Jump to content


Supreme User
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by JS

  1. I would ignore the crap on airlinepilotcentral. I stopped going there for gossip years ago for the same reasons brabus mentions. I would try and take the advice of previous posts and try to get with an airline that will likely have a hub near where you (wife) plans to make a long term domicile. And you are definitely advanced in your thinking if you are analyzing seniority progression and the relative age of the pilot group you want to join. Better progression is about as critical as your commutability/live in base decisions. Low morale is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and a few anecdotal posts on some crap gossip message board doesn't override the scores of AA friends and random AA pilots I have met along the way who say the opposite. Debt, especially corporate debt, is so grossly misunderstood by laymen like us that it is laughable. I could argue these two truths until I am blue in the face: 1) debt is bad and should be reduced 2) debt is good and airlines (and virtually all businesses and households) cannot function without it. Unless the company is really on the verge of bankruptcy, leave debt analysis to the overpaid executive types. I think most of the major airlines these days offer pretty much equal job security.
  2. Yeah, some people just have to "do something" I guess. We had a crew get a Q3/1 on a deployment once. We all asked "what the fuck is that," and it was explained that they were grounded and immediately put back on flying status in the same stroke of the pen so that they could continue flying in the war. Wasn't that egregious of a mistake either, if I remember correctly.
  3. Yeah, I was going to say something similar. I remember going through interview training (Emerald Coast with Aaron) and he said how he doesn't remember ever meeting a mobility pilot who didn't have at least one Q3 on their resume; seems AMC looks at it like some sort of administrative management tool. I got the impression from him that the fighter community was more apt to debrief the shit out of someone as opposed to mark up their flight records with an "administrative" Q3 for something relatively minor, but maybe you can attest to that, Hacker. Either way, the airline is fully expecting a majority of folks walking through the door to have some imperfections. If I were on the interview board, I would be extra leery if someone didn't have even the slightest blemish reported on their record.
  4. I put my failed UPT checkride on my Delta application. They asked and my answer was something short like "drifted a few feet out of position on my formation checkride a few times, so I had to repeat that checkride and an additional training ride. It was actually a good experience and I learned more from the process." I think at the end of the day, they really don't give a crap, especially about UPT checkrides. But I figured better safe than sorry. Also, I don't remember bringing in any "green flight records folder" to my Delta interview 7 years ago. I brought the two page ARMS summary I printed from the AF portal, and perhaps the summary checkride Form 8 sheet.
  5. I think this is good advice, too. The standards are lowering by the day as they rush to fill the company with qualified bodies, and 700/2000 hours along with all the military jazz definitely puts you in the qualified bucket. Besides, as you alluded to before, a lot of airlines don't really give a shit about gobs of hours - they just want to know that you can fly and are good to get along with. 700 hours? 7000 hours? 17000 hours? They all know how to fly, and the airline knows it. Flew with an interview captain a few months ago (DAL). He said the discussions in the hiring rooms are seriously about how the airlineapps/pilotcredentials pool of qualified candidates is simply not big enough to accommodate hiring for the big 6 airlines for more than a year or two if the pool doesn't fill back up pretty quicly. This is why Delta is literally grabbing kids while they are still students at aviation schools like Auburn & MTSU and setting them on a path to employment that early. Bottom line - apply now, you NEVER KNOW what you will get, just like I find out almost every month bidding. I am usually pleasantly surprised. And this is also great advice 👇👇👇👇👇
  6. I'm heavily biased toward Delta for obvious reasons (and have had more than one AA guy tell me that they felt Delta was a better place to work). But I would have to cast my vote for living in domicile vs working for a preferred company. I hear that 1 year is the rule of thumb for the latest to hit the reset button and start over on a new seniority list. But being there in domicile would be worth it, in my opinion.
  7. I agree with the "better to have it" sentiment. I know for a fact that Delta gives you points for quality and quantity of education. I have seen it in writing from both Delta proper and from ALPA, and I have also heard second hand from a pilot who did interviews. The interview pilot guy said that you get more points for more challenging programs and more points from more reputable educational institutions. In other words, the engineering degree probably gets more points than the poly sci degree, and the masters from Vanderbilt probably is worth a few more points than the masters from Toro University International University online. ^^^Delta only. Not sure about other airlines. Also, maybe other airlines look real hard at flight hours, but Delta has put in writing things they look at in their "whole person concept" type framework. Flight hours is usually down at about 3 or 4 on the list of important things they look at, depending on which thing you read. It still amazes me how so many people post on all these websites that they have "4K hours, 2K PIC, what are my chances?" You know, almost everyone has that, and is the guy with 3K hours really 33% more qualified than a guy with 2K hours??? That's why Delta looks at other things like education, type ratings, quality and quantity of flight training programs, other aviation achievements/endeavors like instructor, safety, sim instructor, medals, memberships in aviation organizations, letters of rec, etc. Those all get you points on your application at Delta. For what it's worth, I was hired at the beginning of the 2014 hiring wave at DAL with maybe around 2200 or so hours of flight time. That was on the low end in my new hire class, as there were folks all over the board with hours. But some thing that EVERYONE in my new hire class had was a lot of "extras." Regional airline + military, multiple military IQ programs, demo pilots, Air Force 2 pilot, line check airmen, CRM instructors, sim instructors, multiple type ratings, etc. I really don't think anyone got hired just based on their flight hours, because I personally knew of at least a dozen people who had waaaaay more flight hours than I and never got called.
  8. Few years ago at a staff job....an Army guy was telling me that an AF officer was complaining that he was not formally trained in "planning." The Army guys' take was that every graduate of any commissioned officer program is certified in planning and leadership. Something to think about.
  9. Yeah, I agree that hitting the lotto and having the big 3 all in the same city is totally ideal, but definitely easier said than done. Who wants to live right in NYC, Detroit, or Atlanta anyway (kidding if you are from there). But I try to do my best. Currently 2 hours from the airport, 4 hours from the unit (working on getting into a closer unit), and in town with most family/friends. It's like trying to maximize a math equation with 3 variables, and aside from looking for a closer Guard unit, there's not much I can do as far as moving without taking a QOL loss in some other way. But if you can maximize at least one or two parameters (like living in domicile, or close), than at least do what you can.
  10. I thought it was a decent program, then again, I'm kind of book nerdy like that and enjoy discussing war and politics with other smart people. I went in 2015 before we had our contract and while I was on first-year pay working weekends and holidays. It was more than a little bump in both pay and QOL to go to ACSC vs endure first 1 and year 1.5 pay and seniority for me. Also, it helped that i lived somewhat locally to Montgomery and didn't have to move the family the family there. Now, I would not even contemplate war college or anything long like that because it would definitely be a cut in pay and QOL at this point. But ACSC worked for me at the time.
  11. Really good, comprehensive summary. I have heard bits and pieces of what you said above, but that's a great report. I have had more than one jumpseater shoot the shit with me about the above issues, and yes, it depends on the contract, relative movement, etc. Seems the SW guys (and cargo FedEx/UPS) guys are real happy with their lives and their company. I had a few United guys complement Delta on how well Delta actually wants to run an airline. So, yeah, I personally would prioritize if the company had a base near home (the wife's home, that is). Non-commuting is a life changer. 2nd, I would try for an "old" company with the quickest retirements coming - AA, then United. Third I would look at some of the other things like pay, QOL, etc.
  12. I got selected for ACSC in res and took off for that only after about 8 months out of training at DAL. I got a call from the chief pilot congratulating me on selection for command and staff and how it was a big deal to be going to such a prestigious school. Got back, requaled, finished probation and haven't looked back (nor gotten any other calls or dirty looks about taking leave during my first year).
  13. Along those lines, is there some kind of published list of do no go countries for U.S. military? A friend keeps telling me how great Ukraine is and how much they love American's. Great exchange rate too apparently.
  14. Hey, does anyone have any insight on traveling to Russia/China while on airline duty and also holding a U.S. clearance? Seems we would not be able to travel to those places on our own vacation, so flying there on an assigned trip with the airline would generate the same paperwork/clearance suspicions as a vacation visit, right? Is there a process, or do guys just refuse to fly there with the airline? New to international. Thanks.
  15. JS

    Gun Talk

    Yeah, I think I put a $100 Holsun red dot on it, and I love it. I also love the front MLOC - I found a $15 dollar bipod on amazon that is amazing quality for the price. Figured I would experiment with bipods/red dots on this thing before altering my AR15s too much. This thing looks, feels and operates a lot like the real thing - minus the lighter weight and lack of any kickback, it makes a great AR-15 trainer gun for 5 cents per round. I think I tried the Federal copper tips, Federal "semi auto" rounds, that cheap thunderbolt crap, and a few CCIs. Goes without saying that 22s are finicky on ammo, but that tactical CCI round was money. http://www.cci-ammunition.com/products/detail.aspx?use=1&loadNo=0956
  16. JS

    Gun Talk

    ^^This is a very fun gun - probably my favorite gun to shoot. And yes, my 8 and 9 year olds have been shooting it too, as well as my wife (who is supposedly afraid of the AR-15.) My 15/22 was having a FTE or two every single magazine. I finally settled in on that special CCI "tactial" 40 grain ammo, which is specifically designed for this gun. It looks very similar to the 40gr mini-mags, which is the only ammo that cleanly feeds my Savage 64 without jamming. But I actually emailed CCI and asked the difference - they said the 40gr "tactical" has a slightly shorter nose compared to the standard 40gr mini-mag, thus optimized for the feed mechanism on the S&W 15/22. Also, my gunsmith said these guns take a large amount of rounds to properly break in, due to the polymer parts having small burrs, etc. Not sure how true this is, but after about 500 rounds - some with federal and some with CCI - mine doesn't jam any more and it is a ton of fun to shoot. Suppressor should be here in about 2-3 more months to make it the ultimate backyard toy.
  17. Man, that's a loaded question with lots of twists and turns for lots of different circumstances as far as your goals at the airline and military and finances. I am an IMA in the Reserves, so I usually do my military in two, 2-weeek chunks per year, with a few single days peppered throughout the rest of the year for readiness items. On my first trip I lose a little money but I make a little money on the second trip due to knocking out so many double-drill periods in a row (narrowbody pay). I assume I would really lose money either way if I were widebody and definitely if captain. And, of course there are the guys who just fly their full schedule at the airline and work the drill and a few flying days in addition to the airline, as opposed to dropping an airline trip. So they make more money, but work a lot more. Day for day, even at year 2 narrowbody pay, you still lose money for each day of a trip that you drop to be replaced with a military day. Other factors to incentivize people to stay in the military, other than total maximization of finances at the airline: - camaraderie is basically nil at the airline, so the Reserves keeps up a network of regular friends to shoot the shit with - military flying breaks up the boredom of airline flying - ^^^as mentioned, retirement pay and healthcare - having a good backup plan is a good idea. I had 4 friends hired in 2000 who were very grateful that they had the military to fall back on for full time jobs while furloughed - healthcare costs are relatively high (at least at Delta) compared to the guys buying into Tricare Reserve Select. I think the civilians pay about $400-600 more in premiums per month, and from the horror stories I have heard, they pay anywhere from $2K-$10K more out of pocket then a typical TRS medical plan reserve guy does.
  18. ^^^Probably the most important factor for me too. I cringe when I hear about how guys had to leave the house 6AM just to commute in for a 2PM sign in when I can leave the house after sending the kids to school, doing a few hours of office/house work, having lunch with the wife, and then heading in to work for day 1. Same thing on the back end going home - I'm always home for dinner, but the guys who sign out at 3PM might have a hard time making dinner at home depending on flights, etc.
  19. Good post, man. I had heard SW had a "fun" culture but never really understood any of the specific details as to why. Thanks.
  20. No. There have been plenty of people hired at the majors with no PIC/signing for the aircraft time.
  21. I can give you my three cents: I know a few people "in management" and have talked to them on a few occasions, so I know they notice the blatant military abuse. One time I went to the chief pilot because my boss emailed me about working an exercise that caused me to drop a trip that was close to a holiday. I thought it looked fishy, so I just brought it to his attention just to sort of clear the air. He said, even without the email, that it was no big deal. He went on to give me a few examples of things that are "noticed by management" and are a big deal such as _____________ (fill in the blanks with the blatant military abuse well documented in the previous several dozen pages of this post - flying TPs while on airline sick leave, dropping holiday trips to do a single drill makeup on the Friday of a holiday, etc). It is easily noticed and tracked by management from what I have seen.
  22. JS

    Gun Talk

    Maybe we need a "tool talk" thread too. Funny you say that about Harbor Freight, because a very good friend and his dad own a fairly decent sized mechanics shop and they have a decent number of HF tools. The dad's advice: anything heavy with metal - shop crane, jack stands, etc - or tools not used every day like impact sockets and special crows feet wrenches, they will buy HF tools. He was actually ripping apart a customers engine with that new $99 12V Earthquake ratchet from HF. The lifetime warranty on things like wrenches and sockets make it a no-brainer, even for two pros like them, as long as you are not exchanging stuff every week because it breaks.
  23. JS

    Gun Talk

    Yeah, that's what I meant - when the FFL writes down the serial number in his log. Not really registering, but I assume this is why people want to make their own 80% untraceable AR?
  24. JS

    Gun Talk

    Non gun related - saw Harbor Freight here and had to give them a huge shout-out for those not familiar. 1/2 or less the price for a comparable tool from the big box stores, and most of the time it is basically the same tool. Many hate on them for making "junk," but if you know what not to buy (e.g. certain electrical motor stuff) and keep your expectations very low, you should be pleasantly surprised by over 80% of the stuff you buy there. I recently branched out into more expensive stuff and have been thrilled by the value - 29 gal compressor, power saws, floor jack, Bauer drills, etc. Back to guns: With the 80% lower thing, is the main reason for doing this just so you don't have to register the serial number with the bureau of booze, cigarettes and guns? At a glance, a real lower receiver is $35-$40 bucks for an Anderson or PSA, both of which I have used and found to be excellent. The 80% ones seem to be significantly more, so it doesn't seem that saving money is a thing here.
  25. I, too. am not doing shit as far as chasing extra dollars over the summer - I would rather have the time with the kids while they are out of school. But as far as QOL: I worked my first day of the month yesterday and work 8 days in a row (by design, around the 4th holiday), then vacation, then 2 days to wrap the month up. I have two 30+ layovers at home this week, so for that 8 day stretch, I am only in a hotel for two nights. By month's end, I will have "worked" 10 days for the man, to include 2 full days home while getting paid, and I will have spent a total of three nights in a hotel. I'm not one who tracks every hour of pay and every dollar (probably should), but this will be a normal/normal-high paycheck for me - so around $13-14K gross, which amounts to about $9K take-home pay after voluntary deductions, paying for the union, and paying for the 47-percenter's to leech off the working man.
  • Create New...