Airline pilots. What is a typical day of work like?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Jah-Christo Decembre, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Jah-Christo Decembre

    Jah-Christo Decembre Filing Flight Plan

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    If there are any airline pilots hear, I would like to hear what you have to say.
     
  2. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Hope this helps. No children or animals were harming making this post...... I think....





     
  3. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    What? No one embedding the "living the dream" YouTube videos?
     
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  4. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Wouldn't want to lie to him... Not my style.
     
  5. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    I think you'll learn more on this topic from reading the pprune.org forum.
     
  6. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Get to the airplane, board, often call maintenance if there are issues, deal with drama in the back, battle the weather en route, repeat.
    Go to hotel, call wife, eat, sleep.
     
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  7. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    Think about not dying?
     
  8. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not a bad gig. Show up, fly ______ number of legs. Go to the hotel. Drink some beer. Workout (maybe). Repeat every 1 to 4 days.
    It's a job. There are always aspects that suck, but the good outweighs the bad by far.
    Make it fun. Take the job seriously, but never yourself. Make some money and have some toys.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  9. Kent Wien

    Kent Wien Filing Flight Plan

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    I think mwagg737 sums it up nicely.

    Commute to work via airline or car (I prefer to live in base so I can drive), meet up with another interesting pilot, do the preflight, fly the trip working together (one pilot will fly, the other talks on the radio) and get to your destination.

    Layovers are what you make of them. I enjoy getting out and learning about the place if it’s a long layover(16 hours or more). Short layovers are for getting food, a workout and sleep.

    Repeat for a three day, four day or five day trip. Cargo pilots often work longer stretches at a time.

    Occasionally there will be variables thrown in, but that’s why the job is interesting.

    Bottom line, after 26 years... I still wouldn’t want to do anything else.
     
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  10. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    Subscribed
     
  11. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Line Up and Wait

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    Kick the 24yr old FA from the night before out of the bed before heading off to the airport with the FO. Pick up a new set of FAs and head to some wild, exotic destination for a 36hr layover where the scotch and bikinis flow freely.


    Or something like that.
     
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  12. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Line Up and Wait

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    Kent,

    First off.. pleasure to "meet" you so to speak. Your videos over the years have been great. If I may, I'd like to post this one of yours to show what it's like to do an international flight. It's pretty spot on, right down to cleaning up the water from the showers that don't have full curtains/doors :)

    And as you point out in the video, the best part of the trip is at the end:

     
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  13. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Line Up and Wait

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    Been doing it for 20 years now with overnights anywhere from Toledo to Hong Kong. Where you work and the equipment you are one really direct what kind of experience you have. Flying for the regionals, expect several legs a day and staying at budget hotels. You are also probably with younger, more energetic crews and will definitely have fun, even if you aren't making the "big money".

    Narrow body flying at a major? Same thing as the regionals but nicer hotels and nicer paychecks. Also, the job itself is easier as you usually have much more support from the company. I left the widebody/international flying to upgrade to captain on the narrowbody. It's been a shock to the system, but a hell of a lot of fun.

    Widebody/international flying? As close as it gets to Catch Me If You Can, but the FAs aren't all 24yrs old anymore. I'd go to Shanghai because they had great breweries and a good indoor gokart track. Milan to pick up olive oil for the wife. Hong Kong and Tokyo for the nightlife. Tel Aviv for the beaches and food. Great job and it beats the hell out of working in an office.
     
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  14. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    it takes all kinds.
     
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  15. Kent Wien

    Kent Wien Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks Rex, that’s so nice of you!

    I made that video in 2004 mostly to counter some of the whining going on then. I thought it was important to just be thankful a bit for the pretty unique life we were living, even if many were getting furloughed, pay cuts were imminent and pensions were disappearing. The job itself, even at that time, was pretty amazing for me.

    Today the job is even better.

    Oh, and hat little girl at the end of the video? She’s now 17. We flew to Oshkosh together and camped last year.

    Thanks again for posting my video, Rex!
     
  16. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    More thanks to you, Kent! My wife, your union sister, used that video multiple times at Career Day at the kid's middle school. Always a big hit, I suspect she was not the only one to appropriate it.

    And yeah, those middle-schoolers are well grown now, we are enjoying the empty nest. You need an updated video where the spouse tags along for the 27 hour domestic layover (next week, Vegas baby!)
     
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  17. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Great video! I've been on mil leave for about 3.5 years now (wow! to type it makes it sound even longer) but I go back next year when I retire from the USAF. I started on the 7ER and mostly did 767's to Europe (what a way to start!) so that video really brings back the memories. I have a 1 year old now; so the ending and your addition of the little girl you flew to Oshkosh with is right in my wheelhouse! Keep living well my man and enjoy Osh, I'm deployed this year so I couldn't be there but I'll be back next year!
     
  18. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    BA44CB44-DEE8-409F-92AE-B66190F01A53.gif
     
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  19. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Flight with Denzel Washington is a pretty accurate representation.
     
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  20. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's not bad, but "Airplane" is closer to a documentary on airline life.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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  21. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You being Denzel?
     
  23. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    [​IMG]
     
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  24. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm glad some of you guys like the lifestyle I have weekly hobbies (leagues) that I wouldn't be able to participate in with your schedules.
     
  25. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You weren’t even born when that came out! That’s why I can’t go to the airlines. I’d have a 25 yr old Jordane in the left seat yelling at me. “I said before landing check list old man, not GUMPS!”
     
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  26. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    You mean the excessive drug and alcohol use? I know it isn’t the miracle landing that only he could do because everybody in the sim crashed.

    Potentially the worse aviation movie of all time.

    :cool:
     
  27. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    The flying part I agree with. Once you got past the first 15 minutes it wasn’t a terrible movie.
     
  28. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    You can be my wingman anytime!;) Hopefully I’ll be back in the right seat in a few months
     
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  29. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I agree with Greg, besides the flying part, the drama is actually pretty good
     
  30. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Don’t forget the blow....lots of blow...
     
  31. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Awesome man! You flowing up to Delta?
     
  32. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    No flow just a guaranteed interview. So far about half of our pilots are successful under our Delta Guaranteed Interview program. I become eligible to interview next month but I’ll probably take a September or October interview if they have slots open those months.
     
  33. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If not successful how long before you can interview again?
     
  34. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I have very little doubt you’ll be successful, Jordan! Fingers crossed!!!
     
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  35. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    There are a few outcomes. CJO, 6 month re invite to interview, 12 month re invite to interview, or you’ll never work at Delta and good luck in your endeavors (no pun intended!). I’d love Delta but if it doesn’t work out, it’s all good. I’ve got my app out at Delta and United and am currently working on JetBlue. I really should try American but I’m no where near competitive for them. Whoever calls first!
     
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  36. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    Holy Crap!

    . . . . said no one according to everyone at AA! Interesting perspective, thanks.
     
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  37. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Best of luck to you!
     
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  38. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I just woke up in San Juan after a short nap. It's 10:30am here and I got to sleep around 6:30 after landing at 3:30am. I just upgraded (that's why I get to post again) so my schedules have taken a pretty major hit...read lot's of red eyes.

    So now I'm up and I need to figure out a way to manage my rest as I now have a 2:30am van time to fly back to MCO tomorrow. Figure I'll stay up until around 6pm and try to sleep until 1:30. The actual job is pretty cool. There is a lot of support from the company, as others have said, when you fly larger equipment. My job is to identify problems and dispatch the proper department to fix it all while keeping an eye on the clock and try for on time. That's a tough task most of the time. It does get frustrating when you see little problems turn into delays and wonder 'how?'. For example, yesterday the FO found a small covering in the fairing missing. No problem, should be an easy fix and since we just started boarding we shouldn't even take a delay. Fast forward an hour us still sitting there waiting for 'paperwork'. They literally slapped speed tape on a hole, did the normal paperwork and we ate a delay. That's the frustrating bit.

    I fly with a ton of various back grounds. What you'd expect, ex-military, civilian, foreign, ect. But everyone has their own story and 99% of them are pretty interesting. FA's are interesting. They have a very wide background and level of experience. Most are great and care, some not so much. But they do the heavy lifting of dealing with the passengers and for that I am eternally grateful. Add to that they don't make much $$ and the company rides them pretty hard. So, I just try to be as nice as I can to them and support them as much as possible.

    Seniority is everything at an airline and as a pilot you get to experience everything twice. As a newhire FO you sit reserve and work your way up to awesome line holder status. Then you upgrade and boom! ...right back in reserve. As a senior line holder you can do amazing things. Go where you want, fly when you want to, just name it. I had a month where I got a line with a senior captain in the training department. So he could train new guys they dropped all my flying for the month (with pay) and I picked up a bit and accepted some junior assignments (x1.5 pay). End of month I flew only 33 hours but credited (was paid for) 173 hours. That's how important seniority is.

    Anyway, there's some off the top of my head details of airline life.

    YMMV
     
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  39. Sociald

    Sociald Filing Flight Plan

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    Live in base and bid WB asap and it's, hands down, the best gig you could ever imagine. My last trip reminded me why we have WB FOs who will not leave that seat until they can hold the left seat of the WB.

    3 day trip to Amsterdam. Day one I had enough time to work out, start laundry then grab coffee at a squadron mates house to solve world problems for a few hours. Stopped at the store for supplies for the trip, finished laundry, grabbed a nap then got on the road at 1530 for a 1646 sign in. One leg over with a meal and a nap. Pax issue was handled at gate by red coat. 22+ hours layover that gave me time for a nap, workout, bike ride through the country side. Then back to the hotel bar for beers at 5 then downtown for a dinner and couple hour BS session. Day 3 up in time for a run and breakfast before heading to the airport. Landed early enough to grab dinner supplies, uncork a bottle of wine and have dinner waiting on the chicka when she made it to my house after work. Total time away from base was just over 48 hours.
     
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  40. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Line Up and Wait

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    Pretty much. Makes me wonder why I gave up the triple to go fly domestic again.