It’s been awhile since I’ve last written and a lot has gone on so it’ll take a few posts to catch everyone up. Lately, I’ve been worried that I’m not sharing enough of my experiences. It was easy as a private pilot in training because going to a lesson was a big event for me. Now that I’m working in the aviation field, I don’t want to take it for granted and what I used to consider a big event become normal life. Therefore, I have a lot to share!
Jake and I are now co-workers if I hadn’t share that already. He went on his first trip with the company this past week. I’m so glad to see him happy with his job and enjoying flying. Though downside, he likes to send embarrassing emails to the flight control department and my co-workers make fun of me. I enjoyed sending the release to bring him home early due to scheduled maintenance.
Working in the Part 135 world is different for the both of us. I’ve never worked in the airline world and can only go off Jake’s experiences and what I have read and heard about dispatch offices at regional airlines.
Both of us get treated better in this world and respected more as people. He gets crew meals that the company pays close to $100 for two pilots, where airlines won’t pay an extra $8 for two more first class meals for their pilots. I get paid for working holidays, even if I don’t work a holiday, I get a bonus day off. Lastly, I make more money than I would at a regional.
But then more is expected from us. If I was a dispatcher at a regional airline, I would dispatch and follow flights. At my company, we aren’t flight planning (yet!), but releasing flights still, moving the schedule around, calculating duty and rest, booking hotels for the pilots, ordering crew meals, dealing with irregular operations, and a few other things piled on. I can’t wait to begin flight planning and hope some of those duties are taken off of us, since already my day is pretty packed to make sure everything gets accomplished.
From a pilot stand point, he has to take care of the customer more, especially since his aircraft doesn’t have a flight attendant. He makes sure the catering is there, makes sure the lav is serviced, or has to empty it himself sometimes. Make sure the cabin is clean and stocked. These extra things we wouldn’t do at an airline, but we don’t mind them because we are treated like people instead of a number. At airline, the Director of Operations wouldn’t know my name. The chief pilot would only be familiar with him if he caused problems most likely.
I’m loving my new job and so is Jake. I think the majority of people focusing on the airlines as the main way to go in aviation is a mistake and there are many more options for people, and it may end up making you a happier person!