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Will you ever go back to Aviation?

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Will you ever go back to Aviation?

Old 28th May 2020, 05:06
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Will you ever go back to Aviation?

Hi all,
So, like many, I lost my dream job, though was only newly checked to line and still very few hours on my jet type, now I'm looking at trying to get back into GA eventually or even for an airline again- anywhere in the world- but with all these super experienced people out of work, what are those of you thought's on people going back into the business? (Personally I would think that many of the older heads may leave to not come back??) The foreseeable future- and how things are going to be when the new normal will be up and running? ie; no social distancing etc...

Not looking to start fights or anything, but just throwing it out there??
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Old 30th May 2020, 05:03
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Personal opinion only, not based on any research, just gut feel:

Pilots over age 60 who do not have seniority-protected status mostly won't get back into the game for various reasons.
1. They don't want the hassle of all the revalidation training and checks that will be required
2. Some (not all), who have been hanging on at minimum standard anyway, simply won't make the grade
3. They have found that they rather like golf five days a week, tinkering with old cars, sailing, playing with the grandchildren
4. Those who in the past have rolled over and only kept flying to pay off multiple ex-wives will say "enough" to the lawyers and simply default on their alimony
]5. Recognition of dwindling years remaining to complete bucket list items will motivate some to take off to wherever the above-mentioned lawyers can't touch them anyway (I am told one can live well and cheaply in Costa Rica)

At the other end of the experience/age spectrum: for a low-hour 'newbie' it is certainly not rosy in the short to mid term, with so many experienced pilots available who will crawl over broken glass and sell their mother-in-law as a sex slave for an airline flying job. This won't be lost on airline managements who will exploit it to the max. At what point will airline recruitment and conditions start to favor low time pilots? It seems no one really knows - guesstimates seem to vary from no less than two years to five or more years.

I always recommend that a pilot determined to remain in the game during any downturn must be prepared to fall back on any G.A. job going, as current experience wins over someone with two or three years of sitting on the beach hoping for a gig. The worse the location (forget that nice city or coastal resort town), the older the equipment (40 year old clunkers rock), the tougher the employer (the tough ones in GA tend to remain in business), the better your chances of a job.

Good luck, don't give up just yet!
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Old 30th May 2020, 07:29
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Just gut feel....you’re not over 60.
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Old 30th May 2020, 08:01
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I wish that were the case....!
I know one sad individual aged 60-something who was not protected by seniority. He has not flown for some time, yet he fantasises that his flying days are not over. Unless he can afford his own private aircraft, they are.
I know another of similar age who would be highly unlikely to pass his next check ride, should one ever be offered. He simply can’t accept that he was in decline before being stood down. A year on the beach will be great for his blood pressure but won’t do much for his flying skills. He would be wise to avoid humiliation by going gracefully.
Elsewhere in these forums is much vitriol between millennials and boomers, which the O.P. isn’t seeking to ignite here, so let’s leave that one out of it and perhaps debate a newbie’ s options in these uncertain times.
Now, how soon can I travel to Costa Rica?
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Old 30th May 2020, 10:29
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A 35 year old Captain is likely to be in the best position when it comes to reemployment, he would have a reasonable level of experience, still be sharp and keen and have 30 years of work ahead of him. It will be difficult to justify spending a large sum of money on someone who's 60+ and likely to retire in a few years time. After the cherries have been picked it will come down to age/experience/currency as companies will be looking to get the most from a pilot whilst spending the least on him.

Basically younger pilots on or above the experience graph whose last flight wasn't too long ago will be first in line. Those without too many years left who haven't flown for so long that their ratings have lapsed will be last in line. Newbies may have a bit of a wait ahead of them but time is on their side, remaining current as far as possible and being ready jump at the first chance they get are the keys to getting back in the door.

I knew a pilot who waited nine years for his first job and went on to become Chief Pilot with a major company.
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Old 30th May 2020, 10:53
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Indications are that RAA/SAAA aircraft kit and associated equipment orders are way up in the last few months. The alleged buyers are older airline pilots who figure that they will not be returning to airline flying. They are finishing existing projects or starting new ones.
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Old 30th May 2020, 11:03
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Those smart enough in the early years had other skills behind them, that corny old saying always applies sometime in ones life.....never put all your eggs in one basket.....good advice for the youngins' getting into the uncertainty of commercial flying!
As for the original question? Well a little revolution can be a healthy thing sometines-)
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Old 30th May 2020, 14:12
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With dark clouds brewing on the northern horizon, anyone young enough and with the skills and required education who really wants to fly should be applying to the Air Force. Iím sure they must be or soon will be recruiting intensively.
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Old 30th May 2020, 15:31
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Originally Posted by DHC8 Driver View Post
With dark clouds brewing on the northern horizon, anyone young enough and with the skills and required education who really wants to fly should be applying to the Air Force. I’m sure they must be or soon will be recruiting intensively.
Why?

Air Force has just had a load of airline guys flood back into the service, along with the overall realisation amongst the pilot workforce that leaving to fly anywhere else other than a few niche roles is a fruitless endevour. The RAAF will no doubt keep recruiting at the exact same pace it always has, knowing that retention of it's people is likely to be at record levels for the next 3-5 years at least. Regardless of whats happening in the Pacific, there are enough pilots to put on all the seats of the RAAF's fleet. For a recruiting expansion there would have to be a fleet expansion, and that isn't going to happen anytime soon.
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Old 30th May 2020, 17:04
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Originally Posted by junior.VH-LFA View Post
Why?

Air Force has just had a load of airline guys flood back into the service
Yep, can confirm.
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Old 30th May 2020, 18:20
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I know for myself and a large number of my fellow Australian pilots who have been made redundant or likely to be in the near future, regardless of if we want to believe it, the pointy end of a jet just probably wonít happen for a very long time in Australia and most parts of the world for us and some, maybe never.

There are far too many highly qualified guys willing to do anything to get back in as previously pointed out and the demand just is not going to be there for everyone to do so.

Yes its terrible. But gotta face facts. A few hundred or even a few thousand hours in a 320 or 737 right seat isnít going to mean anything at all when you consider how many guys will be on the market with a lot more from all over the world, not just down unda.
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Old 30th May 2020, 18:52
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Originally Posted by Mach E Avelli View Post
I wish that were the case....!
I know one sad individual aged 60-something who was not protected by seniority. He has not flown for some time, yet he fantasises that his flying days are not over. Unless he can afford his own private aircraft, they are.
I know another of similar age who would be highly unlikely to pass his next check ride, should one ever be offered. He simply canít accept that he was in decline before being stood down. A year on the beach will be great for his blood pressure but wonít do much for his flying skills. He would be wise to avoid humiliation by going gracefully.
Elsewhere in these forums is much vitriol between millennials and boomers, which the O.P. isnít seeking to ignite here, so letís leave that one out of it and perhaps debate a newbieí s options in these uncertain times.
Now, how soon can I travel to Costa Rica?
Thankfully, thereís more to aviation than the airlines.
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Old 30th May 2020, 20:38
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Originally Posted by junior.VH-LFA View Post
Why?

Air Force has just had a load of airline guys flood back into the service, along with the overall realisation amongst the pilot workforce that leaving to fly anywhere else other than a few niche roles is a fruitless endevour. The RAAF will no doubt keep recruiting at the exact same pace it always has, knowing that retention of it's people is likely to be at record levels for the next 3-5 years at least. Regardless of whats happening in the Pacific, there are enough pilots to put on all the seats of the RAAF's fleet. For a recruiting expansion there would have to be a fleet expansion, and that isn't going to happen anytime soon.
I agree that there will be no real change in the amount of people recruited. However, I would imagine that for those in their mid to early 20's the RAAF will have become much more attractive. Perhaps the RAAF will see a higher quality candidate walk through the door? Nothing like a good crisis to turn people to the military for job security!
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Old 30th May 2020, 20:40
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There is more to life than aviation. The reality is that a lot of pilots will probably never get re-employed as a pilot again, which I assume is going to effect all age groups and experience levels.

Couple this with the fact that some operators will use this crisis as a catalyst to degrade salaries and conditions.

There are still quite a few pilots out there who have been stood down who are in denial of reality, based on the regular correspondence Iím getting from some of my colleagues.

Solution is the look beyond aviation, diversify and up skill if required. Also probably requires a bit of thinking outside of the square for some.



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Old 31st May 2020, 00:31
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Agree with just about everything you've said Duck.

However, make no mistake. Once the first operator exploits this situation and lowers the bar for T&Cs, others and eventually all will follow. They'll have to in order to remain competitive.

i was actually in an EBA meeting just last week when the pilots' Log of Claims was tabled and the management chuffed and stated something along the lines of well you haven't seen ours yet and and I think you'll need a reality check very shortly!

Effectivley share markets around the world are down around 25%-30% and some so called "property experts" are predicting property values will head south @ 25%.

My gut feel is that salaries will follow and take @ 25% hit as well. It's all about supply versus demand, and there's not going to be any supply shortage any time soon, let alone much of a demand!

Just my two bobs worth of course.

Look after yourselves and fellow colleagues.
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Old 31st May 2020, 00:48
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I dont believe there will a material change to terms and conditions (certainly at the bigger end of town). I dont remeber seeing any significant improvements to T&Cs directly attributed to a pilot shortage in the past, so unless pilots buckle under threat I dont see an adverse change now.

The quality of the new hire will improve, and all that really seems to happen in more prosperous times is that anyone with the ever reducing requirements seems to get a job.

A minority will find lucrative opportunities outside of aviation, but most will given a realization of how good they had it in aviation despite the many drawbacks.
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Old 31st May 2020, 00:59
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There's a few trainee train driver's jobs going round the country at the moment. Warwick, Mackay, Albany & Wagin, Adelaide, and Sydney Trains has been recruiting for trainee suburban guys too!
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Old 31st May 2020, 03:40
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Originally Posted by Slezy9 View Post
I agree that there will be no real change in the amount of people recruited. However, I would imagine that for those in their mid to early 20's the RAAF will have become much more attractive. Perhaps the RAAF will see a higher quality candidate walk through the door? Nothing like a good crisis to turn people to the military for job security!
Slezy9. Interesting comment on "higher quality candidate". I can only take it that your inferring that higher quality aviation applicants go commercial.
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Old 31st May 2020, 04:19
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[QUOTE=Lapon;10797958]I dont believe there will a material change to terms and conditions (certainly at the bigger end of town). I dont remeber seeing any significant improvements to T&Cs directly attributed to a pilot shortage in the past, so unless pilots buckle under threat I dont see an adverse

Maybe not in OZ but expat around the world have taken hits to terms and conditions. China, the Pacific, UAE to name a few all getting BELTED and itís only the beginning.
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Old 31st May 2020, 05:39
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Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
Slezy9. Interesting comment on "higher quality candidate". I can only take it that your inferring that higher quality aviation applicants go commercial.
Not at all. Over the past 20 years the RAAF has seen a steady decline in applicants. The reduced numbers in through the door of recruiting would imply that there is just a smaller pool for the RAAF to choose from. A larger pool means more chance of higher quality applicants.

I think aviation in general has suffered over the past decades from a low level of interest. I think being a pilot is the best job out there, but it also has its downsides! I just wish I didn't love staring out the window so much!

Last edited by Slezy9; 31st May 2020 at 05:49.
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