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Old 1st Jan 2010, 23:36   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Europa
Posts: 605
Exclamation "Who is flying your airplane?"

Concerns over pilot experience, training, ability and pay now going public in US press:

Part One: Who's flying your airplane? : The Crash of Flight 3407 : The Buffalo News

Fatal Flying on Airlines No Accident in Pilot Complaints to FAA - Bloomberg.com

and

With Rules In Play, Pilot Training Under Scrutiny

gives more links.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 13:54   #2 (permalink)
 
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Snoop doh!

Indeed!

Some of the comments at the end of the articles speak even more for the state of some pilot training. Here's a chap who boasts to have over 900 hours:

e.g: "Icing, easy, you push the anti-ice switch, and forget it. BY: CTFLYBOY"
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 14:12   #3 (permalink)
 
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Southwest Airlines Pilot Application Requirements:Co-pilot

Certificates / Ratings: U.S. FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Unrestricted1 U.S. Type Rating on a B-737 not required for interview but required for employment.

2 Age: Must be at least 23 years of age.
Flight Experience: 2,500 hours total or 1,500 hours TURBINE total. Additionally, a minimum of 1,000 hours in Turbine aircraft as the Pilot in command3 (as defined below) is required. Southwest considers only Pilot time in fixed-wing aircraft. This specifically excludes simulator, helicopter, WSO, RIO, FE, NAV, EWO etc. NO other time is counted.

3 Currency: A minimum of 200 hours must be logged in the preceding 36 months.

Medical: Must possess a current FAA Class 1 Medical Certificate. Must pass FAA mandated Drug Test.
Authorization to work in the United States: Must have established authorization to work in the United States.
Driver License: Must possess a valid United States Driver License.
Education: Graduation from accredited, four-year college preferred.
Letters of Recommendation: At least three letters from any individuals who can attest to the pilot’s flying skills, by having observed him/her over a sustained period of time.

This is the minimum experience you need to fly for a low cost airline in the states.

Or in UK 200hrs ish buy your own type rating and pay to fly.


Its all gone wrong chaps
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 14:35   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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There are many pilots who are currently either grounded or are working contracts overseas and who have a wealth of relevant experience and will simply not fly for the regionals here in the US due to the joke salaries (yes I AM one of them)... and I know many others.
If pax are concerned about experience levels in the cockpit then all they have to do is put their hands in their pockets and dig a bit deeper.
Problem is, pax are Jeckyl and Hyde characters... When booking they want the lowest price... when climbing aboard the aircraft they want the safest flight.
The two don't always coincide.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 15:02   #5 (permalink)
MPH
 
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Does this mean in the EU it´s not safe to fly and in the States it is? Hmmm, maybe we should have a word with CAA,IAA or JAA-EASA maybe they can inlighten us on this issue? I think these are rather daft statements!! It would be intresting to see the statistics on accidents, incidents per flying hours on both sides of the pond! Experience is important but, well trained crew´s are even more important. Salary does not mean that the crew are less or better trained in, the airspace´s we are talking about. It´s more a question of demand in the market and how many pilots are availiable that dictates in part the salary issue.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 15:12   #6 (permalink)
 
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What better training ground that real life? Experienced pilots have the very same "quality" type rating as non experienced ones plus years of on the job training. You are either talking your own shop (ie you are inexperienced yourself or make money from these poor folk) or you do not know what you are talking about.

To the problem of experience and training we can add the problem of ability. The latest schemes only select on the ability to pay. So you end up with inexperienced and unable pilots whose only virtue is the ability to make someone else rich.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 15:17   #7 (permalink)
 
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MangoP is correct ...pay more get more...

(there are exceptions to this)

but you rarely get a great pilot for crap wages.

Now, when the progressions were rapid from regional to big airline, you did try to fly right...you were weeks away from a pre employment sim check.

As far as the concept of market controlling pilot pay...then all you have to do is revoke the laws that prohibit all pilots from going on strike at the same time. We would get nice raises if we all walked out the week before Thanksgiving or Christmas here in the USA.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 15:20   #8 (permalink)

I Have Control
 
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Good thread

Maybe should be re-titled "are Pay-To-Play First Officers making flying less safe?".

It is certainly a question uppermost the minds of many remaining and experienced line pilots, plus of course those overloaded line trainers in the UK.

Pay to Fly should be banned.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 15:52   #9 (permalink)
 
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Yes, sir

Pay to fly must be banned.

In fact, I am sure that a good lawyer would be able to demonstrate that it is banned, already.
Is not in every country labour regulation banned paying for working? Ia m sure it is. So what are trade unions waiting for?
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 16:30   #10 (permalink)
 
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RAF pay to fly scheme

The RAF could start a pay to fly scheme too. £60k gets you front row seat in a real war. As experience can be overcome with a modern type rating course, we could get CTC or FSI to start a typhoon course with a 100hrs line training in Iraq. At the end of which they will be replaced by the next person that is in the hold pool. Of course they will be offered a job else where in the force. At no extra cost.

Think I'm on to something....

Please send £250 PO Box URA TSR for an application form

I'm sure all the experienced RAF boys will look forward to seeing you
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 16:32   #11 (permalink)
MPH
 
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E&C You don´t get the point!! A lot of the low cost airlines and the others that pay less, have flying for them a lot of pilots with high hours and a with lot of training and experience (including myself). Now, whether or not they are there because of there own choice or not, is up for discussion. Some are there because there former high paying airlines they used to work for, went bankrupt etc, etc. The issue is, where do you get high hour F/O´s and if, not avialiable what do you do, with the one´s that have low hours. Well, you have to put them through a good training program and demand rigorous SOP´s etc. So, the market turns out low hour F/O whom cannot get a job in the high paying airlines. They obvously look for a job in the lower paying airlines. The captains that are left redundant and have high hours also, turn to the airlines that are looking for them. And a lot of the demand comes precisely from those low paying (not all) airlines. It´s a question of demand and offer this, dicates what happens in the market. Unless of course we wait for all the military pilots to become avialable and maybe they are not willing to work under these conditions?
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 16:36   #12 (permalink)

I Have Control
 
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MPH Incomprehensible, at least to me. Please rewrite.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 16:57   #13 (permalink)
 
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re mph

I know lot's of pilots with good GA background that won't even get an interview with an airline.....why??

If your telling me that all the instuctors and GA pilots that have experience and hours under there belt have been used up, and that we only have low pilots left in this country, I'd find that hard to believe.

These Pilots are out there and have been flying for years trying to get up the ladder only to find that the ladder has to be greased with cash. Very sad.

I'm sure the Chief pilots would like to put experience in the cockpit and I'm sure you need to have a mix of low hour guy too. Its getting the percentage of low hours co pilot correct. It should be based on skill and personality!!
NOT CASH FLOW!!
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 17:00   #14 (permalink)
 
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Passengers Should Demand Safety / Training

Having had both an airline and travel agency career, I have often been dismayed by passengers' obsession with the cheapest fare, but lack of concern as to how this translates into their safety and comfort. It should be their priority that Pilots, cabin crew and engineers are highly trained and constantly updated. Engineers should not have to bastardize car parts to (Hopefully) keep aircraft in the air.

To overcome fear of flying, decades of advertising has focused on the "normalness" of flight, as well as its speed. Airlines do not boast about their safety record - the "unsinkable ship" worry. But perhaps it is time responsible carriers considered running thought-provoking campaigns, such as:

"It costs us XXX Millions a year training the crews you put your lives in the hands of. We spent XX last year on maintenance and spare parts. We would rather do this than chop £10 off your fare. Care to join us at 35000 ft?"

If passengers could be persuaded to put (their own) safety ahead of being able to afford an extra trip, it might force those who are trying to push all their training costs off the balance sheet to re-think their business model.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 17:22   #15 (permalink)
 
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I am rather curious to know how many posts on this and similar threads come from fairly well experienced Capts and F/Os who have recently been laid-off or else their airlines have gone bust.

How many of you, one year ago, would absolutely not have been seen dead working for one of the locos?

How many of you out there now find it hard to accept the fact that the locos don't want to know you now that the boot is on the other foot?

It's hard when your company goes bust. I was out of work for over a year when Fred Laker went down the pan. Nobody wanted a qualified DC-10 captain. I sent 316 CVs all over the world during that year and got less than 10 replies and no results.

I know how hard it is to take the fact that nobody wants your expertise now that you have lowered your sights about who you would now be prepared to work for, but that is the way the cookie crumbles I'm afraid.

Let's face it, they know perfectly well that you will be off like a ferret up a drainpipe as soon as the market turns so why should they offer you a job?
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 17:27   #16 (permalink)
 
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So what about the 1000hrs instructor??? Why not him over the zero hour guy?? I suppose the low hour guy will all stay when the market turns. Those guys won't even look at GA until they have spent 12 months trying for an airline. When that has not worked .....CTC.

and one more time around the roundabout we go.

So should these Pilot have to pay and should they even be able to go on such a scheme?

I say NO to both
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 17:47   #17 (permalink)
 
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To be absolutely and bluntly honest with you, I'm not sure that the 1,000 hour instructor has many advantages over the 250 hour self-improver when it comes to being actually hired as a new airline pilot. There are a lot of people out there (in the hiring game) who don't see much relevance to someone who has sat in a Cessna 150 for 700 hours or so.

Let me stress immediately that I really do not particularly agree with this line of thought but that is the way it is I'm afraid.

If I were a 1,000 hour instructor right now, in this climate, AND IF (and it is a very big IF) I desperately needed to get out of the local flying club scene and into commercial flying, then I would go down the Ryanair road.

At least you should get your money back in a couple of years and the rating belongs to you and only you.

I hate to say it, but that is about the only game in town. If you can't face that prospect then you had better stay with the local flying club. It will be a very long time before the market dries up to the point that airlines start paying for ratings again.

The only possible exception is BA and they are not exactly in the hiring mode at the moment. In fact, I heard that when someone threw an alligator into the BA pool the other day, it was stripped bare and eaten by the hordes of swimmers in the pool before it even got its feet wet!

We live in unpleasant times.
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 18:10   #18 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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It does seem like a lot of the guys out there are having to do just that. I'm lucky not to be in that position, but feel it should be us who have the jobs that try to push for the change, and not sit back at just let things like the ryanair and easyjet schemes stamp out the traditional routes all together.

I know it won't happen. But it would be nice to think us lucky ones who can help the GA guy up that ladder. Do just that.

As for your point on 1000hrs of C152 time or 250hrs cadet. I'm sure they can both fly a plane. But I'd guess the instructor would have the edge when it all goes wrong. Which one would you send your kids up with??

Anyway getting off point once more.

The schemes are not there to improve saftey or to find the right guy for your company. Its a bean counter cost cutting scheme. Where will it end. CTC command course??
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 18:53   #19 (permalink)
 
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And the other problem is that some airlines are only offering 7/5 contracts like they offer to the back end - work in summer, released in winter, not a permanent staff member, no rights............
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 20:20   #20 (permalink)
 
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This is not about snobbery and loco v legacy. This is about the right hand seat of airlines becoming another revenue seat. Not at a couple of small marginal operators but at the very core of the industry and in very large numbers. We all have to start somewhere and there have always been a number of low houred cadets in the right hand seat of UK airlines. The difference is that those cadets where selected in an extremelly competitive process on their ability to fly not on their ability to pay. Another difference is that the cadets represented a small proportion as they stayed with the airline and soon gained some experience but now they are continually replaced by more low houred cadets so the increased risk is sustained over time. Yet another difference is that the new pay to fly cadets do not have any employment protections hence they cannot call in sick, refuse a duty, etc they are so dependant on the system that their job as the last line of defence is compromised.
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