Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Exodus from Skippers (Merged)

Old 15th Jan 2007, 05:32
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Funshine
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Thumbs up Exodus from Skippers (Merged)

News on the vine is that as many as 13 pilots have left Skippers in just the beginning of this year!!!!

Many have gone to National Jet but a few others going back east.

What is going on at Skippers? Pay and conditions are they playing a part? Linking in with Erin's post re: pilot shortage - you get the feeling that there will be some aircraft parked on the fence or at the very least cancellations with what I am told about a quarter of the pilots on their way to bigger and better....

Equatorial is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 08:59
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There must be some sort of resignation bonus happening.
Icarus2001 is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 09:58
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Yes, the bonus is they won't have to work for D**KH??DS anymore- Unless of course they join Nationaljet..........
illusion is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 10:07
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I have never worker for skippers how bad is it.
Green gorilla is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 10:38
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Green Gorilla,

Your obviously trying to stir up some @#$%.

What's it like at network?

How many drivers have Network lost this year or in the last 2 months?

On another note. If Skippers can't crew flights are there any clients threatening to go elsewhere?
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Old 15th Jan 2007, 10:46
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How would "the clients" know?

Sorry the aircraft broke...sorry the CA called in sick and we could not find a replacement...
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Old 15th Jan 2007, 11:03
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Hawk 777 iam sure people from skippers can say somthing about the company maybe one of the guys that have left its the only way things change. Better to know a little information before you get a job with them then to find out the pitfalls six months after endorsment.
Green gorilla is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 11:29
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Reality is from Skippers perspective is that people are going to leave no matter how well or poorly they are paid. Jets will always offer more money than a 30 seat turbo prop so if even skippers were paying huge money they will still have the same problem. Anyone here willing to say that they would rather fly a Braz than a 717 for the same money given the choice?? I know I wouldn't.

Turboprop charter is ALWAYS going to be a cavalcade to bigger operaters, the only way this will stop is if they start offering jet jobs on decent salaries.

The other alternative for skippers and other regionals is to link in with a major carrier and provide career paths. SO if you did 3 years at skippers then you'd get a favourable interview with Virgin for example. Similar to what Cathay and SIngapore do with their flying college instructors.

Suprised that QF haven't done this as Eastern is bleeding pilots to operaters all over the world. That would stop tomorrow if you had guarenteed gig in QF one day!!

So as much as most people hate skippers nothing much will change in terms of pay and conditions that's for sure......
neville_nobody is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 12:19
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Australia has had a surplus of pilots for decades. A "correction" is occurring. But some may have to go overseas to complete the shakeout. It is happening. But people are finding it is possible, but not easy.
bushy is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2007, 20:09
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Its a pilots life to always fly faster and higher so the skippers of the world will always have problems until they go to jets.
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Old 15th Jan 2007, 22:43
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Cont 520 - how did the interview go?

Battler - if you read this, hows it going? Saw you in the Bunbury ute a couple of weeks ago.

Dawn Raid is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 00:13
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The clients would know when their flights start to get cancelled on a regular basis due to the fact that there are no crews available. Has this started happening yet?

Paying extra would in my mind slow the loss of pilots. Take a Bras Capt. for example who ultimately wants to end up flying jets for Cathay, Emirates, Qantas, VB or Jetstar. At the moment, they are paid around $55000. A job over at Skywest as an FO pays about the same but the prsopects at Skywest are better and the conditions are certainly better so they would definateley take a job there until a jet job came up. BUT, if that Capt was getting paid $70000 at Skippers then they may reconsider the offer from Skywest and instead choose to stay at Skippers until the jet job comes up.
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Old 16th Jan 2007, 01:46
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Don't know how they are going to solve a pilot exodus but they have stopped their ginger beers leaving. Word on the street is that they have applicants for engineering slots these days. It was money and conditions that fixed that little problem so maybe a bit of that would help.

Who would want to work next door on a B scale with an uncertain future anyway?
Whiskey Oscar Golf is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 02:09
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Join Date: May 2006
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going to bigger and better...

Sorry the aircraft broke...sorry the CA called in sick and we could not find a replacement...
Business as usual then!!!

Seriously though, money (P&C) is a part of the solution. Sure, the guys and girls there are always going to want to move on somewhere better... BUT.... not everyone there is looking to progress their career.

E.g. guys with families, who like not flying weekends or too late nights (home by 9pm usually, the odd weekend charter and so on)

If they could afford to stay they would, purely for the lifestyle of being able to have a relatively 'normal' home life (great if one has kiddies)

I believe there was one guy there who until a few years ago had been there from the start... so no, not everyone leaves for 'something better'... and if it worked for engineers, it'll work for pilots.

I'm just interested to know what the mines will think of the lowering experience pool... am sure at least a few require 2 crew ops with minimums on the hours of the guys doing the flying... so, yes, I believe it's a definite possiblity that contracts will go elsewhere... it has happened before... it will happen again...! Only time will tell how many!!!
Brasilian Bird is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 08:35
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Brasilian Bird;

I myself am one of those miners that does the FIFO on a 2/1 roster, to a minesite in the Conquest.

Have a PPL and did a little time in an ATC unit whilst with the RAAF a few years ago, and still keep have some interest in what goes on in birdy world, especially when topics like this come up of which i have an interest in.

From a miners perspective, most are pretty naive when it comes to things aviation. All they think about is getting home, and getting home on time after a couple of weeks away from the family. Its guys like myself that have some idea about the aviation world who's eyebrows lift when i hear the guys flying us into these remote strips have just 200 hrs multi, although i suppose you have to start somewhere.

And thats what i mean about naive, if you said 'just 200hrs multi' to a miner, they would shrug their shoulders and say, "oh".

What is more of concern to the mines, or should i say the companies themselves, is the lack of flexibility, not sure if thats the right word, in the scheduling of flights.

For example, only the other week we were sitting in the office looking at other charter companies trying to get an earlier flight out of Perth because our flight doesnt arrive at the minesite until 10am. So by the time we get back to camp, get ready and head out to the minesite (30km away), we dont get started until after lunch. A half a day's production can add up to a fair amount of money lost.

But we couldnt find anyone who could go out any earlier. Suppose its a sign of the times in this resources boom.

Anyway the missus is nagging me to get some spaghetti from the shops, so best i go before captain kitchen relegates me to the couch.
VH-UFO is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 09:36
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Considering that the F/O is the apprentice Captain, it is only right that a fully-qualified LAME be paid more. He is worth more to management for the simple reason he is much harder to replace than the F/O.

If QF LAME's are paid only half the rate going elsewhere, why don't they piss off elsewhere? Because they crave job security or the staff travel or stable rosters or the particular QF main bases perhaps? There is usually an underlying reason why people put up with seemingly lesser conditions than what are seemingly available elsewhere. And does that quoted rate of $52 K include overtime and shift allowances? Maybe the other mobs are on a flat rate and have to work every weekend and back of the clock. I dunno, I am not a LAME, but find it hard to believe the small players actually pay MORE than QF for essentially the same skill.
gas-chamber is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 11:01
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Skippers pilot minimums are dropping...

To say that current pilots at Skippers are of lower experience levels than say three or four years ago is an understatement.

This in no way undermines the work that these people do in the cockpit nor how they handle themselves wherever they are with the uniform on, it is more a reflection of the changing times in the industry - as it was previously mentioned a 'correction' is taking place.

VH-UFO mostly the conquest guys are quite experienced (with the exception of a few new ones) mainly on the two crew aircraft - Metro, Brasilia and Dash's you will find very low time people in the right seat. Issues arise when these people shift to the left seat as is happening, that command decisions utilising previous experience knowledge (or lack thereof) are the real concern - not only in WA but countrywide.
captwawa is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 13:18
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and i'm not in agreeance that f/o
I was just looking for that word in my trusty Oxford Pocket Version. I can't seem to locate it anywhere in the book.

I would love find it so I can be in agreement with "agreeance"

Sorry, back to the cricket
Cruze Power is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 13:46
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Join Date: May 2006
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I wasn't meaning the miners themselves so much as the mines... (I'm sure if all of them were a bit aircraft savvy the least of their worries would be how tiny they think a Conquest/Metro/Kingair etc is )

I'm sure there's more than a few mining companies who have insurance policies which state minimums on the hours/experience/ratings on the guys flying into these strips... if Skippers (or any other charter co) are having to lower their minimums to employ enough pilots, then surely the mines will either have to change their minimums (which I can't see the insurance cos doing) or the mines will have to take their contracts elsewhere. Problem is, if all companies are having the same problem, the mines will have no choice but go to bigger operators/jets (which for many is not possible due to strip length/strength etc) or figure out alternatives to fly in/fly out....

I don't think it will get this bad, but it's quite possible mines will buy their own aircraft as some have done, or perhaps make up the 'shortfall' in salary required to attract more 'experienced' pilots to the operation to meet the insurer requirements? Just theorising!!!
Brasilian Bird is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2007, 14:53
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An interesting point was made nevill_nobody about aligning with a major carrier..... May be that the local turbo-prop operators (Skippers, Network and Maroomba) consider an alliance with the two new West Coast jet operators OzJet and Alliance. Both these companies have East and West coast operations, low cost base and have already proven an ability to dislodge NJS and XR from mining contracts.

In fact I believe a high ranking offical at Skippers has touted a move to 100 seat jet operations..... Sadly I doubt this will be the case , clearly this would not be a wise move given the current climate, maybe a call to OzJet and Alliance about a relationsip is needed to stem the flow of pilots moving on is needed......
A1BUGSMASHER is offline  

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