Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

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andy_mtl
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Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#1 Post by andy_mtl » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:54 pm

Good day to all!

I keep reading job postings everyday on this site and all the time you see posting for direct entry captains.
Now my question is, from a employe engagement point of view, isn t it better to promote from within the company?
I know most people would say, Our FOs arent experienced enough so we need pilots with more hours and more years on their logs.
But are you honestly telling me you don t have 1 FO in your company you wouldn t trust as PIC?

Thanks everyone and have a great day!

Andy
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#2 Post by Conquest Driver » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:21 pm

If I were a Chief Pilot, I'd look at every single F/O before I went outside. In my mind, that's only common sense.

If that isn't happening then either the F/O's aren't as qualified as they think they are, they're on an equipment freeze, or the CP is operating in a way that's different from my way of thinking.

Right now it looks like the Pilot market is "on a roll" (unlike the stock market). If it's going to take 2 or 3 months to get a F/O qualified, then maybe a direct entry Captain makes sense.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#3 Post by co-joe » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:32 pm

If a company promotes from within they have to train the upgrade and their replacement. If they hire from outside then they only have to train the new hire. If you get passed over for a promotion, are pissed about it, and quit, then you obviously had a bad attitude. Consider it a Canadian aviation-ism.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#4 Post by andy_mtl » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:55 pm

To co -joe

Actually i am a low time 250h TT guy that is now flying skydivers on the weekend and doesnt even have a IFR rating, so really, this is not a persona situation.
Due to the nature of my second job, i was asking a question i couldn t answer my self.

I understand there is a cost associated with upgrading someone, but even if you have a type rated entry captain don't you still have to do some sort of training for SOPs?

And just to promote the overall feeling employees have torward the company they work for.
There are very many FO for a canadian Charter airline i have worked for that got extremely upset when they found out the company was taking DEC from oversea a couple of years back. and having quite a few of your FOs complaining in the crew shuttle to the parking, or at check in at the hotels is not what a company wants , is it?
but even for much smaller charter companies with not too many employees, all working to get on that left seat, it must not be the greatest feeling to see many job posting for DEC.

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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#5 Post by tbaylx » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:33 pm

I can assure you it isn't just a canadian issue, many airlines worldwide hire DEC's. It also has less to do with not having qualified F/O's than it is with a training/cost issue.

If you upgrade an F/O internally then you have to train said F/O as a captain, as well as hire a new F/O to replace him and train that person as well. If you hire a DEC then you simply have to train the new Captain. Many companies either are short training staff and resources, didn't plan far enough in advance for crew requirements, and simply don't give a sh!t about how the crews feel about it.

About the only way to prevent it from happening is a strong union with a seniority list which doesn't exist at most airlines world wide.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#6 Post by ditar » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:37 pm

Contract requirements play a big part in this, at least at the companies I've worked for. Even though certain F/O's may legally be qualified for an upgrade, they still wouldn't be qualified to act as PIC under the contract. As someone else said, it would take way too long for the individual to get the necessary experience, so there is often no choice but to hire from outside.

Often what happens is that when certain F/O's are close to meeting the contract requirements and are also due for their PPC renewal, they'll be given a left-seat ride and then allowed to chip away at the PIC requirement in a co-captain environment, so that when a left-seat position does open up they are qualified for it.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#7 Post by andy_mtl » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:42 pm

thanks for the replies guys!
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#8 Post by just curious » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:32 am

We really prefer internal upgrades. There's five did upgrade rides so far this season. There are three that I know of that need their ATPL writtens.
But we went outside for three drivers as well.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#9 Post by co-joe » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:13 pm

tbaylx wrote:I can assure you it isn't just a canadian issue, many airlines worldwide hire DEC's. It also has less to do with not having qualified F/O's than it is with a training/cost issue.

If you upgrade an F/O internally then you have to train said F/O as a captain, as well as hire a new F/O to replace him and train that person as well. If you hire a DEC then you simply have to train the new Captain. Many companies either are short training staff and resources, didn't plan far enough in advance for crew requirements, and simply don't give a sh!t about how the crews feel about it.

About the only way to prevent it from happening is a strong union with a seniority list which doesn't exist at most airlines world wide.
That's exactly what I said...but without all the smooth edges. :
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#10 Post by Panama Jack » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:02 am

My employer has for years maintained a policy of upgrading from within and hiring pilots to start in the right seat.

All of that changed late last year. Attrition and rapid fleet growth meant that it became impossible for the training department to keep up with the upgrade assessment and training process (which would typically take around 4 months), new-hire induction and training and recurrent training. Add into the mix the introduction of a new type to the fleet early last year. In the last few months, vacations were being cancelled and pilots were maxing out on hours while the Company was busy readjusting the network to try to become more economically sustainable. A political crisis in the country leading to the tanks rolling in the streets, the declaration of Martial Law, and World News coverage didn't help. This prompted additional people to leave and some applicants to get scared away . . . in essence, the perfect storm from a human resources perspective.

A few weeks ago I learned that we are looking for around 100 pilots to address growth and attrition. The solution? Direct-entry of experienced, type-rated pilots, both right and left seat. I know some FO's with their eyes on the left seat resent this, but sometimes the Company does not have many other options to play. Any upgrade involves an increased level of risk to operations, so we just can't blindly throw warm bodies into the left seat (we had a World-headline accident a number of years ago involving a relatively new Captain with CRM issues. The Company learned a lot from this although we still pay higher insurance premiums). The other risk of not hiring DEC's is that we simply won't be able to keep the operation going. That does not create a favorable environment for guys wanting an upgrade either.

Sometimes, a company has got to do what they got to do.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#11 Post by KAG » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:29 am

Co-joe, you know I was a DEC at Borek, and sure it ruffled a few feathers but at Borek specifically they require a lot of PIC time for certain contracts, I recall 1000 PIC on type being one.
From a money standpoint training someone with a current PPC is cheaper, as is insurance costs if that someone has PIC time on type. I'll admit it does suck from an FO standpoint - I'd hate to be bypassed, but in some cases hands were tied. Others just weren't ready to upgrade, ATPL or not.

What some people need to understand is getting your upgrade is a privilege not a right, you need to earn that forth stripe.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#12 Post by ahramin » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:32 am

Panama Jack wrote:My employer has for years maintained a policy of upgrading from within and hiring pilots to start in the right seat.

All of that changed late last year. Attrition and rapid fleet growth meant that it became impossible for the training department to keep up with the upgrade assessment and training process (which would typically take around 4 months), new-hire induction and training and recurrent training. Add into the mix the introduction of a new type to the fleet early last year. In the last few months, vacations were being cancelled and pilots were maxing out on hours while the Company was busy readjusting the network to try to become more economically sustainable. A political crisis in the country leading to the tanks rolling in the streets, the declaration of Martial Law, and World News coverage didn't help. This prompted additional people to leave and some applicants to get scared away . . . in essence, the perfect storm from a human resources perspective.

A few weeks ago I learned that we are looking for around 100 pilots to address growth and attrition. The solution? Direct-entry of experienced, type-rated pilots, both right and left seat. I know some FO's with their eyes on the left seat resent this, but sometimes the Company does not have many other options to play. Any upgrade involves an increased level of risk to operations, so we just can't blindly throw warm bodies into the left seat (we had a World-headline accident a number of years ago involving a relatively new Captain with CRM issues. The Company learned a lot from this although we still pay higher insurance premiums). The other risk of not hiring DEC's is that we simply won't be able to keep the operation going. That does not create a favorable environment for guys wanting an upgrade either.

Sometimes, a company has got to do what they got to do.
We're in a similar situation here PJ, but none of the FOs are going to complain as long as the DEC come in at the bottom of the seniority list. How is seniority being handled over there?
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#13 Post by Panama Jack » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:33 pm

Same same, ahramin. All of these new Captains are junior to even some of the cadet pilots in the wings. I don't know how your employer will handle this in the future, but here-- once a Captain, forever a Captain (you won't be washed back to the right seat unless it is for disciplinary reasons or some other incompetence).

While we have seniority, we do not have a pilot organization and the local trade union is an inept critter which fights over peanuts. So sometimes people have legitimate concerns on how these new Captains will progress in there careers when new equipment is introduced even though the Company has show itself to stick to the principle of seniority over the last few years. I appreciate that but at the same time it is somewhat irrelevent in the big scheme of things. We have status pay, so the base pay doesn't change whether you are flying a widebody or the regional jet (although time away from base can, and of course, no nice Bangkok or Frankfurt layovers on the narrow-body stuff).

But pilots in this region are used to seeing rapid upgrades and start to pout a little if they aren't a widebody Captain within 5 years after joining the Company.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#14 Post by northernpilot2 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:41 pm

co-joe wrote:
Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:32 pm
If you get passed over for a promotion, are pissed about it, and quit, then you obviously had a bad attitude.
Ive had to deal with a guy like that once. We never got past the pre flight briefing, I requested a change of FO and it caused an unnecessary delay. I had to chat with the CP after the incident.

The point is, you can be pissed all you want, just don't bring it to the flight deck. Keep your personal problems outside. Maybe after your day is over, you can go home and rip the plumbing out of your wall for all I care.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#15 Post by northernpilot2 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:46 pm

KAG wrote:
Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:29 am
What some people need to understand is getting your upgrade is a privilege not a right, you need to earn that forth stripe.
Right on. Well said :supz:
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#16 Post by upnatem » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:42 am

Aviation is a weird business. Pretty much every business in the world has direct entry hires in every facet and level of the organization. Why should simply a hire date force a company to promote any given individual? Once an organization disregards things like performance and the details of past experience of individuals in their workforce to focus solely on total hours and/or hire date, the dream of truly being seen as professionals is dead. Bring on the unions!
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#17 Post by Meatservo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:25 pm

There's an elephant in the room here, and that is the question of overall fitness for the position of captain. As Canadians especially, we don't like to overemphasize or give too much credit to the leadership position, and it's easier to run a business (ESPECIALLY a unionized one) if you can reduce human relations to an equation without human variables. And after a thousand hours, what co-pilot doesn't beleive he or she isn't perfectly suited to be in charge? Almost all humans think they should be in charge. But the fact is, in the long list of human strengths and weaknesses which vary from person to person, there are many ways that an individual can nominally "qualify" for an upgrade to the captain position, but still fall short of being really suited for it. A person may be a superb pilot, but have no interpersonal skills. A person may (and I've seen this) be an excellent crewmate and good decision-maker, but have almost no ability to actually fly a plane. A person might have good hands and feet, and might be an excellent crewmate, and then come completely unglued during an emergency. Any one of these shortcomings can be overlooked in a copilot almost indefinitely, but would become glaringly obvious in a captain. Maybe a pilot is good at everything, but has such an "anti-company" attitude that the company has reservations about awarding them a "management" role. In my opinion, "captain" IS a management role, regardless of whether or not this is acknowledged in corporate policy or paid as such. Because every aircraft is like a miniature roving "department", cut off from headquarters and with a person in charge of its actions. I call that "management"

Now, a lot of these personal issues can be camouflaged, or even mitigated, by automation, S.O.Ps, a scheduled run where nothing is ever different or challenging, technical reliability, unionization, &c., but they are always waiting in the wings to catch a crew out. A lot of these "soft" factors can be addressed an cured with experience. Sometimes lots and lots of experience. But sometimes, a copilot who feels absolutely certain that he or she is ready for the upgrade is simply wrong. Sometimes there is no choice but to look outside the company. There is a risk there, too of course, since when you come from outside the company you might arrive fully loaded with a set of your own shortcomings. But there is usually an assumption that someone with previous command experience might have jumped through all those hoops elsewhere. Whether that is a fair assumption or not, is sort of up to the individual. It also may not be fair to a copilot who is, in, fact, ready for the upgrade. Human relations is a sloppy affair in which it's easy for a manager to fall prey to cognitive biases and other human factors at the management level. The senior employee might not even necessarily be the one who IS ready for the upgrade.

Sometimes, I dare say, a really tough call to make to bring in direct-entry employees, or not.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#18 Post by confusedalot » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:37 pm

Just stumbled on this thread, such a sticky subject. I've been hired three times as a direct entry, and all I can say is that ''the company'' would much rather NOT take this course of action unless absolutely necessary.

An upgrade does not cost that much, a couple of sim rides instead of a full course, so there is no financial payoff in hiring a DEC versus hiring an FO, which requires a full course in any case.

A direct entry is merely a stopgap measure until things fall into place, and the system reverts to normal. In the mean time, non upgradable FO's get more time and progress to upgradable FO's, and then they become Captain. Uusually in a matter of a couple, 1 or 2, years.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#19 Post by ant_321 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:16 pm

northernpilot2 wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:41 pm
co-joe wrote:
Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:32 pm
If you get passed over for a promotion, are pissed about it, and quit, then you obviously had a bad attitude.
Ive had to deal with a guy like that once. We never got past the pre flight briefing, I requested a change of FO and it caused an unnecessary delay. I had to chat with the CP after the incident.

The point is, you can be pissed all you want, just don't bring it to the flight deck. Keep your personal problems outside. Maybe after your day is over, you can go home and rip the plumbing out of your wall for all I care.
How did you come across this 6.5 year old thread. Haha
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#20 Post by northernpilot2 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:13 pm

confusedalot wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:37 pm
I've been hired three times as a direct entry
Im just curious if you came across any disgruntled FO's or was it just me with that one guy? I was hired as DEC at my previous company. At my current one I was upgraded from the FO position and most seem happy about it. There are still a few people pissed about it but oh well. I still try to get along with them but they chose not to, so it's really beyond my control.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#21 Post by northernpilot2 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:15 pm

ant_321 wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:16 pm
How did you come across this 6.5 year old thread. Haha
Ive read this thread about a year ago and I wanted to talk about the topic. I pulled up this one instead of creating a new one.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#22 Post by confusedalot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:57 pm

northernpilot2 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:13 pm
confusedalot wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:37 pm
I've been hired three times as a direct entry
Im just curious if you came across any disgruntled FO's or was it just me with that one guy? I was hired as DEC at my previous company. At my current one I was upgraded from the FO position and most seem happy about it. There are still a few people pissed about it but oh well. I still try to get along with them but they chose not to, so it's really beyond my control.
Of course people are pissed about it, it's human nature after all, who wants to be passed over for a promotion? Having said that all were professional and the days went by harmoniously.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#23 Post by Tacoma » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:29 pm

There are 700 FOs at WJ with more qualifications then what the Swoop ad is advertising for DEC so I don't Know if I'd wanna be one of those guys robbing us of our future! won't be a whole lot of respect for that blacklisted bunch of guys.
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Re: Direct entry captain VS Internal promotion

#24 Post by lownslow » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:36 pm

confusedalot wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:37 pm
A direct entry is merely a stopgap measure until things fall into place, and the system reverts to normal. In the mean time, non upgradable FO's get more time and progress to upgradable FO's, and then they become Captain.
This right here is probably the most correct thing that has ever been posted to this forum, and sums up the reasoning perfectly.
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