Why "1000 hrs Turbine PIC" Is Bad For Pilots

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
Ah, yes. The magical 1000 hours of Turbine engine Pilot-In-Command
experience.

The resume bullet of choice for so many aspiring airline pilots and often the requirement of choice of so many Legacy/Major hiring departments.

Yet another nail in the coffin the airline pilot's career expectations.

But why? Simple. It's created a new hurdle to the "big time".

You may have read some of the things I've written in the past regarding airline management's collective agenda of using so-called "Regional" airlines to cut costs and erode the advances pilots have made in their careers.

Here's a big one. I've talked in the past about the "Get Up and Get Out" mentality of Regional pilots. Here's another reason why that's just another stumbling block.

As turbine engine aircraft costs are prohibitive to the average renter or student, there is more or less only two ways to get turbine engine experience as a pilot. Either join the military (with all the extensive obligations that this implies) or fly for a small freight or regional operator.

Since many pilots are staying with the civilian route these days, freight or regional jet operations are the method most use to get their invaluable turbine engine experience. As small aircraft freight is a very small community, most pilots wind up applying to Regional airlines.

Now, they've got us. As nobody really wants to work for the meager pay scales of Regional airlines, everybody looks for that elevator to the "big time"- 1000 hours Turbine Pilot In Command time. Since "seniority is everything", the road to the big show has pilots looking for the fastest way to the Captain's seat of anything with a turbine engine. Once you've locked in to that line of thinking, you'd be surprised what the airline managers will sell you.

"We don't need this perk, or that work rule, or that much more pay monthly here... we upgrade fast- so you can "Get up and Get Out!"

How many times have you heard that? How many times have you heard airline recruiters spouting off at how competitive their upgrade times expectations are?

How many times have you seen upgrade times shift suddenly for the better or worse, either way for reasons that would give any applicant pause?

By requiring 1000 hrs Turbine PIC at Legacy/Major carriers, the managers at that level have ensured that the majority of pilots entering the industry will be HAVE NO CHOICE but to fly for "Regional" carriers.

Consider how most "Regional" carriers operate. I've seen statistics recently that show as much as FIFTY PERCENT of all revenue operations under a specific Legacy carrier brand being operated by Regional carriers. When you can put that much of your operation under a smaller airline with much lower costs, it costs you less. Yet- ticket prices stay about the same.

I've previously suggested that Legacy/Major carriers collective agenda is not to grow at their own level, but to grow at the "Regional feed" level to undermine labor costs. How?

By requiring all pilots to come through the Regional level, they are effectively ensuring staffing at inferior pay rates regardless of the demands of the market.

By employing the discriminatory requirement of prior turbine PIC experience, they have ensured that their agenda of lowering pilot pay and quality of life will continue unabated while they shrink the ranks of pilots at the top of the industry.

Barring a few exceptions, they've created a new gateway to the careers so many have worked so hard for. The walls between the Regionals and Majors may be little more than paper, but in practical reality they may as well be four-foot thick concrete.
Furthermore, when you take the first "mainline" job you can get and leave your "Regional", management wins TWICE. You've provided years of work doing the same things a pilot in any airliner does anywhere, and by leaving you make room for a replacement to do what you did at a lower point of longevity on the pay scale. At the Regional level pilots have been conditioned to expect less, so training costs are absorbed by extremely low initial wages. It is CHEAPER for Regionals to keep training replacement FOs and newly upgraded Captains than it is to allow their Captains to stay on longer at higher levels of the pay scale. They know it- so they perpetuate the desire for you to "Get Up and Get Out!"

Don't be fooled by the Turbine PIC trap.


The work rules and pay levels you give up today may take years to get back. Work for the best carrier you can no matter what your level.
Demand better work rules and better pay.


The fastest route to upgrade might upgrade you faster, but there's no guarantee it will take you any farther than that. With Legacy/Major carriers shrinking, there's no guarantee you'll go any farther than the left seat of whatever Regional aircraft you're flying now.

Remember, you could spend the rest of your career at the so-called "Regional" carrier you work for now. The things you cause or allow to happen with your pay and work rules will echo out into the future of your career for the rest of your life.
 

v1valarob

Well-Known Member
and at Eagle they have you by the balls for at least 12 years before you get the 1000 hours tpic ;):sarcasm:
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
and at Eagle they have you by the balls for at least 12 years before you get the 1000 hours tpic ;):sarcasm:
:yeahthat:

Yep. The glorious "Decade to Upgrade" program is alive and well here.

Alas, due to industry slowdowns, it's spreading industry wide. Find me a place with an upgrade expectation anytime soon and I'd be surprised.

If there's no movement in the industry, they've got us ALL by the balls. At that point, all the other things really make the difference in your quality of life.
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
12 years... please! Give it a year for the staffing levels to tilt and we will be upgrading and hiring again at Eagle. We are close to the 3 year jump in seniority (the 2001 new hire to the 2004 new hire). I predict that anyone starting at Eagle today will be a captain within 5-6 years.
 

v1valarob

Well-Known Member
12 years... please! Give it a year for the staffing levels to tilt and we will be upgrading and hiring again at Eagle. We are close to the 3 year jump in seniority (the 2001 new hire to the 2004 new hire). I predict that anyone starting at Eagle today will be a captain within 5-6 years.
I flew with a street captain yesterday who flew the Saab, ATR and ERJ145 with Eagle for 6 years. He has about 450 TPIC now with Colgan since November and has about 4000 hours of SIC time.

He does however say that Colgan is run like a circus, and he actually made more money with Eagle because of the work rules.

You have to pick your poison I guess.
 

Seggy

Well-Known Member
I interviewed at Delta with about 500 hours of TPIC, in a 19hondo.

They weren't being 'nice' offering me an interview for craps and giggles. Northwest didn't require it during this last round of interviews as well.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
I flew with a street captain yesterday who flew the Saab, ATR and ERJ145 with Eagle for 6 years. He has about 450 TPIC now with Colgan since November and has about 4000 hours of SIC time.

He does however say that Colgan is run like a circus, and he actually made more money with Eagle because of the work rules.

You have to pick your poison I guess.
Eagle looks like NASA compared to Colgan.

The defining difference? A legally binding CBA. Seriously guys, get a Union. Preferably ALPA, or at least something. With the industry slow, there's no telling how long you'll be where you're at.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
12 years... please! Give it a year for the staffing levels to tilt and we will be upgrading and hiring again at Eagle. We are close to the 3 year jump in seniority (the 2001 new hire to the 2004 new hire). I predict that anyone starting at Eagle today will be a captain within 5-6 years.
It'd be nice to see, man. Ultimately this depends on either
A) Growth at Eagle
or
B) Attrition at Eagle due to growth in the industry.

Either one would be WAY welcome right now.
 

fly8slep

New Member
We're at a low right now, things will pick up again and go even higher. Only to go way down again 10 years from now. This industry has been a roller coaster since the beginning why would it change now? The looming pilot shortage should help though, the last few years has basically worsened the pilot profession. Any lower and it will be the same as driving a city bus. With the exception of colleges, nobody is flight training to be a comm pilot.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
"By requiring 1000 hrs Turbine PIC at Legacy/Major carriers, the managers at that level have ensured that the majority of pilots entering the industry will be HAVE NO CHOICE but to fly for "Regional" carriers."

Or, one could have gone to work at Amflight and made well in excess of 121 F/O pay while building TPIC. The kid I trained for his IFR rating who did that and has more PIC turbine that I have....
 

WacoFan

Bigly
Banned for squeezing in a months worth of flying into a year!

Seriously though, do you think you will break 150hrs this year? Last I saw was a little while ago and you said you had logged 95 at that point.
 

heading180

New Member
I'm excited now!!! 5-6 years for upgrade!!! Hey, at least I can tell people i'm a big time airline pilot!! Maybe my neighbors think I am just smart and putting all my big time airline pilot money into a savings account for my kids or something... yes, that's it, that's why he still rents his home and drives a crappy car... BUT HEY, I'm a big time AIRLINE PILOT. Crackerjack if you ask me. Just like these guys who get all tingly inside when they think they are making money when their flight goes 2.5 minutes over scheduled block. Easy on the sauce there Buffalo Bill, at your BIG TIME airline pilot 3 year FO pay rate of 35$ an hour at your whopping 80 hours a month. What shall I do with all this excesssssss? How bout some math, lets see, the average 9-5er works 120 hours a month so I get paid for 1/2 of that, which makes it... WHAT???? I'm a BIG TIME airline pilot and make about 16.50 an hour when you compare the two!! I think we'll have a good Christmas this year!!
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
"By requiring 1000 hrs Turbine PIC at Legacy/Major carriers, the managers at that level have ensured that the majority of pilots entering the industry will be HAVE NO CHOICE but to fly for "Regional" carriers."

Or, one could have gone to work at Amflight and made well in excess of 121 F/O pay while building TPIC. The kid I trained for his IFR rating who did that and has more PIC turbine that I have....

Since many pilots are staying with the civilian route these days, freight or regional jet operations are the method most use to get their invaluable turbine engine experience. As small aircraft freight is a very small community, most pilots wind up applying to Regional airlines.


"By requiring 1000 hrs Turbine PIC at Legacy/Major carriers, the managers at that level have ensured that the majority of pilots entering the industry will be HAVE NO CHOICE but to fly for "Regional" carriers."


:)
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Military pilots don't necessarily have to fly for the regionals at all.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
Military pilots don't necessarily have to fly for the regionals at all.
"As turbine engine aircraft costs are prohibitive to the average renter or student, there is more or less only two ways to get turbine engine experience as a pilot. Either join the military (with all the extensive obligations that this implies) or fly for a small freight or regional operator."

:bandit:
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
It's pretty much been that way for the entirety of my career.

Becoming a pilot verus being a pilot semantic thingy all over again.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
It's pretty much been that way for the entirety of my career.

Becoming a pilot verus being a pilot semantic thingy all over again.

I know. Just heaping fuel on my previous statements that we've been herded into the Regionals for years now.

The future and planned growth of the airline industry is at the Regional level, people. Dig in and draw up a battle plan- we're going to have to fight for every dime.
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
You do realize it is flight operations management working in conjunction with human resources that sets the minimums, correct? I'm not sure if the financial types at most airlines have any idea what the minimums are at the ground level. Also, I'd argue that it is the management at the regional level which is pushing down wages... Management at the majors just looks at what it will cost to run feed, and could care less how the regionals get their rates to a competitve level. It is only when you see a drop in productivity and safety that the majors step in and question costs.

The "1000 PIC" requirement is more to filter out applications than anything else. Most companies with that requirement hire with a lot more than 1000 PIC.

No offense, but I think we all need to look in the mirror a bit and take personal responsibility for the wages we have. After all, we took the job, and we knew the pay. That's why regional pilots are our own worst enemy.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
You do realize it is flight operations management working in conjunction with human resources that sets the minimums, correct? I'm not sure if the financial types at most airlines have any idea what the minimums are at the ground level. Also, I'd argue that it is the management at the regional level which is pushing down wages... Management at the majors just looks at what it will cost to run feed, and could care less how the regionals get their rates to a competitve level. It is only when you see a drop in productivity and safety that the majors step in and question costs.

The "1000 PIC" requirement is more to filter out applications than anything else. Most companies with that requirement hire with a lot more than 1000 PIC.

No offense, but I think we all need to look in the mirror a bit and take personal responsibility for the wages we have. After all, we took the job, and we knew the pay. That's why regional pilots are our own worst enemy.
So what you're saying is, "blindly chasing what we think will get us to the majors while ignoring the pay and QOL we have in the process is the big mistake we make", right?

In that case, we agree.
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
By employing the discriminatory requirement of prior turbine PIC experience
While I agree with your rant in whole, I do have to ask why you think it's discriminatory. Where does it say anywhere in US Code, or the US Constitution, that you have the right to work at an airline regardless of experience. Companies are allowed to set a minimum standard of experience as long as that experience isn't tied to race, gender, orientation, nationality, etc.

Let's not cloud the issue with "My rights were violated," PC nonsense crap. There is collusion between airlines to drive down employee costs, no doubt about it. In order to overcome this, there needs to be an effort to educate student pilots before they get the taint of management's BS on them. Unfortunately, there is no type of inoculation for SJS being developed.
 
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