Pilot schedule

Hello, so today’s question is coming from a more schedule oriented standpoint. My wife has two chronic illnesses which can require me/family to take care of her. Flying also means I’ll spend days away, we’re both aware of that. Me being in the military we know we can survive away from eachother for months at a time even but my question really is, is what does a normal regional pilot schedule look like? How many days a week does he fly and how many are overnight? Is there a way to secure only short haul flights? This is my dream and I have a supportive wife and family willing to help take care of her when necessary, so this is what I want my future to be. Any ideas of schedules or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Please take a look at the schedules section as it will answer many of your questions.

Keep in mind though that pilots, by definition, take people to far away places and as such, that involves a fair amount of time on the road.

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The answer to your questions (and many when it comes to the airlines) is SENIORITY. Yes you can only do short trips and yes you can spend less days away from home. The problem is that comes with seniority. Senior pilots get what they want while junior pilots get what’s left over. How long will it take to gain seniority depends on many many factors but can take years.


Could you at least give me a rough guess of a month or a few weeks flying for a regional could look like? Even as a junior guy

Look at Tory’s schedules.

Bottom line though is eighteen days of work per month, with most of those being nights on the road. Expect to work 4-5 days per week, with the remainder being days off.

Could you at least look at our schedules as Chris suggested above? Particularly Tory’s who is a Regional guy. You can go back to his first month and watch the progression. Keep in mind this is one pilot’s schedule and while he may very well be able to hold short trips and be home more often, if he doesn’t want that and doesn’t bid that he won’t get this. What you’re not understanding is if there’s 1,000 pilots at an airline there are literally 1,000 different schedules ranging from single day trips to 2, 3, 4 and 5 day trips. Trips that have you fly from Newark to Philly and others that go Newark to Mexico City.


Most junior FO’s start on reserve. There’s no way to know how long a new FO will be on reserve, but I can tell you that ERJ new hires at Horizon can expect to be on reserve for about 8 months before they can hold a line. Keep in mind that that time frame is constantly changing.

When a pilot is on reserve they can be awarded a variety of reserve positions. Such as, short call, long call, and airport. Seniority and bidding preferences determines what a pilot is awarded. Usually airport and short call and weekends is what junior pilots end up with.


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