Monday, November 9, 2009

Halfway done with recurrent

Finished with half of my recurrent training. The ground portion was done as of 1:30PM Friday. The systems test was the same test from last year. I missed the same questions. At least I am consistent.

The first two days were all classroom based covering company and aircraft specific information. The last day we headed down to the cabin trainer (full size replica of the CRJ) to practice opening emergency doors and covering use of all of the emergency equipment.

The only thing I learned was that the ADG (Air Driven Generator) is always heated. This was there is little/no chance of ice freezing the prop when it drops out. Makes sense.

I finish the other half on November 20th when I head to the simulator.

While in training I saw the pilot one junior to me. She is based elsewhere. Haven't seen her since we were hired. She is getting ready to go out on pregnancy leave for the second time in less than two weeks. She kinda got a bad deal as she will be out long enough to require another recurrent training when she comes back. Doesn't make much sense to take her off the line for 4 days (3 days ground + her check ride) when she will be gone so soon. Oh well. She did fine. It's gotta be rough being pregnant and doing this job. Ooof.

Saturday my wife and I flew over to see my dad for the day. It's a 4 hour drive or a 40 minute flight. Since starting here I haven't driven too see him. Why fly when you can drive? I'm still waiting for the day he wants to fly somewhere. He has yet to use my benefits.

It was odd to have a Sunday off. I haven't had a Sunday off (not including vacation) in months. My wife and I didn't know what too do with ourselves. I get a month of Sundays off. Nice.

I saw online Skywest will be flying for AirTran. They are flying "at risk" meaning they get paid they pay for everything and hope the flight has enough passengers to make a profit. This is opposite how most regionals work. At most regionals the regional carrier pays for the planes and staff. The regional carrier gets a set fee for every flight regardless of how many passengers are on board. This is known as "fee for departure". I have flown several empty planes around where my airline made a profit. Good luck to Skywest.

Republic Airline Holdings is doing very interesting things. Not many I care for. One thing that really irks me is how they are handling the ERJ-190's.

Their current pay scale (seen here) for Captains goes up to 99 seats. The ERJ-190's have 100 seats. Rather than negotiate a new pay scale they are literally MELing (putting out of service) one seat on every flight. To make matters worse First Officers make the same pay if they fly 37 seats or 99 seats. This is scummy. I hope their Union (Teamsters instead of the more common ALPA) goes to bat for them.

Mesa Air Group appears to be in bad shape. They will soon lose their Dash flying for United. Their CRJ200 flying for United might also go away. When planes are parked...pilots are let go.

There is some good news to be had.

Trans-States in recalling furloughed pilots. As is American Eagle.

As far as my status at my airline. Everything is status quo.....which given the volatile state of the a pretty good thing.

Random photo below. Taken during one of the many test flights last month.

[singlepic id=407 w=800 h=600 float=center]

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