CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain

Airline Woes

Posted by Jeffrey on April 14, 2008

It’s Monday and I’m sitting Reserve for SkyWest Airlines…AGAIN!  If you don’t remember, sitting “reserve” for an airline, my airline inparticular, means that I am on duty between 9am and 9pm.  Between those hours I can be called to go fly.  I’ve had a lot of time home this month, to say the least.  It wouldn’t be that bad if I could focus on other things like starting another business to make some extra cash and have a fall-back if something were to happen to my airline or to me.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with how airlines work, here is a little Airline 101 for you.

I fly TOTALLY at the mercy of the FAA, my body, and my airline…in that order…with regards to whether I have a career or not.  The FAA, like any self-righteous, beauracratic, government organization says their purpose is to enforce the regulations and laws regarding all things aviation.  Fair enough.  But, the problem is they have a tendency to enforce through an iron fist instead of through cooperation.  If you break a FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation), like going too fast below 10’000′ MSL (mean sea level) or not stopping at an assigned altitude, you are subject to a violation and having your certificate revoked.  Now before you think that I am totally against the FAA, let me interject that the FAA does A LOT of good things and has A LOT of good regulations.  But my point is this…at any time…through administrative action imposed on me for breaking a FAA regulation…I could be suspend or lose my flying privileges.  Now!  Do I have any recourse?  Sure…I have what we call an ASAP program.  It’s a safety program that allows me, when I break a regulation, to voluntarily report it.  The incident is submitted to a review board and they either dismiss it and no action is taken against me, or it is reported to my chief pilot and administrative action is taken whether it is a note in my records or worse.  So, there is protection…but again I fly but by the grace of the FAA!

Later…still sitting reserve…

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