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Air Whiskey

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Well-known member
Mar 30, 2002
Just wondering what life's really like at Air Wisconsin. I know the pay rates but what about quality of life.

1. Do you still need an internal recommendation? What aircraft can a new hire expect? How long on reserve? What is the callout time? How soon until a newby can hold Denver?

2. How many days can the average line holder expect off every month? Mostly 2,3,and4 day trips? Is the typical schedule 4 on and 3 off? Are the days manageable or can you expect everyday to be 14 hrs with 6 legs? Whats the average time between legs?

3. Does pay start from date of hire? Family insurance? Hotel during training? How much $$ can you realistically expect to earn the first year? Second year? How much is per diem per hour? What about the pension? Is the 401k matched? Do some really senior guys have a "sweet" deal or is everyone worked to death?

4. Does the company back you up or are you hung out to dry on a routine basis? What is the general mood toward mgt?

5. Are the lines commutable? Are the lines from month to month pretty much the same or does scheduling "reinvent" the wheel every month?

6. And finally, any rumors when AWAC will be hiring again? And what can the realistic mins be expected to be?

I know I have alot of questions but I really don't want to make another bad move in my career. I have given up on the majors and really am looking for a regional that I can retire from someday. I thought I was there but the company subsequently fell apart. I really appreciate any information that can be provided. Thank you.:)
Have you looked into Comair? With your hours and experience, they should take a pretty good look at you. And if you have given up on the majors, I believe you are eligible for retirement after 15 years at Comair.
questions answered

You have a lot of questions that I will try and answer for you. However, I have to get going on a trip for four days and will get back to you later if you just keep checking this posting catagory. All lines have a guarantee of 75 hours and 12 days off a month. Typically they are pretty good. I am not very senior but have a line and mostly get 14 to 15 days off a month and the lines are almost always commutable. We have rigs with a daily lookback unlike Comair with a monthly lookback. It is not uncommon to fly 80 hours and get credited with over 100 due to these rigs. At this time the lines are not build that big because of so many changes and cut backs in flying (at least for the 328, I know very little about eh CRj) but about a year ago they were fat on pay. Time and a half for open time, extention, and junior manning. The rigs are 3 hour daily minimum, 1 hour for every two hours on duty, and 1 hour for every 3.5 hours of trip time. What this translates into is that if you are on duty for 14 hour you will get paid for seven hours no matter what you fly. A standup picked up from open time will pay you 9 hours for less than 13 hours away from home. The company pays guarantee from day one, picks up the hotel, and pays 24 hour perdiem while in training. Recommendations are VERY helpful. Denver is the most likely base at this time. However we are not hiring for now. The aircraft you are put into depends on what they need and your age in class. The older guys get the first pick. I have never seen a turn at an outstation on a schedule with less than 25 minutes to do it in and more in the hubs. The company treats you very good. Free write your owns on United and all United Express carriers. 401K with matching. Company funded health insurance. They pay part you pay part. Uniform and headset allowances. Most trips in the Dornier are 3 for 4 days. Cannot build 5 day trips and have to have at least 3 days off in a row if you work 6 days. Scheduling usually avoids putting two trips together. perdiem is 1.50/hour and goes up with the contract. That is one thing I wish we had gotten more on in our contract. Management is very conservative and has always payed its bills. That is how the company runs. They treat us very well. The only major complaint I have seen is that they dont always let the employees know what the plans are for the future. That is probably because they are not a public company and therefor dont have to let anyone know, i.e. shockholders. I just talked to the uniform guy who sells us our stuff and he was going on and on how he has never had Air Wisconsin short him or pay him late in the last 25 years. He compared us to a few other well known airlines who have not payed bills on time or at all. I personally, feel it is a very stable company. I my class we had pilots from Great Lakes, COMAIR, American Eagle, Gulfstream, Cape Air, Trans States, Horizon, and a few 135 companies. The word is out that this is a nice place to work. All these people enjoy the work a lot more than at the other companies. Glad to help. Ask more questions.
I guess 2 weeks of indoc would be in Appleton. But what about aircraft training? Where is each fleet trained and how long is the training? Do you typically get paired with a another new hire or an upgrade? Can you bid from one fleet to another or are you seat locked?

Also what about health insurance and travel benefits? From DOH?

Just a few more questions off the top of my head.
Lemme try to help:

The Indoc is in Appleton for two weeks. Much of that is folks from managment comming down to show you how to do the passes, insurance, bidding, etc, etc. Also in those two weeks you spend 4 (?) hours with Dispatch watching the other side work.

Both Insurance and travel bennies start from D.O.H.

Training is tough to tell these days. We're building a training center in Denver and most if not all of AirWis training will take place there once the building is complete. Not sure of the exact date, but I thought it was sometime this summer. In the old days (pre 9-11) Training had new folks paired up with each other in the sim or aircraft.

The bidding across fleets is kinda touchy right now. Many (Most?) of the pilots here have been displaced recently. Not a bad thing for many, but less than good for others. With the reduction of the 328, a L.O.A. has been done between the company and the pilots. It describes a seat lock for 328 Capts once the fleet is reduced to a certain size. F.O. to F.O. spots were not penalized recently for 328 guys, again, due to the reduction of the fleet. I don't know what the rules are right now for "normal operations". I think that once you jump a seat, you're stuck for something like 18 to 24 months in that aircraft and you can't jump F.O. seats more than twice.

just wondering if you guys at Air Wisconsin have started interviewing again. I sent in a resume back in Jan. and was told no hiring. Has there been an upswing?

An upswing of sorts. The latest projected staffing for the pilots of AWAC included something like 18 postitions more than we currently have as active pilots. It is not unreasonable to assume those 18 seats would be filled by 18 of the 39 furloughed AirWis guys and gals. The company still has the official position that they are NOT planning furlough classes or taking steps to gear up for their return. But they're just trying to minimize rumors. Some folks will be back by the end of the year. We don't have official word about our 2003 fleet plans, so I can't say we'll be hiring then. But if I had to guess, I'd say so.


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