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AC and WJ upgrade time

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AC and WJ upgrade time

Old 4th Feb 2019, 01:44
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Canada
Age: 69
Posts: 447
Good Evening All:

It is interesting how the “thread drift” has crept into this conversation. Capt.Tiger424sqn asked about upgrade time to the left seat for both Team Red and Team Teal. This was answered by altiplano.

Mostly Harmless has the best comment about work and that is life balance. I was told by a very wise Captain I knew who has flown west that the happiest things are where you live to bring up your family by being senior on either junior rated position on a junior aircraft. Eventually we all rise to the top and for those who have chased metal to the bottom all their career has missed important life events being home at Christmas, birthdays, holidays when you want them as opposed to what is left etc.

I find the fixation of the 40K for the right seat of the B-777 interesting as the bid has not come out showing direct entry in the F/O position of the B-777 so this is an exercise of wasted band width.

Full disclosure I retired 9 years ago so my thoughts are from a different time and place. From memory first year salary 40 years ago was around $15,000.00 per year. Using the Bank of Canada Inflation calculator, the new hire at 40,000.00 per year 2019 dollars would be worth 11,364.00 in 1978 dollars. Yes, that is obscene and I am sure ACPA will do its best to rectify it as soon as it can.

Now put yourself in the position of an owner of a business with a return of investment some of have said 3% for airlines in a good year. You have hired someone off of the street with no internal track record other than the H/R song and dance etc. In the old days 2 years was the standard for flat salary to formula pay which I think is the way to do it as 4 years is way too long. In the 2 years the company should be able to determine whether the candidate is viable for long term employment and if not released.

There are ways around the 40,000.00 “if” the individual wants to make more money. During my tenure you could be a simulator instructor if you wanted for extra income. The other is to do something rather esoteric today and that is to save money but I digress.

Once you have passed the low salary life does improve immensely once you are on formula pay. One has to balance the “initial” higher income you could make in general aviation versus the long-term gain being in the airline industry. Think wages (B-777 300K), working conditions (B-777 9 days a month but circadian rhythm upset is horrible) and benefits (health plan) which beats any general aviation job hands down. Penny wise pound foolish as our English cousins say.

The other urban legend is working off shore for tax free income. I did a temporary secondment in the 80’s where I was making more then the ex-pat Captain. Also, as an ex-pat you will be the first to go and the locals hate you for stealing their job.

Yes, I took a pay cut from my HS-125 Captains position in 78 but would I do it again yes in a Hollywood Nano-second even if it was 4 years to formula pay as I had a fantastic career in the airline environment.
a330pilotcanada is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 14:37
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Canada
Age: 61
Posts: 102
This might be a stupid question but never a pilot just a flight engineer with the RCAF. Would AC take an individual off the street with say 1000 hours total time and put him in the right seat of a 777 or would they attempt to fill the seat from within?

roybert is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2019, 00:15
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Canada
Age: 69
Posts: 447
Good Evening Roybert:

There is no such thing as a stupid question.

To the best of my knowledge minimum requirement is a ATPL multi-engine Class 1 instrument rating which takes about 1500 hours (if I am wrong anyone please correct).

In the "old" days entry level was S/O on either DC-8 or B-727 with the very odd lucky person as F/O on the DC-9.

As this is a seniority driven position you bid on what you think you can hold and if no one bids the position and it is open that position will go to the new hire pilot. Each course of new hires the company will determine what positions will be filled say they have a need for B-787 relief pilots all of the course could go as B-787 relief pilots.

Anyone with more current updated information please add to this posting.
a330pilotcanada is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2019, 14:06
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Canada
Age: 61
Posts: 102

Thank you for the response.

roybert is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 14:39
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Abroad
Posts: 2
Upgrade times at the Majors


I have a good friend who recently upgraded at Big Red in 2.5 yrs on the 320. I have another friend who is going into year 9 as an FO at Team Teal.

That should give you an idea. I would say if you are at 424 as a Herc driver you'll be making better money, at least in the near term. Flat pay at AC is 4 years. Depending on your platform there is a significant jump in pay in yr 5. Check out airlinepilotcentral.com for rough / old numbers.

As others pointed out there are certainly other benefits to consider other than time to left seat or base pay. Bidding systems, OT / Draft rates to bolster income, commuting policy, reserve / no reserve... etc...

I would say making the decision between the two is a lifestyle choice. At least in Alberta you pay less tax and the housing is cheap!!!! For now....

Good Luck!
Incognito Mosquito is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2019, 15:47
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1
The company has not filled 787 and 777 FO positions with new hires yet. They will avoid this at great lengths, rather pay captains 150-200% overtime to meet the shortfall.

Ideally they want someone that has spent 2-3 years bidding those positions.
RVR6000 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2019, 13:21
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 16
a330pilotcanada Well said my friend. I am almost retired and can look back and say it was a nice ride...not always smooth, actually sometimes down right rocky, however always landed on my feet...pardon the pun. I currently deal with pilots from every carrier and age and tell everyone to get into Big Red as fast as you can. I have watched way too many companies die at their die at their feet. Realizing that you have to sacrifice at times in this industry is paramount to you future. We have all made bad decisions in aviation, just look forward not backwards...it will eat you up!

The fact that it is potentially possible to go directly to a 777 or 787 off the street should be looked at as an absolute windfall. Once the pendulum shifts and it will, it will be 10 years of whatever flying to get in the door and take the same pay for 4 years on a narrow body with 10+ to upgrade. In other words see the positives...
B737NOTGOOD is offline  

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