news story - underpaid pilots future of civil aviation

Member for

7 years 6 months

Posts: 586

Profile picture for user 27vet

Member for

9 years 11 months

Posts: 2,657

There is certainly no shortage of pilots as some articles would have you believe.

Member for

15 years

Posts: 997

There is also a queue of youngsters that will pay for their own training and then fly for peanuts. Behind them are more youngsters that will fly for even less. Glad I'm an engineer! Rgds Cking
Profile picture for user 27vet

Member for

9 years 11 months

Posts: 2,657

There are unscrupulous operators who CHARGE inexperienced pilots to get experience (500 hours glass cockpit/jet/multi etc). Because most airlines these days want those kind of hours and already have the type rating before they will look at you and I despise them for that. If that sort of experience was necessary, Neil Armstrong and his colleagues would never have landed on the moon. It also insinuates that less experienced pilots or non type rated pilots are more likely to have an accident or incident, which is hogwash as we have seen with some recent crashes.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 527

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?133734-Petition-Stop-quot-Pay-to-Fly-quot UGent report and conference material: https://www.eurocockpit.be/pages/conference-atypical-forms-of-aircrew-employment-in-the-european-aviation-industry
There are unscrupulous operators who CHARGE inexperienced pilots to get experience (500 hours glass cockpit/jet/multi etc). Because most airlines these days want those kind of hours and already have the type rating before they will look at you and I despise them for that. If that sort of experience was necessary, Neil Armstrong and his colleagues would never have landed on the moon. It also insinuates that less experienced pilots or non type rated pilots are more likely to have an accident or incident, which is hogwash as we have seen with some recent crashes.
I'm currently staying put as an FI while studying some more. Not ready to "surrender" to FR just yet..
Profile picture for user 27vet

Member for

9 years 11 months

Posts: 2,657

Signed!
Profile picture for user Deano

Member for

16 years 3 months

Posts: 2,623

There are unscrupulous operators who CHARGE inexperienced pilots to get experience (500 hours glass cockpit/jet/multi etc). Because most airlines these days want those kind of hours and already have the type rating before they will look at you and I despise them for that. If that sort of experience was necessary, Neil Armstrong and his colleagues would never have landed on the moon. It also insinuates that less experienced pilots or non type rated pilots are more likely to have an accident or incident, which is hogwash as we have seen with some recent crashes.
There is also a queue of youngsters that will pay for their own training and then fly for peanuts. Behind them are more youngsters that will fly for even less. Glad I'm an engineer! Rgds Cking
Sorry Ralph, but there's only one section of society to blame for this, and that is the pilots/students/cadets themselves. 99.99% of things we do in life is optional, and that includes prostituting yourself just to fly an aeroplane. Unfortunately in America it took the crash of the Colgan Q400 to bring about a legislation change in hiring practices and quite frankly Europe needs to adopt a similar tact before there's a smoking hole on one of our doorsteps. The issue is that America has the General Aviation infrastructure to cope with the 1500hr rule, Europe does not. However that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a limit. We should adopt the old 700hr CPL rule, that would be a start. Unfortunately for the UK in particular we suffer from the European free labour laws which is a by-product of being in the Eurozone. No matter how many UK citizens decide not to undertake training, there's a plethora of cadets that walk around like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AOfbnGkuGc that are flocking to the UK to fill the gaps. Cking alludes to it above, the wannabe gravy train will stop at nothing to fly aeroplanes and it's no wonder airlines are offering pathetic contracts, I don't blame them one bit. If everyone turned down the contracts then there is only one way they'd have to go, that's upwards. It's simple economics. Why do you pay 3 x the price for your roses on valentine's day? Because us dumb humans are prepared to pay it. Why does a cup of tea cost 3 x the normal amount in a service station? Because us dumb humans are prepared to pay it. The airlines are doing nothing wrong, blame the cadets who will stop at nothing to fly aeroplanes. I'll give you another example: this is a statistic given to me on a pprune seminar a few years ago: In an average hiring year in the UK there are around 250-300 new jobs available. In the same average year there are about 1200 new CPL/IRs issued every year. So even in good times there's around 900 pilots who will never, ever realise their "dream" (I use this term loosely) and sit in the right seat of an airliner. During the longest and deepest global recession and banking crisis in living memory the flight schools were still full up. What does this tell you about the state of this industry today? It tells me everything. I can tell this forum some horror stories about what goes on in the UK, but I won't. One thing is for certain though, and that is this industry has had it.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 527

I agree that the whole thing is largely systemic in terms of current EU legislation and so on. I won't blame companies for trying to cut costs within the frames of the legislation, but I think they should be really curious about the potential safety implications of this practice, e.g. whether it's contributing to a slow drift towards an unacceptable safety state. The safety literature is full of interesting theories about stuff like this (i.e. James Reason, Jens Rasmussen). http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?133734-Petition-Stop-quot-Pay-to-Fly-quot&p=2205307#post2205307 - I suggest these threads be merged.
Profile picture for user 27vet

Member for

9 years 11 months

Posts: 2,657

The Sun Sentinel reports ( http://bit.ly/1LjZrpB ) that staffers at flight schools say the biggest stumbling block for potential students is the high price of instruction.
Well if anyone wants to learn to fly in South Africa, the exchange rate is very favorable. There are also packages that include safaris etc. PM me for information.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 527

70 Norwegian Air pilots are on strike after negotiations regarding basic terms and conditions failed. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/28/norwegian-air-strike-idUSL5N0W200W20150228
The pilots have demanded a collective labour agreement with the Norwegian Air parent company instead of its local subsidiaries, and have asked for uniform terms across the Nordic region. The pilots said they have feared that their social security will be weakened as the company seeks to cut costs.
These pilots may be spearheading an important struggle for many of us. While it is necessary to try and adapt in a highly competitive market, some (including me) fear that deteriorating working conditions for airline pilots and cabin crew can ultimately affect flight safety.
Profile picture for user atr42

Member for

12 years 6 months

Posts: 338

Have to agree with Deano's comments about the numbers who qualify never to set foot on board. I know a guy who spent a fair amount of money, leaving his old job to train for a year. Once he got his license he found that he wasn't what airlines were looking for and never got hired. He couldn't afford a type rating on top and working half way around the world for next to nothing. His wife is still working at McDonalds to help pay off the debt. We might all like to dream about flying a commercial airliner. However most of us are best advised to stick to flight sim. Additional thoughts. Its not just pilots but others as well. When I finished my cabin crew career I completed my flight ops certification. However 9/11 happened and everything went low cost just as I finished my training. I could never afford to take a job in flight ops after that. £15k a year was out of the question. I now earn a lot more than I probably would have although I would much rather have stayed in the industry. Shame.
Profile picture for user J Boyle

Member for

15 years

Posts: 9,636

There are other ways of getting time...like flying for the mission field or military. I have a friend who had a lot of time in his family's aircraft and a wallet full of ratings, (Commercial/CFI/CFII/multi) but what really got his career going was turbine time. He flew for a mission aviation operation for 2 years and built up a great deal of turbine time in a Turbo-Porter. It was dangerous work, in his time in a very remote part of the world, a couple of his friends died in crashes. Despite not having much turbine twin time, he found an airline job within a couple of weeks and had more than one offer. Even then, he's a co-pilot who isn't making much money. It's called "Paying your dues". Don't expect the great pilot fairy to take you from a 150 and into the right seat of a jetliner or bizjet. That reminds me of the person on this forum who was whining that he wanted the training and experience of mission aviation but complained that since he was an atheist they wouldn't hire him. :) He's probably also complain if he was Russian that the USAF or RAF wouldn't hire him. While I hope he's an exception, I'm sure there are guys out there who want to magically step into a cockpit of a large carrier and be based in London, Paris or some great spot. Likewise, I recall seeing the Canadian TV show "Ice Pilots" and prospective co-pilots first had to put a year as a freight loader (a lousy job that no one wants to do..really would you want to live in some tiny Canadian town and break your back in freezing weather on the chance you might get some heavy multi time? If you want it bad enough, there are ways to get a career. But you won't be driving a Porsche, living in a great spot and dating supermodels while you build time.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 527

I certainly don't expect my flying to spawn a high-end lifestyle, but I demand proper terms from a reliable employer.
That reminds me of the person on this forum who was whining that he wanted the training and experience of mission aviation but complained that since he was an atheist they wouldn't hire him. :) He's probably also complain if he was Russian that the USAF or RAF wouldn't hire him.
In fail to see the connection there, but I guess some mission aviation operators see it differently. Short of being an extremist or something similar I don't think one's beliefs have much to do with it, and in some countries it is generally not allowed to ask questions about that during a job interview.

Member for

10 years 4 months

Posts: 698

I certainly don't expect my flying to spawn a high-end lifestyle, but I demand proper terms from a reliable employer ...
Fair enough! But I think it's best to pursue a career where you can get the highest salary for all the effort you have put in to your academic achievements. Most airline pilots have a degree or its equivalent and quite often an MA or 'better'. Quite simply most aviation jobs are pretty poorly paid in comparison with equivalent jobs elsewhere. The answer seems to me to be obvious. Pursue a career elsewhere and treat aviation as a hobby. Let the airlines worry about the consequences of their folly. Don't be a sacrifice for your enthusiasms! Regards
Profile picture for user J Boyle

Member for

15 years

Posts: 9,636

In fail to see the connection there, but I guess some mission aviation operators see it differently. Short of being an extremist or something similar I don't think one's beliefs have much to do with it, and in some countries it is generally not allowed to ask questions about that during a job interview.
I'd like to think that a church could limit employment with those people who believe in what the church does. Any atheists in senior positions at the Vatican or C of E HQ? A mail clerk is fine, but the Pope or Archbishop position is probably not going to happen for you. :) Being inclusive is fine, but there are limits. I don't want my doctor to be a Christian Scientist...or any person of faith I may go to be an atheist. :)

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 527

Fair enough! But I think it's best to pursue a career where you can get the highest salary for all the effort you have put in to your academic achievements. Most airline pilots have a degree or its equivalent and quite often an MA or 'better'. Quite simply most aviation jobs are pretty poorly paid in comparison with equivalent jobs elsewhere. The answer seems to me to be obvious. Pursue a career elsewhere and treat aviation as a hobby. Let the airlines worry about the consequences of their folly. Don't be a sacrifice for your enthusiasms!
Fair points. I'm currently pursuing a master's degree. It has been a while since I realised that the airline industry is not the place to put all your bets as a pilot in this day and age.
A mail clerk is fine, but the Pope or Archbishop position is probably not going to happen for you. :)
Dang, there goes my dream.. :p