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Trimeresurus
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Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:19 pm

Is it usually the pilots of the airline, or does the storage area operator sends crew to pick up the aircraft?
 
Max Q
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:54 pm

Those aircraft movements are almost always handled by the respective airlines crews, most union contracts stipulate all flight operations be performed by pilots on their seniority lists


I doubt that aircraft storage operators employ pilots type rated and current on large transport types but even if they did few airlines would permit them to operate their aircraft
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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e38
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:34 pm

At the company at which I work, it is always the pilots of the airline who fly the aircraft to the storage facility.

Keep in mind, if the aircraft is going into storage, it is still owned or leased by the airline, and therefore, pilots of another company would not be authorized to fly that aircraft.

Same thing, of course, applies when an aircraft is returned from storage--a crew from the airline travels to the storage facility to return it to service.

Even if the airplane is designated to be sold or scrapped, in most cases the original airline retains responsibility of the aircraft until it reaches the storage facility or to the appropriate "transfer of ownership" location. Naturally, this could change depending upon the terms of the deal.

e38
 
n92r03
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:22 pm

This may be a 'Captain Obvious' question, but do the flight crew members simply get a ride to the nearest airport that has commercial service and just hitch a ride to their base or whatever hub/focus city, etc were they can get back on a normal flight schedule?
 
e38
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:48 pm

N92r03, yes, it is done like that.

At the company where I work, in the United States, the ferry trips are built as normal trips by scheduling and awarded to regular line crews--many times it is a reserve crew, but a crewmember with a monthly line can also pick it up as additional flying if scheduling puts it on the "open board." The ferry trips can also be given to staff pilots--pilots who work at the training center or management pilots at the headquarters--who don't get a lot of flying on a regular basis--it depends on the contract at each airline.

Anyway, for an aircraft going to storage, for example, the trip would simply be one leg from wherever the aircraft is located--generally it will be an airport that is also a crew base--to the storage facility. Our company gives the flight a 99XX call sign. Once at the storage facility, the company simply arranges for a van or shuttle to pick the crew up and take them to the nearest airport where their airline has flights. Airlines contract with many different transportation companies depending on location--Five Star Transportation, Global Skyhop, Huntleigh, Golden Touch (up in the New York area), just to name a few.

For example, a crew that takes an aircraft from say, DFW or Chicago to Mojave (KMHV) would probably shuttle to LAX; from San Bernardino (KSBD), you might go to Ontario (KONT) but LAX would also be a possibility, and if you took a plane to Pinal Airpark-Marana (KMZJ) you would most likely be driven to Tucson or Phoenix.

From there, crew scheduling arranges a deadhead (positive space) back to their crew base.

Same process in reverse to return an aircraft to service. It's all pretty simple.

When you say, "just hitch a ride to their base or whatever hub/focus city," well, if you have a trip that begins or ends someplace that is not your assigned crew base (domicile), scheduling has to provide you with a positive space seat to get you to or from your trip assignment, you would not need to jumpseat nor travel as a Non-Rev.

e38
 
ACMIdriver
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:24 am

In addition to the above, there can be circumstances where control of an aircraft going into storage has reverted to the lessor. Clearly banks and the like do not keep around groups of current and rated crews on retainer, so there are companies such as Southern Cross for example who will provide contracted crews and handle flight planning, permits, ground services and such for each ferry.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:20 am

ACMIdriver wrote:
In addition to the above, there can be circumstances where control of an aircraft going into storage has reverted to the lessor. Clearly banks and the like do not keep around groups of current and rated crews on retainer, so there are companies such as Southern Cross for example who will provide contracted crews and handle flight planning, permits, ground services and such for each ferry.


Indeed. It depends on where the transfer back to the lessor happens. If it happens at our home port, the titles are painted over, and the aircraft is flown out by the lessor because it's theirs now.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Newark727
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:22 am

A few weeks ago at SBD Delta parked around ten A220s in one day. They also had a CRJ-200 flying in from Salt Lake City to fly all the crews back. That obviously wouldn't make a whole lot of sense if they were only storing one airplane at a time.
 
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dennypayne
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 am

Newark727 wrote:
A few weeks ago at SBD Delta parked around ten A220s in one day. They also had a CRJ-200 flying in from Salt Lake City to fly all the crews back. That obviously wouldn't make a whole lot of sense if they were only storing one airplane at a time.
IIRC American did the same thing when they retired 20-odd MD80's to ROW on the same day - there was an extra ERJ flight that day to pick everybody up.
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notaxonrotax
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:16 pm

Hi,

see here the KLM crew checking in for a commercial flight back to the Netherlands.

Their "hand luggage" makes it obvious what they just left behind in the desert: PH-BFY.

Image

The poor aircraft in question:




Not sure what this bag contains.
I am guessing KLM specific manuals etc.

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N1120A
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:18 pm

n92r03 wrote:
This may be a 'Captain Obvious' question, but do the flight crew members simply get a ride to the nearest airport that has commercial service and just hitch a ride to their base or whatever hub/focus city, etc were they can get back on a normal flight schedule?


Unless it is an outlier situation where so many planes are going to the same place that it makes sense to bring something in to pick them up, they just get a car service to a local commercial airport. I was at VCV the other day and the folks at the FBO there said the WN pilots who brought in their various aircraft would just get a car to ONT and fly from there.
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Flow2706
Posts: 296
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Re: Who flies aircraft to storage areas?

Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:31 pm

As mentioned above usually it is the airline. When one of my former employers went bankrupt it was a controlled process so the operations were closed down in an "orderly" fashion. I was selected to bring one aircraft to the storage in Lourdes. I still remember the mechanic signing off the paper work for the last time. He had serviced that specific aircraft for the whole summer season so he had some kind of personal "relation" to that specific airframe. I felt quite sorry for him (obviously this was also my last flight for a while, but back then the job market was better than it is now so I knew that I was likely to get a job again soon).
Some aircraft are ferried by specialized companies. Their pilots are usually experienced airline pilots who do those ferry flights on a free lance basis besides their normal airline job.

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