How have your responsibilities and schedules as a professional pilot changed due to the coronavirus epidemic? Also, how is the company you fly for managing the epidemic?
Currently, in my 70s, so, as a DPE, I am sheltering at home. I’m not carrying out practical tests until I can determine that the flight schools are a safe, infection-free environment. I also fly for a major international company which has ceased flying executives until the pandemic begins clearing. In the meantime, we are focusing on maintenance and training that fall under the coronavirus guidelines for safety.
ATP/CFI. Challenger 350 & Mitsubishi MU2
Mission Air Services
For the most part, we’re not flying. I fly for a Part 91 private company. When we do have to fly, we use extra disinfecting procedures pre-, during, and post-flight to reduce the chances of cross-contamination. We also make sure we have a plan b & c in the event of an ATC zero situation, service shortage, or any other possible scenario. Another concern of ours is flight planning with FBOs and complying with local ordinances. In this current environment, you can’t take past services for granted. For example, rental cars are not available at some small airports.
ATP. Citation Bravo, King Air 250 & Piper Aerostar
MDM Air, Play Therapy Aviation & King Aviation
We are bound by the wishes of the aircraft owner – his plane, his rules. My duties have moved more towards keeping assets and crew ready for when this situation passes and we are once again able to fly with regularity.
ATP/CFII. Hawker 800XP
There has been no change in my responsibilities, just a stoppage in schedules. However, my principal is elderly, so he is sheltered at home for the duration of this pandemic. There are no known travel plans currently. Due to total inactivity, there is no impact in managing the epidemic. On the plus side, as the sole employee in the flight department, I still receive my salary!
ATP/CFII. Sabreliner 65
Grand Rapids MI
Our schedule has temporarily gone to a 15 days on, 13 off in comparison to an 8 on, 6 off. This allows for fewer crew changes. We have also started a pod concept to keep aircraft based near the pilot’s home to reduce airline travel. Cleaning between flights is more in-depth and we now include passenger health screening as well.
ATP. Citation Excel/XLS
Hobe Sound FL
My responsibilities and availability have not changed. However, there has been significantly less flying. The focus has been more on taking the opportunity to get busy with maintenance items and awareness of preservation issues that need to be considered for aircraft that sit for longer periods than usual. We’re a very small company with 26 years in business. We’ve seen worse downturns and have reserves.
ATP/CFI/A&P. Phenom 300 & Centurion T210
President & Dir of Operations
Practicing crew resource management is especially important in today’s potentially distracting times. I have always been very crew-oriented, but I pay extra attention to duty days with rescheduling, and I make sure the entire crew has everything they need to be safe and effective. My schedule, on the other hand, has seen a drastic reduction in flying – about an 80% drop.
ATP. Airbus 321/320/319 & King Air 90
Indian Trail NC
Employer has staggered the work hours and has a 1 worker per vehicle policy. I fly a restricted category helicopter for mosquito control, and normally I have minimal contact with the other employees. In the future, a review by those several pay grades above me may be done with the usual and customary conclusions.
ATP/CFI/A&P. Scott’s Bell 47
Board of County Commissioners
Kenneth City FL
Responsibilities haven’t changed. However, our schedule has been reduced dramatically. We’ve canceled all upcoming flights and have moved up maintenance to better make use of the downtime.
ATP. Falcon 900
Snails Pace Aviation
Bay Shore NY
Our pilot roster had to be cut from 19 to 12, as well as several office staff. Management has had pay cuts. Elite Jets Charter is engaging our pilot group with home-study, with additional educational and weekly phone meetings to maintain a high level of communication. Maintenance is carrying out needed and additional services on the aircraft. All management is working daily to plan for the hopefully robust return of GA flying.
ATP. Phenom 300/Legacy 500
Elite Jets Charter
Since we’re a medevac operation, we already have strict protocols in place for dealing with airborne pathogens. Therefore, our job hasn’t changed. However, considering the Covid-19 virus, we’ve added more layers of protection for our flight crews and patients.
ATP. Learjet 35/31
NetJets is one of the finest, most professional firms I have ever worked for. They have been highly proactive, financially strong, have communicated often, and honestly. My responsibilities have remained the same, even though flights are down considerably. In the meantime, I have been keeping up with training requirements.
ATP. Citation Latitude
The Colony TX
My workload so far has not diminished as a Global 7500 instructor. This is due to the high demand for initial type rating training. I can see a sharp decline in pilot training, but we still have plenty of work at my company due to personal qualifications to meet in the short-term.
ATP. Global 7500
Montréal QC, Canada
During this time, my focus has turned to more readiness and preservation of the assets, and to monitor closely currency for all crewmembers. Everyone is trying to monitor the daily changes and so we’re ready to go if called upon. Our company has been very understanding of the situation, and has decided to keep everyone onboard. In turn, they are asking us to do our part to have the assets and ourselves ready when things turn around.
ATP. Gulfstream G650ER/G280
The Kraft Group
Extra time has been spent on the ground focusing on engine runs and system runs to keep the plane in good working condition for when we can fly again.
ATP. Legacy 600
Ready with our sterile aircraft, but in our business not everyone can see us when we fly in. We have the same responsibilities and duties to the people who pay our wages. We, the flight crew, are incredibly grateful to be employed.
ATP/Helo/CFII. Citation SII
We’ve had to relocate some passengers to where they can wait for this situation to pan out. We’ve also made use of this time to put the plane in the shop and take care of some upcoming mx.
ATP. King Air 200
Due to the stay home order for Washington State, our schedule has come to a halt. However, almost all our 20+ companies are still producing because they are essential.
Comm-Multi-Inst. Phenom 300 & King Air 200
Air Service LLC
My responsibilities now tend, as much as possible, to maintain social distance by doing tasks such as duty sign-in and flight planning remotely as opposed to doing it in high traffic areas. As far as schedule, our customers are flying less, so my scheduling is about 30–40% lighter than normal. For my company’s approach to this epidemic, we screen pilots and passengers more. In addition, we wear face masks a much is possible. Also, our heavy helos have now HEPA filters in the ventilation system, and there are barriers between cabin and cockpit partitions.
ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139