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Old 18th Apr 2017, 11:37   #2601 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: europe
Posts: 7
Hi team, a couple of questions if I may......

Recruitment seems to be continuous, is this mainly due to expansion?
How often are they running courses?
Has morale started trending north once again?

Ta very much
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:40   #2602 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kentucky/Tokyo
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Yes and No. I know of around 10 guys who are leaving within the next 3-4 months.
They try to have a course every other month. Rumour is that the July course is empty.
No. If anything it is getting worse.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 02:12   #2603 (permalink)


Probationary PPRuNer
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charley330 View Post
hi everyone.
I have pretty much read through every page in this thread, filtering out technical questions and interview details.

Thing is, I'm wondering if anyone here knows whether the FAA FTP written exam questions (done in 2012, and stated twice in this thread) are current and whether it will be applied during the following interviews in Japan?

Thanks.
Just did it the other day.

Stuff like:

- In turbulent jetstream, which way do you go to get out of it if the ambient temp. decreases or increases

- extended over water operations require what equipment?

- define the speed at which point a take off should be continued in order to reach a safe altitude above the departure end of the runway

the rest were like the questions previously posted, but I was told this wasn't graded.

My personal opinion is focus more on the SIM. It's all about the SIM. If you haven't flown wide body or come from a more modern glass cockpit you will have difficulty with the scan for sure! If you want the job I would HIGHLY recommend getting an hour in the sim prior to the assessment.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 23:11   #2604 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bush
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How do the duty days and working conditions compare to say, a North American legacy carrier? I'm interested in flying in Japan but am concerned that their work culture will trickle down to even the ex-pat pilots. Though I'm sure they don't get it as bad as the locals. So what is a typical month like as an Air Japan pilot?
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 23:31   #2605 (permalink)
 
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Drop, if the Bush you are located in allows you access to the major US carriers, don't even think about coming here, the majors will offer far better career options. We have had Captains in their late 40's and early 50's resign from Air Japan to join majors as new hires. They have crunched the numbers and the total package until retirement will be better at the majors and the retirement benefits will be better. THAT should say more than enough!

I understand that duty limits allowed in Air Japan exceed those allowed by the FAA, so expect to have duties and schedules which are worse than FAA airlines.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 11:10   #2606 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by gtseraf View Post
I understand that duty limits allowed in Air Japan exceed those allowed by the FAA, so expect to have duties and schedules which are worse than FAA airlines.
Well......, technically the regulations are the same..., if anything the regs for cargo pilots are actuallg worse than what Japan has adopted under the ICAO norm.

However....., the difference (and it is big) is the duty and trip rigs thag are included on each airline's contract with their pilots. In the US, you have the option of working as much or as little as you like and you have options on bases and A/C fleets.

Here in Japan, outside of opting out of the C class ticket and banking on the 2K....., there is no way to make extra cash, and there are no protections for pilots in case of checkride failures and the likes.

The truth be told, they don't treat us bad really (using other contracts as guidline) but if you have an opportunity to get with a major in the US...., there is no logical nor practical reason as to why you would come to AJX.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 21:50   #2607 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bush
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Thanks for the replies. My concerns wasn't financial but more geared towards how much you have to work for that money. I've lived in Japan for 6 years and have seen firsthand what their work culture does to people. So what's a typical month like at Air Japan in terms of duty days compared to a North American carrier.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 23:11   #2608 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 1998
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I reckon it is difficult to DIRECTLY compare duty months in AJX to a US carrier.

If one lives in the US, it can be reasonably assumed that one will commute to and from Japan once a month. So, every month, the body clock will be reset from local US time to Japan time (sort of) and back to US time.

I say "sort of" because the schedules in Japan jump from day to night flying, so one's normal rhythms are disturbed continuously.

With the days off being rostered in one block every month, the company tries to get the full month's productivity out of the pilots in the remaining time. Expect to fly 6 on 1 off for the 18 days in a month AND during that time expect to flip flop from day trips to multi sector night flights, duty days ranging from around 8 hours up to 14 hours. Total hours flown may be less than in the US but fatigue and lifestyle very much affected by this.

If one has a family at home or enjoys hobbies at home, this commuting lifestyle can be very demanding.

A common complaint/comment I hear from pilots who commute from Europe or the USA is that they are continuously tired from the constant disruption of their sleep cycles. Even guys who live in Australia are battling with this due to the existing scheduling practices.

ONCE AGAIN, let me repeat, CAPTAINS in their late 40's and early 50's are LEAVING AJX to join the majors as new hire junior FO's. They say that the first year or 2 will be at lower pay BUT they will be earning more in around 3 years and the expected earnings and LIFESTYLE for the rest of their careers are expected to be much better than what AJX can offer.

NOW, if AJX started a system of reverse rostering crews out of bases in the US, Europe and Australia, with 6 day trips, providing a work schedule similar to a normal long haul operation + giving the option for those who like/want to do the present commute style schedule, WELL, that would make this on of the better jobs in my opinion.

Oh yes, this would also save the company a fortune on their commuting costs and the stability of the workforce would also save them a fortune on training costs. These savings could then be used to increase salaries. NOW we are talking about a job which will attract so many applicants, the company would be spoiled for choice.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 01:27   #2609 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bush
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Thanks for you detailed response. I have the ability to live in Japan full time on a spouse visa. Do you think that would help with the fatigue issue from commuting or would the day/night shift changes mess you up just as badly? 14 hour duty days is not something I'd ever like to do again. How often does that happen?
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 02:46   #2610 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 1998
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not sure how living locally will affect things.

the mix of duty times is probably worse than the odd long day, for me.
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 01:39   #2611 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bush
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Do you think the day/night shift changes at Air Japan are much worse than what one would experience at a North American carrier?
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 02:41   #2612 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 1998
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ok drop24

it seems you are either waiting for someone to make the decision for you or you have another agenda.

you keep on trying to compare north American carriers.

Bottom line is that the pilots are LEAVING AJX to JOIN north American carriers, so that must be indicating that the north American carriers are better than AJX. Also very few, if any new joiners are coming from the States.

I'm not sure what your agenda is but I think your questions have been answered enough for you to make a decision.
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 14:23   #2613 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bush
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Well my situation isn't so cut and dry. I'm Canadian so I'm not going to have access all the great things that are currently happening south of the border for pilots. For us it's business as usual and you wouldn't even know we've recovered from 9/11 based on wages at our national carrier. Like I mentioned I have lived in Japan for an extended period and I have ties here with my wife and in-laws. I choose to live in Japan above all places. You've mentioned duty days between 8-14 hours and some day/night shift changes. That's great info but I'm still a little vague on the details. 8 hours are no problem. 14 not so much if it happens often. Same with the night shifts. Do you work there or is there anyone else that could outline what a typical month or rotation is like? Instead of comparing it to an American carrier perhaps it would be easier to compare to something like Cathay or Emirates in terms of how hard they work you?
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 14:58   #2614 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 日本
Posts: 379
It's not so much the total hours for the month but the seeming inability of the schedulers to grasp a few basic concepts. For instance, a 24 hour layover is as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike when you arrive after a two sector freighter pattern NRT-XMN-OKA at 0400 and then you're out the same time the next day for another two sectors. 0400 means you're in the hotel (hopefully) by 0500 and trying to sleep. IF you're not woken by shouting Chinese tourists in your hotel (very, very unlikely you won't be) then you'll maybe sleep until 1100 or even 1200 if you're lucky. Then it's off to bed early, even though you don't feel like it and toss and turn until 0100. Having just drifted off, the alarm goes at 0330 and now you switch from your evening into night/early morning flight of yesterday into early morning/day flight of Okinawa....somewhere in China AGAIN and then back to NRT. Next night it starts all over again and then you get to have a day off in NRT after those 6 days/nights of continuous f*%king around. The schedulers singularly fail to grasp the concept of 18 or 36 hour sleep patterns and we are returning to the bad old days of post AJV/AJX joining, where the scheduling went for a complete bag of worms.

In addition, since we got our 'new' head scheduler they seem to have lost the ability (i.e. the selfish chap is probably telling them to do so) to finish early on our last day and start late(ish) on the first day of duty. SO many guys are now missing their commutes home on their last days or having to arrive back in Japan a day early that it is seriously affecting our senses of humour. It has only happened since this bloke arrived and never used to be the case, so he needs a firm size 12 up his backside.

China, China, China, China. Days into nights and back into days, all within three days. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. It's getting very, very tiresome. TD and GT get to see a lot more of the less-fatiguing pax flying than the rest of us and even they are fed up, so imagine what it's like for we who get one pax trip every two months.

Yep, really am at the limit of my tether and can't see myself staying.
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 19:08   #2615 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Here, there and everywhere
Posts: 165
Fratemate,

Not a nice picture, indeed. I currently have my disagreements with my scheduling (also a freight ops) but not so bad as you mention.

How is freight vs pax flying divided?

Good luck!

Last edited by Broomstick Flier; 28th Apr 2017 at 21:35. Reason: typo
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 19:40   #2616 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Quote:
How is freight vs pax flying divided?
Let me get the popcorn.... I have a feeling that the response will become an instant classic.
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 19:57   #2617 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kentucky/Tokyo
Posts: 109
No one really knows how the flying is distributed. If you are an instructor then you will do more pax flying. If you are a regular person then you will do almost all freight flying. If you are a suck up then you can choose what you want and damn all the rest of us.
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 21:37   #2618 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Here, there and everywhere
Posts: 165
I got the drift .. Better not open that Pandora Box

Thanks for the quick reply
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 23:40   #2619 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 日本
Posts: 379
As jrmyl said, if you're an instructor then you do more pax flying because the guys going through OJT do most of their flying on the pax aircraft.

Of my last 60 sectors, 12 were pax. A convenient 20% I thought

I think most people prefer the actual freight flying and not having the extra hassle that the pax flying entails. However, it's the fatiguing nature of the freighter scheduling that is riling everyone at the moment and it's only getting worse.
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Old 29th Apr 2017, 00:46   #2620 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: australia
Posts: 496
drop24

Sorry but seems you're making something very simple into something incredibly difficult.

You say you've lived in Japan and want to continue living in Japan so you have an understanding of the psyche and I assume realise that if you go flying in Japan - in any airline - you'll be at the cutting edge of 1960's methodology and thinking.

Sounds like USA's not an option...so why are you bothering to bang on about it?

You've got up to 5 companies looking for experienced Captains, minimum 2 looking for F/O's all with different deals/basings/types etc.

Bite the bullet, do your homework, get a job in an open market, get the licence, get some time on type...then decide whether you like it/hate it/look at changing companies...whatever.
Or don't have a go.

Simple as that, really.

And IF during your homework you find the "perfect" job...please feel free to PM!
I'll await your PM with great anticipation!

Best of Luck, Cheers.
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