Relief Pilots

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CellPh2
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Relief Pilots

Post by CellPh2 »

I know most new hires either go on to the EMB (or used to) or relief pilot on a wide body. What do most seem to prefer? Do relief pilots get to touch the controls at all? Would be a nice way to see the world, but does it seem to rust flying skills, or is there adequate training to prevent this. Just looking for opinions of those who have done it, or who fly for AC.
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Rockie
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by Rockie »

"Relief Pilot" and "maintaining pilot skills" are mutually exclusive I'm afraid. Whenever you're in the seat the autopilot will be on and you will get zero hands on flying time. You will of course have to do recurrent training in the simulator every six to eight months (can't remember if the wide bodies are on the extended interval or not) which will be the only formal training you get after the initial course. You can go into the simulator to practice anytime it isn't otherwise scheduled though which is great, but you will not be hand flying the actual aircraft.

Basically it's see the world outside North America, or maintain pilot skills. Can't do both.

It's a personal choice and everybody's situation and preference is different so it's impossible to recommend one over the other.
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HavaJava
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by HavaJava »

I like to think that everyone getting hired by Air Canada has many thousands of take-offs and landings under their belts by the time they get hired (although that's probably not true any more). I came from a job that averaged a dozen legs a day and I can say that I didn't miss the hands-on flying as an RP. I also felt like the rust came off in no time when I went right seat...just like riding a bike.

Being a RP was an amazing job and as long as you participate as an active member of the crew and do the occasional practice sim I can't see getting rusty being a problem.
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altiplano
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by altiplano »

Rockie may be correct where it comes to guys that aren't involved and just go along for the ride. But I disagree on the part about an imminent decline in piloting skill. Take offs and landings are what you will miss, but they will come back quick when you make the move. Just keep your head in it, if you aren't involved in what is going on that is where you will lose something. You do every other part of the job and in overseas flying take offs and landings are often the simplest bit...

The open sim is a huge benefit too - free to cut loose anytime it's open to work on what you will, go do circuits in a 777, whatever... The 777 is the only fleet not on the extended interval.

FWIW I don't think you will see many RP spots open to new hires for a while though, it's a more senior seat right now than the junior EMB or 320 position, plus you have LCC lower pay FO spots coming in too.

Good luck whatever you do...
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flyincanuck
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by flyincanuck »

My $0.02?

- the airplane is almost always on A/P. Occasionally, a training CA will allow you to fly the plane. Nothing below 10,000 feet. And nothing particularly exciting, if you ask me.

- some routes are busier than others. For instance you are generally busy for about 3 hours when crossing the ITCZ flying to South America (deeking around TS).

- someone had already mentioned most new hires have thousands of hours of experience before getting hired. I had no issues with any of my recurrent sims, and didn't notice any degradation in hand-flying the plane (sim). By this stage, it's kind of like riding a bicycle. Having said that, I'd feel more comfortable with a few more practice hours before blasting off into a Torbay 'noreaster

- 98% of the crews treat, and expect you to act, like an FO. I chalk the other 2% up to being douchebags. You get them everywhere.

- I had never flown overseas prior to AC, and used this as another learning experience. It's not rocket science, but it certainly is different.

- It's an easy way to learn the company culture and operation from the 3rd seat.

- I find that the RP can sometimes be the most versed pilot in terms of the destination airport given we only have a handful of airports to operate out of.

- The flying is straight forward and civilized. 3-4 trips a month. No GPDs to deal with on the US eastern seaboard, etc

- sim is every 8 months after your first year (6 months for first year). Since I average 15-19 days off a month I've listed myself with Crew Sked to fill in for sim rides. Easy money and ensures you don't let the SOPs and Drills get rusty.

- I'm fortunate I was given the opportunity to select RP. Frankly, some of the negative arguments I hear against the RP position don't come close to the benefits the position provides.

Good luck, and have fun on what ever you're given/choose!
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LTD
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by LTD »

Thanks for the information guys, VERY interesting.

I have another question, are new hire RPs only based out of Toronto and Vancouver? Any new hire RPs in YUL?

Also, I'm wondering with the new rules now in place, once a new hire is given a position (for example RP), will he be able to bid for a new base and/or position within the first 4 years or must you now keep your seat and base for the first 4 years?

While I'm at it.. Do you guys have any idea of what positions (base and type) will be available for new hires in early 2013?
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cj555
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by cj555 »

Thanks for all the input, this is a great thread!
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CellPh2
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by CellPh2 »

Yeah guys, thanks again for all the comments. Merry Christmas to all.
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Cap'n P8
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by Cap'n P8 »

No RP positions in Montreal.
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TheStig
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by TheStig »

LTD wrote:Thanks for the information guys, VERY interesting.

I have another question, are new hire RPs only based out of Toronto and Vancouver? Any new hire RPs in YUL?

Also, I'm wondering with the new rules now in place, once a new hire is given a position (for example RP), will he be able to bid for a new base and/or position within the first 4 years or must you now keep your seat and base for the first 4 years?

While I'm at it.. Do you guys have any idea of what positions (base and type) will be available for new hires in early 2013?
As P8 mentioned there are no RP positions in YUL, and the 330 RP positions are all YVR based. New Hires are frozen on type, not base, and are free to bid to which ever base they choose once hired.
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LTD
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by LTD »

Ok great info thanks Stig,
I was worried that if ever I actually got the job, I might have to relocate for as much as four years.
I'm happy to hear I would b able to change base when able.
As for being frozen on type, either way, still a lot better than what I'm currently flying now!
Cheers
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land3
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by land3 »

If my RP was a contributing part of my team, had a decent attitude, (not just dozing for dollars.....sigh) and I knew the FO well and we both agreed, ....I have heard about the occaisional swapping of f/o seats at the outer marker from hand flying all the way down from cruise. (not admitting to anything here.....)

Oh yeah.....buying you skipper a beer on layover certainly helps.......
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altiplano
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by altiplano »

Latest equipment bid result shows RP spots in every equipment type in YVR and YYZ will be available to new hires.

Also 320 & EMJ FO in YYZ & YUL and LCC767 & 319 FO spots are open.

Good luck.
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mars4
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by mars4 »

What happens to direct new hires in RP position after a few years :
And how long do they usually stay RP ?
Can they expect to move right seat or they'll be bumped off by the guys coming from narrow body ?
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mars4
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by mars4 »

No one ?

I was wondering if you were offered an RP position,
are you frozen for the first 4 years as RP on type or
in that very case can you bid to move to an FO position
before the end of the 4 first years ?

And also while I'm asking do you actually log any of the
hours you do as RP on your logbook ?

Thx !
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MRP
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by MRP »

mars4 wrote:No one ?

I was wondering if you were offered an RP position,
are you frozen for the first 4 years as RP on type or
in that very case can you bid to move to an FO position
before the end of the 4 first years ?

Thx !
From the contract

A new hire Pilot will submit a Position preference during the PIT course, but may be
awarded any vacant Position.

A new hire Pilot will be frozen from the awarding of a new Position that requires
training for a period of 4 years
from his date of employment as a Pilot. This freeze
may be removed by the Company in seniority order.


Having said that, why would you want to change positions before the first 4 years given that you will be on flat pay for four years anyway regardless of position? I fly the EMJ and I work on average almost twice as many days as the RP guys to get the same credit hours (and pay). Typical 75 hr month on the EMJ is 14-16 days at work. On the RP positions can be more like 8-12 days, even less for the 777RP.
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mars4
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by mars4 »

Thx MRP !

I could find loooots of reasons not to stay RP for 4 years,
but I can find loooots of reasons to stay RP 4 years :D !!

That was more to have an idea of the options
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cj555
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by cj555 »

Just to make sure I understand:

An RP can bid into an FO spot during the first 4 years because training isn't required (they're already type rated etc).

However, when an RP is bidding on an FO spot, they are competing against more senior FO's and Capts who are out of the 4 year window, have more seniority and are trying to bid up to bigger equipment? So even if an RP can bid FO on the same aircraft within the 4 year window, it is highly unlikely the RP would have enough seniority to hold that FO spot?
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DBC
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by DBC »

Going rp to fo is a half course so training is required. Going 67 rp to lcc 67 fo is a full course since they are two seperate OCs.
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cj555
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by cj555 »

Ok, so going back to the original question, it is seems unlikely for a new hire RP to go to an FO position during the first 4 years because going FO on same aircraft is a half course, and going FO at the LCC is a full course?

Therefore, for an RP to go to FO regardless of what aircraft, training would be required. For that reason it would not be possible in the first 4 years?
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altiplano
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by altiplano »

cj555 wrote:Ok, so going back to the original question, it is seems unlikely for a new hire RP to go to an FO position during the first 4 years because going FO on same aircraft is a half course, and going FO at the LCC is a full course?

Therefore, for an RP to go to FO regardless of what aircraft, training would be required. For that reason it would not be possible in the first 4 years?
Whatever you join as, RP/narrow body FO/LCC FO - You are in a position freeze for 4 years unless released at company discretion.

Training will be required any time you change equipment/status. First 4 years it would be unlikely to bid into the right seat of a mainline widebody, maybe 767... but unlikely.
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freedomfighter
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Re: Relief Pilots

Post by freedomfighter »

HavaJava wrote:I like to think that everyone getting hired by Air Canada has many thousands of take-offs and landings under their belts by the time they get hired (although that's probably not true any more). I came from a job that averaged a dozen legs a day and I can say that I didn't miss the hands-on flying as an RP. I also felt like the rust came off in no time when I went right seat...just like riding a bike.

Being a RP was an amazing job and as long as you participate as an active member of the crew and do the occasional practice sim I can't see getting rusty being a problem.

The experience level for new hires has been decreasing over time. That said, if you have extensive flying experience, the crp position will give you much better working conditions. If you are coming to the airline with relatively low time, i recommend you get into the right seat as soon as you can. The EMB will give you great exposure to short and medium haul airline operations into high density airports.
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