What Happens (Happened) to 737 Max Flight Crews?

DJTorrente

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I know this place isn't pprune or largely geared towards professional airline pilots, but a question occurred to me last week. While the 737 Max is (was) grounded, does that mean flight crews that are assigned to fly the Max are also effectively grounded? Are they stuck earning the contract minimum guarantee until the plane is back in the air? If they have appropriate type ratings, can they bid for other routes, or are they stuck in their seat?
 
I know this place isn't pprune or largely geared towards professional airline pilots, but a question occurred to me last week. While the 737 Max is (was) grounded, does that mean flight crews that are assigned to fly the Max are also effectively grounded? Are they stuck earning the contract minimum guarantee until the plane is back in the air? If they have appropriate type ratings, can they bid for other routes, or are they stuck in their seat?

Depended on the airline. Since a max is a 737, and carries a common type rating with all the other model 737's. They just kept flying other models.
 
In my case we just flew the other 737s. During the grounding we had far fewer MAX airframes as a percentage of the overall 737 fleet, so shifting the flying was a lot more trivial than it would be today.
 
If they have appropriate type ratings, can they bid for other routes, or are they stuck in their seat?
It’s not just a matter of type ratings…they have to have current training and checking in the other type to fly as a line pilot.
 
That’s the reason southwest buys only 737, One type rating needed
 
That’s the reason southwest buys only 737, One type rating needed
That's probably what Alaska was thinking. Aren't they the largest single operator of the Max? They sure had to take this in the shorts.

I wonder if they fly (m)any of those Airbus airframes from the merger with Virgin America?
 
That’s the reason southwest buys only 737, One type rating needed
That's also the reason Boeing went so far out of the way to ensure the FAA would allow Southwest (and hence all the other airlines) to avoid having to retrain their pilots on a new Max type rating.
 
That's also the reason Boeing went so far out of the way to ensure the FAA would allow Southwest (and hence all the other airlines) to avoid having to retrain their pilots on a new Max type rating.
They did a good job with that. I frequently fly both a MAX and an NG in the same day. Switching back and forth is trivial.

The MAX flies better in almost every way. Several less desirable characteristics of the NG were fixed in the MAX, it is much smoother on the controls, and the cockpit is noticeably quieter. All of the procedures and methods we use the fly the airplane are the same. There are very few differences which we have to manage.
 
That's also the reason Boeing went so far out of the way to ensure the FAA would allow Southwest (and hence all the other airlines) to avoid having to retrain their pilots on a new Max type rating.
That is where Boeing is getting a bad wrap on continuing the 737 line, but they are only doing what their customers want. Unfortunately the airframe was not originally designed for the future and high bypass engines with it's low gear height. If they clean sheeted a new replacement and type they would risk losing their biggest customers to Airbus, not to mention the cost to certify an all new airframe.
 
I know this place isn't pprune or largely geared towards professional airline pilots, but a question occurred to me last week. While the 737 Max is (was) grounded, does that mean flight crews that are assigned to fly the Max are also effectively grounded? Are they stuck earning the contract minimum guarantee until the plane is back in the air? If they have appropriate type ratings, can they bid for other routes, or are they stuck in their seat?

At my airline if a flight got cancelled, you're pay protected. The company can still do something with you within a certain time frame. Once that is up you're free from obligations. You can even try to pick up another trip that is within the footprint of your old trip and make some extra dough.
 
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