Real Answers from Real Pilots

Hawaiian and United Headed to Afghanistan

Hi everyone,

I see that DOD has activated the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, including two from Hawaiian Airlines and four from United, among others for the Afghanistan evacuation.

Just curious, will they be flown by Hawaiian and United crews? Seems like that would be quite the “flying the line” story there.

Happy flying!

Finn

1 Like

Finn,

Yup our pilots fly our planes. There’s a bunch of requirements but most of our pilots are CRAF certified and many have been raising their hands to go (but that’s not how it works).

Should be interesting.

Adam

Hi Adam,

That is neat to hear that most of the pilots are CRAF certified, and that they will be flying to Afghanistan. I can imagine there were plenty of volunteers just for the adventure aspect.

Finn

Finn,

Yes, United crews will be flying the UAL flights. We already do quite a bit of military charters, so this will probably not be terribly different than what those pilots already do.

Chris

Hi Chris,

Learning things like this, that UAL does military charters, and that many of the pilots are CRAF certified, is exciting to me. I am really excited for this next phase in my life, to learn about a new industry, and to be doing something I’ve always dreamed of.

Finn

Finn,

We do quite a bit of sports charters as well. I have always enjoyed doing the charters as they are a bit different and often go to different airports than what is our normal.

Chris

Hi Chris,

As always, the insight is very much appreciated. I imagine the charters are fun; someplace new, a different mission, maybe even meet some well know people. Sounds fun! So much to look forward to.

Finn

Finn,

Many airlines do a variety of charters. It does offer the opportunity to mix things up a little. When I was at ExpressJet we actually had a separate charter division that required a special interview. I participated and that’s when I discovered I really wasn’t a fan of that type of flying. I far prefer the airline model where it’s a defined set schedule. Charter you’re catering to the customer and you end up doing alot more sitting and waiting. We did end up getting some really great food but otherwise not really a fan.

Adam

Hi Adam,

I was really into the idea of charter when I first started exploring all of this. I liked the idea of the set schedule (15 on/13 off). But the more I explored, one thought kept coming back: I don’t really want to kowtow.

Chartering, as you mentioned, seems to involve plenty of that. Perhaps I would like to just hide away in the cockpit and do my job. Having said as much, doing the occasional charter might be nice, just to break up the routine a bit.

Speaking of, do many pilots have side gigs? I understand that because of the scheduling issue, particularly early on when you do not hold a line, your first priority would be the airline; but I was thinking that I might be able to continue to do some consulting on the side.

As always, a big mahalo for all of the feedback.

Finn

Finn,

It really does come down to what you like and your personality. A few years back a friend of mine went to NetJets, was doing well and suggested I interview. He told me to be prepared for a very interview than the standard airline version. I asked how so and he said he was asked questions like “an owner comes up and asks for a wine suggestion for his wife’s birthday, what would you say?” and “an owner’s bichon jumps up on the center console, what would you do?”. My honest answer to both I can’t write on this forum nor would it have earned me a position so I decided I’d rather be a bus driver than a limo driver.

Pretty much every pilot I know has some kind of side gig. Once you’ve gained seniority you’ll see your schedule is pretty set and you’ll find yourself with alot of spare time. Real estate is very popular due to the flexibility but I know pilots who do everything from own fishing boats to optometrists. I keep thinking I should do something but I’m really pretty lazy and lack ambition which is why I became a pilot in the first place :wink:

Adam

2 Likes

Hi Adam,

As always, thank you for the information.

Therein lies the problem, I wouldn’t have a clue how to respond to a question on selecting a wine to go with birthday dinner. “Looks like we have red ones and white ones, which do you prefer? Oh wait, this one is pink.” :joy: Yeah, I suspect I may be more of a bus driver as well.

I say if you’re happy using your off time to paddle board and sit on the beach, then more power to you. I would like something on the side, but that is just how my mind works. Besides, coming to the game a little late, I need to put as much extra aside as I can.

All the best!

Finn

Finn,

That is the beauty of airline charters, they are not really for the ultra rich, but more for sports teams, military, etc. I have never once been asked for a wine selection :slight_smile:

Chris

Haha… good to know, Chris, because I’m out of my depth when I comes to that!