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Race to the bottom

Old 1st Aug 2022, 10:30
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Ollie Onion summed it best: The pie is now bigger, but the slices are smaller. Is that a bad thing?

Depends on perspective. Remember you might have been that guy earning 500k a year now like old mate on the QF A330 apparently (I've never met one though, only heard of people who know people who have), or you might have statistically never got an airline gig full stop.

Now i earn a lot less than a 500k salary a year, but I rarely fly at night, and rarely work more than 40hrs in a 28 day period, and don't take on any additional responsibilities. I am happy.
Have a contributed to a race to the bottom? I don't think its an apples and apples comparison anymore as the industry has changed in the last 40 years.

Infact, the entrie casualisation of the workplace means many of my non flying professional peers are either contracting, or employed on a tempory basis no matter the industry/job.

Moral of the story:
Things are changing, some for the better and others the worse. A headline grabbing salary doesn't tell the whole story however, and suggesting someone earning less than 4 or 500k is contributing to race to the bottom is ignorant at best, particularly as not all 'airline pilot' jobs are created the same as they may have been in the old days of the small pie.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 02:20
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
So now you are all “Children of the magenta line” and you still want the same money as those who flew before its existence? Bean counters want a return on all that expensive new automation hardware and software.
Just as much as Robotic Surgeons should have their conditions reduced when compared to those still wielding scalpels...don't think so.
Robotic surgery, also called robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. Robotic surgery is usually associated with minimally invasive surgery — procedures performed through tiny incisions. It is also sometimes used in certain traditional open surgical procedures.
Just imagine surgeons being told to accept reduced conditions, or that shiny new operating table with state-of-the-art foot controls - the one that saves the hospital money - will go next door...
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 03:37
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We, as a pilot group have a lot learn from these doctors. The AMA is one of the most successful unions in the country and does not present as such. With input as far reaching as who gets in to medical school and who gets a treasured provider number. Strictly controlling the supply of doctors to maintain the profession, clever people.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 04:18
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Why would we be compared to a surgeon? We are not in the same league.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 04:41
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
Why would we be compared to a surgeon? We are not in the same league.
Maybe we are not...although I know of a number of Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants and Engineers who became career pilots - it is more an analogy of how we allow our 'profession' to be degraded as long as we get to play with the newest toys.

I'm sure Train Drivers are not chomping at the bit to have their conditions reduced every time a more economical train with increased pull capacity is introduced...or the surgeon's receptionist same for the absolute privilege of transferring from Windows to Mac.

Engineers scrap their mistakes
Surgeons bury their mistakes
Pilots are buried with their mistakes
CEO's get golden handshakes for their mistakes

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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 04:51
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Not in the same league academically perhaps, but I don't understand this desire to constantly put down the job of professional flying. I spent eight years in GA and then ten years in the right seat to gain the position of Captain. Eighteen years of apprenticeship is a fair amount in anybody's book. Not to mention all the exams, ground schools and simulator sessions. I have seen many struggle in the simulator over the years. Sure automation has made operating the aeroplane easier but the emphasis in other areas has shifted to being more demanding. Just keeping up with all the rules, regulations and bull-shit is more difficult compared to the seventies and eighties. In some ways a 727 is easier to fly than a 747-400, simple autopilot, manual thrust and a helpful flight engineer. The job has changed but still requires somebody with half a brain and real dedication.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 22:23
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There is a difference between putting down, and simply being realistic,

You are not a surgeon. Your job is not difficult.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 22:53
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
Why would we be compared to a surgeon? We are not in the same league.
Thank god for that. The amount of aircraft incidents would be extraordinary.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 23:00
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Originally Posted by das Uber Soldat View Post
There is a difference between putting down, and simply being realistic,

You are not a surgeon. Your job is not difficult.
Find that an interesting comment. So slicing and dicing, generally the same way, every day, in the same non changing environment, with the responsibility of the one that's on the table becomes more difficult or less after a few years. Being simply realistic about the medical profession I am pleased that a lot of surgeon's are only in charge of one person at a time.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 00:32
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You are not a surgeon, but your work has its complexities and difficulties. A surgeon does a degree, a pilots licence when ATPL exams are included are certainly degree level education. Certainly similar levels of responsibility exist.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 00:52
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Again ridiculous comparisons. A surgeon is the top of the medical profession, comparable in Aviation to say only the very top positions, like say an A380 Captain or even C&T on the A380, or even skilled top test pilots in some cases. And then there are many variations to the average surgeon from the top Heart and Brain surgeon to the top plastic surgeon and who knows in-between. The vast majority of doctors are not surgeons. Just like the vast majority of commercial pilots are not A380 check and trainers. You can practice as a GP after 12 years or so of study and experience and earn between $100k-$400k depending on location, experience and clientele. Guess what, a commercial pilot will be earning between $100k-$300k easily in less than 5 years, depending on time to command and workload. Surgeons also work long hours fitting a number of surgeries in one day and then multiple consultations on other days, fitting in with OR vacancies depending on specialisation again, which might mean a number of back of the clock operations.

Same as comparing the job to plumbers. Which plumbers, apprentices, short term contractors, self employed contractors, plumbing business owners, plumbing supply owners.... The pay varies from $30k a year to infinite depending on how successful you are, as would the case of a self employed pilot who expanded their own business.

By the way a few NQR jobs in either the medical or plumbing industry and your name will be mud and good luck getting those gravy pays, if you avoid court actions. A few NQR flights will probably be swept under the carpet and you can keep piloting and flying with nobody knowing it was you.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 02:00
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Originally Posted by tossbag View Post
You are not a surgeon, but your work has its complexities and difficulties. A surgeon does a degree, a pilots licence when ATPL exams are included are certainly degree level education. Certainly similar levels of responsibility exist.
The entire context of the post was missed - I guess that is why we are not surgeons.
The point is, name any professional occupation (or other for that matter), that will consistently sell down their own worth in order to operate the newest equipment on the market. Do plumbers charge less per hour when they arrive with state of the art carp-blockage-trackers?
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 02:25
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Advance surgery techniques are different and may or may not reduce the pay return per surgery for a given surgery. That is the patient pays for the hire of the OR that has the equipment, the OR may charge more for the use of advanced equipment for the facility, not the surgeon. The surgeon may be able to do more advanced surgery which then increases the rate they may charge, or they maybe be able to do existing surgery faster, meaning less cost to the patient for their time, and they get paid less per surgery, but can perform more surgeries in one day allowing more income over the day. Everything is more complicated than indicated on here when comparing jobs. The new technologies in medicine either allow new procedures altogether or reduce the time or mess of existing procedures, which could actually reduce the time and cost to the patient. Whether the surgeon gets paid more or less is dependent on the technologies purpose. If the technology made something much easier than the specialists available to do it increases and the cost will reduce, meaning those surgeons will have to reduce rates on it and yes, lose income.

The motivation for surgeons to move to new technology is also as complicated. A surgeon that perfects a procedure on the new tech and gets known for less pain and recovery time will get more work and referrals. Some stick to the old ways and slowly lose clientele and can become critical of the new ways and bitter about it, just like pilots get bitter about not being hired for the newest and shiniest. "Oh don't beleive (x surgeons claims), yeah you recover faster, but his technique has higher rate of breakage and complications, my way takes longer, slower recovery but guaranteed better results" etc etc... or " I have access to the latest scanning robot thing, so everything is painless and fast recovery, parts are made in Germany not china, so your new artificial thingy will last X longer than B".
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 04:28
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Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
Find that an interesting comment. So slicing and dicing, generally the same way, every day, in the same non changing environment, with the responsibility of the one that's on the table becomes more difficult or less after a few years. Being simply realistic about the medical profession I am pleased that a lot of surgeon's are only in charge of one person at a time.
It takes something like 15 years of training to be a surgeon. You can take someone off the street and 18 months later, they're flying 240 pax down the ILS.

Do you really, really think the jobs are on the same level?

Put another way. You need an ATAR of 99.95 to get into medicine (which is just the first step of being a surgeon). Aviation degree requires 73. And you don't even need a degree. I certainly don't have one, but it didn't stop me being offered positions at Qantas, JQ, Virgin and others over the years. and as tossbag will enthusiastically tell you, I'm an idiot.

Last edited by tail wheel; 4th Aug 2022 at 18:31. Reason: To eliminate antagonism.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 05:36
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A reminder of the old adage: the surgeon doesn't go down with the ship when (s)he screws up!
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 05:51
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A surgeon came to my flying school to learn to fly helicopters. He had long, delicate fingers and thin wiry arms. His arms were so thin that he could not pull himself up the side of the aircraft to inspect the rotor head. He could not hold the control forces of an R22 for more than a few minutes, and had to change to the B47 which had hydraulic controls.

He was absolutely useless as a pilot. He gave up after about 10 hours, never got to the hydraulics-off sorties, and went back to being a millionaire.

I am working on my third million dollars at the moment. I gave up on ever making the first two.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 07:07
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
A surgeon came to my flying school to learn to fly helicopters. He had long, delicate fingers and thin wiry arms. His arms were so thin that he could not pull himself up the side of the aircraft to inspect the rotor head. He could not hold the control forces of an R22 for more than a few minutes, and had to change to the B47 which had hydraulic controls.

He was absolutely useless as a pilot. He gave up after about 10 hours, never got to the hydraulics-off sorties, and went back to being a millionaire.

I am working on my third million dollars at the moment. I gave up on ever making the first two.
Yes but a career pilot doesn’t pop down to the local surgery school to get a few hours of cutting time as a hobby. Therein lies a fundamental difference.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 10:53
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The point I was making was that despite being a noted surgeon, with degrees up the gazoo, his physical skills were way different from what was needed to fly.

Comparing a pilot with a bare grade 10 to a surgeon is a waste of neurons. 105 hours to qualify as a pilot, 72 months for a doctor plus the years of extra stuff to be a surgeon.
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Old 4th Aug 2022, 12:19
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Originally Posted by das Uber Soldat View Post
It takes something like 15 years of training to be a surgeon. You can take someone off the street and 18 months later, they're flying 240 pax down the ILS.

Do you really, really think the jobs are on the same level?

Put another way. You need an ATAR of 99.95 to get into medicine (which is just the first step of being a surgeon). Aviation degree requires 73. And you don't even need a degree. I certainly don't have one, but it didn't stop me being offered positions at Qantas, JQ, Virgin and others over the years and as tossbag will enthusiastically tell you, I'm an idiot.
Fair points but the other side of the coin is, you do not get to be check and training Captain on the newest bit of gear in 18 months. Think the jobs are the same level, of what? Dedication, motivation, desire to improve. Yes there are a lot of similarities. Don't recall the movie but the line was " I can teach you how to take out an appendix in 20 min. But it will take me years to teach you what to do if something goes wrong". Another similarity with flying. Yes they are apples and oranges but there are similarities.
As far as an ATAR goes that changes with the demand for that position. Like anything academia, if you have a great memory you can get a degree for anything. It does not necessarily make you good at that specialisation.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 09:09
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Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
Fair points but the other side of the coin is, you do not get to be check and training Captain on the newest bit of gear in 18 months. Think the jobs are the same level, of what? Dedication, motivation, desire to improve. Yes there are a lot of similarities. Don't recall the movie but the line was " I can teach you how to take out an appendix in 20 min. But it will take me years to teach you what to do if something goes wrong". Another similarity with flying. Yes they are apples and oranges but there are similarities.
As far as an ATAR goes that changes with the demand for that position. Like anything academia, if you have a great memory you can get a degree for anything. It does not necessarily make you good at that specialisation.
I didn't follow any of this. Plenty of boys and girls who secured jet commands inside 18 months when timing favoured them. There is no shortcutting the training requirements to be a surgeon.

I honestly can't believe you're labouring this argument. You're trying to equate a job that requires 15 years of tertiary and above training and qualification with something you can do as a year 10 drop-out, and do perfectly well.

There is nothing wrong with our job, but don't get carried away thinking it makes you special. You drive a bus. It's not difficult, it doesn't require a decade of training and nearly anyone can do it.

BTW, love that you think all that is required to attain a degree in pure mathematics is a good memory. Highly entertaining take.

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