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Buying Experience

African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

Buying Experience

Old 25th Oct 2006, 12:07
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Africa
Age: 40
Posts: 237
Buying Experience

I have recently flown with a new copilot who, is a great guy. Note I am not slagging him off here, merely using him as an example. He joined aviation a bit late and decided to make use of a “service” provided to people like him who need to or want to fast track their career. The “service” provider in this case preys on new pilots in the industry offering them a huge amount of time on “big” aircraft, a jumpstart to their career and a world of experience. While all of this sounds attractive to any budding pilot, the price tag attached to this “favor” is exorbitant and only those with a large financial backing would be eligible. While a new pilot with the means may see this as a great idea, how may of them realize what a ride they are being taken for? This particular copilot is not the first one who I have flown with who has 200 hrs on a Metro, he is however on a standard that is below PPL, the other one may have, only just, been on the standard of a recently tested night rating student. What concerns me about it is that nothing seems to be in place to protect these guys from PAYING for hrs on an a/c that is being paid for by a client anyway, they are getting sent into the industry thinking they are better than the rest because they jumped the queue a bit yet show no evidence of descent and proper training or ability? Where is CAA in this? They are aware of the trend and don’t stop it? How can they accept ratings signed out by examiners that they know are not performing the training to a safe standard? I do not stand alone in my assessment of this particular copilot in that he is below PPL standard yet the J.O.’s of this world continue to make a killing churning out substandard crew, offering them the world and then sending them into it without the tools to perform the job. Any thoughts on this topic? Fly safe all


Last edited by Contract Dog; 25th Oct 2006 at 13:04. Reason: keeping it tidy
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 12:25
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Stratosphere
Posts: 185
I have come across this as well. You find a "200 hour wonder" that has found his way into the right hand seat of something to "gain experience" and then, at 250 hours total time I find a guy with 200 hours on a Cessna 150 and 172RG and 50 hours on a King Air 200 and then he can't undertsand why I won't offer him a position on a Hawker 800XP or Citation XLS. So you make a very valid point. I flew recently with a guy that I failed to undertand how he had a PPL never mind anything else. As if that was not enough, I aksed him one of my standard questions to youngsters.....do you know that he was not even able to tell me the diffrerence between a 727-100 and a 727-200? I was too scared to ask him if he knew what Concorde was? That's the problem, there are guytys flying around that are just flying becasue it's "cool" and have they no passion. Flying is a passion.
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 13:11
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: in the pond
Age: 50
Posts: 35
I have to agree with this as it is largely very disturbing to hear. I would like to see some suggestions as to what we can do about it, it needs to stop.
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 13:28
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: the right side of the R24
Posts: 59
Pay as you go

Reminds me of the 'J.O. specials' at the now defunct Charlan Air. These boys were paying thousands of drinking coupons to J.O. for a couple hundred hours on the EMB 120's. Sounded like a great idea for the cash strapped airline. The only snag was when all 3 captains decided to resign in the same time period, the airline had no crew to upgrade to P1. They then got some South American guys in on contract at the same price of a small European countries GDP and went bang... This obviously wasn't the main reason they went down the tubes, but I'm sure it was one of them.

Lets hope other carriers see this pitfall and take heed. I for one want the guy/gal sitting to my right to be there because he/she earned it, not because of their dad's cheque book.
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 13:36
  #5 (permalink)  
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Africa
Age: 40
Posts: 237
dog to dog

Well put TD, if you pay that amount of cash, you would expect to come out of it a better pilot?
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 14:35
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Planet Tharg
Posts: 2,471
More than likely the following comment is going to draw some flak:

The student who is already looking at purchasing a GPS before completing a PPL is the one about whom I'd be concerned. To me it merely demonstrates lack of conviction and unwillingness to practice the basics, leading to the short cut attitude which makes use of the service offered. Can't blame it all on the operator, folks....

Staaldak, geweer, ratpacks and into the bunker....
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 14:44
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 29
What they dont realise is the RAW experiance thay dont get by flying around in a Van for example on contract and they by the time you do get a multi-crew a/c on you licence they cant operate because they cant fly, Not even stick and rudder flying,

Its a disappointment that they do this, they missing out on all the "Fun" flying. and when it comes down to a emergency they wont know what is going on because they havent got the knowledge,

Shame some will never know
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 14:45
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: western europe
Posts: 106
So what is the difference between the 727-100 and the 727-200..... jokes
Its a prob, and now imagine the CAA allow that Multi Crew Licence nonsense materialise,
Also makes you think of the old dilhema of pilots becoming pilots for the love of flying, or the love the lifestyle....................
Airforce1 is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2006, 15:00
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: south africa
Posts: 333
This has been going on for years especially in Europe. For a measley 70 000 quid one can come straight out of training and be flying for one of the big boys. What really gets my goat is I dont have anywhere near this kind of dosh so where does that leave me and most other sane individuals. Nowhere is my guess. Im not by any means tarring everyone with the same brush, but to me a lot of these "fastrackers" seem to be lacking in the "passion for aviation" department. All they want is daddy's chequebook to enable them to fly a nice big shinny jet. One only has to read some of the other forums to come to this conclusion.

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Old 25th Oct 2006, 15:27
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,211
I am afraid I have to disagree with several points already made.

1.Contract dog said, 'Well put TD, if you pay that amount of cash, you would expect to come out of it a better pilot?'

Not sure a 'better' pilot. One should have already been trained to a standard, ie. that of a CPL/IR/ME. I would expect the person to come out with a new skill, perhaps turbine knowledge, higher altitude flying and another rung up the ladder of experience. But if you were a crap pilot at PPL, at CPL too, then why should buying 200 hours make you a good pilot.

2.Birdlady said, 'Im not by any means tarring everyone with the same brush, but to me a lot of these "fastrackers" seem to be lacking in the "passion for aviation" department. '

I am not condoning buying ratings, but one has to address the reason why someone parts with such vast amounts of money. Imagine you have paid 40-50 k on your training and you are getting no where, well, the thought of another investment to get you that first job could be a worth while investment.

I have not done it and will not, but I think it unfair to say it shows a lack of passion, because in reality, if most people could afford to do it they would have, so would you also question their passion too?

Finally, I find the people with this passion you talk about the worst pilots of all, the ones who cant do anything other than talk about planes, who have no other real interests and are extremely ambitious. I find these folk very one dimensional.

In my personal experiences, the ladies and gentlemen who have had a life outside of aviation first, ie. a different job /career before flying are the ones capable of making the best decisions and make for more rounded people and therefore pilots.
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 16:23
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: oppieplaas
Posts: 190
I thought I said so...

What we have here is a case of mistaken identity. One which I have written about since I cannot remember.
Flying is a trade. It has a minumum theory part and a greater practical part. Like being a plumber, an seam welder, a professional diver, bus driver, sheep shearer.
You start of doing what you learnt in theory, and as you do in an apprenticeship, you get better at what you do, by learning from qualified experienced tradesmen, passing knowledge on to you until the day that you experience level is of such a level that you able to complete your work above an exeptable level.
In the last couple of years, and it a monster of our own making, we have been attatching to much emphisys on book learning, and force feeding practical training to the point that someone has achieved the minimum level of experience. We had the aprentices believe that once they have passed the theory and minimum acceptable level of practical flying they are qualfied to much more than just lean how to fly.
Why do I say it of our own making? Because we behave as if flying is an academic achievement.
Tell me who wasnt pissed off when the bank tells you that you cannot qualify for a overdraft because you dont have a academic qualification. I did. Until I realised they are right! I am a tradesmen. The fact that I am required to wear a shirt and tie and eupelettes to work doesnt mean anything, but that its required by the customer/employer that sees me a quasi-military role, like the captain of a ship, and that is why they call me "Captain"!
To become a tradesman in any of the trades you have to achieve a minumum level of theory knowledge, but the big issue is that you have to pass the practical test. No wonder we have to be retested yearly to confirm we still have the practical ability.
Too many of us think because we speak in flying terms, that gibberish to the ears of landlubbers, and if we make an intense study of flying theory that we actually contibute to the collective knowledge of the world.
The only reason there could be to study the theory into dust, was personal vanity and a quest for recognition. So that you could impress your fellow tradesmen with your "superiour theory knowledge" about a very practical thing, as you cannot really show them with your flying unless its one person at a time(the one on your left or right).
Pilots that make a detailed study of an approach plate and give you a 30min lecture about it falls in this catagory. It doesnt matter how well you can brief on a plate or how long you can make the lecture last, if you cant fly, you are still going to die.
So the only way you can get better at a practical subject is practice/experience. and that time, and it the type of time that doesnt come with a fat wallet.
Remember flying an approach should be easy, you should be able to it in bad weather, and if it isnt, you are doing it wrong.
I measure someones level of experience on, how long did he stay alive, while flying in what enviroment.
I dont regard flying 6 times between Capetown and 03L in a 5yr NG medium regional jet, out of its maintence base as a high stress level job. That is not building experience, that what you do when you have it.
To employers, remember, in true capitalist fashion, you should buy the best of the ability out there for the best of your money. Otherwise some is getting cheated.
Ethics is what is left, when bullsh1t, falls apart.
The world is a strange place because we make it that way.
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Old 25th Oct 2006, 16:34
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Dark side of the moon
Posts: 78
Just my two cents worth.

It is all very well paying for a type rating in Europe/states where ever. However this is a type rating. If someone is willing to pay for a rating then a block sum to build up there hours, although it is good to get there hours up. It has to be asked, have they been lined trained, or just put through a sausage factory type of system.

I myself have been a co-pilot on light aircraft for a fair amount of time, and have found that the challenges that I haved face have been a hell of alot more valuable than paying for a block of 200 hours.

It is also worth a mention that old JO's practises have been the subject of much argument for quite a while.

If I paid for a block 1000 hrs on an Fokker 50 on Sudan Airways does that make me fit to fit the role of a Fokker 50 operation in Europe? I think not.


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Old 26th Oct 2006, 14:42
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: A very Dark Place
Posts: 153

Extremely well put.

(Oh, and I haven't a clue what the difference is between a 727-100 and 727-200 and couldn't care less, and wonder how many other pilots who fly for a job could either.)
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Old 26th Oct 2006, 15:31
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 282
One is longer than the other and has an extra bog! (very useful to know!)
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Old 26th Oct 2006, 17:24
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Essex
Age: 41
Posts: 15
All the airlines care about is "money, money," I agree, that the CAA are not doing enough, but hey if they did put a stop to this, who would fill up there pockets with cash.

I cannot believe how corrupt this industry is. In the UK I wonder what the likes of BALPA and IPA do, it would be nice if they brought it up with the CAA, rather than turn a blind eye.

It wouldn't suprise me if the airline4s get thier pilots to pay for fuel next, I wish the realised that we are professionals and actually treated us like that rather then treating pilots as Low Costs.
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Old 26th Oct 2006, 18:27
  #16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Africa
Age: 40
Posts: 237

South coast, In a way we R on the same page here, what I cant understand is a guy doing all that time, doing a few ratings on mid turbo props and being signed out in his log book as proficient, yet it is clear he is not, why are the powers that be allowing this to happen? there are many great DE's out there that will fail you and take your license if you are not up to speed. What gets me is that for a price you can still go out there and "assure" your place in aviation despite the fact that your ability and training are comletely crap.
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Old 26th Oct 2006, 19:01
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,211
Have to be careful here with spelling, cause I know the bonehead who has a similar name to yours and I would not like to be on his bad side...

So, contracTdog, without wanting to seem rude or funny, are you a DE, Flight Instructor, DI or is it a DA(not sure)?

My point being, if you are, you would be within your rights ,as their equal- equal to that of the person who signed your fellow pilot off, to report the person whom you deem unfit to be exercising the rights of their licence to the SA CAA.

And heres where I dont want to offend you, if you are not their equal, ie. not a DE, FI, DI/DA (in Europe we call them TRE and TRI, type rating examiners and insructors) then I am not sure if you are qualified to make the critism.

If you feel strongly enought to make the statement that the guy is not up to the standard you consider to be required to pass the CPL/ME/IR skills tests then surely you are obliged to report these pilots to your Chief pilot, Ops manager and the CAA?

Are you sure there is just not a clash of personalities, I know when I have felt I didnt get on with the guy next to me, one suddenly becomes ultra picky and ablt to find fault in just about everything that person says or does.
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Old 26th Oct 2006, 21:06
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: south africa
Posts: 333
South Coast,

I think you misunderstood me or most probably I didnt get my point across very well. Beleive me I would be the first person in line for a type rating if I could afford it. Call me old school, but I beleive a job should be earned SOLELY on merit. Obviously my beliefs and reality, are in this case, two completely differant things..........................
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 23:11
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London. UK
Posts: 132
Big money, big job

All very interesting stuff this and I must confess that I did speed read through a bit of it. But Birdlady misses a fundamental point of European training (JAA to you and me). The very real and indesputable fact is that no-one in SA (with the possible exception of 43 AS, and they run different course depending on the customer) offers anything close to the acedemics and training and post qualification courses that the best of the JAA guys in Europe do. That is why they can and do put 200 hrs pilots in a shiny new B737-400 or a A320 and the guys hack it. There is so much nonsense about hiring low houred guys in SA and that forces these cash rich idiots to pay for something that they themselves should be getting paid for.

Unless the training in SA matches that which has been conducted in the EU for many years then, yes, the newly minted CPL's will fall short of the flying skills and acedemics required to fly a large machine. And only the industry has itself to blame. If you want competant, knowledgable pilots you should take the lead of the JAA states. In the UK for example I understand that all potential trainees (remember most are paying themselves) are screened. Moreover the UK airlines are now demanding an average of 85% for all 14 exams with NO failures and a first time pass at the Multi/CIRT flight test which we know as the ATPL flight test here in SA. Frankly, just how many in SA reach this standard and have the broad knowledge base of a newly minted JAA pilot with 220 hrs. Not many, but go ahead and count them if you can.

So, what do you want people?
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 23:17
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: London. UK
Posts: 132

Even our SAA cadets don't fly any serious tin for two years but have to cut their teeth on something smaller and often slower. Yet, Kenyan Airways cadets also train at 43 and go straight onto the B737 after graduating. Why the difference?

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