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Question for regional airline pilots...

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
I was just curious to hear how the average upgrade time to captain has changed at your company. Could you please list the airline and the Pre and Post 9-11 upgrade times?

Thank you very much!

Well, at my US AIR express beech 1900 and Saab operator, we were upgrading in the Beech at around 2000 hours total, with 800-1000 in the airplane..

Word just came down that we are no longer going to upgrade anyone with less than 2500 total because of all the "quality" high time resumes out there. Since we're not union, off the street captain hiring is the norm here. I guess it's cheaper to do that than upgrade from within.. Not too sure how many of those people with "quality" high time resumes are going to want to break their backs in a C model 1900, that on an average day, has more stickers on it that an elementary school kids lunch box.
At Continental Express things work a little bit backwards . Captains are being trained as FOs. I guess that is the exception rather than the norm. I'm sure this might be the case at a few other "regionals." My guess is that the upgrade time from EMB-145 FO to captain will be a bit over three years. Pre 9/11, it was about 20 months.
At ASA, they have been doing mostly transitions from the E120 to the CRJ. However, I saw 2 people on the upgrade list to E120 CA in DFW. We are being tole the company expects E120 upgrades to resume this summer. Based on seniority, it looks like you would have to have been here about 2 years just because no upgrades have occured in a while.
I was expecting to upgrade within 8 months of starting here prior to 9/11. Now, who knows... maybe 2 years FROM NOW, which makes the upgrade almost 3 years. With the merger and the possible new route structure, who knows......
At PSA the upgrade time for new classes right now are at the 2 1/2 - 3year mark. This should change since we are taking on new airplanes handed down from Air Whisky. We are extremely short staffed on Captains right now and the company is always slow to upgrade. We are taking on 7 airplanes right now. 2 in Feb, 2 in March, 2 in April, and 1 more in May. There is rumors that we will also be taking on 6 more airplanes by the end of the year, but that announcement probably won't come out to us until the last min as always. We should be hiring pretty rapidly soon. We only had 1 guy show up for class the other day. We also hired back about 20 furloughed pilots from other carriers. Were looking at getting a far below industry contract so I would stay away if I were you. Also Stephen Wolf (CEO US Airways) said none of the wholly owned carriers will be getting regional jets because US Airways doesn't have the capital to purchase them. That's another reason to probably stay away. Your better off at Piedmont or Allegheny they make on average 8 dollars more an hour than us.
Comair upgrade is about the same at 2.5 years. It sounds like we are one of the few that is upgrading, from what you guys are saying. It may go down as they are buying jets, and I think Delta is going to have us take over for Skywest and perhaps ACJet to keep us within the Delta mainline scope clause. Hope this helps.

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