View Full Version : Time To Command ?

6th Apr 2001, 20:40
Thought it might be interesting for a no-nonsense comparison of "quoted" time to Command in your Airline. Let's try and base the answers on known facts, not hearsay.

Let's also state aircraft type just for comparison.

I'll start, Britannia Airways (UK) B767/757 10 yrs.

6th Apr 2001, 21:30
B Med, direct entry command A320, so 0mins.
Ex Herc, Tornado, Jag, 5mins, OK maybe a bit more as they like 500hrs on type, has been done in less than a year.
Civvy trash 4years+.

7th Apr 2001, 00:19
GMEDX, could you please explain what you mean by the phrase "civvy trash 4years+", I would hate to misunderstand you.

7th Apr 2001, 00:28
Civvy Trash? with that kind of arrogance u should not be in the right hand seat, never mind the left!

[This message has been edited by driver1 (edited 06 April 2001).]

7th Apr 2001, 01:58
Civvy trash? Ah yes, another pearl of wisdom from the military left.

7th Apr 2001, 02:50
If I didn't think he was a wind up, I'd be ashamed to admit I am ex military. Sometimes I am anyway; but then, when I left, I left.

7th Apr 2001, 03:07
Maybe he is a wind up, but I find it sad that BA have BMed as a franchise, being as it is mainly ex air force. BA 3yrs or less to EOG command, 8yrs to mainline, 12yrs to longhaul.

Midnight Blue
7th Apr 2001, 03:50
Eurowings, Germany: ATR 42/72 3years

Wing Commander Fowler
7th Apr 2001, 04:08
Amazing isn't it how we can interpret things so radically differently depending upon the nature of the chip on our shoulders? I actually assumed that the guy was "Civvy" and that perhaps he had himself been "passed over" for command to the benefit of some military jock........

Ah well, the worlds full of them I s'pose. For me, military/civvy don't much care as long as he has command ability. Too few companies look for this when the chips are down and the schedule is about to collapse due to the lack of left seaters, all with the hours are welcome to apply and will be "shoehorned in to fit (well 'til they have the prerequisite 500 hours or so to develop a mouth and the old attitude slips out.....

Oh dear, did I say that?

By the way - used to be that Virgin Express Ireland would look at you once you had 3000 total, 1500 JAR25 including 500 on type (negotiable) and that for 737 Efis.

Course it's all somewhat academic now.......

7th Apr 2001, 04:18
CX: D/E F/O 10 years. S/O: 13 - 18 years.


7th Apr 2001, 04:30
6 years at the mo.

7th Apr 2001, 06:43
If your dad is one of the owners of CTC
2700hrs total

7th Apr 2001, 06:55
Tower Air, B-747-100/200.
Right to left seat, 19 months.
4 years later back on the street as the horse I rode died.


Men, this is no drill...

dallas dude
7th Apr 2001, 07:24
At AA about 8-10 years to upgrade (subject to change with our new TWA step-children). Seventeen years from new hire to 777 Captain.

G-MEDX, you'll make a great radio operator, one day (unless, of course, I'm missing the subtle humour).


Tex Murphy
7th Apr 2001, 09:41
GMEDX, those “Civvy trash” taxpayers paid for your training!


7th Apr 2001, 12:12
Listen guys - GMEDX is an embittered person who is definitly not ex military - trust me on that one. Just because he took a while to get a command he has a giant chip on his shoulder. If your face fits and you're good enough - whatever your background BMed is a good place to get a quick command and can comfortably be done in 2 years. (PS GMEDX is shortly leaving BMed anyway)

7th Apr 2001, 13:16
Airtours: 2-3 years recently. May slow though now.

7th Apr 2001, 17:02
BA 2000/2001 casandra run. S/H mainline command bid after 5 years, course approx 6 yrs, although it will dry up and any two stripers now may get caught in a 10-15 year trap.


7th Apr 2001, 17:24
SAS 10 years

7th Apr 2001, 21:31
Ouzo, I suggest that you go back and look at the title of the thread, it’s ‘time to command’, NOT 'number of hours'.

The fact that the aforementioned person has that amount of experience is neither here nor there. What is relevant is that of those 2700 hours, about 2500 of them are with easyJet on the B737-300. When it comes down to calculating ‘factored’ hours (as easyJet do) it’s probably the same as someone whose got maybe 4 or 5 thousand from flying other types of aircraft in other types of environments.

Also on the command course with him was another guy with similar experience whose parentage is in no way related to CTC, nor anything to do with easyJet. So how do you suggest he got there?

They both had to go through the same command selection process as everyone else. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s most likely to have his fourth bar before his 25th birthday that’s upsetting you?

I suggest that you get down to McDonalds and ask them to give you some money for that f***ing huge chip that you’ve got on your shoulder.


8th Apr 2001, 00:01
Well said this ouzo has to be a complete tosser.

8th Apr 2001, 00:27
Dear mindstorm,

How do I get into Airtours?

I rest my case!

Capt'n Jim
8th Apr 2001, 00:42
It took me 8 yrs at Fedex, but we have some in training that got the 727 left seat at 5 1/2 yrs.
Jim Fedex 727 Capt.

8th Apr 2001, 00:45
If you read what else 'ouzo' has written on this board, it would appear that he is a very lonely individual. Not surprising, since few people want to be associated with bitter, childish and envious individuals....

He would be the one to run to Management if you did anything he thought could earn him a point: 'Sir, sir, my captain just did.....')

Go home and grow up, ouzo. Then come back and run the race on your own qualities, without recourse to petty bickering and infantile, puerile sniping.

Ali Gee
8th Apr 2001, 00:48
Virgin Atlantic.... at a calculated guess 8 years for new joiners.

8th Apr 2001, 00:58

YOU ARE AN IDIOT. You are the kind that will fly into a mountain or run out of fuel and kill 200 people in the process. No place for yourkind in the cockpit. No wonder military " Retired " you.

You thorougly suck.

Sincerely from my heart JJ

I enjoyed throwing yourkind into the slammer when you screwed up...My badge I don't need no stinking badges.

[This message has been edited by JJflyer (edited 07 April 2001).]

Wing Commander Fowler
8th Apr 2001, 04:03
SO .....I was right then?

I'm finger lickin'

8th Apr 2001, 04:12
Ryanair, 200 fleet, 2 years



8th Apr 2001, 08:35
Emirates Airlines:
B777 or A330, 3 years from date of hiring.

Record is something like 18 months. Still going to be fast in the next 2 years, may slow down a bit after that. Then again, they have plans to go from 30 odd aircraft now, to 100 by 2008. Those are just plans though.

8th Apr 2001, 08:53
Before we all get upset with GMEDX might I suggest that his post re civvy trash was actually subtle humour and that this is possibly the perceived attitude to suitability to command in that airline ??

8th Apr 2001, 10:48
Emirates Airlines:
B777 or A330, 3 years from date of hiring.

Record is something like 18 months. Still going to be fast in the next 2 years, may slow down a bit after that. Then again, they have plans to go from 30 odd aircraft now, to 100 by 2008. Those are just plans though.

8th Apr 2001, 11:54
Sorry mates I must apologise it was a wind-up which got some of you going, don't forget the warning at the bottom of the page as Danny always says. As my BODlian pal rightly guesses I was just trying to emphasise the problems that can arise without seniority taking a greater say in promotion than perceived 'right stuff'. I'm still not telling you what my persuasion is though. Once again apologies to all those who took it the wrong way but keep the debate going.

8th Apr 2001, 19:44
How about BMI, Virgin Atlantic, Monarch, Air2000, klmUK, Go-fly etc ?

8th Apr 2001, 22:34
KLM uk. Direct entry command on turbo props, about seven years to jet command.

Rogaine addict
9th Apr 2001, 00:07
DHL 8 yrs, though most wait a little longer to avoid abuse.

Son Of Piltdown
9th Apr 2001, 01:24
bmi :-

Say two to four years.

Greasy joystick
9th Apr 2001, 08:46
Qantas 767 presently 12-13 years and increasing.

9th Apr 2001, 13:24
Son of Piltdown, two to four years.
Sorry, couldn't resist. Too much spare time down route :-)

9th Apr 2001, 14:44
For SIA,
You will be told that it is about 8-10 years after checking out as a FO.
In reality, you seldom see anyone who is considered fit to attend a command selection "tea party" with less than 10 years experience as an FO. Let alone be selected for command training.
All in all (including training if selected) you are looking at 12 years.
As for cadet who is joining now, you have no hope in hell, as the bean-counters in Flight Ops regards that command training is more costly than a direct entry captain.

9th Apr 2001, 15:41
Austrian Airlines - about 11 years from right to left seat

And You start as MD80 or A320 captain, no matter from which aircraft type You came from

[This message has been edited by maxmobil (edited 09 April 2001).]

9th Apr 2001, 15:45
About 6 months......

Well, the guy concerned was also less than 16 years old - joined RAF in early days of WW2, lied about his age, adding 4 years on - "Honest, Sir, my birth certificate got posted to you." He was 15 yrs & 6 days old when he flew in his first aircraft, a Tiger Moth. Went to Canada for his training & was awarded his wings when he was 15 years, 4 months & 9 days old!! Soon afterwards, as a Sergeant pilot, he was the captain of twin-engined Whitney bombers, flying operational raids.

The guy's name was Tom Dobney - only got caught out 'cos his mum (who thought he was helping the war effort by training as an air cadet) saw a photo of him chatting with King George VI, who had been touring air bases in East Anglia. Poor lad was discharged, aged 15!!!

He kept trying - got thrown out of the Fleet Air Arm, Air Transport Auxiliary & again, the RAF. Still, he finally got back into the RAF!

9th Apr 2001, 17:54
Similar thread currently on Godzone Dunnunder entitled "Call me Captain". Relates to former British I/T charter Paramount Airways circa 1989.

Jim Kirk
10th Apr 2001, 02:27
GB Airways

If you are a mate of Slippery Bill........five minutes.

[This message has been edited by PPRuNe Towers (edited 10 April 2001).]

10th Apr 2001, 18:58
DAT (SABENA daughter) 3 years from starting as a 350hour F/O! The training is good, people motivated and skillfull. But I just wouldn't feel comfortable going for command after 3 season and 2500hrs though. No mather how skillfull you are, you need some experience.

10th Apr 2001, 20:24
How about Emirates, Gulf Air, Cathay Cargo, Dragonair, RBA, Iberia, Spanair ?

13th Apr 2001, 18:51
DouglasDigby, heuuu, nice story but I guess the subject "time to command?" applies to multiple crew aeroplanes...

Anyway, LX, 2500 hours total minimum, 1000 hours multiple crew and at least 1 year on line with the company. For a rookie this equates to about 3-5 years with good qualifications.

... cut my wings and I'll die ...

13th Apr 2001, 20:24
Air 2000
2.5 to 3 yrs at the moment, if you can satisfy the hideous TICK system, too much pressure, one error in the simulator can penalise someone for up to 2 years, needs a drastic review.

[This message has been edited by vertex (edited 15 April 2001).]

13th Apr 2001, 21:51
Unless, of course, you were in the right squadron then it doesn't matter.


13th Apr 2001, 22:59
Vnavspeed, how about looking at the top of the previous page..... :)

[This message has been edited by KADS (edited 13 April 2001).]

13th Apr 2001, 23:55
5000 hrs total at Spanair. They might look at you with 4 and a bit if they need Captains.

In the slot
13th Apr 2001, 23:58
At SIA, 1000 sectors on aircraft over 5700kgs with up to half of these countable from previous operations. In real terms depends on which aircraft you operate as F/O.
Go to the A310 or B777 and you'll have the requirements in about 6-7 years. Those who went straight to the A340/B747 will wait up to 9-10 years.
Ab initios have a min. time bar also of 8 years as F/O.
These times have occasionally been achieved, but are often exceeded due to "operational indiscretions" viewed badly by those upstairs!
The earlier SIA entry was not entirely correct!

Mr Benn
14th Apr 2001, 00:02
Air 2 bob is actually around 2 years in the company or less if you have the minimum requirements. Of course, if you are ex-military then you can get on a command course with less than the minimum hours stated in the Ops Manual, despite what your experience was when you were in the military. If you have stacks of relevant hours (eg. on same routes and aircraft) these will NOT be factored (like the EasyJet factoring as mentioned above).
Officially you need a minimum of 4000 hours with 2 seasons experience.
At 3000 hours you can get assessed in the sim as ready for command. You need to pass 2 sims to command standard (which is an unknown quantity) then you go onto line assessment for command. Then if you pass that you get to go on a course. There is a list but it gets used up very quickly. The main obstacle is the way the assessments and course are done. You are expected to be a competent Captain the moment you walk through the door on the first day of the course. There is no training before or after the course to bridge the gap from FO to Captain. If you fail you are meant to wait a set period, although this appears to only apply to some people.
Air 2 bob have a few new aircraft arriving in the next couple of years and what with people leaving too it means that there is virtually no waiting for commands.

[This message has been edited by Mr Benn (edited 14 April 2001).]

15th Apr 2001, 01:38
So are Air 2000 planning to change their selection process for promotions?

Assuming most of the boxes have been 'ticked', what is the chop rate like for the move from the Right Seat to the Left?

15th Apr 2001, 01:50
A direct entry Captain is ALWAYS less expensive than the upgrade effo. Especially if the upgrade has no previous command experience. This will NOT be good news to effos, but expect that they knew this already.

15th Apr 2001, 03:41
There is zero chance of Air2000 changing the command selection procedure.That is the nature of the airline.
The chop rate for command courses recently has been high. Last year over 50% I believe. Two to my knowledge have failed already this year.
Having obtained your "command standard" base checks and having completed the required minimum number of "command standard" line flying assessments you are deemed capable of passing a command course.However this is clearly not the case as the failure rate would indicate.Now, either unsuitable candidates are being put forward or the command course is flawed.I suspect the latter.Also,if a command course is failed no credit is given for the aforementioned
"hoops" which have been jumped through and so, for example, a four year F/O finds they're effectively in the same boat career wise as an F/O who joined a couple of months ago.Consequently we have a number of experienced chaps who have had their confidence battered and whose morale is rock bottom.A sorry state of affairs indeed.
I think the whole process needs a rethink but,as I mentioned earlier,this will not happen.

15th Apr 2001, 04:06
British European, Joined with 1500hrs(500hrs multi) all single crew. Command on the DHC-8 after 17 months with a total time discretion of 2250 hrs with one suitable for command assessment in the sim (2500hrs required in the ops manual), 1.5 yrs more to command 146 or barbie jet(CRJ) 3000Hrs Total required.

15th Apr 2001, 04:37
Air Canada:

6-8 months to the CL-65 left seat.

15th Apr 2001, 15:54
Hey guys (&gals). Gimme a break.

Try NO, repeat, NO left seat upgrades for EX-PAT S/FOs EVER, for Kuwait Airways on ANY fleet, regardless of prior command experience.

Makes 10 years to command with CX seem downright generous.

Wind your necks in and do the time if you have the opportunity

15th Apr 2001, 16:07
Atlantic Coast at IAD, 12mths on Canadair RJ, he joined with experience. Also 14mths from joining as a J32 F/O to Dornier 328J Capt. He joined with little experience.

Marcellus Wallace
16th Apr 2001, 07:55
At MAS presently, ab-initio cadet pilots spend 3 years or so on the B734 then another 4 years either on one or combination of A300/A330/DC10/B777/B742/B744 fleets before a Command on B737/F50. All in would have clocked about 4000 hrs total.

17th Apr 2001, 23:34
Perhaps the wannabes should look at TNT in LGG. A recent promotion from RH to LH seat on the 146 had 1600 hours TT - not bad EH?
The downside (yes there has to be one!) is a crap Company, crap management & crap rosters. However, the crewing department have received several Oscars for creative artistic license.

18th Apr 2001, 03:27
In light of todays ad in Flight, how about GB Airways ?

international bog trotter
18th Apr 2001, 23:42
TNT aint so bad Mercator. Shame we're losing the nice crewing folk to the airways building though.

19th Apr 2001, 01:13
CSA Czech Airlines/4-5 years,depending (not so much)on skills,but rather on seniority.
Quite a few captains around here,that would not even pass a FO checkride at a "normal" airline

Djoni Boerhanoeddin
23rd Apr 2001, 22:22
GA 13 years with 9700 hrs tt still not in sight when to land at LH seat, upgrading system are to be use by like and dislike or foe or friend

24th Apr 2001, 01:48
At Air India you start right seat on the A-310,move over to the classic 747's and finally on the 747-400.Then back to the left seat on the A-310's.Takes about 10-14 years and I think there are exceptions for guys from the air force.

24th Apr 2001, 03:29
Hey Guys/Girls if you want an early(jet) command come fly bmi commuter/regional,nice new aircraft(145`s) yes i know they are not as big as a 737/320/757,but hell at.76 who cares+no night flying, home every night& 5 big tellys to keep you in the picture, the 145 flight deck looks like something out of star wars compared to the 737. So what do you/we need to put you in the left seat?
3500-4000TT, 3000 if you have some jet time.
with another 7 a/c due before the end of April 2002 +another 10 to April 2003 we have lots of openings for the right people, and we will pay you 50K+ and you don`t have to live in London!!!! so fax that c`v now to SUSAN@BMC 01224 770141

24th Apr 2001, 08:11
Try 19 mo's from right seat typed in a 747-400 to Left seat in the 747 Classic. 5000 hr's and 28yr's old! Not that good, just in the right place at the right time.

But that's all gone now with AACS!

25th Apr 2001, 23:45

Well sort of; but the Evil Bookseller has appealed the unanimous decision by the Tribunal in my favour given on 07 March.

So it's not over yet. However, we may still get the video of him signing that cheque!!

26th Apr 2001, 00:37
INKJET Let us into your secret. What is a 145???WHERE ARE THEY BASED and what routes do they do?? Thanks.

28th Apr 2001, 02:27
145 - as in Embraer145. Mach .76 as stated @ 37,000ft, great EFIS and handling - except xwinds >25kts ! Operated in the UK by BRAL (my opo), Brymon (soon to be "absorbed" into BRAL) & Midland.

I want to die with the respect and dignity of my father, not screaming like his passengers !

Albert of Arabia
28th Apr 2001, 20:20
Air New Zealand, 21 years plus to International Command. The S/O's arn't helped by the 60+'s electing to remain as F/O's.

Cream Crackered
30th Apr 2001, 02:43
I Kid,

18 Months to Command on the 727, not bad for your first Jet type! Not usually this shy, are you?

Well done in DUB!