does. Usually after the 2nd failure, guys just don't try anymore. So it's not uncommon to retire as an FO in some airlines. But ths was common for aircraft such as the 727/737-200 or the classic aircraft, now that there is automation in planes I suspect most people pass the upgrade process easily.
     
    CosmicCruiser
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    RE: Senior Pilots, New Aircraft

    Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:37 am

    Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 11):
    But ths was common for aircraft such as the 727/737-200 or the classic aircraft, now that there is automation in planes I suspect most people pass the upgrade process easily.

    Do what? It's easier to bust a ride in a glass cockpit plane than the old "round dial" ones. I was told at one time NWA had about a 50+% failure rate on their glass jets and that's where we have the biggest failure rate as well. And as far as the 3 strike policy, at least here, that refers only to 3 failures on one transition/upgrade it doesn't mean 3 failures during your career.

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