Flying the Line for Air Wisconsin

Pilots who have been trained by ATP are everywhere in the world of aviation, but they are most popular in the airline industry. Chris Patrick is a good example of an ATP Graduate set on a successful career track by making sure that he received the best flight training available. Chris has gone on to upgrade to Captain with his first airline, Air Wisconsin, and there is no doubt that he will achieve his career goals in short order. We would like to share more about Chris and his reply to some questions we asked him:

How was your transition from training/instructing at ATP to your present flying job?
I had one of the smoothest transitions to airline training. I thank ATP and the training guidelines they have designed for this. Things like checklist usage and CRM are taught early on at training at ATP and this carries on into airline training. What I found most beneficial at ATP was the RJ course. The course gave me a solid foundation of how to operate in the airline environment. It helped learn CRM, how to operate an autopilot, emergency procedures, amongst many other things. If I had not gone to ATP or taken the jet course airline training would have been much tougher!

What kind of aircraft make up your fleet?
At Air Wisconsin we have 71 CRJ-200’s.

What sort of routes do you fly?
I fly mainly in and out of busy northeast hubs including Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Boston. We also do some southeast flying in and out of Charlotte. While I mainly see northeast cities, we also have a few routes out in the midwest stretching as far as Des Moines and Kansas City.

What kind of pay are you making?
I just upgraded so I got a nice big pay raise. I am making $74.00 an hour which is fifth year Captain pay. Even as a First Officer I feel I did well. Air Wisconsin starts First Officers out at $27.23 an hour, and after one year it increases to to $40.63/block hour which is much higher than many other regionals year 4 or 5 First Officer pay! There are also open trips available to pick up which pay a premium.

What is a typical work day for you?
As a new Captain I work reserve which gives me 12 scheduled days off each month. I usually end up not getting called to fly about 3 days a month so I have 15 days off in the month. Being a reserve pilot means I am on call for certain times of the day and can be called to fly in as little as two hours. This rarely happens to me though, and I usually have plenty of notice before I need to report to work.

What is a good example of a great experience you have had while working there?
There are so many great experiences every day! I think one of my favorite things would be whenever I meet a celebrity.

What is your wait going to be before upgrade?
I recently upgraded in just a little over 4 years.

What opportunities for advancement do you have there?
I have been very lucky to advance into the training department at Air Wisconsin. I currently teach Cockpit Procedures Training to new hire candidates and upgrade pilots. I could potentially teach in the simulator too, but I like teaching CPT because it allows me to do training while still flying the line.

What is your career goal for the future?
I aspire to work at a larger carrier, but haven’t decided which one yet. I feel every airline has significant advantages that need to be weighed before making a choice.

Thank you Chris, we are sure that the Majors will be happy to have you onboard.