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Ultralights
1st Nov 2010, 10:18
Regional Express Holdings Ltd (Rex) says it is concerned by a Senate enquiry's suggestions requiring all Australian airline pilots to have a minimum of 1500 hours flying time.

Rex managing director Jim Davis said there was no scientific basis that a pilot with less than 1500 hours flying time would be unsafe.

"If that were the case, the RAAF would not be entrusting our sophisticated fighter jets to pilots with less than 500 hours of flight experience," Mr Davis said in the statement.

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"In fact European and Australian authorities have officially approved training programmes that allow pilots to fly large jet aircraft with less than 100 hours of direct flight experience."

He said a minimum requirement of 1500 hours for airline pilots would mean the end of all pilot cadet programmes in Australia and make it impossible for airlines to source enough pilots to cope with planned future expansion.

"This would have a disastrous effect amongst small and regional operators as their pilot ranks would get plundered by the larger airlines as we saw in FY 2008 (fiscal year 2008,) when Rex lost half its pilots to the major airlines in one year."

To stay in operation, the smaller operators would have no choice but to accept pilots from general aviation, with sufficient minimum hours but who may not have the desired skill level to be an airline pilot, it said.

This would lead to the opposite effect intended by the proposal.

Rex said the Senate inquiry needed to focus on the quality of training a pilot received and not the quantity of hours flown.

It said the Senate moves followed a similar proposal in the United States that was a knee-jerk reaction to a fatal airline accident involving two experienced pilots who - ironically - had well over 2000 hours of flight experience each.

© 2010 AAP

my bolding...

neville_nobody
1st Nov 2010, 10:32
If that were the case, the RAAF would not be entrusting our sophisticated fighter jets to pilots with less than 500 hours of flight experience," Mr Davis said in the statement.

RAAF ain't RPT.

Secondly the general standard of cadet would be significantly higher in the RAAF than in REX.

This would have a disastrous effect amongst small and regional operators as their pilot ranks would get plundered by the larger airlines as we saw in FY 2008 (fiscal year 2008,) when Rex lost half its pilots to the major airlines in one year.

Another selective Capitalist just like Geoff Dixon. Either you are in favour of free markets or you're not. You cannot pay low ball salaries for 40 years then when the market (ie the pilot labour market) turns against you start having a winge. Aviation is an unattractive career these days because of the high cost of entry and uncompetitive salaries. Rex may have to start doing something about that. Asian airlines pay their pilots to learn to fly.

To stay in operation, the smaller operators would have no choice but to accept pilots from general aviation, with sufficient minimum hours but who may not have the desired skill level to be an airline pilot, it said

Must be a miracle that Kendall and Hazo's survived for so long then.

GAFA
1st Nov 2010, 10:51
So if REX is happen to have pilots with less than 1500 hours in the RH seat why did Hazelton and Kendall's require their pilots to have 3000+ hours before joining?

Jetsbest
1st Nov 2010, 11:27
"If that were the case, the RAAF would not be entrusting our sophisticated fighter jets to pilots with less than 500 hours of flight experience," Mr Davis said in the statement.

The possible differences here are that the RAAF:
- is not an airline,
- is very selective about who gets a crack at "sophisticated fighter jets", (or any aircraft for that matter!)
- is meticulous about the training and assessment hurdles which must be passed in order to be entrusted with said jets,
- does not recruit pilots based on who can pay for their own training, (other than in blood, sweat & tears like any pilot)
- actively seeks from the start to instil airmanship, judgment and command decision-making into pilots, (a trait not appreciated in some airlines which appear to want gullible "compliants" in flight decks) and
- is very rigourous about the standards required to keep flying those machines. (some don't "do" fighters for long)

Airlines outwardly stick to the same types of mantra; selectivity, standards, training, experience. Is the RAAF system perfect? No. But it's a darn site more demanding than simply encouraging the young and impressionable, on the disingenuous hint of a glittering high-paid glamour career, to part with hard-earned to effectively get a mediocre shift-working job for lower real pay than ever before in the industry. And that happens while truly experienced pilots are cunningly circumvented because they are paid more: ask the QF and even the Jetstar pilots! :E

I know a young person who, when they found how little a RAAF trainee makes, let alone GA, decided that their $120K+/yr driving trucks was the better option. THIS is what will make Mr Davis' recruiting job harder, so I hope the experience and training criteria are tightened in order to force companies to train pilots for the long and safe careers the paying public expect, and thinks pilots are still getting. :rolleyes:

Furthermore, another flawed analogy:
"...a fatal airline accident involving two experienced pilots who - ironically - had well over 2000 hours of flight experience each."
is, more than experience levels, about the safety impact of arduous work rules and the low-pay pressures. But sensible fatigue management might cost money too, and is therefore another facet of the enquiry companies will seek to pre-emptively discredited! :rolleyes:

I feel better now...

Bang Bus
1st Nov 2010, 11:52
The airlines won't be able to get enough pilots for future expansion. hmmmmm when will they realise the demise will come from lack of retention, and not from lack of candidates applying. If you are going to offer a poor salary and continue denying that there is an issue with basic wages and conditions, then PLEASE stop blaming proposed legislation and other airlines etc etc when you start canceling flights again. Here is you chance to fix the problem before its gets worse. PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND!!!!!!!!!:ugh::ugh::ugh:

Retain, reward loyalty, encourage people to stay,

naaa just blame the government

Spinnerhead
1st Nov 2010, 11:56
If you think someone is worthy with 300 hrs, imagine how much more worthy they will be with 1500 hrs!

Bang Bus
1st Nov 2010, 12:07
My point is more along the lines of that airlines are employing low hour pilots because they aren't prepared to pay for experienced ones. It has been done to death I know, but to purchase a house and raise a family in this country on a minimal wage is not a viable long term offer, when someone else is offering twice the pay. It's a no brainer. Its not all about the shiney jet. Its the whole package. I would rather be a well paid turboprop driver with my desired lifestyle than a low paid jet driver. But even the lifestyle is disappearing at an alarming rate. Unfortunately the difference between turboprop and jet wages is such that people are lured more and more for financial reasons. I don't expect the two jobs to pay the same but it wouldn't hurt any regional in Australia to try and close the gap a little. You never know it might even help with retention.:}:}:}

Roller Merlin
1st Nov 2010, 12:20
The ADF difference is largely that pilot experience and progress is carefully managed both during and after initial qualification.

In addition to factors already mentioned above, the RAAF system is highly structured towards pilot progression after wings and supervised at every stage. There is a categorization system where pilots move through levels of qualifications by aircraft type, and this is linked to increasing experience. Then there is continual personal supervision by flight commanders and other execs, and overlaying nearly every flight is an an authorization process where aspects such as crew qualification, experience and risk factors are double checked, advice is given and changes sometimes made by a separate approved supervisor before the task is allowed to occur.

There is no way that such a process could be replicated in an airline without extraordinary managerial change and cost. For the Rex CP to make an analogy like this is naive at best.

Oakape
1st Nov 2010, 13:28
For the Rex CP to make an analogy like this is naive at best

Naive in this forum - yes. Naive in the press, speaking to the general public - no.

The trouble is that the general public doesn't know much about the aviation industry & they don't really care, as long as the fares are cheap & they think that they are safe. The article reads well, is believable & comes from a senior executive in the industry. And yes, most people do believe what they read in the papers.

Every time a statement like this is made in the press & is left unchallenged & unanswered, we lose a little bit of ground with the public. It has to stop. Every self-serving, biased & misleading statement made around the world by anyone in airline management must be countered with a reasoned, measured response so that the public becomes, & then remains educated about the important aspects of the industry.

The only way to fight this is to provide a counter argument in the press from a credible source, each & every time. The press needs to develop a need to check for a response from the pilot group every time a statement is made by airline management, & then print that response. And a credible source would be the PR department of a major pilot union, preferably a national union, speaking for all Australian pilots.

Why fight this in the press? We need two things from the public. A demand for increased safety & a tolerence for higher airfares. Higher airfares are the only way the airlines will pay more for crew & training. And more training will lead to better safety.

We can go on all day about the profits made & how the airlines can afford to pay more for salaries & training, but with the shareholders continually putting the pressure on company management for increasing returns on investment & current business practice paying more & more for senior executives, this just isn't going to happen any time soon.:(

If the demand for increased safety forces the politicians to act & they then force the regulatory authority to legislate, the result will be a level paying field for the airlines. The increased costs will affect all. The public will hopefully accept the increased fares this will bring, as they have read about the issue in the press & are willing to pay a little extra for their safety.

But the union better have a credible spokesperson who does well under pressure, who can debate on his/her feet & who has all the facts. Because the airlines will unite against this dissemination of the facts in an attempt to discredit it as biased, unsubstantiated, self-serving & fear-mongering. And if we can't counter those allegations, we will be even worse off.

The Chaser
1st Nov 2010, 15:34
Oakape

I agree, except for this bit:-
Higher airfares are the only way the airlines will pay more for crew & training
It is a relatively miniscule component in the grand scheme of profit and loss of large transport companies .... the problem is of course that bean counters hide behind non-op blame curtains put between the coalface and the books. They are trained to believe that they are immune from damage if it all goes bad, and that to be company greedy to the enth' degree is GOOD! :hmm:
the union better have a credible spokesperson who does well under pressure, who can debate on his/her feet & who has all the facts. Because the airlines will unite against this dissemination of the facts in an attempt to discredit it as biased, unsubstantiated, self-serving & fear-mongering. And if we can't counter those allegations, we will be even worse off
Ain't that wrote law (pun intended) ...............:(

Stand (quietly if need be ... you know what I mean) together - think about those "ewww fe(k" moments already had (we are all regaled with them) and think about the next time the less well experienced and/or lucky might not be so, lest we are all lookin' at the pavement with black suits, solemn faces, remembering good crew (and their pax) who were let down by the faceless money machine men/women who push and push to breaking point!

... they and their leash holders won't be at the scene when sh1t turns to trumps!!!!!!!!!!!

KRUSTY 34
1st Nov 2010, 21:32
It took REX some time to offer a rebuttle. Not surprising when you factor in the general dis-engagement from reality with regard to their crewing issues. Jim's attempt to draw a parralel to the RAAF with airline cadet schemes only goes to re-enforce their level of ignorance. Or perhaps they are just being as dishonest with the public as they have with themselves!

One thing's for sure, they are starting to worry, and for good reason. Pity that level of concern was never directed at the only thing that could and will save them from the inevitable crewing issues they'll face for years to come! :sad:

apache
2nd Nov 2010, 01:42
He said a minimum requirement of 1500 hours for airline pilots would mean the end of all pilot cadet programmes in Australia and make it impossible for airlines to source enough pilots to cope with planned future expansion.


here's an idea .... Pay pilots enough money so that they can live above the poverty line. this is what mining companies in WA have done to attract people!

To stay in operation, the smaller operators would have no choice but to accept pilots from general aviation, with sufficient minimum hours but who may not have the desired skill level to be an airline pilot, it said.


here is another idea.... Start replying to those who have sufficient hours AND skill levels who have applied. How many times have we read on these pages about pilots with 2-3-4000 hours who have applied, and called and updated, and received NO RESPONSE from REX?


It said the Senate moves followed a similar proposal in the United States that was a knee-jerk reaction to a fatal airline accident involving two experienced pilots who - ironically - had well over 2000 hours of flight experience each.

I believe that he is talking about the COLGAN AIR dash-8 crash in Buffalo recently. THEY crashed because they were overworked and underpaid, basically, and had fatigue as well as monetary problems at the forefront of their mind when they should have been concentrating on flying. .... hmmm.... sound familiar?

ReverseFlight
2nd Nov 2010, 02:44
The NZ Senate's suggestion seems to be in line with the US proposals that airline pilots should have a minimum of 1500 hours. I think ICAO might be pressuring airline operators to channel all cadets into the MPL stream so that there will be no option for the self-funded pilot to join an airline at 250 hours. That would send all wannabes reeling, won't it ? :(

j3pipercub
2nd Nov 2010, 03:18
That would send all wannabes reeling, won't it ?

YES! God willing...

Jack Ranga
2nd Nov 2010, 05:37
Krusty,

I've noticed the resumption of ML-GTH and more frequent SY-MER (dct) rather than the SY-MRY-MER. Which would mean more crew? So have they trained up more crew? Only for them to be now leaving? Or leaving in the next upturn?

Frank Burden
2nd Nov 2010, 07:55
It's time for Rex to understand that like the Air Force in the past that they are the trained manpower shock absorber to keep the big jets flying.:{

When times are tough Rex will have plenty of pilots and when times are good they will have trouble keeping them - unless they have built employee loyalty through appropriate measures. Blind Freddy can read the stats and see what is coming but it is much harder to convince accountants about the economic fundamentals of supply and demand.:eek:

So, for Rex let's put their problems down to a p!$$ poor environmental scanning (purposeful use of $ symbol implying a lack thereof).:(

But then again ....

Frankly, I don't give a damn.

tsalta
2nd Nov 2010, 08:25
Unfortunately there will always be far more willing applicants to take up the abysmal wages than are required by the abysmal managers. This year there are 180 students at the RQAC and Griffith University BSc(Aviation) course. There are 8 or 9 similar courses around the country all with similar numbers of students. Not even counting the non degree trainees and ADF pilots, there will always be more than are required.
Unfortunate but true. Industrial Action is the only option. Iím painting my placard.......

Capt Kremin
2nd Nov 2010, 08:44
The glib assertations of Davis can easily be countered by equally glib soundbites by the right person.

"100 hour pilots"?

"Why do airlines require less hours to fly a fully loaded airliner than the NSW Govt demands to get a Provisional Drivers licence?"

"Is a 100 hour driver less safe than a 1500 hour driver?"

Put it in the language that people can easily relate to and you will get the message across.

Captain Nomad
2nd Nov 2010, 09:07
Comments like this really need an informed rebuttal as previously mentioned. There are some great replies on here. If it is not an 'official' union reply, surely at least some can write a reply to the newspaper where the article is printed?! A few comments from a current Rex driver or two to paint 'the other side of the story' would add even greater weight to the balancing argument.

Unfortunately this article is very believeable to those who don't realise there is another side to the story. There is no better time than now with the Senate inquiry etc to try and give a balanced view. Airline PR departments are already on the front foot and anything they want to say will be printed and will have the weight of trust in the public eye. The public need to know there is a debate going on here - that means more than the official airline view on these subjects...

If journalists are not going to 'dig' for a response from the other side anymore, then the least we can do is feed them a bit of intelligent feedback...

Roller Merlin
2nd Nov 2010, 09:56
tsalta
you can count out most of the ADF guys from the mob patiently training for local flying jobs (unless QF opens up the cobwebbed recruiting door again) . Nowadays the starting salary for a LCC RHS jet job is significantly below ADF rates (after serving minimum 10 years return of service) so there is virtually no current financial incentive to leave the ADF for a jet job in Australia - if so it is becoming pretty much a lifestyle choice to leave, with preferred options being better paying overseas carriers. Strangely enough the resignation rates of ADF pilots are now at an historic low!

Fuel-Off
2nd Nov 2010, 12:51
Did I just see the term 'Industrial Action' being used?? :eek: Somehow I don't think that is going to work on a few levels. Firstly, the public perception is that the average pilot, be it in a B767, A320 or C210 are overpaid and underworked (Thank-you Mr Hawke). Secondly, the Companies can very easily find very willing pilots to cover any shortage this 'Industrial Action' may bring (ring any bells?). Thirdly, it didn't work the first time, the pilot body today is still full of scabs willing to F*&# everyone else over just to climb up the greasy pole.

Call me cynical but that's just the way I see it.

Fuel-Off :ok:

fender
2nd Nov 2010, 22:47
To stay in operation, the smaller operators would have no choice but to accept pilots from general aviation, with sufficient minimum hours but who may not have the desired skill level to be an airline pilot, it said.

I still can't get over that statement. I thought that was the whole point.

MajorLemond
3rd Nov 2010, 01:39
Getting back on topic, the only reason they are pushing for this increase in minimums, is because the yanks have done it. I would think it would slightly bolster the GA industry by keeping people in there longer to build hours.

It will create the illusion of flying being safer, when in actual fact it will do little to have any real benefit in an airline operation. Go and ask a QF 747-400 Captain who started out as a 200 cadet to quantify the benefits of spending 1000 hours in GA instead of of 1000 hours observing what happens in the flight deck of an airliner. It`s all relative

The comparison between the ADF and The REX cadetship is perhaps not as far fetched as some may suggest. Whilst for obvious reasons the ADF would have higher standards which is indicated by the failure rate, Both Involve a detailed recruitment process to find suitable candidates, and both require a high rate of learning and performance in a short period of time.

I`m certainly not having a crack at anyone who has cut their teeth in GA, but people need to put things into perspective. Training has come a long way in the last decade and resources could be better spent elsewhere improving our industry.

Just my thoughts :)

bonvol
3rd Nov 2010, 02:07
I didn't know Jim was a scientist and a pilot. Pretty talented.

Actually, Jim is a scientist (if you count an Aeronautical Engineers Degree) and an airline pilot, having come through the dispute ex EWA.

He is a pretty talented guy even if you dont agree with him.

Aviator330
3rd Nov 2010, 03:55
After Reading the press release I am sorry to say this is a load of B$..t.
In the last many many months I have come across many Aussie pilots who has more than the 1500 hrs and who has been overlooked by many companies in order to get cheap labour from the 200 hr pilots.These 1500 hrs have been from the same general aviation industry which had pay very less but many have stuck at it and have got the experience only to be told that no jobs for you because we want to take cadets which are cheaper by dozen.
where is it going to end
what do pilots with experience do ?
where can you go?
There is no Direct entry in the airlines anymore.
HOLD HOLD HOLD...................... Pool

Mr. Hat
3rd Nov 2010, 07:30
You're right bonvol. I'm wrong. Posts deleted.

We need more 100 hour pilots flying widebody aircraft, preferably in command.

Gligg
3rd Nov 2010, 12:12
'Go and ask a QF 747-400 Captain who started out as a 200 cadet to quantify the benefits of spending 1000 hours in GA instead of of 1000 hours observing what happens in the flight deck of an airliner. It`s all relative'

Are we talking about 1000 hours 'observing what happens' as an SO or FO? Learning on the job as an SO is one thing, as an FO is another altogether.

KRUSTY 34
4th Nov 2010, 03:35
If you factor in the $12mil spent on the Academy Lester, I guess they're not. But that's not the real game is it, and you know this.

REX charge cadets for their training to CPL/MIR. If REX make a profit from this, then yes Cadets are cheaper than their direct entry counterparts. The big attraction with cadets is they are in fact a captive workforce. On the downside of course are the regulatory requirements prohibiting Cadets from effectively replacing the Captains that leave, 2 more this week incidently! REX are yet to address this issue, and probably never will.

The real money spinner for AAPA however will be the training of foreign students for overseas airlines, Big Dough!

Then there's REX's obligation to employ graduated Cadets. These more or less permanent F/O's have pretty much tied up the induction and training process, and there are stacks still in the wings! Is it any wonder that the finite pool of suitable and experienced candidates cannot get a look in with REX. My advice to those people, seek employment elswhere. Once the current political process runs it's course, you will probably be able to name your own job and price!

Mr. Hat
4th Nov 2010, 03:47
Where did the two Captains go Krusty?

Is they hey day starting up? (You know the one where 10-15 would leave every month?)

Ramrod2
4th Nov 2010, 10:20
Still can't help thinking that if rex payed wages that kept checkers and Trainers then this problem would not exist. :ugh:

KRUSTY 34
4th Nov 2010, 10:56
As far as I know Mr. Hat, two to VB and there was also an upgradable F/O called up by Jetstar. The latter had defered his Command upgrade in order to "do the right thing".

Not sure if we'll see numbers like 10-15 per month, if we do, then that would be extremely serious for REX. At the peak of the bloodletting in 07', REX lost about 22 in the month of July alone! At that time of course there was a certain amount of "fat" in the system. This time REX only need to lose a fraction of that number to result in significant flight cancellations.

IMHO, anything more than a quarter of the attrition of 07'/08' would be serious. anything more than half the 07'/08' rate would be a disaster! :sad:

A37575
4th Nov 2010, 13:12
and an airline pilot, having come through the dispute ex EWA.

Oh I see - one of those chappies. Explains a lot.

Shagpile
4th Nov 2010, 21:26
I know a young person who, when they found how little a RAAF trainee makes, let alone GA, decided that their $120K+/yr driving trucks was the better option.


Hey Mav, do you still have the name of that truck driving school? Truck Master, I think it is. I might need that. :p

Tidbinbilla
4th Nov 2010, 21:47
Let's get back on topic, please. There is already a thread running on cadetship and the merits or otherwise threreof.

Please keep contributions relevant to the inquiry.

Thanks.

Mr. Hat
5th Nov 2010, 07:36
Is it just me or is our industry the only industry that reckons that training will/can replace experience?

Would Surgeons have the same opinion?

Do you reckon the FO on the QF 380 had 200 hours?

Training + Experience people.

Is it just me or do we gain extra brain capacity with experience?

Its time to cut the crap. The agenda here is DOLLARS.

nt.pilot
7th Nov 2010, 07:21
what would happen to the REX cadet scheme if this was put through? Also is it 1500 hours command time ?? Also would this result in a suspension of the jet star cadet scheme?

Jetsbest
7th Nov 2010, 08:33
I know a reputable surgeon who laments that, as the government in his state tries to reduce hospital waiting lists by increasing the number of surgeons being trained, standards are slipping. Why? Because:
- there are actually no more operating theatres in which to operate, so
- no more patients can be operated on, so
- consequently, more surgical candidates share the same number of operations between them, but
- the course has not been lengthened, while
- interns see less trauma "action" than in the past because they're (rightly) not allowed to do more than 50 hours per week unlike the past and, therefore,
- start surgical training with less exposure to the profession, while
- the course has no minimum number of 'operations' to qualify, and finally
- candidates are approaching the end of their training with FAR less experience than was considered ideal just a few years ago. :uhoh:

The upshot is that even those who get through the training programme are far less competent than used to be the norm.:eek:

It's not just pilots!!!

FlexibleResponse
7th Nov 2010, 11:16
"Why do airlines require less hours to fly a fully loaded airliner than the NSW Govt demands to get a Provisional Drivers licence?"

That comment rather puts in all into perspective...

Kangaroo Court
7th Nov 2010, 11:24
An extremely good report!

A37575
7th Nov 2010, 13:13
Strangely enough the resignation rates of ADF pilots are now at an historic low!

Not surprising. With many doing operational tours plus the transport squadrons working flat out on overseas assignments the military flying is very interesting and varied. This is the reason why some young people prefer to join the RAAF rather than scratch around for their first job in the red dust of the outback in a 210 for peanuts.