View Full Version : Qantas vertical promotion

31st Mar 2003, 15:49
Looks like its a done deal.

Soon second Officers on the 744 will not be allowed to bid for a F/O slot on the 744 and will be forced to go back on the 76. Big pay drop and commuting a nightmare if you live out of Syd as a lot of S/Os do.

Pity the company couldn't just fix the debacle on the 76 rather than penalise blokes who have played by the rules and now find that they have to cash the cheques for the company stuff ups.

The standards argument doesn't wash either. Lots of S/Os have heaps of jet command,military time or thousands of hours as jet F/Os. Sure shows a lot of confidence in the Check and Training system. "Sorry bloggs we know you have umpteen thousand hours command on Orions/Hercs/ etc and have straight A's on all your checks but if we were to let you out as an F/O on our flagship jet then we just couldnt have any confidence that you'd be any good. Losa and all that you know. Now be a good chap and do as you are told, sorry about the pay drop."

AIPA will probably say its a standards rather than a seniority issue and disclaim any jurisdiction.

Be funny, if despite all the coercion no one went anyway.

31st Mar 2003, 18:15
Actually bonvol, shouldn't cost them a red cent. In fact, they should make money by going to the 767 first. A compatriot of mine stayed on the 744 as a S/O and my pay has been better than his for at least the last two years. I have more nights at home during the roster and depending on the roster, less actual days away at work too. The only difference here is that he gets more time off around the world than I do and so he has less tours of duty in his days away at work. So if they held off for (say) six-ish plus years, then did a couple of years on the 767 it shouldn't work out too much differently. Certainly not the $90K quoted elsewhere!

Commuting is another thing entirely and I'm in just about full agreement with the 'debacle' on the 767 although admittedly, life is a truck load better now for the most junior on the list than it was a few years back! Who knows how good life may be in the next 12 months! ;) (Yes, there was a touch of irony and scepticism in that comment!)

The bit I reckon is a bit different is the standards thing. It's not unheard of for an ex military or airline person to struggle with F/O training after a lengthy time as a S/O- especially those who are a little 'older'. Whether we point the finger at the trainee or the training system is a discussion for another forum entirely.

Still, it's an interesting one for us ALL to deal with. I was quite happy at the prospect of being pretty senior on the 767 in the next 12 months or so. Looks like I'll be going backward whilst the 20+ S/Os senior to me on the 744 bid back to get the requirements. I guess I can also kiss away the prospect of a 767 command in the next couple of years due to the senior 744 F/Os who had been holding off for a command on the MRV probably now bidding for a 767 command.

Now that I look at it that way.............. :mad: ;) :p

Interesting times.

Capt Fathom
31st Mar 2003, 18:38
Since when does having 'umpteen thousand hours command on Orions/Hercs/ etc' guarantee how someone will go during promotion.
Regardless of backgrounds, some people will find promotion pretty straight forward. A lot will struggle!

31st Mar 2003, 18:55
Biggest problem for QF in training is ex mil jocks who can't be trained

31st Mar 2003, 19:30
Keg, yeah, the 90K did seem to be a bit over the top.

I feel one of the big issues is the tinkering with the seniority system. Your number used to buy you a go and you passed or you didn't. Now that is no longer the case.

Time will tell but the level playing field has tilted once again.

Interesting times indeed.

31st Mar 2003, 19:56

Whats the matter lad, got scrubbed off pilots course did you? Or weren't you ever accepted by the ADF. What a load of bollocks that you have just posted. :(

31st Mar 2003, 20:20
Easy lads, we can spin off into oblivion on this one by going the man instead of the ball. We do that and we're ALL worse off.

There are guys who didn't make it through pilots course who have checked out in command and there are ex-RAAFies who have struggled to various degreees with promotion. Me, I didn't even get the priviledge of trying my hand at the RAAFs pilots course. There are GA drivers who have struggled through promotional training, etc, etc, etc.

Lets just leave the discussion about training and trainee's for an entirely different thread as that is NOT the issue facing us at the moment.

Bonvol, your second post is what it should be about. If the company is concerned about standards, experience, exposures to lots of approaches, (whatever) then that is their problem to fix via sim sessions, training etc, not via an arbitrary line in the sand that changes the goal posts NOW! Fair enough if they wanted to introduce it then how about giving us a couple of years lead time to work out the implications and bid accordingly but to change the posts with no notice is a bit cruel. Still, I've yet to see the thing in print yet so won't comment beyond the hypotheticals of it until I do.

It certainly makes an already very murky crystal ball even murkier!!

31st Mar 2003, 21:05
Keg, it is coming. Talk to the management pilots and they will confirm it. I fully agree with you on the other points.

1st Apr 2003, 07:19
Not sure about the standards issue however I think the company has good reason to want it pilots with "thousand(s)" of hours to use the experience earlier as FO and not as a SO for 6-7 years.
QF employed these pilots, along with other reasons, for this experience and should expect a return. Esp if their time to retirement is less than the the norm as some are employed well above 30.
According to a SCC(ex RAAF) the RAAF guys/gals appeal for employment is being tarnished with these long term SO's.
Having said that it is poor form to change the rules for current SO/FO's.



1st Apr 2003, 09:06
And the reason for that FFrats?...its not attractive for them to bid for it. In most industries when you take promotion you get better pay and conditions as a general rule.

In this case you get worse conditions and worse pay..although there can be a debate about the pay. If the senior S/O's thought they would be better off on the 76 then they would have bid for it ages ago. I guess this stuff is in the eye of the beholder but to fix the problem in mid stream and disadvantage a pile of guys who acted in accordance with the seniority system and based their plans accordingly is a disgrace.

It's so simple...make it attractive for blokes to take promotion.

Metro Boy
1st Apr 2003, 09:37
What's the pay range for a 767 first officer?

Ace McCool
1st Apr 2003, 17:49
QF had a period where pilots were second officers for 12-15 years (or longer). These guys consisted mainly of the ex-cadet mafia who run the joint now. They didn't seem to run into difficulites with their jumbo upgrades. Strange that they think others will.

1st Apr 2003, 18:36
Ladies & gents,

To start with - I'm not suggesting ANYTHING against the pilots here - more just asking if this is the logic.

Bonvol raises a 'standards' argument. I find this a tad disturbing, if I am following the correct logic. Is it that management are saying that a S/O has to go across to the 767 fleet as they are not of a high enough standard to be a F/O on 747s? This is a bit scary - they're not good enough to fly 747s, but they're good enough to haul around the poor punters who get lumbered with 767s? Again, I'm not saying ANYTHING against the pilots here - more just asking if this is the logic.

If that's the logic, then wouldn't safety be a bit more enhanced if they were promoted to F/O on an aircraft where they're often flying with relief crew - hence always at least a third set of eyes - rather than just relying on two sets, one of which is possibly (by this logic) not good enough to be on the big pwane??

Frankly one would have thought that whilst there are doubtless some differences in skill amongst individuals - the standards are there for a purpose & anyone unable to meet the minima should not be in the job full stop, whether on bugsmashers, fruitbats or Jumbos.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong? I look forward to being enlightened.


1st Apr 2003, 20:53
No enlightenment necessary Taildragger. That pretty well sums it up.

1st Apr 2003, 22:33
I see it a little bit differently TD. It isn't that they're good enough but a combination of the fact that by default they've been a S/O for the last eight or so years and then jumping onto an aircraft where as an F/O you are extremelly lucky if you average one sector a week for yourself and obviously one for the boss. Given the right set of conditions, possibly less than one a week. Compare that with the average 767 driver who would probably do three plus per week and then also gets to watch 3+ from the boss and you can see the differences in 'experience' that can develop over a short period of time.

In short, I think the issue is about guys not doing much/any 'real' flying as a S/O for eight years (not denying that their long haul management is probably fantastic but their stick and rudder may be the the one lacking) and then jumping into a seat that gets very little exposure to the stick and rudders and little chance to observe it from the other bloke either. Despite what some say, this IS different to what happened years ago. It's like comparing apples and oranges. The route structure was vastly different and no airliner around stayed airborne for 16+ hours at a time.

Still, that shouldn't make it a 'crew' issue. It is still a company issue to solve I would have thought.

2nd Apr 2003, 05:55
Yes, it is a crew issue. The fact is on the 400 no-one gets acceptable currency, boss, f/o or s/o. The route structure doesnt allow it. And by acceptable I dont mean legal currency, I mean the currency that makes a pilot feel "current" if you get my drift.

The company should seriously look at this issue instead of these band-aid fixes that have ramifications for the whole of the seniority system.

2nd Apr 2003, 07:41
You either have a seniority system or you don't. QF have a system of grading people as to whether they are ready for promotion or need to be assessed. If they are considered to be ready for promotion then it shouldn't matter which type they are bidding for as long as their number allows it. I also agree that any promotion should involve a pay rise. Unfortunately pay rates have been based on a speed/weight formula which was ok when new aeroplanes were bigger and faster than the types they were replacing. If the airlines want to encourage people to seek promotion from S/O to F/O then it should translate into a bigger pay packet.

Three Bars
2nd Apr 2003, 13:07

I completely agree - people will bid for a promotion if they get a payrise. It is the system that's wrong - not the participants in it. 747-400 fleet pay across the board (with an appropriate freeze period) would IMHO sort out some of these issues.

Personally, I don't think there's much more too it than that the powers-that-be are sick of some guys staying at the top of the tree until they get a vertical promotion on the 400. Particularly when they have come into the company with a lot of previous experience.

When it comes to loyalty to family or company, not many of us need to think too carefully about where our primary loyalty lies. If the company wants our loyalty they should be prepared to pay for it. We all have bills to pay - why would some people volunteer for a pay drop when the same bills still need paying.

Also, I have not seen or heard of any great failure rate in the vertical promotion training path to warrant this action. And no, I am not one of the permanent S/Os. In fact I have been an F/O on both the Classic and the 767 in the last three years, so I have already done my two years on other jet types. Personally, I found doing an upgrade on a type I hadn't flown before to be very difficult - it is not just the aircraft, it is the route structure the people and the philosophy which are all different. In my opinion, doing a vertical promotion on type would be easier since all of the other variables (except for the bottom 5000 feet) are already known.

Keg, while your (and my) seniority on the 767 could slip for a short time, we could also find ourselves on the MRV sooner than we thought as a result of this action. But self interest aside, I still don't think that it is fair to suddenly turn the system on its ear. I think that a grievance procedure could be warranted in this case, and it will be very interesting to see AIPA's reaction to a group that it has not felt a lot of sympathy for in the past.

2nd Apr 2003, 15:05
Bonval / permFO......the 767 FO's hourly rate is more than the 744 SO's rate. The SO gains greatly through the fact that most flights they do are long and attract overtime payments. Now if you could get the 767 to do 12hour+ sectors it would be a different game.

Three Bars....... 400 fleet pay for all :D ! I'll vote for that but it will NEVER happen.:sad:

2nd Apr 2003, 21:14
3B, I could have BEEN on the 744 by now if I had wanted it. The equal time off (on mostly days of my choosing) and remote possibility of an early command on the 767 (in Sydney as opposed to CNS) was why I chose to enjoy the 767 for a while longer. Alas, the whole dynamic has changed. The plans will have to be re-evaluated in the lead up to the next round.

Never has my latin moniker seemed more appropriate!

How's it Hanging
3rd Apr 2003, 07:40
Looking at the experience arguement, it is obvious that the Dash 8 regional drivers are the most experienced in the Qantas fleet. We do more sectors and approaches in a week than some longhaul pilots do in a year.
Sounds like it should be straight from DHC8 to left seat 744 to me!:D ;)

Captain Gidday
3rd Apr 2003, 09:11
Don't know if there's any way we could detach just the upper deck for you Dash 8 drivers to buzz around in. Size/weight would only be a little larger then. Might be possible. :D

3rd Apr 2003, 16:09
I for one believe the major issue is the perceived pay drop when S/O s accept promotion on other types. I therefore propose that 744 S/O s pay be reduced in the next EBA by say min. 20 % and this money be transfered to the Captain's Payscale.

3rd Apr 2003, 17:53
First post and a comedian already.

I'm sure our mates in management are onto that one but I doubt if the Captains will pocket the loot :D

3rd Apr 2003, 21:20
Dare I say it but there is no one who feels for a 400 s/o in Qf, but a 400 s/o. Due to the large number of sitters on the 400 a lot of their airforce mates have not been employed. Thank your mates who joined and said yes mr qantas i want to be a captain, and then sat on their arses as s/o's on the 400.

4th Apr 2003, 05:51
jakethemus what is the rational behind such a statement? There are heaps of ex RAAF guys who have taken the promotion.

Johhny Utah
4th Apr 2003, 06:03
jake the muss - what a load of b.s. :confused:

Just because certain individuals have (quite within their rights, I might add) decided to bid for a 744 F/O slot, recruiting has dried up? Is this what you're trying to suggest...?

If so, I think you might be a bit off track. IF current 744 S/O's only have bids in for F/O slots on the 744, then management simply move down the seniority list to choose those who will progress onto F/O slots on other types. Hence, these guys are NOT slowing down the career progression of others. In fact, senior S/O's electing to stay on type simply extends F/O slots for the 767 & 737 further down the seniority list - which is fine by those current S/O's who wish to move onto F/O slots on different types.

Due to the perceptions of current 767 ops, many S/O's haven't bidded for the type. End result - bids went down as far as guys who had been with the company for less than 12 months. Those who want the 767 get it - those who want to stay on the 744 stay there.

I think you'll find that ex-RAAF guys are recruited on merit, and their performance in the testing stages - exactly the same as any other DE applicants. If you're suggesting that ex-RAAF guys deserve a slot anymore than anyone else - I guess you're entitled to your opinion at the end of the day...To suggest that ex-RAAF personnel who have bidded for a 744 F/O slot are holding up recruitment of anyone else, however, is complete crap. :mad: Or maybe you're referring to just your mates, who can't get in, as I see a steady stream of my ex-RAAF instructors names & photos in the recruitment section of the newsletter every month...

4th Apr 2003, 06:24
We hear all the crap and innuendo but what has been forthcoming from either QF management or the AIPA to support this speculation?????

4th Apr 2003, 07:19
Out of interest, how does promotion into the 738 or the A330 work?

4th Apr 2003, 07:22
AIPA has written letters to the company and KI has confirmed it to individual pilots. There is heaps on Qrewroom on it. The fact its coming is not in doubt.

The time to influence it is before it becomes an FSO. After that it will be too late INMHO.

4th Apr 2003, 13:01
Lads, please just stop all ya whinging and who's up who for the rent. All should just resign on mass (mmm, now that sounds familiar) and come over to Emirates like the few who already have. That way, you all get ya pay rise, pay no tax, have no union and therefore no representation and get severe shafting day in and day out by the DFO. I'd say with all that, the case is closed. No doubt, you all must agree to this right.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Three Bars
5th Apr 2003, 10:42

Given the current world airline situation, I'm very happy to stay here in OZ and let the internal airline politics play themselves out. I assume you are in Emirates. How are your operations being affected by the current war? Very little publicity being given over here to the situation regarding schedules/load factors of the Middle East based airlines.

6th Apr 2003, 05:00
Johnny and Ra, I believe what Jake has stated to be true, although he perhaps didn't put it terribly eloquently.

Let me suggest that what he was trying to say is that the recruiters are taking proportionately fewer ex-military of late. Take a look at it and you may be surprised, I've certainly noticed it and had cause to wonder why. Has this been caused by the 400 SO's who "sit on their arse"? Perhaps so, but I believe that is what Jake was saying.

For what it's worth I've heard that KI despises them with a passion! And it's true that the only people whining about this are the 400 SO's.

6th Apr 2003, 07:35
balance it would also be fair to say that the recruiters have also taken fewer GA pilots in proportion due to the fact that in the last year around 50 ex AN pilots have been employed.
As far as KI is concerned, I've flown with him and have shared the odd ale with him a few times. As a manager he would be one of the best the company has. In his present job he would only be trying to improve the operation of the crews without any favouritism and I don't believe that he is anti any particular group.
You state "And it's true that the only people whining about this are the 400 SO's". If it's true, don't you think it is a bit strange?
I for one have a great respect for the man.

6th Apr 2003, 20:32
I'd reckon there are a bunch of 744 F/Os that would be pretty worried at the moment too! :eek: Time will tell!

7th Apr 2003, 05:24
I'd be interested to see the figures RA, I certainly don't dispute that there are plenty of Ex An pilots recruited recently. But it does appear to me that there have been proportionately less ex military.

I fully agree with your comments re KI. But it does also appear that the company is attacking the problem the wrong way around. Instead of fixing the inequity of pay and lifestyle making promotion unattractive, they are forcing the issue with those who choose (understandably) not to take promotion.

My suggestion is this: fix the real issue, not the result. Institute fleet pay, lose the first day lottery.

7th Apr 2003, 06:30
Wake up to yourselves guys, this is NOT the appropriate forum to discuss this sort of stuff.

7th Apr 2003, 13:46
Well, the plot thickens.

Today I hear it is likely to be proposed when the A380 arrives you will need a 1000 hrs A330 time to get on it. If that happens it will get some attention. Vicious rumour ?? Time will tell.

As for this not being an appropriate forum to discuss these issues I think it is appropriate. Qrewroom discussion is sanitised as everyone knows who you are. Here you can speak without fear of getting hauled in for tea and bikkies for unpalatable opinions, provided of course they dont figure out who you are :D

It would be nice to be confident AIPA would just handle it but it seems to be more a training ground for management than a union.

8th Apr 2003, 11:36
I agree, bonvol.

It's interesting to hear people say that this is not the appropriate forum to discuss QF politics. Better to freely air your views here than to post on Qrewroom and have the QCC mafia take your first-born, just for having an opinion they don't like. I know several people who've had rather unpleasant phone calls and 'tea & bikky' meetings after posting 'controversial' (at least in the eyes of some of our more senior brethren) opinions on Qrewroom.

There are less military recruits, but I suspect the AN recruits are the main cause. GA seems to have been suffering also due to the same problem (no disrespect to AN guys trying to get in). When it all boils down to it, the military are not the main source of recruits for QF (they don't have enough recruits to give!), although they were having a very good run up until recently.

Back to the topic: for the record there are plenty of GA and cadet -400 S/Os who've been around a while, and also some -400 F/Os who are not happy with the proposal. I only hope the management looks at this in the broader context of pay & rostering disparities across A/C types, althought the 'heel dragging' on certain related issues doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

8th Apr 2003, 20:07
Dutch Roll,
Couldn't agree more with your first statement. There is a lot more diversity of discussion on this forum than Qrewroom on this topic.
I have had a go on that forum on this topic and have been quite surprised with the responces considering the amount of discussion that I have heard on this topic around the various watering holes. There is a large number that support the concept of requiring some flying on a type other than the 744 during your career. Purely for the number of sectors flown and skill consolidation.
There must be a lot that would like to have a say on Qrewroom but don't for whatever reason that not being anonymous allows.

9th Apr 2003, 09:50
Just been reading the latest posts both here and Qrewroom, Razor, and I must tell you you are not alone in your thought processes.

The curent last line on the other thread "you just don't get it"...? Well, don't worry mate. We know that you do get it, you just don't agree, and your right to disagree does not seem to have been accepted.

400 SO's have earned themselves the nickname of the "mafia" through their own doing. Games such as "not pressing a single button between Sydney and LA" do nothing to improve their cause. Of course, this does not mean they are ALL responsible, however if the shoe fits.....

Joe Punter does not care whether his pilot has made good lifestyle decisions, but he has a right to know that his crew are appropriately current, experienced, and qualified to get him to his destination. So, if a 400 SO is straight out of the street with 2000 hours on 152's, and 310's, and another 2000 as a 400 SO (there are plenty), then as long as my ars# points to the ground I will not consider him experienced enough to sit in the right hand seat of a 400.

The point is that there are very different experience levels throughout the fleet, and a "one size fits all" approach does not work. So how do you fix it - say that some can go vertical and some can't? I think not. The easiest solution for the company is to say "go and do some time elsewhere for a while - you'll get your chance".

And sorry Hot, this IS the place to say these things because someone always takes offence to what is said on Qrewroom and there is no other forum for a healthy anonymous debate. As far as airing that dirty laundry? Is there a stain that you wish to hide?

9th Apr 2003, 12:20
Agreed, one size fits all is not likely to be satisfactory but the company already has assessment procedures in place to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Some blokes have a shiny piece of paper that says the assessment commitee has met and "you are suitable for f/o training" and signed by the boss.

It does not say you are suitable for f/o training but only on type so and so. Having said that they will all probably be amended now:D

9th Apr 2003, 18:07
B$#@ger, I thougt having a PPrune nickname would hide my true identity!! Just kidding...


9th Apr 2003, 18:15
LOL. Razor, you'll know when people REALLY know your PPRUNE handle when people you only vaguely know call you by it in the office!! :eek: :D

9th Apr 2003, 20:06
I am 744 S/O and I will start with balance's comment. I can assure there is no S/O mafia, I have never heard that term before. I can tell you that it is not fair to make comments such as second officers trying to fly all the way to LA without touching a button. I have never heard of such things occuring but anything is possible. What I have seen is Captains knowingly flying the aircraft in breach of SOPs and ignoring Second Officers (namely me) when challenged about it. I have also seen and personally had Captains throw tantrums in briefing and in the cockpit and throwing paperwork about the place and hitting (not hard of course) other crew. I only bring up these points to rebut the comments of balance's post. I can go on all day about really bad conduct by Captains that a S/O would never get away with.

Vertical promotion on the 744 is not about skill or ability, it is about choice and operating by the conditions we were employed under. If we are going to apply a silly rule to all S/Os because we aparently all have the same skill level, perhaps the company should not allow pilots become Captains on the 744 if they haven't first flown the Classic becasue they need to have flown a Jumbo before the 744. In fact I seem to remember being told that was a rule when the 400 was first introduced, and it was written off as a silly rule.

Of course it's a silly proposal, just as all S/Os shouldn't promote vertically to the 744 right seat. If we let the company enforce this proposal then what will be next? Unfortunatly the AIPA Committee has not received a response to their letter to the Chief Pilot asking if this is all just a rumor and I suspect even if they do get a response they will go along with it. Only time will tell. I dearly hope AIPA consider the opinion of the pilot body is affects (second officers) and doesn't let it though to win favor with the company as it would not affect them directly.

10th Apr 2003, 06:06
"Unfortunatly the AIPA Committee has not received a response to their letter to the Chief Pilot asking if this is all just a rumor and I suspect even if they do get a response they will go along with it. "

LIPEZE - As posted on Qrewroom and is fact (as I telephoned the union ), AIPA is against Vertical promotion and will support any pilot disadvantaged by it.
Instead of complaining about the union, ring them and attempt to find out the facts.

10th Apr 2003, 06:29
They have apparently written two letters with no reply according to AIPA.

Sure, write letters for confirmation but why not just pick up the phone and ask? Maybe they have but they seem to be treating it as a rumour at this stage.

AIPA have also asked individual pilots to write to the company and voice their opinion. Yeah, sure... stick your hand up for potential villification as a troublemaker.

10th Apr 2003, 06:47
You guys just don't get it do you? (Sorry, I just had to use that one!!);) ;) ;)

This issue is only partially about choice. Thinking that choice is the sole issue is a blinkered and narrow minded approach which will not win you friends. There are several peripheral poblems which need to be addressed way before your personal choice is considered.

Things (amongst others - certainly not exhaustive) that I believe the company is thinking:

(1) Experience vs recency vs currency. Do -400 SO's and FO's have enough for vertical promotion?

(2) Is this aircraft becoming a trough for the pigs to feed? Does that create a problem.

(3) Other fleets faired badly as a result of the LOSA audit, but how did the 400 perform? Why?

Lip-eze, I certainly sympathize with your point of view, and as many others have already said, I'm all for personal choice. But there is a limit to the value of choice. Maybe you cant see the forrest for the trees. It is not just about choice. That is far too symplistic. And no-one is justifying the behaviour of those Captains. I certainly agree with you, thats eally poor and they need to be stopped. Maybe they were vertically promoted???

And BTW, you really haven't hear the term "400 SO Mafia"? And you realy haven't heard of the games they play? Good lord son, where have you been? ;) ;) ;)

I would suggest given the lack of response from the company WRT the AIPA letters, it pretty much confirms the company is going ahead with it.

10th Apr 2003, 08:24

I take it you subsequently reported the Captain's who have knowingly flown in breach of the SOP's??

If you didnt then you are in breach of your responsibility.

10th Apr 2003, 11:23

Vertical promotion is a non-problem. Scanning the list I can see maybe 2 guys from FO 744 to CAPT 744 out of 180 odd total. As for SO 744 to FO 744 I can spot maybe 15 out of 180 total. Of these FOs all appear to be highly expeienced military / airline guys with a considerable amount of hard core flying experience. BTW balance experience/ability is the consideration for promotion, currency is a problem that is not solved by limiting vertical promotion, and as I indicated these guys have more than enough time up. As for the 744 guys being well paid, yes they are and so they should be. What is this SO 744 mafia crap. Of the 315, at last count, SOs on the 744 approx 200 have been in less than 2 years. Of the top 100, 50 have been in less than 5 years. All these people are equally spread between GA/cadet/military, and yet some would argue that this disparate group of people of various backgrounds, ages and experience levels all have the same aspiration to sit around wait for a slot. And play what 'Mafia' games, more than half these blokes don't even know each other. As for crossing the pond without pushing a button, an urban myth, never seen it or heard about it.

10th Apr 2003, 12:54
It's now no longer a rumour - the FSO is out.

Affects both Command and FO positions

10th Apr 2003, 18:20
Eqauliser, you aren't talking to the right (or should that be wrong?) blokes. I've been BRAGGED to about it. S/O took great joy in telling me how little he worked for same/more money as me, more time off, etc, etc.

As for the mafia/barons/etc, I remember a time when their were the Pacific Barons but a couple of years after I left the 744 people were referring to the 'Europe barons' because some of the junior blokes didn't have the seniority to get off the pacific routes due to the more senior bretheren being bored out of their wits going across the pacific and so not bidding for it.

Anyway, will be interesting to see where this one goes. Wonder if will cause a bunch of 744 F/Os to come out of the woodwork for life on the 767?

How's it Hanging
10th Apr 2003, 19:49
Just to throw another spanner in the works, and further to the theory that Dash 8 crew are the most experienced in the Qantas fleet, Qantas has asked Eastern to take on cadets and inexperienced SO's to give them some experience. This has come about from the audits others have mentioned. In exchange Eastern pilots will get progression on to jets as FO's.
Details to come.:D

10th Apr 2003, 19:59
Well, it just goes to prove that there are 'rogue' elements in every rank (my apologies for stealing George dubbya's line). The vast majority of 400 S/Os however are not inherently lazy, despite the rank being let down by the attitudes of a few (just as the majority of 400 Captains I've flown with who are good blokes are let down by the attitudes of a few who failed to develop inter-personal communication skills as children).

Anyway, I'm the first to admit that I 'just dont get it'. I'm still trying to figure out why vertical promotion should necessarily be a bad thing. Just as with any type of promotion, I'm sure some individuals will rise to the occasion while others will struggle. So a blanket ban applying to one aircraft type doesn't seem to make much sense.

The other concept I'm struggling with is why experience should matter to the 400 so much more than it does to any other high capacity jet transport. Why is VP still available on the classic and the 767 (in particular S/O to F/O - don't tell me that 767 S/Os have any sort of recency)? Am I missing something?

10th Apr 2003, 20:28
I can see the reasons why all this stuff is being discussed in painful detail - but isn't anyone more than a little disappointed that we're all so seemingly afraid of what management will think of us if we express our constructive opinions without anonymity?

How's it Hanging - send over! :)


10th Apr 2003, 20:41
Interesting that we keep hearing about 'inexperienced crews' and LOSA and yet the 767 (which is supposedly the most 'inexperienced' aircraft) faired the best out of the audit!! Not sure how that applies to Eastern's taking on cadets and so on but you get my drift.

Dutchy, I'd bet serious money that a former cadet on the 767 would be at an all round higher standard of skill (stick and rudder as well as 'management') than a similar cadet who have gone to the 744. More sectors on the aeroplane, no other S/O to 'share' it with, the fact that they do the complete sector (fuel order, the lot) as opposed to just 'fly the climb and the descent son' and then hand over at top of climb as was the case (and I understand still is with vast majority of skippers and F/Os) on the 744.

I reckon the 'experience' issue on the 744 is that to become a F/O on the thing direct from S/O means that you've done little or no flying for the last 8 years with the prospect of about one landing a week (or less) for the rest of your time on the thing. THAT makes for 'interesting' times further down the track. To become a Captain on the thing from F/O suggests that you've spent a considerable amount of time on it as a F/O only doing one landing a week.

Still, I'm not convinced yet that the proposed solution is the right one. Lots of ways to skin this particular cat and it appears that the most industrially sensitive method has been chosen! :eek: It doesn't affect me in the short term and probably won't affect me in the long term but I watch with interest on how it plays out. The implicatoins of it are VERY 'interesting'.

10th Apr 2003, 20:48
At the very least there will be some interesting grievances.

10th Apr 2003, 20:59
Keg, wouldn't creating a culture on the 400 as the one you describe presently on the 767 be a far more industrially sensitive measure to take?

11th Apr 2003, 05:55
If what H i H (sorry:D ) says is true, then I reckon that any new low time recruits and cadets going to Eastern would be great experience for them.
There would of course have to be a route opened up for Eastern pilots to come to mainline should they want it.
To me the company is being very positive, it's trying to get a better all round pilot and is willing to pay for it with all the extra type conversions etc.

Feather #3
11th Apr 2003, 06:10

Nevermind my personal preference and practice, there's a very good chance that S/O 'seat occupancy' may be about to be raised skyward.

AFAIK, this will be fleetwide, so the guys getting a good go on the B767 will be as badly affected as the sparse go [for everybody, I might add] on the B744. It remains to be seen if they then get the added sim which the Cathay guys get.

G'day :(

11th Apr 2003, 17:57
Mmmm. Can't say that I necessarily agree with you re 767 skills Keg. The reason being that it currently takes naff-all time to get a promotion to F/O on the 767 regardless of who you are. There's only so much flying & decision-making experience you can rack up in 12 months!

That aside, what about the Classic? How come an S/O on the Classic who has spent the last two years rotating (since he finished his initial course), and who may or may not have any significant previous experience, and who has spent half his flying time looking sideways, can be vertically promoted without so much as a raised eyebrow, but the -400 S/O who may have 2000 hours heavy jet command (yes there are some!), or who is ex AN/Swissair/Cathay with 4000 hours in the right seat of an Airbus or what-have-you (yes there are some of them too), cannot under any circumstances, go straight to the right seat of a Jumbo which has the numbers -400 after its type designation? I wonder if all the other airlines who recruit directly to F/O on large capacity jets regardless of when you last flew, are going to take a leaf out of QF's book and cease such tomfoolery forthwith? The 'one size fits all' approach, while needing less thought and making the drafting of the FSO easier, will disadvantage some unfairly.

Phew. Gotta take a breath, and my valium. Incidently, don't get me wrong - I actually have no interest whatsoever in staying in the jump seat of a 400 for 8 years. I think I'd rather spend time in a Turkish prison. But my promotional aspirations are about to receive a big setback with the inevitable exodus of senior S/Os jumping in front of me on my desired type!

ps, I won't be posting this on qrewroom. The last thing I want is to be like Keg and have people in QCC greet me by my pseudonym!:D

Hugh Jarse
11th Apr 2003, 18:34
How's It Hangin'. It's interesting to hear that the Evil Empire comes to the lowly subsidiaries for assistance when the chips are down......

Why can't they send 'em off to QanDom? They do almost as many takeoffs and landings per shift as we do ;) And in Fast Jets no less! :D

I wonder if the "cadets and inexperienced S/O's" will have to go through the full Eastern recruitment process, just as Eastern pilots have to do if they wish to go to the Dark Side?

Hopefully, M.D. will maintain the standard and require that they do, regardless of the candidate's origin. We can't have double standards now, can we?

Unless, of course, it's a one-for-one straight transfer...:} :} :}

Somehow I doubt it ;)

How's it Hanging
11th Apr 2003, 19:05
HJ, there probably will not be any progression, but maybe to train their 747 pilots we will have to receive 747 training captain remuneration!:E ;) ;) :ok:

PS. nothing like a good rumour to get the tongues wagging and minds ticking over.:hmm:

11th Apr 2003, 19:32

Fly with Quaintarse cadets
I've heard about them and the problems on the 73's through domestic mates.

Please let's keep the standards up in the regionals.:E :E

11th Apr 2003, 21:54
Three Bars

Situation over here is "business as usual", in fact most of us are working our a%se off. Every time there is a spot of trouble in this part of the sand, Emirates nearly double in size. All other airlines pull out and EK go in for the "kill". Life is not affected at all by what is or has gone on. Bit like living in BNE and there is trouble and strife down in MEL which is two hours away. Have no doubt about it though, when Dadsbag opens up, EK will be the first airline to mosey on in. Still just massive expansion here with 1 aircraft arriving every month for the next 2 years. Maybe they know something that we dont !!!!!!!! Then again, that's pretty normal in any airline eh.


12th Apr 2003, 06:29
Rather than send "low time", "inexperienced crew" to Eastern to learn how to fly, why not just employ people with the experience in the first place - there are plenty of them out there.

And I feel the "send them to Eastern" - is the "smaller aircraft therefore must be easier to fly" senario - just not true.

12th Apr 2003, 06:55
you may find that happening hot sectn when QF mngmnt have GA/MIL backgrounds..

Sopwith Pup
12th Apr 2003, 06:59
Hot_section it has been pretty much the norm overseas that pilots gain experience in the regionals flying turbo props before moving on to the main airlines. I actually took the same route myself.
There would be a few industrial hurdles to overcome, but I don't see why it could not work in QF/Eastern.

12th Apr 2003, 08:14

I can see that, but I would assume o/s that you enter the regional as an F/O, advance to Captain, then up the ladder to jets as an F/O.

I see the Eastern/QF as low exp S/O's going to Eastern as an F/O get some experience and then off to mainline, where do the captains in Eastern come from, and the existing cCaptains turn into baby sitters.

12th Apr 2003, 08:52
The company wants more experience and is prepared to pay for it. Fair enough.

This career path will provide lots of experience. A few minor issues to solve but the co is in a spending mood. :rolleyes:

Puit Dash 8 F/O. Build up the stick and rudder skills
S/O Anything. Learn how to play with boxes. See new places.
F/0 717. Lots of ups and downs on jets
F/O 737. More ups and downs on jets
F/O 767. Yet even more ups and downs and more International experience
F/O 744/A330. Handling the big big jets.
Capt Dash 8. A bit of hard yakka for your first command
Capt 717. First jet command and lots and lots of ups and downs
Capt 737. Second jet command and even more ups and downs
Capt 767. Thinking about the super and the big boat now
Capt 744/A380. The easy life at last.
Gold watch

12th Apr 2003, 09:34
DutchRoll, I was waiting for the classic to come up in this forum.
I disagree with some points you make regarding experience gained on the classic.
Rotating for 2yrs may be true but untill the current world events blanklines flown would be over 165 most times so basically perm. pattern flying.
The comment “(sitting) half his flying time looking sideways" "won’t get by with so much as a raised eyebrow” from me. It is an incorrect breakdown, the FE's break is the same as the pilots, as well as ignorant to think this is not good experience for promotion.
Time at the panel is spent monitoring the aircrafts many system limits, fuel distribution, configuration, thrust settings, filling Eng data logs etc. (eg AC dispatched no auto throttle, lots of hands on) This is just another form off scanning your instruments, (front and sideways), means more time on flt deck and gives a greater understanding of how to deal with non-normal/EMRG situations.
Have not been on a trip yet where at least one sector is not given to me, then support the way home is also not uncommon. 99% of the Capt's are great to fly with giving lots of trainig input. I believe this can be a bit different on the -400.
The classic flying is great for your IF skills. Your Sit. Awareness is tested with only basic RMI, DME etc to keep you in the loop.
The route exposure has included- Japan (Osaka NGO NRT FUK) TPE, HK, BLI, Jakarta, Christchurch, Nandi, Pom, HNL, Bombay.
Final point is the amount of Sim time. Just to get endorsed both, SO FE, I think the total amount of 4 hr sims totalled 32. Then the 2 extra FE cyclic sims on top of the SO during the year. Add to that numerous support sims that include CPT conversion, assessment sims etc, through out a year.
This all adds up to seeing the classic operation, normal and non-normal, in great depth.
Not trying to have pissing comp about types, work load etc, and I’m not suggesting classic SO deserves any different rules to a –400, just think a little balance was need on the classic operation.


12th Apr 2003, 10:02

Guys are complaining now about the drop in pay and lifestyle coming from an S/O on the 400 to promotion on another fleet, I can hear the uproar now from 400 F/O's going to the Dash for a command.

How do you propose the pay scales ?

12th Apr 2003, 10:23
Fleet pay:D

12th Apr 2003, 12:04
I'm sure all the 400 Captains will accept Dash pay. (haha)

But the Dash Captains wouldn't argue.

12th Apr 2003, 13:09
It's all a bit tongue in cheek but if one looks at the domestic models of yesteryear similar movement was the norm.

A typical progression was

F27 F/O
F28/737 F/O
B767/A300 F/O
F27 Capt
F28/737/727 Capt
767/A300 Capt

The "product" at the end had pretty much done it all. If this is what the company wants then go the whole hog rather than divisively changing the seniority rules in mid stream.

In the end though I'd say the goose is cooked and one will just have to bend over and accept it, as we always do. The fact that the company didn't even consult AIPA (as far as I know) at all tells you they do not see this as an industrial issue.

Three Bars
12th Apr 2003, 13:29
I think that the inevtiable greivance procedures will be very interesting to watch.

13th Apr 2003, 13:49
Does anyone have a timescale on Cadet's going to Easterns??
Apparently QF has ceased all recruitment to August/ September, so if the cadets go to Eastern's before then, what happens??

13th Apr 2003, 14:14
So are there any current Cadets out there who have heard anything and how do you feel about this?

Safe flying, hoss:)

13th Apr 2003, 14:50
Cadets going to Eastern will be the best thing that ever happened to them. Nothing like plenty of windy,rainy, night angry approaches in a Dash to build up experience.

May cause a bit of ill feeling in the Eastern troops though since there is no guaranteed career path to mainline for them and they have to bring these guys and gals up to speed.

13th Apr 2003, 16:18
FFRATS, no offence to the Classic (or the 767) intended. The point I was trying to illustrate includes the fact that there are people who DO have the capacity for vertical promotion on all types, and type-rating is not necessarily an indication of ability or experience.

I'll try not to buy into the argument about no. of sectors, etc. Most skippers on the -400 are not as bad as some would believe for giving away sectors/support, unless you happen to only fly with Captains doing SYD-LAX-SYD patterns and nothing else (in which case you are well on the way to brain atrophy regardless).

Nevertheless, the logic behind the FSO is fundamentally flawed. And while it won't affect me, I HATE illogical or inconsistent rules and procedures.

In fact, last night I was simultaneously thinking of the permutations of the vertical promotion issue while attempting to reconcile the topic of 'F/Os minima' when I started frothing at the mouth and bleeding from the ears. It was at that point I realised my brain circuitry had gone into complete meltdown. I now need to rest. Perhaps I'll go and stare at my goldfish tank.

Mud Skipper
14th Apr 2003, 05:48
Like many other bad mandates impossed on us from on high, this one seems to be jumping at shadows. If a costing of this stupid idea was put to the board I'd expect the instigators would have a lot of trouble justifying their thought process.

Perhaps they got their job description mixed up and now believe they must try and increase costs and maximize disharmony whilst destroying pilot moral and ignore any past agreements.

I used to be proud to be a Qantas pilot, now I'm just ashamed.

By trying to impose a micro-management on how we operate the management has clearly displayed it has no faith in it's pilot body. We now have to operate within criteria which allows for the lowest denominator and over time I guess well all fit that box.

:sad: :( :(

Capt Fathom
14th Apr 2003, 07:50
Lots of theories and guesswork here. Does anyone really know what's going on?

Back Seat Driver
15th Apr 2003, 05:59
Apparently QF 744 S/O's hold a "Co-Pilot" endorsement and 744 F/O's hold a "Command" endorsement on the aircraft. What must CASA think when QF are unwilling to allow 744 pilots to operate an aircraft they are endorsed and current (and enforced), on albeit in a different rank.:confused: