Boston92
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Transition From First Officer To Captain

Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:32 am

How long does this take? Are you a FO one day and a Captain the next? Are you a "partial" captain for a certain time where you are watched by a check airman or something? Is there any additional training to do stuff on the left side versus the right?
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wilco737
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RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33 am

At LH you are between 8-14 years FO, depends on seniority and the situation how many captains are needed.
Once your time comes to be captain you go into the Simulator for a lot of sessions, roughly 6 weeks in total. Then when passes the checkride you fly the actual aircraft under supervision. Initially on the left seat with a check captain on the right seat. that takes another 2 months. then a lot of workshops and all this stuff, then the check captain will take a seat on the jumpseat and a normal FO will join in... then another 2 months pass until the FINAL CHECK... when that is passed: you are captain at LH... The LBA (Luftfahrtbundesamt, German FAA) accepts you officially as captain once you have passed the sim checkride, but the airline require a line training with the passed final check until you are captain. So total conversion from FO to catpain needs roughly 6 months...
I am only speaking for LH, other airlines have different policies, but this is LHs policy. and the captain training is very time consuming, lots to study, no private life and a lot of pressure... but its worth it Big grin

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SlamClick
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RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:09 am

Or from captain to first officer

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KELPkid
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RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:26 am

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):
I am only speaking for LH, other airlines have different policies, but this is LHs policy. and the captain training is very time consuming, lots to study, no private life and a lot of pressure... but its worth it Big grin

So does this mean that Capt. Wilco has finally taken this step in his life?  bigthumbsup 
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SlamClick
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RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:27 am

In the US it might be more like this.

You are a first officer and have a standing bid as captain.
One day on one of several system alingment bids, it gets down to your number and you are awarded the bid effective ___ date.

  • They schedule you into the schoolhouse for upgrade training.


  • It may include a week or a few days of captain-stuff ground school.


  • It will include an "upgrade" groundschool evolution that will be just about exactly what qualified you to fly the plane as f/o.


  • It will include a simulator evolution including maybe ten or so four-hour sessions. That is two with you as pf and a qualified person in the right seat, then two hours for that person with you acting as gear-lifter for them. This will end in a captains proficiency check(ride) and an FAA type rating if needed.


  • Then will come a LOFT session and you will be sent back to your base.


  • A training rep will contact you and schedule you for babysitting time. (Initial Operating Experience or IOE.) This will be with a training captain in the right seat acting as your copilot and also offering a small amount of instruction as needed. This person will eventually sign you off and turn you loose on an unsuspecting flying public. IOE is, nominally about 25 hours of flight time but is reducible substituting a landing for a scheduled hour. Hardly anyone goes the full time. I ask for the full program because the check airmen are always senior to me and we get layovers in places (Munich, Rome) that my seniority will no longer hold when I am just another pilot.


  • After finishing all this you are a "baby captain" or "high-minimums" captain. Until you have the hours in-command, in-type required by FAR 121.652 you have to have higher weather minimums than "real' captains. There are other experience-based limitations too.


  • At some point in this process, depending on your contract, they start paying you as a captain.

    Assuming you are upgrading on the plane you served as f/o on (that is not always the case) a lot of what you will learn, especially if you've never worn four stripes at this company before, will be about administrative stuff the first officer doesn't get involved with. They might assume you have never looked at a dispatch release before, or signed a logbook. That kind of stuff will be covered along the way.

    That is the rough outline. Others can correct me or fill in more.
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    wilco737
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:34 am

    Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
    So does this mean that Capt. Wilco has finally taken this step in his life? bigthumbsup

    Nope, I have to wait for the 744 and then after a few more years I will upgrade... so still some more years

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    Starlionblue
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:33 am

    Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
    After finishing all this you are a "baby captain" or "high-minimums" captain. Until you have the hours in-command, in-type required by FAR 121.652 you have to have higher weather minimums than "real' captains. There are other experience-based limitations too.

    How much does this affect scheduling and so forth? Do they not allow baby captains to fly to certain destinations, or do they just accept more diversions?

    Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
    LOFT session

    ?
    "There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
     
    pilotpip
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:30 am

    There are some destinations that require special training. Usually these will be taken care of during the upgrade training. If the captain is new to the type, the landing minimums may be increased. You also aren't allowed to fly with an FO that has less than 100 hours in type if you don't have 100 hours in type.
    DMI
     
    Mir
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:38 am

    Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 6):
    Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
    LOFT session

    ?

    Line Oriented Flight Training. As I understand it, it's basically a flight from point A to point B, flown in the sim. And since it's in the sim, they can throw all sorts of things at you that you might expect on such a flight, and even some things you wouldn't.

    Quoting SlamClick (Reply 2):
    Or from captain to first officer

    signed
    USAir pilots

    Ouch.

    -Mir
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    Boston92
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:45 am

    Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
    Ouch.

    No kidding. I would be speechless if said happened to me.
    "Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
     
    n710ps
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:36 pm

    Yep, it is happening to many of my freinds.
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    A346Dude
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:47 am

    Wow, I had no idea so much training was involved.

    On an AC flight a few months ago, the F/O made an announcement following landing that the flight has been the captain's first flight as captain. I wonder if this was his first flight in the left seat with a check airman in the right, or if it was his first as an "official" captain.
    You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
     
    pilotpip
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:56 am

    If he was on IOE, the guy in the right seat was captain qualified. However, the guy in the left seat is still PIC.

    Keep in mind that the new captain had quite a few hours in the simulator. Chances are he also had a ton of time in the aircraft in the right seat so he was familiar with the systems and procedures of that particular type.
    DMI
     
    charlienorth
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:31 am

    Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
    How long does this take?

    When I worked at an F.B.O. near MSP there were NWA pilots from various times,some hired in 1946 took about 15 years to make capt.some guys hired in 1966 took about three years,guys hired the fowowing year took ten years or more to make cpt.
    Work hard fly right..don't understand it
     
    pilotpip
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:48 am

    How long does it take? Depends on a number of factors. The biggest are retirement rates, hiring rates, fleet additions. Some majors, like NWA and AA have 10+ year upgrades. Junior Captain at Contintental has been there just under two years.

    Regionals are running at about a year to two right now. The lone exception is AE. Theirs is about 7 years, but they didn't do any hiring for nearly 5 years. It will drop to about three years by the end of the year.
    DMI
     
    calpilot
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:47 am

    Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 12):
    If he was on IOE, the guy in the right seat was captain qualified. However, the guy in the left seat is still PIC.

    Just FYI, In Part 121, FAA rules, a Captains first left seat is not PIC until the Fed Check; the IOE Capt signs the release.
     
    pilotpip
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:59 am

    I misunderstood how that worked. Thanks for clearing that up CALPilot.

    Was I right about the upgrade time at your place?
    DMI
     
    Blackbird
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:48 am

    Pilot Pip... how long would it take for a pilot hired by NWA between 1985-1988 to make Captain? (I'd ask about other airlines, but you worked for NWA)

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    pilotpip
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:10 pm

    uh, I don't/wouldn't work for NWA. Sorry.
    DMI
     
    KAUSpilot
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:02 am

    For me it involved:

    2 weeks of groundschool covering CRM, Company/Federal Rules/Regulations/policies, and aircraft systems.

    A 50 question written exam testing knowledge on these subjects.

    A 1-2 hour oral exam testing knowledge on these subjects.

    4 "FTD" training sessions (working cockpit, no motion or visuals) mostly emphasizing abnormal procedures.

    5 full motion simulator sessions covering everything from a normal flight with basic maneuvers to emergency procedures and the full range of abnormals.

    1 "type ride" upon successful completion of which you are awarded your Airline Transport Pilot cetificate and type rating.

    1 L.O.F.T. in which you are paired with a newhire first officer, experience an emergecy, and execute to minimums arguably the most challenging approach you would encounter at my airline.

    12 Hours of "upgrade operating experience" (UOE) in which you are paired with a check airman who acts as your first officer on a series of revenue flights, mentoring and evaluating your progress.

    1 Line Check/Fed Ride in which a company check airman acts as your first officer (but impersonates a newhire FO who won't make any reccomendations, just takes orders) with an FAA designated inspector in the jumpseat observing the whole flight.

    At the conclusion of the Fed Ride/LineCheck (if you are succesful), you can now put on your fourth stripe, olive branch covered hat bill, star crested wings, and finally start to get paid as a captain.
     
    speedracer1407
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:29 am

    How does an FO's preferred type-rating effect his road to captainship?

    Based on some previous posts about seniority and aircraft-type hierarchy, it's my understanding that a new-hire FO can choose a longer or shorter route to captainship depending on which plane he aspires to captain.

    I'm thinking of a situation in which a new-hire FO aspires to captain a longhaul widebody, and so has to bid his way up through the fleet (from 737/A320 on up) as an FO, and THEN accumulate time on the 777 or whatever before his bid comes up to captain the plane. If an FO's career plans only include shorthaul flights, he might become captain quicker by keeping his captain bid for captain open on a 737. Is this true or have I fabricated this whole thing from faulty assumptions?
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    SlamClick
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:14 am

    Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 20):
    and so has to bid his way up through the fleet (

    Not at all necessary. Let's say your company has some of every type out there. As a newhire you land on the 737 but you eventually want to be a 747 captain.

    You could ride the 737 right up to the day you have the seniority to hold a 747 captain bid, then jump straight (by way of training) into the jumbo left seat.

    You could also bid your way around the fleet, or onto the 747 as f/o or s/o if you choose.

    Some guys even go "sport bidding" adding type ratings for no real reason.

    It is true though, that in general, the smaller the airplane (therefore lower pay) the shorter the road to the left seat.
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    pilotpip
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:58 am

    Quoting SlamClick (Reply 21):
    It is true though, that in general, the smaller the airplane (therefore lower pay) the shorter the road to the left seat.

    There are also a ton of very senior people on those little planes because at a certain point they realize that they'd rather be home every night and not in some foreign hotel. It's amazing how that works  Smile
    DMI
     
    calpilot
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:44 am

    Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 16):
    Was I right about the upgrade time at your place?

    System bid results just out a week ago, most Jr. is a Fall of '05 hire. EWR B737 CA. Right now being staffed under PBS bidding is the real pits; Wid body FO is really running pretty Sr. for QOL issues.
     
    SlamClick
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    RE: Transition From First Officer To Captain

    Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:58 am

    Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 22):
    There are also a ton of very senior people on those little planes because at a certain point they realize that they'd rather be home every night and not in some foreign hotel. It's amazing how that works

    Truly. There was once a captain Click at company seniority # 4 riding right seat for exactly that reason. (It wasn't a real big company.)
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.

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