Basic AC information for beginners

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bigEh
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Basic AC information for beginners

#1 Post by bigEh » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:24 pm

Good day all,

Forgive me if this information is on this thread already but I cannot find the information I am looking for in a neat little package.
I never really considered going to the airlines until recently. I always figured I would stay in the bush or find a small company and stay somewhere smaller. With the way the hiring is going and the advancement opportunities, my interest has gone up and I am curious about AC.
As I have read through the AC forum I have figured out the wage and a bit about how you bid on bases and equipment but there are a few basic terms/procedures I can't seem to find the basic information.


What is a reserve pilot? As in, what is the schedule? What would a typical day be for a reserve pilot?

What is a relief pilot? Do people choose to be a relief pilot or is it a stepping stone on the AC journey?

What is holding a block? It seems like it is based on seniority but what exactly does a block entail?

Is there a certain amount of times you can bid on equipment or bases? Or can you switch it up as many times as you want? I am assuming there is a waiting period from one bid to another if you are trained.

What is the commuting policy? I heard at some airlines if you can prove you've tried to get to your base on a certain number of standby flights they cannot penalize you for missing your flight. Is this true at AC?

Is there some sort of matrix that determines what a pilot is eligible to fly? Could a pilot get on long haul overseas duty without having spent a long time with the company? I was just curious as I read somewhere here that you could get relief pilot on long hauls and only work 9 ish days a month. Make less money but work a lot less. Is that a very rare example or something that is fairly typical.

I am sorry if this info is posted already but I have had a hard time finding these basic definitions.


Thanks in advance.
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HansDietrich
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#2 Post by HansDietrich » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:43 pm

Put a bit of effort into it mate! That horse has been made into salami many times over! If you've never heard that saying it means "We've discussed these topics to death on this site"
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co-joe
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#3 Post by co-joe » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:26 pm

What is a reserve pilot? As in, what is the schedule? What would a typical day be for a reserve pilot?
Being on reserve is like being in love. Nobody can tell you you're in love, you just know it.
What is a relief pilot? Do people choose to be a relief pilot or is it a stepping stone on the AC journey?
A relief pilot or RP, or cruise relief, or cruise pilot is someone who relieves the crew on long flights. Basically they are a fully trained flight crew member who sits in the front seats in cruise only and monitors the autopilot, makes position reports, and stuff but doesn’t do take offs or landings. The primary reason to start as an RP is that you can be junior, but have the schedule of a high seniority pilot. When you fly long haul, you do all "high credit" flying. The goal is to fly out your hours as quickly as possible so you don't have to work. In theory, if you flew 10 hours a day, you could work 8 days a month and be done. But it pays way way way less than the right or left seat of the machine that does those long legs so to come back as an FO might take decades before you will have the seniority to hold that spot.
What is holding a block? It seems like it is based on seniority but what exactly does a block entail?
Holding a block is like being in love... :)

I'm just guessing here but I believe a block means that when the bid for the following month is awarded, you get the things you asked for. By telling you this, I am counting on Cunningham's law to provide the real answer.
Is there a certain amount of times you can bid on equipment or bases? Or can you switch it up as many times as you want? I am assuming there is a waiting period from one bid to another if you are trained.
There are rules. I think you can only bid from one type of aircraft to another 4 times in your career. If the company forces you off a type that doesn't count towards those 4. I also think you are not allowed to ever bid a downgrade. This means that if you chose to go captain early, you can never bid down to the right seat ever again.
Is there some sort of matrix that determines what a pilot is eligible to fly?
Sort of. It all depends where vacancies are, and what other people bid on. Some classes have RP positions, some are all jungle jet YYZ. So if you get the Embryo, and really want a 67 RP spot, you'd have to use up one of those 4 off type bids to get it, but eventually you'll get burned out of long haul flying, or want to make more money, and want to go Rouge 320 FO after a few years so in under 10 years you could burn 2 of your 4 moves just getting where you want to go. Lots of luck of the draw, and timing play in.
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altiplano
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#4 Post by altiplano » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:47 am

What is a reserve pilot? As in, what is the schedule? What would a typical day be for a reserve pilot?

A pilot on call. Typically the most junior pilots in a given position, but some senior pilots bid it also. You get 12.25 data off in a month, 4 time off periods 1x4 days off, 2x3 days off, 1x54 hours off (some exceptions). You are guaranteed a minimum pay, even if you don't fly.

What is a relief pilot? Do people choose to be a relief pilot or is it a stepping stone on the AC journey?

Cheap crew rest fill in. They make less than an FO on type. Many choose it because it's a pretty easy job, provides for a good life balance esp. for a junior pilot, gets you on airplanes and routes which are much more senior. Flying isn't everything but pay suffers.

What is holding a block? It seems like it is based on seniority but what exactly does a block entail?

A block is a monthly schedule. A block holder has a set schedule of flying for the month. There are good blocks and bad blocks...

Is there a certain amount of times you can bid on equipment or bases? Or can you switch it up as many times as you want? I am assuming there is a waiting period from one bid to another if you are trained.

When you join you get 6 course rights. WB RP, NB FO, WB FO, NB CA, WB CA, Unrestricted. You get another unrestricted after 15 years and 25 years. You need these bid to other positions/types. There are ways you can change without using them. ie. Position reductions


What is the commuting policy? I heard at some airlines if you can prove you've tried to get to your base on a certain number of standby flights they cannot penalize you for missing your flight. Is this true at AC?

No. Get to work or book off.

Is there some sort of matrix that determines what a pilot is eligible to fly? Could a pilot get on long haul overseas duty without having spent a long time with the company? I was just curious as I read somewhere here that you could get relief pilot on long hauls and only work 9 ish days a month. Make less money but work a lot less. Is that a very rare example or something that is fairly typical.

Basically it's straight seniority. You are offered a position after you join based on what they need at the time, sometimes you may choose between a few different types. RP is a new hire position.

[/quote]
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bigEh
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#5 Post by bigEh » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:18 pm

I appreciate the replies.
Was looking for some sort of confirmation of basic terms I have read throughout the forums.
Hopefully this will come in handy for other "newbies".
Merry Christmas.
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Victory
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#6 Post by Victory » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:10 pm

Do Air Canada pilots bring their own headsets to work or does every plane have them installed already?
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altiplano
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#7 Post by altiplano » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:34 pm

Headsets are provided. Some guys prefer to bring their own though.
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#8 Post by Redwine » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:18 pm

4. I also think you are not allowed to ever bid a downgrade. This means that if you chose to go captain early, you can never bid down to the right seat ever again.

NB Cpt's can bid WB FO
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dogfood
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#9 Post by dogfood » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:44 pm

why would you want to
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Duke Point
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#10 Post by Duke Point » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:48 pm

Everyone is given one "unrestricted course right" which means a widebody Skip can bid narrowbody FO if they want.

It also depends on your Apos / Qpos when the course rights were given back in 2012. There are actual widebody Skips with an unused narrowbody FO course right. I agree, why would they bid it......

DP.
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altiplano
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Re: Basic AC information for beginners

#11 Post by altiplano » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:09 pm

Redwine wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:18 pm
4. I also think you are not allowed to ever bid a downgrade. This means that if you chose to go captain early, you can never bid down to the right seat ever again.

NB Cpt's can bid WB FO
You can bid to whatever you have a course right for. WC/NC/WF/NF/UR... You get URs at joining, at 15 & 25 years. You can also move to whatever your seniority will hold on reductions/junior reductions.
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