Strange Career Situation

FlyPurdue

Well-Known Member
#1
Hello -

I have a bit of a strange career situation. After a 5 year sebarical from 121 flying, I returned to the flight deck, by way of Envoy this past October. Without sounding boastful, training went very well, even more so when considering that I have flown only 10 hours during that 5 year break.

I have 1700tt, and just about 1000 hours under part 121 (I flew pre ATP rule). At Envoy, they are displacing any FOs, to the left seat as soon as they hit the 1000sic, not considering TT, or recency. I have spoken with Envoy leadership and they are confident that despite my lack of recency, that I will be a fine captain. Of course, it’s great that leadership has that sort of confidence in your ability, but my fear is that I will be violated or worse, simply by getting into a situation that I have not experienced yet.

I mention this to every captain I fly with it, and they agree that it’s a crazy situation but don’t have the authority to make any macro changes to my situation. On every flight, I try to ask questions about the release, mx log, etc, and spend time in FM1, so I can start thinking like a captain but there is just so much to be aware of, and this is all while I am trying to get comfortable again in the IFR/121 environment.

As the junior base will require commuting to CA, this has brought up thoughts on weather I should leave Envoy and join a new carrier if I have to commute anyways. I am approaching the minimums as a few of the ACMI carriers, and wonder if I would even have a shot. The flying would be new, and I would learn a new skill set with no imminent upgrade on the horizon. However, the other side of me, is excited about the prospect of captain, and being able to check that 1000 tpic box sooner rather than later.

At the end of the day, I want to make a safe decision that still positions me well to eventually join a legacy/national airline (even absent a flow agreement).

Thank you!

FlyPurdue
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
#2
They are displacing FOs to the left seat? That's a first. Are you sure about that/Can they do that? You guys do have a contract.
Can't you just not bid Captain for a few more months until you're comfortable?
 

bike21

Stabilizer Motion
#3
Your first issue is being associated with Purdue ;)

<-- IU grad

Second, that's quite interesting they are junior manning folks into a CA position. I upgraded less than 2 years at my regional but did have previous leadership experience which helped to some degree I'd like to think but who knows. Either way, it's known as the 'new captain curse' for each new captain gets all the crap that never happened from the comfort of the right seat. It's fun, challenging and frustrating at times but not insurmountable.

You simply have to take care of your crew, self & pax and in that order in a methodical and safe fashion. Take it slow and don't let anyone push or rush you no matter what. Learn the power of 'no' and use it selectively/wisely and you'll be just fine.
 

Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
#4
They are displacing FOs to the left seat? That's a first. Are you sure about that/Can they do that? You guys do have a contract.
Can't you just not bid Captain for a few more months until you're comfortable?
It's happening at PSA too. We had it in the contract where they could force the most junior FO to upgrade when there were not enough voluntary captain upgrades. However this was recently modified via a LOA that gave the pilot group other improvements (flow increased to 10/month and reserve rule improvements) to allow the company to force the most senior FOs instead, with a review process in case the senior FO has a good reason they have not chosen to upgrade.
 

FlyPurdue

Well-Known Member
#5
Thanks for the good info, and reminders. @bike21, big game today...I don’t care how our seasons look, IU v PU is always a good matchup, and playing at Assembly Hall makes me even more nervous!

It’s a crazy situation. Envoy’s reserve rules leave a lot to be desired, plus most of the growth is in NYC, resulting in a lot of senior FOs just delaying or avoiding upgrade all together to avoid the commute to reserve.

It’s funny, at ExpressJet (where I worked till 2013)...my seniority was never anywhere high enough to hold captain, now my seniority is no where near high enough to hold first officer! Times are changing.
 

BigZ

Well-Known Member
#6
They are displacing FOs to the left seat? That's a first. Are you sure about that/Can they do that? You guys do have a contract.
Can't you just not bid Captain for a few more months until you're comfortable?
Yup they are, nope you can't.
As of the latest bid they basically purged the list of FOs with >1000 hrs 121 time from the bottom up. The rumor is that there's like one FO left on that list (very senior) and he'll get displaced on the next bid.
Crazy times.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#10
It's great that you want to learn more before your thrust into such responsibility, although with that mature attitude of yours I'm sure you'd do fine as captain. Have you looked into WheelsUp or any of the fractionals? I know WheelsUp dropped their SIC mins to 1500 hours, pay in the 50s, have an 8/6 that's extremely commutable and seem like they take care of their pilots pretty well.
 
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