A Month in the Life of a "Line Holder"...Evolution of an Airline Pilot's Monthly Schedule

What does it mean to be a “line holder” in the airlines? On my last active duty air force assignment, that was a term I heard thrown around a lot along with various other “airline speak” terminology from our Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) pilots, many of whom were also airline pilots. At that time, my understanding of the airline pilot world was so limited, they might as well have been speaking Mandarin Chinese; it would have sounded about the same to me.

Those of you who may be considering a second flying career as an airline pilot are probably in the same boat I was in not too many years ago. You hear or read about a lot of unfamiliar terms like bidding, sitting reserves, being a line holder, block time, open time, and other ancient Chinese proverbs that you have a vague understanding of but wish you could comprehend more in depth. Wait no more my friends, much like the FAA; Cockpit to Cockpit is here to help. 

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Your Leadership Profile...How to Enhance Your Airline Application

     You’ve probably heard the saying, “If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different.” If you’re one of those pilots who has many thousands of flight hours but you’ve had your applications published for many months and still no interview invites, it might be time to try something different. You’ve been told to make frequent updates to your applications, but if the only section you find yourself updating is the Flight Times section, maybe you’re running full speed at the same brick wall over and over again and expecting a different outcome. How’s that working for you? 

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Quality of Life..."Living the Dream" as an Airline Pilot Part 2

When you talk to your friends and co-workers who have made the transition from a military cockpit to an airline flight deck, there is one phrase that is sure to come up in conversation...that phrase is Quality of Life (QOL). In last month’s article I began a discussion of what QOL means to me. I came up with five factors that really nail QOL in my mind; time off, schedule flexibility, location, job satisfaction, and pay/benefits. In Part 1, we discussed the first two factors, time off and schedule flexibility. This month, we will discuss the remaining factors listed above and compare military pilot QOL and airline pilot QOL with respect to each. 

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Quality of Life..."Living the Dream" as an Airline Pilot Part 2

When you talk to your friends and co-workers who have made the transition from a military cockpit to an airline flight deck, there is one phrase that is sure to come up in conversation...that phrase is Quality of Life (QOL). In last month’s article I began a discussion of what QOL means to me. I came up with five factors that really nail QOL in my mind; time off, schedule flexibility, location, job satisfaction, and pay/benefits. In Part 1, we discussed the first two factors, time off and schedule flexibility. This month, we will discuss the remaining factors listed above and compare military pilot QOL and airline pilot QOL with respect to each. 

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Quality of Life..."Living the Dream" as an Airline Pilot

Pilot forums and related websites were abuzz this week after the latest news headline “President Trump Signs Executive Order Allowing Military to Recall up to 1,000 Retired Pilots.” You can bet that caught my attention as a recently retired Air Force pilot who has been “living the dream” as an airline pilot since 2015. The online threads all had one common theme; there is a good reason why many pilots chose to leave the military for the airlines after retirement and many others chose to separate rather than remain active duty. That reason is quality of life (QOL). 

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After the Interview

We all focus so much on the efforts required to secure and prepare for an airline interview, but have you thought about what happens after the interview is over? Are you just going to sit by the phone waiting for it to ring? It may surprise you to know that your post-interview efforts can be every bit as important to getting hired as your pre-interview efforts. Here are some things to consider that will at least keep you busy so your eyes don’t fall out of your head from staring at the phone too hard.

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OBAP After-Action Report...The Case for Investing in Your Future Career

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) annual convention in Orlando, Florida. The event was widely attended by aviation companies and most major and regional airlines in addition to thousands of pilots looking to advance their aviation careers to the next level. This year Cockpit to Cockpit was invited as a guest speaker to present a free Military to Airline Transition seminar. We were able to present the seminar on four separate occasions throughout the convention and attendance was great. It was fun to meet some of my readers in person as well as many who had never heard of the book.

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Skeletons in the Closet

One of the scariest parts about applying for an airline job are those probing questions that you would rather not answer because you’re afraid the response you provide will sink your chances of getting hired. Hopefully this article will alleviate your fears because the reality is that most of these concerns exist only in your head. There are very few issues that are truly showstoppers with respect to getting hired by the airlines as long as you’re honest and upfront on your application. I will also teach you a technique for minimizing the impact of confessing your sins on the application. Hopefully, you will sleep better at night after reading this article knowing that your future as an airline pilot is still secure.

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Marc Himelhoch
You're Hired

Even I sometimes find it hard to keep up with ever changing Part 121 hiring landscape. Rumors abound and there is often conflicting information posted in various websites, blogs, threads, etc on the inter-web thing. Therefore I thought you might find it refreshing to read some information directly from Captain Rocky Calkins, Manager of Pilot Hiring at Southwest Airlines regarding the Southwest process for pilot hiring.

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Marc HimelhochComment
Getting a Job is a Full Time Job

If you ask anyone who has read Cockpit to Cockpit (www.cockpit2cockpit.com), they will tell you one of my recurring themes throughout the book is “getting a job is a full-time job.” Your success in career transition is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into it. Early in the book I discuss some of the reasons why the airlines love to hire military pilots, but many military pilots in transition make the mistake of thinking that their aviation experience alone will get them hired at a major airline. Many of us (myself included) quickly discovered in transition that flight hours/experience are just a small part of the total equation that translates to an interview invite and getting hired at a major airline. 

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Is the Grass Really Greener?

One of my Cockpit to Cockpit readers sent me an email recently in which he asked me “if the grass is really greener on the other side?” He is still on active duty with about 2.5 years left on his active duty service commitment and he wanted to know if the airline pilot lifestyle is worth leaving active duty. He sent me this email while serving in a deployed location in the Middle East during the Christmas holidays. My response to his question is written below. I know he’s not the only one out there asking themselves this question so I wanted to share my response here for all airline hopefuls to learn from:

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Marc HimelhochComment
How to Stay Cool When You're in the Pool

The excitement of receiving your first CJO from one of your top targeted airlines can be overwhelming.  It’s a very proud moment. You probably spent countless hours perfecting your résumé, cleaning up your logbooks, filling out applications, and preparing for the interview. You worked hard for this moment and now you want to share it with the world. The first thing most pilots do is change their Facebook profile picture to the tail flash of their new employer and blast out a social media message to their friends announcing the CJO. Here is just some food for thought on why you might want to hold off on making a social media announcement to the world.

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Marc HimelhochComment
Cockpit2Cockpit Book Launch Press Release

(Dallas, TX) — In honor of Veterans Day, Cockpit2Cockpit is now offered to pilots as the first tool designed to teach military pilots how to land a second flying career as airline pilots. This guide is a win-win for veteran pilots and an airline industry hungry for their valuable aviation experience in a time of unprecedented airline pilot retirements and airline growth.

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