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CanesFan
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:55 pm

ckfred wrote:
A friend of mine has been a pilot with AA for more than 25 years. I think the bid sheets for any given month come out around the middle of the prior month. Pilots have 5 to 7 days to submit the lines they would like to fly. So, if you are very, very senior on your aircraft type at your base, you might only submit a few lines, knowing that you will get one of those lines. If you are typically flying reserve, you might submit a number of lines, knowing that you probably won't get a line with a schedule.

Proposed schedules come out around the 20th of the prior month. Normally, the proposed schedule that a pilot receives is the schedule he flies. There might be changes, if American makes changes between the 20th and the end of a month. Pilots can also try to drop a trip or pick up a trip.

The fact that it became public knowledge of the scheduling issue on November 29 is putting AA in a bind, because it's 9 days after the proposed schedules were sent to pilots. To rebid the month would be very difficult.

What has me scratching my head is the fact that a number of lines would have flying throughout the month. Years ago, my friend used to fly to the Caribbean out of the ORD crew base. If he had solely 3-days trips in a month, he would have had 4 trips, each starting on the same day of the week. So, getting a schedule with only 3 trips, when the lines he bid had 4 trips would have caught his attention.

Here comes the problem with reserves. They can get maxed out around the holidays. Once, I was flying ORD-ATL on December 26th. The MD-80 arrived from STL, and the captain was unable to fly because of hourly limits. The problem was that ORD had no more reserve pilots. The captain schedule to fly to ATL was deadheading from DFW, and that flight was running about 10 minutes late. Couple that with the captain needing to check in at Ops before walking down to K1, and our flight wound up 30 minutes late, despite it getting in from STL 15 minutes early.

Depending on how the 150% pay offer goes, AA could still burn through reserve pilots rather quickly.


The monthly scheduling process to which you refer is the old system. AA pilots now use preferential bidding, rather than traditional line bidding. Also, to answer another question, this system was implemented in the last year, so it is certainly post-merger. However, the problem had nothing to do with the monthly scheduling process, it was the trip-trading system that led to the problem. The window for modifying one's monthly schedule opened up on the morning of the 24th. The usual safeguards that protect holidays along with any other days that the company determines to be coverage critical were not in place, and the computer allowed the pilots to swap and drop trips at will. After a few hours had passed, someone in crew planning apparently saw what had happened and deactivated the trip trading system. Even though only a few hours had passed, the damage was done.
 
winginit
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:27 pm

Per USA Today the issue appears to be largely resolved.

“Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots,”
 
geologyrocks
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:30 am

jetblastdubai wrote:

allegiantflyer wrote:
Curious... do any companies already offer 1.5x pay for holidays regardless of glitches?


While not technically a 'company', the FAA, and I believe all Federal employees, earn double pay if you work the holiday and you get normal pay if the holiday falls on your RDO (regular day off).



There is no day of holiday premium. If a holiday falls on your RDO then it will either be your last shift or first shift back that will considered your holiday depending on which RDO the actual one is. So Christmas is Monday this year. If your RDO’s are Monday/Tuesday then Wednesday would be the day where the employee will get paid double or be able to take holiday leave if staffing permits. Likewise, if you’re scheduled to work Christmas then you’re going to make just as much as the guy whose Christmas will be on Wednesday.

The real incentive is that if you work Thanksgiving or Christmas then you’ll get to grab a plate of turkey that tastes like rubber when it was fresh let alone reheated from the day before.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:41 am

I'm amused at the venom. Why? A mistake was made. Apparently, mostly fixed without extreame action other than the 1.5X bribe.



winginit wrote:
Per USA Today the issue appears to be largely resolved.

“Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots,”

Good news.

Now it is an auction system to pilot the remaining flights. How much will it cost?

I'm sure a panic at AA HQ.

I hope double checks are put it.


Lightsaber
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iadguy73
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:21 am

It's highly doubtful that AA has been able to backfill over 14K flights ("only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots") in a matter of a week. No one should be fooled! As a matter of fact, ALPA confirms to the contrary:

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/a ... 71129.html

AA is now in a PR blitz to prevent any panic among its customers. Is this only affecting mainline crew; or are Republic and Piedmont flights also affected?
 
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chepos
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:44 am

iadguy73 wrote:
It's highly doubtful that AA has been able to backfill over 14K flights ("only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots") in a matter of a week. No one should be fooled! As a matter of fact, ALPA confirms to the contrary:

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/a ... 71129.html

AA is now in a PR blitz to prevent any panic among its customers. Is this only affecting mainline crew; or are Republic and Piedmont flights also affected?


Republic, Envoy, Piedmont, etc all have their own scheduling and bidding system.
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
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neomax
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:12 am

I must admit that I would be shocked if AA really did manage to clear thousands of flights overnight. What I find odd is how AA claimed the situation is under control. Maybe they’re in “the green” but by what metric? By not cancelling anything? They’re definitely not going to be in the green if you count by the number of pilots. Technically they could say they’re fine since they haven’t cancelled any flights, but that’s like saying to your boss that they shouldn’t worry about you missing a meeting because you’re going to be sick.
 
Alias1024
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:11 pm

neomax wrote:
I must admit that I would be shocked if AA really did manage to clear thousands of flights overnight. What I find odd is how AA claimed the situation is under control. Maybe they’re in “the green” but by what metric? By not cancelling anything? They’re definitely not going to be in the green if you count by the number of pilots. Technically they could say they’re fine since they haven’t cancelled any flights, but that’s like saying to your boss that they shouldn’t worry about you missing a meeting because you’re going to be sick.


It seems quite suspicious that they covered over 14,000 flights overnight. My guess is that it is damage control by American’s PR people, trying to avoid a panic.

They probably put all their reserve staffing into the computer to see how much they could legally cover with all reserves working and were left with a few hundred flights they still can’t find pilots for. They’ll hope for pilots to pick up trips between now and later this month so they will have at least bare bones reserve staffing.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
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AAlaxfan
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:56 pm

Just saw a Facebook posting that AA has all flights covered. http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press ... fault.aspx
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jumbojet
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:59 am

AAlaxfan wrote:
Just saw a Facebook posting that AA has all flights covered. http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press ... fault.aspx


that's nice but AA will still be stressed. Its going to be all that much harder now to cover those that go sick etc... This isn't over by a long shot. I'd like to know how much this cost AA. But then again, its the arrogance that is Doug Parker that probably made this situation worse than what it needed to be.
 
Sooner787
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:43 am

I noticed on my Linkedin page yesterday that AA had a new posting for a Director of Crew Scheduling.

That didn't take long LOL
 
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lightsaber
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:07 am

I'm not surprised a new director is in works for crew scheduling.


[twoid][/twoid]
AAlaxfan wrote:
Just saw a Facebook posting that AA has all flights covered. http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press ... fault.aspx

That is amazing. Wow...

I would like to know more about the solution. A rabbit was pulled out of a hat.

Lightsaber
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Sooner787
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:20 am

DP better pray for good weather over latter part of December , or AA might really be in a world of hurt
 
ckfred
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:39 pm

My friend who flies with AA has a trip that ends on December 24th, and his next trip starts on December 26th. He's mad that the computer glitch didn't drop the trip before or after Christmas.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:30 pm

jumbojet wrote:
AAlaxfan wrote:
Just saw a Facebook posting that AA has all flights covered. http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press ... fault.aspx


that's nice but AA will still be stressed. Its going to be all that much harder now to cover those that go sick etc... This isn't over by a long shot. I'd like to know how much this cost AA. But then again, its the arrogance that is Doug Parker that probably made this situation worse than what it needed to be.



Arrogant Doug Parker? The same guy that gave pilots mid contract raises? And profit sharing also without negotiating it? Wow what an arrogant jerk he is!
 
Flighty
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm

stlgph wrote:
jnev3289 wrote:
stlgph wrote:

Wow man, just wow.

You totally convinced me with that logic


Well you clearly don't get it.
AA should be offering to pay out 3 times as much, if not more to cover their mistake.
It's AA's responsibility to act in good faith. They failed in this situation.

If you really think employees granted time off should come back to and work and just do it out of the kindness of their hearts, I'll just be over here in the corner laughing at you, along with everyone else.

What?! Why? What are you talking about?

AA made a mistake and you roll with it. Pilots make small mistakes too.

If a pilot willingly volunteers to get 150% pay, you're going to tell him or her, shame on you? Aren't pilots already very well paid? I hope clearer and more responsible heads prevail in the cockpit.
 
Flighty
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:55 pm

USAOZ wrote:
the big question for passengers, is will all flights have crews ? Pax don't care about cause just effect. It's now end of NOV. Why didn't this problem surface earlier ? Who's been asleep "at the wheel"? Surely many knew of this issue a while back.


The problem surfaced incredibly early - weeks in advance. Yes, someone made a mistake.

No, there is no reason passengers need to know about this. This is just an interesting, extremely esoteric, applied operations research problem. Maybe 0.5% of the public will actually have a useful understanding of the (correct, competent) actions that AA took to provide a seamless customer experience and happy employees. Airlines deal with uncertainties and unexpected operations every day. AA rolls with this. Or does a pilot complain every time there is a flat tire: "why did Doug Parker do this to me? WHY"
 
wowlookplanes
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:20 am

Flighty wrote:

Aren't pilots already very well paid?



Uhhh....not sure you're going to get much agreement on that assertion, Flighty.
 
wowlookplanes
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:39 am

csturdiv wrote:
Darklord1 wrote:
I’m booked on AA on the 20th to LGA via ORD. I hope this doesn’t affect my plans to see my family


You and me both. I have an AA flight on the 16th when I get back to the US and then more flights on the 26th, 30th, Jan 2nd, Jan 10th and finally Jan 12th, Will be going through ORD and DFW on flights connecting to RSW and EVV.


You don't say!!! :o :o :o I can hardly believe the coincidence but I am also flying AA during the month of December!!

I'll be flying into JAX via DFW on the 20th. If any other a-netters want to meet up to discuss our hatred of UNIONS and the filthy lazy pilotariat, I'll be at the Chick-fil-A in Terminal C at 1:15PM for about 45 minutes.

--WLP
 
Flighty
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:00 am

wowlookplanes wrote:
Flighty wrote:

Aren't pilots already very well paid?



Uhhh....not sure you're going to get much agreement on that assertion, Flighty.


I'm not?!

$263 to $320 per hour for captains, not including other compensation? To my guesstimate these narrowbody captains are bringing in about 300 grand. And first officers about 200. This is across a group of 14,000 mainline pilots. Most of whom are topped out at 12 years AFAIK.

Do they realize what medical professionals go through during the holidays? Hospitals don't close. Do they think lawyers have appealing hours at the end of the year? Try it sometime, you'll love it. Your passengers bought tickets on YOUR airline, AA pilots. It is your job to fly them safely. Your mgmt. admitted they made a booboo here and are doing the classy thing and paying their way out of it. Nothing to see here. Except to me, the main story is pilots shocking lack of goodwill toward the public and lack perspective about their own situation. At the relevant time, we can revisit this lack of perspective because it bodes ominously.
 
jumbojet
Posts: 2957
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:47 am

UpNAWAy wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
AAlaxfan wrote:
Just saw a Facebook posting that AA has all flights covered. http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press ... fault.aspx


that's nice but AA will still be stressed. Its going to be all that much harder now to cover those that go sick etc... This isn't over by a long shot. I'd like to know how much this cost AA. But then again, its the arrogance that is Doug Parker that probably made this situation worse than what it needed to be.



Arrogant Doug Parker? The same guy that gave pilots mid contract raises? And profit sharing also without negotiating it? Wow what an arrogant jerk he is!


DP had to give mid contract raises and profit sharing. he had no choice. As for the raises, he pretty much knew his back was to the wall and had to keep up with DL pilots. As for the profit sharing, DL had it for many years and were taking home huge checks. AA employees were pressing hard for it so he gave in. And to clarify, its not just DP who is arrogant but the whole airline.
 
incitatus
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:02 am

jumbojet wrote:
DP had to give mid contract raises and profit sharing. he had no choice. As for the raises, he pretty much knew his back was to the wall and had to keep up with DL pilots. As for the profit sharing, DL had it for many years and were taking home huge checks. AA employees were pressing hard for it so he gave in. And to clarify, its not just DP who is arrogant but the whole airline.


The whole airline except the pilots of course!
I do not consume Murdoch products including the Wall Street Journal
 
wowlookplanes
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:19 pm

Flighty wrote:
wowlookplanes wrote:
Flighty wrote:

Aren't pilots already very well paid?



Uhhh....not sure you're going to get much agreement on that assertion, Flighty.


I'm not?!

$263 to $320 per hour for captains, not including other compensation? To my guesstimate these narrowbody captains are bringing in about 300 grand. And first officers about 200. This is across a group of 14,000 mainline pilots. Most of whom are topped out at 12 years AFAIK.

Do they realize what medical professionals go through during the holidays? Hospitals don't close. Do they think lawyers have appealing hours at the end of the year? Try it sometime, you'll love it. Your passengers bought tickets on YOUR airline, AA pilots. It is your job to fly them safely. Your mgmt. admitted they made a booboo here and are doing the classy thing and paying their way out of it. Nothing to see here. Except to me, the main story is pilots shocking lack of goodwill toward the public and lack perspective about their own situation. At the relevant time, we can revisit this lack of perspective because it bodes ominously.


Yeah, no, that's a cherrypicking disaster. Sure, at the tail end of a long career the pilots do well, but let's realize that any criticism along these lines is only fair if you look at the average salary across an entire career. In other words, do you have similarly-strong feelings about the wages paid to a regional pilot flying Dashes out of Boise?

Further, I do not think that pilots make what you think that they make.

$300 * 900 hours * 14,000 pilots = $3.78B

AAL total salaries paid was $10.89B in 2016. Is it reasonable that 35% of Salaries was paid to 13% of employees? No, my angry friend, something smells in Denmark. Your numbers are not viable.

Your idea that pilots should have some sort of financial ownership in their hearts for the AAirline's needs is similarly bizarre and devoid of an understanding of both historical pilot/airline relations and the fundamentals of economics. They're selling their labor, and that relationship has long been antagonistic. Management "made a booboo" and management will have to fix it. Pilots are not management.

And then you're going to try and summon some quorum of sympathy for attorneys? Baffling.....simply baffling. I think I can guess what your profession is, and who you sell your labor to, but I'll try and withhold that theory so as not to degrade the tone here further.

-WLP
 
alasizon
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:34 pm

I heard there were a decent chuck of pilots who dropped trips and then turned around and picked up trips at the 150% rate which should work out well for them. There was a new story that came out the other day saying that this snafu would cost about $10m.
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lightsaber
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:33 am

alasizon wrote:
I heard there were a decent chuck of pilots who dropped trips and then turned around and picked up trips at the 150% rate which should work out well for them. There was a new story that came out the other day saying that this snafu would cost about $10m.

$10 million is cheap for such a SNAFU, but plausible.

If pilots make an extra 50%, good for them.

I didn't understand the venom some posted on this thread. AA was a bit lucky 50% was enough.
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JAAlbert
Posts: 1982
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:13 am

lightsaber wrote:
alasizon wrote:
I didn't understand the venom some posted on this thread. AA was a bit lucky 50% was enough.


The venom arises because some folks on this site believe that every error by a person/entity is not a simple mistake but evidence of an abject moral failure (which the folks always knew existed) that mandates swift and unequivocal condemnation.

Back on topic, I don't run an airline, but it seems strange to me that when the error was discovered -- AA didn't simply cancel schedule, reset the computer and have the pilots re-enter their information. There is no dispute that a mistake occurred, they caught it relatively quickly and mistakes happen from time to time. Still, as I state, I don't run an airline or deal with a union, so I guess its a bit more complicated than that.
 
alasizon
Posts: 2454
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:15 am

JAAlbert wrote:

Back on topic, I don't run an airline, but it seems strange to me that when the error was discovered -- AA didn't simply cancel schedule, reset the computer and have the pilots re-enter their information. There is no dispute that a mistake occurred, they caught it relatively quickly and mistakes happen from time to time. Still, as I state, I don't run an airline or deal with a union, so I guess its a bit more complicated than that.


You can't just do that. The award of trips went just fine so there was nothing to "redo" per say. The issue arose when pilots were allowed to drop trips at will. If the system allows you to drop a trip, you've dropped it and there is no going back.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
mikejepp
Posts: 219
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:17 am

JAAlbert wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
alasizon wrote:
I didn't understand the venom some posted on this thread. AA was a bit lucky 50% was enough.


The venom arises because some folks on this site believe that every error by a person/entity is not a simple mistake but evidence of an abject moral failure (which the folks always knew existed) that mandates swift and unequivocal condemnation.

Back on topic, I don't run an airline, but it seems strange to me that when the error was discovered -- AA didn't simply cancel schedule, reset the computer and have the pilots re-enter their information. There is no dispute that a mistake occurred, they caught it relatively quickly and mistakes happen from time to time. Still, as I state, I don't run an airline or deal with a union, so I guess its a bit more complicated than that.


AA's pilots are part of a collective bargaining unit (union) with an established employment contract governed under the railway labor act. In it, there are defined times schedules must be published or the company is in violation of the contract and could be sued in federal court.

You can't just undo things once they've been done under a contractually agreed to procedure. An error on the company's part does not mean it is now the pilots' problem. When the pilots make scheduling errors and don't do what they need for their lives, the company doesn't give them do-overs. Tough luck. Do better next time. Now that it is the other way around, the pilots are requiring the company to do the same.
 
JAAlbert
Posts: 1982
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:43 pm

Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:38 am

mikejepp wrote:
You can't just undo things once they've been done under a contractually agreed to procedure. An error on the company's part does not mean it is now the pilots' problem. When the pilots make scheduling errors and don't do what they need for their lives, the company doesn't give them do-overs. Tough luck. Do better next time. Now that it is the other way around, the pilots are requiring the company to do the same.


I get it and I realize unions and collective bargaining agreements and established practice govern. It sure makes things complicated at times, however.
 
geologyrocks
Posts: 173
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Re: APA: Thousands of AA flights scheduled without pilots due to system error

Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:52 am

JAAlbert wrote:

I get it and I realize unions and collective bargaining agreements and established practice govern. It sure makes things complicated at times, however.


This, in my opinion, is one of the real benefits of being in a union. When I’m on the clock then I’m there and I take my job very seriously. When I’m off the clock then I’m off the clock and I’ve made plans - I don’t care if those plans involve travel or me just scratching myself on the couch. I don’t want to be used as a tool where I’m supposed to be rushing to save the day as soon as my shock collar goes off. There are procedures in place for a reason.

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