Question for the Airline Pilots

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FormerHangie, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    What all does being an airline pilot entail? Obviously, you fly the airplane, but what other things to aircrews do?

    Just curious what other people's jobs are like.
     
  2. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    I think a lot of recurrent training, a lot of paper pushing, a lot of waiting, a lot of nights in mostly not great hotels with no time to enjoy where they are.

    And some money and flying.

    [Not an airline pilot, but I've talked to a few]
     
  3. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    You should look up the two "livin' the dream" videos on YouTube. It has a pretty good description of what an airline pilot's duties entail.



    giggle
     
  4. JC150

    JC150 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Depends who you ask, but from my experience: lots of sitting, talking to pass the time, going out with the crew, and trying to make sense of why scheduling did what they just did

    And yes, "living the dream" i'd say is pretty accurate
     
  5. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    The chicks love it
     
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  7. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I hear airline pilots have a mistress in every city...
     
  8. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah...called a hand.
     
  9. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Paula Palm and Thelma Thumb
     
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  10. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Complain about "management"
     
  11. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    As an airline pilot friend of mine says, the biggest worry he brings home with him from the job is to make sure his tablet is charged up before his next trip.
     
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  12. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    And this right here is the best thing about the job. It’s maybe a little exaggerated. I have to bid for my schedule once a month and there are quarterly Computer Based Training modules I have to complete (and get paid for... while I drink bourbon in my home).

    Once the parking brake is set, I don’t even have to think about work until the next time I roll into Ops.
     
  13. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How many of you maintain side jobs (business, consulting, etc...)?
     
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  14. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    For 16 years, my side-job was flying in the Air National Guard. I've since retired as of 2016, so I'm enjoying just having one job now. There are plenty of guy and gals who have side gigs, though.
     
  15. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup. Fly your trip, go home. Important, don't answer your phone when one is off! :)

    When I was in the Air Force (enlisted ATC) you not only did your job but had additional duties, and if you wanted to get ahead you went to school to get your degree. You could get called out anytime. Airline job you didn't answer your phone when you were off. Officers in the USAF had even more extra duties and additional education requirements.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  16. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I typically fly 9-12 day trips internationally. Usually have 12 hour to 48 hour layovers so we have time to get out and do something. Shorter layovers sleep, eat, try to work out.

    Have recurrent training once a year and of course a medical every six months otherwise I don’t bring the job home. Throw the bags in the closet and I’m done.

    No side job. Someone once said “I became a pilot because I’m too lazy to work and too scared to steal”.
     
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  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Some of my airline buddies have a non-aviation side business going, which actually brings in more money than their airline pay. Their hope is after retiring, or getting laid off, or the airline going bust or if one of the other worries (like losing the medical) about sudden job loss happens, they will have another successful business going and still have income.
     
  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or find a well off woman and marry her. :blowingkisses:
     
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  19. JustinD

    JustinD Line Up and Wait

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    I love the job, couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

    Everything about the airlines is seniority so if you’re thinking about doing it do it now rather than later

    I don’t live in base so when I was at the regionals I was one of the more seniors guys I chose to fly 4 4-day trips a month, so I’d wake up, commute to work, fly 1-5 legs, go to an overnight for typically 12-16 hours. Though longer ones and shorter ones existed, day 4 I’d commute back home.

    Now that I’m elsewhere I’m back to being junior, I’d like to fly the 5 or 6 day trips on my equipment however being junior doesn’t allow that, ive Been on reserve which means I commute, sit somewhere that isn’t home, and wait to get called, but finally I have a line next month and it consists of several 2 day trips, a little more commuting, and not as long of stretch of days off in a row, but some trip trading made it a schedule I’m thrilled to have!

    I’ve always been a go out and do stuff guy on overnight, my crews and friends always joke if there was a superlative for seeing the town I’d get it. So on an overnight I’ll find some good food, go to a museum and see whatever local sights I can.

    There is recurrent training depending on your airline could be once a year, 6 months, or 9 months. Again depending can consist of some ground and time in the sim. There’s also several online modules throughout the year which can come up. Plus the required medical, ever 12 months under 40 or 6 months if you’re older than that.

    As for side jobs, no not for me. I don’t have the passion and desire for something else so I don’t. I also only need to support me so that changes the financial situation a bit. I would say at least half the guys I fly with do something on the side, real estate seems to be the popular one. I’d like to maybe one day own a restaurant.

    Probably one of my favorite things about the job as others have mentioned when you’re off you’re truly off, sure I’m gone a lot but when I’m home and it’s a few days off it’s very enjoyable.

    If you’d like more detail or any specific questions feel free to ask or shoot me a pm
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  20. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    Rosie Palmer and her sisters?
     
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  21. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    Many thanks for the answer. I was just curious as to what an airline pilot's job entailed, I'm not looking for a career change. I figure I'll try to ride this one out for another 10 years and then retire.
     
  22. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Lots of captains I’ve flpwn with have a side business. Some are real estate agents, one guy had his own granola business, dog poop cleaning service, decal business. Some of these guys have like 20 days off a month so they have some decent time to do other things.
     
  23. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    That's far more risky than losing an engine in IMC at night in a single engine plane with about 150 hrs on the engine since it's OH in a shady shop

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  24. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like you have experience in that area @WannFly :D
     
  25. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Just the marriage part...not the well off part unfortunately or fortunately donno how diff it is ... hell yah..talking from experience

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  26. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    But then she wouldn’t be well off any more.

    :D
     
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  27. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Airline pilots: Do you see this industry still being good to get into for the next 10 years? I won't be able to start getting the majority of my ratings until 2020.. I'm worried about missing the boat.
     
  28. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude

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    I get nervous thinking about a 5 year timeline, let alone 10. :) There’s lots of fun to be had while getting your ratings - I say go for it and evaluate whether or not to go all in for the airlines once you get closer.
     
  29. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Thanks- that's good to hear.
     
  30. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    The jumpseater on our last flight said that flying for the airlines should be a lot like golf, whoever retires with the most money and least amount of flight time - wins.

    I love what I do, but I love time off more.

    As for a typical day 1 of a trip, it's pretty simple. I get ready, take public transportation to the airport, catch a ride up to base, check in on the computer, show up at the airplane 1-hour prior, start the APU, do my walk-around and interior checks, go grab a coffee, pray the APU catches the airplane on fire and I can go home, look at all the pretty women in the terminal, walk back to the airplane, meet the crew, lounge around in the cockpit until boarding, finish setting up, tell the FA to stop letting men on my airplane, close the cockpit door, do pilot stuff, small talk above 10k, secretly wait for the other guy to mess something up so they owe you a beer, land, more pilot stuff until the parking brake is set and the engines are off, say "bye" to the pax, wait for them to compliment the landing, doesn't happen, run to the bathroom, buy another coffee on the way back, 25-minute quick turn, pilot stuff back to where we just came from, fly as many legs as the schedule tell us to, end up in a city you wouldn't think of in your nightmares, put the airplane to bed with checklists, call the hotel van, wait for the hotel van, almost die on the way to the hotel, meet in the lobby in "10 to 15," eat dinner, go to sleep, and start it all again the next day.

    Other than actually showing up at the right time to fly the airplane, we don't do much.

    *disclaimer- this is only me and some of it may be exaggerated.
     
  31. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe it's my years of working in startups (wander in whenever, never leave), but this sounds like the hardest part.
     
  32. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Is the time away from family as bad as people say?
     
  33. MD11Pilot

    MD11Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What Captain Kirk said is true (mostly) for passenger guys. For cargo it is a lot different. I commute so I have to stay up very very late to be sleepy and try to sleep a few hours before driving to the airport and jumpseating to my base. Arrive at base, update the company IPad and glance at the mass of updates and memos from management that change a change of a change of a procedure or more importantly how to say the exact verbiage of one of the THREE required briefings of the Crew prior to takeoff. Depending on time try to grab a bite or a nap, all again depending on how much time before departure and whether the other guys slept. Ride the van to the plane and pre-flight while dodging loading tugs. Pat the flight attendant on the butt...oh wait, that was a former life. If loading is delayed, play solitaire on the phone or take a nap. Close up, join the conga line, takeoff and usually are cleared direct to destination (about the only good thing about backside of the clock). We do the small talk also but usually go into a blank zombie state and try to not drool (makes you have to carry an extra shirt) and occasionally or so I have heard, some might say “ you doing ok? I am going to close my eyes for a minute...or if it is a long flight the we get to divide time in the bunk. The bunk! To keep the temperature right in their then the jumpseaters need parkas. I have noticed that the quality of pilots drops dramatically when I am in the bunk...I have asked the other guys to turn around and go back and get the bumps they missed. When I am in the seat it is glass smooth. ???????
    Land, go to the hotel,listen to the maids try to knock the walls down, try to sleep where the light beams through the curtains do not hit the bed. Get up and exercise, eat and meet the Crew and ride to the airport....where the number one question is “how did you sleep”

    Time away from the family? Just like any other travel job. To many factors to answer.
    Live in base and fly turns, commute and fly long trips (my company has trips as long as two weeks).
     
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  34. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    My side job is ensuring the demand for Jack Daniels stays high.
     
  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends on the state of a marriage. I know guys that could hold 3 day trips bid four and five trips to stay away from their wife.
     
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  36. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Gave her more time to be with the pool boy.
     
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  37. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    It all depends. I’ve been at my airline for a little over a year and half and I’ve gotten off every holiday and birthday. I was also able to hold weekends off my second month on the line. I’d expect the worst though. When my dad started at NWA he was gone 5 days a week and had min days off a month. He’s on medical leave right now but when he works, he bids reserve and works at most 10 days a month. Again, I’d expect the worst and expect to miss birthdays and holidays. If you get them off, that’s a bonus.
     
  38. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    dont forget without the red handle or a AOA indicator!
     
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  39. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    The simple answer is, its a heck of a lot easier if you're single and ok with that, than it is with a family.

    I can be at home doing not much of anything, or I can be at work doing not much of anything (when not in the airplane) and be making money to do it.
     
  40. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Do pilots actually walk around a big plane like 747? I have always wondered how they do pre flight. Can't imagine u guys go up a ladder and move the aelerons or the rudder, stabilator , check the static wicks, see of the pilot heat is working, check for hydrolic leaks, open the cap and visually check fuel and pull out the dip stick

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