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This manual is THE guide to preparing for an airline career!

Curious about the unique Airline Transition Manual? Take a look below and review the expanded Table of Contents.

Chapter 1: The Airline Industry - A Primer:

An overview of the airline industry structure including majors, regionals, cargo carriers, and overseas ex-pat flying, along with a short recap of the industry since 9/11 as well as projections for a post-coronavirus recovery.

Chapter 2: Work Life - What It’s Like to be an Airline Pilot:

What flying for an airline is really like – lineholders, reserves, airline structure and hierarchy, in addition to junior manning, senior manning, working with flight attendants and managing your quality of life.

Chapter 3: Airline Interviews - Getting to Know the Applicant:

Tips and tripwires along with what to expect when selling yourself during this meet and greet process and what the airlines are really looking for.

Chapter 4: Airline Indoctrination - Getting to Know the Company:

Meeting your employer, the union, and your new career.

Chapter 5: Training Survival - Running the Gauntlet:

Making it through the gauntlet of aircraft systems, simulator training, initial operating experience, line checks and recurrent training.

Chapter 6: Operational Knowledge - Airport, ATC, and Airline Operations:

A quick and easy gouge on airline, ATC, and airport operations including many major hubs, gate agents, maintenance, de-icing, what to do with ramp and metering, and a basic strategy for handling emergencies.

Chapter 7: Day 1 - Getting Started on the Line:

Building a mental checklist and prepping for your first trip on the line flying passengers or cargo, including meeting your line check pilot and making sure you have your uniform, flight kit, and a parking plan for your car.

Chapter 8: Aeromedical - Examiners, Medical Certificates, and Time Off:

An overview of FAA medical certificates, aeromedical examiners, health issues, company insurance plans, medical leaves of absences, and suggestions for maintaining your certificate.

Chapter 9: Alcohol and Drugs - How to Get in Trouble and Get Help:

Finding the balance and understanding the risks of substance abuse and dependency at the airlines, including over-the-counter sleep aids, along with getting the help you need to preserve your life, family, and career.

Chapter 10: Non-Working Travel - Jumpseating, Deadheading, and Non-Revving:

The how-to on getting to work and back home, including the differences between stand-by, positive space, deadheading, jumpseating, and non-rev travel, as well as the requirements, pay, and protocol associated with each.

Chapter 11: Navigating Reserve - On-Call for the Airline:

Sorting out long call, short call, field standby and how to deal with being on-call for the airline by understanding reserve rules and your contract.

Chapter 12: Bidding your Schedule - The Life Scheduling Process:

An introduction to the tools and software (whether using a preferential bidding system or line bidding system) used for generating monthly flight schedules, in addition to vacation, vacancies, displacements, and furlough.

Chapter 13: Sleep - An Airline Guide:

The chapter on where and how to afford getting some rest, including sleep rooms, hotels, crashpads, and what it means to be fatigued.

Chapter 14: Unions and Contracts - The What and Why of Organized Labor:

An introduction to the heavily unionized airline industry and what it means to work under the Railway Labor Act, a collective bargaining agreement, and as a member of an organized labor group.

Chapter 15: Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) - What you Need to Know:

What you really need to know to help you through the first year or so at an airline, including highlights from FARs 61, 91, 121, and 117.

Chapter 16: Security - Law and Customs Enforcement in the Airline Industry:

DHS, CBP, TSA, KCM, and other security acronyms and agencies along with explanations (to the best of our ability) and recommendations for getting quickly through security and customs without running afoul of the law.

Chapter 17: Probation - Getting Through Your First Year:

Getting through the first year, including time off, sick calls, FMLA, MPLA, vacancy bids, upgrade, aircraft transition training, and more.

Chapter 18: Veterans Affairs - A Quick Reference for Service Members:

USERRA, VEVRAA, and things to think about when managing Guard and Reserve duty alongside an airline career.

Chapter 19: FAR Part 141 to Airline Transition - What Should I be Doing Now?:  

A chapter dedicated to navigating the distance between college and the airlines, delivered in a Q&A format.

Chapter 20: Weekly Deployments - A Guide for Spouses and Significant Others:

A Guide for airline spouses, partners, significant others and family members dealing with their pilot being away from home for several days a week or longer. 

Chapter 21: Transitioning to the United States - An Overview for Foreign Pilots and Students:

An Overview for Foreign Pilots and Flight Students: A resource for those considering training and working in the US, including certificate conversion, visas, and preparing yourself for the practical and cultural shift.

Chapter 22: The Contingency Plan - Being Prepared for Career Downturns:

Because this is a cyclical industry, this chapter encourages you to have a plan for when things in this industry don’t turn out like you want or expect them to.

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