crownvic
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Cargo Pilots

Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:23 pm

Having just watched an Air Clips video about a cargo flight from the flight deck, it got me to wondering...Do the pilots of the airlines that have both cargo and passenger operations flying the same equipment ex: EVA 744, Air China 744 and CX 744 both passenger and cargo variants switch pilots around? I guess what I am asking is...are the pilots flying the cargo routes exclusive to just cargo operations or do they fly the passengers on the passenger routes too?

Based on the entitlement of today's passenger and the entitlement of today's flight attendants, I would imagine cargo is the way to go..
 
KAUSpilot
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:02 pm

I work for an airline that flies both pax and cargo configurations of the same types of aircraft.

The pilots are the same. There is a computer based training module that covers the differences for the cargo jets (although on some fleet types the pax jets are considered the "different" ones).. Once you finish training, you could be flying cargo one day and pax the next on the same trip. It's possible that you could go years between passenger flights since 90% of the fleet are freighters. It's also conceivable that you could fly at the airline for several years before your first real passenger flight.

Pax vs freight is an individual preference. Luckily our passenger ops are not for the general public and our "guests" are generally quite well behaved. It's true that there is still much less drama in a cargo operation, and it's for that reason that I prefer cargo. In our passenger ops you can have up to 4 pilots, 14 flight attendants, and 474 passengers on the 747. There are a lot of personalities involved. Once the flight is airborne there aren't many differences aside from additional security procedures and occasional communication with the cabin crew on pax flights. Flying is flying.

That's how it is where I work at least. I don't know how the asian carriers manage it (I believe some, like Cathay, keep the cargo fleet pilots separate).
 
crownvic
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:45 am

Thank you, that was an informative response especially the Asian carrier reference. I would imagine you fly for a carrier like Atlas...I can see where you would get switched around, and I realize flying a cargo 744 vs passenger is nearly identical. I'd still like to know if the carriers that have multiple daily scheduled cargo and passenger flights swap their pilots around..Ill be meeting with an EVA 777 Cargo jockey later this week and I will ask!
 
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ojjunior
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:16 am

Nice thread.
It brings me back my main question which is:
What 2 or 3 gents in a boring 10~12+ hours cargo flights do to spend the time besides sleeping, reading, chatting... whatever. Don't believe they have a TV or wifi available...
Lots of long cargo runs at any time, specially the ones at night (most of them) seems to be very boring, aren't they?
Sorry my stupid question, i'm not an pilot nor involved in cargo flights.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:03 am

ojjunior wrote:
Nice thread.
It brings me back my main question which is:
What 2 or 3 gents in a boring 10~12+ hours cargo flights do to spend the time besides sleeping, reading, chatting... whatever. Don't believe they have a TV or wifi available...
Lots of long cargo runs at any time, specially the ones at night (most of them) seems to be very boring, aren't they?
Sorry my stupid question, i'm not an pilot nor involved in cargo flights.


We can't watch TV or use WiFi in the cockpit anyway, so there's little difference between pax and cargo when actually in the seat apart from cabin crew coming in to have a chat from time to time. Study for the next sim or check, review manuals and other documentation, and once you're bored with that chat or read a magazine.

For the rest period(s), most pilots will bring a book, an eReader, a Tablet and/or a Laptop. We're not starved for something to do.

On night flights, most of us will sleep through our rest period anyway. Bunks are comfy.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VSMUT
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:17 am

crownvic wrote:
Having just watched an Air Clips video about a cargo flight from the flight deck, it got me to wondering...Do the pilots of the airlines that have both cargo and passenger operations flying the same equipment ex: EVA 744, Air China 744 and CX 744 both passenger and cargo variants switch pilots around? I guess what I am asking is...are the pilots flying the cargo routes exclusive to just cargo operations or do they fly the passengers on the passenger routes too?

Based on the entitlement of today's passenger and the entitlement of today's flight attendants, I would imagine cargo is the way to go..


I used to work at an airline that did both. It was base dependent, with the passenger planes only being based in one base. I was lucky enough to be at the base with both, so got to do both. This was on ATRs, and IMHO, passenger was the way to go. Flying feeder services at night with no galley or toilet is a killer, especially with the flights being between 3 and 6 hours in length. I felt like a zombie, constantly going from one bed to the next in a vain attempt at getting enough sleep, a full week in a row.
You wouldn't go directly from a cargo flight to a passenger flight. Due to rest requirements when starting your duty at night, you would receive at least 48 hours of rest before going out on a dayflight.

ojjunior wrote:
Nice thread.
It brings me back my main question which is:
What 2 or 3 gents in a boring 10~12+ hours cargo flights do to spend the time besides sleeping, reading, chatting... whatever. Don't believe they have a TV or wifi available...
Lots of long cargo runs at any time, specially the ones at night (most of them) seems to be very boring, aren't they?
Sorry my stupid question, i'm not an pilot nor involved in cargo flights.


Cargo ATRs often go out for up to 9 hours. Flying with a friend, you could be chatting all the way, but most were just too tired to chat. Most typically spent the cruise sleeping in turns, especially in the early morning hours. Some people watch a TV show or film on their personal tablet, mounted in the EFB mount. Some have really generous roaming packages, and try to get online on their phones to check facebook. Others read books, magazines, newspapers or listen to audiobooks, a few even write them. One captain was into astronomy and brought a small telescope. Others just gaze into nothing for many hours. 99% of the time it was extremely boring.
Studying for a sim session or reading the manuals wasn't really a thing. At 4 in the morning you aren't going to remember anything anyway.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:45 am

I'm told that FX and 5X have declined anonymous requests for Gogo 2Ku with Talk and Text, Vision, and TV .... for heavy crews (supernumeraries), of course.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:26 am

VSMUT wrote:
Studying for a sim session or reading the manuals wasn't really a thing. At 4 in the morning you aren't going to remember anything anyway.


Having been exactly as tired as you describe many times, I concede that I don't study for a sim when I'm in zombie-mode. :D
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:41 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
I'm told that FX and 5X have declined anonymous requests for Gogo 2Ku with Talk and Text, Vision, and TV .... for heavy crews (supernumeraries), of course.


At least when I was there the co. frowned on watching movies on your computer unless you were on your rest period. It still happened but I came into the cockpit after my rest period one DAY (not night) and found both pilots watching a movie and each had 1 earplug phone on their ears. This was on a long int'l leg and not very conducive to keeping situational awareness or hearing a radio call. Back in the early days I was the F/E on the 727 and one particular Capt. would not allow any crewmember to even read a book! "I want you paying attention." Even on a medium length domestic flight it was very difficult not to nod off at night. I never listened to music much but did play Sudoku, read or do photo stuff.
 
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ojjunior
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:15 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Cargo ATRs often go out for up to 9 hours. Flying with a friend, you could be chatting all the way, but most were just too tired to chat. Most typically spent the cruise sleeping in turns, especially in the early morning hours. Some people watch a TV show or film on their personal tablet, mounted in the EFB mount. Some have really generous roaming packages, and try to get online on their phones to check facebook. Others read books, magazines, newspapers or listen to audiobooks, a few even write them. One captain was into astronomy and brought a small telescope. Others just gaze into nothing for many hours. 99% of the time it was extremely boring.
Studying for a sim session or reading the manuals wasn't really a thing. At 4 in the morning you aren't going to remember anything anyway.


Starlionblue wrote:
We can't watch TV or use WiFi in the cockpit anyway, so there's little difference between pax and cargo when actually in the seat apart from cabin crew coming in to have a chat from time to time. Study for the next sim or check, review manuals and other documentation, and once you're bored with that chat or read a magazine.

For the rest period(s), most pilots will bring a book, an eReader, a Tablet and/or a Laptop. We're not starved for something to do.

On night flights, most of us will sleep through our rest period anyway. Bunks are comfy.


As I suspected then...

There aren't too many pics of cargo planes rest areas around and I understand there are thousand of different configs and amenities available. Please share with us if you can. Just another day at the office for you gentlemen means a lot for us mortals! :bouncy:
Always got jealous about those big upper deck areas in cargo 747s for 2 or 3 of you, for instance...
Also never heard of an astronomy enthusiast captain enjoying night flights with a telescope. It makes total sense but have never thought about it. Looks like a lots of fun!
 
VSMUT
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:26 pm

ojjunior wrote:
There aren't too many pics of cargo planes rest areas around and I understand there are thousand of different configs and amenities available. Please share with us if you can. Just another day at the office for you gentlemen means a lot for us mortals! :bouncy:
Always got jealous about those big upper deck areas in cargo 747s for 2 or 3 of you, for instance...


On the ATR, we don't have any :( You just stay in your seat. You can either recline or stretch your legs, but not both at once. I'm not even a tall person...

If you go aft, there is a small area in front of the forward cargo net, but typically not even enough to get down to do some push-ups. This photo shows a large cargo door conversion, which has somewhat more space up front than a regular ATR cargo conversion, and no company material cluttering the area either. A regular one has the cargo net even further up front:
Image

Not that you would want to spend your time there anyway. The whistling sound from the door seals is noisy. You only spend enough time there to visit the toilet:

Image



ojjunior wrote:
Also never heard of an astronomy enthusiast captain enjoying night flights with a telescope. It makes total sense but have never thought about it. Looks like a lots of fun!


The view is excellent, I've met a lot of pilots who were into astronomy. You also get some pretty good closeups of the ISS in clear weather. Just getting 20.000 ft up in the air helps a lot.
 
crownvic
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Re: Cargo Pilots

Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:08 pm

Well for those of you that care (not many lol) I met with an EVA cargo captain and he says yes they definitely fly both. Main reason is the larger pool of pilots available for scheduling issues. He went on to say he enjoys both options but does lean more towards cargo. Interesting to note that he mentioned flying cargo was more challenging regardless of the load as EVA requires using max performance characteristics for take off and landing making it challenging in places like Anchorage.

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