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Ignition Override
13th Oct 2002, 04:28
To clarify, this next group is in addition to those being laid-off this fall. The company announced last week that about 1400 flight attendant jobs will vanish, but quite a number of these people will reportedly be able to take voluntary leave. Maybe it is just a coincidence that NW Marketing just initiated a hefty discount in leisure fares, but I have no idea what percentage these tickets represent in a company's total number of sales.

The bad news was in a notice from the US airline's Chief Pilot.

By the way, is it true that despite pilot contract requirements for a minimum of xxxx narrow body flying hours, an airline can park quite a number of these planes at a maintenance facility, indefinitely, and still comply with the contract language?

What has caught many US pilots off guard is how many supposedly unprofitable 44-seat regional jets can be "slipped between contract definitions" and continue to replace mainline flying, resulting in much less turnover at regionals, as the years drag by. One day, many regional pilots might find that there will be not only far fewer jobs with the US majors during an economic recovery, but also that the 'golden' turbofan PIC hours flying an EFIS/FMC cockpit might bring no advantage to the resume, compared to Brasilia or Saab-340/ATR-72 PIC experience.

Airbubba
13th Oct 2002, 04:49
NWA is also supposed to announce closure of some maintenance facilities on Tuesday.

Tex
14th Oct 2002, 21:07
Those supposedly unprofitable Regional Jets? Well, at NWAirlink, Pinnacle Airlines, we can break even with 12 pax in a CRJ. Is that unprofitable? NWAirlink is the only profitable part of NWA in these times. We plan to hire 300-500 pilots this next year. We also have agreed to take on NWA furloughed pilots, of which only 47 have applied.

The agreement is that a furloughed NWA pilot may work for NWAirlink, starting at the bottom of Airlink's senioity. The pilot must work for 18 months before returning to NWA, at his/her old seniority. A failure during training means getting fired from both Airlink and NWA.

NWAirlink Pinnacle Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of NWA, but has been offered up as an IPO. However, it seems that NWA is holding all of the stock.

Airbubba
15th Oct 2002, 19:51
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 10/15/02

Northwest confirms plans to close Hartsfield hangar

AJC staff report

Northwest Airlines confirmed this morning that it will close its Atlanta maintenance center over the next three months.

The airline said most of the 1,500 workers at the center will be eligible for transfers to other Northwest facilities.

A shutdown had been rumored since last week. Union leaders got the news Monday evening, and workers were being told in a series of meetings today.

Minneapolis-based Northwest also will close a reservations center in Long Beach, Calif., which employs 250 people.

Northwest's Atlanta hangar is on the south side of Hartsfield International Airport. The airline leases the buildings from the airport.

The hangar does major maintenance on DC-9 and Boeing 727 jets. That work will be moved to Northwest's maintenance center in Minneapolis.

ironbutt57
15th Oct 2002, 21:28
Glad to read this "Tex"...when I flew for a code sharing regional many moons ago, the only use the mainliners had for us , was moral support when they went on strike...they fought flow-through agreements for us,...forced assesments on us when they went on strike, then kicked us off jumpseats when a "jetpilot" needed a free ride instead of us....so time they reap what they sowed....see the regional jet defense league....more good medicine for the arrogant mainline folks.....

Ignition Override
16th Oct 2002, 05:06
Ironbutt and Gang: I was with some regionals and never had anything against the widespread use of RJs, whether as turboprop replacements or not. Shall I repeat that? It is too bad that there are some guys who look down on the regionals getting jets (as if pilots would not naturally want to fly them), and my brother, who flew twin Commanders on mostly all-night freight schedules, was turned down once years ago for a jumpseat, by a (ORD or DEN-based, 737 crew in MCI: maybe the two mainline pilots did not like men that day...whoops...). But I guess that people read into these topics whatever they are imagining at the time. One of our mainline FOs, who used a very derogatory comment for the fact that regional pilots fly RJs on former mainline routes, in front of a few of us, was not only ignorant but very arrogant-and he came here from a military IP job. But you can't reason with people like that, having tried, very tactfully.

Some of my statements were somehow misunderstood. I've always been for a flow-through agreement (check previous Pprune topics...), but did not know if the main problem was basically with our mostly wide-body negotiators (I forgot my prayer rug today :) ), or the company. They might not care what many of us think about these issues, anyway. My company was bought in a merger years ago. Ok, the question about fewer mainline jobs in the future might be purely academic, but I had always assumed that majority of US regional pilots were attracted to higher pay elsewhere. My point was that the rewards might be mostly short-term for some, regarding the resumes, if many of the higher-paying jobs somehow disappear. That's was my only point on that. And, if ALPA has been discriminatory against the regionals, then the national leadership should be criticized, but maybe it should be done in private, and via e-mails between us.

None of that was meant as a veiled or subtle critique of RJ operations-I was cheering for COMAIR to somehow prevail in its battle against Delta's discriminatory bargaining positions, and wondered how those COMAIR folks could prevail, with the industry leaning very hard on Delta, "...oh, a call from THE Senate Aviation Subcommittee Chairman"?! I felt bad for the Comair results, and was dismayed that US courts, labor judges or not, seem to always rule in mgmts' favor.

Is my use of English (as a furst langwidge) really that bad, or too subtle? If so, as Lynyrd Skynyrd said in the song about redneck bars, 'Give me three steps', "excuuuse me!"

Tex
16th Oct 2002, 14:11
Ignition Overide,

OK, we understand each other, then. I flew for Comair years ago whe we fielded the CRJ. I left to fly heavy iron in Aisia, made a lot of money, and decided to return to small jets. I see a lot of potential at NWAirlink for an old guy like me, so I am starting at the bottom, just like anyone else.

With that said, I think there IS a lot of arrogance in the mainline. The only difference in the mainline pilot and the regional pilot is simply timing and the market demand. These regional guys are just as educated, many former military flyers, and really great sticks. Of course there are the new-to-the-business folks, but they are just as well educated and motivated to do well in the business. The mainliners need to change the way they think about the small jet pilot.

There are different motivations for some folks to stay with a small jet carrier. There is some stepping-stone mentality, and I say to those folks, "go for it," but there are some who truly desire a career flying small jets. It is rather arrogant for a mainliner to look at a 50 year old small jet pilot and think of him/her as a loser who couldn't get a job with a major. The person may not want a job with a major. Ever think of that?

I was in the food court in MSP a couple of days ago when a NWA pilot asked me about flying for NWAirlink, and why I didn't work for a major. Of course, in his arrogance, he couldn't have known that I had flown the world's largest commercial airplane for the world's fifth largest airline and decided to quit for family reasons. I simply and politely said, "been there, done it, retired."

Another interesting facet to this issue is that at a recent LEC meeting in DTW, the issue of one senioity list for NWA and NWAirlink was brought up. You can read about it at www.airlinkpilots.com. I'm not totally convinced this is a good thing for NWAirlink pilots, but I am open to discussion.

Well, sorry for the long post. As you wanted to state your positon clearly, so did I.

Wino
16th Oct 2002, 16:07
APA (The AMerican Pilots) have been trying to bring Eagle over as a merger.

The company's response effectively is that we the pilots would have to buy eagle ourselves (they value it at several billion dollars, which is funny, because AMR(the parent company ofwhich eagle is a part) itself is only worth about 600 million) because they MIGHT want to spin it off one day.

I think the Eagle pilots want to come to American as well, because THEIR scope clause is being violated as well, and they now realize it is a common fight against Don Carty. Furthermore they would then have automatic advancement with seniority.

Unfortunately this never had to happen. Untill about 1986 American Airlines had a 1 line scope clause. It said all flying will be done by pilots on the master seniority list. Then we allowed the commuter exception rather than fly the turboprops ourselves, and it grew and grew and grew and grew....

In the last contract we were going to fight for the jets but a group of stupid pilots decided they didn't want to fly them (duh, that's what the seniority list is for, don't want to fly em, dont bid em) and so we let em go. Now we realize how stupid we were and are in a position of having to fight to get back what was ours.

Delta is in even worse shape. By the end of next year 50 percent of their available seat miles domestically will be on the RJs. Jobs that are gone forever. Instead of a scope clause they thought they woudl get a no furlough clause to protect their jobs (but boy would those jobs be stagnant). Well Sept 11 blew a big hole in the side of their no furlough clause and they continue to hemrage pilots to the street at an alarming rate.

Cheers
Wino

Tex
16th Oct 2002, 19:53
Wino,

I think what you called stupid (for the AMR pilots not wanting to fly smaller airplanes) is directly attributed to arrogance. It seems that some pilots wear the airplane they fly as a symbol of their manhood or something.

Of course, some pilots call me stupid for going from the B747 to the CRJ. It's not a manhood or a money thing for me. Just a choice in life-style. By the way, I have plenty of the affore mentioned, so I have nothing to prove to anyone but my family. I think I will prove it to them by being around for them.

As far as merging the lists, I'm not certain if that will be a good thing. It could work for NWA if the pilots are smart about it. But, as you posted, there will be some stupid, arrogant pilots who will want to be paid 747 wages to fly a CRJ into Amarillo, Texas. There has to be common sense and concession by both pilots and management because I know NWA would like to pay that same crew less than a McD's burger flipper.

Wino
16th Oct 2002, 20:32
Tex,

The great fear was that if we allowed the RJ's on the property that they would replace the MD80s with lower paying smaller jets. Well, duh, those jets are being replaced anyway, and now NO AA pilot is flying them. Hell, even Eagle (which some of us could flow down to) isnt flying them either!

You are right, management would love to get us to fly the jets for free. The funny thing is, they still would have lost a few BILLION dollars if we flew the jets for free...

Cheers
Wino

OneWorld22
16th Oct 2002, 23:32
Delta have announced that they will remove the MD-11 from service from early next year. That's much sooner then people had thought. Mullen had announced he would retire all MD-11 and MD80 aircraft by 2010. This comes as they announced $326 million third quarter loss. They also said they will have to cut additional employees to the 1500 the already announced.

What happens to the MD-11 crews?? Will they be re-trained and fo onto the 777/736-300ER? which will replace the MD-11's routes?

Someone is going to pick up some superb MD-11's for a very good price. Wait for the Guv to announce it.........

Wino
17th Oct 2002, 04:04
I am reasonably certain that FEDEX is the worlds largest MD11 operator. I am sure they already own those as well. They have been buying out the leases on em everywhere. They got all of AA MD-11s...

The pilots will be retrained to whatever their seniority can allow them to hold, so there will be alot of down bumps as these guys knock more junion guys down throughout the system.

Cheers
Wino

411A
17th Oct 2002, 05:55
Wino
Noticed today on ATW-online that AA is going to park 42 more aeroplanes and defer deliveries well into 2005.
Tough times ahead for the major carriers, i'm afraid.
Wonder if anyone there has mentioned a salary "giveback"?

Airbubba
17th Oct 2002, 14:29
>>Wonder if anyone there has mentioned a salary "giveback"?

Nope, the new union battle cry is "Full pay until the last day!"

It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better...

Wino
17th Oct 2002, 15:43
411a

The AA pilots are currently 30-40percent BEHIND delta and United at the moment so they already have their give back as our contract is in negotiations.

The question was asked of the company directors at the moment on our internal ask and answer forum. The question was what percentage would we have to take across the board to make the company profitable (all employees taking the same percentage pay cut) and the answer was 42 percent. As several groups would be below the legal minimum wage it just aint possible, and management acknowledged it.

Its a REVENUE problem at the moment, not a salary problem that is hounding the airlines. Frankly the model that they use to generate their fares is BROKEN, and even management admits it and says no amount of salary give back can fix it or even significantly change the problem. Structurally HUB and Spoke has just fallen appart because of the large numbers of smaller airlines that are now running point to point (including their own eagles, which aren't profitable either because of their enourmous seat mile costs, but ARE competeing against the mainline) bypassing the hubs.

The problem is basically that the government has interfered via the ATSB. AA didn't shrink in the immediate aftermath of sept 11 because they expected atleast 2 airlines 2 go Chapt 7 thereby producing the capacity drop that fixes the yeild problems. Airlines have enourmous structural costs (the leases on those 42 jets we are parking still have to be paid) and therefore have no ability to retrench to a smaller size in an economic downturn. What has always fixed the airlines in any recession in the past is that 1 of the weaker airlines goes out of business thereby fixing the capacity problem. This time around the government is determined not to allow any airlines to fail, thereby dooming the whole lot of them. What we effectively have is regulation without the ability to set fares by the government. Its a problem. If you want to regulate the airlines, fine regulate em completely and devide up routes and set fares. What you are doing now is just allowing the weak airlines to hurt the strong ones as you keep proping them up. So you have a foot in both camps and though it means well, it is destroying the industry. USAIR should never have been given a loan, and neither should United or America West.

Cheers
Wino

411A
18th Oct 2002, 01:32
Sadly Wino, have to agree, especially the loans mentioned.
I cannot understand how USAir (for example) will survive.

saudipc-9
18th Oct 2002, 08:55
All you guys seem to know what you are talking about, so my question is:
What is everyone's best guess as to when things will settle down and everyone get hired back?
Mine is five years!!:confused:

Wino
19th Oct 2002, 02:40
Unfortunately, if the gov't doesn't stop proping up the losers, never


Cheers
WIno

A-V-8R
19th Oct 2002, 13:35
Wino...

Better dry out for a while.

United hasn't recieved any loans from the goverment, as of yet.

And what is proposed by the ASB is not a loan, but a loan garantee. Don't know if you are an American Vet, but it is like the VA house mortgage loan, where they Goverment will pay off the lending establishment if you default.

Some how its gotten a little off thread here.

As far as the United Pilots and the RJ's, a Union study concluded that UAL Mainline could fly the RJ's for the same cost as the Express, given Uniteds economy of scale......fuel purchasing, etc...

But during Michael Glawes negotiations concerning the RJ's, it was presented to him that there are X amount of dollars, and it can go for more 777's or RJ's, which would you want.....

Like it or not management has won the RJ issue and is using it to destroy the mainline unions in the US.

It's kind of like Lorenzo's Continental was charging Eastern 32 dollars for every reservation that was made on Eastern, as Continental bought the reservation system from Eastern.

United has bought planes for the Expresses, paid for training, and god knows what else we've paid for at the Expresses.
They will do that so they can show losses at UAL and shift more to the Feeders, whom I think, will soon be flying the 737 300s United is proposing to park. (Last month UAL rented another 200 spots in the desert......._)

If I was an Express Pilot, with the benefit of my 30 years of airline experience looking back, I think that I would have to resign myself to the possiblility that the Express company that I am with will be the last employment in my career.

With this shrinking of the majors, it will be years before heavy metal jobs are available in the US.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
19th Oct 2002, 20:45
A fascinating discussion. There is much talk here in the UK about very poor salaries for FOs on RJs, but what about Captains? Can someone please tell me how much a CRJ Captain with one of the American regionals earns? It gives us some idea of what to compare with here. For your interest, an Embraer 145 Captain in the UK would earn somewhere between 44,000 and 50,000 (UK Sterling) per year.

411A
19th Oct 2002, 22:04
A-V-8R

Hmmm, rather than major airline companies winning the RJ issue and trying to destroy ALPA, I would say that ALPA has, through their unreasonable salary demands over the years, done itself in, so to speak.
Airline companies will only pay so much for labor, and if the labor costs become unrealistic, as they have, then outsourcing is the only alternative.
Take for example, the Delco division of General Motors. When Delco employees demanded more, GM sold the company to its employees, which accepted lower pay, and have become an independant supplier of GM parts.
Regionals have become that independant supplier of seats on the shorter routes...soon (now) to become longer sectors.
The seeds of discontent were sown a long time ago.
ALPA has ONLY itself to blame.;)

peepsmover
20th Oct 2002, 07:14
Tex: I am sincerely sorry you feel that "mainline" pilots look down on you or make snide comments, naturally a pilot is going to be curious about your career, but not obsessive. I have never heard any pilots say anything derisive about regional pilots, why? Because we all respect where we came from or respect the efforts of those who still fly regionals, we clearly know that given fate we could be out there knocking on a regional door, and some "mainline" pilots are having to do just that, so believe me nobody in his right mind thinks that way about regionals, the challenge is the same: getting to point B safely.


411 blame ALPA? Excuse me but if you place these historically challenging times in aviation into some perspective and context, ALPA's "blame" is a pimple on the ass of this equation. To be more specific, pilot pay, its an even smaller pimple. Why? Well first, if you want to play that game, lets talk CEO compensation in the industry, obscene by any standard, don't take my word for it, compare CEO's of foreign based companies with the CEOs in the USA, and it becomes grotesque. Finally, I flew with an old head who was getting ready to retire after 36 years on the line, and guess, what? If you took a captain's pay on the 727 from say back in the 70's and then indexed it for inflation, today's salaries would still be lower. But the biggest point is simply this: people are flying less at least in the good o'l USA, so what do airlines do? They lay off people and pilots take pay cuts, this is not rocket science it happens everytime there are financial problems in the industry, so blame all you want, most people recognize that this turmoil is part of the aviating industry, where labor and management come together to solve the problems, they have in the past, so welcome!

ironbutt57
20th Oct 2002, 08:55
there is a glimmer of truth to 411-A-s perspective...the unions have made themselves a fat juicy target to shoot at in times of need, but airline managers and greedy bad, inept decision making have put the carriers in the position they are in today..period...and the smart ones (southwest, jetblue etc) survive...when times are good, money gets blown, when times are bad, employees get thrown.....applies anywhere..

Ignition Override
21st Oct 2002, 00:32
Interesting info from you folks. I don't agree with partial solutions for this industry, but the information which is based on facts is always worth considering.

What a shame that overall, the US majors will still be committed, for quite a long time, to the hub and spoke system, no matter how unproductive and inefficient-never mind that crews on my fleet change planes between the various series (and often to gates about 10 minutes away), almost each time we arrive at a hub.

That really hurts efficiency, after the compound effects of de-icing/waiting for runways to be plowed, maintenance delays, or even for the catering truck to bring another 30 passenger meals, or fleet service to finally take care of the "sweet" perfume aroma (typical of life in the Dark Ages...)...Never mind the revenue customer who must race with young children, risking a serious injury on the smooth (dry?) floors.

Good luck to everybody kicked out of a job. And may all the kids of airline types somehow find the means to continue their educations etc, despite the many thousands of financial hardship cases.

411A
21st Oct 2002, 15:08
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal recently regarding companies...and jobs.
It would appear that many employees (more than 60%) would accept lower pay and benefits today in return for an assured job tomorrow.
As the airline industry in general is not immune from the economic climate, would suggest that employees (including pilots) are in the same boat...and this does NOT exclude senior management either.
If your airline disappears, the bills don't stop at the mailbox.
Now, would ALPA senior pilots accept lower pay in order to keep their younger, less senior guys/gals employed?
Suspect not.:rolleyes:

peepsmover
23rd Oct 2002, 05:35
Wow, the WSJ now there is an unbiased rag, I would be more interested in seeing the results of the survey where CEOs would be willing to give up free housing, sweetheart loans, and self-dealing options in exchange for simply knowing it is the right thing to do.

"Now, would ALPA senior pilots accept lower pay in order to keep their younger, less senior guys/gals employed? 411"

The history of pilot pay, at least in the majors, is replete with examples where pilots across the board took pay cuts AND no pay raises sometimes for as long as 3-4 years. So as to the issue of whether senior pilots would be willing to take pay cuts to avoid pilot furloughs it has been answered affirmitavely time and time again. Keep in mind that a key element for determining any pilot population is driven by the ratio of actual aircraft flying, therefore it follows that while simply taking pay cuts in of itself will mitigate pilot furloughs, demand remains a determinative factor of fleet size. This explains the shiny new airplanes parked in the desert and pilots on the streets. Again, this is why when you see a senior capt., realize he may have a couple of airlines under his belt and perhaps 10 years of unemployment from his overpaid perch.

:D

Tex
23rd Oct 2002, 12:18
Peeps,

I'm not calling you a liar, but if you haven't heard it, you've been alone in a closet. I've heard it many, many times from guys working for US majors. I've over-heard it at parties, in bathroom conversations, on airport employee buses, in Air Guard briefing rooms, walking down a concourse, and even to my face.

When I was working for the Delta Connection several years ago when we fielded the CRJ, I got to see the fingers flipped from the Delta cockpits. I heard the desparaging remarks on the radio about the Barbie Jet, the Scab Jet, the Smurf Jet, and so on.

My friends who stayed at Comair, and endured the strike, got to hear plenty from the Delta brothers. A friend of mine, who works for Comair, was in the barber shop and got to hear a Delta captain talk, holding court while he was in the chair. This Delta guy was telling the whole barber shop about these Comair pilots shouldn't be allowed to fly jets and they don't deserve the money they are striking for because the are all a bunch of uneducated bumpkins who can't get real jobs anywhere. Boy, that was great support from the Delta pilots.

Peeps, you say on this forum, annonymously, that you have admiration and respect for the RJ pilots. I believe you, but will you walk a picket line with your RJ brothers? Will you tell your ALPA brothers at your company how you have respect and admiration for those RJ guys and they desreve more for what they do? Do you support a merged senioity list?

Wino
23rd Oct 2002, 15:45
411a

Pilots could fly the aircraft for free and nothing would change. When the airline isn't making the gas to get from point A to point B, the pilot salaries get lost in the static.

The problem is that managment repeatedly comes for concessions, gets em, makes a pile of money then blows it on something that has nothing to do with the group that made the concessions. Furthermore, it is getting to the point where I am wondering if the CEOs are colluding to lose this much money so they can go after labor for concessions. Something for which they wouldn't have to do if they had been better managers (read CEO Goodwin at UAL who started this problem).

Had Goodwin not used the procedes of the ESOP to attempt to buy USAIR and set up that VERY STUPID CORPORATE JET OPERATION (raiding their own yeilds) and instead honored their side of the bargain in ESOP (seamless contracts) they would have been looking at an incremental raise instead of the monster it took to placate the anger that GOODWIN's stupid moves cost.

You really have to admire the scale of Goodwin's stupidity. He was going to spend a lot more than 10 billion dollars to buy USAIR. For that kind of money he could have bought a few hundred more jets and run em empty for a couple of years untill USAIR was a distant memory and had labor CHEERING for him! Instead he was trying to merge to labor groups and taking on 30000 employees that are all topped out in their wages. Far better to take on 30000 new employees at newhire rate to help subsidize the expansion.

And then you have Avolar. Another billion or so to buy corporate jets. They were going to market it to their own first class pax. Well those are the people THAT ARE PAYING THE BILLS FOR THE AIRLINE! So you would wind up with a mildly profitable business jet operation that would decimate the mainline that paid for it!

Its no wonder that the unions view management as the enemy!

I can chart a similar list for AA

Cheers
Wino

411A
23rd Oct 2002, 16:01
Wino,

Have to agree with much of your opinion, especially spendthrift CEO's and senior managers who can't see the forest for the trees.

Where is shareholder accountability?

In many cases (most in the airline industry it seems)...there ain't any...:(

peepsmover
23rd Oct 2002, 23:19
Tex, I don't believe that I have been in a closet, now there may be some things IN the closet but that is off topic, ha! Seriously I too have been in squadron rooms, etc and I have not heard those slurs, of course the last time I was in a Delta hub was a long time ago, so I haven't even heard the radio trash. Certainly I do not doubt your experiences, and perhaps I may be a minority, with regards to respect for RJs. First I would support the striking brethern, my dues go to fund their efforts, and yeah there is a tension between Regionals and the Big five, I have said this before, perhaps there needs to be two unions, one for each respective group. As to a national list I cannot support that. On one hand I understand it, but to single-point all hiring for one airline through its basically subsidary regional ignores the valuable flying experiences of those who say came through other routes, cargo, military etc, certainly those experiences have merit as well.

Ignition Override
24th Oct 2002, 03:18
Tex: I wish I could have overheard the conversation which you mentioned. What a pompous, ignorant SOB he is. He probably wears his airline uniform including coat, to his grocery store in the Atlanta suburbs (as some of the "silver wing" group do to groceries and health clubs here: many of their ground employees simply wear their glamorous company ID badges everywhere...:)).

Also: 1) If Delta's previous contract(s) had included clear and comprehensive "scope" language, in contrast to having had, reportedly, some of the worst among the major contracts, Comair might have received many regional jets without Delta's pilots feeling so exploited, or whatever (one can try to read between these lines, but there is nothing there).

2) Many military pilots never had more than two years of college until after they were operational pilots-so much for the exposure to French Literature in the 19th Century, and a Statistics class, or Non-Linear Particle Physics (Bohr vs Einstein, anyone?), in order to coordinate cockpit duties, or earn the chance to train on a faster turbine aircraft which now has no prop connected to a reduction gearbox, and the wing is swept a little bit. The engines, fuel and electrical systems and passengers or freight, don't care if you have a title by your name, a 'large ring' on your finger, or whether your personal car was built in Munich, Stuttgart or Flint, MI.

"Aviation Week & ST" revealed several years ago that about 20% of Delta's pilot group, at one time, were not even members of ALPA (allegedly, many were based in ATL)-so much for their concern, years ago, about narrowbody flying jobs. Never mind just which airlines' pilots careers profited overnight, and later, from the Eastern strike and failure, whose pilots were not even hired by the competition down the street. Many seem to have waked up after a very long slumber.

The kind of guys anywhere, who have a need to look down their noses on those who fly smaller aircraft are merely ignorant and arrogant-please quote me on that and give such types my e-mail address. As for hidden dangers, the very top guy in a certain AF UPT class [Vance, 80-02], who became an F-16 pilot, was later killed in a single-engine Cessna in Montana. One of our experienced pilots (former Navy F-4, Fh-227, ...) was killed with his entire family onboard when the single engine Piper lost power over a forest in the Florida panhandle on a very rainy day:what a horrible accident-but I'm not generalizing, or implying anything about the abilities of any certain group, just the ironic dangers presented by smaller, (often) lower performance machines, and not just related to propellers. Many of these airplanes require a much higher skill level than is often assumed by pilots with little GA background, or who are very non-current , to be the case.

As for classic arrogance, one of our own 757 Captains who I worked with, had been hired from Am. Eagle, referred to a twin-engine, 60's vintage 100-seat jet as... "that's an entry-level jet". As for such a view combined with "career expectations" (regarding a very drawn-out merger), arrogance coupled with ignorance can be found almost anywhere. He admitted to me and an FA in our cockpit that as a youngster, you could design your own moped by just stealing the bike from a kid down the street and converting it with a small motor.

For me, English is tough, even as a first language, and fashionably short "sound-bytes" clarify nothing. The mass public has been conditioned by the media and Hollywood, to receive a constant stream of tiny press clips and electronic stimuli, over-processed to the same extent that so-called "country music" has been.