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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 9th Oct 2018, 15:54
  #5161 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: uk
Age: 50
Posts: 81
Skaterboi.

I am ex military and an ex turboprop driver and joined BA SH 3 years ago at age 46. I can honestly say it is the easiest gig I have ever had.

Yes I fly with people who are 15 years younger than me, but thatís not an issue.

Yes I will never get a LH command but frankly It doesnít bother me, in fact I have deliberately not bid for SH command as itís about quality of life for me and I have been there and done that.

BA is not the be all and end all and it most definitely has its problems but show me somewhere that doesnít, other than the night Moscow you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of SH flights that are still airborne after 2330 so thatís a massive plus in my mind, the fact you actually get off the aircraft to explore the city you are in is also a massive plus to me. The biggest plus of all is the ability to move fleets and reinvigorate the job.

there are always people who are unhappy, it goes with the territory, I believe you could put pilots in a bar and give them free beer and a free lap dance and we, as a group, would complain because itís bitter not lager and a brunette not a blonde, there are 4200 pilots at BA and I canít believe more than 100 a year (and thatís a very generous estimate) leave for pastures new thatís about 2%, I wonder what the percentages are at other carriers?

like I say BA is not the be all and end all and it has its issues, talk to ex military mates to get a proper feel of how it is but take it from me itís perfectly easy to enjoy it as an ďolderĒ FO.
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Old 9th Oct 2018, 16:21
  #5162 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Dublin
Posts: 39
Has anyone here been able to rearrange the sim interview? I was due in this week but have been very ill the last few days. I called them to cancel as I thought it would be a shame to not give my best, and also unfair on the interviewer/sim partner if I was to pass something on to them. In the portal itís not giving me the option to select a new date at the moment, has anyone had a similar situation? Thanks
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 00:01
  #5163 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: somewhere between Miami and Havana
Posts: 107
Originally Posted by wiggy View Post


íMorning Buter...good to finally meet you in person the other week ..

The coffee hasnít kicked in yet so I may be resistant to detail but a quick 1 minute skim read of iBid final rosters shows at least one 744 P1 with 6 trips completely contained within October, though the individual is so far above CAP they may have deliberately loaded their line up or have been RAíd. It certainly looks like Bidline rule 3.5.4.3 hasnít been ďdeployedĒ or wasnít in play for some reason.

Even if itís the case that you donít ever have to do a 6 trip month there are certainly some who do and for many 5 trips will be the norm on at least some of the Longhaul Fleets, which I suspect may come as a surprise to a few of our readers and prospective joiners.

ATB..

Nice to meet you as well, sir.

IĎve had a look through the C744 rosters and some of them look suicide inducing. However, very few of them were in the realm of the 5 trip rule. If you look, many of the trips were picked up at stage 2, IOT or EOT. Thereís no protection, and there shouldnít be, from a pilot loading up his/her roster as much as they want.

Sooooo happy to be on the tanker...

Cheers

Buter
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 06:32
  #5164 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,204
Sooooo happy to be on the tanker...
That opens up a whole range of responses..

I’ve tried to resolve your unspoken unwritten by PM........
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 08:17
  #5165 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by wiggy View Post


íMorning Buter...good to finally meet you in person the other week ..

The coffee hasnít kicked in yet so I may be resistant to detail but a quick 1 minute skim read of iBid final rosters shows at least one 744 P1 with 6 trips completely contained within October, though the individual is so far above CAP they may have deliberately loaded their line up or have been RAíd. It certainly looks like Bidline rule 3.5.4.3 hasnít been ďdeployedĒ or wasnít in play for some reason.

Even if itís the case that you donít ever have to do a 6 trip month there are certainly some who do and for many 5 trips will be the norm on at least some of the Longhaul Fleets, which I suspect may come as a surprise to a few of our readers and prospective joiners.

ATB..

Iím P2 744. Blind lined. Iíve got 5 and a half trips this month and not beyond CAP.

Just had a row of trip/2 days off/trip rolling from last month. Totally knackered. Just woke from a mammoth 13 hour coma back home after busting through my two (very loud) alarm clocks
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 08:43
  #5166 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by Buter View Post


Nice to meet you as well, sir.

IĎve had a look through the C744 rosters and some of them look suicide inducing. However, very few of them were in the realm of the 5 trip rule. If you look, many of the trips were picked up at stage 2, IOT or EOT. Thereís no protection, and there shouldnít be, from a pilot loading up his/her roster as much as they want.

Sooooo happy to be on the tanker...

Cheers

Buter
Trust me, You donít have to plunder OT to have an eyeball busting P2 jumbo roster, theyíll offer that little service free of charge even on a blind line.

Many overlook the quality of a month isnít about the 1st to the 31st. Your body doesnít work 1st to the 31st. You can have a nice little compact rolling roster of pain from the 15th of one month to the 14th of the next and then a shockingly luxurious row of 4/5 days off block mid following month. Which by then consists of crying in a corner and sucking your thumb for the first two days
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 08:52
  #5167 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,204
Ouch...

There are some who are of the opinion that the combination of JSS and recruiting will see some relief from that sort of scheduling but TBH and very much IMHO it’s hard to see any regime run by the likes of AC taking their foot off the metaphorical throat once they’ve seen what can be enforced.

I’m very strongly of the opinion that looking ahead for many a career in BA Long Haul will only sustainable if they are able to mitigate the effects by getting onto one of the part time contracts , but that’s obviously just my POV.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 09:55
  #5168 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
Ouch...

There are some who are of the opinion that the combination of JSS and recruiting will see some relief from that sort of scheduling but TBH and very much IMHO it’s hard to see any regime run by the likes of AC taking their foot off the metaphorical throat once they’ve seen what can be enforced.

I’m very strongly of the opinion that looking ahead for many a career in BA Long Haul will only sustainable if they are able to mitigate the effects by getting onto one of the part time contracts , but that’s obviously just my POV.


Yup! For me it’s now black and white. No more messing about now. Beg for part time whilst I have a mull over (can’t afford it though so not a great long term option), bid for LGW (frying pan/fire?) or get the hell out of dodge. I can feel this in my body now. My time at home is now given to work. I’ve tried to be very positive about work until now. Loads of good aspects of course.. I might be paid 65k but my time “off” and health do belong to BA. I figure they’ve bought me half price




Last edited by Wireless; 16th Oct 2018 at 17:26.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 13:03
  #5169 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 549
Iím very strongly of the opinion that looking ahead for many a career in BA Long Haul will only sustainable if they are able to mitigate the effects by getting onto one of the part time contracts , but thatís obviously just my POV.
I believe you have hit the nail firmly on the head there Wiggy. I see people who have come to the jumbo from short haul, or have just joined from other airlines. They think it is great and say it is a breeze. I always say to them ďYep, that is because it takes about five years for the long term fatigue to really hit you, but it you it will.Ē They donít believe me, but give them five years and theyíll be begging for part time or a return to short haul because the current work rate is beyond what the human body can reasonably be expected to do.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 13:44
  #5170 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Going East
Posts: 13
Does BA have a scheduling agreement with regards to how many days off you get between long haul trips? And if so, are the days off to EASA spec or are they slightly more generous, say, no report before 0700 local?
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 14:52
  #5171 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by GS-Alpha View Post


I believe you have hit the nail firmly on the head there Wiggy. I see people who have come to the jumbo from short haul, or have just joined from other airlines. They think it is great and say it is a breeze. I always say to them “Yep, that is because it takes about five years for the long term fatigue to really hit you, but it you it will.” They don’t believe me, but give them five years and they’ll be begging for part time or a return to short haul because the current work rate is beyond what the human body can reasonably be expected to do.
i joined from another LH airline and this is the most knackered I’ve ever been. Partly my fault as I knew the method of the rosters. I think BA’s version of LH is elegantly draining. All the flip flop shift reversals with little time to recover for enough weeks to ensure when you do hit leave or a block off you sort of collapse over the line ha. They’re experts at it. I’ve got to admire that. 5 (a fifth of a month!) missing nights sleep a month becomes my problem, not theirs :0 .

What’s not my fault is it’s changed (ing) , optimising since I’ve arrived. What existed when I signed up is moving around under my feet a little. Bidline as a concept is (was) good, don’t get me wrong. But I am surprised at whoever agreed to the the whole CAP thing back in t’ day, emphasis on the number CAP is/ lack of blocks off after LH had their pants pulled right down. Maybe folk who’d never worked outside of BA and they thought they were onto a good number? God knows.

I know having been elsewhere flying life can be really amazingly bad outside of BA (been there, worn the cheap t shirt :o ). But that’s not really any kind of answer. Less gets said/ admitted but the ability to recover or actually use time off after trips can also be a lot better.

All the details and why’s and wherefores are by the by to me. It’s hardly entirely BA’s fault anyway. Money makers will always do what money makers will do. Business attracts naturally greedy people to the top table. And they will do what they will do. Squeeze. The whole idea is we need folk to protect the greedy ones from running amok, then it works well for everyone...

We do have a regulator. I personally think the regulators are a circus act with protecting health in the flying workplace. They’re fine keen about defining the high health standards they want yet notable by their sqirmyness when it comes to having the the brass balls to address the causes of issues the medical lot say kills people. Smoking ban? Yeah fine - ban that as it doesn’t harm the bottom line of big aviation firms. Fly with booze in your body? Oh no, ban that, that’s unsafe, plus the public friggin hate it like the devil. Easy one that to pop a rule on. Land with sleep deprivation equivalent to 5 glasses of wine? “Oh, Er, mm, what’s that over there? Moving on.... I know let’s call this line in the sand, “fatigue” and paint it into the corner along with what causes stress in flying (another thorny one). It’ll be a vague untouchable unreachable thing, a bit like unicorn tears. Yes, Lets define it as something impossible to get. All the rest is “tiredness” and, well, that’s easy. That’s just like you get after a fat man Sunday lunch. Yes those pilots shift reversing are all “tired” that’s it. We’ll also chuck in an after-the-fact approach - make up a few touchy feely “support” and monitoring systems. Essentially means airlines can quietly file reports of this mythical “fatigue” in the grey tin file unit by the desk. Means we don’t have to address the causes and look like a real British regulator anytime the press ask us about it. Job done. We can’t possibly admit the current set up with aviation needs a big kick in the balls”. Bloody useless...

I tend to look if I can enjoy home life and going to work. Im a bear of simple brain and my small brain is just telling me I’m frigging knackered Can you tell?


Last edited by Wireless; 10th Oct 2018 at 22:51.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 15:22
  #5172 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by pilotpete123 View Post
Does BA have a scheduling agreement with regards to how many days off you get between long haul trips? And if so, are the days off to EASA spec or are they slightly more generous, say, no report before 0700 local?
BA has Bidline rules (BLR)...or what is left of them after Balpa have granted a whole series of alleviations (the reasons why they did this are often debated, but the hard working Balpa reps believe that they had very sound reasons for doing so).

One good thing about BA is that your roster will not be changed without your consent once the final rosters have been published.

BLR requires 2 days off between LH flights, however 3 years ago a temporary alleviation was granted allowing BA to assign trips to EASA rules in some circumstances. This means that a trip with no EASA days off requirement could be assigned against your will that returns the day before a trip on your roster or more commonly there will be a gap of only 1 day between a trip on your line and a force assigned trip. An Africa and some Middle East trips trip have no days off requirement under EASA as there is no relevant time change, so back to back trips can be force assigned.

The recent discussion on this thread about the number of trips on a LH line is very important. 6 LH trips of 3 days will take a pilot above the required amount of work allowing the excess hours to be exchanged for money in subsequent months (or bidding to fly less in a subsequent month with the significant risk of being force assigned a trip because there is a gap on your line). The maths is simple: 6 LH trips of 3 days take up 18 days, the return sectors will include a fatiguing flight on the vast majority of occasions, the first day off at home the pilots feels like death, that is 6 more days, the following day the pilot feels like death warmed up, that is another 6 days. In a 30 day month there are no days off at home when the pilot feels fine. Add cumulative effects of repeated months with 5 or more trips and there is no lifestyle left and the pilot is wondering why he feels wound up like a taught bow and is shouting at his/her kids for no good reason. This also leads to being unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, despite being unbelievably tired.

The BA 747 Classic fleet proved that pilots can't endure the kind of roster that junior 747-400 pilots are now suffering. The Classic experience lead to the "5 trip rule" that Buter has quoted above, however this rule will not be incorporated in the new JSS rostering system that takes over from the January rosters.

There are BA 747-400 pilots in their mid-thirties who are unable to cope and have opted for part time. Sadly the company is unable to grant part time in many cases due to the extraordinary shortage of pilots.

BA has much to offer but the pilots work extremely hard. It is an incredibly profitable airline and this is not due to generosity to it's staff.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 15:29
  #5173 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,622
Interesting post wireless you could do with a holiday. The sleepy folk are of the view that the worst problem for Nigel's is that you very rarely work the same schedule, so planning rest periods get very difficult albeit each individual manages it in their own different way. So a shift worker working earlies / lates / nights or days / nights know exactly what to do as there isn't that much variety. Then Crews have to deal with TZ transitions (sorry to say EASA FTL is much better than CAP371 in this respect), jet lag, delays, commuting, other hobbies / jobs etc.
I know a lot of LH crew who have worked out that staying adapted to UK local is often needed to manage such schedules - you have to be pretty hardcore to manage this though although the rewards can be you recover in BA's time rather than your own.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 15:40
  #5174 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,204
But I am surprised at whoever agreed to the the whole CAP thing back in t’ day, emphasis on the number CAP is/ lack of blocks off after LH had their pants pulled right down.
The whole thing worked when I was a lad (and at the risk of proving that the past is another country) because:

1. It was possible to work up to 15 hours below CAP whenever you fancied or needed to, safe in the knowledge that BA couldn’t stick another trip on your line, regardless of whether you had banked hours or not..OTOH the “Martinis” who wanted to pick up the leftover work for cash were nowhere near 900 hours so they could pick up the slack..

That flexibility has gone.

2. BA was willing to run the pilot establishment to some extent to allow point 1.

They are not now.

3. Less frequent services often meant longer trips with embedded shuttles (Up to a week in the likes of HRE or CCS, with a shuttle somewhere on just one or two of those days) . In other words a significant amount of credit towards CAP was earned downroute sitting on your backside by a pool, on a beach or playing golf (i.e. possibly the lifestyle some who are joining are expecting still to find at BA...well ..)...

There are a handful of those sort of trips still around (e.g. NAS with a shuttle, perhaps some longer slips on the 787, Some Caribbean and the 9 day SYD trip on the 777) OTOH long trips don’t appeal to some people but they have their uses for generating downtime whilst still on the company’s dollar, however because of the increase in frequency of services over the years there’s now a heck of a lot of three day stuff which only earns about 20% of CAP....which somebody has to do....

Now of course if JSS comes in and if it works as advertised things might change...

Last edited by wiggy; 10th Oct 2018 at 15:53.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 16:49
  #5175 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: South of the North pole
Posts: 159
Would a BA pilot mind explaining what JSS is and how SH and LH monthly trips work on a pilot schedule. Im not employed by BA so am keen to understand the rostering system.

I read a lot about 5 and 6 trips a month but at 900 hours a year one can fly 75 hours a month so I fail to see how you do 5 or 6 LH trips a month unless you are flying 6 hour legs.

Obviously people are not lying about that but as a potential future BA pilot Im trying to see whether SH or LH is for me. I have heard the 744 fleet and trips are terrible but then again I would not know.

What is a new hire likely to get in terms of fleet and base. In my case Im a relatively experienced pilot with jet experience and over 5000 hours but not rated on a BA type.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 17:45
  #5176 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: London
Posts: 55
Originally Posted by Daddy Fantastic View Post
Would a BA pilot mind explaining what JSS is and how SH and LH monthly trips work on a pilot schedule. Im not employed by BA so am keen to understand the rostering system.

I read a lot about 5 and 6 trips a month but at 900 hours a year one can fly 75 hours a month so I fail to see how you do 5 or 6 LH trips a month unless you are flying 6 hour legs.

Obviously people are not lying about that but as a potential future BA pilot Im trying to see whether SH or LH is for me. I have heard the 744 fleet and trips are terrible but then again I would not know.

What is a new hire likely to get in terms of fleet and base. In my case Im a relatively experienced pilot with jet experience and over 5000 hours but not rated on a BA type.
what airline have you come from ? With that many hours (if your used to SH) you may as well go SH and get command in a few years , Or slog it at the bottom of seniority for LH for a looooooong time
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 18:40
  #5177 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 348
I read a lot about 5 and 6 trips a month but at 900 hours a year one can fly 75 hours a month so I fail to see how you do 5 or 6 LH trips a month unless you are flying 6 hour legs.
It’s 900 hours over 10.5 months as you get four weeks of leave and two “duty free weeks” (which are broadly the same thing), meaning 85 hours per (worked) month. However, we work on credit hours not flown hours. The annual total target credit hours on longhaul is 1055 (I think), which also includes a credit hour value for leave, sims, etc. It’s no coincidence that when the leave credit, sim credit and so on are removed, the answer gets very close to 900 and as most trip credit is flying hour based (long trips of which there are few are calculated slightly differently), you need to average 85 flying hours per month worked.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 20:37
  #5178 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,204
Originally Posted by Daddy Fantastic View Post
Would a BA pilot mind explaining what JSS is and how SH and LH monthly trips work on a pilot schedule. Im not employed by BA so am keen to understand the rostering system.
.
At the risk of sounding flippant but in fact trying to be totally honest I’d say there are at about 4000 people who would also like to understand exactly how the rostering system known as JSS is going to work at BA ..i.e. most of the current pilot workforce.

It’s a trip preferencing system where supposedly you can express options for trips, days off, start times...blah blah..system works it’s way down the pilot seniority list trying to satisfy preferences in some way shape or form...the system is supposed to be introduced in about 4 weeks time so that the rosters it produces will be the one’s we are working to w.e.f. 1 Jan.

However:

At the time of writing there has been a first attempt at a dry run where there were insufficient participants to produce meaningful output, so we have no idea what those rosters would have looked like.

We then had a second dry run where there seems to have been a problem producing results..we are promised them any day now but as of yet nothing - so nobody has any idea what those rosters would have looked like.

We have been promised a third dry run before the system goes live for the January bid.......time is short.....


And now you know about as much about JSS as most of us do......


I read a lot about 5 and 6 trips a month but at 900 hours a year one can fly 75 hours a month so I fail to see how you do 5 or 6 LH trips a month unless you are flying 6 hour legs.
..and guess what? We fly 6 hour legs...

For those still wearing rose tinted glasses a warning.. Longhaul at BA is not all 10-14 hour plus sector lengths such as Singapore, Buenos Aries and Hong Kong etc

..Leaving aside the occasional outliers that appear on the 777 or 744 rosters as daytrips such as Madrid and Moscow BA longhaul covers the likes of:

Tel Aviv ( 5 hours, plus or minus), Cairo, (sometimes, 5 hours ish)

Abuja/Lagos/Accra/ Boston,/Montreal and countless others at around 6 hours, plus or minus.

Now the senior guys might pick up two or three Longish sector round trips in the month and then perhaps a short trip to finesse the hours..that works fine....OTOH if you get clobbered with a month of low flight time trips you need to do a lot of days and nights at work to achieve the target hours.

Last edited by wiggy; 14th Oct 2018 at 06:05.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 20:40
  #5179 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Botswana
Posts: 676
Iíll hopefully be moving over to Long Haul in two years time however looking at the rosters of the junior trash on LH leads me to believe that 75% Right to Request will be essential in order to cope and have a life outside of work as a bloke in my fourties by the time it comes around. With the process running at over a year from application to the part time being granted that means possibly banging in a request next year. Whether Iíll be able to afford it Iím not even sure but one thing is for sure, Iím not working myself into an early death just to line the pockets of Alex Cruz and Willie Walsh.
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Old 10th Oct 2018, 21:30
  #5180 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by Daddy Fantastic View Post
Would a BA pilot mind explaining what JSS is and how SH and LH monthly trips work on a pilot schedule. Im not employed by BA so am keen to understand the rostering system.

I read a lot about 5 and 6 trips a month but at 900 hours a year one can fly 75 hours a month so I fail to see how you do 5 or 6 LH trips a month unless you are flying 6 hour legs.

Obviously people are not lying about that but as a potential future BA pilot Im trying to see whether SH or LH is for me. I have heard the 744 fleet and trips are terrible but then again I would not know.

What is a new hire likely to get in terms of fleet and base. In my case Im a relatively experienced pilot with jet experience and over 5000 hours but not rated on a BA type.
As mentioned there are stacks of flights that aren’t long on flight time. In isolation block hours are a red herring of judging how throughly exhausting the style of LH BA flies is. You’re out of bed the whole second night of a 3 days trip regardless. its the amount of nights out of bed and the amount of time off between trips. Of course higher block hours per trip theoretically mean less trips required to make cap and less nights out of bed. But there simply aren’t enough (on my fleet anyway) to give respite. With a theoretical high credit, 3 day 20 hour credit trip you’d have to do 4 and a bit of them to make cap. 4.5 this summer. So that’s where the 5 plus trips comes from when you have a mixture. You don’t get many lines of 3 day 20 hour credit trips



Last edited by Wireless; 10th Oct 2018 at 22:02.
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