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pilot

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pilot last won the day on January 21

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  1. "The best" fluctuates as contracts change. Also part of what is considered "the best" is where your seniority will be for the duration of your expected career, and in what base/equipment/seat. There is no perfect contract at any airline. A contract governs everything from pay, work rules, profit sharing, sick, vacation, trip construction, medical, insurance, scope, hotels, and just about everything else that can affect your pay/QOL/time off. Regarding seniority, movement is dependent on 2 things: growth and retirements. Only one of those is certain: retirements. Growth can be halted overnight (or be negative if planes are parked overnight if say a 9/11, recession, or fuel price spike happens). Airlines are a for profit company...when planes get parked overnight, pilots are on the street (furloughed). So financial health of a company also matters in that equation, to some degree. Delta has hired around 5k pilots since 2014. A lot of those are younger guys, and you'll never be senior to them if you are getting in now. UA has hired less than that, and AA has hired even less. Also, AA has hired a lot of Envoy flows who waited 15-18 years to flow, and they will age out sooner than many off the street hires. In other words, a lot of their hires have been older than the guys Delta has hired. The result of that is AA has the most retirements over the next 10-15 years, so movement there will be the most rapid. United is close behind them with retirements. Then comes Delta, then the rest (I think FDX, then UPS). SWA/JB/the others all have a lot fewer retirements. This means slower movement...although likely more growth at JB/Spirit/Frontier which kind of makes up for the lack of retirements, assuming the growth isn't interrupted. Also of note, Delta JVs out a lot of their wide body flying, so AA/UA have a lot more own metal wide body flying, thus more widebodies, thus more lucrative WB jobs in both seats, which will affect relative seniority, even on the NB side. A lot of guys will choose WB FO over NB CA. Overall, I'd say Delta's contract is the best, followed by United, then AA. But each has strengths and weaknesses. Delta's profit sharing is insane (16.6% for 2019...extra 2 months of pay). Their sick accrual is also leaps and bounds above everyone else. United has airport reserve (fk that). AA has lots of weak points. But all 3 are in negotiations, and those things are all on the table and could shift. Right now Doug Parker at AA told the pilots they have $150mil to make whatever improvements they want...that's chump change for 15,500 pilots given how far behind their contract is. United has Scott Kirby at the helm hellbent on more/larger RJs. Delta mgmt just filed for mediation, seemingly far apart with DALPA's asks. Right now, the financials of Delta support the most gains (or at least keeping the best contract), followed by UAL, followed by YUGELY debt-ridden AA. Doug says he will pay all that debt down. I'll believe it when I see it...but I doubt he gives AA pilots a contract anywhere near Delta's. But their seniority movement and bases may work better for people who live in say Dallas Charlotte or Miami. All 3 have fairly quick upgrades (albeit in less desirable bases), unheard of seniority movement/hiring/retirements, and are all likely going to trade off who "the best" is over the next 10/20/30 years. None has ever stayed "the best" forever. Southwest and JB have never furloughed, never gone through a bankruptcy, and have always remained profitable, even when the legacies hemorrhaged money, furloughed, went through BK, and all came out of BK with garbage concessionary contracts. The pecking order is this: go to who calls first. If 2 or 3 call, go to whichever one has a domicile you want to live at. If you live in a domicile of another airline you want to work at, keep applying there. Commuting to the airline with the best contract is worse than driving to work under the worst contract. For anyone considering entering the airline industry, or anyone who is in the airline industry and hasn't read it, I urge you to read "Hard Landing." It gives a nice history of the industry, all the players, and how all the airlines came to be. It gives a good history of who the biggest and best airline has been throughout history. In closing, there is a pecking order, but it changes. You won't know where you will end up in that pecking order until you retire. In 20-30 years from now when you retire from the airlines, the landscape will have changed tremendously, as will the pecking order. Best advice: make the best decision for you and your family now, sock money away and live like an FO even when you upgrade, hold on, and enjoy the ride. The only constant in the airlines is change. A lot of the bros getting into the industry in the last 5ish years only know the good times. It will not be good forever. When it isn't good, the pecking order of which airlines are the best tends to change. Delta is printing money right now with unprecedented profitability. But if you got hired there in the early 90s you got furloughed, went through a bankruptcy, lost a pension, took a few pay cuts, and likely never saw the left seat. But if you were hired there 5 years ago, you would be a NB Captain or WB FO today. TL;DR: Best contracts: Delta, United, American Best movement ahead: American, United, Delta Best financial health: Delta, United, American
  2. Don't get me started. They are worse than Jet Blue's pay rates. Of course 1st year pay is the same for all, but year two stays the same as first year pay. Not sure WTF they were thinking. Needless to say, almost everyone 6 months out of INDOC is withheld from something else with a better pay scale. Ironically, some of the highest paid CA's in the company are in the E190. Other than that, I really don't have anything bad to say about the airplane and I have flown with a great bunch of CA's. Living in-base on Reserve on it has been pretty awesome. Hey at least you’re higher than Moxy’s E195 and A220-300 rates. Holy hell. They make AA’s E190 rates look like WB rates in comparison. 112-155 and 128-180, respectively. That’s for the left seat.
  3. video of the missile supposedly
  4. In this particular case, if a need for it is identified, it would be complimentary to existing capes. It fits between existing capes (A-10 and AH-64/MH-60 DAP/AH-6) but doesn't replace them. Where does the money come from? I don't know...but I do know there is some fat that can be trimmed from the defense budget somewhere. It's not like we are an efficient organization. We waste a ton of money...I bet we could pay for 1,000 of those things with one year's worth of DoD fraud, waste, and abuse. And I bet we could have bought a nice fleet of these with the pallets of cash we sent to Iran. But just for shits and giggles I'd say take something away from the Navy because Navy sucks. Maybe don't buy them a new boat or something else expensive coming down the pike. Or if it has to be flying related, take away VTOL 5th gen jets because that is a stupid combination of capes (but give marines some of they navy's jets to make navy feel the burn and not the marines, because they are cool). Most of that is tongue in cheek...the real answer of what would be cut is for people far above the pay grade of anyone posting on here.
  5. I agree with some of this. I flew plenty of stupid missions that just counted toward providing block hours of support, regardless of how effective it was. But at least we were in the AO and could easily be retasked when SHTF. Basically served as flying QRF and looking out for our own targets of opportunity. I wasted many months flying around looking at dirt logging hours. Regarding FW coordination, I don't think it would be quite the disaster you make it out to be. It can be coordinated just like other army/AF/USN FW. The need for RW to be as integrated to the rest of the airspace above 1500' is just not really there. When there are 100+ RW flights a day in an AO, all of which are 1500' and below typically, there isn't a whole lot of coordinating that needs to be done. If there were light attack assets loitering 10k'-20k', they'd have to coordinate block altitudes and be more involved, obviously. That isn't an impossibility just because army RW attack doesn't operate that way now. It's a different animal and would be trained and executed accordingly. And regarding the SOF vs conventional use, again that comes down to the mission/need (if any) that is determined. Do conventional forces need that support? If so, it wouldn't be SOF centric. It got pushed that way because big AF didn't seem to want a big (or any) fleet of those things. Big AF's focus is on 5th gen stuff and a different threat (the next war, near peer, etc) and not iraq/afgh type conflicts. But light attack has been discussed as a potential to be used in a larger more conventional CAS role, not just with SOF. I'm not convinced it is needed (for any missions, SOF missions, or conventional CAS). But I'm also not convinced it's not needed, depending on the current/future conflicts. I'm also not convinced one service would manage it better than the other. There are pros and cons. I'm just making the argument for the army getting it since the AF doesn't seem to want to and has been sitting on the decision for years.
  6. Army space? Granted I don't know what they do, but I have a friend who switched from being an armor officer to army space. Seems more fitting for the Air Force. Perhaps there's something I don't know about it relating to the army though. But frankly, budgets being flat shouldn't be a consideration. It's all about prioritizing needs across the services. Do we need 3 models of the F35? F15X? Bone-R? KC46? other F/B/KC/C/HH/MH etc airframes? SLEPs? Pilot bonuses? Lots of stuff in the Air Force needs or will need replacing. Does the navy need a new carrier(s) or other boats? Army has its own needs...both ground and air related stuff. I think light attack needs to be identified as a need (or not) and prioritized against other acquisition programs before a "what are you willing to give up" debate ensues, and from what budget it comes, and at what cost for other items. That, I don't have answers for, as it isn't as simple as "what are you willing to give up."
  7. I'm sure there's a few details in there you're leaving out, so I can't really respond. Maybe include where you were (on the ground in a firefight?), what kind of unit, what kind of battlespace, what kind of on call medevac that existed in the AO, what kind of air assets existed there/nearr there, what the medevac status in the AO was, etc. would be useful in that kind of discussion. I am highly suspect of a report with no detail accusing an army O-6 of denying use of a casevac/medevac asset with injured/dying troops just because he didn't want to share.
  8. Ahh yes. The C-12s and other army ISR guys keep crashing into the other services flying at the same altitudes in the AO. So now your argument as to why the army shouldn't get it is that army pilots can't deconflict airspace. Copy. Seems like a dumb reason to make a giant inter-service acquisition decision like that.
  9. Do you know ground commanders in adjacent battlespaces talk constantly? I routinely went from supporting one ground owner who got a call from his adjacent peer and then dynamically retasked there because something popped up, despite me being assigned to the other AO/ground owner for that block of time. When I worked in the brigade TOC I did that coordination constantly. As an attack pilot I received those retaskings constantly. Those commanders talk a whole lot more than they do with their Air Force counterparts who are *sometimes* providing the support they need (granted, the AF isn't the tasking authority, but the tasking level is a lot higher above the peer coordination that it makes for a huge pain to retask something owned by a higher echelon). That's the whole point of that article and this discussion (well besides the "just buy it already" part). And that's in combat where assets are often co-located. In training when the nearest Air Force base isn't anywhere close, it's even worse. Your lack of knowledge and SA in this matter is evident. You see the "air power" side and nothing more. Not even worth discussing with you...it is like discussing F-22 capes with an infantry dude.
  10. If that is your experience in the 160th, then that place is worse than I thought. In my 3 conventional army aviation units, that characterization is about as far from reality as I can imagine. ATO/ACO/spins was briefed every flight in combat to every crew. Every pilot know what it was, where to find it (in the TOC where we got briefed by S2/S3), etc. And it's funny you mention that...anecdotally, the number 1 violator of people not talking/coordinating (especially down low)...160th. Lights out, sometimes not even IR strobes, blasting through unannounced and not coordinating with the ground owners or other aircraft in the AO. That and SOF small UAS. So I guess your experience doesn't surprise me. Maybe you should teach some of those 160th pilots about that stuff since you guys seem to be so lacking? Regarding additional duties, yeah, there are some stupid ones in the army that should be sourced to contractors or other MOSs (supply/property book, ALSE, environmental compliance, shit like that). There are also additional duties in the AF. Doesn't take away from pilots' responsibility to know wtf is going on in either service and doesn't really affect how effective a new aircraft would be. There is a reason I left the army for the Air Force. Army aviation certainly has its issues and I'd say a higher share of dumbasses than the Air Force. But don't be fooled...the Air Force has its own issues and in this case can't/won't even order the airplane.
  11. Not sure if you even read that whole post, but I'd guess not since you can't seem to debate it and just dismiss it as bullshit with no intelligent response. You think of it only as air power. Air power doesn't take or hold ground. Attack/light attack isn't just air power. It's one of many assets that exists to support the guy who is taking/holding land, which is the whole point of war. I'm not sure that most Air Force guys will ever really have an appreciation for that since most Air Force guys think only in terms of "air power," which is why the army has its own attack aircraft and armed UAS...they can't rely on us, the AF, to provide what they need when they need it. Need more proof? How many times have we tried to get rid of A-10s? Who stops it? Congress and the army...certainly not AF generals. After the army air corps split off and became focused on air and space, there was a lack of focus on the army ground guys as a customer, and a huge void and lack of needed support for the army...hence why army aviation regrew causing the disagreement between the services (hence the Johnson-McConnell agreement). That divide reared its head again when the army wasn't getting what it needed with UAS (and lift with the C27J debacle), and now light attack is in that same middle ground with who should provide what. It SHOULD have been an AF mission if purchased and used properly, but it wasn't ever purchased. Who suffered? The ground commanders.
  12. Bold call out? Interesting assessment. First, that's the whole premise of having light attack given to the army. Having organic assets controlled by the ground commanders would get them the support they need when they need it, as that article mentions. I cannot tell you how difficult it was getting anything from the Air Force in the way of support in my time in the army. You say the army doesn't play well across the AO. Which AO? The theater? The division AO? The brigade AO? The battalion AO? Each level has its own priority and tasking ability. If army aviation owned light attack, it would be distributed to whichever AOs it was needed and give the ground commanders the ability to use it when they need it, with the ability to flex across AOs as needed by the ground battalion/brigade commanders working out their deals, negating your whole idea that the whole AO benefits by having a separately owned/tasked asset performing the on call missions (especially true inter-service). The argument that article makes, which I tend to agree with, is that when an army aviation brigade has administrative and operational control of its assets, the division which it supports (generally the end user of any CAS) has better ability to use it. When the army ground commander is reliant on another service that may or may not be there that day because it has its own priorities, it makes it a lot more difficult. When the end user and the aviation asset owner have a somewhat co-located presence and operate under the same higher HQs, it's much easier to coordinate support, both in combat and in training. Second, lawman is a warrant officer in the 160th if I'm not mistaken. That's an important fact to recognize with his perspective. The 160th typically gets a lot more integration with the AF and gets a lot more assets that it and/or its customers request, unlike the regular army, both in training and in combat. They want to work with some A-10s/F15Es/F16s? Done. Easy. Their customers are usually tier 1 SOF...a small sliver of the military. They get what they want. Not true with regular army. There is only so much pie...and that primarily gets distributed to top tier SOF (except when there is a TIC or something and something happens to be available in the AO). I'm sure in Lawman's part of the world getting access to CAS isn't difficult, and in his mind having AF own light attack would affect him and his world no differently than it currently exists. I'm also guessing, and Lawman can correct me if I'm wrong, that as a 160th warrant, he doesn't have as much SA on higher level stuff as a commissioned officer has, who actually works as a commander or staff officer at higher levels. If he's a senior warrant, he may have served on battalion or regimental staff as a stands/safety/tacops guy, but those roles are generally internally focused, not externally focused. And when they are externally focused, it's generally mission coordination with other SOF assets, not higher level asset distribution outside of what has been requested/allocated for particular missions. And regardless of the level within the 160th he has served (flight lead/air mission commander or up to a senior warrant staff officer), the whole previous bit about the 160th and its customers being different than the regular army aviation units and their customers (ie the whole regular army) applies. As a commissioned officer, I worked in training and combat at the brigade level managing air mission requests and tasking scout/attack/lift/medevac missions for a division in Iraq. I also flew the line and have an appreciation for being owned operationally by the guys on the ground who we supported. For a while in Iraq we had a C-130 OPCON to us (I feel bad for those herc guys...). When we had it, we could move more people and stuff around a whole lot easier than with our CH-47s/UH-60s. It could fly down to lower mins (applicable in dust storm days) and carry a whole lot more stuff a whole lot faster. Once we lost OPCON status of it, we could never get a C-130 for routine lift missions we needed. That's the lift side for an example...but on the attack side, it's a similar situation. We could put AH-64s wherever we wanted to support the ground units and work out the details with them. If light attack were an army asset, the same would be true. And I get it, as it is now, there are only so many jets to go around and their response time is pretty quick if absolutely needed. But a fixed number (lets call it 200) light attack planes owned by the army would get more use by the army in the way of ground support/training than the same number of planes owned by the Air Force. They would have their own priorities with it. That's just how it goes when another service owns something, especially if it isn't co-located with an army base. But light attack is a different animal and imo more closely related to AH-64 type support just with longer/faster legs to get somewhere. If the AF (certainly AFSOC) gets LA, the priority for those planes won't be supplementing apaches for CAS supporting the ground division in Iraq or Afghanistan. They won't train with, get tasked by, and deploy in support of regular infantry ground units as they would if the army owned them. And I think the biggest thing is that the AF has waffled with the decision for so long, unable to figure out if they want it to be a larger ACC asset (they clearly don't), or a smaller/limited in size and scope AFSOC asset (seems like that's where they were pushing it, if it had to come at all), or not at all. I've always supported Light attack being an Air Force asset until they couldn't make a decision on it. After reading that article and reflecting on my previous time in the army, I would support it going to the Army for the aforementioned reasons. I think the real crux of this is identifying what capacity is needed by the ground guys. Despite overlap in mission, there is a big delta between AH-64s and A-10s in capes, usage, and the level of integration with the supported units. Is there a need for something in-between? Who is the end user? SOF? Conventional forces? If SOF, it's probably better used as an AFSOC asset and limited in scope to SOF stuff. If there is a need to support conventional forces in uncontested/low threat environments in the same way apaches are used, I think an argument can be made that the Army is better suited to have operational control of them at the aviation brigade level, so the divisions they support can parse them out to the conventional army guys who need them on the ground. BTW, back to Lawman's original point, the whole reason the army got its own armed predators (grey eagles) was because ground commanders weren't getting the armed UAS support they needed from the AF. We can debate their implementation and structure within army aviation (which is what Lawman seemed to be alluding to going poorly), but UAS is a different animal than a new manned platform. The bottom line is, there is a divide between services on tasking/priorities. Organic assets are much easier to deal with for ground commanders than requesting support from a sister service.
  13. That’s a pretty broad statement that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The army does pretty well with all its standard army aviation platforms and missions. CH, UH, AH, MH, and army FW all seem to work pretty well for the missions the army executes. Saying that adding FW/light attack to the army would be adding a platform and mission they don’t understand is a bit naive. The army understands attack. Clearly any new equipment has a learning curve. It can be trained and developed.
  14. Sucks. 2 killed in an Apache crash in Afghanistan yesterday also. 🍺 https://www.kswo.com/2019/11/21/two-airmen-killed-crash-vance-air-force-base-enid-okla/
  15. I called him on his claims bc I also found it hard to believe, and he sent me last month’s pay stub as well as the month‘s break down (similar to a rainmaker breakdown but whatever frontier uses). I don’t want to post it here but I’ll give the breakdown. Last month was 11 off, 180:09 hours of pay credit, and 65:57 block, 113:18 total credit (before premium). He flew only one awarded 3 day trip at straight time...the rest was premium he picked up (@150% credit) by dropping and swapping. 18:52 credit at straight pay for that 3 day, 94:26 prem trip credit @ 150% (=141:39 total credit), so that equaled 160:31 credit hours. But for them (something I didn’t realize), any credit above 82 credit hours is @125% pay. So he got 82 hours at regular pay, and 78:31 hours 125%, or 98:09 pay credit for the above 82 credit. That took his total pay credit to 180:09. Total days off: 11. Total overnights: 10. This was a heavier month with heavier credit. He has some lighter ones that took his avg days off up. But with as much premium as he is able to get, and the fact that they get 125% for any credit above 82, their garbage pay rates can actually end up paying pretty well...especially if you are able to do most of your flying at premium (especially once you’re over 82). I still don’t understand how he can drop most of his awarded trips and fly mostly premium. Apparently he’s been able to do it consistently this whole year as a 2d/3d year FO. My airline is short staffed and has what I thought was a lot of premium out there, but it’s hard to be able to drop enough in the first place to get much premium because the reserve grids never support much dropping...so if we get it it’s generally on a day off or an emergency reassignment. It seems like if it was as easy as he makes it out to be to fly mostly premium trips, everyone there would be doing it, which I find hard to believe is the case. I only know one other guy there and he’s on first year pay on reserve and not getting any of those goods. But I can definitely vouch that one guy is making decent bank on 2nd split with 3rd (half and half) year pay there this year. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Frontier sucks, but apparently it isn’t as bad as their pay rates (or their product) appear at first glance.
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