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North America Still the busiest region for commercial aviation.


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Old 26th Nov 2012, 10:27   #61 (permalink)
 
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I'm a JAA/EASA ATP holder, and I live in the UK, problem is I have an American girlfriend who lives in Michigan, and i'm wondering how easy it is to move over to the USA for a flying career?!
After you marry the girl and with your JAA ATP converted to FAA you shouldn't have any problems getting a job here. The majors are hiring and the regionals are begging pilots to work there.

Major... around 30k-40k first year. On reserve for a few years. Get used to working on weekends. But after a year or two pay will dramatically increase.

Regionals... around 30k-40k first year. But expect to top out at around 40k as a FO. Captains can earn into six figures but only after ten years or so.

Good luck.

Last edited by Flyrr100; 26th Nov 2012 at 10:27.
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 14:44   #62 (permalink)
 
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Hi,

I am based outside the US and have in excess of 12,000 TT on widebodies with 9,000+ hrs on B777 variants including 3,000+ hrs PIC and instructional experience, and 3,000+ hrs on A340s. My wife is American, and i foresee no problems obtaining a Green Card. With my experience, will i be able to get in with the Majors, and if so, will i start as an FO and have to work my way up to command again? Any of the majors hiring?

Appreciate any guidance.
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 15:55   #63 (permalink)
 
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Some will start hiring in 2013. United and Delta most probably will. (Delta might ge some new planes, though, but not many. Not sure. American will start getting the new 300ER's too). All three expect attrition in numbers because of the mandatory age retirement of 65 however, from 2013-2023. So get started!

Pilots furloughed by United will be given first preference when offers go out. Get your green card before you apply. There's a seniority list on most legacy airlines (L-UAL and L-CAL pilots working on an integrated list as we speak).
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 20:48   #64 (permalink)
 
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Every American airline you've heard the name of operates by seniority. So yes, you'll start in the right seat of the lowest paying aircraft with the worst schedules. United will be hiring but still have 1400 out on the street. Their furloughees still have 7 or 8 years of recall rights. Many of them have found something to pay their bills so they may pass on the recall for a few years to see how things shake out. Which means the people hired off the street will be at the bottom of the list for a long time. Delta is probably 50/50, their new contract ups their hours some which may negate the need to hire. I think US Air is hiring. American may hire, or they may be rolled into US Air.
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 21:42   #65 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by MarkerInbound View Post
United will be hiring but still have 1400 out on the street. Their furloughees still have 7 or 8 years of recall rights. Many of them have found something to pay their bills so they may pass on the recall for a few years to see how things shake out. Which means the people hired off the street will be at the bottom of the list for a long time.
Yeah, most of UAL furloughees won't be coming back in 2013 anyway and not until the SLI goes into arbitration and the matter is resolved anyway. There will be some new hires (e.g. a few dozen 737-900ERs are coming into the line, although the 57 will begin to be phased out at the same time) but with more than 1,400 people out there, as MarkerInbound points out, (who have bypass rights), it's hard to make a prediction. And most of them will wait for another 4 years, in the least, before opting to enter a new class and re-join the company.

I think, locblue, that with your 'jacket', which is very strong, you could bid for some of those DEC schemes in the Middle East. After all, come to think of it, it would take less to meet the licence requirements and validation of the corresponding civil authorities' and the company's, that to wait for a green card in the US.

Edit: Merry Christmas!

Last edited by Claybird; 24th Dec 2012 at 21:48.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 00:36   #66 (permalink)
 
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Tks, Claybird and MarkerInbound. I'm presently earning beyond the top scale of a UAL Captain, with no complaints whatsoever with my present airline beyond the hard slog of organizing my days off and vacation days to get stateside, if the wife relocates to the US. I don't mind taking a pay cut, but RHS at the bottom would mean lousy pay and schedules for many years.

The sandpit doesn't appeal to me unless they commence basing crew in the US. Also not keen on a commuting contract with KAL, given the mixed feedback on working conditions there.

So, it appears there is no painless way of living and working in the US for me...

Merry X-Mas!

Last edited by locblue; 25th Dec 2012 at 00:38.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 13:00   #67 (permalink)
 
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Check with FedEx, too if you don't mind flying cargo. They're not hiring now. But they soon will, I hear.

If you had, supposedly, less experience (and therefore less perks to lose than now) and joined a US legacy airline, say in 2013, you would definitely gain seniority faster that a decade ago, due to the mandatory retirements starting to kick in next year.

In UAL, there's 11,000 active pilots and the projected retirements until year 2031 will be 9,900 pilots (by taking into account a base scenario of no furloughs due to the economy and fleet growth at 0%).

In any case, if you stay put, because of your credentials and the flexibility in bidding they come with, a good approach would be ten or nine months of active rostering with consecutive bids until building a monthly average of 78-83 hours (one favorite example: KIAD - RJAA (14H15'), 24 hrs layover, RJAA - KIAD (12H15') x 3 = 79 hours - actual duty time on the flight deck is a third of that approximately). That gets you 19-20 consecutive days off a month. And then two or three months in reserve. But I'm sure you've already been doing something along those lines anyway.

Good luck in whatever course of action you choose. Whatever makes you happy!
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 19:50   #68 (permalink)
 
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If you're already doing better than a united 777 captain, stay where you are. If united is anything like the other 777 operators in the us, that seat is likely to be over 15-20 years away. FedEx won't be an option either right now. Unfortunately, they currently require you to live in the us for 5 years before starting your employment.
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Old 26th Dec 2012, 15:31   #69 (permalink)
 
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Tks, Claybird and CA. Status quo it is....
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 10:16   #70 (permalink)
 
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what airline is recruting in the US? (except regionals...)
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 00:50   #71 (permalink)
 
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None, except for a very few CO new hires, but that is in the middle of the UA/CO SLI. No one sees hiring on a major scale here for 2013.

GF
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 17:28   #72 (permalink)
 
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Alaska will most likely be hiring next year. US Air and Hawaiian have been taking apps this fall.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 14:16   #73 (permalink)
 
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Similar query; I married an American, and we're thinking of a move stateside at some point. I've 3000h, 2500h on 40T Jet (BAe 146), all of it as an FO (so only about 250h true P1).

After getting a green card and converting the licence:

- would I be able to look at regionals or at majors?
- reading Flyrr100's post about 30-40k starting, going up after the first year or two; what does it go up to? what does the salary profile look like over say a 5-10 year period?
- I know this is a really, really broad question, but what sort of rosters are there? trips? fixed days off? bid system?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 14:21   #74 (permalink)
 
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Oh - and how does the whole type rating thing work in the US? is it paid by the pilot, airline, or an intermediate arrangement (bonding, loan)?

thanks again.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 15:23   #75 (permalink)
 
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The airline types you, no money out of your pocket. Some of the smaller operators will want you to sign a training contract saying you'll stay a year or two afterwards or pay back a pro rata share but none of the majors do this. I've always worked the dark side of the ramp so I've got no experience with pax schedules. I've heard pilots talking about 3 on/4 off and 4 on/3 off but I know some folks can get day turns - fly out in the morning and be back at night. EVERYTHING at US airlines depends on your senority based on date of hire. What equipment you fly, schedules, vacations.

And I'd say Flyrr100 is a bit high for starting regional pay, more like $25,000. The web site Airline Pilot Central has most US airline pay scales in the "Profile" section on their home page. Looks like a Delta or United 747 Captain is over 200k after 10 years.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 15:35   #76 (permalink)
 
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Forgot, you meet the posted mins for hiring at US Airways and United. But minimums and what's competitive are two different things. Most people say 1000 turbine PIC makes you much more likely to be hired. Which is why many pilots went the regional route, figuring they'd be in and out in 4 or 5 year. That hasn't been working too well since 2001.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 16:28   #77 (permalink)
 
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As usual, MI's information is very accurate. Looking at the regionals is important, in order to accumulate PIC flight time. 25K is pretty much average pay and oftentimes you might have to commute too, while at the same time doing some very heavy daily flying while observing the minimum acceptable FAA-sanctioned rest periods. Life in the regionals is not rosy, although I cannot attest to it further because I haven't been there.

Once in the majors, seniority is the law of the land. Bidding is usually two-tiered; line bidding (monthly for most carriers) and system bidding (base, equipment etc) which is more permanent in nature until there's opening available. There are many possibilities, based on seniority, percentile seniority based on date of hire, contractual language, commuting limitations and access to jump seats, when commuting to work, based on, that's right... seniority! Sometimes it's better for people not to bid for better equipment because they'd have to commute to work. Moreover, people low on the seniority list prefer to (co-)rent for housing in the city they're based at rather that commute home (e.g. family in Denver, base in New York - staying 4 days a week in NYC, and 3 in Denver) at the end of their 3 or 4 day duty period.

Duty days for low level seniority holders are more, compared to the upper echelons because they involve more legs and less hours per leg (e.g. Los Angeles - Las Vegas on a 737 2x daily). There's minimum flight time salary you're contractually entitled to. Getting to an 80-hour monthly flight time takes more trips and more days for someone flying the 737, than someone flying a 777. And those with higher seniority can choose destinations, consecutive (or otherwise) days on (or off) first, relative to their more junior counterparts.

in general, in terms or basing, commuting, route selection,equipment selection, days off, days on, etc seniority defines everything.

That's a very, very general overview and I'm sure there's many more things I'm missing and can't think of at the moment.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 12:34   #78 (permalink)
 
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Thanks guys - that's really (really) useful.

Here's a (somewhat) theoretical question: which would have me in a better position in mid 2015:

1/ Stay here, get command, get 1000h PIC (which takes 2.5yrs), and be in a better position to apply directly to the majors in mid 2015.
OR
2/ Join a regional now and work up from there.


Also, a completely separate question: what about LCC's? same story?
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 19:29   #79 (permalink)
 
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The problem is the RVR in everyone's crystal ball is <300. If you know that the present job will lead to command in a year and you'll log 700 hours a year I'd say stay. If you show up here, first you have to be hired. Yeah, yeah, I know we're going to have a pilot shortage. From what I've heard, Delta won't be hiring this year, American still has pilots on the street from 2001, so does United. So no one has been leaving the regionals. We have a whole generation of pilots who spent 60,000-90,000 thousand getting their ratings, thinking they'd suffer through a couple years at the regionals and hit the gravy train now on fifth year FO pay. Comair, one of the older and larger regionals, shut down last year and put over 800 pilots on the street. I've heard Eagle, American's regional code share, will be hiring this year but they've got 7 year FOs as does Air Wisconsin.

I don't have any connections in the LCC world. Sprint appears to be hiring, Frontier and Virgin are not. And Virgin does say "1000 hours turbine PIC preferred." And unless you're going to stay there, they seem to be running 6 years to upgrade.
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 04:26   #80 (permalink)
 
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Oompa,

I'd go with option 1. Unless you're friends with the Chief Pilot, it will be exceedingly difficult to get into a major without turbine PIC (TPIC) time.
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