I agree with the argument that it is less about sudden incapacitation and more about a slow degradation of skills and ability to stay awake for 16+ hours back of the clock. I routinely fly with First Officers who are 65+, and one who is 72. I am 32, with 8000+ hours and am still a Second Officer. My main gripe though is not about slow career progression, I knew this would be the case when I joined a "legacy" carrier. My chief complaint is that we are required to carry these guys, both in the Sim, and on the line. With very few exceptions, in my experience, once they are over around 60 or so pilot performance drops off markedly. What this leads to is a degree of animosity in the flight deck. I know it's bad for CRM but if I see anyone taking "uncontrolled" ie unbriefed, sleep, I now report it. In the sim, I only help as much as I am required. SOP's and no more. I don't socialise with over 65's on layovers. A large reason why many older guys carry on is the social side of the job. It's a bit harsh I know, but I call on all those who don't agree with over 65 pilots to do the same.
This is great stuff. Lets get rid of all the old farts and while we're at it I swear most of the women I fly with has no clue ether. We all know the asian's should not have a drivers license much less a pilot license and the black pilots.......need I say anything? If only everybody was like me.
A great shame that so many of the replies to this thread confirm my view, formed thirty-five years ago when I began to be paid to fly aeroplanes, that the industry is rife with ego and arrogance. This is a serious issue but so many are in complete denial................
bravo amos 2....I do not need to say anything else for that subject.
As for dosing off during flight whatsaLizad
I've flown bizjets with 60+ pilots and the majority showed the effects of fatigue far quicker than younger pilots.
If you want to see the truth, it has nothing to do with age, ( unless you compare those older ones who have learned the trick), it has to do with your own understanding and adapting to night and/or different time zones
Last edited by Green Guard; 27th Oct 2011 at 10:22.
Reason: double the
In a union driven airline with seniority preference bidding, I can see how the most senior Captains don't want to retire - they fly the best planes on the best routes with the best holidays at the highest payscale.
In my airline it is not like this, the roster you retire with is as hard or harder than the one you joined with - this makes a big difference when it comes to fatigue as we get older. I cannot see how I could keep up this pace and want to retire later than I finacially have to. At the pace many foreign airlines fly fatigue with age is a major factor.
I am a senior Captain on big equipment and personally feel that the guys that flew for 40 years knowing that they are to retire at 60 should do just that. The new guys with a contract that shows 65, that is there goal. As the goal post moves the new joiners can have their respective retirement age (if they can make it til then).
I think that the reason retirement age is being changed to later is because the companies and Governments cannot afford to pay pensions. I you work longer it delays them paying and you will die sooner; thus minimising the amount of money that needs to be paid.
It is a sensitive subject. but I feel that old guys at the top have had it good for so long and maybe it is time to give something back.
Interesting too that these boomers now think it's okay that we have to wait until, "they are cold and dead, to pry", their jobs away.
This IS the very thing we don't want to have to do when we fly with you!
Such verbage will not further your cause with any regulator, in fact, I think it enforces my view that the mandatory retirement age of 63 should apply to ALL commercial operations, including corporate.
KC, you really are some boy with your businesses and 12 years of command. How did you get so smug? If you really believe that the mandatory retirement age is too old what are you doing on here moaning at people you know nothing about? Start lobbying ICAO or your national authority through your elected representative. Otherwise go back to your perfect little life and leave the debate to those that have some reason. How'd you like them apples big (read: small man) boy??
I am 6ft 2in. weigh 103kgs and 76 years old. I retired from career flying when I was 50. I played at non scheduled european operation for about four years and then gave up I have had a wonderful 22 years of retirement. a capitalised pension went out the window in the 1988 stock market crash and since then I have played all sorts of fields I drink booze when I want to (unless driving a motor vehicle) I stay up late to watch TV, No early morning calls No answering to "the Company" or ego driven gnomes that control the aviation industry. Let the young whipper snappers get on, and if stupid enough to fly past 50, 55, or even 60., just lay back with a good partener and think to your self what a hell hole of a life the airline pilot has. If I had my time over again I would be a dentist! More money, 8 to 5 only, Mon. to Fri. Tooth ache at 5 pm Fri, tough see me Monday I am going fishing now.
Mushroom 2, thanks for keeping it professional. I am not an arrogant little...... I am well aware of my limitations and still have plenty to learn from my more experienced colleagues. That said, it's been a while since I learnt anything from a 70 year old sleeping in the seat next to me. If any of my colleagues want to debate this with me, they will. In my airline this is an issue that is openly discussed. Your comments about me sounded suspiciously like a threat. Simply attacking everyone who doesn't agree with your point of view does not mean you are right. You say you would hate to fly with me, well, I can't say I would be thrilled to fly with a skipper who called me names and attacked me every time we disagreed. I thought those days were well gone.
12 years of turbine command. More G/A stuff before that. Australia, New Zealand, America, a little Europe time. Good memories!
Very professional, and I noted the same very unprofessional threats being made towards you.
I hope nobody has to pry dead, cold hands away from the controls, when the problem could have been mostly solved by a universally adopted retirement age for all commercial operations. At the end of the day, this is what this is really about.
I agree with you Studi, we have, at last, gone back to the original age of 65 for retirement and I think that is where it should stay, leaving ample time for both lifestyle and pension planning. If a person wants to retire at, say, 55 or any time after that, with a reduced pension, then they should be able to.
Old slackers face the boot: Bosses get new powers to tell workers to retire
25 Oct 2011
Bosses will be given new powers to tell older workers they should consider retirement without fear of being accused of ageism under plans unveiled today.
Nick Clegg said firms should be free to have "frank discussions" with underperforming staff, regardless of the employee's age. The government proposal brought claims that companies could use the new law to force out older staff to save money. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "It would give a licence to bad employers to bully and intimidate staff." But as he visited a hi-tech firm in Shoreditch, the Deputy Prime Minister said the move would allow people "to treat each other like human beings and not like potential litigants". He added: "Employers tell us they're afraid to have frank discussions with staff ... for fear of those exchanges being used against them unfairly, should a dispute end up at tribunal.
"We want to give them the confidence to be open about performance, about retirement with their employees. If you speak to many employers, they value older workers massively. I don't think there is some sort of in-built prejudice against older workers at all." At the moment, employees are able to use any comment or conversation to support their case in tribunals. Supporters of the new measure say this leads to underperforming staff making notes of every remark or chat to bolster their defence, and creates a climate of suspicion between workers and bosses. The proposed change means introducing a new law that will allow "protected conversations" - meaning staff will not be able to use them against employers later. Mr Clegg denied claims that the idea could be used as a way to force older people out now that the default retirement age has been scrapped. He told the Standard: "If every employer and every employee thinks every informal conversation is going to be trawled through the tribunal system then of course it means people don't treat each other like human beings." The plans for protected conversations have been drawn up by Liberal Democrat Business Minister Ed Davey. Aides insisted the new powers would not override employee protections under discrimination law.
The world order is changing. Jobs for life is no long a given. Companies boom then disappear, leaving employees with nothing. To succeed as a pilot you will have to be willing to job-hop and maximise your takings wherever you can. Short contracts will be the norm. The writing is on the wall, seniority is going out, along with security of tenure. Decent pensions are now unaffordable. Those who have invested in the stock markets have lost big-time.
In many jobs the projections are that you may have to work until you drop. The unspoken hope is that you work until you are no longer able, retire for a few months, then pass on, saving enormous pension, medical, and social costs.
In my career, two airline employers have failed, one owing me money, another destroying my medical coverage and rebated travel, and owing for company stock promised but never delivered. I have had the same wife for 35 years, no boat, and live a very modest life on a very modest pension. The thing is, when I started in aviation, those already there had a “provident fund” that was a 30% non-contributory fund, with accrued interest. My pension was to be “defined benefit”. But after 25 years of service, the company was “re-structured” and my pension was changed to “defined contribution”. Suffice it to say I am now surviving on a pension very much less than I had signed on for and planned on. It is too late for me to regain all the lost ground, I will have to make the best of what remains, but it will probably be worse for those coming behind me. The game has changed, and is still changing. The rules will have to change to reflect this reality.
I expect that methods of evaluating pilot competency and fitness are going to have to change to move up from 1960s technology, to current technology. The doddering old Aviation MD will be replaced by much more in depth medical tests involving modern technology. The same will apply to competency checks, computers are much more impartial than people, and do not have ingrained prejudices pro or con. The old Chinese saying “may you live in interesting times” may well apply.