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Paths to the Flight Deck

DEC, First Officer and Cadet Frequently Asked Questions

General Pilot Questions:

What is Piedmont Airline’s growth plan?

Piedmont Airlines aims to double in size within the next five years. This will involve expanding service/frequency to more airports, increasing the number of aircraft in it’s fleet to 100 Embraer 145s (ERJ-145), and doubling the lines of flying.

What insurance coverages does Piedmont offer?

Piedmont Pilots can choose from three different health insurance coverage options. These plans are designed to meet the needs and lifestyles of both frequent and infrequent users. Each plan comes with its own co-pay, co-insurance, deductible, and out-of-pocket maximum amounts.

When can I start contributing to my 401(k) and does Piedmont offer a company match based on my contributions?

Piedmont Pilots can begin contributing to their 401(k) on the first day of the quarter following their first six months of employment. After 12 months of employment, the team member will start receiving a company match based on their contribution. The company match percentage grows as team members increase their contribution amounts as well as their years of service.

What is Piedmont's commuter policy for pilots?

Piedmont provides a non-punitive commuter policy for pilots who book on at least two flights with available seats in an attempt to get to his or her domicile for an assignment. Piedmont pilots who commute in non-hub locations will be provided with four hotel nights per month to use at the start or end of their trip. Similarly, pilots commuting in a hub location will receive six hotel nights every quarter at the start or end of their trip.

How much sick time, vacation time and holidays are provided?

As a pilot working with Piedmont, you are entitled to a generous benefits package. This includes 48 hours of paid sick leave per year, up to 20 paid vacation days plus trip touch based on longevity and holiday pay. These benefits are designed to ensure that you have the time you need to take care of yourself and your loved ones while also enjoying some much-needed time off.

Direct Entry Captain

How does the Direct Entry Captain (DEC) program work?

Pilots with at least 950 hours of flying attributable to the upgrade requirements (FAR Part 121.436) can apply as a Captain. Successful candidates will earn Captain pay when they report for training. (Currently, there is no delay.)

I have Captain experience at another airline. Do I get credit for my experience?

Yes, pilots may bring their longevity from their previous employer where the flying was attributable to the upgrade requirements (FAR Part 121.436) to Piedmont and get credit for compensation and vacation.

Does being a DEC affect flow time?

No. The flow is based on company seniority only.

What bonuses are available for DECs?

If you are a pilot with 950 or more hours of flying experience that meets the requirements outlined in (FAR Part 121.436), you could receive a generous bonus of $100,000 as part of your first paycheck. Additionally, if you’re type-rated for the E135, E140, or E145 aircraft, you could earn an extra $50,000 bonus, making your total bonus $150,000.

How long will I sit on reserve as a Captain?

Direct Entry Captains are placed on the seniority list according to their date of hire (DOH). Due to our unique reserve rules and projected growth, Piedmont DECs can expect a relatively short time on short call reserve and a quick progression up the seniority list. Once a Piedmont captain completes 250 hours, they will be placed on long-call reserve for a minimum 12-hour call-out.

Will I get my base of choice as a Direct Entry Captain?

PHL and MDT are available immediately; CLT is approximately 5 to 6 months.

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First Officer and High Time First Officer

I have a year of experience at another Part 121 airline. Do I qualify for additional pay?

For pilots who have worked at a previous Part 121 airline, their time there can be credited. If they have completed one full year, they would begin at Step 2 of the First Officer pay scale at Piedmont, earning $100.50 per hour. If they have completed eighteen months, they would start at Step 3 of the First Officer scale, earning $108.00 per hour.

Can you provide information on the duration of reserve duty for a new First Officer?

After years of training, you’re ready to launch your pilot career and start building your hours and seniority. At Piedmont, as we grow there will be more flying available for all crew members. Trips are usually available to reserve pilots, so they can continue to build time for upgrade.

What is the current time to upgrade to captain?

Our current upgrade time is approximately 18 months.

What is a typical flight schedule for first officers?

The trips vary and are bid each month. Typical trips are three to four days in length with two to three days off. All pilots receive a minimum of 12 days off per month.

After joining Piedmont, what is the current flow time to American Airlines?

Currently our estimated flow time is five years. Under the new pilot contract agreement, captains will flow through to mainline at five years or be paid at top of scale ($213.75/hour) until they flow.

What bonuses are available for HTFOs?

If you are a pilot with 500-949 hours of flying experience that meets the requirements outlined in FAR (FAR Part 121.436), you could receive a generous bonus of $75,000 as part of your first paycheck. Additionally, if you’re type-rated for the E135, E140, or E145 aircraft, you could earn an extra $50,000 bonus, making your total bonus $125,000.

Earn more through Piedmont’s Referral Program, with a $10,000 referral bonus for every qualified Direct Entry Captain and a $5,000 referral for every qualified High Time First Officer.

Does Piedmont currently sponsor work visas or E3 visas?

We do not currently sponsor work visas. Candidates must be a United States citizen or have a permanent resident card with unrestricted travel in and out of the United States.

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When are applications being accepted for the Cadet Program?

Applications for the Cadet Program should be completed via after you complete your Commercial Multi-Engine with Instrument Rating and 400 hours of total flight time. New cadets can be admitted into the program with 500 hours of total time.

As a cadet, do I have to work at a particular school or have a particular flying job?

No. Applicants can build their time anywhere, any way they want, if they are gaining a minimum of 60 hours a month.

As a cadet, is there pilot mentoring?

Being a cadet provides you with an opportunity to network with Piedmont pilots, Piedmont pilot recruiters and other cadets. Cadets are also invited to various exclusive cadet events.

How long does it take a cadet in the program to become a Piedmont First Officer?

As a Piedmont Cadet you are guaranteed a seat in First Officer class with no additional interview.  How long it takes a cadet to transition to First Officer depends on how many hours are being built each month towards ATP minimums.

Does Piedmont still pay for the ATP/CTP course for cadets?

Yes. Once ATP minimums are reached as a cadet, Piedmont will pay for the ATP/CTP course, including the FAA ATP written exam.

I applied for the Cadet Program on AirlineApps and received a message that Piedmont is not currently hiring cadets. Will I need to reapply once the Cadet Program officially opens?

No, we are currently hiring a small number of cadets and have a high volume of cadet applications.  Recruiters are continuing to process cadet applications.

As a cadet, am I eligible for company benefits?

Cadets are not considered employees and do not receive company benefits. However, Cadets will receive financial assistance as they build time, in addition to 60,000 AAdvantage miles at the time of enrollment and 60,000 miles at the transition to First Officer. Cadets are also invited to exclusive Piedmont events.

I am interested in becoming a Cadet, but still have hours to build before reaching the 400-hour minimum. How can I be involved and stay connected with Piedmont Airlines in the meantime?

Piedmont has an active Cadet Ambassador Program that requires no minimum number of hours to join. The program was established for future cadet applicants interested in networking and attending events alongside pilot recruiters to spread awareness about flying for Piedmont. Ambassadors will have the opportunity to network with other aviation professionals around the country and will receive invitations to exclusive Piedmont events.

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