Flying a RJ

snine3departure

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Questions for current RJ pilots.
Do you feel that pilots with previous RJ experiance are better in the cockpit than the pilots who come from a CFI job for example. Having no 121 experiance, I am just curious. It would seem to me that as long as either pilot makes the most of training a CFI is just as capable as a Rj experianced pilot. The post on the Midway pilots got me woundering. I know how pilot recruitment views this subject but woundering what the pilots who have flown with both feel. Thanks for the input in advance.
 

Draginass

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I've never flown an RJ, but I can give you some insight on the conversion to 121 flying. Although I've been a heavy pilot my whole career, transitioning into commercial 121 flying wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Getting familiar with your company's ops specs, getting familiar with various airports, company flying procedures, etc. In reality it takes about a year to get comfortable flying part 121 or even for a new company. Previous part 121 experience makes it a lot easier to transition because you already understand the lingo and basics. Keep in mind that the school training and even IOE is really just the starter. The real learning comes in that first 6 months on the line.
 

snine3departure

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I understand where you are coming from but wouldn't learning a different companies policy be the same as learning their policy with no other companies policy background? Not sure if that makes sense. Are pilots truely better just because they have flown for a previous 121 carrier? If you ask me as long as the mins are met shouldn't more weight be put on the applicants background and personnality etc.
 

CRJFlyer

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The whole deal behind having previous 121 exp. is that it shows that an applicant is capable of getting through a 121 Groundschool. Apparently there are some that are uncapable of it!

I think the type of flying your doing is as or more important than how many hours one has. Granted a CFI always has to start somewhere in the airline industry, but i have a feeling that even though I just meet Comairs req. total time wise, my 300+ hours in a Beech1900D as an F.O. will make the transition to a CRJ much easier than if I was fresh from instructing. Just my opinion though.
 

snine3departure

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Don't you think that a college degree and failed check rides etc. would give the airline an idea of how they will do in ground school? I guess it is the old saying though... You need experiance to get the job but without the job how do you get experiance? I know things will get better as hiring picks up but sure sucks now for us measly little flight instructors.:)
 

Draginass

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It's all a matter of competition. Put yourself in the place of the HR guy. You've got two people who both interviewed well, have great work histories . . . . only one has previous experience in exactly the job you're going to put them into and the other doesn't. If you can only pick one, I'll bet it'll be the one with the part 121 experience.

And there's the key . . . they're not just picking "one." There are lots of instructors that get hired, so don't get yourself down. Right now the hiring situation is bad, but hold tight, it'll change. AE was hiring guys with less than 1000 total and 300 multi before the downturn.

You can imagine the competition for the majors right now with FEDEX and SWA being the only ones hiring, so you're not alone by a long shot.

Throttle back to endurance AOA and wait for the weather to break. Good luck.
 

AAsRedHeadedbro

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As a former CFI myself, with 2000 TT and 1500 dual given as a CFI when I was hired by a 121 airline 11 years, I can tell you that excellent basic flying skills, especially instrument skills, are probably the most important aspects to becoming a successful airline pilot. The next most important attribute is the ability to work effectively within a team environment.

That said, however, a person who comes into an airline with previous 121 experience is initially (maybe for the first year to year and a half) a much better first officer for an airline and his captains than someone who has had no 121 experience, especially one with no high performance time. There are a couple of major reasons for this.

First, an airline's Ops Specs govern how the airline shall be operated. While it may be true that each individual airline may have slightly different procedures for accomplishing tasks, each airline's Ops Specs are almost identical. The reason for this is that the Feds are the ones who produce a generic Ops Spec. This Ops Spec is then modified slightly to suit the individual airline. For most intents and purposes though, the Ops Specs are basically identical. Therefore a pilot with previous 121 experience has had an experience that will transfer very readily to a new airline. Additionally, he has had experience in the environment dealing with weather. He has probably flown in weather that would ground a light plane, which has given him valuable insight that he brings to his new airline. He has experience with radar - something most GA aircraft do not have and a piece of equipment that takes a while to become proficient at using and interpreting.

Secondly, aside from basic airmanship, airline flying is very different from other types of flying, especially GA. The aircraft are at a performance level that is an order of magnitude higher than most any GA aircraft, aside from corporate jets. Climb at 250 and 2000 to 4000 feet per minute to 10,000', then transition to 300 or so Knots indicated on up to the flight levels. Things happen fast. Today’s RJ's are all equipped with state of the art glass cockpits and FMS's that are complex pieces of equipment. These take a while to master.

So while the GA pilot with no high performance time will eventually catch up to his more experienced classmate with previous 121 time, initially he will have his hands full. He will probably have his hands full for at least six months before he starts to become comfortable with being an airline pilot in a jet. In the mean time the captain will need to keep a more cautious eye on his new FO.

Having flown with FO's with many different experience levels, I can tell you that the pilots who come into the cockpit with previous 121 experience generally have a much easier time adapting to their new airline than those without 121 experience, especially those who have only GA time. Almost all figure it out eventually, though, and become EXCELLENT airline pilots.;)
 

snine3departure

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I appreciate the info, but I still have to wounder a little. I am flying airplanes with approach speeds of 140, nearly the same as most regionals. Also equipped with radar, known ice capable, flight director etc. Though my G.A. aircraft may not go as high, critical phases of flight are nearly the same. I may not totally know the rules of 121 but can sure learn them. As far as flying, I feel my previous experiance has allowed me to make a easy transition. Am I wrong? Any feedback would be great.
 

CRJFlyer

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snine3departure,
No I don't think your wrong at all.... I guess when it comes down to it it mainly depends on the person. When I went from flying light twins to a Beech 1900D I really didn't have much trouble. Granted a Beech isn't as high performance as a CRJ but there are more "buttons" to play with and no autopilot. The only thing is that HR reps. don't have any idea of how good of a pilot you are. They ask about "your best qualities,stressful times in a cockpit, ever have any emergencies?" but they weren't there and can't tell that you can fly the hell out of an airplane.

The whole college degree thing depends on the person also. I do not have a college degree. I have been in college ever since I left high school though.. 3 years full time and 3 years mainly part time. Because of financial reasons and a rough first year at a party school I have changed majors 3 times( also 3 different universities) and still have atleast 60 credits to go for a 4 year degree. I'm 1 class away froma an associates but because of a new job at Comair I doubt I'll be able to take that class, and its not offered online.

However I have been on the Dean's list numurous times, both at Riddle and at my current two year school. I have pulled a 4.0 GPA out of my hat. And recently, with a current airline job leaving me little time for school work, I still am able to pull atleast a 3.0 every semester, granted it is only 2 classes a semester. A person who doesn't know me could say that I'm 24 without even an associates what have I been doing? Partying all the time? But thats not the case I've just had trouble stringing majors together. So every interview I go into I make sure I bring my college transcripts in along with those Dean's List certificates. It seems to have done alright for me so far. (3 outta 5 successful interviews.) I know that if I ever want to to go to a major I'll need a 4 year most likely. But the way things are in the industry I still have time for that down the road. So I don't think that our job should be solely based on a graduation certificate (though I am biased on that!)
 

Caveman

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Daginass posted:

"It's all a matter of competition. Put yourself in the place of the HR guy. You've got two people who both interviewed well, have great work histories . . . . only one has previous experience in exactly the job you're going to put them into and the other doesn't. If you can only pick one, I'll bet it'll be the one with the part 121 experience."

Why then do HR folks at majors pick single engine fighter guys over heavy transport pilots and military guys over 121 regional jet Captains? Using your logic, which I agree with BTW, the regional jet Captain should get the nod. We all know they don't.
 

ifly4food

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snine3,
I can't predict how you will do, but I can share my story.
I was hired to "a midwestern United Express airline" straight out of instructing with 1500TT and 250ME. I went into the Brasila. To enter pt121 training is often equated to drinking out of a fire hose. The amount of FAA required training you must get is crammed into the least amount of time to save costs. The groundschool alone was extremely challenging, especially since if you score less than 80% on a test you're sent home. Did I mention that the tests were purposely written to weed you out? There are several questions the instructors can't even answer. If you're not going to make it, they want to find out before they spend money on you in the sim.

When you go to the sim, it's a whole new world. Instead of the familiar instruments, you now have glass tubes. Instrad of the familiar IFR scan you are used to you must learn a new one. Also add an aircraft that's heavier and faster than anything you're used to. You will be hanging onto the tail trying to keep up for the whole first sim. Unfortunately, the instructor has little sympathy. The sim is very expensive and they have a syllabus to complete on time and on cost. They don't have time for you to "get the feel", they expect you to enter it and fly it right the first time. You are exepected to have flying skills as second nature and focus on the new procedures. Also, you have these funny things called turbines that don't behave how you expect until you get used to them. Good luck. If you aren't caught up on the syllabus by the 3rd day or so, you can probably kiss your airline career goodbye.
Pass sim and it's off to training in the actual airplane. Here, you will be given one or if lucky 2 flights to put everything together. Again, you will be expected to know what to do. It is not a training event, but rather, and evaluating event. Screw up here and they will be upset.
Pass that and you take a checkride with a company pilot. Pass that and you go off to IOE. Here is where you really start to learn.
With paying passengers in back, you will go to some of the worlds busiest airports or the first time and be expected to know what to do. Yes, they will help you, but not much. IOE isn't easy and some don't pass. If you complete IOE, you are still on probation for a year, which means you can be fired for any reason. Screw up with one disgruntled old captain and you can again kiss your career goodbye.

My point is don't rush into training for a 121 airline until you are sure you're ready.
I'll admit the company I first went to was extreme... most aren't that harsh.

However, it was a breeze after I left there for where I now work. Having been through training and flown the aircaft I knwe exactly what to expect. While the CFIs in class were sweating it out every night, I was watching TV, having a beer whatever. There's no question that it's a lot easire with prior 121 experience.
 

bobbysamd

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From CFI to 121

I personally don't know any flight instructors who went directly to the RJ, but I knew plenty of instructors who went from Seminoles to 1900s, Metros and Brasilias. They seemed to do okay. I knew of one who washed out at CONEX. He later got on with Mesa, stayed there, and made it to UPS. I'd bet that by now he's a captain on the DC-8, if he's still there.

The coneheads who do the hiring do it mostly by the numbers, in my .02 opinion. They don't consider potential. Hiring someone with previous 121 or 135 experience is the easy way out. They don't want to be bothered with considering the whole person who is sitting in front of them or that person's resume. There are people out there who might offer more potential to the company than just 121 experience. Give these folks a chance and they could become great pilots and loyal and valuable employees. What? No one cares about value and loyalty anymore?!? I am surprised! :rolleyes:

Of course, previous 121 experience will be an asset because these people know the territory and routine. But, that doesn't mean that others cannot learn it. I once had an old F-105 driver from Viet Nam in my cockpit who was checking me out as a mission pilot for CAP. He told me that everyone was new once. So were these 121 vets.

People deserve a chance. It's hard to get one. If you get one, run with it. Good luck to all.
 
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skydiverdriver

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Draginass,
It sounds like you are making a case for regional 121 pilots having some good knowledge, that perhaps a military pilot going to a major might not have. I'm sorry, I couldnt resist. I'm sure that both types of pilots have good training and experience, and a smart interviewer would prefer to have a mix at his airline, for obvious reasons.

I find that the principal difference between pilots with previous 121 time and CFI's is how they appreciate their job. I have worked for four different regionals, and I know how many of them operate. Some CFI's have no idea how good they have it here, and they complain about things that I almost laugh at.

As far as them being better pilots, or having better experience, well, experience is good no matter where you got it. If someone comes here from another 121 outfit, like I did, that means I started there with the same experience that someone coming here from a CFI backround has. Most 121 opearations manuals are very similar, as the main differences I've seen are things like the definition of "marginal," for the requirement to have a second alternate. Most everything else is the same.

Honestly, I prefer someone who came from a cargo backround, as they don't seem to be afraid of things that can't hurt you. But, that's just my preference. I think there are good and bad pilots at all experience levels, and the main difference is the appreciation of the job. Good luck to all.
 

MartinFierro

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Yep I agree with just about everything others have said here. I'll add my opinion in that I think another difficult aspect for many people is the crew concept and PF/PNF roles. If you're not used to challenge/response checklists, and especially callouts, etc., it can take a lot of getting used to.

More experience always helps. But that is not to say that those with the most do the best. In my new-hire class at Eagle, we unfortunately had several washouts. All of the guys that washed out had well above the minimums for getting hired. I think if you have 121 experience, you already know, more or less, what to expect and what you have to do to succeed.
 

AWACoff

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CRJflyer...,
Not to chap your buns or anything but can I have some of that stuff you're smoking? Last time I looked in the cockpit of a King Air...whoops, 1900D model, it had nowhere NEAR the number of switches as an RJ. The 1900 is an awesome pilots' plane but let's be realistic here. I'll chip in my 2 cents. I have been told that the Brasilia is a good Tprop to fly prior to turbojets. Don't know if it's true or not but I have had some new captains in the 120 that came from the 1900 scare me bad enough that we chatted on the ground post flight. How far below the glideslope is the hard "GLIDESLOPE" warning....over a dot and a half??? (on the Brasilia).
Now I'll go back to my cheese sandwich. Can't afford ham this week:(
 
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snine3departure

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That raises a question for me. Is it common to have a flying crew member do something that puts you on the edge of your seat. This question for those of you 121 pilots.
 

crjcap

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my 2 cents

As a former 1900 check airman, and a furloughed RJ pilot, I would have to say there is no pat answer for this. I know that the basics are better learned on the 1900, a great pilots airplane and very forgiving. After flying the 1900 for 5 yrs. I thought that I would have no problem moving up to the RJ. Surprise surprise, I had to work very hard, and none of it came easy. Good analogy of drinking from the fire hose. Im not saying a flight instructor couldnt do it , but lets face it times have changed, and I can guarantee you that no one is going to walk anyone through training these days. But nevertheless it sure is worth trying for. Keep it up
 

Draginass

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Both Caveman and Skydiverdriver, my old nemises on this board, are diggin' my military background. I leave the definition of "diggin'" to the reader.

Without getting into the old military/civilian debate, in my airline class, there was about 60% military and 40% civilian. The screening process must work pretty good, because the failure rate ground school through IOE is less than 2%.
 

FatesPilot

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Going from an EFIS Brasilia with FMS/ACARS to a CRJ is no cake walk. When time comes to transition it will be a humbling experience.

Take a look at an RJ cockpit sometime. Personally, I have no idea what half the buttons do! Neither do the captains I fly with, and these guys have an answer to everything turboprop.
 

flint4xx

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Flying is challenging to learn. New airplane, regs, opspecs. Once you figure it out, it is routine unless something breaks. Where in you career you might be when you realize it isn't that challenging anymore is up to you. I think employers realize this. Employers want to hire people that they know that there investment in them will pay off. A person with previous airline experience, solid background, etc knows life as an airline pilot and might not cost the company more than necessary. Every company has their way of doing it.
 
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