Cargo(UPs) vs. People...lifestyle issues

wolfbayne

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I'm a Regional Captain considering a move to Air Tran vs. UPS. For the money, I know its a no-brainer. I've been trying to gather info on exactly how hard the night flying is. I've seen quotes that it takes 10 years off your life, etc. Do you guys transition back to days on your days off, or try to maintain your night time circadium cycle.
How hard would a commute from Atlanta be?
I'd like to stay in Atlanta so Air Tran is a good option there.
What are my chances with UPS with a rec letter from a managing pilot, with only 400 PIC 121 hours, since they post 1000 as minimum? Do they waiver the hours with a good rec letter?
I have a Masters degree and military helo background prior to civilian.
What are my chances?

Main question I'm trying to get answered is.....Is it really that crappy flying at night, like I hear from some people....the money is great, but is it worth it? Theres tons of UPS/FedEx pilots who obviously think so, I know....just trying to gather some info...
Thanks
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Better a day as a lion than a lifetime as a lamb
 

airwillydrvr

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Main question I'm trying to get answered is.....Is it really that crappy flying at night said:
different strokes for different folks.... The schedules here are so varried by fleet you could really fly what you want. Some fleets like the Airbus have A lot of day flying. Also consider that a lot of our flights are international, so what is night flying. I do Europe mostly because body clock wise is like day flying in the states. That being said for me when I do domestic night stuff it wipes me out, but guys do it. We have a lot of guys here that fly past 60.

Atlanta commute piece of cake...

Chance of interview.....? ... give it a try on HR seems to have the answers on that one.

Air Tran vs UPS.... I would take the company that earned over 4 Billion in NET profits last year. Stability is NICE.

AWD
 

2LT

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Ups...

"Not sure about the package car division recs but I can tell you that 4 pilot recs and 1 ACP rec won't assure you a job, even if you think the interview went OK. A phone call is good, a letter is bad, I now know. You get one or the other in less than two weeks. Not sure if I'm going to reapply in January. I've heard UPS doesn't ever call you again. Anyone out there interviewed, got the no thanks letter, reapplied, reinterviewed and got in? Let me know..."

71Kilo [quoted from a previous post]
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If I remember correctly, the new UPS application system won't even let you post your info absent the 1,000 TPIC requirement. The only option would be to check the "yes" box to bypass the 'filter,' and then subsequently post your correct time; which, in this case, would be less than what was required.

I think personal preference will dictate whether you enjoy night flying or not. For me, dealing w/ the "airport scene" would chip away at my golden years more so than anything else.
 
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Clyde

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.....
 
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FDXer

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I've been trying to gather info on exactly how hard the night flying is. I've seen quotes that it takes 10 years off your life, etc.

These years come from the BACK end. When the passenger pilot is sitting in a nursing home peeing himself for the last ten years of his life, we cargo guys will already be long gone. I say "die with dignity!"
 
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capt. megadeth

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If I remember correctly, the new UPS application system won't even let you post your info absent the 1,000 TPIC requirement. The only option would be to check the "yes" box to bypass the 'filter,' and then subsequently post your correct time; which, in this case, would be less than what was required.

.

I wouldn't answer yes if the answer is no....basically you are lying at that point and one thing UPS hates is people to lie to them. From what I hear, they will not budge on the 1000 PIC Turbine time unless maybe you are Lekite's son or something.

As far as the night flying goes....the hardest for me is the last day when I get done. I usually head right to the terminal to commute home and end up getting kicked off a few RJs. By the time I get on a flight and home (6-8 hours after getting to the terminal) I am completely wiped out. I usually stay up until 10 or 11 pm (so at that point I have been up 24 hours plus), sleep in and feel fine the next day. I think there are definitely trips that suck the life out of you but it's worth it to not have to deal with the passengers and many other things.
 

capt. megadeth

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These years come from the BACK end. When an Air Tran guy is sitting in a nursing home peeing himself for the last ten years of his life, us cargo guys will be long gone. I say "die with dignity!"

No doubt...:) Great point.
 

2LT

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UPS App...

I wouldn't answer yes if the answer is no....basically you are lying at that point and one thing UPS hates is people to lie to them. From what I hear, they will not budge on the 1000 PIC Turbine time unless maybe you are Lekite's son or something.

Mega,
Absolutely don't lie on the app!! I should've clarified that that was what I implied...

I.e., no way to get around it.

Regards...
 

robert_fla

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I'd like to stay in Atlanta so Air Tran is a good option there.

If your question is lifestyle. You would have a better home life not commuting, but if your looking for the lifestyle of the rich and famous - well you shouldn't be a pilot.

rob
 

CX880

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I'm a Regional Captain considering a move to Air Tran vs. UPS. For the money, I know its a no-brainer. I've been trying to gather info on exactly how hard the night flying is. I've seen quotes that it takes 10 years off your life, etc. Do you guys transition back to days on your
__________

Better a day as a lion than a lifetime as a lamb

You should already know. Are you a people person? Do you like airline terminals? Do you like to sleep from 10pm-7am? If you answered yes to all of the above then stick to pax flying. While there is money at UPS, the style of flying is not for everybody. And despite what people may say it's a proven fact that working 3rd shift will kill you faster. There are a lot of people who are happy making substancially less so they don't have to wake up at 1am for a 3am flight for years and years. I really am the last person that should be giving you advice but since a close friend of mine made the transition, thought I add my 2cents.
 

Airbum

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Main question I'm trying to get answered is.....Is it really that crappy flying at night, like I hear from some people....the money is great, but is it worth it? Theres tons of UPS/FedEx pilots who obviously think so, I know....just trying to gather some info...
Thanks
__________

maybe try living the work schedule of a Fedx/ups pilot on your vacation/days off? The international stuff might be hard to copy with the time zone factor but the sort stuff is easy to duplicate.

This should give you an idea what its like and if this is to hard to do ....... well that should be your answer.
 

ptarmigan

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[
Main question I'm trying to get answered is.....Is it really that crappy flying at night, like I hear from some people....the money is great, but is it worth it? Theres tons of UPS/FedEx pilots who obviously think so, I know....just trying to gather some info...
Thanks

Really depends on your body. To me, getting up at 5am (or earlier) to fly a day trip is harder than staying up until 5am. Also, do you fall asleep easily knowing you have to wake by a certain time? The nice part of the night flying is not having to set an alarm when you go to bed, at least for my sleep patterns. Also, International flying is just all over the map. If you want to ever do that, then prepare to do some flying at night. No way around it!
 

wolfbayne

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Thanks for the help, I'm just not sure if I am in fact prepared to get up at 3am night after night for years and years, so I'm trying to gather info on how difficult it is. I am a night person, I've thought, but for me that consists of staying up til 2am and sleeping til 10am. Thanks though, all this is helpful. Though I'm sure I'm being presumptuious at this point, as I haven't even got an interview or the hours yet as PIC, just doing some homework.
 

Drill Sgt. Dad

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I flew frieght for three years in Senecas and Navajos before venturing into the Part 121 world. I wish I had my 1000 PIC, I'd be banging down UPS doors right now. My personal prefernce. I am a night owl, always have and always will be. I enjoy flying the back end of the clock. I miss the middle of the night flying. I am going to get back into it whenever I can obtain that majical 1000 PIC turbine
 

FDXer

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Thanks for the help, I'm just not sure if I am in fact prepared to get up at 3am night after night for years and years, so I'm trying to gather info on how difficult it is.

Get up at 3am? If you have early morning departures at most airlines, you will be getting up at 3am so you can fly the 6am departures. Cargo pilots don't get up at 3am--we're already halfway through our night. We get up at 5pm and back to bed at 7am. I'll see you around dinner.
 

ptarmigan

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Thanks for the help, I'm just not sure if I am in fact prepared to get up at 3am night after night for years and years, so I'm trying to gather info on how difficult it is. I am a night person, I've thought, but for me that consists of staying up til 2am and sleeping til 10am. Thanks though, all this is helpful. Though I'm sure I'm being presumptuious at this point, as I haven't even got an interview or the hours yet as PIC, just doing some homework.

Certainly wouldn't be "for years" at FedEx, unless you chose that, and it wouldn't be like that anyway, as has been noted!
 

myq2u

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"I'm a Regional Captain considering a move to Air Tran vs. UPS. For the money, I know its a no-brainer. I've been trying to gather info on exactly how hard the night flying is."

I have two close friends at UPS (Md11 FO 3+ years @ UPS and B757/767 CA 10+ years) – both are laid back guys and definitely “people persons” (there goes the ‘peoples persons work only at SWA’ - theory). Also, they are definitely no kool-aid drinkers. They seem to be pretty happy where they are and as far as night flying, they said you get used to it quickly because the international flying is so diverse, you might be flying nights, you might be flying days, and there are many different kinds of trips so once you get better seniority you can bid what you like the most. What they like the best (besides their bank accounts :)) is the seemingly bright future for cargo guys (seemingly because obviously you just never know).

My Airtran friend (737 CA 5+ years @ AT) likes it as far as the people he’s working with. Also, they are growing fast so his seniority keeps improving. However, he doesn’t think his airline will be around 5 years from now! I was surprised to hear that but he honestly believes that his airline will be either bought out by someone, merge with someone, or even merge with more than one airline. Of course, he used to work for a legacy airline before he was furloughed so he might be slightly paranoid, who knows? Either way, when I called him he said that if UPS or Fedex “called me today, I'd be gone yesterday!” …And remember he likes it there. He said: “The stability is the most important thing to me and my family – I learned it the hard way..” By the way, another friend of mine at Jetblue feels the same way - he’s trying to go to Fedex or UPS and he even tried to attend several job fairs hoping for an interview.

Regarding night flying you said: “I've seen quotes that it takes 10 years off your life, etc.”

Yet maybe the real question is:

How many years off your life does a furlough, merger, bankruptcy, etc. take???

Also, my AT friend said that he misses international flying a whole lot - there’s only so much one can do in Akron, OH! ;) (well, I'm sure he also misses the international override pay, the international per-diem, etc) Either way, both airlines are great companies to work for but based on my friends' opinions I’d lean toward UPS.

Btw, the MD11 FO at UPS said that when he was doing recurrent not too long ago, one of the recruiters was asked about the 1000PIC rule and his answer was something like:” we might change many things in the future but we’ll never waive the 1000 turbine PIC requirement” So based on what you said earlier, you might not have a choice anyway; whatever you decide, good luck to you.
 
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Pilot Doc

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I've seen quotes that it takes 10 years off your life, etc.

I'm aware of no evidence that working nights shortens your life expectancy, but if it does, the effect is certainly much less than 10 years. Smoking causes that magnitude of an effect - I doubt night flying compares.
 

capt. megadeth

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Either way you go, I would not ever go to Airtran until you have at least 1500-2000 PIC turbine. I think Airtran mins are 500 PIC but just in case, it's good to have around 1500-2000 before you leave the left seat job, IMO.
 

Motive Flow

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Either way you go, I would not ever go to Airtran until you have at least 1500-2000 PIC turbine. I think Airtran mins are 500 PIC but just in case, it's good to have around 1500-2000 before you leave the left seat job, IMO.

Exactly. It's nice to have a cushion of Turbine PIC time just in case. That's for any Major job (not just AirTran).
 
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