View Full Version : Bank Running
19th Apr 2003, 14:10
I am interested to hear the opinions from anybody on bank/freight run pilots. Of particular interest would be the opinion of those who are involved in airline recruitment.
Is their experience level more highly regarded than say a NT charter pilot or for that matter any other charter pilot? Is the old belief of poorly maintained aircraft, shonky operations etc etc still apparent?
19th Apr 2003, 14:18
I would suggest that the face of bank running is changing. the freight companies and thier clients (banks) are tiring of fly by night companies who go broke and leave them in the lurch. Every aircraft not in its destination ultimately costs the banks and subsequently the freight comapnies on performance contracts big big $$. they have woken up to that fact that a higher hourly rate saves them $$ in the long run, and more reliable companies are stepping into the fold.]
Sorry for the digression but I am in no position to accurately answer your question, but if you are considering a career move into it, be mindful of the above.
Having said all that, be aware that there are shonks out there still. :}
Col. Walter E. Kurtz
19th Apr 2003, 15:29
they have woken up to that fact that a higher hourly rate saves them $$ in the long run
Really? Maybe someone should tell the freight companies that!
I suggest that the more reliable companies are doing those runs at just about cost, thanks to the many who have been operating for unrealistic rates, and have gone bust before them.
19th Apr 2003, 16:13
I have heard that some companies are still accepting pilots that want time on type under the guise of ICUS. One would hope that the aircraft operators arn't building this into the quote for the runs. Does this still go on?
Spot on Comp Stall,
Bank running will be an important part of GA for years to come and yes, reliability is a big part of the scene. It's extremely competitive, however, I think we'll always see niche companies (aka Jet-craft and Pel-air) doing it better than anybody. At the end of the day said companies still need to make money on these operations and as such will employ drivers that are capable of getting the job done. I'm not suggesting that said employees will break the rules to satisfy the boss but in the recruitment proceess the employers will look to candidates that are more capable and experienced enough to endure the challenges of flogging through the night and often crap weather to complete the task. Freight is lucrative and if you're good at it then it's easy, low cost money. Some companies do exploite low time drivers in the freight world and from what I'm told the afor mentioned companies don't. At the end of the day the guys/girls that prostitute themselves to this are only letting themselves and the rest of ther industry down. Get your time but do it the right way.
Put me down for 5 cents
20th Apr 2003, 11:59
I am not involved in airline recruitment but I do get to see those who have been recruited at my airline up close. Here at least I don't see any bias towards or against "bank run" drivers. I have flown with several of said types here at VB.
20th Apr 2003, 13:05
Forgive my ignorance but what is a bank run? Does it involve flying money around ?
20th Apr 2003, 15:06
Comp Stall - Its news to everyone in the business that the freight companies have decided to pay bigger bucks for a better service. They just want the better service! To be fair to the freight companies; they are dealing with banks and we all know how they do business. Do you think the banks want to pay more or less for the service when they go to tender?
20th Apr 2003, 20:23
My sources tell me that the changing face of bank running (particularly in NSW/QLD) is through a company that pays its pilots the award and has aircraft in excellent condition (and does not accept paying ICUS pilots), has picked up several bank runs at the cost of a couple "fly by night" companies which are continually trying to break even, and have lupine guests weekly. :uhoh:
The rates charged by the company are apparently higher than the aforementioned dodgy bros and co, although not by a huge amount. Hence, my conclusion that the contracts are being decided on a performance basis.
The expansion of the first mentioned company has only been hindered in its expansion plans by the difficulties procuring suitable aircraft.
20th Apr 2003, 23:56
Comp Stall - I don't think the rates are much different (if at all).
21st Apr 2003, 09:37
That's what I was told, but I am now half a country away, and well removed from the action. It sounds as though your finger is on the pulse more than mine! :cool:
CS (ex bank runner)
23rd Apr 2003, 08:53
Thankyou Spruce, that's what I wanted to know. Thanks also to Comp Stall, it's interesting to see your opinions considering you were a bankrunner.
I would think that GAM are one of the better operators are they not? What other companies run?
23rd Apr 2003, 11:10
Azimuth. "Bank running" is a contract freight service, mostly between country centres and cities. It usually involves the banks contracting their daily movement of supporting documentation to major freight companies, who "top up" the bank load with their own express freight, newspapers etc.
Traditionally, the banks are reputed to screw the major express freight operators, who in turn screw gullible or unscrupulous air charter operators. As a result, the air service has mostly involved old and tired single and twin engine "IFR" aircraft, of dubious maintenance standards, operated by air charter operators who are allergic to paying the pilots Award wages - if they get paid at all. Indeed, one lurk is to sell ICUS, thus having the pilots pay for the privilege of flying.
In turn, these operators mostly go broke, eliminating their employee’s unpaid wages, super etc. Given time - usually around 12 hours - these operators "borrow" another AOC and are back in business with under maintained cross hire aircraft, flown by unpaid pilots who are intimidated if they even mention CAO 48.
And so the whole cycle perpetuates itself every few months. And has done for many generations. And will do for many more.
To see bank running in action, watch almost any city secondary airport (Archerfield, Bankstown etc) around dusk or dawn (hours when CASA staff are not around).
23rd Apr 2003, 12:43
Cheers for that. You learn something new every day:O
23rd Apr 2003, 13:32
The boy still having trouble getting a job Gazza?:ugh:
23rd Apr 2003, 14:58
Hey Comp Stall,
Just out of interest what is the name of the company that is changing the face aof bankrunning????????
23rd Apr 2003, 19:11
Hey MJ I think you've got the wrong person there, sorry.
One of the amusing things with this forum is that alot of people seem to think that eveybody has an alterior motive for a simple enquiry like this one.
On the topic of being paid under the award wage. We all know that it goes on and will for a long time but excuse my ignorance for a moment. Is it illegal to pay a pilot under the award wage? Has anybody out there ever taken there issues further with this and if so to whom or where?
23rd Apr 2003, 19:59
No, GAM doesn't charge an arm and a leg more than the opposition, they just deliver the service required, and are able to do so because the company controls everything from maintenance to crewing, which means beholden to noone. Good luck to 'em as well, and I don't work for them either..............
24th Apr 2003, 13:42
"Is it illegal to pay a pilot under the award wage?"
It is illegal for an employer to pay an employee less than the Award (with or without agreement), where an Award is in force. This is a requirement under the Federal Workplace Relations Act 1996 (or in Queensland, The Industrial Relations Act 1999).
For workers not covered by an Award (i.e. no Union coverage, e.g. certain computer workers, cotton chippers and certain other agricultural workers), the minimum wage in Queensland is $431.40 per 40 hour week.
8 8th's Blue
24th Apr 2003, 18:07
beautifully put Torres! Sad but true.
25th Apr 2003, 02:29
Interestingly the Pilots GA award specifies (used to specify?) within itself that it is only binding on employers listed in the appendix and pilots who are members of the AFAP. There was also another union mentioned but can't remember what was.
Wonder how that affects its applicability under current legislation?
25th Apr 2003, 09:48
I doubt if there is a bank runner in the country that runs a fully serviceable aeroplane mainly because the pilots are brainwashed from early training that it pays not to bitch about a dodgy defect. With pilots living in trees there is always someone hovering nearby to take his job. CASA look the other way as always. Interesting that GAM "control everything from maintenance to crewing". Now that's a good recipe for a nice clean maintenance release. One LAME is well known for his MR write-off's as "Entered in error". Sure helps to keep the aircraft operating at minimum servicing costs.
25th Apr 2003, 15:43
Menen, I know what you are getting at, and GAM have had a problem with such as you descibe in the past. However, might I suggest that it is possible to run a company right in GA. It's not impossible, and they do a pretty good job of it IMHO.
25th Apr 2003, 18:39
Right on Torres. As usual, you hit the nail right on the head with your comments ;)
From my little part of the world (which is hiring approx 4 DH8 drivers per month), it has very little to do with whether you are really good at flying little bits of paper around...Nobody cares whether you beat the odds to get into XXX on a shitty day or not to deliver your little bits of paper. If you prang doing same, nobody gets hurt except the pilot.
Airlines want no part of that.
The reality is that most airlines are looking for guys and girls that are highly proficient in their profession, follow SOPs and can get the job done without taking cavalier risks.
25th Apr 2003, 22:29
HJ, I think that's a pretty old fashioned view of the freight industry. Most freight pilots I know are highly skilled, highly organised individuals. They operate in a fairly challenging environment and usually single pilot. They are not cavalier nor are they large risk takers. Their skills are sought by various airlines. Wander over to the turbine freight operators and ask them how many pilots they have contributed to CX, VB & QF (yes even QFLink DH-8s) in the last 5 years.
26th Apr 2003, 04:53
I agree 100%, BB. I Should have written "it doesn't matter whether you fly bits of paper, boxes or human freight around"....etc.
26th Apr 2003, 17:27
As somene who flew bankruns for 2 years I can tell you that it is some of the most challenging flying you will find. The ONLY weather which prevented a departure was fog that had been confirmed by a freight company courier. Bad forcast weather was NEVER a reason not to dapart. If when you got to your destination you couldn't get in, you diverted, and you always carried enough fuel for that. A standing joke was "I don't know why I am reading the weather because I am going anyway".
It is a very through training ground. Approaching a GAAP in cloud and rain at night, at the same time as 4 other bankrunners whilst doing 200 kts so they don't beat you in (yes it is a race), is not for the faint hearted.
27th Apr 2003, 09:29
Backdoorbandit and bitter balance,
Concur with your setiments wholeheartedly...the bankrunner laddies and lassies are perhaps the most underpaid pilots in this country for the services they are expected to and do perform. By necessity, they are perhaps amoungst the most capable and current pilots flying our skys daily and I for one, have a huge respect for their ability and professionalism considering the enormous pressure they are required to operate under.
Shaablamm, sorry if I got the wrong person but I don't think I did! Last time I saw you; your were the same old GC with a naval background unless of course; you changed your name?;)
27th Apr 2003, 18:22
Hey MJ sorry mate wrong, but I do know who you are talking about. I also know that GC would never participate here..... ever.!