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-   -   Exodus from Skippers (Merged) (https://www.pprune.org/australia-new-zealand-pacific/259924-exodus-skippers-merged.html)

Soar2384 13th Mar 2011 11:21

Sorry Biggles but you're going to have to try harder to convince me that the cadets are a cause for an exodus. As you pointed out T's & C's the big reason for an exodus. And sickofitall the new guys jumping over more experienced guys thing is a good reason as well but that's not just cadets doing that. I will accept that the cadetship annoys a lot of people but given that unless this senate inquiry is successful then just about every regional and major airline is going to have a cadetship supplying a large percentage of their pilots. So why leave one to go to another for anything other than T's & C's or the like? :ugh:

Oh and I can't help myself here but Biggles that 90 day notice to resign I'm pretty sure is gone now and didn't you say that this is the most cadets Skippers have ever had? Guess the Spineless weren't so spineless after all! :ok: (and no I'm not protecting them, I just couldn't help myself!)

sickofitall00 13th Mar 2011 11:56

Soar - I understand that it is an industry wide prob. The guys weren't new. Just inexperienced cadets. Experienced guys told they had an upgrade to find out a cadet was given it. And the Companies they left for had superior T and C's, no joke 90 day clause , no pathetic performance bonus, no cadet scheme and superannuation was NOT included in the salary figure (That is still unbelieveable). It was the T and C's, promises never kept (over a 5 year term of watching friends getting burnt) and the promotion of more than one Cadet to different positions including going from metros to direct commands on Dashes etc that got the exodus. The general swagger and hair product used by the cadets was just the icing on the cake.

Soar2384 14th Mar 2011 03:13

Sickofitall, would you agree that if the T's & C's had a seniority clause that saw a propper career progression then the cadets wouldn't be a cause for an exodus but rather a look at them and shake your head kind of reaction?

Captain_Australia 14th Mar 2011 08:46

Enough really is enough
I normally wouldnít reply to comments such as those made in the past on this subject however Iíve now taken offence at some of the things Captain Biggle84 and others have said recently.

If I may, Iíd like to take a little time to correct some of the errors in statements made lately. Itís simply not possible to correct all the untruths spoken however below are a select few. You may ask how I know what I say is correct. Simple.. Iím one of the fast track students lucky enough to have become a cadet at Skippers. Iíd like to point out a few facts so the opinions of others arenít clouded by recent comments made in this forum.

Firstly, money. A subject everyone seems to have an opinion on. Captain_Biggles84 states cadets part with ďpay up $55K for a Dash or Braz endo plus extra IFR training (this is ontop of CPL costs!!!).Ē This statement is simply incorrect. Iím not going to go into detail on figures in a public place such as this forum however the figure for an endorsement is nowhere near $55,000. Further, IFR training on top of CPL costs is in no way different to the cost borne by any other pilot out there with an IRCME(A). Iíd actually be curious to know how much other pilots out there have paid for all their CPL and IFR training. Maybe someone would like to catch up for a drink to chat about it.

Secondly, and still related to money, are the statements made regarding things like not being reliant on ďmummy and daddyĒ. I canít speak for all fast track students or Skipperís cadets, however I do know that alot of them are around the age of thirty, had decent careers outside aviation prior to pursuing a lifelong dream and had cut the apron strings quite some time ago. Financing of their training came from any number of places be that a bank loan, hard earned savings, refinancing of assets etc. Following training some of these students went bush in search of work (and by all accounts had a great time with the flying out there), some became instructors and others were restrained by finances and/or family and were therefore unable to commit to moving or further training.

Thirdly, the easy option. Please let me point out that post is not intended as a shot at Captain_Biggles84, itís merely a reply to some statements he/she has made that I feel need to be corrected in this public medium. Captain_Biggles84 also makes the statement ďThese muppets have every resource (internet/other pilots etc) available to research and find out the career path a pilot can go down. Because this ( Fast Track) is the easiest option as it saves them from entering the real world, ..Ē

Fact: Fasttrack students (again I canít speak for all, only the ones I know) finished their CPL in twenty weeks. As a reminder, thatís 11 theory exams, 150 hours of flying training and two or three flights tests in twenty weeks. Then itís an instrument rating in one month. Some of them went on to complete all seven ATPL exams in a further two months. Some of them went through all that without failing a single test or exam. I donít see how that sort of workload can be described as the easiest option. Some people out there are no doubt reading this and thinking that corners were cut in training and testing. Please remember that ALL pilots pass the same exams, sit the very same flight tests and are subject the same testing standards. I totally agree with Captain_Biggles84 in that these individuals had every resource available to research. These individuals then decided that Fast Track pilot training was quite simply the best option for them at that point in their lives. With the prospect of completing your CPL and IRCME(A) in twenty four weeks, plus the introduction to a regional airline, who would choose otherwise? Please note that the introduction to a regional airline is just that Ė an introduction. Not many people out there can guarantee you a job and jobs certainly werenít guaranteed to any fast track students.

Finally, the title of the thread is ďExodus from SkippersĒ which is a subject many recent posts refer to. Itís worth noting that the first post in this thread is dated June 2007. Thatís almost four years ago. The industry certainly seems to be alot different at the current point in time as far as opportunities for advancing a career are concerned. 2007 may well have been a year when the worlds airlines were hungry for pilots and pilots from regional airlines (be that Skippers, Qantaslink, Network etc) were probably the ones they targeted. 2010 was certainly a different year and, while I donít have the exact figures in front of me, I can recall only a handful of pilots moving on from Skippers to other airlines since I started with the company. Hardly an exodus.

In summary, these cadets that people are bad mouthing are generally nice guys and they seem to be doing a good job. If you feel otherwise, and work for Skippers, Iíd suggest taking the approach of someone in a professional industry in voicing your concerns to your company superiors rather than voicing your opinions in a VERY public domain such as this.

A note to Low and fast. For your own sake, please be cautious of accepting advice on your career from a forum such as this. Forums the world over seem to be a meeting place for people who have complaints to make**. I, and many people I know, will tell you that working for Skippers is great. I love flying and consider myself incredibly lucky to be where I am working for Skippers. The hours are good, the money seems ok (although I donít have many terms of reference having not worked for a regional before), management are easy to deal with and the people I work with are fun to be around. What more could you want? Sure, there are small things that I might not agree with but that happens in any company in any industry. And I also see the irony in offering that advice on this forum.

There you have it. Iím not expecting feedback or replies to this post because to me this is simply a tool to point out a few facts so the opinions of others arenít clouded by recent comments made in this forum.


** Infact, has anyone noticed the caveat at the bottom of this webpage? It seems to confirm my advice to low and fast. Feel free to scroll down for confirmation but here it is:

"As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, or sciolists*, to elicit certain reactions.
*"sciolist"... Noun, archaic. "a person who pretends to be knowledgeable and well informed".

Jeff Ucker 14th Mar 2011 16:26

I worked for this mob for over 6 years several years back! It was a sh!t hole then... And it's a BIGGER sh!t whole now!

Don't go there, your better off elsewhere. They should've be shut down if CASA were doing their job right :ugh:

For you 'cadets' (fast-track blokes)... Go and get some real experience around this planet, you'll be better off for it and we wont have to adjust you too much when you get to a bigger airline! The world's a BIG place you know. Quite a bit of opportunity out there if you cared to look :rolleyes:

Bird On 14th Mar 2011 19:32

I sometimes wonder if its in the financial interests of the flying training organizations to "make sure", one way or the other, that all students enrolled in their courses pass, regardless!!! Surely not.

twocansam 15th Mar 2011 03:54

Iím one of the fast track students lucky enough to have become a cadet at Skippers.
Luck has nothing to do with it. Money does!

aussie027 15th Mar 2011 08:31

Captain_Australia, please check your PMs.

Sent a msg today.:ok:

Captain Biggles84 15th Mar 2011 13:52

Enough is enough eh...
Captain Australia

I'm a little puzzeled how to respond to your post.. Dunno if I have enough time to express all the words going through my head.

The fact that you have even attempted to justify your existence as a cadet in this industry just shows you really don't know the big picture. How weird would the world be if every job professional, trades, skilled/non skilled be if every employer put a price tag next to it. No I'm not talking about your training to get your CPL ect I'm talking about your little dash 8 or braz whatever. The fact that you hand over money for employment is a joke beyond jokes. They fast tracked you alright. Yeh you might have had the money sitting there from some other job but you still cut the effing line in front of people have slogged it away from the comforts of home and all the rest etc. Oh and guess what you only had that chance cos MC and a few other skippers guys, who were around whilst you were prob still sitting at your other job "dreaming" of flying thought of a way of making cash out of pilots on the side, as Skippers seems to harbour these kind of people. Cos he has an interest in Fray Track naturally you get a look in.. Wow that's how it works. My bucket of spew over flowed when you mentioned finishing your CPL in 20 weeks or whatever. Mate try working three jobs to pay for your flying and study and then go bush to earn less that what a secretary earns but actually get the best flying experience you can. Try that for about 4 years then apply for Skippers and get in and sit next to a muppet such as yourself and listen to how hard you have it.

If Bill Gates job was for sale and I had the money prob do it cos it's what I've always dreamed of...................

Write these down Hard Work, Commitment, Sacrifice :=

You blokes wouldn't know what it smells like........:mad::ok:

Continental-520 15th Mar 2011 16:07

Let's not forget that as human beings, we naturally want to get things done as quickly and easily as we can. It is in our nature. I did things the hard way, cause like many here, I didn't have a choice. Several years out bush, no money, living in old caravans at times that weren't worth what I was paying to rent them each week, etc all to flog around in a C172.

Yeah it was fun, I don't regret it and I got some great experience, but there are a thousand ways to skin a cat guys. This mentality of "I did it tough, so you should too" is self righteous and outdated. I have flown with some of these cadets and their flying skills are better than what you might assume. Captain Australia has a valid point in saying that a check to line is a check to line, and a standard needs to be met whether you have 250 hours or 25000.

Ask yourself this: Outside the centre of the universe (Australia), low time pilots go straight into the right seat of a B737/A320 and progress to the command seat within 2000hrs, typically. Sometimes less. The accident rate in Europe is no larger than anywhere else in the civilized world if you factor in the population difference. So is it really so outrageous that these guys are 'jumping the queue' as you say? I think not, because if I was to suggest a way to someone I knew who wanted to get into the industry, I would suggest the cadetship as a way to get the boxes ticked. Yes you can get some great experience in the bush but if airlines is where you want to end up, flying ILS to ILS, it really isn't giving you a lot of relevant exposure. Especially in this day an age where airliners are less demanding of stick and rudder skills.

I've lost too many friends in clapped out pistons trying to kick goals. They were old when I flew them, more so now. It is a known fact that turbine engined aircraft are safer than pistons. I would have blood on my conscience if I old someone to go the hard way when there were equally good alternatives available and I didn't even make them aware of it.

The pay and conditions at Skippers is another argument, as is the concept of paying for a job. But I ASSURE you that the pay/conditions buzzing around in light singles/twins left a lot to be desired also. Far from where it deserved to be. You all know this, so why not cut the kids some slack? They're just trying to do what we're all in this business for.


Mecarsa Bitrusty 15th Mar 2011 17:52

You ďoh you have to have bush timeĒ guys need to get over it, this is the future of aviation in this country, like it or not!!!!

Captain Biggles84 16th Mar 2011 00:14


you make a valid point in regards to the fastest way to skin a cat. I certainaly agree with you on that. However in Australia as you know, we do have a very large GA industry. So contrary to Europe where is is tiny in comparison I feel that this path should be taken by pilots. Several reasons for this are. Aviation is an industry as a whole. When wanting to fly for a career it's not all about the big jets and wanking off to your mates, chicks etc.. It's about life experience you get from earning your way. Secondly operators and people in rural Australia depend on new pilots heading to the bush to support aviation itself and also the towns and communities that support it. What better way and to learn some good life lessons along the way and meet people that put our version of hard work, dedication and sacrifice to shame.

Captain Australia not saying that your one of the poor individuals that I had to deal with at Skippers. But a good majority of these guys lack alot of good qaulities for me to even want to have a beer with. Then you have to see some of them fly and whilst generally prob 50% do well, the other 50% have attitude, poor performance and lack of respect. Or put it simply a dit down watch listen and learn attitude don't exisit.
Anyways we can debate for months on this but this is how it is and there is no question an exodus is as a result of a fair number of cadets in the place with alot of the qaulities mentioned above.

sickofitall00 16th Mar 2011 00:49

Do you truly believe that ?
Where to begin.....

Soar - The T and C's could definitely be improved but if you ask an QF A380 driver he'll also think things could be better in his company. I have worked for a seniority based company and it has it's merits. However, some if not more credit needs to given to work history, track record and general performance and I think we can all say this is happening at most companies these days.
What clearly isn't fair/just/balanced is people buying a job and then being "Fast Tracked" to the top.

CAPTAIN AUSTRALIA - I appreciate the reply. The cadets at skippers I have talked to/worked with most certainly did pay approximately $55,000. BUT I am sure you already know this :ok:. Three of them had been working as Commercial Pilots and the cheque was made out after this. One even had an instructor rating.
The point is this quite simply: If you paid $1 $100 $1000 or $55000 for a JOB you have done the WRONG thing. Yes, The WRONG THING ! This is a social problem in the me me me world but there are many people out there that simply cannot afford to live week to week on an instructor or GA wage so how in the hell can they afford to write a cheque for that much ?? Every human being should have a chance for an education and a Job if they are dedicated and appropriately qualified. Not only if they have a cheque book.
You said you think that "management are easy to deal with" and Skippers is good to work for and yet you acknowledge you haven't been to a regional before. Is it because it is half filled with cadets these days and management are all smiles when there are hundreds of thousands of dollars being passed around. Common :ugh::ugh::ugh: They certainly weren't easy to deal with if you speak to any one of 20 plus ex pilots I know from there.
Captain Australia, You also consider yourself one of the "students lucky enough to have become a cadet at Skippers" You were not lucky, YOU PAID MONEY AND WERE GIVEN A JOB. A person that didn't pay the $$$ didn't get that position !!! Captain Aust - Ex skippers pilots from ten years back to current pilots are still commenting about the joke that it is and some of the unscrupulous "characters" that have been and are still there. It was interesting getting your version. It actually sounds like you really believe what you wrote ?!?!:hmm::hmm::hmm: Other pilots there give a very different story. The thread did start in 2007 - and it is still getting some pretty soild posts from a variety of different people from what I can gather. At the start of 2010 about 10-12 drivers left. A few months later about another 8 left. Again- All FACT. I guess the "exodus" will continue until it is all cadets. Cadets generally don't move too far from there. Maybe it's the 2000 + hrs F/O time and 2200 total time that is a factor here ??

Continental 520- Your points have been made before about Europe and while they are valid in many respects I was not commenting about skill level. I think we all agree, even from a braz/dash the levels of automation keep increasing so pilots are becoming flight deck managers as opposed to stick and rudder pilots. You could train a monkey to fly a sim. COMMAND DECISION MAKING cannot be purchased. 20-40 yr veterans (Checkies/Senior checkies/ line pilots) have told me on numerous occasions the cadets "operate the jet fine but when it comes to decision making, well......cough cough. "
To hear you say if you sent someone up bush or to a piston job and they had an accident you would have blood on your conscience MAKES ME SICK ! I have recommended many a young and not so young bloke to head out bush and the ones that did have thanked me for it sincerely. It was the best experience of my life and I have a had a few THROUGHOUT the world. The characters I met, sights I saw and places I landed were spectacular. I learnt a lot about myself and a damn lot more about operating an aircraft. From single pistons to twin turbines I had the ride of my life. It was very tough. Both financially and socially but with the great crew of people around you it was a ball. I would send my own child into GA as a proud builder would let his child take on an apprenticeship if they so desired. Yes, there are dangers, but instead of not recommending that career path why not advise them of some of the more reputable companies instead of spending thousands on some ones money making scheme ?!?!
THIS IS AUSTRALIA. Have a look past your local Starbucks. There is a beautiful backyard if you just go for a drive.

Mecarsa Bitrusty No you don't have to have "bush time" at all and I have never said that. I do however think it is invaluable experience. What I do think is any flying experience, even meat bomb dropping and instructing is much better then NO experience or the experience of writing a large cheque.

It is definitely not the future of aviation in this country as there are still people in the right places that are against it and even those who were nonchalant about the programs are now seeing the cancerous damage they are doing to the industry in the form of terms and conditions etc. The mentality that "I'll fly for anything/nothing" let alone "I'll PAY for my job" is just being exposed in the public arena now. Even if nothing comes of it (which is highly unlikely) I certainly wouldn't want to be the one sitting in a silent cockpit for hrs or wondering why no one's inviting me out for a drink.::rolleyes::ok:

Captain Biggles84 16th Mar 2011 01:38

Sickofitall.... BRAVO

couldn't of said it better.

Oh and Soar. You and your little cadet buddies took just over 2 years to get a new EBA through. Yes quite right that the 90 claus was removed. I believe many cadet passed up the opportunity to represent pilots at the table against SQ/MC. SQ and MC could have asked for a wristy at flight levels and you all would have lined up to do so cos they are management and your only way forward in the company. So don't try and plead to me that there is unity among cowards :=:D:ugh::mad:

Continental-520 16th Mar 2011 15:12

Captain Biggles 84,

Agree with your statement. Indeed there is a need for pilots in the more rural parts of the industry, and always will be. I would imagine that cadetships would evaporate the supply in the long run, leaving these areas a bit stuck.


Please refrain from using a condescending tone in what should be a constructive discussion. I have spent years of my life in GA a bloody long way from starbucks thanks very much and I was trying to offer you a different perspective to the discussion, which clearly I have been unsuccessful at.

You accuse those who 'pay' for a job of doing the wrong thing. I could not agree more. But how is it any less wrong than working up north in illegal or near enough to conditions on less pay than what is mentionable? You and I both know what it is like up there and you can't tell me that everything that goes on is kosher. Yes I agree you cannot buy command experience, but whether you attain that in a C172 or EMB120 doesn't really matter at the end if the day. Command time is command time. Yes a cadet starting at Skippers as an F/O will not experience as much diversity as a GA charter pilot, and may not get command time for a while but does it really matter in the end? I don't think it changes the sort of pilot they become, cause they get the command experience sooner or later anyway.

I'm not saying that going bush is a bad idea, hell, I did it and wouldn't trade a minute of it for the world, but if all you want is a cushy jet job, and you can get it without putting yourself through years of sacrifices, why wouldn't you? We only went bush because we had no other choice, so you and I might've done things differently had there been other options available to us. (Without the benefit of hindsight.)

If my comments make you sick mate, I suggest you talk to the families of those who have perished in unairworthy death traps chasing the dream in underpaid jobs while making the same sacrifices as we did. You might find your sickness becomes contagious. I've realised it could've been me - and wondered how I survived it all sometimes. Give that some thought cause GA ain't getting any safer as aircraft get older, operating costs increase and budgets stay the same size or shrink.

Again, I never said paying for a job was the right thing to do but neither is accepting sub standard pay/conditions.


Saintly 23rd Mar 2011 10:14

Flew Skippers today to Carnarvon - first time for me flying with them.

No food - they only served water, tea or coffee. I flew on the Brasilia - small plane - not enough leg room.

I prefer the SKywest F50 over the Braz. The Braz is louder compared to the F50. Having said that - the flight time to Carnarvon from Perth is roughly 15 minutes quicker then the F50.

I miss the Skywest service. I wonder if other passengers who are flying to Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and Kalbarri enjoy flying with Skippers or prefer Skywest?

Anyways the contract lasts for 5 years with the State Government to review in the middle of the 5 years.


sickofitall00 30th Mar 2011 08:27


Sorry for appearing condescending however I really have had enough of this crap :ugh:. I Was not directing the Starbucks comment at you but rather the latest generation of cadets etc.
My colleagues and I also did YEARS up North, I never saw a "death trap" in the companies I worked for and if I did I certainly would not have flown it.
Did night flying with the bare minimum Night VFR rigs (single pistons to twin turbines) and flew in and around some pretty damn crap WX but never once did I feel the machine I was in was not maintained correctly.
You're not the only one to have lost friends/colleagues in the GA game but to not recommend someone getting out there and seeing the country because there are dodgy operators is a bit sad. Direct the newbies to a good organisation. Problem solved.

I see the new man in the corridors of power has canned the cadetship. Good start.

I hear Skippers Captains professionalism shining through again. Anyone want to shed light on the latest prank pulled at Flight levels ?!?! F/A not laughing ? ??:ugh::ugh::mad::mad::D:D

Low and Fast 4th Apr 2011 09:09

Hi all

Just had a call to attend an interview with skippers, any one out there that could enlighten me with what to expect during the interview and what fleets they are recruiting for.

Thanks in Advance.

L & F

metrodashbrazconkie 4th Apr 2011 10:00

I hear Skippers Captains professionalism shining through again. Anyone want to shed light on the latest prank pulled at Flight levels ?!?! F/A not laughing ? ??:ugh::ugh::mad::mad::D:D

Yeah a real crack up that one. :=

Low and Fast 4th Apr 2011 10:07


I assume you are obviously part of the skippers crew, do you know how many positions they are needing to fill e.g 2 pilots or more, I'm curious as I have to travel there from the NT and are interested in what the competition might be especially if 1 or 2 positions exist compared to say 5 or 6 etc....

Thanks in advance

L & F

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