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View Full Version : Nick Xenophon - The most important person in the future of Australian Aviation


Mr. Hat
15th Sep 2010, 13:06
From Ben Sandilands Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/) blog comes this speech made by the man that stopped Minister Albanese's madness with regard to jump seat policy. The man that says Pokies are not ok, also says 200 hour pilots sitting in the right seat of high performance airplanes is not okay either.

This couldn't come at a better time. Independents are getting a say in Australian politics and have the spotlight on them right now. What is also happening right now is a push to dumb down our workforce more by offshoring jobs and bringing in lower and lower experience levels. All this whilst experienced pilots are in abundance.

Australia is not Europe/Asia, it has a a significant GA and Military sector that produces experienced pilots. The drive behind these new 'initiatives' is purely for the sake of $5 dollar fares. Its got to stop and as I've said before there is only so much juice you can squeeze out of the Aviation orange before something goes bang.

Nick Xenophon might be the man to close the holes in the swiss cheese. I recommend contacting him and giving him the information he will need to expose this major hull loss waiting to happen.

Perhaps its time for the tax payer and consumer to finally put his/her hand in his/her pocket and contribute towards our industry which has been the Australian Government cash cow and consumer bonanza for decades. As they say:you don't get something for nothing nor do you for $5 for that matter.

Here is the link :Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/)


Independent push for better air safety standards in Australia

September 15, 2010 – 5:35 pm, by Ben Sandilands
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/files/2010/09/800px-Nick_Xenophon-600x402.jpg
A 2008 photo of Senator Xenophon courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Nick Xenophon, the independent senator for South Australia, says he will move for a Senate inquiry into pilot training in Australia, and seek to remedy airline reluctance to report safety breaches to Australian authorities.

In a speech to the Australian and International Pilots Association last night he singled out the failures of Jetstar to promptly and fully report a nearly disastrous botched landing at Melbourne Airport in July 2007 , and the slashing of first officer experience levels to bare minimums at Qantaslink.

Xenophon, like the House of Representatives independents who currently support the Gillard minority Labor government, is in an unprecedented position to end the inaction of Australian governments over aviation issues.

And, although he didn’t mention it in his address to the AIPA annual dinner, he voiced sentiments shared by the coalition’s spokesperson on aviation, Warren Truss, whose election promises included making Australia a world leader in pilot training.

These are some of the things Xenophon said last night, in the order that he said them, in the course of a fuller address, and a number of them have been highlighted in bold type.

For some reason, I seem to be the only Federal pollie that I see on the Tiger flights I travel on.

But whatever the airline, whenever you board the plane, you expect the pilot to have the skills to keep us all safe.

The public rightly expects that a reduced cost ticket doesn’t mean reduced safety.

Whether it’s a legacy carrier or a low-cost carrier, passengers trust the airline has spent the money and the time to ensure their pilots have the same skills, standards and safety levels across the board.

But, based on today’s trends in aviation training and standards, can we?

The airlines say they are trying to cut costs in order to make air travel more accessible.

However, when it comes to safety, cost cutting would have to be the worst form of false economy.

The fact is the cost of maintaining the sort of training and safety standards we’ve enjoyed for so long could be as little as fifty cents a flight per passenger.

It is a pittance to pay for the level of world class safety your passengers deserve.

Overseas experience has shown us, though, that when airline safety is compromised by cost-cutting, people lose a lot more than money and time.

On February 12 last year in the United States, Continental Connections Flight 3047 took off from New Jersey for Buffalo in New York state.

It was a Bombardier Q-400 … the same plane that’s flown daily between Canberra and Sydney and around the regions.

Near its destination, the flight crashed into a residential area, killing 45 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants and one person on the ground.

The US National Transportation Safety Board has since blamed pilot error and poor training for the crash.

It found that the plane’s captain, Marvin Renslow:

“Had not established a good foundation of attitude instrument flying skills early in his career, and his continued weaknesses in basic aircraft control and instrument flying were not identified and adequately addressed.”

ThE NTSB also found that First Officer, Rebecca Shaw, was exhausted from regularly commuting from Seattle to the East Coast and catching what sleep she could on the couch of the commuter airline’s office.

There’s no doubt that the advent of low-cost carriers around the world has benefited tourism and trade in Australia and internationally.

In the past decade, air travel has grown by 7 percent per year and it’s expected to remain at this rate of growth in years to come.

But has anyone stopped to ask, where will all the pilots to enable this travel come from?

And, more importantly, what training will they receive?

I’m very grateful for the work of former CASA Flying Operations Inspector and former Head of Pilot Training with National Jet Systems, Dick MacKerras, who has done extensive research into the issue of aviation safety and pilot training in Australia and around the world.

Historically, pilots were required to have a minimum of 1-thousand to 15-hundred hours of flying experience before they could get into the co-pilot’s seat for a regional carrier.

But this standard is slipping, with many companies now thinking more about how they can fast-track pilots.

When passengers buy their airline ticket, do you think they realise that, in some cases, the plane might be flown by someone with as little as 200 hours of experience?

The 2007 pilots shortage saw a reduction in QantasLink’s required flight hours from 1000 hours of flight experience to just 200 for First Officers.

Three years on, and the standard hasn’t been returned to the 1000 hour minimum.

When I heard this figure I was shocked.

It amazed me that the current minimum mandated requirement for flight hours before a pilot can gain their commercial licence is just 200 hours … and I suspect most Australians would have the same reaction I did.

After all, 200 hours is not much more than what a teenage driver requires to get their P-plates in some states.

In the United States, a minimum standard of 15-hundred hours flying hours is now required before they pilots can pilot a commercial passenger flight.

This wasn’t some airline initiative, it was the initiative of Congress and President Obama, as a result of the Buffalo crash.

Most notably, the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act requires all commercial airline pilots to have completed a minimum of 15-hundred flight hours, in addition to appropriate operational experience, before they may begin piloting commercial passenger flights.

I believe we need to urgently review our current standards for flight experience in light of the US legislation.

There are a number of fantastic training programs in Australia, operated through airlines themselves, and many of which some of you may have received as part of your career.

But there are others which are inferior in quality, where training and minimum flight hours to obtain a pilots licence are not standardised.

It is then up to the discretion of the airline who they employ and, given the corporate push to reduce costs and expenses, it’s not improbable to assume some airlines will go for the cheapest employee.

The end result will be more pilots with minimal experience flying planes across Australia.

That’s why it is crucial that appropriate standards are put in place now, before any disaster occurs.

It’s also vital that standards of aircraft type and recurrent training are implemented, especially for pilots who do enter with low levels of experience.

On 21 July 2007, a Jetstar Airbus A320-232 was being flown from Christchurch to Melbourne.

Upon its approach into a foggy Melbourne, the pilot in command did not perform the go-around procedure correctly and, in the process, the crew were unaware that the aircraft was continuing to descend.

The aircraft came within 38 feet of the ground before anyone realised.

After re-climbing, the pilot then attempted to land a second time but this had to be diverted again due to the fog. The plane eventually landed safely at Avalon airport.

Upon their return to New Zealand, the crew reported the incident to the airline operator, who took five days – five days – before reporting the incident to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

It was later revealed, however, that the internal report given to the ATSB by the operator excluded key information which led to the authority determining that a formal investigation was not required.

It was only after media reports some months later that the ATSB made further inquiries into the incident and discovered the withheld information.

It seems the information given to the ATSB at first instance did not the whole story.

The ATSB subsequently found that an investigation was required and its report was highly critical.

Jetstar subsequently adopted Airbus’s standard procedures for go-arounds, and instigated a review of its third party training procedures.

At the time, Jetstar’s General Manager of Safety was John Gissing, who is now the Executive Manager of Safety at Qantas.

And the CEO of Jetstar at the time, Alan Joyce of course is now CEO of Qantas.

The 21st July incident may not have seen the light of day, had it not been for third parties coming forward with information.

You must ask the question, how many other incidents have not been reported and investigated because of flawed reporting protocols.

We have to do whatever it takes to ensure we retain our reputation as a first-class aviation industry.

Jetstar now has two Australian-registered planes based out of Singapore, with one of those planes due to be in service by the end of this year.

The airline has recently advertised for 15 A-330 Captains and 23 A-330 First Officers to crew these planes.

But the current proposal being put up would actually allow Jetstar to pool its pilot talent, enlisting pilots from across the world.

While this seems reasonable at first glance, does it mean that pilots from overseas will be required to have the same standards and experience as Australian-based pilots?

Professor Arnold Barnett, a leading expert on aviation safety at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, recently published a study on aviation safety records.

He looked at accident risk in the air and found that over the period 2000 to 2007, the average worldwide passenger death risk per scheduled flight was 1 in 3 million.

But the worldwide average reflects the actual risk level in few, if any countries.

Narrowing this down, the study found that in first world nations, which includes Australia, the accident death risk per flight was found to be 1 in 14 million departures.

Meanwhile, in advancing nations – which includes China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand – it’s a lot lower, at 1 in 2 million departures.

In least developed nations, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, Professor Barnett says the risk of death is approximately 1 in 800,000 departures.

I believe there is an urgent need for a Senate Inquiry into aviation training and standards in Australia, and I will move for that when the Senate resumes in two weeks’ time.

I, for one, would like to see Alan Joyce and John Gissing tell a Senate Committee a little more about that July 21 incident and what happened in the days following.

The other, more immediate, change I intend to push for when I return to Canberra, is an overhaul of reporting protocols in the Transport Safety Investigation Act.

Flight crews should not be reporting to airlines, who then choose what to do with information and what information to provide to authorities.

Some airlines could have a commercial incentive to downplay incidents and that is not good enough.

That is why I will seek changes to require flight crews to report directly to aviation authorities.

The bean counters shouldn’t decide what aviation authorities find out.

In the United States, the reporting system is significantly different.

There, the culture is geared much more towards encouraging pilots to report and discuss incidents, with this information used in training and to prevent future problems.

Those who provide information to the FAA are indemnified from prosecution even if they were responsible for the incident.

In contrast, here in Australia, pilots who speak out about incidents don’t have the same sorts of protections and a fear factor may stop some from coming forward.

Quite simply, we have to change the way we do things, and go back to the sorts of practices that kept our skies safe for so long

Icarus53
15th Sep 2010, 13:15
Was present for this speech and can say that I've never before seen a politician cover a special interest issue as comprehensively as this within a short timeframe. Perhaps there's hope for parliament yet.:ok:

The man clearly has the motivation to carry our banner forward and has a proven track record when it comes to knocking over idiotic ministerial policy (did it tickle Mr. Albanese?)

Follow the leader.

Roller Merlin
15th Sep 2010, 13:25
And from ABC Lateline Business (TV and Website) last night:

Pilot training program raises safety fears

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 14/09/2010
Reporter: Karen Barlow
Pilots have raised concerns that a pilot shortage may be putting the squeeze on training and jeopodising airline safety.

Transcript
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Airlines say safety is their number one priority, but pilot training may be putting that at risk.

The worldwide pilot shortage and low-cost airlines are putting the squeeze on carriers and pilots say that the pressures are being passed onto them.

In the past few years, commercial co-pilots have been allowed to fly after just 200 hours in the air training experience, when previously they were required to clock up 1,000 hours.

Pilots and the independent Senator Nick Xenophon say the aviation industry must learn from a number of serious recent incidents.

Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: In this Melbourne fog on July 21st, 2007, the pilots on a Jetstar A320 made a botched attempt to land.

Alarms sounded in the cockpit as a plane came within 11-and-a-half metres of the tarmac before the landing was aborted.

BARRY JACKSON, PILOTS ASSOCIATION: In this particular incident there was obviously a misunderstanding and it became fairly close to a fairly major tragedy.

KAREN BARLOW: It was a routine emergency, but the two pilots were not trained properly on that particular aircraft.

Jetstar didn't report the breach to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau until almost two months later.

BARRY JACKSON: Basically those sort of incidents have to be reported within 48 hours and that wasn't done in this particular case.

KAREN BARLOW: The ATSB was satisfied by Jetstar's explanation of the incident and the airline was never sanctioned.

Jetstar today stands by its safety procedures.

JETSTAR AIRWAYS, STATEMENT (female voiceover): "Jetstar has a proactive safety culture and as part of this we adhere to all ATSB reporting requirements."

KAREN BARLOW: The Jetstar near miss concerns independent Senator Nick Xenophon and he wants a Senate inquiry into aviation training and safety standards.

NICK XENOPHON, INDEPENDENT SENATOR: There are some unanswered questions there and I think if we want to look at systemic issues relating to air safety in this country, then we need to revisit what happened on 21st July, 2007.

KAREN BARLOW: Pilots are wanted people. There's a world-wide shortage now and over the next 20 years, an extra 22,500 pilots will be needed.

BARRY JACKSON: Well, airlines will try and fast-track their training, try and get them into the operational seat earlier then probably traditional-type training would involve.

KAREN BARLOW: First officers or co-pilots are only required to have 200 hours of in-the-air training at Jetstar.

That's down from an industry standard of at least 1,000 hours in the sky several years ago.

Last year, United States legislators increased the minimum flight hours from 200 to 1,500 following a fatal crash.

Investigators blame the crash on pilot error and poor training.

In Australia Jetstar stands by its cadet pilot training program which began in June.

JETSTAR AIRWAYS, STATEMENT (female voiceover): "The training programs offered by Oxford Aviation and CTC are what have been employed for decades by some of the world's leading airlines across Europe and Asia."

KAREN BARLOW: Jetstar's main competitor Virgin Blue also trains its own pilots.

VIRGIN BLUE GROUP OF AIRLINES, STATEMENT (male voiceover): "Our pilot training regimen is regularly benchmarked against international standards as part of our program of continuous improvements."

KAREN BARLOW: Aviation is the still the safest form of transport in the world, especially in Australia. Industry experts say that reputation is always at risk from human error.

DICK MACKERRAS, AVIATION CONSULTANT: There are a lot of pressures, financial pressures. The low-cost carrier model, which is now endemic around the world, puts a lot of financial pressure on organisations which they tend to transfer unfortunately to their pilots.

BARRY JACKSON: We'd like to see a proper appraisal of where the industry is going because there is a line in the sand that we don't wanna be mourning passengers on a commercial jet in this country because it could have been avoided.

KAREN BARLOW: The independent South Australian Senator will move for a Senate inquiry into the aviation industry when Parliament resumes in a fortnight.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If beancounters think that pilots and training are expensive, they would be overwhelmed a thousand fold by the impact of a major accident. Clearly the momentum is building from many directions against this commercial madness - we need champions like Xeno to push to regulate it into oblivion - lets get behind him!

PLovett
15th Sep 2010, 14:31
Thank you Roller Merlin for showing that not even one of the more reputable news outlets can get their facts straight. The pressure on journalists to get their stories prepared for evening broadcast shows in the number of factual mistakes they make. :ugh:

the pilots on a Jetstar A320 made a botched attempt to land

They didn't botch the landing but the missed approach procedure. Was their any mention of Jetstar changing the procedure contrary to Airbus' advice? No. :mad:

First officers or co-pilots are only required to have 200 hours of in-the-air training at Jetstar

WTF did that come from? :confused: The cadet scheme has a long way to run before anything like that becomes a reality. :rolleyes:

The trouble with the media, and more particularly television, is that it is driven by the sound bite. I have had recent experience of seeing what has happened when a reasonably long interview gets carved up for a news broadcast. A lot of points that you feel should be expressed wind up on the editing room floor (figuratively speaking in this digital age) and I suspect that is what happened last night. :(

What Sen. Zenophon is trying to do is necessary but it needs to look at far more than just pilot training. The aviation industry in Australia is in a mess and it is getting worse. Pilot training is merely part of the problem. :sad:

Mr. Hat
15th Sep 2010, 21:22
The thread isn't an attack on Jetstar flight standards. The thread is about companies employing people with less and less experience in order to save money. It could even be extended to other areas such as the farcical security measures or the ridiculous airport infrastructure.

Bigger fish to fry.

equal
15th Sep 2010, 21:42
from the atsb report;

Pilot in command
Licence type Air Transport Pilot (Aeroplane) Licence (ATPL(A))
Total hours 6,500 hours (2,500 B717)
Total hours on type 1,580 hours

Copilot
Licence type ATPL(A)
Total hours 5,000 hours
Total hours on type 500 hours

i'm confused to why this incident is being associated with the low time pilot argument.

blueloo
15th Sep 2010, 21:56
i'm confused to why this incident is being associated with the low time pilot argument.

It is merely being used as an example of why training is needed, and why high standards are required. I am sure many other countless examples could be used from any of the major or minor carriers from here or abroad.

A. Le Rhone
15th Sep 2010, 22:08
Because it's symptomatic of poor training or systems knowledge.

A go-around isn't exactly a difficult procedure. TL's into TOGA detent, follow FD's and away you go.

This Xenphon approach is exactly what's required an at just the right time, with J* looking to further dilute pilot skill levels by offshoring and employing the cheapest pilots they can find.

Whilst pilot salaries etc are important, public safety is even more important. The Reason/Swiss Cheese model where the 'accident holes' are all starting to line up is very relevant here.

The silly old 2 Airline policy might have been a cumbersome duopoly but at least the public was safe. Deregulation seems to have accompanied insufficient regulation of experience and safety levels. One hopes that the Colgan accident (plus the Garuda accident and the impact it had on Aussie passengers) will be all that is needed to convince pollies and the media that where a pilot has been trained and how many hours he has can have a direct impact on whether they see their kids that night. Sounds melodramatic but it's true.

Good post Mr Hat and good luck Mr Xenophon.

mmciau
15th Sep 2010, 22:14
The Independent Senator is very well respected politician.

He has always endeavoured to present well researched POV into the political discussions.

And he will stand up for a cause.

Mike

Mr. Hat
15th Sep 2010, 22:16
Here is the opportunity to get someone that has some real pull to speak on our behalf and we're getting defensive about this that and the other.:ugh:

Let me relieve you of your confusion. He used the incident to highlight that hull losses are real and can happen even though the concept is far from the Australian public's mind as that sort of thing doesn't happen here. He also used the example to highlight deficiency in the reporting culture. As in why would a company Red, Silver, Blue or Yellow dob itself in?

Amazing, if you deleted the reference to the particular Airline and more specifically a possible critiscm of a pilot's actions it would be seen as a major boost to our cause.

daggles69
15th Sep 2010, 22:20
Nick is a hero for getting up speaking about where all of this headed.

Forge ahead Nick and pull those gready CEO's back into reality!:ok:

Mr. Hat
15th Sep 2010, 22:28
Even better write him an email and give him some inside knowledge on what you have experienced in your time in the industry.

Nick Xenophon - Independent Senator for South Australia (http://www.nickxenophon.com.au/)

[email protected]

KRUSTY 34
16th Sep 2010, 00:00
BRAVO MODS!

IMHO, the most important "Sticky" in PPRuNE History.

Mr Hat has hit the nail on the head equal. Experience, the lack of or even the amount, is sometimes difficult to quantify with respect to the accident statistics. What "Colgan" showed to the US people and the Senate is that if you constantly attack pilots wages and conditions you will end up with an inferior product, sometimes not shown in just hours in the logbook. Pilots worked to the absolute max. Pilots unable to afford to live in the city of their base. Pilots flying whilst unwell because they will suffer further financial hardship if they go sick! Pilots not having their minds on the job because of the previously mentioned factors! Pilots in cockpits that are only there because higher quality candidates walk away from the deals on offer shaking their heads!

Airline Cadetships in this country ( with the exception of the previous QF) are becomeing fasionable because of one thing only, Cheap Labour! They will lead to the negative flightdeck environments we have seen in other countries so poisonous to overall airline saftey. The proposed Jetstar Cadetship is probably the most cynical and dangerous example of a management style gone completely out of control!

Senator Xeonophon's startled observation that experience requirements haven't returned to pre 2007 levels is crucial in redressing this trend. It is vital that Australia follows American's lead. It won't be popular with some sectors, but it is the only way the profession, and overall airline standards will move back to where the travelling public rightfully expects it to be!

ga_trojan
16th Sep 2010, 00:28
Investigators blame the crash on pilot error and poor training.

In Australia Jetstar stands by its cadet pilot training program which began in June.

JETSTAR AIRWAYS, STATEMENT (female voiceover): "The training programs offered by Oxford Aviation and CTC are what have been employed for decades by some of the world's leading airlines across Europe and Asia."

KAREN BARLOW: Jetstar's main competitor Virgin Blue also trains its own pilots.

VIRGIN BLUE GROUP OF AIRLINES, STATEMENT (male voiceover): "Our pilot training regimen is regularly benchmarked against international standards as part of our program of continuous improvements."I think there is some serious blurring of the issues about pilot training. Virgin Blue and Jetstar do not do their own training. Pilots pay a sub contractor to do the training independantly once they pass their rating they then are employed by the airline on the baisis of that rating. This is directly opposed to QF mainline, the Asian carriers mentioned in the ABC report and how Ansett did it. The Asian carriers sub contract their commercial pilot training, often to pilot schools in Australia, then do their endorsement training in house.

The Jetstar pilots in this incident were trainined by a sub contractor and paid for out of their own pocket. Let's not blurr CAR 217 CHECKING as 'in house training' 'cause it ain't, it is testing done on behalf of CASA to maintain our licenses.

Maybe a full review of pilot training and checking is in order in this country

relax737
16th Sep 2010, 01:52
Many of those who thought Xenophon a dill for opposing poker machines now think he's an intellectual for taking this stand. He's one or the other.

I understand when you're in a corner that you'll hang your hat on anything that seems to be favourable to your cause, but if not consistent, you are the ones who appear dills.

404 Titan
16th Sep 2010, 01:54
We also need to ban former senior airline management from CASA regulatory and CEO positions. This is clearly a conflict of interest with the possibility of favours being done for former employers and mates.

beaver_rotate
16th Sep 2010, 03:36
DM's involvement in this certainly is an interesting one... being one of the dictators of a C+T system, sorry regime... that had floors galore; and which in turn failed it's own pilots circa 2008 and the hard-landing occurence in DN. I find his comments intriguing, yet not surprising...

Skynews
16th Sep 2010, 05:02
Maybe a full review of pilot training and checking is in order in this country
I could not agree more.
A pilot with minimal experience who has gone through an excellent training system may well be suitable as an F/O.
The problem really lies with, which aviation company provides quality training, and just as important a quality check organization.
With third party endorsements, less than ideal line training and the pseudo checking what chance would a pilot with low hours have.

I used to believe that it was a fault within the company I was working for, now I sternly believe the entire Aus aviation industry is in a huge downward standards spiral, and it won't change until some poor bugger hits the bottom.

I will be writing to the good senator and offering inside information. If nothing else, it will have the hairs on his head standing up.


DM aviation consultant, hahahahahahahahaha:rolleyes:

Barry Mundy
16th Sep 2010, 06:49
The Good Senator mentions QLink standards, well the first QANTAS Cadets taken in 2007/2008 are now getting commands and given positions as instructors in the sim.

Frank Arouet
16th Sep 2010, 06:55
We also need to ban former senior airline management from CASA regulatory and CEO positions. This is clearly a conflict of interest with the possibility of favours being done for former employers and mates.

Aviation needs an ongoing type of "Royal Commission", where witnesses appear, under oath, and tell the truth.

Very important and accurate needs to squeeze the puss out of the festering boil of the industry. I would add to quote #1 that ex military "wallahs" be pissed off as well.

It is said that a politician only calls for a Royal Commission when he knows what the outcome is going to be. At this hiatus in government, neither party has this luxury.

Bring it on Mr Xenophon.

KRUSTY 34
16th Sep 2010, 07:12
The arguements regarding whether properly trained Cadets are better operators than experienced guys/girls off the street has been raging since Cadet programs were first introduced. you will never win or resolve that arguement, the variables are just too great. The US Congress knew that, and came to the conclusion (rightfully so in my opinion) that this whole situation is about the professionalism of airline pilots.

You cannot expect a consistant long term professional attitude from a person who earns less than the average wage, no matter how well he/she is trained. Financially poor pilots equal one thing, Lowering standards. There is only one reason Airlines in this country are trying to put inexperienced pilots into the flightdecks, Exploitation. If they had to pay Cadets a proper First Officers salary, then Cadetships of this nature would dissapear overnight. They would take experience over the long training process any day. Pay cadets a proper First Officers salary, and you won't get a gripe from me, but to do that would defeat the entire purpose of these scams in the first place!

So what has Congress done to put the profession back on track, they've made airline pilots valuable again. Brilliant in it's simplicity, but a situation that should not have gone as far as it did in the first place, and something the Australian government and population at large need to realise!

Keith Myath
16th Sep 2010, 07:44
The good senator should ask Qlink (SSA / EAA) "How many stick shaker events have occurred since standards were lowered to 200 hrs. ?" "How many stick shaker events have occurred in the 3 years prior?" The cost cutting is not only affecting new recruits, but having an adverse effect on ongoing currency training.

Hugh Jarse
16th Sep 2010, 09:24
The good senator should ask Qlink (SSA / EAA) "How many stick shaker events have occurred since standards were lowered to 200 hrs. ?" "How many stick shaker events have occurred in the 3 years prior?" The cost cutting is not only affecting new recruits, but having an adverse effect on ongoing currency training.Indeed, Keith. Well stated! I was on the Dash for 12 years there, and not once... NOT ONCE, did we have a stick shaker event between 1996 and 2008. Nor did we ever almost lose an aircraft in the circuit at Sydney with a Check Captain at the wheel (cadet in the RHS).

Barry Mundy wrote:The Good Senator mentions QLink standards, well the first QANTAS Cadets taken in 2007/2008 are now getting commands and given positions as instructors in the sim.That would be because nobody else (with any substantial experience) is interested in copping the crap that Dr. Evil and Mini Me dish out, Barry. You can ask MoFO why that is the case.:ugh: (Be prepared for spin)

So, Barry, if these cadets are so shit hot, why do they require more than twice the line training (as well as supplementary sim training), compared to an experienced pilot off the street?

BECAUSE YOU CAN'T TRAIN EXPERIENCE.

One day I might tell you the story about the cadet I had as an FO who had never flown in IMC... Who'd never flown in turbulence with his 150 hours....

And who withdrew support on a dark and stormy night and left me up shit creek as a single pilot with an unserviceable FO because he was frightened of the turbulence.

Give me a break!

No, I think I might make a submission to Nick Xenophon instead.

Enjoy your time at Qantaslink. Rose-coloured glasses optional.

Bo777
16th Sep 2010, 09:40
So what has Congress done to put the profession back on track, they've made airline pilots valuable again. Brilliant in it's simplicity, but a situation that should not have gone as far as it did in the first place, and something the Australian government and population at large need to realise!
Totally agree. But even if Australian legislation is introduced that restricts FOs in obtaining 1500 hours before entering the airlines, what effect would that have on cadets at J* Nz and Asia who will fly into Australia?

EW73
16th Sep 2010, 10:01
Guys...

I've just been in contact with Senator Xenophon's office this afternoon.

The word from him is for each and every one of you with a relevant point to make, to go ahead and prepare a submission for presentation at this public senate inquiry.
If his push for this is successful, we should know within about two weeks, and the more experienced aviation professionals that take part in making their concerns known, the more impact it will have on the decision-makers.
If you're concerned about keeping your identity covert, you are able to make anonymous submissions.
The important thing here is to get the message across that we are ALL very concerned with the current situation, and it's way past time to start getting Australian aviation, and pilot training in particular, back on track, back on track now!

Use that email address, stop whinging here and start making these points forcefully via the good senator, to this senate hearing. This is the best opportunity we've had to vent our collective concerns in an organized manner in 'living memory'!

Go for it...:D

EW73

glekichi
16th Sep 2010, 10:57
Traditional cadet S/Os that get to take everything in for a few years is one thing, but cadets straight into the right seat is another all together.

Mr. Hat
16th Sep 2010, 11:22
Totally agree glekichi. I think its the Direct Entry (zero to hero) Right hand seat that Nick Xenophon and others are getting a bit concerned about.

There are many other issues at stake here, this isn't a thread about cadets its a thread about the state of our industry. That includes everything from Air Traffic Controllers to the importation of workers from impoverished countries on lower conditions. All this purely for the sake of people travelling around the countryside at unsustainable ticket prices.

Australia hasn't got the population of Europe the model doesn't work here, someones going to have a prang. If you can't afford to employ experienced/talented people and pay them properly you can't afford to be in business. What kind of industry avoids expertise in favour of naivety and inexperience for the purpose of lower wages. There's something really wrong going on here.

mustman
16th Sep 2010, 12:25
[email protected]

Those with a story, experience and knowledge, take 2 minutes of your time and email the senator. Its up to us to make this industry better. Like I said 2 minutes of your time!:ok:

Shrags123
16th Sep 2010, 16:02
Scare mongering about safety to push a wages agenda is one of the most irresponsible things you can do in this business. When not hiding behind usernames on PPrune most responsible professionals I know in the industry would agree.No-one is scare mongering about safety to push a wages agenda. It is, however, the wages agenda that is ultimately affecting safety.

A story: I recently had installed a fairly sophisticated multi-zone ducted air-conditioning system in my house. The winning quote was from a gentleman who impressed me with his experience and knowledge, and provided a good quote. When installation day came, he didn't install it himself as I had naively expected, he sent a small team of 18yo clueless apprentices to do most of the work.

It was a false economy - the system was very poorly installed and subsequently cost him a lot of money sending a more experienced employee to come and re-do a fair bit of the work. His "competitive" quote was obviously based on underpaid and undertrained employees performing the installation.

This is what we are talking about - except that in aviation, undertrained monkeys can cost hundreds of lives. The industry's push for lower wages will ultimately end up with lower training and experience standards unless someone like Sen. Xenophon stands up and promotes regulation to prevent it.

Bring on 1500 hrs min RPT, and stop the rot of outsourced training to the lowest bidder and offshore crewing. Make the airlines train their crew properly and be held accountable for the standards. And no "pilot shortage" excuses for reduced standards. There won't be a pilot shortage if the wages are appropriate and hence encourage school leavers to enter the industry. Lawyers are still paid well and I haven't seen any "lawyer shortage" headlines in the press. 20 years ago I would have encouraged my children to become pilots. With the current state of the industry in this country, they'll be standing in the corner for an hour if they even suggest the idea.

KRUSTY 34
16th Sep 2010, 22:02
Gidday Lester', have another read of my post. Financially poor pilots (cadets or otherwise) will result in lower standards. This is becoming apparent around the world, and the American public were shocked so much that significant changes are being made to the "VALUE" of their airline pilots. I know REX pay their graduated cadets the standard REX F/O wage, but lets face it, it's still well below the national average.

Have a look at the Jetstar Cadet deal, because this is the one that brings the bar down to a whole new level. $180K + Interest! Salary sacrificed over 6 years on a base of $50K!

End result-A gross annual salary of approx $23K P/A for a potentially hopelessly in debt A320 First Officer!!! Would you feel safe down the back? :sad:

Fruet Mich
16th Sep 2010, 22:57
Exactly, would you feel safe traveling with an FO who has his/her mind filled with stress about where his/her next rent payment is going to come from, and then a capt who is stressed because he is flying single pilot because his underpaid FO can't keep his mind on the job?

There is only one reason why AJ and BB are trying desperately to lower wages, because low cost models don't work on standard cost structures. Maybe in Europe with huge population base and where an airport pays the low cost operator to fly in to their ex military base.

Mr. Hat
16th Sep 2010, 23:10
Bring on an inquiry. It will just show a low hr pilot and a high hr pilot in the Right seat (I emphasis RIGHT), for the most part, means nothing. It just comes down on the day to how good each of their training has been.

Thats right quality training followed by time in GA making mistakes and learning your trade can't be beaten.

Mr. Hat
16th Sep 2010, 23:30
Here is the article in today's Australian by Steve Creedy


Xenophon takes aim at airline standards in a bid to stop the rot on training levels | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/xenophon-takes-aim-at-airline-standards-in-a-bid-to-stop-the-rot-on-training-levels/story-e6frg95x-1225924985386)

Steve Creedy From:The Australian | The Australian Homepage | TheAustralian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/) September 17, 2010 12:00AM

http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2010/09/16/1225924/985366-senator-nick-xenophon.jpg
South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon at a doorstop at Parliament House in Canberra today. Picture: Ray Strange Source: The Australian

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon will push for an urgent Senate inquiry into Australian aviation training and standards.

This comes after a warning of a "race to the bottom" that has seen required flying experience for airline pilots plummet.

Senator Xenophon also called for Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and the airline's head of safety, John Gissing, to appear before a Senate committee to explain the circumstances behind a 2007 Jetstar incident in Melbourne.

The calls, made in a hard-hitting speech to a Qantas pilots union dinner in Sydney this week, come as some aviators have expressed concern about outsourced training programs that airlines say are essential to keep up the supply of new pilots.

Senator Xenophon said he was shocked to learn that the 2007 pilots shortage had seen required flight hours for new pilots at QantasLink drop from 1000 hours to 200 hours. He compared this to legislation passed last month in the US requiring commercial airline pilots to have a minimum of 1500 hours and appropriate operational experience.


The legislation was introduced after US air safety investigators found pilot error and poor training contributed to a fatal accident involving a Continental Connection Bombardier Q400 turboprop near Buffalo, New York last year. It found the captain did not have a good foundation in altitude instrument flying skills and his continued weakness in basic aircraft control and instrument flying were not identified.

"Historically, pilots were required to have a minimum of 1000 to 1500 hours of flying experience before they could get into the co-pilot's seat for a regional carrier," Senator Xenophon said. "But this standard is slipping, with many companies now thinking more about how they can fast-track pilots.

"When passengers buy their airline ticket, do you think they realise that, in some cases, the plane might be flown by someone with as little as 200 hours of experience?"

The South Australian independent said there needed to be an urgent review of current standards for flight experience in light of the US legislation.

Also in Senator Xenophon's sights are changes to reporting protocols in the Transport Safety Investigations Act so that flight crews reported incidents to aviation authorities rather than airlines.

This was in response to a July 2007 incident in which a pilot botched a go-around and the crew was unaware the aircraft, which came within 38ft of the ground, was continuing to sink. The flight crew reported the incident to Jetstar but it took five days to report it to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and excluded key information. As a result, the ATSB decided not to investigate but changed its mind some months later after media reports highlighted the seriousness of the incident.

"Flight crews should not be reporting to airlines who then choose what to do with information and what information to provide to authorities," he said.

"Some airlines could have a commercial incentive to downplay incidents."

Other issues canvassed in the speech included industry rates of pay. Senator Xenophon pointed to comments by USAirways "Miracle on the Hudson" hero Captain Chesley Sullenberger that his pay had been cut by 40 per cent and his pension terminated. He had also been surprised to find the co-pilot in the Buffalo crash had been paid between $US16,000 and $US20,000.

"With the pay so low, the industry will never attract the best talent," he said. "We're not there yet in Australia, but I believe it's safe to say the race to the bottom has begun. Low-cost carriers have introduced pay-for-training models where prospective pilots can pay up to $150,000 to gain their commercial jet licence without any guarantee of employment at the end of their training."

The speech received a rousing response from pilots at the Australian and International Pilots Association annual dinner but was less warmly received by Jetstar and the aviation regulator.

Jetstar, which runs a cadet pilot scheme in conjunction with training organisations CTC Aviation Group and Oxford Aviation Academy Group, defended its training and safety management systems as robust.

It said its cadet pilots received 1000 hours of training and close supervisory flying followed by 18 months of further supervision.

This was a conservative approach, with cadet entrants receiving about twice as much training as industry norms. Those at CTC and Oxford Aviation received a combination of 185 hours flying time, 100 hours in simulators and 55 weeks' theoretical training. Jetstar added to this 220 hours of combined simulator sessions, simulator acceptance training and line training.

Those who passed this process then did a further 500 hours flying with an experienced captain.

Jetstar chief pilot Mark Rindfleish said CTC and Oxford Aviation had been providing training for airlines, including British Airways, since the 1960s and while the Jetstar program had been a first for Australia, it was common overseas.

Captain Rindfleish said recruits were closely monitored.

"The actual reporting functions in terms of the pilots' standards, and the improving standards or decreasing standards, is probably as good as anywhere," he said.

"So we've got great capability when we get people into the business to watch them improve. And, of course, if they're not improving we've got the capability to go and put more training into where it needs to go.

"Certainly we can tell very quickly if people are heading towards a state where they may not be proficient and act on it before it gets to that stage."

The Jetstar executive acknowledged there were strong opinions among pilots about training systems. While there was some advantages of employing someone with 1500 hours who had worked for a number of different airlines on a number of jobs, someone taken from an early age would know Jetstar's policies and procedures, and could be watched throughout their training.

"It will continue to be a debate," he said. "We're not suggesting we'll stop taking people who have the other experience as well, but if we don't start generating the capability for people to get these other types of qualification then we'll rapidly denude the place of the other types of pilots, the GA guys. They're just not coming up at the speed at which we're going to need pilots."

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which sets requirements for pilot licences, said Australian rules were in line with most other parts of the world and were now based on pilots demonstrating competency. It said a co-pilot must have, as a minimum, a commercial pilot licence, which requires 150 hours' flight time if a pilot goes through an integrated syllabus or 200 hours in other cases.

They must also obtain an instrument rating and type endorsement for the aircraft type to be flown.

"While flying hours are a part of the qualifications co-pilots for airlines must have, the key to advancing to the position of co-pilot is demonstrating the required competencies in a wide range of areas, including technical flying skills, decision-making, navigation," a spokesman said.


Related Coverage
PILOTS angry about changes to flying at Jetstar | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/pilots-angry-about-changes-to-flying-at-jetstar/story-e6frg95x-1225907445964) The Australian, 19 Aug 2010
Jetstar's pilot push under fire: Qantas pilots union | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/jetstars-pilot-push-under-fire-qantas-pilots-union/story-e6frg95x-1225895785571) The Australian, 22 Jul 2010
Jetstar's cadet pilot program to attract thousands | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/jetstars-cadet-pilot-program-to-attract-thousands/story-e6frg95x-1225875165572) The Australian, 3 Jun 2010
Jetstar malfunction link to Air France Atlantic crash | News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/jetstar-malfunction-link-to-air-france-atlantic-crash/story-e6frfq80-1225794100245) NEWS.com.au, 3 Nov 2009
US pilots 'were working on laptops' | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/us-pilots-were-working-on-laptops/story-e6frg6so-1225791564462) The Australian, 26 Oct 2009

David75
17th Sep 2010, 00:54
Nobody has yet addressed the underlying problem that you need to have a functioning GA sector to provide the 1500 hrs min. The GA sector in Australia is fairly limited (and poorly paid.

Perhaps there needs to be more incentives by way of infrastructure/facilities such as common user terminals at small airports - to enourage the sector.

There needs to be a clearer progression for guys to get the 1500 hrs and then move up - perhaps the airlines should be forced to partner with charter/tourism operators - push the training standards down from the top to improve the bottom? Airlines provide check and training for smaller operators...

Popgun
17th Sep 2010, 01:29
All,

Show Senator Xenophon that we applaud and support his courage and hard work.

Please send him an email of support as I have just done so we can turn this safety-rot around. His email address is on his website.

We do not want a Colgan-air style crash on our watch.

Cheers,

PG

Mr. Hat
17th Sep 2010, 04:36
The Senator needs to speak to some of the turbo prop pilots around the country (thats you REX and Skippers etc drivers). Even some jet guys could shed some light on wages and conditions. Training wages, bonds, upfront endorsement costs. Low wages in disguise.

Have to say the first line is just brilliant.

"With the pay so low, the industry will never attract the best talent," he said. "We're not there yet in Australia, but I believe it's safe to say the race to the bottom has begun. Low-cost carriers have introduced pay-for-training models where prospective pilots can pay up to $150,000 to gain their commercial jet licence without any guarantee of employment at the end of their training."

Capt_SNAFU
17th Sep 2010, 05:35
"We're not suggesting we'll stop taking people who have the other experience as well, but if we don't start generating the capability for people to get these other types of qualification then we'll rapidly denude the place of the other types of pilots, the GA guys. They're just not coming up at the speed at which we're going to need pilots."

Interesting in that the J* CP states that a pilot shortage is looming and that is why they need cadetships. Not because in increases the quality of the candidate but that they will run out of pilots.

404 Titan
17th Sep 2010, 06:06
They may crow until the cows come home that the reason they (in this case J*) are offering cadetships is because of a looming pilot shortage. If this was true then they would be offering these cadetships on the same terms as existing pilots. The very fact they are offering them on greatly reduced terms highlights the real motive behind them and it has nothing to do with any mythical pilot shortage in Australia. It has everything to do with slashing terms and conditions by entrapping starry eyed wannabes with no aviation experience who through no fault of their own don’t know any better.

Fruet Mich
17th Sep 2010, 07:45
It cracks me up how Bruce Buchanan in his recent interview quoted with conviction that they needed to be competitive with the Asian salaries! Most of the Asian carriers insist on hiring EXPERIENCED operators and paying them very handsome salaries hence I'm guessing the impending "pilot shortage" it's obvious the shortage will be driven from Asia offering high salaries that will drain the Aussie experience and benefit the safety of the Asian carriers. AJ and BB's answer to that is inexperience? WTF? Do these guys actually know the industry? The key to bottom line in this industry is safety. Safety unfortunately cost money. Pay the money and pilots will not leave for Asian jobs and the won't be the "pilot shortage" hiring cadets and paying Shyte may be good for the bottom line now but the "pilot shortage" will soon take care of those cadets as they'll chase the big bucks to make good on their return on investment. Cadets won't solve the pilot shortage, treating your employees with respect and creating an environment where upon the employee wont want to leave solves a pilot shortage. Why has Qantas been so successful over the years? Safety, risk that and you don't have a product in this game.

Mstr Caution
17th Sep 2010, 07:48
Interesting in that the J* CP states that a pilot shortage is looming and that is why they need cadetships. Not because in increases the quality of the candidate but that they will run out of pilots.

Is this the same former Ansett CP, (who in 2000) was forecasting a shortage of pilots due expected retirements in 2020?

The same CP who wouldn't place cadets as F/O's, rather SO's on their 744 operation?

Fruet Mich
17th Sep 2010, 09:50
The really scary thing is Buchanan thinks that aircraft fly themselves and pilots are just there to monitor!! It's just very dissapointing quite a few have unfortunately flown themselves into the ground recently. He doesn't seem to realise this. Obviously can't see the issue through the cash

puff
17th Sep 2010, 14:42
What amazed me is how airline 'management' pick and chose whatever worldwide situation that best suits their arguement to try to justify their tight ass shortcomings.

Despite all the issues in the USA, one could argue the first and one of the most successful lowcost airlines in the world is Southwest Airlines. No cadet schemes and poor pay here, some of the highest paid, most engaged, and highly experienced on hire pilots in the world, yes they recently bent one, but no loss of life with one of the largest fleets in the world all on short haul flights sometimes into some rotten WX as well.

Arguements about cadet schemes in Asia. Does anyone care to mention the safety record of Garuda, China Airlines or Korean Airlines ? Even what we all class as a world class airline with a very famous (australian involved) cadet scheme in Singapore Airlines had a very high profile fatal accident in Taipei with a 744.

Cadet schemes in Asia were introduced for only one reason and that was to attempt to nationalise their workforce, so that asians were able to get on their national carrier and for there to be a local upfront, rather than a westerner. These schemes were introduced at great cost to the AIRLINES, not to the individual trainees.

Compare a Singapore Airlines cadet to a Jetstar.
1. Singapore airlines own and operate their own aircraft, and flying training organisations, including jets - Jetstar contract it out, no jet training.
2. Singapore airlines pay the trainee a wage, their flying training costs, living expenses, Jetstar trainees - no wage, pay for their training and have to find own living expenses.
3. Singapore airlines - once basic training is completed, light jet training is provided, then inhouse endorsement training before line training - jetstar all basic training at the contract company, no light jet training, and then endorsement is also contracted out.

The basic difference is that in the above example, Singapore airlines at great cost to themselves wants to ensure that all trainees are performing to a high standing because if they fail or are unsuccessful it costs them a fortune. Singapore is spening a fortune of it's OWN money, in the Jetstar example the trainees themselves bankroll basically all of which in the SQ example the airline is paying for. Comparing a 100% funded, to a 100% funding cadet scheme is like saying that a command a tiger moth is the same as a A380.

Sadly I believe it will take a smoking hole in the ground, with loss of life in this country to shake things up. We have operated jets in Oz since the 60s and never killed anyone and people just believe that it won't and couldn't happen in Australia. Statistically the numbers will line up and it will happen, and won't the public shi*. Whoever it is will destroy their brand, everyone will know someone that knew someone and confidence in the industry will scare people away, can you imagine the media ?

Even CASA don't believe it will happen - why else do they ride GA (where all the accidents are) and leave RPT to self manage. I'm not saying they shouldn't be riding GA, but whatever surveillance they do on GA should be done to RPT ops as well, afterall which one carries the most pax per year?.

Why were operators like Garuda banned from EU airspace, yet we allowed them to fly over our suburbs and at the time allowed staff from Australian government departments to fly on them, a decision which killed some of them ?

relax737
17th Sep 2010, 22:37
puff said is like saying that a commanding tiger moth is the same as an A380.

That's almost exactly what the silver bodgie said 21 years ago, but it was a 747 versus a tiger.

Mstr Caution that is exactly the same person, former CP of AN.

There are many ills threatening the industry, but don't confuse safety with industrial issues, i.e., more money. Senator Xenophon can't help with salary increases. There will be those who will make a connection between safety and salary, tenuous at best, but there isn't one.

We tend to hang our hats on anything that's favourable to our cause, and we all hope the motives of the senator are honourable, but he wouldn't be the first politician to grab a bone and shake the hell out of it for his own personal popularity/gain only to drop it when he's achieved what he's seeking. That's worth remembering.

Mr. Hat
17th Sep 2010, 23:51
but don't confuse safety with industrial issues, i.e., more money. Senator Xenophon can't help with salary increases. There will be those who will make a connection between safety and salary, tenuous at best, but there isn't one.

You're confused relax. Conditions do have a link to safety indeed. Crap salaries and conditions don't attract intelligent people. They go to other industries. If I was coming out of school and had the option to go to any profession why would I go to one that has declining conditions? Make sense?

Let me give you a tip - have a look at the average house price vs average salary. Remember we're talking about "Intelligent people".

Fruet Mich
18th Sep 2010, 00:34
I wonder whether these new generation aviation hot shot CEO's would accept a first year med graduate performing a basic operation? ( which may have complications with inexperience) Why should the general public have to accept inexperience at a risk when there is clearly enough good experience. Complacency could kill in this game. This is a loaded gun, and we are fortunate for now. I'm guessing this was a very similar situation in the states many years ago and now it has come to a head. Unfortunately it took a few fatalities before something was done.

relax737
18th Sep 2010, 00:48
I knew somebody would do it Mr Hat, but will never convince me. If it was law or architecture we were talking of, then maybe, but not flying.

Many, many very intelligent people would fly for absolutely no pay just for the 'romance and excitement'. Those of us in the industry see it otherwise, but those wanting to get in don't.

Now to add fuel to the fire, flying doesn't need really intelligent people. It has some, and they are a bonus, but a very average IQ will get you in and to the top. What is more important is a psychological profile, often called the 'uniform mentality' (as in military) because of the ability to follow instructions (checklists) and perform very routine tasks many times over without losing interest or concentration.

I know this will draw fire from the many who think they are Einstein reincarnated, but it is fact.

Lester, you make some good points. Pilots are their own worst enemies, and all of us at one stage of our careers would have flown a Tiger Moth around the world for no pay at all. When we reach airline pilot positions, we seem to want to condemn those who are prepared to dos so.

We are but one industry that is being attacked by economic rationalists, and one of the last because of the sacred cow, safety. Most of the ills have been in other industries for decades now, agencies, percentages for CEO's, cutting conditions and salaries, and the list goes on.

Paying for endorsements is no more or less than a firm of architects requiring an architect with experience in designing, say, hospitals or an engineer with experience in designing bridges. The ad reads "if relevant experience isn't available we will train applicants, but at a reduced salary for two (or more) years". Look in the professional employment columns and you'll see similar.

I still say beware of Greeks bearing gifts; it may not all be as it seems.

Aurukun Dreaming
18th Sep 2010, 00:54
Dear Senator Xenophon,

Firstly I would like to say that I, like all my colleagues around me thank you sincerely for taking some action on this very important area. The industry is in sharp decline and we have seen the goal posts for experience move firstly in 2007 to low levels, and now with the Jetstar Cadetship to zero levels. The management of these airlines are claiming pilot shortages are to blame but at the coal face in the typical airline training ground of General Aviation (GA), we see a very different story.

I have been flying since 2005, and to this day remain a pilot in GA. I have to date around 2700 hours flight time, and have had the boxes ticked for airline entry now for several years. In the company I work for, we employ between 20 and 30 pilots, all with experience levels between 1500 and 4000 hours, yet most of us are yet to achieve even an interview with companies such as Jetstar. I must note also that this is not specific to our company, spend an hour at a regional airport around Australia and you will find highly experienced pilots ready to go, that simply cannot get that call.

In the past, pilots have spent a large amount of time in GA (between 5 and 10 years) for an airline interview simply because there had been no movement in the top end of the chain, and this was just the way it was. In the last 5 to 10 years however, we have seen the available pilot positions explode and experience levels drop, which has allowed people move on from GA more rapidly. Since 2008 however, movement from GA to airlines has slowed significantly again to the point where it is almost stagnant, the reason being the introduction of airline training programs.

I find it very amusing to read the Jetstar Chief Pilot say that the GA guys are "just not coming up at the speed at which we're going to need pilots" when there are literally hundreds of fully qualified people like myself in GA unable to get a look in. REX have ceased employing direct entry (qualified) pilots and have opened their own school, Qantaslink, Skippers and Skywest have recently introduced their traineeships and of course Jetstar are pursuing their own cadetship, all the while the GA sector is full of highly qualified and ready pilots who are now second in line to the products of the cadet programs.

Lack of experience is just the tip of the iceberg for trouble in the aviation industry at the moment, and we all hope your action helps unveil some of the problems we are all going to face in the coming years.

We all thank you for the unprecedented action you are moving forward with, be assured you have unwavering support from Australian pilots from the bottom up.

Sincerely,

Aurukun Dreaming

hotnhigh
18th Sep 2010, 01:25
"Senator Xenophon also called for Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and the airline's head of safety, John Gissing, to appear before a Senate committee to explain the circumstances behind a 2007 Jetstar incident in Melbourne."

This is the statement that captured my attention. Firstly, well done to Senator Xenophon for making the statement. We must all remember that the australian travelling public expects safety. Be it Qantas, virgin, jetstar or tiger. Infact qantas trades on this and extracts a premium from this mantra. Unfortunately the likes of Buchanan, Joyce etc have the concept that to make money it requires targetted cost reduction at any cost.
But what does this mean?
Well, many have already spoken about pay as you go career type progression, but let's not stop there. Perhaps Senator Xenophon could ask CEO Joyce what 'targetted failure rates' are. And what they mean for the average line pilot and safety standards.
Let me tell you, if you change type, upgrade etc, flight ops departments expect you to pass. However, managers and accountants look at it from an entirely different perspective. They don't give a rats if you pass or fail they are only concerned with cost. If 100% pass, that means they can shorten the course, maybe one less sim, maybe one day less ground school . So then the pass rate may be 95%, failure rate 5%. But, look we saved "x" dollars for the 95% and we will give the failures a little bit more training.
Sure, every training package should be improved or reviewed but the use of targetted failure rates is a false economy. It purely looks at cost/time taken to cover the requirements. They continually squeeze to reduce costs but to what detriment? And lets not even start on the effects on the poor bastards who may have had an umblemished record to the point of starting conversion until they run into the 'targetted' course , where perhaps another sim or two would have had them pass with ease. But now they find themselves in such a position because some manager/ accountant used a targetted failure rate of 5,10,insert figure. Yep she's all about safety.
Despite what the CEO and airline managers say, the trajectory that the likes of Joyce persue for the qantas group when it comes to cost cutting and pilots, standards and safety, is worrying.
And getting back to the initial statement, and the importance of self reporting. How does this reflect the corporate culture that the qantas group really wants? Did someone mention the word Just?:ugh:
So many questions Mr Joyce.

Barramundi
18th Sep 2010, 01:27
From the coverage of Senator Xenophons interview it was resported that;

"Senator Xenophon said he was shocked to learn that the 2007 pilots shortage had seen required flight hours for new pilots at QantasLink drop from 1000 hours to 200 hours."

I would love to know is exactly where Senator Xenophon is actually getting his information from?. What this statement suggests is there was not one suitable pilot available in Australia in 2007 who had more than 200 hours flying experience who had applied to and were willing and able to start with Qantaslink!.

Bollocks. I know of dozens of experienced pilots who fly in GA and regionals who exceeded 10-20 fold (and more) these hours who had applications in with this company and would have been proud to work for them (and other airlines feeding up the same tosh) during this period and who were not even so much as offered an interview or were excluded from being interviewed because they did not have an HSc (very important to have a chap thats well educated up front rather than experienced!!)

As a senator of some experience Senator Xenophon I am sure is well verse with the art of spin and airlines seem to be getting pretty good at this. Perhaps the good Senator needs to investigate further.

What the airlines mean when they refer to a pilot shortage is that they are having trouble finding pilots that meet their narrow band of ideal candidates they want to fill their cockpits.

Anyone else who falls outside this band regardless of experience I can only assume is simply not a pilot in the context of the shortage issue.

Well done Senator for your stand but if you use your skills as a former lawyer, a little more cross examination of the airlines will be needed to unearth the truth.

Dark Knight
18th Sep 2010, 01:51
How will you answer the questions:

Is it correct that pilots joined TAA, Ansett (including subsidaries), East West, etc. with as little as a bare Commercial Licence, no instrument rating transitioning straight onto DC3, DC4, F27, etc. thence, in some cases, to Viscount/DC6Bs within 12 to 18 months of joining the airline?

Having done this these pilots progressed through to B727, B707, B747, Airbus B4, A300/310, A330, A340, 380 and other large jet types with long and distinguished incident free careers?

Is it correct that numerous airlines throughout the world (Middle East, Asia, China, India, etc) have for years been training pilots as cadets and putting them straight into the First Officer seat with as little as 250 hours (or thereabouts)?

Is it correct that numerous airlines throughout the world will continue to do as above?

If Australia were to implement the suggestions and changes mentioned here would it not make the Australin industry further un-competitive?

If the airline industry here considered any changes would severely impinge upon their competitivenes and profiability would they not consider revamping their operation to circumvent any changes? (Jetstar with Singapore based crews comes to mind)

Similar to knowing the result of any Royal Commission you have to have answers to these and many other questions before you enter the lions den.

Normasars
18th Sep 2010, 02:26
Lester and Dark Knight,

You both have hit the nail on the head.

Lester, you are 100% correct WRT people here wanting to twist the issue of safety to justify themselves a payrise. The unbelievable hypocrasy that exists from posters here who indeed funded their own endorsement, whether it was pay upfront, or god forbid "salary sacrifice"(but that's ok, it's not as bad as paying for it:ugh:), and then have the audacity to criticise others that do likewise. People have very short memories and need to look long and hard in the mirror. These individuals have certainly put their own agendas well before the very agenda that they are pursuing here. This is the root of the problem; it all started with "pay for training". Oh how the irony. Please don't use the "safety" ticket to justify your ever diminishing T&C's. And that's all this is about. Deep down you know it but won't openly admit to it.
Indeed, Senator Xenophon is their "white knight" to save themselves from themselves.

Dark Knight,

Touche, sir.

relax737
18th Sep 2010, 03:25
Dark Knight, you are right on the money.

I recall many years ago, joining an airline and flying with an F27 Captain who had joined the airline with a bare CPL, 170 hours from memory, and no instrument rating. When he was upgraded, he was given extra training because the F27 HAD BEEN HIS FIRST TWIN ENDORSEMENT!!!

One might ask how the situation has changed.

I maintain that the issue of safety, as being pursued by the senator, and T&C's, are mutually exclusive, and Normasars, I agree that there are those misusing, or attempting to misuse, the safety issue.

I feel for the young hopefuls entering the industry, but a company is surely entitled to train/recruit from wherever it chooses....surely?? I may not agree with it as an employee, but if I was running a company, I would be looking the same way.

I've flown with 200 hour FO's (along with 50+ hours jet simulator) in a jet, and whilst it may not be ideal, it hasn't been unsafe, quite busy at times, but not unsafe.

I would be more concerned about sending an experienced 2 man crew off on a 16+ hour tour of duty (flight 5 hours late), as Jetstar did on a flight MEL-BGK back in late February (and one can make the assumption that this is the way they operate as a matter of course), because of fatigue issues. The flight was scheduled to leave at 1600, and one might assume the crew were out of bed at latest 0800, so they would be awake for 24+ hours by sign off in BGK.

Senator Xenophon will do nothing for T&C's, and whilst that's sad to say, it's realistic. He would have to be termed, at best, a political lightweight, and may not even achieve anything of significance in the safety arena, if indeed what some airlines are doing is unsafe. Another factor worth considering, human nature being what it is, is that the senator's position may change when he establishes that a QF Captain earns 2.5-3 times what he does and a VB/JQ Captain about 50% more.

I don't believe pilots can rely on the unity myth because that won't happen. Some will see the opportunity to short circuit the system to achieve their own goals. Whilst speaking of unity, I recall the QF union president back in '89 addressing an AFAP pilots' meeting and undertaking to not fly over domestic routes (QF was the international airline back then before the merger), and whilst he was talking QF 747's were flying SYD-PER. Forget unity!!

Mr. Hat
18th Sep 2010, 05:23
No Lester not at all I'm saying if it continues in this direction thats what we'll end up with. Didn't intend any offence to fellow ppruners.

Normasars
18th Sep 2010, 05:42
Something else that is very much intertwined with the QF/JQ relentless push towards cadet programs is the fact that in this world of globalisation and competition, QF and by default JQ are competing head on with state owned flag carriers. Dixon used to bang on about it all the time, and FWIW I do agree with him somewhat, but as a publicly listed company on the ASX, QF are answerable to their shareholders and have a duty of care to pay a dividend to their shareholders.
By default, QF is totally disadvantaged by this very fact, and needs to find areas within the business rightly or wrongly that are vulnerable. Pilot recruitment and associated training costs are a soft target area and these CEOs and Management type know this. It happened with front end counter staff; CC, and now it's happening with pilots. The "ginger beers" will be next, although they are more steely than pilots and WILL stick together. Make no mistake, this will be unrelenting if QF want to remain competative in a global market against state owned carriers. Sorry to tell you guys this but you are NOT going to change it and quite simply, the business will not let you. It is a case of survival of the fitest.
The compaany has no control of the price of airframes, very limited control of fuel(hedging, which if not savvy can end up costing more), nav charges,etc etc. The ONLY aspect the company has financial control over is its LABOUR costs.

404 Titan
18th Sep 2010, 06:18
Just because the domestic airlines had cadets in the 50’s going directly into the right seat of a large piston twin or turbo props doesn’t mean it was safe. That said the cadetship back then don’t bare any resemblance to the cadetships the airlines like J* are proposing today. Did the airlines back then pay those cadets ⅓ the salary of a DEFO? Did the cadets have to pay for the courses or were they 100% paid for by the airlines?

The reality is that airlines like J* etc are using a mythical pilot shortage in this country to justify these cadet schemes. They are planning on all future pilot recruitment being 100% from cadetships on substantially lower T&C’s. The lower T&C’s is the real motive for the airlines promoting these schemes not any pilot shortage. This was never the case in the 50’s where there was a very real pilot shortage caused by the booming world economy after WW2. Most pilot recruitment back then though was still via DE and no amount of spin by the likes of you can change this fact.

Such large scale recruitment of cadets, who will be trained from GFPT to jet endorsement completely by the cheapest outsourced contractor, will have a serious detrimental effect on airline safety standards in this country.

Relax737 keeps pushing this BS about pilot unity being a myth. What he fails to say is you will never find 100% unity in any profession. Infact you don’t need 100% unity to fight a successful industrial battle but you do need a majority on your side. I will give you a recent example of where I work in Hong Kong which has almost no protections for employees. Earlier this year our cabin crew, which has about 70% union membership were scr*wed over by management who unilaterally changed their ability to swap flights. The girls gave the management an ultimatum to change it back or they walk. The company not only jumped and reversed their decision but they also apologised to the flight attendants for the stress caused.

patienceboy
18th Sep 2010, 06:43
I would be more concerned about sending an experienced 2 man crew off on a 16+ hour tour of duty (flight 5 hours late), as Jetstar did on a flight MEL-BGK back in late February (and one can make the assumption that this is the way they operate as a matter of course), because of fatigue issues. The flight was scheduled to leave at 1600, and one might assume the crew were out of bed at latest 0800, so they would be awake for 24+ hours by sign off in BGK

Yes, and if you do make the assumption that this is how they operate as a matter of course, could you imagine the same situation with a brand new cadet as the FO? It is not the midday CAVOK flight where the problem will be.

gordonfvckingramsay
18th Sep 2010, 06:44
Normasars, you say that management has a duty of care to deliver a profit to shareholders. That is exactly why management should avoid any practice that might cause an accident. The years of law suits and bad publicity would hardly be an environment in which to provide a healthy dividend. We can do this, all we need to do is forget about the T's & C's and remember that this is about safety and safety alone. When we force airlines to realise that pilots are more than just button pushers along for the ride, then T's & C's will slowly improve to suit- just like any other highly trained profession that is taken seriously. SAFETY FIRST.

relax737
18th Sep 2010, 07:22
404 Titan said The reality is that airlines like J* etc are using a mythical pilot shortage in this country to justify etc.

We may disagree on the unity issue, but we're as one on the myth of 'desperate pilot shortage' and you'll draw some flak for that, as I have.

My bet would be that if the FA's in your company wanted more money the management would have stood firm. Changing rosters isn't a big deal and was probably no more than chest beating by some mid level manager. The other point to consider is that may have been a smokescreen to introduce something more sinister and it may have been done whilst FA's were engaged in putting out spot fires. Management training covers all these issues, one being how to f*** the workers and have them think they're winning.

patienceboy, I can imagine the situation, but if they operated to CAO 48 requirements, one of the holes in the Swiss cheese is removed. 16+ hours tours of duty and a 200 hour FO starts to look somewhat more uncomfortable. Legal operation is a cornerstone of safety and flight and duty time limitations are there fora reason. If JQ do operate in this way, and I know of at least one instance where they did (I was on the flight) they should be called to account as a consequence, but they aren't, so one must also make the assumption that the regulator is in the pocket of the airline. Whilst that situation persists, nothing will happen. Summing that up, the regulator doesn't care!! If/when there is a serious incident then they duck for cover, but until then, nothing happens. How many shonky GA operators do you know of that aren't called to account??

gordon etc., terms and conditions won't improve because of safety. Exactly the opposite is likely to happen. Managements will see that pilots can, and will, keep the operation safe whilst being paid peanuts and will continue to attempt to erode T&C's. Pilots have been cost reduction targets for quite some years because of their professionalism and desire to do the job well in spite of other issues.

Regrettably, managements do take their corporate responsibility seriously, the responsibility to deliver ever increasing dividends to shareholders. They will continue to attempt to crew aircraft for less to achieve that aim. I don't like it either, and I've said previously that managements would have airline crews being paid less than a base grade clerk if they could, but that's the way it is. It would have always been so in QF and AN, but one was the public service, and the other a private company.

Dark Knight
18th Sep 2010, 07:40
Just because the domestic airlines had cadets in the 50’s going directly into the right seat of a large piston twin or turbo props doesn’t mean it was safe


Don't assume it was only cadets; pilots straight from flying schools/ training organisations with minmum hours were were recruited during the sixties and other times. And they were not required to pay for interviews, transport to & from, uniforms, ratings, etc.

Having flown overseas with 250 pilots into the right hand seat or as S/Os straight from an airline training scheme or cadetship made for interesting times requiring a high degree of watchfulness by the Captain.

The example of fatigue is a valid and factual representation of what happens daily around the world and not just in non Western countries!

When one is operating a long haul flight departing midnight (18hour tour of duty) requiring a crew of four comprised of Captain, Two F/Os and one second officer who can only occupy the right hand seat with the Captain in his seat; the traffic is such the Captain needs to stay in his seat for at least the first 3 hours and then must occupy his seat to transition an operation alarea shortly thereafter the fatigue level rises rapidly. (It originally was 2 Capts/2 F/Os but was `legally' able to be changed as the 2 F/Os held ATPs and for `financial reasons (sound familiar??))

With two F/Os occupying the seat whilst the Captain gets bunk rest time the slightest bump, movement or noise gains rapid and close attention; effective rest is difficult to obtain!

Not attempting to suggest any of this is necessarily the right way just this is the way of the world and when presenting a case the correct answers need to found.

Dark Knight
18th Sep 2010, 07:48
Regrettably, managements do take their corporate responsibility seriously, the responsibility to deliver ever increasing dividends to shareholders. They will continue to attempt to crew aircraft for less to achieve that aim. I don't like it either, and I've said previously that managements would have airline crews being paid less than a base grade clerk if they could, but that's the way it is. It would have always been so in QF and AN, but one was the public service, and the other a private company.

And, to quote one Dick Holt:
"Money is never the issue, never was, never is and never will be; there is always enough money in the till and if there is not, it is managments job to find it."

This illustrious gentleman was proved correct time and time again and certainly during the time of a `certain aviation event' the percussor of much of the industry flight crew woes of today.

relax737
18th Sep 2010, 07:50
Quote:
Just because the domestic airlines had cadets in the 50’s going directly into the right seat of a large piston twin or turbo props doesn’t mean it was safe.

No it doesn't, but I'm guessing it was mostly safe. How many times have we heard of two checkies, our contemporaries, flying together, highly experienced, trainers, and near disaster strikes??? We've all heard those yarns, and most are true, so experience isn't the be all and end all. Crewing an aircraft with two 10,000 pilots doesn't necessarily make it safer than say a 5000 hour Captain and 500 hour FO, but having both with 100 hours on type is a different kettle of fish.

Bear in mind that 200 hour graduates to the big piston and early turboprop aircraft of a generation and more back did survive in aircraft that were far less sophisticated than the modern generation with far greater workloads, auto pilots that were rudimentary at best, or none at all, failure rates of engines and components much greater than today's aircraft, etc.


And, to quote one Dick Holt:
"Money is never the issue, never was, never is and never will be; there is always enough money in the till and if there is not, it is managments job to find it."

I agree DK, but this is a different era; that was in the days of government and private airlines; this is the public company era and the shareholder is king.

Normasars
18th Sep 2010, 08:17
Gordon,

Just do me a favour and post your answers to Dark Knights list of vary basic questions.
I know this a highly emotion charged topic, but we can not manipulate the safety versus T&C's as some here are trying to do. I know the only reason JQ are pursuing this mantra is because it is cheaper for them. Read my last post; it is the only thing the airlines have fiscal control over. However, to falsely(IMHO) pitch the Cadet/Safety issue against the protection of T&Cs is very irresponsible. At the end of the day, what we do is not the science of rockets, and putting a 200-300hr cadet at the pointy end along side an experienced Captain IS NOT DANGEROUS. It happens in nearly every other region around the world. Oz is very, very sheltered.

FWIW, many(not all) of the cadets that I have trained or checked have been very sharp. Just an observation from one who has trained/checked cadets first hand for quite a few years, unlike a lot of the posters here.

relax737
18th Sep 2010, 08:58
Normasars, exactly right. To make the connection is tenuous at best (that's doing it a favour!) and just plain 'no case' at worst.

Many do not enjoy admitting that flying isn't rocket science; it requires a certain level of intelligence, not IQ's of 140+, and a psychological profile; it's a very regimented occupation.

404 Titan
18th Sep 2010, 10:10
Normasars

How many times have I got to say this? J* and the like intend to have 100% recruitment from cadet schemes. This doesn’t even happen in Europe where most airlines have a mixture of both cadets and DE. The US has now banned non ATPL holders from the flight deck of RPT aircraft +5700kg for the same reason we are debating here. This issue is 100% about safety. If it has a positive effect on T&C’s, great, it’s about time but it isn’t the reason some of us are concerned with what is going on in Australian aviation.

I have flown with my share of cadets too. Most are very sharp just as the DE pilots are otherwise we wouldn’t be here. That’s not the point though. I’ve been flying for 25 years and I’m still learning something every time I go flying, especially when I go flying with guys that have been doing it longer than I have. My concern is that in time the experience level on the flight deck will be so diluted because of the shear numbers of cadets that will be employed that it will become a safety issue.

It is only you and Relax737 that is trying to draw a connection between the safety issue and T&C’s, not us. I have no problem with cadet schemes when it is done right. Self funded schemes have become more biased in recent years towards those that can afford the training rather than those that are the best candidate for the job. There also needs to be a balance between DE and cadets to maintain experience levels on the flight deck. Maybe going totally in the direction that the US has isn’t necessarily the right answer but neither is employing only cadets over experience.

breakfastburrito
18th Sep 2010, 10:43
How many times have I got to say this? J* and the like intend to have 100% recruitment from cadet schemes
Titan, I'll go one step further & posit that the intent is to make the operation a permanent training system - a cadet factory, 100% JFO's.
Low time cadets will be a permanent feature of LCC flight decks. Once they have moved up from JFO to FO they will be moved on, and replaced with another new cadet fresh out of training.

If I am correct, within 5 years the vast majority First Officers in j* will have between 300 & 3000 hours. Therefore, on average the experience in the RHS would be approx 1500 hours total time. This does represent a significant dilution of experience & an adverse impact on safety.

Normasars
18th Sep 2010, 11:06
404,

I hear what you are saying, believe me. When you say JQ and the like, what is the like???

AFAIK, it is JQ(QF) only ATM. What you are saying is incorrect unless you have FACTS regarding JQ exclusively only hiring Cadet F/Os. I know a QLINK guy who starts with JQ on Monday.

I will say it again, flying aeroplanes is not rocket science mate and the sooner you guys accept this the better. I don't know why a lot of people here think that it is. If there are standards issues with an individual/s, then surely they won't be checked to line. Lets face it. If a guy can perform in the sim with typical sim wx, on one donk to the minima and subsequent missed approach and then non precision with circling off the bottom, well my guess is that out on the line these guys will be fine.

breakfastburrito
18th Sep 2010, 11:21
I will say it again, flying aeroplanes is not rocket science mate
Did you feel this way on your first sector in a jet? How about after 18 months or 3 years?
The point is that with experience, you feel like its not rocket science, things start to happen automagically. This is the mark of a professional, pro's make it look easy. It is learning by experience that projects you further & further in front of the aircraft, & this is function of time in the seat & desire to learn.
This is the value of experience, spare capacity.

Normasars
18th Sep 2010, 11:39
Burrito,

This is all I will say WRT this subject. I am getting tired.

I have trained cadets in the wet season in FNQ, frontal crappy wx down south with big winds and turbulence at low levels, fog in all places etc etc. Most do the job with aplomb and quite regularly really impress me with their spare brain capacity under difficult conditions.

As for the SIM, everyone is equal and there are no special favours to anybody. And guess what mate? The cadets are just as good as the rest.

So have your opinion FWIW, but unless you have trained and checked these people you are speaking out of turn. If they meet the standard, your argument is flawed.

I have said enuf on this. Period.

LeadSled
18th Sep 2010, 13:55
The silly old 2 Airline policy might have been a cumbersome duopoly but at least the public was safe. A. Le Rhone,

Quite how did you come to the above conclusion. I suggest you look up a few facts, including how may DC-3,DC-4, F-27 and particularly Viscounts were lost during the above era . And the airline size was a fraction of the size now.

Safer??? Go read your history.

Compared to how many fatal accidents to RPT since the 2 airline policy was dropped in the first Hawke Government ??? And if you exclude the "regional" fatals ( a category that was largely non-existent in the "two airline" era) how many RPT fatals does that leave ????

Tootle pip!!

Popgun
18th Sep 2010, 13:58
Gentlemen,

Its has been said so many times before. Bickering amongst ourselves on PPRuNe does us all a disservice...and makes it all the more likely we will achieve nothing. Please, for the sake of our profession, try to be constructive!

PG

maralinga
18th Sep 2010, 23:20
Back to supporting Xenophons argument.....

Pilots:

The notion that there is a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced Australian licenced pilots is a baseless convenience on behalf of the airlines.

As has been stated here before,"there is only a shortage of suitable terms and conditions".

I choose to work overseas as I am remunerated appropriately. I have never had to pay for the several type ratings I hold, nor for the ongoing training.

I am one of many.

Should the T&C'S change, then there will be a return of suitably qualified and experienced pilots to the Australian market.

Pilots are a commodity like any other....sad but true.

Training:

You can train your way to a standard, but you cannot check your way to a standard. However, the perpensity towards checking has become the standard paradigm within Australia.

A box ticking exercise to ensure compliance, just never mind the content.

Its ironic that in a number of "second/third world countries", the concept of training is thoroughly understood..........but then they see the results of accidents more often.

The phrase "race to the bottom" is unfortunately accurate in the Senators speech, as we pass those aviation regimes whom we once considered inferior.

Popgun
18th Sep 2010, 23:51
Maralinga,

I mainly agree with your post, however, you propose no solutions. How, as a professional industry community, do you believe we should proceed?

Cheers,

PG

Dark Knight
19th Sep 2010, 00:56
Should a 1,000/1,500 requirement be legislated where are pilots going to get this experience? (particulalry in Australia?)

Not being allowed to operate as part of a crew in RPT A/c over +5700kgs, again, where will experienced pilots come from?

Who will pay or finance the cost of gaininig experience?

The good Senator, his fellow Senators and Members of the House of Representative regulary use (commute) in A/c below 5700kgs why should they fly with pilots of a `lesser standard'?



Perhaps a good deal of the problem lies with the regulator and accident investigator?

My observations would indicate the regulator has not fullfilled its duties or responsibilities in capably, correctly monitroing or regulating the industry for many, many years. Nor has it, or does it have the capability to do so,

Simlarly, the accident investigator suffers from identical problems to the regulator being unable to impartially or professionally investgate incidents/accidents providing and unbiased, politically incorrect, professional finding and recommendations.





"Money is never the issue, never was, never is and never will be; there is always enough money in the till and if there is not, it is managments job to find it."

I agree DK, but this is a different era; that was in the days of government and private airlines; this is the public company era and the shareholder is king.


Relax737: agreed; though different owner, same managment' different shareholders who are the owners/management

relax737
19th Sep 2010, 01:23
The good senator may be about to shoot himself in the foot and local pilots in the heads!!

If 1000/1500 hours is mandated as the minimum for FO in RPT jet operations, and there is a distinct lack of those so qualified available in Australia, bearing in mind that a 50+ year old pilot with 10,000 hours instructing or C402 charter ops won't be acceptable, nor will somebody who doesn't fit the psychological profile, or a host of other requirements such as age spread, etc., airlines may find that they MUST turn to recruiting overseas.

Proceed carefully senator.

Let me say it again; politicians often get involved for their own benefit rather than those whom they supposedly represent.

Mr. Hat
19th Sep 2010, 03:43
A lot of opinion and writing going on here but how many people have written a non emotive letter to the Senator? You know one that doesn't mention specific people or companies.

The idea is to equip the good Senator with insight to our industry. Something that might be particular to you as an Air Traffic Controller or as an Engineer: an experts insight. I don't believe its all about pilot wages conditions etc. I believe its about an industry that gives and never receives. Take take take be it consumer big business or government.

There is talk of high speed rail between Sydney and Melbourne this will be another threat to the industry tightening margin even further. Sure good for consumers no doubt but bad for us on the front line. Obviously consumers will weigh up all of the inefficiencies that come with air travel and whether it'll just be easier to get a train. How many times have you been sitting in Sydney for 20-30 waiting for a bay. Is there really a need for this carry on. Is there need for 10 changes to the ATIS within 90 minutes? We're drowning here!

Here is a follow up article from Ben Sandilands



Give truth, and air safety, a chance – Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2010/09/18/give-truth-and-air-safety-a-chance/)

September 18, 2010 – 7:45 am, by Ben Sandilands

In a society where spin and media manipulation perpetuates myths about airline safety and keeps a lid on disclosures of unsafe practices the commitment of independent politician Nick Xenophon to his proposed Senate Inquiry into pilot training standards might trigger some long overdue reforms.

As Senator Xenophon pointed out in his address to the Australian and International Pilots Association recently, Australia is tolerating what the US now finds intolerable, which is the placing of pilots with as little as 200 hours experience in the right hand or first officer seat of airliners.

It is a madness that needs to be hauled up sharp in this country. It requires a revaluation of piloting skills and safety cultures. There are a number of elements to this controversy. One of them is the corruption of airline safety ‘cultures’ into ones where pilots increasingly think like accountants or shareholders rather than professional pilots required to conform to some very serious rules about what defines safe flight, including loss of control and upset situations, fuel and weather considerations and separation in uncontrolled air space.

Another is the popular insistence by airlines, here and elsewhere, on the notion that meeting the requirements of airworthiness directives, or maintenance intervals, or tick-the-boxes flying courses for flying skills delivered by outside trainers, all represent world’s best practice.

This is a popular lie. All the carriers are doing is meeting the minimum legal standards, or even delegating the achievement of those standards to external enterprises they have no control over. The standards required in these cases are not the highest available, they are the cheapest legally available standards, and in the case of regulatory matters like airworthiness directives, they are often the end result of ‘consultations’ between the carriers, the regulators and equipment manufacturers which involve the commercial consequences for airlines.

Airbus has been vocal on the topic diminishing flying skills, yet has been firmly challenged by the French accident investigators over its history in handling piloting issues where unreliable airspeed warnings are generated by ice clogging external air speed probes. Boeing infamously dragged the chain over 737 rudder control failures that confronted pilots with a bewildering and potentially disastrous problem for years, indeed, it even slandered the pilots who died in struggling to save several stricken jets before the truth about a lethal design error finally came out.

But back to a tighter focus. Xenophon has gone for pilot training standards in this country, which are in crisis, and for inadequate incident reporting procedures.

There is more than enough in both to keep a Senate Inquiry very usefully occupied.

His has called for Alan Joyce, as then CEO of Jetstar, to explain himself over the July 2007 botched missed approach to Melbourne of an A320. Was Joyce ignorant of his obligations to the law, or did he chose to ignore them? In this incident the airline he was responsible for broke the law on the reporting of safety incidents, and only disclosed the true situation when the ATSB felt compelled to act on a media report by myself, one and half months later. After which the ATSB produced a damning report, yet failed to refer Jetstar to the Commonwealth public prosecutor.

The ATSB is a world class technical investigator that is too timid to refer breaches of the law on failures to report serious operational incidents involving major carriers. Most recently, it sat on its hands while Tiger Airways chose to ignore its legal obligations concerning an aileron failure in one of its A320s because Tiger had decided the Australian laws didn’t matter.

It has a habit of making excuses for the airlines, although not in the case of the Lockhart River disaster in 2005, in which it nailed CASA for lack of appropriate action against a carrier it knew was dangerous.

Which raises an important issue for the Senate to consider. When the safety regulator CASA finds evidence that an operator is unsafe, does it not have an obligation to tell the travelling public, rather than do nothing to warn them, allowing an unsafe operation to continue flying in that particular case until it killed 15 people?

In the Crikey story linked above and published yesterday, reference is made to a Qantaslink incident at Sydney Airport on Boxing Day 2008, which was also covered by Plane Talking in June.

The ATSB report is woefully evasive in its accounting for this astonishing incident. A Qantaslink turbo-prop, with 50 seats, nearly stalls twice in 10 seconds on approach to Sydney airport, during which a first officer with limited experience on the type disobeys an instruction by the captain to go around rather than try and complete an ‘unstable’ approach to the runway.

The report fails to explain how standards at Qantaslink could be so pathetic as to allow this situation to arise. It fails to detail what then happened in the Qantaslink management of its safety standards. It doesn’t tell us what submissions Qantaslink made, or what submissions the CASA safety regulator made. The final report is only released after the wording has been read and passed by the airline and the safety investigator, although it can ignore objections by the parties being investigated.

The public just doesn’t get any inkling as to what really happened.

In the US the NTSB, the ATSB equivalent, would have held public hearings into the Qantaslink incident, and the airline management would have been cross examined as to how such an unacceptable situation had occurred. The public would not have been subjected to spin about our wonderful safety standards. There is nothing wonderful about a Qantas turbo-prop being put in peril twice in 10 seconds by the flight standards that it is the obligation of the company to uphold and administer.

This proposed inquiry is of critical importance to all air travellers in Australia"]Give truth, and air safety, a chance
September 18, 2010 – 7:45 am, by Ben Sandilands
In a society where spin and media manipulation perpetuates myths about airline safety and keeps a lid on disclosures of unsafe practices the commitment of independent politician Nick Xenophon to his proposed Senate Inquiry into pilot training standards might trigger some long overdue reforms.

As Senator Xenophon pointed out in his address to the Australian and International Pilots Association recently, Australia is tolerating what the US now finds intolerable, which is the placing of pilots with as little as 200 hours experience in the right hand or first officer seat of airliners.

It is a madness that needs to be hauled up sharp in this country. It requires a revaluation of piloting skills and safety cultures. There are a number of elements to this controversy. One of them is the corruption of airline safety ‘cultures’ into ones where pilots increasingly think like accountants or shareholders rather than professional pilots required to conform to some very serious rules about what defines safe flight, including loss of control and upset situations, fuel and weather considerations and separation in uncontrolled air space.

Another is the popular insistence by airlines, here and elsewhere, on the notion that meeting the requirements of airworthiness directives, or maintenance intervals, or tick-the-boxes flying courses for flying skills delivered by outside trainers, all represent world’s best practice.

This is a popular lie. All the carriers are doing is meeting the minimum legal standards, or even delegating the achievement of those standards to external enterprises they have no control over. The standards required in these cases are not the highest available, they are the cheapest legally available standards, and in the case of regulatory matters like airworthiness directives, they are often the end result of ‘consultations’ between the carriers, the regulators and equipment manufacturers which involve the commercial consequences for airlines.

Airbus has been vocal on the topic diminishing flying skills, yet has been firmly challenged by the French accident investigators over its history in handling piloting issues where unreliable airspeed warnings are generated by ice clogging external air speed probes. Boeing infamously dragged the chain over 737 rudder control failures that confronted pilots with a bewildering and potentially disastrous problem for years, indeed, it even slandered the pilots who died in struggling to save several stricken jets before the truth about a lethal design error finally came out.

But back to a tighter focus. Xenophon has gone for pilot training standards in this country, which are in crisis, and for inadequate incident reporting procedures.

There is more than enough in both to keep a Senate Inquiry very usefully occupied.

His has called for Alan Joyce, as then CEO of Jetstar, to explain himself over the July 2007 botched missed approach to Melbourne of an A320. Was Joyce ignorant of his obligations to the law, or did he chose to ignore them? In this incident the airline he was responsible for broke the law on the reporting of safety incidents, and only disclosed the true situation when the ATSB felt compelled to act on a media report by myself, one and half months later. After which the ATSB produced a damning report, yet failed to refer Jetstar to the Commonwealth public prosecutor.

The ATSB is a world class technical investigator that is too timid to refer breaches of the law on failures to report serious operational incidents involving major carriers. Most recently, it sat on its hands while Tiger Airways chose to ignore its legal obligations concerning an aileron failure in one of its A320s because Tiger had decided the Australian laws didn’t matter.

It has a habit of making excuses for the airlines, although not in the case of the Lockhart River disaster in 2005, in which it nailed CASA for lack of appropriate action against a carrier it knew was dangerous.

Which raises an important issue for the Senate to consider. When the safety regulator CASA finds evidence that an operator is unsafe, does it not have an obligation to tell the travelling public, rather than do nothing to warn them, allowing an unsafe operation to continue flying in that particular case until it killed 15 people?

In the Crikey story linked above and published yesterday, reference is made to a Qantaslink incident at Sydney Airport on Boxing Day 2008, which was also covered by Plane Talking in June.

The ATSB report is woefully evasive in its accounting for this astonishing incident. A Qantaslink turbo-prop, with 50 seats, nearly stalls twice in 10 seconds on approach to Sydney airport, during which a first officer with limited experience on the type disobeys an instruction by the captain to go around rather than try and complete an ‘unstable’ approach to the runway.

The report fails to explain how standards at Qantaslink could be so pathetic as to allow this situation to arise. It fails to detail what then happened in the Qantaslink management of its safety standards. It doesn’t tell us what submissions Qantaslink made, or what submissions the CASA safety regulator made. The final report is only released after the wording has been read and passed by the airline and the safety investigator, although it can ignore objections by the parties being investigated.

The public just doesn’t get any inkling as to what really happened.

In the US the NTSB, the ATSB equivalent, would have held public hearings into the Qantaslink incident, and the airline management would have been cross examined as to how such an unacceptable situation had occurred. The public would not have been subjected to spin about our wonderful safety standards. There is nothing wonderful about a Qantas turbo-prop being put in peril twice in 10 seconds by the flight standards that it is the obligation of the company to uphold and administer.

This proposed inquiry is of critical importance to all air travellers in Australia

404 Titan
19th Sep 2010, 04:34
relax737

You have obviously been out of Australia for far too long. There are more than enough pilots in Australia who meet all the airlines recruitment requirements. The problem is that airlines don’t want to pay them what they are really worth in this country. Instead they want to pay third world salaries. Why do you think so many of us work overseas? Instead they would rather bring pilots into Australia from third world countries, with dubious qualifications issued by foreign regulators that are up to their armpits in graft and corruption. If some of us think cadets are a safety issue, just wait until the safety issues regarding this are exposed to the public and the senator.

relax737
19th Sep 2010, 08:04
So the 'desperate worldwide (and Australia is part of the world) shortage' that others speak of here, is, in fact, a myth??

I have been out of Australia a lot of years; you're right

404 Titan
19th Sep 2010, 08:55
relax737

In many parts of the world, yes. In other parts of the world like China and India, no.

relax737
19th Sep 2010, 11:01
404 titan, you will not be popular with those (many) who post here and who are perpetuating the myth of an 'imminent and desperate worldwide shortage' then.

I know little of Ben Sandilands, haven't read much of his writing, but do recall disagreeing strongly with him on something he did write a few years back, so googled him. His website gives this info:

About Ben Sandilands
A reporter since November 30, 1960, Ben looks at what really matters up in the sky: public administration of air transport and its safety, the accountability of the carriers, and space for everyone’s knees.

The highlights are mine.

I'm not out to shoot the messenger, but he doesn't sound like someone with anything like a comprehensive knowledge of aviation other than possibly as a passenger.

bagchucka
19th Sep 2010, 13:21
Dark Knight

Should a 1,000/1,500 requirement be legislated where are pilots going to get this experience? (particulalry in Australia?)

Umm I think there is thing in Australia called g/a.

Seriously
19th Sep 2010, 15:11
Yes it's funny how people forget what experience can be gained from GA...:= How about "Not being allowed to operate as part of a crew in RPT A/c over +5700kgs, again, where will experienced pilots come from?"

DUH they come from GA... Just like they used to... Right now the goverment could pass legislation that to be be a co-pilot on above 5700kg you must have 1500hrs and the industry wouldn't even blink. Except they may have to start improving conditions...But then again an extra couple dollars a ticket isn't hard...:}

There are heaps of GA pilots just waiting to get into a turbo-prop or regional jobs with well in excess of 1500hrs...

Seriously
19th Sep 2010, 15:21
Also i got at least 2000hours in GA. Some instructing, most charter with about 800 hours turbine to boot. I never paid for an endorsement nor did i pay any sort of bond:ok: I learnt alot and it made me a better pilot without a doubt! All within 2 years... Now i work for an major airline and i still haven't paid for an endorsement:DSo allow young people the oppurtunity to gain the experience and come up through the ranks like the 'ol days and make better pilots for the future. End Cadetships there is no need except financial gain by carriers in Australia...

psycho joe
19th Sep 2010, 16:04
You can train your way to a standard, but you cannot check your way to a standard. However, the perpensity towards checking has become the standard paradigm within Australia.

A box ticking exercise to ensure compliance, just never mind the content.

Its ironic that in a number of "second/third world countries", the concept of training is thoroughly understood..........but then they see the results of accidents more often.

The phrase "race to the bottom" is unfortunately accurate in the Senators speech, as we pass those aviation regimes whom we once considered inferior.

Exactly right. Such is the australian ethos. If your box is ticked then by definition you must be safe. So too, if you posess an aircraft manual you must be trained. :ugh:


I fear that the good senator may only achieve (if anything) an increased checking regimen. Why? Because it's cheap for the beaurocrats to implement and to the idiot public it looks as though serious action is being taken. :=

IMO the biggest threat to aviation safety isn't 200 hr FO's. The biggest threat to aviation safety is poor quality training and FATIGUE i.e. the two major factors in the Colgan accident. Neither of which have been addressed in the U.S. or here.

Then again no one can vilify fatigue. You can't put a face to it on the 6 o'clock news, nor can you impress people with daring stories about how it let you down on a dark and stormy night (but you used your superior ability to save the day).

No, the problem is not fatigue; the problem is definitely 200 hr pilots. The sooner that we drag these individuals out into the street and publicly execute them, the sooner we, and all the travelling public, will be safe from this menace.

We can then go back to not being bothered by fatigue, who has been with us for a while now and has never hurt anyone. :hmm:

4dogs
19th Sep 2010, 16:40
Folks,

Interesting mixture of positive and negative commentary.

What I find interesting is the connections people make in these sorts of discussions between concepts and motivation. Frankly, I don't really care what motivates the various players in this current episode - I don't care if some are management people or union people or non-pilots or well-rounded cynics! I actually don't care what Nick Xenophon's motivation for this exercise is (although I suspect that he is much maligned by some who do not understand his independence), however I am just pleased that an opportunity may present itself for the law makers to review something that everybody (other than us) heretofore has said is a wonderful system working well.

I would love to get paid more. I would love to have better conditions as well. I would love my children to want to follow me into aviation.

I have absolutely no expectation that this proposed Senate Enquiry will achieve any of those things.

However, I would love to have a vibrant industry, well respected for its intellectual and practical value, that attracted future generations as a desirable and rewarding profession and that invoked a culture of honesty, self-awareness and safely efficient provision of transportation. If this opportunity crystallises and the existing system is subjected to deep scrutiny, then I will be happy regardless of the detailed outcomes. If we do not support that scrutiny to the best of our ability, then we deserve everything that we get.

and Bruce's comment about "other blue collar workers" will become self-fulfilling....

Stay Alive

Mr Pilot 2007
19th Sep 2010, 19:54
So we can assume that this Looming pilot shortage will result AFTER the 1000s of experienced Aussie airline pilots, forced to work most of their flying careers overseas (in HK, the sand pit, SQ, Asia, Europe), have returned to Aus to fill the vacant positions, (assuming they would like to return to Aus).

Oh, maybe they are not expected to return. Why?

Perhaps because the T&Cs are so poor here now with these budget airlines they cannot justify returning even though they wish to.

As others have pointed out, there wasnt a shortage of pilots in Aus in 2007 and I doubt there will be for a very long time (if ever).

These cadet schemes are purely further 'cost cutting' by airline management beancounters.

Mr. Hat
19th Sep 2010, 21:05
is poor quality training and FATIGUE i.e. the two major factors in the Colgan accident. Neither of which have been addressed in the U.S. or here.

Absolutely 100% spot on. And it seems the companies with the least experience in their pilot ranks work them the hardest. Cheese holes lining up in the waiting for the big bang. No experience and tired/fatigued - good luck mum and dad sitting down the back.

prairiegirl
20th Sep 2010, 03:41
:=
ben sandilands is brilliant.


relax 737 wrote:

I know little of Ben Sandilands, haven't read much of his writing, but do recall disagreeing strongly with him on something he did write a few years back, so googled him. His website gives this info:

About Ben Sandilands
A reporter since November 30, 1960, Ben looks at what really matters up in the sky: public administration of air transport and its safety, the accountability of the carriers, and space for everyone’s knees.

The highlights are mine.

I'm not out to shoot the messenger, but he doesn't sound like someone with anything like a comprehensive knowledge of aviation other than possibly as a passenger.

Dark Knight
20th Sep 2010, 04:03
Sure there is GA which I am not discounting at all but there are some indications the level of GA is/has been shringking over a number of years though there is possibibly some increase in the mining service industry.

This problem has been around for years way back into the late fifties at least, ebbing and flowing depending on supply and demand. Reviewing the Boeing and Airbus figures of expected fleet numbers correlated to flight crew numbers there clear evidnece of a looming crew shortage.

Are the flying schools here producing sufficient pilots?

How will the youth of today be shown an career in aviation is a worhwhile career? (particulary when they have to come up with significant money to pay for training, ratings and getting a job not initially paying much more than a clerk)

Managment in the end is not interested in experience, working conditions per se; they just want flight crew to fill the seats and do the job for the lowest possible cost. If 250hour co-pilots can fulfill this requirement (and they can) why hire others perhaps requiring higher crew costs?

They will use all their might and powers to convince the regulator and leglaalors of this. A persuasive argument is the many, many operators who operate safely around the world daily with these crews.

Was the introduction of the multi crew licence a step in this direction?

Most probably and if the arguments of pilots here are correct and is to be supported, pilots were noticeably absent in lobbying to prevent the introduction of this concept.


Technology is available, tried and tested for many years that it is not inconceiveable to suggest the next step could well be the removal of the requirement for Co-pilots?

Certainly a concept management could fully support.

KRUSTY 34
20th Sep 2010, 07:41
Lester, Dark Knight, Relax', you're all missing the point, re: the ATPL requirement at least.

The profession in Australia is in decline. Unless you've been living under a rock, or are overseas perhaps, you would know this. It is this decline that threatens the very cornerstone of aviation saftey in this country. There are 2 reasons for this.

Firstly, the allure of flight doesn't have the same appeal to the same number of people (young and not so young) as it once did. This is a product of our advanced society and probably due in no small measure to the massive increase in the availability of air travel to a much wider section of the community.

Secondly, the standing and respect of the professional pilot has declined. In some small part due to the situation above, but mostly because of the inexorable decline in pilots wages and conditions when compared to the rest of modern society. I say compared to the rest of society, because that's what the Bruce Buchanan's of this world are trying to do. Reduce the standing of Airline Pilot to that of an apprentice, or a common blue-collar worker. I mean no disrespect to blue-collar workers, I come from a long line and was one myself for a long number of years.

There's not much that can be done about the first reason, but it is brilliant in it's simplicity, what can be done about the second.

The line from the movie "Build it and they will come" is, IMHO very appropriate. The participation rate for professional licences has dropped by a factor of 10 over the last 2 decades. Once upon a time the pool of suitable candidates were such that even after the non-hackers were weeded out, more than enough were left to satisfy the airlines needs. Make the profession desirable again, and the participation rate will grow. Not because of some scam designed to prey on the dreams of those who don't know any better, but because of the elevation of the profession of Airline pilot back to a position where it rightfully belongs.

A minimum of an ATPL!

mustman
20th Sep 2010, 09:21
There may well be pilots in GA with 1000s of hours who do not have an airline gig. This may not be fair (life isn't) but for whatever reason they didn't get the job.

I know many with the experience that can't even get a interview/testing etc. How bad can some of these guys look on paper? Maybe because they have a couple thousands hours too many? 200 hours is a better amount for bean counters.

gobbledock
20th Sep 2010, 17:18
I wonder whether these new generation aviation hot shot CEO's would accept a first year med graduate performing a basic operation?

Good point Fruet Mich. I am wondering if the same CEO's would let a first year grad act in the position of airline CEO for a year, or act as CFO for a year ?? Hmmm. I doubt it. There is no way they would allow their precious profits and number 1 priority called money be loose in the hands of the inexperienced.
CEO's are bean counters and have no idea about safety. Combine that with the company's safety managers who massage the figures and don't paint a true and realistic picture of what is reality or what is really going on to the CEO (because they fear the CEO would punt them for incompetence or bad publicity) and you end up with a recipe for disaster.

Perhaps for the good Senator the penny has dropped and he has now become accutely aware that every time he flies on a major airline in business class while sipping wine and reading The Fin Review his a#s isn't as safe as he thought ?

Mr Hat is 100% correct, Australia is a smoking hole waiting to happen.The 'glass is half full' people will dispute this as being scaremongering,so be it.But I am happy for anybody to frame my comments and then re-visit them in 5 yeras time to see whether us 'glass half empty' spruikers are vindicated.

It is time that CEO's before appointment had a minimum of lets say 10 years within a 'safety focused role' before they can run an airline . Let's see the Senator push that agenda !

Kelly Slater
20th Sep 2010, 18:14
The good Senator flies with Tiger rather than sipping bubbly. I just hope he doesn't miss an important sitting one day because of it.

Mr. Hat
20th Sep 2010, 22:59
In the media and amongst the general public there is excitement/euphoria about about dirt cheap tickets. People that wouldn't dream of even catching a taxi to the airport now fly to various destinations around Australia. Off they go laughing and cheering none the wiser. Everyone is having a great time. Even the good Senator is a strong supporter of this. In fact, word is that since 03' fares have even become even cheaper! Yipeee. So where does the money come from? Is there such thing as a free ride or is there a trade off?

Everyone will recall the saying "you don't get something for nothing". My dad taught me this when I was in primary school. So how does it work?

Well I suppose, aircraft are becoming more technologically advanced and being flown a lot more efficiently than in years gone by. You also have to pay for your meal and drink on board with most airlines these days. Finally the airline working conditions aren't what they used to be. Airline staff used to be the envy of many in the old days when popular opinion saw them as 'set for life'.

So what happens at the end of the day when we have brand new aircraft, flex tracks direct tracking to the 5 mile final everywhere we go? On board we sell a lot of terrible meals for exorbitant prices served to you by contract flight attendants on minimum wage and rest. All is going well.

At the end of the day (3am) we gather around and count the money only to work out that at $49 a seat we really didn't make that much money. Someone yells "we need more aircraft NOW!". Down the road in the meantime, Airline X minus starts up with all facilities made out of recycled cardboard making our beloved Airline E minus $49 airfares look expensive (RIIP OOFF!! and right on cue while I'm writing the post comes a typical gem about AIRLINES ripping the public off Travellers furious over hidden airline fees | News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/travellers-furious-over-hidden-airline-fees/story-e6frfq80-1225926741227?area=travel)).

Next day Airline X minus advertises for the same destinations for $4.90! "Hell thats an extra 45 bucks savin', I can get an extra 4 Jim n' Cokes into me for that - I'll go with them hahaha" says one punter to another whilst in the queue waiting for a doubleskinnymaxiCUPPAchino-larte at the aiport cafe. The cycle continues.

So there has to be a point where the yield from the low fares and rising cost of running an airline with a relatively fixed population cancel each other out. I'm no accountant but even I can see that. Indeed the cost of living is going up and up and up everyday. There's even a talk of a carbon tax now. So how come fares keep getting cheaper? Before we get to that magic crossover point the little extra buffers that block up various holes in the swiss cheese model need to come out. "They are costing far too much!" one 'manager' announces assertively in a quivering tone to his non tertiary educated superior. Little things like extra training/retaining/attracting experienced and educated staff. "They've all go to go" "these things they fly themselves you know".

The reality is that the industry is now attracting the bottom of the barrel now all the way from CEO to the pilot. The top managers go and work for companies like BHP or Leighton where every year they improve their product whilst also still amazingly paying dividends to shareholders (GFC and all). The top pilots will probably head off overseas if unable to get a reasonable deal here. So when the 180 seat jet runs off the end of the runway due to "Pilot Error" (as exclusively reported on Today Tonight) I'm going to sit back and say to shocked friends and relatives: "Told you so" "Don't come a cryin' in yer beer to me".. "go take a holiday to the Gold Coast only $5 to get there".

The sad thing about this whole thing is that Joe average has no idea of what is actually going on. They're walking around thinking "how good is this? I"m off to the Goldie for a fiver" or "geez who would have thought little Johhny a big Airline pilot hey flyin them big ones and it only cost him 200 large". They buy the ticket just as the senator says and think its just as safe as its always been. Afterall "these things they fly themselves these days".

There is no such thing as a free ride people.

breakfastburrito
21st Sep 2010, 00:16
Mr Hat & Jim,
In 2001, David Tice testified before the House Financial Services Committee, "The most reckless fund managers, the most reckless auditors, the most reckless investment bankers, the most reckless corporate officers made the most money. So you had greater and greater incentives to promote the most reckless guys." Meanwhile "the most reckless CEOs hired the most reckless chief financial officers."
Chairman Greenspan: A Fiat Mind for a Fiat Age (http://mises.org/daily/4472)
Although is appears way off topic at first blush, it is EXACTLY the same process that has occurred in aviation since the deregulation in the 70's.
This is the motive force for the changes we are seeing in aviation. It will end in tears.

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 02:20
So, how do poorly trained pilots become Captains? Because of datal seniority, that's why!

Kelly Slater
21st Sep 2010, 03:25
You don't become eligible for an upgrade without passing checks to an acceptable standard. You don't pass the upgrade without meeting the required standards. You don't retain your command without continued acceptable checks.
Datal Seniority does not allow poorly trained pilots to move into the left seat, only low standards can do that.

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 04:26
Sorry Kelly, but that is completely naive.

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 04:38
I have been against the concept of Datal Seniority since 1988.

I have flown with captains who have been totally out of their depth when dealing with wx, pax, all sorts of operational stuff. After returning to Australia after some years overseas, I was agast at the low standard of some captains that I flew with. I often had to hold the hand of the incompetant.

I could hardly believe, after I got my own command (B737) at the attitude of some FOs who felt that Datal Seniority confered upon them some automatic "right of passage" to the Left Hand Seat, when it was quite clearly beyond them.

Datal Seniority not only lowers the standard of our industry (here we are unique) but also serves to erode our Terms & Condidtions.

The sooner our industry ditches this outmoded concept, the better off we all will be.
http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/statusicon/user_online.gif
http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/statusicon/user_online.gif

Eastmoore
21st Sep 2010, 04:44
And like wise without datal seniority you get brown nose's or mates of the boss, getting commannds over more compentant applicants. This is more detrimental to Safety

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 05:28
I know what you are saying. However with proper management, this wont happen. likewise, even with datal seniority, due process can easily be circumvented by a dysfunctional managment. I've seen it all before..

The fact that DS brings an artificial barrier to employment choices means that our T&Cs are degraded should be sufficient reason to move to a promotion by merit system.

Further, it is an inherant contadiction to say on one hand, all applicants must pass a certain standard, however, Mates Of The Boss some how avoid that standard. Either a standard exists and is universally applied, or it does not.

And no, it is more detrimental to safety that management cannot , by reasons of DS, select the best people for the job of Command. DS does nothing but support the perpetuation of mediocrity.

Mr. Hat
21st Sep 2010, 06:38
Funily or not funily enough just about every pilot thats been involved in a hull loss must have passed a check within the last 6 months. Unless they were operating illegally of course.

So if you pass the checks does this mean that you'll never have an accident. All you need is the icence and away you go.

newsensation
21st Sep 2010, 06:39
Most Scbas not like seniority as they think they are better than the person who has done the hard yards in a company and earned their turn to Qualify for a Command.

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 06:41
How about promotion by Merit to the people who have done the "Hard Yards" in the industry??

newsensation
21st Sep 2010, 06:50
You should change your name to WhiteAnt!

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 07:39
Typical.

If you cannot employ rational debate, resort to name calling. Evidently you possess neither the intellect or substance of argument for reasoned debate.

NEXT!

Kelly Slater
21st Sep 2010, 08:23
Interestingly enough, it is the companies that are against seniority whilst the pilots fight for it. Unfortunately, this little detour in the topic has the potential to derail it. Seniority is worthy of its own topic but it is not important enough to ruin this one.

flyingfox
21st Sep 2010, 08:49
I've been around for a long time and haven't seen much evidence that datal seniority causes a greater occurrence low standard F/Os being promoted to Captain. Achieving and maintaining high standards is required to make and hold a command under seniority systems regardless of time served. Of course I can't vouch for every company out there but the ones I've worked for have professional and fair check and training systems in place. It is often the highly motivated or selfish types who try to corrupt C & T from both outside and inside the system. As we have learned from CRM and experience, raw ability is not the only determinate for good pilots whether in the left or right seats. I've seen more evidence of people being promoted above their experience or ability when the seniority system is ignored. Relying on management to choose candidates for promotion 'on merit' is the real naivety in our present aviation climate. Seniority tends to iron out the manipulative moves of the over ambitious or compliant command applicants. The time spent in the co-pilot seat while waiting for your number to come up is invaluable. It not only allows knowledge to build but gives time for weaknesses to appear. Experience, training and high standards make for competent air crew. Seeing a Captain 'struggle' in a particular situation can't simply be sheeted home to datal seniority. (Back to CRM school quickly if you think that!)
However there will always be a problem with changing jobs under a seniority system. A fact of life. Good reason to plan for the long term in choosing your employer. Gaining quick endorsements and promotion by taking low paid positions or with shonky operators (or both) is often a recipe for long term grief. A 'quick command now' may not make for a full career no matter how 'gifted' a pilot may be.

gobbledock
21st Sep 2010, 09:58
Ever since large government departments and businesses bought in Human Resources specialists, the focus is on the Head of HR to make their budget.
Doing this, they screw the very last cent out of negotiation so they can achieve their bonus or meet their "KPI".
I have sat around too many meetings listening to HR managers say they are happy with current "levels" of safety, "why do you need more resources?"


Spot on Jim Irwin. HR is becoming the modern day safety scourge. Most are a bunch of spreadsheet thriving twats who have no concept about what safety actualy means, nor do they fathom or understand 'risk'. I worked for one large carrier that was very cyclic with its safety department.When incident rates went down the department was culled to the bare bone. Naturally there was then less safety oversight,safety promotion and less predictive safety work taking place. Surprise surprise, incidents would escalate until the holes in the cheese started to realign themselves, the airline would panick and the number of safety staff bumped up again, and so the cycle continues.
The reason ? Accountant CEO's and HR jerks with no concept of reality.


Gobbledock is right, Safety Managers are petrified of revealing the true picture of what is happening, they consequently underate events, so that thier "KPI" is not busted

I should know. I used to sit in on weekly safety meetings and cringe as I listened to all and sundry water down the facts, fudge the figures and perform all manner of comical acts to ensure the CEO didn't find out the truth ! For those who disbelieve me then you are living in some sort of Hollywood fantasy dream.

I'm with Mr.Hat, I pray that I will be out of this industry sipping on a coldie on Stradbroke Island fishing among the breakers when the report comes over the radio that the the holes have lined up, Professor Reason is correct again and a smoking hole is all that remains of a once recognisable aircraft full of passengers.
I don't want this to happen, but the block of cheese is growing.

relax737
21st Sep 2010, 10:02
Sure Anthill, get rid of datal seniority and get the cock$ucker$ in the LH seat instead. That's the sort of people that populate JQ management, mostly former AN management, taking care of the buddies, one even the 'empty suit/mirror man' in Melbourne trying to get out of his SQ contract so that he can come back and take a DEC at JQ!! That's what will happen.

Datal seniority means no more than being given a chance in order of seniority based on date of joining. The standard must still be attained/maintained.

teresa green
21st Sep 2010, 11:09
The more I read, the more mortified I become. Us old blokes thought we were passing on a solid, safe system that was engineered over the years, for you young blokes, instead it is being torn down. If ever there was a reason for you blokes to unite under one banner it is now, if you don't, I can see it will take a hull loss to bring it before the public, and that is one hull loss too many. Very sad for us ol fellas who took such pride in our job, our aircraft, our safety records, the way of the world I guess.

Mr. Hat
21st Sep 2010, 11:26
Hi guys the thread is about Nick Xenophon and what his actions might do for the industry. Lets try and not get it locked! Understand cadets/seniority debate but lets focus on improving our industry.

This is the time - its now or never. Time for some unity. That includes engineers ATC etc.

gobbledock
21st Sep 2010, 11:29
Don't worry TG, just the lads letting off some steam and a bit of pent up testosterone, it happens.
The real villains are the CEO's and/or senior managers in today's aviation environment. The good ol days when people like Reg Ansett worked and breathed the business and was hands on are gone. (please do not turn this thread into an Ansett bashing, I am using Reg as an example, and yes, I know he wasn't perfect).

Today's CEO has limited vision that sits within a small field - $$$$.
They don't understand what constitutes real risk, they are experts at reactive management only, they don't listen to the experts within their organisation, rather they prefer to listen to their bank accounts creak and groan under sufficient weight, they are happy to attain to minimum safety benchmarks and pissweak entry control standards rather than strive to achieve a higher level of safety with higher benchmarks and goals.

I guess the upside to all this is that in this modern day and age responsibility can be delegated, but not accountability. So if a large aicraft does pancake itself eventually with loss of life I will look forward to seeing the look on the accountable CEO's face as he stares down the barrell of a jail sentence !

Oxidant
21st Sep 2010, 19:00
Today's CEO has limited vision that sits within a small field - $$$$.
They don't understand what constitutes real risk, they are experts at reactive management only, they don't listen to the experts within their organisation, rather they prefer to listen to their bank accounts creak and groan under sufficient weight, they are happy to attain to minimum safety benchmarks and pissweak entry control standards rather than strive to achieve a higher level of safety with higher benchmarks and goals.

I guess the upside to all this is that in this modern day and age responsibility can be delegated, but not accountability. So if a large aicraft does pancake itself eventually with loss of life I will look forward to seeing the look on the accountable CEO's face as he stares down the barrell of a jail sentence !

Hmmmm. I think you will find that he will pass on the jail sentences to those below him. Like the Chief Pilot, Head of Training etc........

("But, your worship, I employ all these "Professionals" to screw up & carry the can for me".)

Anthill
21st Sep 2010, 23:34
Thank you Flying fox for a lucid post.

I think that the issue of datal seniority is relevant here for 2 reasons:

1) It is a widely embraced promotional system which often prevents the most suitable candidates for being selected (which means that safety is not optimised-Senator Xenaphon should know about this) and

2) DS forms a de-facto regulatory barrier to the movement of labour and thus has the net effect of keeping our salaries lower.


The time spent in the co-pilot seat while waiting for your number to come up is invaluable. It not only allows knowledge to build but gives time for weaknesses to appear. Experience, training and high standards make for competent air crew.


Yes. For these reasons, people who are dataly by-passed should have no issues when promotion-by-merit upgrades people with superior experience levels who started with a company more recently.

It is better for pilots with lower levels of experience to spend more time doing their apprentiship (here we seem to agree) rather than rush into the Left Seat whisttheir aeronautical skills and knowledge remain undeveloped.

psycho joe
22nd Sep 2010, 03:16
Datal Seniority not only lowers the standard of our industry (here we are unique) but also serves to erode our Terms & Condidtions.


You should also mention that it causes earthquakes, cyclones and is linked to the depletion of some fish stocks. :D

Anthill
22nd Sep 2010, 04:14
Thanks for your highly reasoned input Psychojoe. It is invaluable. I might suggest that further debate on this issue is best left to the Grown-ups.

Run along and play, now.

hotnhigh
22nd Sep 2010, 11:53
Anthill, please list the promotion by merit criteria? :=

blow.n.gasket
22nd Sep 2010, 22:15
Anthill,
I'd say the wearing of a blue shirt in a previous life would be high on the list of required criteria!:E

scrubba
23rd Sep 2010, 15:50
:cool:
good job - it was really good to see how easy it is to invoke a a distraction so that the thread becomes a "blue shirt" argument
I just wish the fish would bite so well when I'm out on the boat!!!! :cool:

Anthill
23rd Sep 2010, 22:44
Aviation employers don’t care how good a pilot is. As long as the pilot meets insurance requirements and can do the job, all that matters is how much that pilot costs. In my experience, many employers would rather hire a cheap, entry level pilot than a seasoned professional who costs more. They don’t see the benefit of the experience. They’re gambling, of course, on the equipment and circumstances of flight — when something goes wrong, will the entry level pilot have the experience and knowledge to bring the aircraft and passengers back safely?

In the airline industry, pilots are locked into their employers for seniority. If they leave one airline, they lose all seniority and start at the bottom at their new employer. This prevents experienced pilots from looking for better jobs. It stagnates the employee pool. And although Captain Sullenberger didn’t mention this, it prevents good ideas from one airline from migrating to another.

Captain Sullenberger does discuss how many airline employees have simply stopped caring about anything other than what’s in their job description. As budget cuts reduce non-essential staff, customer service suffers. Captain Sullenberger talks about his personal experiences going the “extra mile” to help passengers who can’t get the help they need from other airline employees. He talks about how most airline employees are simply tired of doing other people’s jobs. He doesn’t blame them — he hints that they’re underpaid for what they’re supposed to do — but he does decry the system that results in this poor attitude.

He also believes that budget cuts have the potential to reduce safety. A good example of this is the emergency procedures book that his first officer needed to consult on the loss of both engines. In the past, the book had numbered tabs that made it easier to find content. The airline, in a cost-cutting measure, had stopped including the tabs, making it necessary to thumb through the book and look at individual page headings to find content. In the slightly more than three minutes the cockpit crew had to land the plane without engines, every second was valuable. Yes, this flight had a happy ending — but could other flights be lost due to cost cutting measures like this? It certainly makes you wonder.
- (Langer, M, An Ecclectic Mind, 2010)

The Hon. Senator should be made aware of factors that involve airline safety issues. Seniority is one of these issues.

max1
24th Sep 2010, 23:45
Anthill,

Start another thread on this issue. Don't drag this one down.

Angle of Attack
25th Sep 2010, 08:29
Agree, if you want a seniority argument make another thread, and by the way almost all factories run on seniority too so lets stop it and just pick favourites to get the promotions! haha, your obviously junior buddy!

Mr. Hat
25th Sep 2010, 12:38
Just idea, what about aipa bringing Captain Sullenberger out to Australia? Get him to meet with aipa and Nick Xenophon. Thoughts?

Popgun
25th Sep 2010, 20:40
I think its a great idea. The only way we will win this is if we get the public onside regarding safety.

Any publicity that helps the public to see that their continued cheap fares may come at the expense of deteriorating safety standards is crucial for any legislative change.

Mr Hat - Why don't you send AIPA an email, copied to Senator Xenophon, with your suggestion. In fact, Lets ALL do that.

PG

maralinga
25th Sep 2010, 22:36
"Our pilot training regimen is regularly benchmarked against international standards as part of our program of continuous improvements."

And what international standards would those be?

Dark Knight
26th Sep 2010, 05:16
The discussion, arguments and merits of seniority have been raised many, many times and raising it again here is little more than a diversionary tactic.

Primarily it needs to be clearly understood Safety is purely the role of the Regulator.

The regulator can and will be directed, counselled or advised in this role by either the Legislative process or the accident investigator. Input may also occur from affected/interested parties such as pilots, engineers, / ATC, etc.

Whilst Airline Management may profess an intense interest in Safety their only input to this process will be when directed/asked to do so or it affects the bottom line; such input will allways be to protect or enhance this bottom line. Restrictions imposed upon their operation such as being prevented to fly into a country or passenger reaction to an airlines poor safety record are good examples re creating an airline managent interest is safety.

Seniority does ensure all get an opprtrunity in sequence to upgrade however, the final say in this process resides with the Regulator through an `approved' check & training organisation.

Seniority is about taking the control of a pilots daily life and lifestyle from airline management and putting it in the hands of the individual pilot!


It is interesting to note that though I raised the quality, ability and role of the regulator and accident investigator in an earlier post it appears no one considers the safety regulator/accident investigator role or lack of abilty to regulate the industry worthy of comment. Yet many posts suggest their major concern is operational safety?


I make one other point in that the suggestion is for government and or legislatve input, interference or control into the area of T & Cs, supposed safety and airline mangement. One would suggest from experience great care is needed in what is asked for as the last time government interfered with airline managment, T & Cs, etc, we ended up in the great mess we are in Now!

Anthill
26th Sep 2010, 07:05
I had actually said my peace until Dark Knight made the above post.


Seniority does ensure all get an opprtrunity in sequence to upgrade however, the final say in this process resides with the Regulator through an `approved' check & training organisation.

Seniority is about taking the control of a pilots daily life and lifestyle from airline management and putting it in the hands of the individual pilot!



This is ill-considered rhetoric. The fact is that in a dynamic industry Datal Seniority means that many worthy pilots will never see a command during their careers. Many will work for a company for years which then goes bust or is absorbed only to join a company with DS and then they start from scratch, the industry effectively losing the full benefit of their experience. Consider the 10 year FOs in Canada (Canadian/Air Canada merger) who were absorbed by another company and then put at the bottom of the Seniority list. Of what use was their experience when Junior SOs became senior to them? I know of one Check Captain who suddenly became junior to his son. I correspond with an FO who is still not a captain years later.

Example: the many ex AN check captains who joined QF as SOs. Where are they now? FOs on intermediate types, that's where. Most will never hold a command again- due to seniority. At least the industry and the younger FOs at JQ could benefit from the experience and mentorship provided by the"Blue Shirts", as some have so demeaningly called them.

I have already explained at length that DS results in promotion becoming a box ticking exercise. The next in line, whatever their knowledge, whatever their experience, becomes the benchmark. More often than not, this will mean that the potential standard of the industry is lowered, unless by co-incidence or fluke the next datally senior is the best, most experienced and suitable person for the job. This is an industry safety issue.

Some posters have already seen the link between declining salaries and safety-If you don't see the link to how Datal Seniority lowers our T&Cs, go and speak to an Economist and get them to explain the effect of Labour Regulations, employment dynamics and wages.

newsensation
26th Sep 2010, 09:28
Please Just Go Away WhiteAnt!

Angle of Attack
26th Sep 2010, 10:01
Well Boo Frickety Hoo Mr termite Ant!
Just go to an Airline that does not have seniority then then your life will be bliss!
Theres lots of contracts around?
Or do I sense a sour grape?

haha!
Pathetic!

Meanwhile while you whinge I succeed! HAHA!
Oh life is bliss!

Anthill
26th Sep 2010, 10:27
AoA : yeah, I recieved your insane rave of a PM.

I'm sure where ever you work (QF) has an Employee Assistance Program. Use it. Take sick leave.

You have no business in an aeroplane.

:bored:

psycho joe
26th Sep 2010, 13:02
I have already explained at length that DS results in promotion becoming a box ticking exercise. The next in line, whatever their knowledge, whatever their experience, becomes the benchmark. More often than not, this will mean that the potential standard of the industry is lowered, unless by co-incidence or fluke the next datally senior is the best, most experienced and suitable person for the job. This is an industry safety issue.

Some posters have already seen the link between declining salaries and safety-If you don't see the link to how Datal Seniority lowers our T&Cs, go and speak to an Economist and get them to explain the effect of Labour Regulations, employment dynamics and wages.



Direct entry commands destroy conditions.

In the last ten or so years, how many cashed up expats have taken up direct entry commands in various Australian airlines on conditions that were once considered a joke? Just so they could return to Australia.

By your theory of economics the employees of these airlines should be enjoying the greatest employment conditions that the world has ever seen. Their conditions should be far superior to QANTAS or Ansett who use(d) the dreaded "Datal Seniority".

Despite your obvious distaste for all those that haven't accumulated enough sick leave to avoid working in the same confines as your hyper inflated ego; The best person for the next command, wherever possible, is the FO who has devoted years to an airline, accumulating enough experience to pass the required standard. And not someone who's sick of the desert or Asian food.

If your airline fell over whilst you were considered king then too bad. Unfortunately that's the price we pay in this industry. The belief that a command enjoyed in one airline somehow equates to an entitlement to a command in any and every other airline in the world is not based on safety. Even if you did wear a blue shirt.

Mr. Hat
26th Sep 2010, 22:06
Popgun, I wrote the Senator a letter when the thread started. It was long detailed and factual. No picking on Jetstar or anyone else just view of how the industry has changed and where I think it is headed.

Right now I just wish the seniority and cadet debate would be replaced with robust discussion on how to save our industry. I think Captain Sullenberger combined with the Senator is the right combination.

Does anyone have the utube link on his speech handy? I remember my hair standing on end when I watched it the first time.

404 Titan
26th Sep 2010, 22:26
Mr. Hat

Is this the speech you are talking about?

Capt Sullenberger's Speach at the Commonwealth Club (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc8f0jIURk0)

Captain Sand Dune
27th Sep 2010, 05:43
Airline management types must be p!ssing themselves laughing reading this.
PPRuNE is the last place to be thrashing this out.

Popgun
27th Sep 2010, 11:07
I won't even comment on the previous couple of posts...

Now...altering course to avoid the CB and get back on track...

That sounds like a great idea - Senator X and Capt Sully would surely be able to drag this issue front and centre so that the Mums and Dads at home (watching A Current Affair etc) and the Parliament could see that we are heading down a dangerous path unless the 2 issues (Off-shoring and 200 hour First Officers) are safely put to rest.

I haven't seen Capt S's speech. I'll go watch the youtube video now...

PG

Fruet Mich
27th Sep 2010, 21:59
You do have to laugh at how we have f&[email protected] over the kiwis for so many years, And now only after we've helped forge these conditions we often refer to them as outshoring of Aussie jobs and continual lowing of conditions when we have been the creator!! For example, when Jetconnect started, we all flooded over there and accepted and some would say established the shyte T&C's then we all came home to greener pastures and left the mess to the kiwis. Next was PAC Blue which was set up by us good ol boys then left to them. The latest is Jetstar NZ which we all took rosters out of NZ ( nice wee holiday with the sheep shaggers) then came home because we never thought setting up the shyte terms for the islander kiwis would ever affect us!!?? WTF? The biggest hypocrisy is that Jetstar NZ can't get any of their countryman to accept a command because of the shyte pay but their is a flood of our aus jetstar pilots taking leave without pay for that good ol command!!?? We are affectively and efficiently stuffing our own conditions and here it is.... Blaming the kiwis for the shyte terms and conditions! Just as long as we keep blaming the natives we'll feel better about ourselves ay! No wonder the industry is going down the toilet, unbelievable.

I once read a post on here that "kiwis would skin their own nanna with a blunt butter knife to put an Aussie out of work" jeezuz what a joke, have you blokes had a look at the Jetstar seniority list lately with all the leave without pay NZ on it?

Kangaroo Court
28th Sep 2010, 19:08
..and you guys wonder why we went overseas in the early '90s?!

Popgun
28th Sep 2010, 23:06
This thread is not about blame or rearward looking vitriol. Haven't we had enough of that?

Please try and provide something constructive in your rants...perhaps you could even balance your posts with proposals of possible solutions to our dilemmas. Our industry could do with a lot more of that.

This would be a lot more welcome and motivational rather than the same negative, anger-venting, 'I-told-you-so' spiel.

I'm off to write another email to my local MP and to forward some more suggestions to the union.

Cheers to all who are willing to get off their [email protected]#es and be positive, optimistic and constructive.

PG

Mr. Hat
29th Sep 2010, 02:15
Would be good to see how many of the people on this thread have actually done something.

I've written to the Senator and the local MP. You?

Fonz121
29th Sep 2010, 06:19
Written to Xenophon and Journalists

flyingfox
30th Sep 2010, 00:01
I hope Nick Xenophon is aware of this Pprune thread on Strategic. http://www.pprune.org/dg-p-reporting-points/425057-strategic-airlines-6.html

Bo777
30th Sep 2010, 01:13
Emailed Nick and got a quick and positive response back:ok: As for Mr Albanese ...tits on a bull comes to mind :ugh: And this from the top today


Qantas chief's 'Asian rates' push for Singapore offshoot

Matt O'sullivan

September 30, 2010

QANTAS chief executive Alan Joyce has claimed the airline's Asian offshoot, Jetstar Asia, needs to pay ''Asian rates'' to be competitive against low-cost rivals and has accused unions of living ''beyond cloud-cuckoo land''.
His comments have infuriated the airline's pilots and raise the prospect of Qantas heading for a showdown with some of its key unions later this year as they engage in enterprise bargaining negotiations.
Mr Joyce told a business lunch in Sydney yesterday that ''it was just crazy'' to think that it could operate Singapore-based Jetstar Asia with pilots on Australian conditions because it would make it uncompetitive against rivals such as Tiger and AirAsia.
''It is an Asian carrier operating in an Asian environment,'' he said. ''Some of the unions, I think, have gone past cloud-cuckoo land and have gone on to a planet where competition doesn't exists.
''The fact is we are in a highly competitive market. We need to have an Asian carrier with Asian rates and the same for New Zealand … Jetconnect is a New Zealand operation with New Zealand paying conditions … that is competing against New Zealand carriers.''
Jetstar has encouraged pilots to transfer to its new Singapore-Melbourne route where - despite flying Australian-registered A330 aircraft into Australia - they will be employed on private contracts under Singapore laws.
The president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, Barry Jackson, said Singapore-based pilots were paid about 30 per cent less than those in Australia. ''Can I get a Qantas CEO on Asian rates?'' asked Mr Jackson. ''You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise where this is all going.''
He said his members understood the airline needed to be competitive, but in exchange for cutting their terms and conditions they wanted assurances that ''we will at least have a career''.
Jetconnect pilots do not receive the same superannuation entitlements as their Australian-based counterparts.


Source: The Age (http://www.theage.com.au/)

Obviously Mr Joyce hasn't done a cost comparison between living in KL and Singas. A vast difference. A recent happy snap
http://lovesacminneapolis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/leprechaun-01.jpg

bubble.head
30th Sep 2010, 07:39
And the ball is rolling...

Senate carries Xenophon motion for inquiry into pilot training and standards – Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2010/09/30/senate-carries-xenophon-motion-for-inquiry-into-pilot-training-and-standards/)

Just having a look at the notice of motion there, and in specific " a minimum of 1500 flight hours before a pilot is able to fly a commercial plane". So now we need 1500 hours to fly a 172 out in the bush for fly commercially? :}

Silliness aside, I wonder whether the minimum of 1500 hours requirement will be mandated to all operating crews, including second officers? If that is so, how will the Qantas cadet and other cadet/trainee schemes occur?

Popgun
30th Sep 2010, 09:48
Well Done Senator Xenophon, AIPA and everyone who has written and encouraged others to write to to their local MPs demanding action.

Lets all continue to maintain the rage and ensure this issue remains prime in the public eye.

Participation (through your union and/or your local Member) in the process has never been more important.

PG

Hugh Jarse
30th Sep 2010, 10:23
Well, I wrote a fairly substantial submission to Mr. Xenophon (and others), particularly related to pilot recruiting (from a regional airline perspective), and declining GA training standards a few weeks ago.

I'm still waiting for the common courtesy of an acknowledgement from the good senator (and his cohorts).

I'll take him with a grain of salt, methinks.....:ugh: After all, they are politicians.

Kangaroo Court
30th Sep 2010, 18:44
You're not the only one writing letters...they do have other things to do in office.

Wow, what a freakin' ego!

Hugh Jarse
30th Sep 2010, 21:38
Well, kangaroo court - what have you done? Probably sitting on your butt having a sook about it:D

If having a genuine enough concern for the industry to spend a couple of hours composing a submission on this important topic constitutes having "what a freaking ego" (your words), then guilty as charged!

You've obviously never met me. Most people who know me would say I'm quite the opposite :8

What's wrong (or egotistical) about expecting an acknowledgement from the recipient? Whenever I wrote to my former local member, he was always quite prompt to return the courtesy.

KRUSTY 34
30th Sep 2010, 22:29
Points 1-4, Pure Gold!

But in the imortal words of Mr Wolf from Pulp Fiction, to Jules and Vincent after they cleaned up the blood soaked car.... "Let's not go @#&*% each others *&#%@ just yet gentlemen.....! :E

Very interesting start though.

Kangaroo Court
30th Sep 2010, 22:58
Mr Jarse...or King Jarse is it?

Hugh, you should be concentrating on building bridges and not burning them.

This is a public forum, if he reads the crap like you just posted, feels there's less reward versus risk in taking on your fight and does not feel appreciated for his efforts...you'll be left to twist in the wind!

You've got quite a history with your posts of assuming the role of judge, jury and executioner in the same sentence.

How about a little more Due Process?

Kelly Slater
1st Oct 2010, 00:53
The American legislation regarding the 1500 hours applies to RPT operations only. The general perception amongst the Australian public is that Commercial Aviation refers to RPT operations and I'm sure that this is what is going on here. The push in Australia will be for similar rules to that of the US. I doubt very much that you will ever need more than a bare commercial to fly scenics or for meat bombing but if the proposal gets up, there will be more competition for these entry level jobs than if people are able to make the Airlines via Cadebitships alone. GA will remain viable and GA pilots will remain exploitable.

Fonz121
1st Oct 2010, 02:00
there will be more competition for these entry level jobs than if people are able to make the Airlines via Cadebitships alone

Although I dare say a few of the people who are currently signing up to the cadetships might think twice about a career in aviation if it wasn't so easy to get straight into the RHS of an airliner and it meant having to actually work in GA for a few years.

Centaurus
1st Oct 2010, 04:19
Although I dare say a few of the people who are currently signing up to the cadetships might think twice about a career in aviation if it wasn't so easy to get straight into the RHS of an airliner and it meant having to actually work in GA for a few years.

I am sure you are right.

Propjet88
1st Oct 2010, 07:20
Just read the US Senate Bill - 5900. Very long but well worth a scan as the 1500 hours is only one of many significant changes. Mandating multi - crew skills training is another, so is a review of "commuting". Be careful what you wish for if anyone suggests copying it here holus bolus.
By the way in section 209/216 it makes provision for "academic credit" to reduce the 1500 hours.
Fly safe
PJ

Hugh Jarse
3rd Oct 2010, 21:19
This thread's gone a bit quiet.

Still waiting for an acknowledgement from the good minister :rolleyes: Has anyone else who may have made a submission been contacted as yet?

Popgun
4th Oct 2010, 01:00
I've written to Senator Xenophon many times.

I've always received an acknowledgement from his correspondence staffer within a couple of days.

On occasion where I have asked a very specific question I have received a reply within a few more days.

Kudos to all who put pen to paper...it is far more effective than whining!

PG :ok:

psycho joe
4th Oct 2010, 09:55
Well I don't agree with mandating an arbitrary figure whether it be 1500 hrs or 15000 hrs. An arbitrary figure in a log book does nothing to improve safety. It doesn't improve the quality of training. Put simply, you can do something badly 1500 times. It smacks of the appearance of safety for the amusement of the masses, not unlike other arbitrary policies foisted upon us. :ugh:

I can just see log books being falsified (just like teenage drivers), I can see light aircraft flying around in circles for hours on end and I can see cadets paying for a further thousand or so hours in a light aircraft that has as much in common with medium turboprop or jet rpt as a bicycle has to the Bathurst 1000.

KRUSTY 34
4th Oct 2010, 10:18
Not that long ago 'Joe, you wouldn't even get a look in with a major airline unless you had at least 3-5000 hours and an ATPL. You needed at least 2-3000 hours and said ATPL to get an interview with a decent regional. I'm sure there were the odd log book forgeries then, as I'm sure there are some now. Realistically though very few did it, and only then at their peril!

As for light aircraft flying around in circles? Give me a break. How much money do you think these kid's parents have?

psycho joe
4th Oct 2010, 11:11
Not that long ago 'Joe, you wouldn't even get a look in with a major airline unless you had at least 3-5000 hours and an ATPL. You needed at least 2-3000 hours and said ATPL to get an interview with a decent regional.

Hell, go back far enough and the only way to get into QANTAS was to have a hand full of hours and a daring-do story about shooting down the Kaisers finest over Flanders field. But that was more relevant for the times than 3-5000 in GA is for a regional today.

How much money do you think these kid's parents have?

Probly enough to fly yer plane for free till they get that golden 1500. :ok:

Or maybe enough to really get ahead & buy some ICUS time. :hmm:

KRUSTY 34
4th Oct 2010, 11:42
You may be right 'Joe, but what we'll see is an adjustment back to the requirements of before. There were rich kids around then also, but the majority of pilots that made it into the RHS of an airline op were there by virture of determination, hard work, persistance bordering on obsession, and sometimes with a not insignificant measure of luck! Believe me I know.

You may get a few (very few) capable of throwing endless amounts of cash at it, but I think once finding themselves with a bare CPL and perhaps an Instrument or Instructor's rating, and still with around 1250 hours to go, you may not see too many (or their parents) "rationalising" that it's the career for them!

There will still be plenty of candidates for those coveted airline jobs, they'll just be the ones willing to go the distance, be them wealthy or otherwise. :ok:

Propjet88
4th Oct 2010, 12:20
Sorry Krusty, I understand your sentiments, but must disagree with your views.

The 1500 hours will not get up, basically because it is founded in emotion and not logic. I understand the industrial arguments, but they simply don't hold water, as surely, its all about competence and not hours. Pilots do not suddenly gain competence at some magical number of hours.

Both pilots in the Colgan tragedy that precipitated US Senate Bill 5900 had well above 1500 hours "experience". The 1500 hours mentioned in the bill is simply a political knee jerk to a tragic accident. More fool us in Australia if we follow this path.

Some of the real issues highted by this tragedy that need to be addressed are associated with fatigue (due in part to pilots commuting and in part to useless, prescriptive, hours based fatigue regs); the lack of any requirement for multi - crew training for airline pilots; a system which does not record multiple flight test failures (competence?) and - the big one - a flawed regulatory (FAA) training and checking system that has experienced procedural drift towards incorrect techniques for stall recovery i.e. full power and pitch up to avoid height loss.

There are bucket loads of systemic issues here that would be "inconvenient" to address.

For example - interesting that both Boeing and Airbus in their latest joint draft amendments to ops manuals this week, have just agreed (probably for the first time on anything) on the revised wording for stall recovery to emphasise the importance of immediate down elevator to reduce the AOA, rather than the emphasis on thrust to "power out" of the stall. Hmm - seem to remember that was the way that I was taught back in the old days. I wonder how it changed subtly over the years?

Ladies and gentlemen. There are many lessons to be learned from Colgan and these do include industrial issues such as the pitiful wages for regional airline pilots in the US, such that they need to work two jobs, or commute across the country because their wages wouldn't even pay the rent for a small apartment at their base. However, lets address the real issues and not dilute them by latching on to the very tenuous connection between hours and competence. Surely we are more professional than that?

In the absence of a double dip recession, or other unforeseen events, all of the evidence indicates that we are heading for a world wide pilot shortage. In the past Australia has, to an extent, been "insulated" from world market forces. However, the world pilot workforce is now mobile and in a true market economy with true mobility of labour, market forces will prevail and correct pay and conditions. In that environment, it is competence that will determine standards of professionalism. Of course, experience is one of the desireable variables and, in a perfect world. the more the better, However, it is competence (the ability to actually do the job) that is the foundation of the safety and professionalism upon which we will survive and thrive.

Fly safe
PJ

A37575
4th Oct 2010, 13:59
However, it is competence (the ability to actually do the job) that is the foundation of the safety and professionalism upon which we will survive and thrive.

Not always so. Please bear with me if the following is perceived as yet another old warrie - but in the early Fifties, RAAF trainee pilots were awarded their pilots brevet (wings) on completion of a 12-15 month course and with 210 hours total. That included an instrument rating called a White Card. Much of the instrument flying training was on limited panel - no artificial horizon or directional gyro. That was because of the limitations of early gyroscopic instruments which would topple beyond 55 degrees angle of bank. Nasty business in IMC or in a spin. The two limitations or restrictions on the White Card instrument rating was that MDA's were increased by 100 feet and I think the take off cloud base minima was 200 ft although I can't be certain of the latter.

The highest grade instrument rating in the RAAF at the time was the Green Card. To qualify for the Green Card the pilot had to have a minimum of 500 hours pilot in command in his log book. It could be all single engine or a combination of SE and ME. The main privilege of the Green Card was the authority it conferred on the holder to take off in zero visibility. This of course could be required in times of war or operational emergency. After all, RAAF pilots are trained for war.

The point here being, that a decision to conduct a blind take off was a highly critical one (for obvious reasons of high risk) and that 500 hours in command had by then given the pilot the exposure or experience needed to evaluate the situation that required a zero forward visibility take off run. Keep in mind, runway lights on the centre-line rarely existed in wartime and in fact the take off could well be from a field in thick fog.

A newly graduated RAAF pilot with his 210 hours and a White Card instrument rating, could usually fly to the standard required for a Green Card instrument rating - including a zero visibility take off run. Today, his civilian equivalent newly type rated CPL 200 hour graduate on a 737, should easily meet the standard of a Command Instrument rating test in a simulator.

But to gain 500 hours of in command time (not ICUS) in the RAAF could take at least two or more years. Fighter pilots on Mustangs picked up maybe 250 hours a year while transport or bomber pilots went through the usual copilot duties for a year or more before upgrading to a Hercules, Dakota or Lincoln command. Then eventually a total of 500 command hours would be attained and the pilot could then be tested for his Green card. It was a coveted award and because of its status was a hard test with no punches pulled especially on limited panel skills. The Green Card was therefore, above all things, a measure of the pilots decision making experience in the air.

It is that vital decision making time which is nowadays often absent from the second in command of an airliner who may have only 250 total flying hours before crewing a jet transport.

I think it would be unwise to dismiss previous good quality command experience as inconsequential - leaving it to "on the day" competence at completing a sequence of flying manoeuvres, as the main requirement to be appointed as second in command of a jet transport.

Propjet88
4th Oct 2010, 21:25
A37575

I agree with many of the facts you state but I'm not sure that they apply to this argument. For example, the proposed 1500 hours experience for airline F/Os is just 1500 hours - not 1500 command time. The US Senate Bill does not specify any command time. There are many types of multi - crew ops that are not Part 121 or Part 135 and lots of single crew ops that may not be exactly relevant. e.g. 1500 hours in Dad's C172.

Just a quick correction. The points you make regarding White / Green card IR holders are correct in essence except that the instrument rating tolerances were broader for a White Card than a Green. I remember, for example that the Green Card speeds had to be +/- 5 kts and altitude +/- 50ft, as opposed to the +/- 10kts and +/- 100ft for a White. So it was about competence (as well as the 500 Hours PIC). You are right that single pilot ops had increased minima - however, co-pilots with a White Card flew to the Captain's minima.

Perhaps a relevant question remains as to why the RAAF moved away from the experience requirements to one which is purely competency based? Also, is there anyone on the forum that can advise the minimum flying experience for co-pilots on Ronny's 737's that fly the Prime Minister and Cabinet around?

Fly safe
PJ

KRUSTY 34
4th Oct 2010, 21:40
Rational words Propjet', and I agree with you 100%!

I was speculating on the effect on pilot training and recruitment in Australia if we follow the American lead. The points you mention all have merit, but I'm afraid they may be just a little too complex for the average politician and their constituents to grasp.

The 1500 hour/ATPL rule won't cover all the bases (truth be known, nothing ever will) but it is simple! That's why the U.S. Senate have gone down this path, so saying it won't get up because it's based on emotion, well the Americans have dispelled that theory!

The problem with complex issues is that Aussie politicians are renowned for putting them into the "Too Hard Basket". Following the American lead will give them the path of geatest simplicity.

Time will tell.

Kangaroo Court
5th Oct 2010, 05:25
We should have more threads like this one.

Red Jet
5th Oct 2010, 06:10
For a change - I agree with Krusty. Make it simple - to participate in Airline Operations as flight crew, the requirement should be an unrestricted Airline Transport Pilots License, ie 1500 Hours total flying time. Certainly not a be-all and end-all, but a simple rule, that could be legislated relatively easily, and would provide a barrier to the airline executive greed in sourcing inexperienced crew, just because they're cheap.

Mr. Hat
6th Oct 2010, 08:33
"academic credit" to reduce the 1500 hours.

Oh goodness please don't tell me someone is going to get on the aviation degree banwagon to replace lessons learned on the job. It doesn't stack up not now nor in one million years time. The two are completely unrelated. One is academia the other is experience.

Put simply, you can do something badly 1500 times. It smacks of the appearance of safety for the amusement of the masses, not unlike other arbitrary policies foisted upon us.

Absolutely knocks the nail on the head. Not only do you need a few thousand hours but you need to have significant experience in the industry out in the on the job learning the ropes and doing your apprentiship.

virture of determination, hard work, persistance bordering on obsession, and sometimes with a not insignificant measure of luck! Believe me I know.

Krusty, these are the types of people I'd like sitting next to me. Unfortunately this will all be gone with Cadetships that put people into the RHS of a jet.

Some of the real issues highted by this tragedy that need to be addressed are associated with fatigue (due in part to pilots commuting and in part to useless, prescriptive, hours based fatigue regs)

Inconvenient truths indeed. I bet my bottom dollar that for all the analysis this expensive fatigue issue will be overlooked. I suspect wages and conditions may also be over looked as well.

The big problem is that we have people at the very top of our industry like Allan Joyce and Bruce Buchanan that see everything only in short term dollar quantities. Band aid solutions and bush fire tactics every where you go. Much better off running a Mac Donalds. We need serious people running airlines not people who's long term plan is to plan for the short term.

The thread is getting interesting.

-438
6th Oct 2010, 09:55
Australia is rapidly becoming one of the richer countries on the planet.
Here's a novel idea, legislate an award that will attract the best candidates to Australian airlines. Experience requirements will never be a problem again.

4dogs
6th Oct 2010, 15:52
For Huge and others,

I don't know why you didn't get an acknowledgement from Nick, because in my experience he tries extremely hard in the personal sense. It may be that he didn't get it, or that his tiny staff (Independent, remember!) may be overloaded with the other million issues he is involved with, or it may be that the expectation is that submissions will go to the Inquiry secretariat since Nick is no longer the contact point. :ok:

Here is the letter:

THE SENATE
SENATE RURAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT
REFERENCES COMMITTEE


6 October 2010


Mr 4Dogs

Via email:



Dear 4Dogs


Inquiry into pilot training and airline safety

I am writing to advise you that on 30 September 2010, the Senate referred the following matter to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 17 November 2010.

(a) pilot experience requirements and the consequence of any reduction in flight hour requirements on safety;
(b) the United States of America's Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, which requires a minimum of 1500 flight hours before a pilot is able to operate on regular public transport services and whether a similar mandatory requirement should be applied in Australia;
(c) current industry practices to recruit pilots, including pay-for-training schemes and the impact such schemes may have on safety;
(d) retention of experienced pilots;
(e) type rating and recurrent training for pilots;
(f) the capacity of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to appropriately oversee and update safety regulations given the ongoing and rapid development of new technologies and skills shortages in the aviation sector;
(g) the need to provide legislative immunity to pilots and other flight crew who report on safety matters and whether the United States and European approaches would be appropriate in the Australian aviation environment;
(h) reporting of incidents to aviation authorities by pilots, crew and operators and the handling of those reports by the authorities, including the following incidents:
(i) the Jetstar incident at Melbourne airport on 21 June 2007, and
(ii) the Tiger Airways incident, en route from Mackay to Melbourne, on 18 May 2009;
(i) how reporting processes can be strengthened to improve safety and related training, including consideration of the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment (Incident Reports) Bill 2010; and
(j) any other related matters.

The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is 28 October 2010.

The committee invites you or your organisation to make a submission addressing all or some of the issues identified in the bill.

The committee encourages the lodgement of submissions in electronic form. Submissions can be lodged via the Senate online submission system at https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions, by email to '[email protected]' or by post to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Please note that submissions become committee documents and are only made public after a formal decision by the committee. Persons making submissions must not release them without the committee's prior approval. Submissions are covered by parliamentary privilege but the unauthorised release of them is not.

Please ensure that any submissions or attachments you wish to remain confidential are clearly marked as such. A covering letter, clearly outlining the specific reasons for requesting confidentiality, should also be attached to the submission. Please contact the Secretariat if you require further advice on any issues with regard to confidentiality.

In the event that the committee determines to hold public hearings for the inquiry, the committee's website will be updated to provide advice on dates and locations.

For further information about the inquiry see Parliament of Australia: Senate: Committees: Rural Affairs and Transport Committee: Pilot training and airline safety (http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/rat_ctte/pilots_2010/index.htm) or phone 02 6277 3511.

Yours sincerely,



Jeanette Radcliffe
Committee Secretary

:cool::cool::cool:

Mr. Hat
6th Oct 2010, 21:12
Tradespeople and teachers keep getting more and more.

Why tradies are raking in $210,000 a year | News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/money/money-matters/lonely-dusty-tradies-on-210000-per-year-on-major-building-projects/story-e6frfmd9-1225935197380)

..and why Airline Pilots make less and less every year.

firstinflight
6th Oct 2010, 22:48
really? Nick Xenophon's correspondence officer wrote a very informative email to me.

Anyway you seem to have covered it with your info.. you can find more about it here:

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/rat_ctte/pilots_2010/index.htm (http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/rat_ctte/pilots_2010/index.htm)

we need to get better laws for air saftey!

Hugh Jarse
7th Oct 2010, 05:37
Thanks very much for the info, 4 Dogs :ok:

Propjet88
8th Oct 2010, 01:51
As the Senate Inquiry refers to the US Congress Bill HR5900, I though that some may may be interested in the full provisions of that bill and its requirements of the FAA - not just the "1500 Hrs" bit. Read in context, the bill goes to twenty odd pages and in some areas really tries to get to the heart of issues. The devil is in the detail of the full bill but this overview is "borrowed" this from a posting by AirRabbit on another forum.

"...This particular “Act,” ...was appended to a document that was voted on and signed into law by the US President that officially extended the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which was originally created to improve airports and airline safety, “and for other purposes.” In short, since the funding and expenditure authority was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, the attached Act is now also a law in the US. It is divided into 2 “Titles.” Title 1 is “Airport and Airway Extension,” and Title 2 is “Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement.”

Here is the content list for Title 2: (The discussion regarding the number of hours and what will satisfy those number of hours is clearly described in paragraph “(d),” below.)
Sec. 201. Definitions.
Sec. 202. Secretary of Transportation responses to safety recommendations.
Sec. 203. FAA pilot records database.
Sec. 204. FAA Task Force on Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training.
Sec. 205. Aviation safety inspectors and operational research analysts.
Sec. 206. Flight crewmember mentoring, professional development, and leadership.
Sec. 207. Flight crewmember pairing and crew resource management techniques.
Sec. 208. Implementation of NTSB flight crewmember training recommendations.
Sec. 209. FAA rulemaking on training programs.
Sec. 210. Disclosure of air carriers operating flights for tickets sold for air transportation.
Sec. 211. Safety inspections of regional air carriers.
Sec. 212. Pilot fatigue.
Sec. 213. Voluntary safety programs.
Sec. 214. ASAP and FOQA implementation plan.
Sec. 215. Safety management systems.
Sec. 216. Flight crewmember screening and qualifications.
Sec. 217. Airline transport pilot certification.

And here is the language of Section 217: (The discussion regarding the number of hours and what will satisfy those number of hours is clearly described in paragraph “(d),” below.)

(a) Rulemaking Proceeding- The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall conduct a rulemaking proceeding to amend part 61 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, to modify requirements for the issuance of an airline transport pilot certificate.

(b) Minimum Requirements- To be qualified to receive an airline transport pilot certificate pursuant to subsection (a), an individual shall--
(1) have sufficient flight hours, as determined by the Administrator, to enable a pilot to function effectively in an air carrier operational environment; and
(2) have received flight training, academic training, or operational experience that will prepare a pilot, at a minimum, to--
(A) function effectively in a multipilot environment;
(B) function effectively in adverse weather conditions, including icing conditions;
(C) function effectively during high altitude operations;
(D) adhere to the highest professional standards; and
(E) function effectively in an air carrier operational environment.

(c) Flight Hours-
(1) NUMBERS OF FLIGHT HOURS- The total flight hours required by the Administrator under subsection (b)(1) shall be at least 1,500 flight hours.
(2) FLIGHT HOURS IN DIFFICULT OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS- The total flight hours required by the Administrator under subsection (b)(1) shall include sufficient flight hours, as determined by the Administrator, in difficult operational conditions that may be encountered by an air carrier to enable a pilot to operate safely in such conditions.

(d) Credit Toward Flight Hours- The Administrator may allow specific academic training courses, beyond those required under subsection (b)(2), to be credited toward the total flight hours required under subsection (c). The Administrator may allow such credit based on a determination by the Administrator that allowing a pilot to take specific academic training courses will enhance safety more than requiring the pilot to fully comply with the flight hours requirement.

(e) Recommendations of Expert Panel- In conducting the rulemaking proceeding under this section, the Administrator shall review and consider the assessment and recommendations of the expert panel to review part 121 and part 135 training hours established by section 209(b) of this Act.

(f) Deadline- Not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue a final rule under subsection (a)..."

If anyone is really interested, the entire bil is available at:

Read The Bill: H.R. 5900 - GovTrack.us (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-5900)
Fly Safe
PJ88

404 Titan
8th Oct 2010, 04:49
Propjet88

The devil is in the detail. In other words it is up to the discretion of the administrator.

(d) Credit Toward Flight Hours- The Administrator may allow specific academic training courses, beyond those required under subsection (b)(2), to be credited toward the total flight hours required under subsection (c). The Administrator may allow such credit based on a determination by the Administrator that allowing a pilot to take specific academic training courses will enhance safety more than requiring the pilot to fully comply with the flight hours requirement.

The fact is that all the cadet courses available in Australia only meet the standard of “b2”. To be granted the credits one “may” be entitled to in para “d”, from what I have been able to find out, one would have to do a degree that is directly related to aviation safety. Even with the maximum credits the hours required will still be from my understanding, in the order of 800-1000 hours.

When reading any legislation, one must understand the intent of that legislation. In the case of the US Congress Bill (HR)5900, its intent was to enhance aviation safety by stopping airlines placing non ATPL holders, i.e. inexperienced pilots, in the right hand seats of airliners and at the same time improve training standards of pilots. To think pilot recruitment in the US will be what it was like prior to the passing of (HR)5900 would be a huge mistake, evidenced by the amount of lobbing by US airlines to stop this bill passing Congress.

Propjet88
8th Oct 2010, 07:13
We agree that the devil is indeed in the detail and you are correct that it is up to the FAA Administrator (at least as much as he is "politically" allowed)! What was his last job by the way?

Just amplifying the comments you made, there has been no discussion yet as to what these "credits" may or may not amount to in terms of hours, but - oh dear - an expert committee will be informed to advise the administrator.

Extract below. Apologies to those fellow PPruners who don't like long extracts being posted.

(b) Expert Panel To Review Part 121 and Part 135 Training Hours-
(1) ESTABLISHMENT- Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall convene a multidisciplinary expert panel comprised of, at a minimum, air carrier representatives, training facility representatives, instructional design experts, aircraft manufacturers, safety organization representatives, and labor union representatives.
(2) ASSESSMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS- The panel shall assess and make recommendations concerning--
(A) the best methods and optimal time needed for flight crewmembers of part 121 air carriers and flight crewmembers of part 135 air carriers to master aircraft systems, maneuvers, procedures, takeoffs and landings, and crew coordination;
(B) initial and recurrent testing requirements for pilots, including the rigor and consistency of testing programs such as check rides;
(C) the optimal length of time between training events for such flight crewmembers, including recurrent training events;
(D) the best methods reliably to evaluate mastery by such flight crewmembers of aircraft systems, maneuvers, procedures, takeoffs and landings, and crew coordination;
(E) classroom instruction requirements governing curriculum content and hours of instruction;
(F) the best methods to allow specific academic training courses to be credited toward the total flight hours required to receive an airline transport pilot certificate; and
(G) crew leadership training.
(3) BEST PRACTICES- In making recommendations under subsection (b)(2), the panel shall consider, if appropriate, best practices in the aviation industry with respect to training protocols, methods, and procedures.
(4) REPORT- Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the National Transportation Safety Board a report based on the findings of the panel.

Fly Safe
PJ88

skylane
8th Oct 2010, 08:59
Can someone explain why only the Jetstar and Tiger incidents are listed in the terms of reference?

Frank Burden
8th Oct 2010, 23:55
Two thoughts.

It is my understanding that there is no pilot shortage in the US with the reverse being true. Could it be that when there is an oversupply of trained people wanting to work then different political decisions are likely to be made compared with a situation when there is close to full employment or a gross undersupply? Good news for some, I noticed this week that one US airline recalled 800 pilots back from furlough due to improving passenger demand.

The second point is that unlike Australia, the majority of airline pilots in the US have tertiary aviation degrees. Someone told me that US airlines only recruit tertiary qualified pilots these days. Can someone confirm this is the case? Should we collectively be supporting better educated and qualified pilots in cockpit in the future?

So, being in different situations should we follow the US lead entirely or just cherry pick the bits we find appealing? Being a proud Australian I hate when we selectively follow the US lead without understanding how it will effect our own circumstances.

But then again ....Frankly, I don't give a damn!

Popgun
9th Oct 2010, 00:24
The fact that you've responded with reasoned thought suggests you do, in fact, give quite a bit of a damn...

I hope the parliamentary committee that rules on this issue will take a lot of viewpoints into consideration and come up with the best 'fit' for us here in Australia. The Yanks have some great ideas, and IMHO their NTSB is a model our ATSB should strive towards, but as has been suggested, there are some significant differences in the aviation cultures between the two countries.

PG

4dogs
12th Oct 2010, 15:17
Popgun,

We agree on many things, but....

The ATSB is still, in many ways, the model investigator and is world leading in its approach to accident and incident investigation. The NTSB is still into pilot error and single accident causes, IMHO the typical US historical dark ages. May I recommend the following as a great read for the intellectually curious:

Analysis, Causality and Proof in Safety Investigations (http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2008/ar2007053.aspx)

Stay Alive

Jet_A_Knight
12th Oct 2010, 23:38
Thanks for the link 4dogs.:ok:

Popgun
13th Oct 2010, 00:37
Thanks 4Dogs, I shall go have a read when I get a chance...

I have no real quarrel with the ATSB in their investigative and research abilities.

Perhaps my real frustration with them (and my dealings with them when they were BASI) is that they have no teeth.

I wish they were more than a paper tiger and had the power to require change of the regulator and the industry when so required by safety imperatives.

Maybe I should put something along those lines in my submission to the Senate Inquiry.

PG

Popgun
16th Oct 2010, 02:11
We have less than 2 weeks to get our submissions in to the Senate Inquiry.

Challenge your mates and the guys/gals you fly with...ask them if they have submitted something...and if not, why the [email protected]#k NOT!!!

PG

Keg
16th Oct 2010, 02:34
If the contributions on PPRUNE are an example of the abilities of some pilots to construct an argument and then express it coherently then there are some pilots whom we should be encouraging to stay silent. :ok:

CASAweary
19th Oct 2010, 06:10
I think the Senator may want to examine the dealings of the regulator if he has the balls. Go and read the Strategic thread for an example of capture, corruption and disgraceful activity on the behalf of the australian government regulator. Time for someone to unleash the beast on this misaligned out of control australian government department.
Disgusting and immoral and untouchable it seems.

Lookleft
21st Oct 2010, 01:36
Type your submission and then upload it on the secure Senate Commitees Online Submissions website easy.:ok:

CASAweary
22nd Oct 2010, 06:40
Dear Senator Xenophon,


While you are participating with the senate enquiry could you please call up senior CASA managers both past and present and ask these individuals the following questions;


1 . Does CASA agree that at numerous and continuous times throughout its life it has deliberately and purposefully harassed, intimidated, punished and destroyed individuals reputations and livelihoods within the aviation sector out of spite, incompetence, ego stroking and sheer stupidity ? Does CASA agree that when these issues are raised they are covered up, manipulated, glossed over and hidden by none other than Human Resource executive managers?


2. Does CASA agree that it has been lead at the most senior levels both previously and presently by management who have a background based upon intimidation, segregation, harassment, bullying and general anti social behavior with an attitude of contempt, disregard and borderline criminal towards industry and staff?


3. Does CASA agree that it has allowed serving staff take unpaid leave and work for AOC holders creating a conflict of interest, with full knowledge and approval of senior management including HR? Recently when the AOC audit of Strategic Airlines was conducted why did the CASA Brisbane Field Office Manager agree to the two assigned audit FOI’s to go yachting with the Strategic CEO the weekend after the audit finished on a Friday? This being one case of MANY. Can CASA explain why it hires back staff who resign as consultants paying them triple the money to perform the same role they undertook weeks or months before? Can CASA’s Human Resources executive justify these actions and explain why many of these consultancy tasks are not advertised or tendered, rather just given to mates at very handsome rates ? Are these the actions of an organization that is being lead by competent, trustworthy management in full control or by a conglomerate of proud conceited bigots whose morals and ethics know no bounds? Is this acceptable to the Australian public, the taxpayer forking out for this act of arrogance?


4. Can CASA explain why taxpayer funds are needed to pay for the remuneration of a Director, Assistant Director, Associate Director and a board made up of bureaucrats that when combined together do not have the ability to achieve the purchase the morning paper ?


5. Can CASA explain why they recently were a hairs width away from receiving a downgraded safety category in part due to cost cutting measures in reducing staff numbers in areas such as training and development which is actually a requirement for ‘the state’ under ICAO annexes ? Why do those decision makers, Human Resources management remain employed, giving themselves self promotion and huge salary increases? Why were some of those decision makers not people from an aviation background but again from CASA’s Human Resources department?


6. Why has CASA as a government department in the past 12 months received an alarmingly huge amount of staff harassment actions racked against managers, had a jump in union membership by 23% due to a systematic campaign of bullying, harassment, intimidation and victimization by senior managers at the executive management level and above, particularly again within Human Resources ? Why do these same people boast about not having to answer to the Director, Minister of even the public, and also boast that they are above the law?


7. Why did CASA have a working group called ASOP who were allowed to commence 34 projects over a period of 3 years, yet not one project was completed, all at the taxpayer’s expense and no accountability taken by senior management, particularly the now acting Director?


8. Why has CASA learned nothing from ‘Lockhart River’ and in fact developed a systemic internal system void of any solid leadership, technically skilled inspectors, a complete breakdown of workable processes and until 8 weeks ago did not have a structured quality training program for inspectorate staff until hearing that the FAA and ICAO were going to tear through the place again this month? Can CASA explain why they are solely a reactive organization rather than an oversight body that should act predicatively to prevent accidents happening? Can the Director explain why he is unable to make a sound decision on any matter without the permission of the Human Resources executive manager who boasts continually about how he and his staff run the place as they see fit and are proud of this fact and proud of how the Director has his balls held between the Minister and the HR managers hands?


9. Can CASA explain it told a senate enquiry two years ago that it has a system in place to train inspectors (did not commence until 8 weeks ago), and that it has undergone cost cutting exercises to remove the amount of inspectors, remove flying and certification for aircraft type from inspectors so as to save money, again actioned by the Human Resources executive manager and now assistant Director? Where is the accountability? Can CASA explain why its senior managers remain in those roles when they have multiple litigation issues pending against them internally and externally due to abysmal intimadatory behavior?


10. Can CASA explain why its workforce have been secretly discussing the putting in of a motion of no confidence in the Director, Assistant Director and Human Resources executive manager who have been campaigning against past and present staff, sullying these staff members reputations and destroying individuals careers all while representing an Australian government department and Australian interests ? Is this acceptable to the citizens of Australia?


11. Is it feasible that the Director of CASA be known as a bully, tyrant, and an integral part of the Cathay Pacific Star Chamber prior to employment with CASA, who harassed, bullied and sacked innocent staff? Is it acceptable that the Deputy Director be promoted to that role while under investigation for his actions of bullying, intimidation and manner involving a certain Western Australia operator?


As you can see Senator, if you scratch the surface of this sore be prepared to encounter a malignant underlying festation. Are you prepared to go the whole way Senator Xenophon? Are you prepared to dig deep into the bowels of this misaligned bunch of misfits whose tentacles spread far and wide? Are you really prepared to call up the persecuted staff past and present, the persecuted aviators who have been harassed, bankrupted and destroyed by an organization which holds no accountability? Pilot hours are only a small issue that the senate should address. There is much much more pus that needs to be lanced from this out of control Gestapo organization. Executive management deliberately and wilfuully turningg its back on public service laws, government laws and raccountability requirements, ritualistic abuse of staff and industry.Time for the Australian government to stop protecting this malignant organization and accept that it has a basket case on its hands and agree to clean house. Mr. Albanese you have a lot to answer for.I would suggest to all of you out there reading about these issues become one force regardless of age, gender or background. Fight to get rid of this empire of incompetence because the system is failing you as individuals, and failing your loved ones every time their aircrafts wheels leave the ground due to a bunch of overpaid animals bulging with greed and ego and the need to self protect their own interests rather than serve and protect the travelling public.

A37575
22nd Oct 2010, 13:59
The ATSB is still, in many ways, the model investigator and is world leading in its approach to accident and incident investigation. The NTSB is still into pilot error and single accident causes,

I hate it when ATSB comes up with "Significant Factors" thus leaving the reader to work out for himself the cause of the accident. Significant factors for example could be a crosswind, tired pilots, and so on but ATSB seem to carefully avoid any suspicion that the pilot may have stuffed up somewhere.

Years ago in the old Aviation Safety Digest days, the editor of that august journal was permitted to use his discretion and opine that the pilot did not use good airmanship where an obvious pilot stuff up caused the crash.

At least in those long gone times there was no pussy-footing around and plain English language was used. Now we see politically correct bureacratic weasel words with the prime aim to avoid under all conditions using anything which could be construed as the dreaded pilot error words. And then often we are none the wiser on what or who was responsible for the crash.

denabol
22nd Oct 2010, 19:11
I see Sandilands has published large chunks of the AIPA submission. Looks like a brawl coming on. Gets stuck into Gen Y wannabees and Gen Y managers.

The safety risks of pilot P-platers and new style airline managers raised in Senate – Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2010/10/22/the-safety-risks-of-pilot-p-platers-and-new-style-airline-managers-raised-in-senate/)

maralinga
22nd Oct 2010, 21:18
CASAweary, have you written to the relevant members of parliament...

Popgun
22nd Oct 2010, 22:18
I don't dispute anything CASAweary says.

I truly hope, however, that there is sufficient evidence to prove all those assertions, AND,

that they are all fully presented to the Senate Inquiry in an analytical and objective manner. It would be a terrible shame if the facts got lost in an overly emotive submission.

PG

PS. IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE SO...GET YOUR SUBMISSIONS IN ASAP!!!

STOL Artist
29th Oct 2010, 11:11
Only 10 submissions published on the Senate website, and that includes ones not available as they are Confidential.

They have the power to accept late submissions so I urge you to send them in this week if you are still thinking about it.

Roller Merlin
31st Oct 2010, 13:35
The sky over the Senate goes dark with circling airline executives and angry pilots – Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2010/10/29/the-sky-over-the-senate-goes-dark-with-circling-airline-executives-and-angry-pilots/)

The sky over the Senate goes dark with circling airline executives and angry pilots
October 29, 2010 – 6:08 pm, by Ben Sandilands
A Senate inquiry into airline flight crew training and standards in Australia has turned into a last ditch stand by ‘the old Qantas’ culture of life time highly experienced company pilots against ‘the new’ Jetstar culture of low experience short term piloting ‘solutions’.
The Qantas Group had already completed a major and detailed rebuttal of the submission lodged by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), which is the main union for Qantas and Jetstar pilots, in time for Thursday’s original deadline for lodgement with the Rural Affairs and Transport Committee, and that deadline has since been extended to allow for additional submissions at large.
A spokesperson for Tiger Airways said this afternoon that it would also engage with the inquiry and co-operate in every way. It remains unclear whether the Virgin Group will participate, however what is clear is that a significant discussion about pilot training, pilot experience and pilot safety issues is likely to occur during the inquiry instigated by independent SA senator, Nick Xenophon.
The AIPA document, published last night by Plane Talking, goes to the heart of its long standing claims that Qantas, through its low cost subsidiary Jetstar, is disconnecting itself from the high piloting standards of the past in the pursuit of younger inexperienced ‘generation Y’ pilots, who will bend to a cost cutting culture that has lower respect for rules or standards, and thus imperils the level of safety that travellers expect from Australian carriers.
It is a given that the Qantas submission will strongly contest AIPA’s claims, literally line by line where it sees it as necessary.
The opposed management and union submissions may well inflame the generational ‘cultural’ gap that is evident in the flying game between the expectations and commitments of younger and older pilots.
However the Qantas case will be tested by the recent US decision to outlaw the hiring of low flight time pilots with the same levels of inexperience as that which is tolerated by current Australian regulations and which forms a key part of the Jetstar and Tiger low cost business model.
If pilot inexperience is now illegal in new hirings in US airlines yet legal in Australian carriers, who is right and who is wrong? What makes a substantially simulator and theory trained pilot with 200 hours flying experience safe to fly an Australian jet, but unsafe to fly an American jet?
The pilot union argument is that hands on real world flying experience is the difference, and that the low cost route to sourcing less experienced pilots is a recipe for a disaster.
The AIPA submission, as already reported earlier in Plane Talking, is full of unpleasant disclosures for air travellers, including its pointing out that current junior pilot hirings in Australia can count time flying gliders as part of their experience, and that new style managements are instructing pilots to keep their hands off manual flying, and rely on modern automated flight systems for all but a matter of minutes in flights lasting hours.
The not so subtle sub text of the AIPA case is that ‘modern’ airline managements despise the legacy of highly experienced pilots on high pay, and have unduly outsourced the tick-the-box simulator dominated training courses for young low pay recruits to third party providers who are allegedly compromised by their commercial relationships with the carriers.
It also argues that as Australian regulations do not define the experience levels required for promotion to captain, a dangerous situation is arising where low time captains and even lower flight time first officers are being put together in the cockpit of jet airliners lacking the hands on experience to deal with unexpected situations brought about by systems failures or severe weather conditions or other abnormal circumstances.
The pilot submission concludes with its arguments in support of a private members bill, also introduced by Senator Xenophon, which would impose criminal sanctions on airlines or staff that evade their responsibilities to report safety incidents or use ‘cultural pressure’ to silence pilots concerned about safety related issues.
This goes directly to claims that latter day high cost and low cost carrier cultures encourage pilots to work around rather than to the rules, something that has in recent years lead to such bizarre incidents as a British Airways 747 flying right across the US and North Atlantic on only three engines, or a REX turbo prop flying most of the way from Wagga Wagga to Sydney on only one engine, a gamble that the ATSB not only ignored, but offered excuses for on behalf of the airline.
If the AIPA claims are correct, this is the best and last chance Australia has of reversing unsafe developments in airline piloting standards that will lead to a major disaster for an Australian airline.

Mr. Hat
3rd Nov 2010, 08:02
Just read my union's submission to the Senate Enquiry.

No wonder we're going nowhere. Total rubbish.

Can anyone tell me if you can get MBF loss of licence insurance or an equivalent thats not connected to a union. I'm giving my money to people that are undermining our industry.

Its no wonder most professions pay more than pilots with morons like this at the helm.

No wonder they didn't encourage members to submit anything.

Weak and corrupt.

Fonz121
3rd Nov 2010, 09:03
Would that be the AFAP Mr Hat?

And was it the AIPA submission I was reading that recommended 700 hrs min experience for a pilot flying RPT? I personally still don't think that is quite enough, but hey I would take it. Beats 200hrs.

Chadzat
3rd Nov 2010, 09:10
All I got out of that submission is how bad Gen Y is and that they cant be trusted in the cockpit of a modern airliner! What absolute utter rubbish. If that is the best AIPA can come up with, then no wonder their members are leaving in droves.

I thought this was about TRAINING and STANDARDS in the industry not Gen Y bashing. FFS :mad:

Fonz121
3rd Nov 2010, 09:25
Yeah, I agree that tarnishing a whole generation with the same brush is a stupid tactic any day of the week.

And when it boils down to it... the airline personnel responsible for the shafting of today's pilots are from gen what? Not gen Y that's for sure.

Kangaroo Court
4th Nov 2010, 14:07
Sorry, but the submission, despite the painful tarnishing of Gen' Y is pretty much right on the money. I'm dealing with a F/O now that hasn't been on time for the hotel van all week and would not know if he's getting ripped off at Jiffy Lube when he gets his oil changed on his car. Totally disengaged from reality.

Other captains have been seeing a lot of this lately, but this is the worst!

I'm not in Australia right now, but this is a worldwide problem with this age group.

It's about time this was addressed!

patienceboy
5th Nov 2010, 05:36
Sorry, but the submission, despite the painful tarnishing of Gen' Y is pretty much right on the money. I'm dealing with a F/O now that hasn't been on time for the hotel van all week and would not know if he's getting ripped off at Jiffy Lube when he gets his oil changed on his car. Totally disengaged from reality.

To me this just means that for whatever reason your airline is not attracting quality people (with exceptions of course). Not every person under the age of 32 behaves this way. I suspect that it has a lot to do with the lowering of conditions and the evaporation of any perceived glamour.

Kangaroo Court
5th Nov 2010, 11:04
Patience Boy,

We are actually the highest paid for our description of work anywhere in the world right now. Honestly, it was a very frustrating week. Some of the said generation are friends of mine that share stories of their kids, are great to have a beer with, will push you to work out hard in the gym' and know that CRM does not stand for "Mutiny on The Bounty".

The ones that are best to work with typically come from flying families or had a very rural upbringing, do things like work on their own homes, engage the local community on their days off coaching a child's sports team...that kind of thing. One thing that seems to be missing from recruiting in a time of computer analysis and human resources psychology is a skill that I can only call, "mechanical aptitude", the cause and effect of each action. Some of the kids just don't have it and if they were raised on the fourth floor of an apartment building in a broken family where they never went outside, how will they ever get it?

The perception with the new generation may have grown out of being sold a bill of goods by the flying schools and universities when many of them went into debt to get a "degree" to fly a Cessna and then realized it didn't mean much but an empty wallet.

I agree with the Senate report submitted by AIPA. We live in a McDonalds Society now...one where much of the new generation expects instant gratification and promotion to captain in 45 seconds with an order of fries, or their money back!

Mr. Hat
25th Feb 2011, 09:14
As the title in the first thread says:

Nick Xenophon - The most important person in the future of Australian Aviation.

Today again this was the case. He has demonstrated time and time again the willingness to look at the fine detail of what is going on.

Mark my words the outcome of this will affect everyone of us.
Have you contributed?

4dogs
4th Mar 2011, 07:02
I must admit I really enjoyed Nick sticking the sword to AJ and Boston Bruce last Friday! :D :D :D

I'm sure that there is more to come....

Stay Alive,