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YSAPW
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Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm

Many times, I stumble upon pictures of cargo airplanes on this site. Indeed, cargo industry (in the airplane world) is a big deal, but it’s not so ¨mainstream¨ as the passenger side of airplanes – therefore we don’t get so much info about it. Nevertheless, cargo operations have always intrigued me, and specially the airlines which inside the cargo world, are not so mainstream. Those one or two plane operations, flying old metal in and out of some random airports. Putting that aside, I also have wondered, what’s the life of cargo pilots about. You can see some cool videos on youtube (pilots eye tv for example, which followed some Lufthansa Cargo crews on some trips) but beside those insights, there is not much about those pilots and their life. And now Im talking about any cargo operation: DHL, UPS, LH Cargo, Cargolux, Amerijet…etc.

How is it (apart from the obvious), for a cargo pilot, vs a airline pilot (and by airline, I mean passenger airplane pilot)? Flying at sometimes difficult hours, many times on (very) old metal, to some random destinations… Are they well paid vs the airline equivalent? If some young pilots want to become cargo pilots, where do they get the training for the old metal? Are cargo pilots usually ex-commercial, ex-military, or is it the other way around: first cargo and then airline? Do cargo pilots get along with airline pilots or is there some rivalry? Are they actually a different breed?

I can imagine there are a lot of anecdotes, which would be nice to hear.
 
evomutant
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:50 pm

Really depends.

I have a friend who flies for a well known European Integrator out of East Midlands. He got his job in a very similar way to I got mine at a well known orange hued LCC. Application, assessment, TR (in his case), line posting. All of the big boys will be very similar, running the same style of recruitment campaigns and with similar requirements as passenger operators.

The process for some of the more niche backwoods operators I do not know.

He flys very few hours for a full time pilot. 300 a year give or take with a lot of time sat waiting doing nothing between sectors. Is just the nature of that line of work. Some people love that. Others not. It does mean that it is not a great place for a young pilot with aspirations for command relatively quickly- you simply will not accumulate the hours that airlines want for command courses.

Not for me. But suits his lifestyle at this point in his life.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:58 pm

Varies greatly by country: the guy above me is posting from the UK and I have no idea how/what's going on there.

Fedex and UPS: way better than any passenger airline. Kalitta is getting there, Atlas in contract negotiations.
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Varsity1
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:59 pm

Also, thanks for noticing the pilots exist. Most here believe airplanes fly themselves.
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VSMUT
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:01 pm

YSAPW wrote:
How is it (apart from the obvious), for a cargo pilot, vs a airline pilot (and by airline, I mean passenger airplane pilot)? Flying at sometimes difficult hours, many times on (very) old metal, to some random destinations…


Short haul cargo is almost exclusively at night. The long-haulers get to see the sun a bit more. I was unfortunate enough to be in the former category. I felt as if I was a zombie, sleepwalking from one bed to another (even sleeping in the cockpit) in a vain attempt at getting enough sleep. Any time you have 5 minutes, you find a place to sleep. You spend all day in a hotel bed trying to sleep, hoping that the air-conditioner works, that the cleaning staff doesn't wake you, and typically you will struggle to get more than 4 hours of good sleep. You get slotted for 45 minutes? Perfect, thats at least 30 minutes of "sleep" there. Zombie describes it pretty well. I also took on 15 kg in no time.

YSAPW wrote:
If some young pilots want to become cargo pilots, where do they get the training for the old metal? Are cargo pilots usually ex-commercial, ex-military, or is it the other way around: first cargo and then airline? Do cargo pilots get along with airline pilots or is there some rivalry? Are they actually a different breed?

I can imagine there are a lot of anecdotes, which would be nice to hear.


You start by having a commercial pilots license, and in some cases experience and/or a rating on relevant types, and then applying to the airline. They will then do the training.

I don't really see any clear direction with regards to cargo or passenger first, seems pretty random. I started with cargo solely because a cargo airline offered me a job first, but many of my colleagues from flying school started with Ryanair, then moved on to better paying 737 cargo operators or upgraded to some of the A300, 767 and 747 operators.

There is no rivalry that I know of between cargo and passenger pilots. The only real rivalry I felt was between FedEx pilots and everybody else, passenger and cargo alike. Except for FedEx, it was pretty common to mingle with other crews. I often had lunch with some crews from a Canadian cargo operator, they were pretty nice.

Almost civilian backgrounds only in European operators.

We are all the same breed. Except for the FedEx crews, they are of a better breed :duck:


YSAPW wrote:
Are they well paid vs the airline equivalent?


That really depends on a lot of factors. I was with a good airline, we had better than average salaries, but I know of many that are much worse.
 
arcticcruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:16 pm

For a while a quarter to third of our fleet was freighters. I liked the variety, being rid of passengers and cabin crew for a week or so at a time. The on-time pressure of freight was greater than pax flying. But glad I did not have to do it full time. And for freighter trips I left my hat back home.


Varsity1 wrote:
Varies greatly by country: the guy above me is posting from the UK and I have no idea how/what's going on there.

Fedex and UPS: way better than any passenger airline. Kalitta is getting there, Atlas in contract negotiations.


If Kalitta is getting there, a lot has changed... The Kalitta pilots I came across were always looking for greener pastures...
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:21 pm

In the US, cargo can be the golden lotto ticket or the dregs. FedEx and UPS pilots are the highest paid pilot group on planet Earth, with fantastic work rules and retirement. Meanwhile, top seniority Atlas Air captains make less than a junior captain at Allegiant, Spirit, JetBlue. Same with most of the Amazon prime operators except for K4, which has a decent contact.
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:19 pm

I give tons of respect to those who are flying single pilot in hard IFR on caravan, Metroliners, and Beech 1900’s. They get their asses handed to them day after day and put up with things that we in the 121 pax world would never dream of. Being a freight dog in that environment is not easy.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
Varsity1
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:49 pm

Fedex is the top pilot job on earth.

Preemo, Top dog, head honcho.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:53 pm

I spoke with an electrician who was involved updating the FedEx crew rest area here in GRR. He told me they were upgrading it to allow crews to stay on-site, rather than trek off to a hotel. He told me they were adding all the amenities including "white noise" sound cancelling devices, beds, etc. Is this common for FedEx outstations to have on-site crew quarters where crew who arrive early a.m. can stay until their mid-late evening departure? Our MEM A306 returns to MEM in the a.m., but our 752 from IND remains all day. (RAD?) :-)
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UPlog
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:49 pm

UPS pilot here. Both pay and quality of life match or better than the US majors.
Yes a good portion of US domestic flying is overnight, but frankly not much an issue for me. Also broad international network that allows diverse flying opportunities and layovers.
I would say the biggest two differences from passenger airlines are:
1) Generally, never visit the passenger terminal at airports. Report usually to cargo warehouse or directly ramp side to the aircraft.
2) No FA onboard to help make coffee or prep meals. All self-service, but hardly an issue worth complaining over.
Also without passengers onboard many cargo pilots take the opportunity to change clothes and fly in t-shirt/shorts or whatever they might be comfortable in.
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:28 pm

Former NW pilot here. Three years based in ANC where the majority of our flights were 747 freighters of which we had 14 at the time. Still flew passengers in the classic on many trips. Most of us preferred cargo so as to avoid the problems caused by FAs and passengers. Pilots were on the same seniority list as all the pilots at NW. No difference in pay (Freight or PAX). Schedules were not that different. Normally stayed at the same hotels that the pax 747's crew stayed, although we did fly to a few destinations where there was no pax service. It was just about always long haul. My input (not a dedicated cargo outfit) is probably not what you're looking for...but I offer it anyway.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:46 pm

tjwgrr wrote:
I spoke with an electrician who was involved updating the FedEx crew rest area here in GRR. He told me they were upgrading it to allow crews to stay on-site, rather than trek off to a hotel. He told me they were adding all the amenities including "white noise" sound cancelling devices, beds, etc. Is this common for FedEx outstations to have on-site crew quarters where crew who arrive early a.m. can stay until their mid-late evening departure? Our MEM A306 returns to MEM in the a.m., but our 752 from IND remains all day. (RAD?) :-)


That's hard to believe. As one of the retired guys, I can't imagine that EVER being added to a contract! No way, No how!
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:23 am

Agree, that sounds like a rest area to be used on a few hours stop over not long enough to justify a hotel


I flew freight for a few years in another life in small aircraft, it was very challenging but enjoyable


There’s been many occasions dealing with Flight Attendants when I envy the FDX / UPS Pilots, for me it’s always been about the flying and in that respect they have the advantage



Not so sure they are paid better than the top rate at the big three anymore though
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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flight152
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:36 am

Varsity1 wrote:
Fedex is the top pilot job on earth.

Preemo, Top dog, head honcho.

I don’t completely agree. While an amazing job no doubt, the other highly desirable airlines offer better schedule fexability, and pilot bases with nearly as good pay.
 
Moosefire
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:36 am

flight152 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
Fedex is the top pilot job on earth.

Preemo, Top dog, head honcho.

I don’t completely agree. While an amazing job no doubt, the other highly desirable airlines offer better schedule fexability, and pilot bases with nearly as good pay.


Bases, yes. Scheduling flexibility... not a chance. FedEx has the most flexibile schedules in the business. That, and vacation, are some of the best parts of the contact well beyond base rates.
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cougar15
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:41 am

why did this thread get moved to Tech Ops, is Air Cargo now not part of Civil Aviation in the Mods view?
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WPvsMW
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:19 am

Evidently so. Which is good... it will linger near the top longer rather than be inundated.

Moosefire, welcome to a.net.
 
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YSAPW
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:43 pm

This is really interesting. Thank you for all the replies. I am not really sure why, amongst my love for aviation, the cargo world has ever fascinated me. Many of the things that have been said here, I had no clue about.

A question for the guys that fly heavy cargo planes: how many seats are there usually on big cargo metal, say a 747, DC-10 and the likes? And besides the reference given by movies, who usually flies on those seats, if anybody at all. And is it common to have ¨passengers¨ (i.e. other pilots or company employees?). How often do 3 pilots fly on cargo missions (heavy cargo)?

Wow, sorry for all the questions, many of them could seem obvious for some people, but I could go on for a long time. Maybe in a different life I was not flying the usual Cessna 172 but a good old DC-10 cargo plane :)
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:26 pm

cougar15 wrote:
why did this thread get moved to Tech Ops, is Air Cargo now not part of Civil Aviation in the Mods view?


No, it's probably because the Civ Av forum is for "discussions about factual events happening in the airline and general aviation industries" while Tech/Ops is for "technical issues as well as airline management and operations".

The recent thread about relief pilots being used or not used on trans-Atlantic passenger flights was also moved here from CA on what I imagine was the same basis - the discussion was more about how airlines operate than it was about a specific event.
 
Moosefire
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:48 pm

YSAPW wrote:
This is really interesting. Thank you for all the replies. I am not really sure why, amongst my love for aviation, the cargo world has ever fascinated me. Many of the things that have been said here, I had no clue about.

A question for the guys that fly heavy cargo planes: how many seats are there usually on big cargo metal, say a 747, DC-10 and the likes? And besides the reference given by movies, who usually flies on those seats, if anybody at all. And is it common to have ¨passengers¨ (i.e. other pilots or company employees?). How often do 3 pilots fly on cargo missions (heavy cargo)?

Wow, sorry for all the questions, many of them could seem obvious for some people, but I could go on for a long time. Maybe in a different life I was not flying the usual Cessna 172 but a good old DC-10 cargo plane :)


At FedEx it’s normal to usually have a few commuting pilots depending on the city. For charters there will be more folks along from couriers, animal handlers, loadmasters and maybe mechanics.
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
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SaveFerris
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:33 pm

YSAPW wrote:
A question for the guys that fly heavy cargo planes: how many seats are there usually on big cargo metal, say a 747, DC-10 and the likes? And besides the reference given by movies, who usually flies on those seats, if anybody at all. And is it common to have ¨passengers¨ (i.e. other pilots or company employees?). How often do 3 pilots fly on cargo missions (heavy cargo)


Our 747s have between 4 and 6 seats. Our -400 freighters have 4 seats and the -8s have 6 seats. However, both planes are certified to carry 8 people (including operating crew) due to a restriction on the amount of escape reels on the upper deck. The majority of the time the only people riding on the upper deck are deadheading crewmembers or company employees (ie a load master or mechanic). I have had a few jumpseaters from other airlines but they are very few and far between. As far as the upper deck seat occupation being “common”, in my experience about one third of our flights had someone occupying seats in the upper deck. For your final question, at my carrier the majority of our 747 crews are 3 (if not 4) pilots. Even on short flights we tend to use 3 crew members, this allows the company more flexibility in our duty day and flight time totals.

Hope this helps and feel free to keep the questions coming!
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:04 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
Fedex is the top pilot job on earth.

Preemo, Top dog, head honcho.


That really depends on what you are looking for in a career. FedEx is an undeniably great job, but so are UPS, Delta, United, American, and Southwest. All have their plusses and minuses. I'm not sure you can really say one is the top job. For a couple reasons I never had applications on file with FedEx or UPS. The passenger flying airlines offered what I was looking for and I got on with my top choice in that above group, but again that was my top choice. Someone else could see it differently.

I have no clue about how things stack up outside the US as far as most desirable jobs, though I have some hunches.
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:16 am

YSAPW wrote:
A question for the guys that fly heavy cargo planes: how many seats are there usually on big cargo metal, say a 747, DC-10 and the likes? And besides the reference given by movies, who usually flies on those seats, if anybody at all. And is it common to have ¨passengers¨ (i.e. other pilots or company employees?). How often do 3 pilots fly on cargo missions (heavy cargo)?
)


We had different configurations even on same types. You might have 6 jumpseats or only 2 and sometimes something in between. Yes we had "jumpseaters" frequently. They would have catering if the flight required it.
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:29 am

not sure what movie reference you mean but we could have anything from personal flights, mechanics, other pilots, horse handlers and people escorting items such as fine art or in some cases a coffin. Thinking of the Tom Hanks movie I can say there would be no open liquor on board.
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:43 am

Moosefire wrote:
YSAPW wrote:
This is really interesting. Thank you for all the replies. I am not really sure why, amongst my love for aviation, the cargo world has ever fascinated me. Many of the things that have been said here, I had no clue about.

A question for the guys that fly heavy cargo planes: how many seats are there usually on big cargo metal, say a 747, DC-10 and the likes? And besides the reference given by movies, who usually flies on those seats, if anybody at all. And is it common to have ¨passengers¨ (i.e. other pilots or company employees?). How often do 3 pilots fly on cargo missions (heavy cargo)?

Wow, sorry for all the questions, many of them could seem obvious for some people, but I could go on for a long time. Maybe in a different life I was not flying the usual Cessna 172 but a good old DC-10 cargo plane :)


At FedEx it’s normal to usually have a few commuting pilots depending on the city. For charters there will be more folks along from couriers, animal handlers, loadmasters and maybe mechanics.


Doubt FX allows animal handlers on jumpseats, there was a bit of an issue recently where FX triples were subbing for ASL Belgium 744´s at Liege recently. All the horses got ´bumped´ because FX refused to allow the handlers to fly on the JS.
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:09 pm

cougar15 wrote:
Moosefire wrote:
YSAPW wrote:
This is really interesting. Thank you for all the replies. I am not really sure why, amongst my love for aviation, the cargo world has ever fascinated me. Many of the things that have been said here, I had no clue about.

A question for the guys that fly heavy cargo planes: how many seats are there usually on big cargo metal, say a 747, DC-10 and the likes? And besides the reference given by movies, who usually flies on those seats, if anybody at all. And is it common to have ¨passengers¨ (i.e. other pilots or company employees?). How often do 3 pilots fly on cargo missions (heavy cargo)?

Wow, sorry for all the questions, many of them could seem obvious for some people, but I could go on for a long time. Maybe in a different life I was not flying the usual Cessna 172 but a good old DC-10 cargo plane :)


At FedEx it’s normal to usually have a few commuting pilots depending on the city. For charters there will be more folks along from couriers, animal handlers, loadmasters and maybe mechanics.


Doubt FX allows animal handlers on jumpseats, there was a bit of an issue recently where FX triples were subbing for ASL Belgium 744´s at Liege recently. All the horses got ´bumped´ because FX refused to allow the handlers to fly on the JS.


I flew a number of horse charters in the DC-10 & MD-11 and yes the handlers were on the j/s. In fact I flew one charter and I was getting a line check so we had my 3 man crew(it was international), a chk airman and 3 handlers with 2 on the j/s in the galley/entry and 1 back with the horses. It was very crowded and the LCA told me that had he known it was a horse charter he would have canceled the chk ride. The reason the horses got bumped, more than likely, is that the 777 doesn't have a cockpit door separating the cockpit from the galley/ foyer and that forbids certain people from j/s'ing.
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:41 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
cougar15 wrote:
Moosefire wrote:

At FedEx it’s normal to usually have a few commuting pilots depending on the city. For charters there will be more folks along from couriers, animal handlers, loadmasters and maybe mechanics.


Doubt FX allows animal handlers on jumpseats, there was a bit of an issue recently where FX triples were subbing for ASL Belgium 744´s at Liege recently. All the horses got ´bumped´ because FX refused to allow the handlers to fly on the JS.


I flew a number of horse charters in the DC-10 & MD-11 and yes the handlers were on the j/s. In fact I flew one charter and I was getting a line check so we had my 3 man crew(it was international), a chk airman and 3 handlers with 2 on the j/s in the galley/entry and 1 back with the horses. It was very crowded and the LCA told me that had he known it was a horse charter he would have canceled the chk ride. The reason the horses got bumped, more than likely, is that the 777 doesn't have a cockpit door separating the cockpit from the galley/ foyer and that forbids certain people from j/s'ing.


That may well be the case, think you are correct, I did not ask that ´indepth´ at the time and indeed, there is only a curtain between the 4JSeats and the cockpit. But it must be a US thing, as TNT(ASL) operated these flights daily and both the 744 and 777 have the same ´curtain´ setup as the FX triples.This issue never was one on a 3V operated flight, only when FX subbed due to MX on the 3V fleet.
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:18 am

All well and good but that's the way it is.
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:52 am

At my airline cargo pilots are on the same seniority list and get the same pay. Their rosters look different but that's just due to the nature of their operation.

They have to do some extra safety training I think, but that's not very different from just being on another fleet.

YSAPW wrote:
Do cargo pilots get along with airline pilots or is there some rivalry?



Cargo pilots are airline pilots as well. ;)

There's no rivalry really. Whether the cargo is self-loading or not, an airliner is an airliner. The plane doesn't fly differently.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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cougar15
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:11 am

Starlionblue wrote:
At my airline cargo pilots are on the same seniority list and get the same pay. Their rosters look different but that's just due to the nature of their operation.

They have to do some extra safety training I think, but that's not very different from just being on another fleet.

YSAPW wrote:
Do cargo pilots get along with airline pilots or is there some rivalry?



Cargo pilots are airline pilots as well. ;)

There's no rivalry really. Whether the cargo is self-loading or not, an airliner is an airliner. The plane doesn't fly differently.


The ´rivalry´ only starts when you have some deadheading EK or CX Jockeys on your (cargo) flight giving you 8 hours worth of self sorrow about what a dreadful life they have...
Luxury problems for old freight dogs, but we have to listen to it out of common courtesy...……. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:49 am

cougar15 wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
cougar15 wrote:

Doubt FX allows animal handlers on jumpseats, there was a bit of an issue recently where FX triples were subbing for ASL Belgium 744´s at Liege recently. All the horses got ´bumped´ because FX refused to allow the handlers to fly on the JS.


I flew a number of horse charters in the DC-10 & MD-11 and yes the handlers were on the j/s. In fact I flew one charter and I was getting a line check so we had my 3 man crew(it was international), a chk airman and 3 handlers with 2 on the j/s in the galley/entry and 1 back with the horses. It was very crowded and the LCA told me that had he known it was a horse charter he would have canceled the chk ride. The reason the horses got bumped, more than likely, is that the 777 doesn't have a cockpit door separating the cockpit from the galley/ foyer and that forbids certain people from j/s'ing.


That may well be the case, think you are correct, I did not ask that ´indepth´ at the time and indeed, there is only a curtain between the 4JSeats and the cockpit. But it must be a US thing, as TNT(ASL) operated these flights daily and both the 744 and 777 have the same ´curtain´ setup as the FX triples.This issue never was one on a 3V operated flight, only when FX subbed due to MX on the 3V fleet.


For what it’s worth I think it might be a FX thing. At my airline (unfortunately not FX) we allow supernumerary passengers to ride in the upper deck if they are required for whatever cargo we have. In the past I have had animal handlers and security guards for currency we were shipping. They are vetted and go through security screening by the company prior to boarding.
 
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:14 pm

SaveFerris wrote:
cougar15 wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:

I flew a number of horse charters in the DC-10 & MD-11 and yes the handlers were on the j/s. In fact I flew one charter and I was getting a line check so we had my 3 man crew(it was international), a chk airman and 3 handlers with 2 on the j/s in the galley/entry and 1 back with the horses. It was very crowded and the LCA told me that had he known it was a horse charter he would have canceled the chk ride. The reason the horses got bumped, more than likely, is that the 777 doesn't have a cockpit door separating the cockpit from the galley/ foyer and that forbids certain people from j/s'ing.


That may well be the case, think you are correct, I did not ask that ´indepth´ at the time and indeed, there is only a curtain between the 4JSeats and the cockpit. But it must be a US thing, as TNT(ASL) operated these flights daily and both the 744 and 777 have the same ´curtain´ setup as the FX triples.This issue never was one on a 3V operated flight, only when FX subbed due to MX on the 3V fleet.


For what it’s worth I think it might be a FX thing. At my airline (unfortunately not FX) we allow supernumerary passengers to ride in the upper deck if they are required for whatever cargo we have. In the past I have had animal handlers and security guards for currency we were shipping. They are vetted and go through security screening by the company prior to boarding.



This thread is turing into a bit of freightdog storytelling! I like your´s about the security guards for currency! Have a bit of a story there myself, a clapped out A300 (ex Olympic frame funnily enough) for an Interator out of MUC on a charter filled with freshly printed Euro notes.... going to Greece! 12 tons of the suckers.
and no guards, just pit crew and a loadmaster.

Full show at MUC (BGS... that´s German Border force) everywhere..... then off we went and got to ATH where nobody really cared!
Some discussions enroute if perhaps this flight should ditch somewhere, but it got there in the end without issues.
Oh the life of a freightdog..... never boaring!
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:04 pm

cougar15 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
At my airline cargo pilots are on the same seniority list and get the same pay. Their rosters look different but that's just due to the nature of their operation.

They have to do some extra safety training I think, but that's not very different from just being on another fleet.

YSAPW wrote:
Do cargo pilots get along with airline pilots or is there some rivalry?



Cargo pilots are airline pilots as well. ;)

There's no rivalry really. Whether the cargo is self-loading or not, an airliner is an airliner. The plane doesn't fly differently.


The ´rivalry´ only starts when you have some deadheading EK or CX Jockeys on your (cargo) flight giving you 8 hours worth of self sorrow about what a dreadful life they have...
Luxury problems for old freight dogs, but we have to listen to it out of common courtesy...……. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Absolutely true. But to be fair pax pilots are just as good at complaining. :)

As one ATPL instructor once told us during a flight planning lesson: "Every flight plan needs to reserve some time for two important things: complaining about your roster, and slagging-off the chief pilot..."
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
BravoOne
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:32 pm

I would be careful when quoting earrings of any pilot group as there are so many variables, one of which is seniority in category, be it 737 or 777. I know that a number of very senior DL 777 Capatins have exceeded 80,000 per month by "green slipping" their full month of flying. Not typical but still a number that waters the eye.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:46 pm

"It’s an article of faith among freight dogs that George Lucas based Star Wars’ famed cantina scene on the scuzzed-out cargo skippers at Bryson’s Irish Pub, a flyboy Rick’s Cafe adjacent to Miami International Airport through which generations of pilots have passed in a sort of demented finishing school."
http://tailspinstales.blogspot.com/2010 ... -dogs.html

I think "finishing school" misconstrues the "bottle to throttle" rule.

Totally unrelated.. but a great Blackbird story from the same blog.
http://tailspinstales.blogspot.com/2010 ... kbird.html
 
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TOGA10
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:22 am

BravoOne wrote:
I would be careful when quoting earrings of any pilot group as there are so many variables, one of which is seniority in category, be it 737 or 777. I know that a number of very senior DL 777 Capatins have exceeded 80,000 per month by "green slipping" their full month of flying. Not typical but still a number that waters the eye.

What's green slipping?
I wanna go back upstairs!
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:57 am

I never heard of this but I'm guessing paying off the scheduler to "massage" their line for the month. I remember some guys that got "special" treatment from scheduling.
 
Okie
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:35 pm

BravoOne wrote:
I would be careful when quoting earrings of any pilot group as there are so many variables, one of which is seniority in category, be it 737 or 777.

Variables you say. There are only three forms of communication in aviation.
1. Radio
2. ACARS
3. Tella-pilot. Works at 10X speed of light to transmit superfluous information world wide that would put a knitting circle to shame. :roll:

Okie
 
BravoOne
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:16 pm

TOGA10 wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
I would be careful when quoting earrings of any pilot group as there are so many variables, one of which is seniority in category, be it 737 or 777. I know that a number of very senior DL 777 Capatins have exceeded 80,000 per month by "green slipping" their full month of flying. Not typical but still a number that waters the eye.

What's green slipping?


Delta pilots use 3 methods of managing their schedules. White slip, (trip drop), Yellow slip, and Green skip/ Green slip is/was a method for the most senior to pick up a trip at 2 X pay and in some cases, drop a trip so can pick up the new trip and get paid for both. May have chnaged in recent tme but sounds as if it's still alive and well. Has been around since the late 80's and in the past the highest paid pilots was an MD88 Capt simply because he was senior in category and the was a lot of green slipping going on in that particular category. (MD88 Capt/ATL).

I have seen Delta get short on crews because if irregular ops and have them drag a 727 off the line just to ferry a crew to JFK so as to catch the BA Concordde to get them to LHR and repo to LGW so as to cover a morning departure for the next day. Soemtimes money is no object.

Ask any DL pilot about the Green Slip as it's the Holy Grail at DL
 
Alias1024
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:47 pm

TOGA10 wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
I would be careful when quoting earrings of any pilot group as there are so many variables, one of which is seniority in category, be it 737 or 777. I know that a number of very senior DL 777 Capatins have exceeded 80,000 per month by "green slipping" their full month of flying. Not typical but still a number that waters the eye.

What's green slipping?

Deltaese for a premium pay trip.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:19 am

This was an interesting post. I was thinking about all the guys/gals I flew with and remembered that everyone came from somewhere different. There were all branches of the military, furloughed pax carrier pilots, civilian pilots of every type. So I guess one may "become" a cargo pilot but don't think that there's any real trait that makes you a cargo pilot. In the early years we may have flown a little more aggressive but that went away for the most part. Though we didn't have to worry about pax, we may configure later or slow faster but for the most part not much is different. We didn't have F/As so we got our own food but also didn't have to worry about fights, births nor deaths. We did worry a little more about hazmat that pax carriers didn't carry that could get your attention. Yes, we changed clothes after t/o which kept your uniform fresher longer. Not bad on a 2 week trip. Where pax carriers see different pax get on and off we saw different cargo which could be very interesting. Horses one day and F1 cars the next. There was valuable art with couriers and caskets with attendees. The list goes on. In the end we followed the FARs and Co. policy so that at the end of the day you didn't have to make or receive a phone call from your flt. mgr. I always smile when I remember some non aviation person ask me if I every wanted to fly for a REAL airline.
Maybe more memories than substance so comments welcome.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:41 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
I always smile when I remember some non aviation person ask me if I every wanted to fly for a REAL airline.


:)

Some years ago, someone asked about my license and I told her I had a Commercial Pilot License because I didn't yet have the hours for an Airline Transport Pilot License. She then asked me if that meant I could only fly cargo...
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:31 am

Starlionblue wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
I always smile when I remember some non aviation person ask me if I every wanted to fly for a REAL airline.


:)

Some years ago, someone asked about my license and I told her I had a Commercial Pilot License because I didn't yet have the hours for an Airline Transport Pilot License. She then asked me if that meant I could only fly cargo...


yep;. funny
 
BravoOne
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:16 am

What's not so funny is the number hull losses some freighter ops have incurred over the 20 years. Not sure why, but I suspect if these were pax operations, the outcome would be a lot different.
 
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YSAPW
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:49 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
This was an interesting post. I was thinking about all the guys/gals I flew with and remembered that everyone came from somewhere different. There were all branches of the military, furloughed pax carrier pilots, civilian pilots of every type. So I guess one may "become" a cargo pilot but don't think that there's any real trait that makes you a cargo pilot. In the early years we may have flown a little more aggressive but that went away for the most part. Though we didn't have to worry about pax, we may configure later or slow faster but for the most part not much is different. We didn't have F/As so we got our own food but also didn't have to worry about fights, births nor deaths. We did worry a little more about hazmat that pax carriers didn't carry that could get your attention. Yes, we changed clothes after t/o which kept your uniform fresher longer. Not bad on a 2 week trip. Where pax carriers see different pax get on and off we saw different cargo which could be very interesting. Horses one day and F1 cars the next. There was valuable art with couriers and caskets with attendees. The list goes on. In the end we followed the FARs and Co. policy so that at the end of the day you didn't have to make or receive a phone call from your flt. mgr. I always smile when I remember some non aviation person ask me if I every wanted to fly for a REAL airline.
Maybe more memories than substance so comments welcome.



Nice comment, nice read. Thanks for posting. Maybe a little bit of everything you have said, is why cargo ops have fascinated me so much. I find them to be (without even knowing much about it), more interesting than any other “branch” of flying. (Well the military might also have some interesting stories, but it’s a different type of conjuncture).
 
n92r03
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:46 pm

Excellent thread and comments so far. Very interesting and thanks for the stories.

I've heard that FedEx and UPS pilots can fly on each other's aircraft to reposition I assume. Is this true? How do cargo pilots, not just FedEx and UPS, but ATLAS, Kalitta, etc., reposition domestically vs internationally when needed. Economy with us regular folk or business class? Or different?
 
Moosefire
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:44 pm

n92r03 wrote:
Excellent thread and comments so far. Very interesting and thanks for the stories.

I've heard that FedEx and UPS pilots can fly on each other's aircraft to reposition I assume. Is this true? How do cargo pilots, not just FedEx and UPS, but ATLAS, Kalitta, etc., reposition domestically vs internationally when needed. Economy with us regular folk or business class? Or different?


Short answer is it depends on what’s in the contract. For FedEx it can be on company corporate jets, trunk aircraft, or commercial deadhead. For a commercial flight the contract specifies class of service based on the length of the flight and the overall duty day, etc.
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:34 pm

n92r03 wrote:
...
I've heard that FedEx and UPS pilots can fly on each other's aircraft to reposition I assume. Is this true? ....



That's called deadheading and it would surprise the crap out of me if Fed Ex or UPS contracts allow or even coordinate deadheading on an off-line freighter. Back in the day at NWA we had the company replace the 6 coach style seats with 4 business class seats (of that era) just to agree to deadhead on our freighters.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots: a different breed of airmen?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:43 pm

no Fedex does not use another carrier's J/S to reposition. If I remember correctly a scheduled pax carrier is first and in a quick demand situation a corp jet will be scheduled and I don't remember what the parameters are for sched crew on a j/s are. Crewmembers can book a J/S in lieu of a pax carrier but the co. can't. I used to do this because often is was quicker.
And to answer another post, many carriers' crewmembers can j/s on FDX & UPS.

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