Transitioning and upgrading

skydog

New Member
This is directed more to the guys at the majors, who have multiple aircraft types and seats to choose from, but if applicable to you, please feel free to join in.

I'd be interested in hearing peoples' stories regarding why they chose one airplane/seat over another. Why did you choose to upgrade, or why are you staying in your current FO seat?

No right or wrong answer. Just your choices and the reasons why.

Unfortunately, I've nothing to contribute other than asking the question.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
In general, from what I've seen (and I'm not at a major) people choose their seat or aircraft for one of four reasons.

Because it affords them better quality of life.

Because it pays best.

Because it's all they can hold.

Because they want to fly the biggest/fastest/shiniest/etc airplane the company has.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
I made the move for straight up financial reasons. I'd say I wanna move on faster, but with no one hiring right now it doesn't really matter how quickly I rack up the 1000 TPIC time. When they do start hiring, that won't be competitive anymore anyway.

Now, the big head scratcher would have been if I couldn't hold MEM CA, would I still have upgraded. Answer is yes, but I would have been miserable for a couple of months b/c of the commute. Right now, ATL is the only base seeing CA openings for us, and a lot of guys that can upgrade are choosing not to simply b/c they don't want the QoL hit. I could hold a line DTW, but I'd have to commute. It's better for me to sit reserve indefinately in MEM than commute to line.
 

skydog

New Member
Money, Quality of Life. It's that simple.
I wasn't interested in the generic answer. I was more interested in people's personal stories.
For example, our illustrious webmaster chose the MD88 at one point in his career. Why that airplane instead of, say, the 727 or 757?
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
I wasn't interested in the generic answer. I was more interested in people's personal stories.
For example, our illustrious webmaster chose the MD88 at one point in his career. Why that airplane instead of, say, the 727 or 757?
Once again, money or quality of life most likely. Not one single decision in my career was made without reference to to those two things. Think of it as a sliding scale:

MONEY----------|----------QOL

The balance of that little line moves around for various people. One side is generally a little more important than the other. Sometimes there is another variable in there, one which we can not control - SENIORITY. There are times when what you fly comes down to it being the only position you can hold. The choice was made for you.
 

C150J

Well-Known Member
Skydog,

I don't think you're getting the answer you're looking for due to the fact that most of us don't really have a choice, aside from choosing NOT to upgrade. I fly for a one-fleet airline, but most of my friends and relatives who fly for majors/fractionals always tell me they've been assigned to the airframe they're on for the following reasons:

Upon hire:
- Most immediate class date was in XXX aircraft
- Individual was assigned into a certain type

Once on the line:
- All they could hold with seniority
- Better QOL via better schedules, trips, new domiciles, etc.

Although many pilots are never afraid of a challenge, a cost/benefit analysis must be determined when it comes to learning a new plane... are you happy with your current coworkers? Is it worth "drinking out of the fire hose" in training just because the new plane looks "neat," or are you more comfortable in your current seat?

Many of these factors culminate to staying put or taking a good hard look at changing types before making any rash decisions. Therefore, a vacancy on a new airframe only raises extreme interest when there is financial gain involved or a worthwhile improvement in QOL.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
While never having been fortunate to upgrade I can would base and upgrade decision on the following:

Pay Increase - Always good
Type Rating - PIC time and more marketable should I get furloughed
QOL - bases, commuting, reserver or not, etc
What is the typical schedule for the aicraft.

I personally enjoy learning new equipment but wouldn't switch just to switch as it is a lot of work and more importantly a ton a time away from my family.

I have done 3 grounds schools in 4 months (recurrent and two initials) and let me tell you it isn't fun and I was just burned out at the end.
 
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