Flight Options Dedicated Crewing

RJL

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Posts
68
Total Time
7,400
Good Morning All-

I read with interest a new Flight Options ad talking about "dedicated crewing." Can any of you Flight Options pilots or candidates tell me what this means? Is a Captain and/or F.O. assigned to just one aircraft? What happens during maintenance? Do you fly other aircraft or are you grounded until your personal aircraft is ready?

Sounds like an interesting concept, but I don't totally understand how it works or if pilots like this or not? I also don't understand how it works with the scheduling.

Thanks-

RJ
 

SheGaveMeClap

Your wife's boyfriend
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Posts
447
Total Time
5000+
At Options, there are two crews per airplane (4.7 pilots/aircraft). The schedule is 8 on, 7 off, so the crews rotate every week. All pilots are assigned a specific N # to fly, and they stay with that airplane until they change seats or equipment. Since FO deals with used a/c, one Beechjet may be configured differently up front than another one, the crews can get used to one particular aircraft and fly it all the time.

If you are on maintenance, you stay with your airplane wherever it is being serviced. I'm just an FNG so if any other Options guys out there can chime in, please do!!
 

jetwash

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Posts
877
Total Time
23 yrs
I am at Flight Options and like the one dedicated crew concept.
For the most part the captain stay on the same aircraft all the time and the FO is sometimes switched out. The only time when the captain is not on his aircraft is when he is on vacation or if a check airman is going to do IOE with someone and they need an aircraft.
You get to know your aircraft and the crew flying it on the other week so you know who to blame if there is not enough diet coke on board the aircraft.

The best part for me is that I can track my aircraft the day before I go on duty to see where it ended its last trip so that I know early in the afternoon where I will be flying out to the next day.
(Before dispatch figurers it out and gives you your travel info)
 

EJA_PIC

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Posts
13
Total Time
4700+
EJA_PIC

Looks good on paper but what happens if one plane breaks? Can you take another tail number that may be at the airport? What if one crew member gets sick can you swap another pilot from a different tail number to fill in.

Does it get old flying with the same few people over and over again? Can you say complacency?

From what I have seen there are so many different configurations in the cockpits and equipment they had to do it.

How does this impact the passengers if there is an operational problem with the dedicated crew/plane?
 

FracPilot

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
133
Total Time
7500
Dedicated crewing

"Looks good on paper but what happens if one plane breaks? Can you take another tail number that may be at the airport?"

If there is another airplane there, then there should be another crew. If they cannot do the trip due to duty time issues, the Program Manager or Chief Pilot must approve the crew flying the other airplane. This rule has been pretty lax in the past, but due to some recent issues with Captains not flying their assigned airplanes for extended periods of time, they are cracking down on scheduling. They are not allowed to schedule a Captain as PIC on any airplane other than their assigned. A Captain can be assigned as an SIC on an airplane other than their assigned, and F/Os can be assigned any airplane.

"Does it get old flying with the same few people over and over again? Can you say complacency?"

I seem to fly with a different F/O every two or three tours max. I have not flown with the same F/O for more than three tours in a row.

"From what I have seen there are so many different configurations in the cockpits and equipment they had to do it."

So how many Flight Options airplanes have you been in? You're just "checking out the competition", right? Yes, there are some differences, and as you know each airplane has a personality all its own. The PIC knowing the history of the airplane helps reduce maintenance problems.

"How does this impact the passengers if there is an operational problem with the dedicated crew/plane?"

What kind of "operational problem" are you referring to? Maintenance problem? Another crew/airplane. Duty time problem? Another crew/airplane. Seeing a trend here?
 

learflyer

Time to drill Congress!
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
1,587
Total Time
5000+
um, "duty time problems"? I didn't think we had "duty times"! Let me know if i'm missing something.
 

tdvalve

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
104
Total Time
14,200
"Yes, there are some differences, and as you know each airplane has a personality all its own. The PIC knowing the history of the airplane helps reduce maintenance problems. "

How could knowing the history of the airplane reduce maintenance problems? It's either broke or it isn't. This smells like: "The PIC knowing the history of the airplane helps him/her know when to write up a problem and when to ignore it cause it ain't gonna get fixed."
 

ukipilot

Ukrainian Kozak Pilot
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
66
Total Time
9000+
When your plane is in Maint. most of the time they will let you sit at home and you still collect perdiem, time to go out to eat, especially, since we get $40.80 per day while scheduled on duty whether at home or on the road, GREAT DEAL:cool:
 

jetwash

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Posts
877
Total Time
23 yrs
I have been flying with the same guy for almost 8 months.

After the first 3 tours the program manager asked if everything was cool between us and if I wanted to rotate out or stay with him. Since we got along good and there was no ego problem. I decided to stay and it was great. If I wanted to or if he wanted to we would have been rotated around.

As for what you do if your aircraft is broke. I stay at home until it is fixed and get paid!!!!!
I had one whole tour at home and got a lot of yard work done.
 

flydog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
542
Total Time
2500+
TDvalve

If an airplane has an oil pressure gauge that always went to zero for 5 minutes after takeoff but worked ok all other times then thats how a Captain knowing the airplane would be an asset. A new guy may ground the airplane at the next landing or even return to the airport. If you have flown the airplane often you wouldnt inconvenience passengers and cancel trips for something that could wait for the next scheduled check. Jets are strange machines and many have unique faults that once a pilot gets to know can be worked around. Otherwise most airplanes would be hangar queens 24/7.

Also some airplanes may fly differently or wear parts differently such as tires, brakes, hot sections, etc. If I fly an airplane that always pulls a bit to the right on landing I will anticipate with thrust reverser or rudder rather than wearing out the brakes on one side prematurely and causing 2 trips to mx instead of one.

It seems like with jets its never as simple as "its either broke or it isnt"
 

tdvalve

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
104
Total Time
14,200
"You are kidding. Right?"

If he isn't kidding, things are worse at FO than I ever imagined. Don't know whether to laugh or cry!
 

flydog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
542
Total Time
2500+
I forgot about the disclaimer: The above doesnt apply if you work for an airline or if you are represented by a union. The rules regarding common sense are different
 

tdvalve

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
104
Total Time
14,200
"I forgot about the disclaimer: The above doesnt apply if you work for an airline or if you are represented by a union. The rules regarding common sense are differentThanks for clearing that up!"

I feel all better now knowing that the absense of a union turns unairworthy airplanes into airworthy ones. Why don't you share your maintenance philosophy with your owner/passengers? While you're at it, you might find it helpful to educate your insurance company and the FAA about FO's definition of "common sense". Then again, maybe your post has already accomplished that.
 

EMB145

Frequent Flyer
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Posts
77
Total Time
42year
Vow Flydog!

Your post was all good untill the poor example. Union or not, that hypothetical airplane better be grounded now. Well, I hope it is just hypothetical. Is it?
 

jetwash

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Posts
877
Total Time
23 yrs
I have been at Options for almost 3 years and have never come across anything like that.

If it was broke you just wrote it up and it was fixed. If you didn't write it up and flew an aircraft in that condition not only are you risking your career but more importantly the lives of the people on the aircraft.

A guy who would fly an aircraft like that at Options would have been already out the door and would be looking for a company with a union to protect him next time he did something stupid like that.
 

flydog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
542
Total Time
2500+
I was being sarcastic in my response to Valve

We all know that TDValve Mr 767 pilot has never flown an airplane with any broken parts in his 14,000 hrs.

I wonder if he would declare an emergency and shut down and engine if his N1 gauge quit working while the N2, oil press and temp were all normal. I know guys that have and they didnt get to keep their job. Part of this job is thinking through problems.

The point of my original post is that minor items that are known by a pilot to be a simple case of a stuck needle and not a major engine malfunction can be deferred.

I wont ground an airplane just because the light bulb on the VSI doesnt work but obviously the rules are different for 121 so the perspective for a 121 pilot is different. Us lower time guys grinding it out in 135 in 25 yr old jets unfortunately dont have the luxury of refusing trips when nonessential items break unless its a threat to safety.

By the way I dont work at FO so dont take my response to mean this is how their SOP dictates handling mx squawks although I am sure most of their pilots use common sense when they find a light bulb burnt out.
 
Last edited:

tdvalve

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
104
Total Time
14,200
Flydog, actually I didn't do my first solo in a 767. And, no, I wouldn't shutdown an engine and declare an emergency for an inop N1 indicator. I would write it up at the completion of the flight. However, if it was inop before takeoff I would either get it fixed or deferred in accordance with our MEL.

You might want to look further if you really think maintenance requirements are strict under 121 and lax under 135. The Part 135 maintenance requirements for transport category aircraft was lifted almost verbatim from Part 121. The biggest difference between 121 and 135 is attitude.
 

flydog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
542
Total Time
2500+
I know the 121 and 135 mx rules are similar. The ethical mindset of the employers however are different and if you dont have an MEL it gets even murkier.

Is it legal to fly with a burnt out light bulb on a map light without an MEL? My FSDO says no. Would I be fired if I refused to fly with a map light out? Probably.

What about the good old "Could not Duplicate" mx response. If this same part continues to fail and its not a safety risk do I quit my job in disgust and complain to the FAA or just take it in stride?

So what do I do. Lose my job over a stupid lightbulb and file a lawsuit and make a big stink about it to the Feds? I dont think so.

Dont preach 121 ops because even though the regs are similar in the real world we dont have the luxury and the backup of a Union, a professional standards committee and any of the benefits of flying for a major airline.

Some employers may be more safety oriented and ethical than others. Most 135 operators are interested in making a buck and care about safety second. The whole point of my post is that you cant fight the system and you as the PIC have the final authority for the safety of the flight. This is where the PIC knowing the airplane comes into play.

If you want to become a martyr for the cause come on down to 135 and do a few trips.

I really dont know what your point is. Either you are trying to show that I am a sucky Captain or that no one should fly an airplane unless all the Ts are crossed and Is are dotted. The latter doesnt exist in real life and I wont debate my decision making and job performance with you.
 

tdvalve

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
104
Total Time
14,200
"I wont debate my decision making and job performance with you."

Flydog, fine with me. Have a good one.
 

KiddDynomite

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
81
Total Time
A Bit
dedicated crewing and other crap!

Gentlemen:

As Aformer Flight Options Captain, actually, one of the first, let me explain the dedicated crewing "concept". It all started because the Hawker and Beechjet crews couldn't keep all the different avionics packages straight. Very simple keep the crews in the same airplane. The problem now is that "uncle Kenn" (I could never figure out the two N's) has tried to manipulate this into a marketing point, the people they sell to are not that stupid, just a bit frugal.
As for the MOOK who made the comment about the oil pressure gauge, it's because of people like you that I no longer fly for FO. I cannot fathom why the mentality of write it up later or "I know we've been up for sixteen hours, but let's fly anyway" still persists. I hate to see you guys learn the hard way.
It's unfortunate that punks try to pass themselves off as professionals.

Don't even think of Flamin' me Kidds

KiddDynomite
 
Top