Dispatchers

randt

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2009
114
1
18
I am going to try to get this sub forum going, and would love to hear from all current or past Dispatchers. Also, are there any topics anybody is interested in discussing. (Of course, we do have a regs section for those questions.) Let's introduce ourselves.

I am a Dispatcher for a small on demand 135 cargo Airline, although as of Monday, we have downed our aircraft for 90 days to coincide with the UAW. I've been a dispatcher my entire "adult" life (10 years) and LOVE it!
 

aviator

Junior Member
Jun 18, 2008
123
1
18
NH
I am currently the manager of dispatch (SOC) for a major. That is until Saturday! Been working for the airline for 13.5 years. Start OKC May 14th.
 

Hold_West

Rookie
Mar 24, 2009
32
0
6
I was dispatch manager for a small 121 operator for a year. Still on board as a part-time dispatcher.
 

luna75

I am THE Pocket Ninja
Jun 18, 2008
1,510
4
38
40
farmingdale ny
what do you guys do exactly? i have to admit i didn't even know about this job until i began looking to become an atc years ago...
 

randt

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2009
114
1
18
Dispatchers do all kinds of things. Our main job is to prepare the Pilots for flight and gather all the information necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft. Then of course, the Pilots will safely operate the plane and the mechanics will have ensured the aircraft is properly maintaned for safety.

We prepare flight plans, based on winds and weather, plan the amount of necessary fuel, check the weather to ensure it is safe for arrival and departure, and plan any alternates if the weather is below minimums. We check for any NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen, which give all kinds of information about airport construction, runway closures, runway conditions, etc) at all airports of planned operation. Many Dispatchers will prepare the weight and balance to ensure the aircraft is not out of CG (center of gravity).

While you have to initially learn how to do all of this by hand, these days, everything is computerized so it only takes a fraction of the time it used to.

The duties of Dispatchers vary by the type of company you work for. I work for a small cargo company, so my duties are quite different than those of a dispatcher who works for Southwest Airlines, whose duties will be different than somebody who works for UPS, whose duties will be different than a Dispatcher working for Flexjet.

Any other Dispatchers notice anything I may have left out?
 

thatgrrrl

Newcomer
Jul 23, 2009
1
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1
I live in MN and have been thinking about the college faa approved school. I would love reviews of the various schools out there so I can make an informed choice
 

Davo

Trusted Contributor
Mar 14, 2009
699
3
18
I am not a dispatch nor plan to be but I do go to a school that has a dispatch degree program. Green River Community College has a program. There is only one dispatch class at the school but other aviation classes prepare you for it, I imagine this is normal for most schools. I have thought about getting certified as a back up for ATC since the certification is good for life but I do not think dispatch is for me. From my understanding to be certified you must take a written test, verbal question and answer session, and do a flight plan. The verbal and flight plan can take up to 5 hours to complete through the person that certifies at our school, not sure if that is average but thought I would throw that out there. The written test is just like most FAA standardized tests and has a big multiple choice question bank that you will be tested on, 100 or so questions for the test, the bank is much bigger. Since this is the case I am not sure any one school could prepare you any better than another school. If you can read charts, do the calculations for the flight plan accounting for weather, understand the regulations, and test well you should be fine. If you are interested in GRCC, two year school in Washington state, George Comollo is the aviation director as well as a former dispatcher.
 

BlueStreak

Newcomer
Feb 10, 2009
4
0
1
MI
I got my dispatcher certificate through Airline Ground Schools in CVG (2005) and thought it was great. It worked well for me because they have a distance learning program for those with previous aviation experience. I studied for the written exam on my own (with the books they sent) and then took the written test. Then I went to CVG for 1 week of classroom instruction, practical test prep, and the "check ride". The instructors were all guys from Comair, United, etc. On the last day of class we also had Flight Options there conducting interviews. They hired quite a few from my class, but luckily I had already received a job offer from another company prior to attending class.

I also hear good things about Sheffield School of Aeronautics and I believe Flight Safety has a dispatch course too. It basically comes down to how much you want to spend, and how much time you have available. I didn't have 4-6 weeks available to attend an all-classroom course since I was working full time, so the distance learning/1 week classroom course worked great for my needs.
 

MTCTIGUY

Trusted Contributor
Jun 19, 2008
628
1
18
The 'Boro
I'm going to MTSU right now, and we probably have the most complicated program out of all those out there right now. It's actually a bachelors degree program, so its four years of school, all kinds of aviation classes, and then 2 dispatch courses. (1 for the ADX written and 1 for the practical.) We only graduate around 20 students a year and of those maybe about 5 actually do dispatch. Most end up doing ATC or getting a graduate degree. As I write this, I'm going over the performance chapter of the ATP book. ADX exam on Friday the 13th. Wish me luck!
 

DODO_STNX

Trusted Member
Aug 27, 2009
416
0
16
Chicago
I just received a packet from Sheffield. Does anyone know what the Regional airlines typically hire people at salary wise... I know the internet everywhere says like 24k -36k..

Does anyone care to divulge what they were actually given starting out? Thanks
 

MTCTIGUY

Trusted Contributor
Jun 19, 2008
628
1
18
The 'Boro
Received a job offer yet?
Dispatch was really more of a bi-product of my CTI degree. Although technically it was my degree program, the primary reason I went to MTSU was to get the CTI certification. I'm in school for a graduate degree right now, but if ATC doesn't work out, I will most definitely consider it.