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Joshs1000
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Curious if I could become a pilot...

Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:13 pm

So if any of you saw before I'm thinking of doing ramp work eventually, but I'm still wondering if being a pilot is remotely possible. When I was younger I looked into it but became discouraged because I have autism (specifically Aspergers) and I had read something back then that said it would be hard to impossible to become a pilot because of it. Well that was then and I had only really read one thing and never researched much more beyond that. So I'm wondering if any of you piloting types or pilot instructors could give me some information on this. I would love to be a commercial pilot even for some cargo company like Fedex or UPS (would be preferred cause they have the old planes haha).

EDIT: I am also 23 so even if I got past the autism stuff am I too old to really start working my way toward eventually being a commercial pilot?
 
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thewizbizman
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:42 pm

For the too old part of the question, no not at all. Pilots have to retire at 65 and it would take 4-6 years of study. So no, you are not too old. I recommend you look into it. It is the best and most rewarding job in the world.
 
N353SK
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:08 pm

Your hurdle would be attaining an FAA Medical Certificate. From my limited understanding the FAA evaluates ASD cases on an individual case-by-case basis so it's hard to say yes or no without a full evaluation. That said, I'd think it would be discriminatory for an airline to not hire you based on having Asperger's provided you already have the FAA Class 1 Medical Certificate.

The best I could find is linked below. In this case the pilot was issued a Class 2 medical certificate, which would be adequate to fly for hire in some charter or small cargo carriers, but keep in mind that a Class 1 medical is required for any Part 121 airline job.


https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviatio ... autism.pdf
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:39 pm

The first step is always to get a Class 1 medical certificate. If you can get one, you have a "statement of medical fitness", as it were. Many airlines do their own, more rigorous, medical evaluation as part of the hiring process, but if you have a Class 1 you have a good base to stand on.

You're not even close to too old. There are guys who become airline pilots in their forties after careers completely outside aviation.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VSMUT
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:22 am

I think someone in Denmark who is a "former autist" has been trying to become a pilot for almost 10 year, but hasn't been able to get his class 1 medical. The authorities just won't accept him or anyone with former mental disorders.

Get the class 1 medical first, so you don't end up wasting a fortune taking flying lessons that will be void if you don't get the medical.
 
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Joshs1000
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:12 pm

Thanks for the responses guys. I imagine the medical examination to get this Class 1 is rather expensive lol.
 
edgaren
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:55 pm

Joshs1000 this is a rather complicated situation but not an impossible one. It`ll depend on the severity of the spectrum youre in. Remember no two Aspies are the same. Some people go undetected for years, others are never diagnosed in a lifetime, with some individuals just been tagged as "unconventional" or "extravagant" "socially awkward" or regarded as having a geeky personality. Many elements need to be factored in: how stable emotionally are you¨?, go talk to your shrink , ask for a professional input !!!.....theres more than one within the Spectrum in my family and theyve never had a reason to to bring up their condition at the workplace (they dont work in a safety sensible industry as aviation though), theyre also very sociable and successful. Now for those in the know, will it be illegal or wrongful to omit that during medical assessment ?
 
qcpilotxf
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:40 pm

edgaren wrote:
Joshs1000 this is a rather complicated situation but not an impossible one. It`ll depend on the severity of the spectrum youre in. Remember no two Aspies are the same. Some people go undetected for years, others are never diagnosed in a lifetime, with some individuals just been tagged as "unconventional" or "extravagant" "socially awkward" or regarded as having a geeky personality. Many elements need to be factored in: how stable emotionally are you¨?, go talk to your shrink , ask for a professional input !!!.....theres more than one within the Spectrum in my family and theyve never had a reason to to bring up their condition at the workplace (they dont work in a safety sensible industry as aviation though), theyre also very sociable and successful. Now for those in the know, will it be illegal or wrongful to omit that during medical assessment ?


Very illegal to omit something that has not been reported yet

I know quite a few people in the spectrum that have medicals but im not sure about 1st class medicals.

When I go get my medical it normally runs me about $150 so it isn't too ridiculously expensive to go try and get one


EDIT: Typo
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:14 pm

Joshs1000 wrote:
Thanks for the responses guys. I imagine the medical examination to get this Class 1 is rather expensive lol.


US$150-250. No more expensive than an hour or two of flying in a Cessna 172. :D

It's not a massive thing really. We do it every year.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
gtae07
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:35 am

Hey, even if you can't get a Class 1 or 2 medical... get a Class 3 or go Light Sport, and fly for yourself. Flying is amazing and rewarding, even (or especially ;) ) if you're not doing it for someone else.

To add, before going and trying for a higher medical, try and talk it over with the AME before doing the paperwork "for real". What you don't want to do is apply for a Class 1 and get denied; it'll make getting a Class 3 even harder (if not impossible). And if you were denied a medical, you can't even fly under LSA until you can pass another one.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:41 pm

If this is one of your dreams then go find out. There are doctors everywhere who can give a class 1 medical exam. It doesn't cost much and takes less than an hour. You can go make an appointment with one and get an exam. You don't need a pilot license to go to a medical examiner and it is under $200. You can usually count it as an annual physical although insurance usually won't pay for it.

https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificat ... ation/faq/
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:11 pm

thewizbizman wrote:
For the too old part of the question, no not at all. Pilots have to retire at 65 and it would take 4-6 years of study. So no, you are not too old. I recommend you look into it. It is the best and most rewarding job in the world.


4-6 years? You could go from nothing to 121 air carrier in about 2.5 years, if you really worked and got in CFI'ing at a high volume sale.
From my cold, dead hands
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:26 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
thewizbizman wrote:
For the too old part of the question, no not at all. Pilots have to retire at 65 and it would take 4-6 years of study. So no, you are not too old. I recommend you look into it. It is the best and most rewarding job in the world.


4-6 years? You could go from nothing to 121 air carrier in about 2.5 years, if you really worked and got in CFI'ing at a high volume sale.

certainly depends on the carrier. for a fact you won't do that with all.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:39 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
thewizbizman wrote:
For the too old part of the question, no not at all. Pilots have to retire at 65 and it would take 4-6 years of study. So no, you are not too old. I recommend you look into it. It is the best and most rewarding job in the world.


4-6 years? You could go from nothing to 121 air carrier in about 2.5 years, if you really worked and got in CFI'ing at a high volume sale.

certainly depends on the carrier. for a fact you won't do that with all.


Any 121 carrier in the US that you start out at, certainly you could. Meaning regionals. People don't start at DL/UA/AA.
From my cold, dead hands
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:48 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

4-6 years? You could go from nothing to 121 air carrier in about 2.5 years, if you really worked and got in CFI'ing at a high volume sale.

certainly depends on the carrier. for a fact you won't do that with all.


Any 121 carrier in the US that you start out at, certainly you could. Meaning regionals. People don't start at DL/UA/AA.


the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.
 
CanadianNorth
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:40 am

Go get an aviation medical. They're typically less than $200 and will quickly give you a very good idea of where you stand from a medical point of view. They're generally not a big deal, pilots do them all the time, and most of the things on their list are things that a lot of people should probably have checked every now and again anyway.

If your doctor won't sign you off for airline flying but would for the private pilot level then consider that option too, flying because you want to instead of because the boss said so is almost always more fun anyway. Besides, for every pilot making 100+ with their feet on the dash and a cup of starbucks in their hand there's probably three more making less than 20 with their feet in a snowbank and a cup of hangar tar full of mosquitos in their hand.

As for the age thing, I'm 28 and I just started down the pilot road this year, and it's been 100% worth it so far. In both my pilot ground school and my maintenance engineer school I had multiple guys in the class 30+, and in both places it was those guys that seemed to be enjoying it the most.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:19 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
certainly depends on the carrier. for a fact you won't do that with all.


Any 121 carrier in the US that you start out at, certainly you could. Meaning regionals. People don't start at DL/UA/AA.


the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.


Some people start at the big boys. Like many at my company I went from my first flight in a 172 to a widebody with only light twins in between in about three years.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:32 pm

yes I know some carriers do take new pilots and bring them up in their co. just talking about the norm. for the carrier i was with it won't happen.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:21 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
yes I know some carriers do take new pilots and bring them up in their co. just talking about the norm. for the carrier i was with it won't happen.


I take your point but "the norm" is shifting due to the cost of pilot training rising dramatically in the past 25 years. An hour in a light prop today is literally 10 times what it was in the early 1990s. More and more airline pilots are trained in ab initio programs. (I was not one of these pilots but many of my colleagues with a similar start date are.)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:08 pm

here in the US there's more and more emphasis to keep pilots in the military so they are making plans to keep guys in AND fly for an airline or something like that.
 
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Joshs1000
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:28 pm

Can any doctor preform the exam or does it have to be a FAA doctor? I think I could pass then exam, the medications I take (only two) don't impair me by say making me drowsy or anything weird, just a brief stomach ache if I don't eat any food with them.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:41 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
yes I know some carriers do take new pilots and bring them up in their co. just talking about the norm. for the carrier i was with it won't happen.


I take your point but "the norm" is shifting due to the cost of pilot training rising dramatically in the past 25 years. An hour in a light prop today is literally 10 times what it was in the early 1990s. More and more airline pilots are trained in ab initio programs. (I was not one of these pilots but many of my colleagues with a similar start date are.)


There is yet to be an ab-initio program in the US that has produced a pilot that's flying for 121 in the past 15 years...
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:06 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
yes I know some carriers do take new pilots and bring them up in their co. just talking about the norm. for the carrier i was with it won't happen.


I take your point but "the norm" is shifting due to the cost of pilot training rising dramatically in the past 25 years. An hour in a light prop today is literally 10 times what it was in the early 1990s. More and more airline pilots are trained in ab initio programs. (I was not one of these pilots but many of my colleagues with a similar start date are.)


Ha! Funny you say that about costs. No so sure about 10 times the 90s cost BUT I still have a receipt from an hour of dual I took in 1965 in a J-3 Cub. $7/hr. wet and $4/hr for the instructor.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:17 am

Joshs1000 wrote:
Can any doctor preform the exam or does it have to be a FAA doctor? I think I could pass then exam, the medications I take (only two) don't impair me by say making me drowsy or anything weird, just a brief stomach ache if I don't eat any food with them.


The doctor doesn't have to work for the FAA, but he/she must be an Aviation Medical Examiner. There's a listing on the FAA website: https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Joshs1000
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:45 am

Thanks everybody, this won't be pursued for probably another year or more, but this information has got me going in the right direction. :D
 
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thewizbizman
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:35 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
certainly depends on the carrier. for a fact you won't do that with all.


Any 121 carrier in the US that you start out at, certainly you could. Meaning regionals. People don't start at DL/UA/AA.


the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.


I said 4-6 years as that would be a college course, line training with an airline, etc.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:40 am

thewizbizman wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

Any 121 carrier in the US that you start out at, certainly you could. Meaning regionals. People don't start at DL/UA/AA.


the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.


I said 4-6 years as that would be a college course, line training with an airline, etc.


Honestly, one is better off getting the ratings, getting to being a CFI, and doing college on the side as they CFI and work at a regional.
From my cold, dead hands
 
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thewizbizman
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:42 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
thewizbizman wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:

the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.


I said 4-6 years as that would be a college course, line training with an airline, etc.


Honestly, one is better off getting the ratings, getting to being a CFI, and doing college on the side as they CFI and work at a regional.



Try flying for a regional carrier and going to college, good luck!
 
gtae07
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:51 am

CanadianNorth wrote:
If your doctor won't sign you off for airline flying but would for the private pilot level then consider that option too, flying because you want to instead of because the boss said so is almost always more fun anyway.


You need to determine that before you actually submit the paperwork at the beginning of your visit. The AME can't decide "well, you don't meet the standard for Class I but you can meet Class 3"; he/she can only evaluate you for what you've requested--and a denial is a denial. Get denied a Class 1 and you'll have to fight the bureaucracy to get a Class 3 later.

If you have any doubt or question at all, talk to the AME first. Once you fill out the pre-exam paperwork and submit it, you're committed.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:23 pm

thewizbizman wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
thewizbizman wrote:

I said 4-6 years as that would be a college course, line training with an airline, etc.


Honestly, one is better off getting the ratings, getting to being a CFI, and doing college on the side as they CFI and work at a regional.



Try flying for a regional carrier and going to college, good luck!


I know numerous people at my regional currently doing that, via online programs.
From my cold, dead hands
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:01 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
thewizbizman wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

Honestly, one is better off getting the ratings, getting to being a CFI, and doing college on the side as they CFI and work at a regional.



Try flying for a regional carrier and going to college, good luck!


I know numerous people at my regional currently doing that, via online programs.


every carrier is different let's face it. I myself started out as a CFI-I but most carriers at the time weren't impressed. Fast forward today and the place I retired from requires college degree and 1,000 hrs turbine PIC. I had a friend who wanted to get on but didn't have the turbine time so went to a regional in the N.W. He never got the PIC time so never got an interview but eventually got on at AA. you never know whether to wear a blue shirt or a white one. LOL
 
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Joshs1000
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:59 pm

Just to clear things up I'm not really looking to fly with some big PAX service airline like American or Dleta, I would rather fly cargo to be honest with FedEx or UPS being the companies I'd hope to fly for.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:53 pm

Joshs1000 wrote:
Just to clear things up I'm not really looking to fly with some big PAX service airline like American or Dleta, I would rather fly cargo to be honest with FedEx or UPS being the companies I'd hope to fly for.


AFAIK those are just as hard to get into. Wanting to become an airline pilot is initially very much a "beggars can't be choosers" situation. Take what you can, then once you have amassed experience, try to get what you want.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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longhauler
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:04 am

Joshs1000 wrote:
I think I could pass then exam, the medications I take (only two) don't impair me by say making me drowsy or anything weird, just a brief stomach ache if I don't eat any food with them.

Here is a list of FAA approved medications:

https://www.leftseat.com/medcat1.htm
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
777PHX
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:02 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

Any 121 carrier in the US that you start out at, certainly you could. Meaning regionals. People don't start at DL/UA/AA.


the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.


Some people start at the big boys. Like many at my company I went from my first flight in a 172 to a widebody with only light twins in between in about three years.


I don't know what country you live in, but such an experience is almost impossible here in the US. Even if you can bang out the training and get your 1500 hours in under three years, I can't think of many widebody operating airlines that would be willing to hire you with such little experience, let alone be far enough up the seniority list to bid a widebody right seat.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:47 pm

would you believe that FDX is hiring into the right seat of the 777 but that's just how the numbers work out and senior guys aren't giving up their senior right seat in another jet. However I can assure you none of the new hires have only 1500 hrs.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:06 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
would you believe that FDX is hiring into the right seat of the 777 but that's just how the numbers work out and senior guys aren't giving up their senior right seat in another jet. However I can assure you none of the new hires have only 1500 hrs.


Just as I was retiring, the FAA, airlines and unions were coming to agreements on 'cruise pilots' for long haul flights (wide bodies). These pilots (as I recall) were not to be at the controls during the takeoff and landing phases of flight (although they did get training in these in the sim). I hear the pay scale of these positions was a lot less then a regular first-officer, but I left that scene many years ago. Maybe that's the position that FDX is putting new hires into.

Current US long haul pilots would certainly know a lot more than I do on the subject.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:39 pm

no, not at all. FDX has never done that.
 
remingtonbox
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:34 pm

I have Aspergers and I am a corporate pilot with a first class medical. It's possible.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Curious if I could become a pilot...

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:43 am

777PHX wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:

the previous poster said 4-6 yrs so obviously no one "starts out" at the big boys and since you didn't mention regionals and I didn't think about regionals I guess there was confusion.


Some people start at the big boys. Like many at my company I went from my first flight in a 172 to a widebody with only light twins in between in about three years.


I don't know what country you live in, but such an experience is almost impossible here in the US. Even if you can bang out the training and get your 1500 hours in under three years, I can't think of many widebody operating airlines that would be willing to hire you with such little experience, let alone be far enough up the seniority list to bid a widebody right seat.


It's a regional thing. In much of Asia the supply of pilots is nothing like in the US, the EU or Australia. The general aviation scene is far too small to supply enough pilots who get their hours through instructing, crop dusting, dropping parachutists etc. That's why there are plenty of pilots who have gone to the big iron with 300 hours.

Seniority tends to work a bit differently than in North America. In the US, seniority allows you to bid on a fleet. At my airline you get the plane the company needs you on when you start (with a little room for personal preference if you are lucky), and an upgrade in rank may even be conditional on transfer to another fleet, also based on requirements.

One other factor is that long haul flights are the ones which need cruise pilots, and widebodies tend to fly long haul. Thus the newbies end up on widebodies. As cruise pilots, mind you, but it's still a widebody.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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