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The SHOW: Airlines still a "good gig"??

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
#2
... and I've seen it in the airlines, believe it or not.
You resigning from the airlines, too, then?

If the only way to deal with bad leadership in a job is to leave, then why are you still there? I know corporate leadership in airlines can't be flawless, either.

I'm just saying, what's the difference?
 

A4sForever

INTERNET BULLY
pilot
Contributor
#3
You resigning from the airlines, too, then?

If the only way to deal with bad leadership in a job is to leave, then why are you still there? I know corporate leadership in airlines can't be flawless, either.

I'm just saying, what's the difference?
You seem to have a 'burr' under your saddle re: the airlines, don't you ... ??? But in the interest of broadening your horizons ....

Ah, sometimes you're borderline naive :) ... but I suppose it's got something to do w/ you only seeing half of the flying equation -- the military half, as you've never been to "The SHOW", except as a ride-&-breathe passenger. It's got NOTHING to do w/ 'corporate' (those people who are tryin' to make a buck -- and that ultimately helps me and all the rest of the employees) ... but rather EVERYTHING to do w/ 'operations'. You know; OPERATIONS (?) -- the people you deal with on a daily basis and who actually MAKE THE AIRLINE MOVE ... ???

Mebbe ... if you EVER get to "The SHOW", you'll unnerstan' ... do you think that might happen ... ??? Get to "The SHOW"?? Do you ... ??? I hope so ... for your sake. It's a potential 'growth and learning' experience ... :)

The facts: I QUIT the training department as a senior check-airman (w/ many years of tenure & experience) when the 'leadership' changed in the early '90s (hmmmmm .... do you think it had anything to do w/ TAILHOOK ???) -- and became so suck-up PC (couldn't even say: 'cockpit') that it went south over a couple of years, BIG TIME ... I quit and I never looked back.

It was the right decision ...

I returned to and remained on 'the line' ... even when the more egregious PC training department 'leadership' got shit-canned, fired, transferred, and neutered a few years later for a whole host of reasons (WE ALWAYS GET WHAT'S COMIN' TO US, don't we ??? ) ... and I was offered a return-trip ticket to the training department in a senior position .... but I demurred, worked on a tan & became -- in the Territory -- by default:

CAPT ALOHA
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
#4
I don't have any burr under my saddle about the airlines, other than maybe the way you pump it up so much. Okay, I get it, you fly A LOT. Is flying the whale really harder than ACM, LAT, CQ, and all the other things we do in the military? Like you said, I haven't done it. Maybe I'll be trying for it someday and find out. I just have a hard time buying the idea that some guy who went to Embry-Riddle, got his spurs at flying Saabs and Fokkers and is now at the majors in "THE SHOW," is somehow at the pinnacle of aviation, while I'm flying NVG LAT into an LZ so dusty I can't see 5 feet from the aircraft and I'm not. Screw that guy. Just sayin'.

I'm no kidding wondering what the big deal is about this "Show" you speak of is. I'm really not being a smart-ass on this. Is it the hours you get? There are other flying jobs that rack up the hours. Is it flying long distances? Okay, but lots of military aircraft do that. Is it that it's a big freakin' plane? Again, the gun club has some of those too. I'm just not getting the difference. Don't just tell me I'll "understand it if I ever get there," or some line like that. I've seen airline captains and talked to a couple here and there. Whatever they are, they aren't magical creatures--seemed rather ordinary, actually.

As far as this thread, I really just don't buy the either/or argument you're making. I just don't believe all those guys who left in the '70s were making some big moral stand on behalf of the warrior ethos or something. Maybe some did, but just as a student of human behavior, I'm thinking most just said,"It sucks working here. See ya." Today we've got some different dynamics going on, but I think it's BS to say anyone staying in is selling out. They've just decided that fighting Hadji is more fun than flying the run from Chicago to Milwaukee or whatever. I have a hard time seeing how bailing is more honorable than that. Nothing wrong with serving your contract honorably and getting out, but it's not some big act of moral courage.

I'm not starting a fight or being a smart-ass. Really. I'm just not one of the kiddies here who thinks that A4s has the stone tablets, is coming down from the mountain, and everyone has to sit down and shut up. I really want to know the deal, not the "you'll know when you've done it" routine. I haven't been around the world, but I've been around the block, so I think my mental abilities able to understand.
 

A4sForever

INTERNET BULLY
pilot
Contributor
#5
I don't have any burr under my saddle about the airlines...
I'm no kidding wondering what the big deal is about this "Show" you speak of ...
Well, I hope you don't, 'cause you'd be shortchanging yourself from a LOT of potential flying experience in the future if you choose NOT to rush the airlines ...

But what's the 'big deal' ... ???

It's tough to describe here, especially since we don't know each other ... but I guess it's the independence & the responsibility ... being held accountable (and trusted for) for mega-million$ and hundreds of lives (tens of thousands over the years) on a continuing & regular basis ... having a sense of doing a job and doing it well when NOTHING ever really goes 'by the book' on any given day, especially when flying the Pacific ...

It's kinda like a PHD program after the military ... the military is GREAT and it's where I cut my teeth and learned to fly and learned a LOT and I sometimes wish I could do it all over again (with the caveat that I WOULD KNOW WHAT I KNOW NOW) ... :)

But the airlines??

Especially as a 747 CAPT after going feet-wet for the 1,000th time and the radios/NAVAIDS went out of range ... when it was just YOU, your training, your crew, the airplane, the mission, your skill, your judgment, your cunning, and the sky ... that, my friend, is where I became a 'professional' Aviator ...
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#6
Well, I hope you don't, 'cause you'd be shortchanging yourself from a LOT of potential flying experience in the future if you choose to rush the airlines ...

But what's the 'big deal' ... ???

It's tough to describe here, especially since we don't know each other ... but I guess it's the responsibility ... being held accountable (and trusted for) for mega-million$ and hundreds of lives (tens of thousands over the years) on a continuing & regular basis ... having a sense of doing a job and doing it well when NOTHING ever really goes 'by the book' on any given day, especially when flying the Pacific ...

It's kinda like a PHD program after the military ... the military is GREAT and it's where I cut my teeth and learned to fly and learned a LOT and I sometimes wish I could do it all over again (with the caveat that I WOULD KNOW WHAT I KNOW NOW) ... :)

But the airlines??

Especially as a 747 CAPT after going feet-wet for the 1,000th time and the radios/NAVAIDS went out of range ... when it was just YOU, your training, your crew, the airplane, the mission, your skill, your judgment, your cunning, and the sky ... that, my friend, is where I became a 'professional' Aviator ...

To keep rolling down this road of tangents that I and Phrogdriver diverted onto, let me ask an earnest, honest question:

What exactly is so difficult about airline flying? I mean there is a TON of different types of airline flying... but let's say flying from DFW to LAX, what's the big deal? You're given your flight plan, weather brief, etc (are you not?). You make some radio calls, taxi out, V1, rotate, Autopilot engage. Besides some button pushing, and perhaps hand-flying the landing and taxi in, what exactly makes it so difficult? I mean, everything is laid out for you, and if plans change, maybe it involves a change in clearance, worst case a divert for weather or an emergency. Let's face it... it seems that civilian (ie: non mission-oriented pilots who simply transport) are really paid the big bucks IN CASE something really bad happens... a la Captain Sullenberger.

What does a domestic Airline Captain (or even the international variety) do that compares with even a 25 year old HAC who is coordinating a VERTREP between the carrier and 5 small-boys, plus 3 PAX transfers, all while monitoring fuel and watching the wx getting worse.... That seems like a WHOLE lot more coordination, uncertainty and decision making than a 35 year old airline captain who has his whole plan laid out for him, and really is just a stick-monkey, carting 200 people from one boring city to another.

My question maybe poorly written, and a bit smart-ass in tone, but honestly it's not my intent. I am genuinely curious what the "big deal" about the airlines is?
 

A4sForever

INTERNET BULLY
pilot
Contributor
#7
....I am genuinely curious what the "big deal" about the airlines is?
If you were a new guy, I'd say -- use the search function.

But ... *sigh* .... I don't know.

There must be SOMETHING there, don't you think ... ??? I mean ... why WOULD guys leave their jobs, sell their sisters, and wear a coat & tie unless there was SOMETHING there ... ???

It's one of those kinda' questions that begs: if you have to ask -- "HOW MUCH", you really can't afford it.

The airlines: you either want it, or you don't.

If you have to ask 'what's the big deal' ... I'd say it ain't gonna' happen for you ...
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#8
If you have to ask 'what's the big deal' ... I'd say it ain't gonna' happen for you ...
You're right. Nobody gets rich flying the airlines, and my delusions of grandeur for the future involve abandoning whatever scruples I may have and making millions of dollars any which way I can (It's in my blood as a Jew). Therefore, I won't need to fly the friendly skies. I'll simply jet set at will .... like a like a like a G-6!
 

armada1651

Hey intern, get me a Campari!
pilot
#9

There must be SOMETHING there, don't you think ... ??? I mean ... why WOULD guys leave their jobs, sell their sisters, and wear a coat & tie unless there was SOMETHING there ... ???

It's one of those kinda' questions that begs: if you have to ask -- "HOW MUCH", you really can't afford it.

The airlines: you either want it, or you don't.
Well, there is the whole "more money, more stability, less getting shot at, no more night traps" thing. I don't know...I'm obviously very young and very inexperienced, but I just can't imagine it not being mind-numbingly boring to go from launching off a boat and putting warheads on foreheads to flying around a few hundred whiny civilians on even the most glamorous trans-oceanic routes.

Maybe someday I'll get it, sir, but for now, on the lengthy list titled "Reasons A4's Is a Badass," "Carrier attack pilot" just ranks way higher than "747 captain."
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#10
Well, there is the whole "more money, more stability, less getting shot at, no more night traps" thing. I don't know...I'm obviously very young and very inexperienced, but I just can't imagine it not being mind-numbingly boring to go from launching off a boat and putting warheads on foreheads to flying around a few hundred whiny civilians on even the most glamorous trans-oceanic routes.

Maybe someday I'll get it, sir, but for now, on the lengthy list titled "Reasons A4's Is a Badass," "Carrier attack pilot" just ranks way higher than "747 captain."

I don't even know about the more $$ deal. I'd say an O-3 (especially once you hit the over 6 in aviation flight pay), over 6 is probably making as much if not more than many a left-seater airline pilot. Now take the same O-3 and put them FDNF with COLA or even better in the desert with no taxes or bahrain with Per diem (or any of the other good deal communities with per diem deployments) and he's probably making a LOT more than many captains.

Maybe in the biggest of airframes or UPS/FEDEX, captains still make the big bucks, but all the anecdotal evidence/he said/she said stuff I've seen/heard and pilots I've talked to... airlines aren't paying like they used to...

Also take into account flying for the regionals until you have the mins for the big leagues for a few years at like 17-25K a year AND all the right seat time even in the big leagues where you may make in the 50's. Then compare that to being a brand new ENS making 48K a year and within 2 or so years I was in the fleet making 90ish FDNF. 2 years..... no other pilot gig has a pay ladder like that for a guy with 300 hours out of a pilot-factory like ERAU, NEVERMIND being completely inexperienced off-the-street civilian.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
#11
I don't even know about the more $$ deal. I'd say an O-3 (especially once you hit the over 6 in aviation flight pay), over 6 is probably making as much if not more than many a left-seater airline pilot. Now take the same O-3 and put them FDNF with COLA or even better in the desert with no taxes or bahrain with Per diem (or any of the other good deal communities with per diem deployments) and he's probably making a LOT more than many captains.

Maybe in the biggest of airframes or UPS/FEDEX, captains still make the big bucks, but all the anecdotal evidence/he said/she said stuff I've seen/heard and pilots I've talked to... airlines aren't paying like they used to...

Also take into account flying for the regionals until you have the mins for the big leagues for a few years at like 17-25K a year AND all the right seat time even in the big leagues where you may make in the 50's. Then compare that to being a brand new ENS making 48K a year and within 2 or so years I was in the fleet making 90ish FDNF. 2 years..... no other pilot gig has a pay ladder like that for a guy with 300 hours out of a pilot-factory like ERAU, NEVERMIND being completely inexperienced off-the-street civilian.
Otto - once again you do not know what you are talking about.

Regional airline pilots make shit. Major airline pilots still make good money.

Major airline FOs make more than $50k. OK, first year on probation $50k or less but then it goes up. My 2nd year was $80k, $100k third year and up. I was on 4th year pay the amjority of 2010 (11 of 12 months) and made about $135k for the year plus another $6500 - $7000 in per diem (which I didn't come close to spending). I had at least 15 days off a month, with 20-22 days off a couple of months.

The Captains at my airline make a minimum of about $200k per year - far better than LT pay. Training Captains can add another $50k/year to that easily.

SWA FOs can easily make $175k and their Captains $250k per year.

Delta wide-body guys do better than SWA. FedEx and UPS guys make even more.

Quality of life at any major airline even as a junior guy on reserve beats the hell out of military quality of life.

I have the best paying part-time job in the world.

I also have a hell of a lot more responsibility than most people because if I fuck up, I kill 250 people. And although I do have contact with the company, once we take off, it all rest on the pilots' far more than it ever did in the P-3. I feel the responsibility even more than when I was picking targets for the pointy nose guys to blow the hell out of in Bosnia. There are many BIG decisions that have to be made by the crew in the cockpit - things like diverting which cost the company big bucks and greatly inconvenience the pax. Divert decisions were a lot easier in the military as the variables were greatly reduced. What about that 300 RVR autoland? And the 250 pax making it with you?

Fixed wing military guys don't have to fly for the regionals. If there is hiring going on, they can go straight to a major airline. A military helo guy with minimal fixed wing multi time (compared to civilian) can go to some majors too (not all and is more difficult but doable). And in many ways, it is like rushing a fraternity, You won't get called for the interview if you don't have the qualifications. You won't get hired out of the interview if you are a dick that no one wants to spend hours sitting next to you in a cockpit.

It is THE SHOW (as A4s likes to say). You have to be a part of it to really understand this.
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#12
Otto - once again you do not know what you are talking about.

Regional airline pilots make shit. Major airline pilots still make good money.

Major airline FOs make more than $50k. OK, first year on probation $50k or less but then it goes up. My 2nd year was $80k, $100k third year and up. I was on 4th year pay the amjority of 2010 (11 of 12 months) and made about $135k for the year plus another $6500 - $7000 in per diem (which I didn't come close to spending). I had at least 15 days off a month, with 20-22 days off a couple of months.

The Captains at my airline make a minimum of about $200k per year - far better than LT pay. Training Captains can add another $50k/year to that easily.

SWA FOs can easily make $175k and their Captains $250k per year.

Delta wide-body guys do better than SWA. FedEx and UPS guys make even more.

Quality of life at any major airline even as a junior guy on reserve beats the hell out of military quality of life.

I have the best paying part-time job in the world.

I also have a hell of a lot more responsibility than most people because if I fuck up, I kill 250 people. And although I do have contact with the company, once we take off, it all rest on the pilots' far more than it ever did in the P-3. I feel the responsibility even more than when I was picking targets for the pointy nose guys to blow the hell out of in Bosnia. There are many BIG decisions that have to be made by the crew in the cockpit - things like diverting which cost the company big bucks and greatly inconvenience the pax. Divert decisions were a lot easier in the military as the variables were greatly reduced. What about that 300 RVR autoland? And the 250 pax making it with you?

Fixed wing military guys don't have to fly for the regionals. If there is hiring going on, they can go straight to a major airline. A military helo guy with minimal fixed wing multi time (compared to civilian) can go to some majors too (not all and is more difficult but doable). And in many ways, it is like rushing a fraternity, You won't get called for the interview if you don't have the qualifications. You won't get hired out of the interview if you are a dick that no one wants to spend hours sitting next to you in a cockpit.

It is THE SHOW (as A4s likes to say). You have to be a part of it to really understand this.
Well the above is sort of exactly what I was asking for, so thanks for taking the time to write out such a comprehensive post! I wasn't being a smartass for the sake of it, but there seems to be a lot of "We are the cool kids, but you'll only know when you get there" mentality and a few of us were curious what the airlines were all about.

I was more comparing the two career paths, military vs civilian airlines, not necessarily going from military (especially fixed wing) to civilian, because of course that is a simple transition with minimal kinks and pay cuts. For a 1 to 1, military seems to be a better gig.... from the outset. No 100K in flight training debt to pay off, while making 17K as a Beech 1900 right seater. Granted, after you make the majors' mins and get a couple years of seniority, it sounds like, from your post, you are making as good and then better money. But it still takes a LONG time to pay off the kind of money it takes most to get the ratings and time built to get there in the first place.

Military to civilian is a no-brainer. No debt for the ratings, and you can go right to the majors from some airframes (P-3, E-6, S-3 etc) I've seen a few airlines say (on their applications) that they recognize the value in military helicopter time, so if you have the mins for multi and instrument time, they'll review your military rotary records and take that into consideration.

As for the decision making, I obviously hadn't thought a lot about it, but it sounds like you end up making a lot of decisions with serious financial implications for the company, and try to save as much money/inconvenience pax as little as possible? A different mindset from the sorts of decisions you make in a grey airplane, but interesting nonetheless.

Anyway, thanks for the insight. I'm not sure I even want tickets to "the show", but it's certainly food for thought.
 

Banjo33

AV-8 Type
pilot
#13
HAL-you said fixed wing guys can go directly to the Majors, but I assume it's because of their multi time. I assume the same wouldnt hold true for single engine guys and it's important to distinguish between the two. Fwiw, what is an example of the multi requirement for some of these?

Also, I know of several guys currently upgrading to ATP while here in the training command. Is this required or just merely something to add to the resume? Ie. benefit?
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
Contributor
#14


Especially as a 747 CAPT after going feet-wet for the 1,000th time and the radios/NAVAIDS went out of range ... when it was just YOU, your training, your crew, the airplane, the mission, your skill, your judgment, your cunning, and the sky ... that, my friend, is where I became a 'professional' Aviator ...

In the age of GPS does this happen anymore?

Not to sound like the young whippersnapper having a smart comment to the old guy, but to me this sounds akin to the days of seamanship where ones ability to navigate by the sun and stars got you around the world safely, or dead. IE something that we young ones will never truly be able to experience.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
#15
HAL-you said fixed wing guys can go directly to the Majors, but I assume it's because of their multi time. I assume the same wouldnt hold true for single engine guys and it's important to distinguish between the two. Fwiw, what is an example of the multi requirement for some of these?

Also, I know of several guys currently upgrading to ATP while here in the training command. Is this required or just merely something to add to the resume? Ie. benefit?
Lots of F-16, F-18 (center line thrust), A-4, etc. drivers in the majors so I assume a Harrier guy could do it too. It depends on the airline but it's doable. What kind of ME time you'd need, I haven't a clue. I just know that there out there in large numbers. When I was doing my 737 type rating, we had 2 F-16 guys who were getting their type, ATP and first ever ME rating. Both were trying for a SWA interview.

You could definitely get hired at Hawaiian with a ME ATP and Harrier time.

SWA's pilot minimums from their website - notice it doesn't say ME anywhere:
Flight Experience: 2,500 hours total or 1,500 hours TURBINE total. Additionally, a minimum of 1,000 hours in Turbine aircraft as the Pilot in command3 (as defined below) is required. Southwest considers only Pilot time in fixed-wing aircraft.
For you, the multi-engine ATP is probably mandatory. You have to have a multi-commercial to apply minimum but with SE time, I'd go for the ATP. An ATP always looks better on an application.
 
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