These are answers to questions that I couldn't answer
with any amount of reliability. I forwarded them to other
people that I know have personal experience with the topic.
Religion and the airlines
am very into becoming a pilot but before I pursue
a career I just need to know one thing. I am a very
religious person and every saturday I keep the sabbath.
All I need to know is
if there is any way possible to pursue an airline
career while not flying on saturday. I would like
to fly a jet aircraft for a major airline (ex. A320)
but dont know if that would be possible. It would
help me alot if you would know if a regional airline
would let me.
Thanks very much for
Doug Taylor of jetcareers.com forwarded your
email question to me. You are not the first traditional
Jew to ask us the question, is it possible to respect
the Sabboth and still be an airline pilot? I would
have to say no. Everyone has a special day on which
they would rather not fly such as the religious
Christians, Sunday, or Christmas day, etc. The schedules
are done a month in advance and based on the needs
of the airline and the pilots wishes, based on seniority.
(the senior pilots get more of what they want than
the junior ones.) You can get alot of Fri. evenings
and Saturday's off, but not all of them. And if
you have a mechanical or get weathered in, your
trip could spill into Shabbos even though you originally
had it scheduled off.
The only thing I can think of for you would be
to fly a corporate jet that is owned by a Jewish
CEO, that won't want to travel on Shabbos. I would
be surprised if there was a job out there like that,
because even if the boss is not flying, the plane
may be used or leased by someone else. As far as
airlines go, the only airline that is shomer shabbos
is, of course, EL AL, but they only hire IDF pilots,
as far as I know.
I am a pilot for a major airline and usually fly
at least half of the weekends. When I am junior
on an airplane (new to the model) I have to take
vacation time for Passover, Rosh Hashanna and Yom
Kippur. When I have more seniority on an airplane
I can simply bid my monthly schedule so as to have
the Passover Sedars, Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur
I received my flight training in the US Navy. We
had to be ready to fly on any given day, any given
time. Once, our ship was in twenty four operations
and each of our squadron pilots had to fly two,
three hour missions a day throughout. These operations
feel over Yom Kippur. Luckily, I was the squadron
schedule writter at the time so I flew myself three
times the day before and three times the day after.
Being a Jew in the Navy wasn't bad. I was the Jewish
layleader and woefully unqualified! Each Friday
the ships bakery would make us a challah, about
three feet long! They said it was the smallest bread
they could make. We had some great Sedar's at Sea.
I wish you alot of luck in your search. Remember,
religion is more important than flying. I have raised
my own children to be more traditional than I am.
I believe it will serve them well, as I believe
it will you.
Major Airline Captain
matters more, experience or flight time?
closely do major airlines value prior part-121
and part-135 scheduled experience? Or was it just
about the time in the logbook?"
|Great question! total time is meaningless if not
evaluated against background. Typical argument went
something like this:
Three pilots applying for a job:
A) has 1350 Total Hours, all multi engine jet, 1150
B) has 4500 hours Total Time, 3000 Hours Multi engine,
with slightly less than 700 hours as PIC
C) has 7500 hours Total time, with 2500 Multi Engine,
and 5000 hours PIC.
Now lets look at the applicants with further amplification:
A) was single seat USAF/USN/USMC Fighter Pilot. Subtract
200 Hours for pilot training the rest is all by him/her
self. At an average of three hundred hours a year,
that is almost four years of experience in high performance
aircraft, in world wide service, all weather types
with at least 30% a given of solid night, no moon
flying. Oh by the way, takeoffs equals landings columns.
Typically was a Flight Leader, and could have been
an Instructor and or an Evaluator(APD).
Analysis - Strong Candidate Invite for Interview
B) Was civilian trained either post degree or in conjunction
with a flight program at an aviation department equipped
college. Solid basic aviation training foundation,
and a Freight or Corporate accepted the individual
with low time to fly in all types of weather. Gradual
build up of multiengine recip time, enough to either
upgrade at the Freight/Corporate job or enough to
qualify for the Regionals. A couple of years at the
Regionals flying multiengine turbo-props or even RJ's.
Last 12 - 18 months flying as Captain either in Turbos
Analysis - Strong Candidate Invite for interview.
Additional note: Strength is not only in flight time
but quality of time. This individual has been flying
a flight schedule for freight, corporate, and a regional.
Has great weather/night experience and crew/pax experience.
C) Was civilian trained. Was trained but chose for
whatever reason to take flight time building employment.
A lot of power line,banner towing, and general nonscheduled
flying. A lot of day VFR basic student CFI time. Most
of the Multiengine time is moving a wide variety of
aircraft across country for various "customers".
The 5000 Hrs PIC is almost all in non-crew aircraft.
Quality of weather and night time hard to distinguish.
Maybe even occasional time in jets, but less than
100 hours of any one type aircraft, same for turboprops.
Analysis - Weak candidate, reject, not competitive
with the average applicant.
So short answer to your question is yes, we looked
hard at the backgrounds. Oh, we knew most of the 121
Carrier's cold and could find out about the type flying
of the 135's fairly easy.
Former Manager of Pilot Section for a Major Airline
Had a DUI...
"One problem, I had a DUI
in October of 2003. I fully realize
this puts me at nearly insurmountable odds of
landing an airline job, but I just refuse to believe
that one very poor decision from which I completely
and totally learned my lesson can destroy a lifelong
Any advice on things I could
do to increase my chances at this point? Of course
the clean driving record, etc... but would letters
of recommendation and statements from substance
abuse counselors, etc have any positive impact?"
Another million dollar question!
There is a lot that goes into this question.
First, the time frame for consideration is too
close (2003). That is, if this happened while the
person is in the hunt, I'd say he/she is too high
risk. The company doesn't know if this is the begining
of a much larger problem and only time will tell.
24 to 36 months of a spotless record will help.
Also how old is this person? A youthful mental lapse
or an older person who should know better. If older,
this person could be a bigger problem down the road,
again a lot of risk.
Has the individual followed up with the FAA, how
about the physical? Is this person currently employed
as a pilot? How is their current employer handling
Bottom line is that it is not the kiss of death,
yet! He/She can come back and be a strong viable
candidate, happens all the time for the serious
Former Manager of Pilot Section for a Major Airline