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rwex414
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How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:49 am

I've always wondered how pilots move up to become "heavy" pilots. I know that once pilots get out of collage, they usually fly small airlines and planes, but how do they become for example B777, or A330 pilots. When they join a new airline, do they start at the bottom again? How do they make there way up?
 
richm
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:54 am

They may get promoted when they have gained a lot of hours/experience, and work their way "up through the ranks" so to speak.
 
rwex414
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:59 am

Once they get moved to a larger plane do they start back as co pilot and lowest pay?
Is it possible to move from CRJ's to an A330 and work your way up in pay? (this could be a stupid question)
 
COERJ145
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:10 am



Quoting Rwex414 (Reply 2):
Once they get moved to a larger plane do they start back as co pilot and lowest pay?
Is it possible to move from CRJ's to an A330 and work your way up in pay? (this could be a stupid question)

Yes, but to go from an RJ to mainline aircraft you have to switch airlines, but your pay should go up if you go from say Mesa Airlines to Northwest.

Quoting Rwex414 (Thread starter):
When they join a new airline, do they start at the bottom again? How do they make there way up?

Yes. Once they are hired by the new airline, they start at the lowest seniority and pay. AFAIK Their aircraft assignment usually depends upon which aircraft the airline needs pilots for. As their time at the company increases, so does their pay.
 
rwex414
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:14 am

What about switching planes but staying in the same airline? How would the pay work then? would you start at the bottom or start where you left off?
 
andz
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:41 am

The way I understand it at SAA you may start as a cadet pilot, then once qualified work as a first office with one of the feeders on Dash 8, J41 or the like. After that, if you crack the nod with SAA you might move to first officer on the long haul on 342, 343 or 346, and as you move up you could have a 738 or 319 as your first command. From then it could be back to the 340s as Captain, but that can depend on personal preference.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
Alias1024
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:42 am



Quoting Rwex414 (Reply 4):
What about switching planes but staying in the same airline? How would the pay work then? would you start at the bottom or start where you left off?

You will be paid based on the rate for the aircraft, seat, and years of longevity. You will start on the new airplane at whatever your seniority can hold. Some guys will bid for the first available upgrade from FO to Captain, or first transition available from one aircraft to another. Others will wait until their seniority is high enough to give them decent quality of life after the switch.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
burnsie28
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:03 am

Its all based on seniority (AKA your date of hire) the more senior the higher up on the roster the bigger the aircraft you can usually hold. For instance, a pilot I know at NW has been there since 1989, he just now is able to hold an A319/A320 as a captain, he can't even hold a 747-400 as a First Officer.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:17 am

Late last year, early this year, Delta was hiring FO's straight into the 763ER. A lot were military and corporate but MOST were RJ captains (some FO's too with an ATP).

Conti's program wasn't too shabby either. I know a guy that flew for ExpressJet for about 3 years and then got picked up with them on the 73G.

If you look out in the industry now though, no one is really hiring. Just a few months ago, some of these guys were being picked with 300hrs TT...
What gets measured gets done.
 
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barney captain
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:24 am

QOL.

Some airlines like UPS pay the same rate per hour regardless of the type being flown - ie, an 8 year Capt makes the same rate whether flying a 727 or a 747. So what it comes down to is quality of life - what aircraft provides you with the schedule that best suits your life style. So "heavy" doesn't necessarily mean more experience or more senior. In the most general sense, you start as a narrow body First Officer, move up to wide body, and then upgrade to narrow body Captain. But again, this is VERY airline specific, and you can find some very senior Captains flying narrow body domestic equipment, and recently hired First Officers in the right seat of a 777.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
AA737-823
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:47 am



Quoting Rwex414 (Thread starter):
I've always wondered how pilots move up to become "heavy" pilots.

If you sat on your tail all day long and pushed buttons, you'd become heavy too.
 Smile
I'm a mechanic... can ya tell??!?
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:01 am

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 9):

Very true. And actually, the FO's on Delta's T7's aren't that senior. Even some of the captains aren't. This wasn't the case say 7-8 years ago though...

The last time I flew on a 738, the captain and I got into a conversation only to find out he was a captain on the MD-11 (this was Delta). Guys on the 757 are also pretty senior from what i've seen. Get the right schedule, you can make a turn to Mexico or the Caribbean and back and be home in ATL (if that's your home) for the evening.

Same holds true on the regional level especially. I got to know a lot of guys at ASA with my time I spent working for them in ATL and the most senior pilot flying for them (retired this past summer) was on the ATR and he loved it. I asked him why and the answer was quality of life. Although he could choose any route he wanted on any type they flew, he preferred the ATR for whatever reason.

[Edited 2008-06-10 01:05:51]
What gets measured gets done.
 
airbuster
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:24 am

Life in Europe and @ KLM

High school diploma then off to KLM flight academy, get you license then do the KLM selection and once your in it depends on seniority, starting positions are F/O on the F50/F70/F100 at cityhopper (klm's regional) or S/O (cruise relief pilot) on the heavys A330/MD11/B777/B747.

After 2 years as a S/O or F50 F/O one can move up to the 737 as F/O then after another 3 years you could move up to Captain on the F70/F100 or up to F/O on the heavys and after that to capt 737 and finally to Capt long haul widebody.

your career depends on personal choices and seniority. at the time things move fast as one could be a 737 Captain with 'only' 7 years seniority. but if fuel prices go up, economy falls down and the senioritylist comes to a halt it could take you much longer.

The thing is though that at KLM most pilots start at ages of around 21-24 so you have loads of time to work yourself up. Being captain in your 20's isn't strange here! I even now 24 year olds that are KLM F50 captains!

I personally like the system and don't know why US airlines don't start hiring younger F/O's, they stay a good deal longer and are company made and trained to your specific needs.


at klm they call it to paint them blue, you can really tell a KLM pilot from another!

after all they are THE RELIABLE airline.....
FLY FOKKER JET LINE!
 
PanHAM
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:39 am

Seems to be similar with a large German airline.

A neighbour started out as FO on 737s, he promotoed as FO on 747-400 and after a couple of years in that position, he is now a Captain on 737s.

Personal choices play a role as well, there are Captains who stay on 737/A320s for their whole career and others promote to heacies as soon as they can.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
MD-90
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:19 am



Quoting Rwex414 (Thread starter):
How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

The same way cops do:

Too many donuts.
 
PanHAM
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:24 am



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 14):

The same way cops do:

Too many donuts.

lol - with the difference that pilots have to pay.....
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
sandrozrh
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:39 am

At Swiss:

You apply for one of LX's ab-initio pilot courses. You go through the 7 stages of the selection process, and when successfull (failing rate around 95% i was told), you get a contract and Swiss will pay an amount of your training, and offering you a loan to cover the rest. After signing the contract, you start your pilot training at Swiss Aviation Training (PPL, CPL/IR, ATPL, MCC - about 20 months total). After successful completion thereof, your results will be reviewed again and you'll get a job offer and start as an F/O on the A320 (Cadets without a high school diploma go to Swiss European, Avro). After gaining enough hours, you'll get upgraded and fly the A32S and A330 combined as F/O, later you'll get promoted to Captain on the A320, or F/O on the A340, depending on personal preference and availability, finally you'll end up as a captain on the A320/A330 or A330/A340.
 
halls120
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:59 am

Career progression.

My brother has flown the following aircraft in his career at Delta

727 Engineer
727 F/O
MD-80 F/O
757 F/O
763 F/O
763 Captain
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
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Aaron747
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:34 pm

A lot of the examples here are pretty airline-specific. There are a lot of jobs out there that are simply opportunity/location based as well...I know a couple of people who were flying Saab regionals and mail by Caravan in the states who have jumped ship for Chinese carriers and are now flying A346 and 763.

It really just depends on whether one is willing to expatriate or not.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Evan767
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:00 pm



Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 8):

Late last year, early this year, Delta was hiring FO's straight into the 763ER.

I was just about to post: I have seen a lot of young guys at Delta on the 763ER.
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
snaiks
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:49 pm

CM will hire you directly to F/O in either the ERJ, or the 73NG, both aircraft have the same pay, and requierments, they just choose you to either one. In some cases with the new hires, it happened that they got rated in 73NG, and then where moved to ERJ. Also Captains where trained for the ERJ type, and still earn the sme
 
speedbird2263
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:51 pm



Quoting Airbuster (Reply 12):
I personally like the system and don't know why US airlines don't start hiring younger F/O's, they stay a good deal longer and are company made and trained to your specific needs.

I think its just the culture of the industry in the US that you have to be almost 60 before you get captain on a heavy  silly 

Seriously though I reckon it has to do with a glut of pilots available in the US. I hear all this talk about declining pilot numbers however I believe that if US airlines were to adapt ab-initio/cadet programs much like their European/Asian counterparts then there wouldn't be much of a shortage. The problem is that airlines here are hesitant to foot the training bill, imagine $100k+ from ppl to atp....that's a hefty sum. As I read above, some airlines are willing to do the ab-initio scheme as long as the individual puts his/her 'fair' share towards training.

 twocents 
Straight'n Up 'N Fly Right Son
 
CoolGuy
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:23 pm

Why is bigger considered better when it comes to pilot's assignments?
 
PGNCS
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:43 pm



Quoting CoolGuy (Reply 22):
Why is bigger considered better when it comes to pilot's assignments?

It isn't always. Quality of life counts more for many of us. I have utterly zero desire to fly the 777 given the trips they have.
 
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SuseJ772
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:50 pm



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 23):
It isn't always. Quality of life counts more for many of us. I have utterly zero desire to fly the 777 given the trips they have.

Ohh I would love it.
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
Transpac787
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:01 pm



Quoting Evan767 (Reply 19):
I have seen a lot of young guys at Delta on the 763ER.

A neighbor of mine is a DL 738 captain and claims that the non-JNB Africa flights are some of the most junior trips in the entire company, usually needing to be forced onto the new-hires since NO ONE else wants to fly em.

I suppose when comparing Africa to the likes of Europe or South America, it's not that great of a "tourist" destination for the crews.  Silly
 
SXDFC
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:18 pm



Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 8):
Late last year, early this year, Delta was hiring FO's straight into the 763ER. A lot were military and corporate but MOST were RJ captains (some FO's too with an ATP).

How exactly did that work? Are they still doing it?
 
PH-TVH
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:49 pm



Quoting CoolGuy (Reply 22):
Why is bigger considered better when it comes to pilot's assignments?

Don't know, I fly the 747 as a S/0, so a F/0 737 is "better" in case of "seniority".
Depends on how you look at it.
 
stratosphere
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:22 am



Quoting Airbuster (Reply 12):
Being captain in your 20's isn't strange here! I even now 24 year olds that are KLM F50 captains!

I noticed that about KLM...I used to work the KLM MD-11 when it flew to Memphis and was surprised to see how young the flight crews were for a widebody.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:40 am



Quoting CoolGuy (Reply 22):
Why is bigger considered better when it comes to pilot's assignments?

In this era of the industry, it's not necessarily true. 10 years ago and back, it was because bigger generally meant more money. That is still true today but QOL is what counts because the $$$ isn't all that great anymore. So if a 763ER captain is now finding himself away from home more and more, and sees the opportunity to pull "rank" on the 738 captains, he most likely will.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 25):
A neighbor of mine is a DL 738 captain and claims that the non-JNB Africa flights are some of the most junior trips in the entire company, usually needing to be forced onto the new-hires since NO ONE else wants to fly em.

That holds true with the F/A's also. I've heard from a lot of the guys that they generally go very junior.

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 26):
How exactly did that work? Are they still doing it?

Not sure what you meant but how did that work. If you got the call, you go in for the interview pass (they don't do a sim ride by the way) and they wait for an indoc. date.

To date, they are not hiring though. Most of the regionals have stopped and Delta reached their projected hirings back in February or March.
What gets measured gets done.
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:11 pm

"Heavy" aircraft types aren't any harder to fly. Some pilots go straight onto heavys. Flying a small regional aircraft in bad weather has got to be more of a challenge.

Quoting Rwex414 (Thread starter):
I know that once pilots get out of collage

So that's how pilots are trained.  Big grin
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
747400sp
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:02 am

I think it has to due with the airline. For example People Express and I believe Flying Tiger had 747 captains that was in there 30's, where Pan Am, United, Northwest and most of TWA 747 captain where or is now in there 50's.
 
point8six
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RE: How Pilots Become "Heavy" Plane Pilot?

Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:48 pm

Join the SIA cadet scheme and once trained, you'll be allocated to the B747-400 or B777 as co-pilot.

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