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

Equatorial 15th Jan 2007 06:32

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....


Icarus2001 15th Jan 2007 09:59

There must be some sort of resignation bonus happening.

illusion 15th Jan 2007 10:58

Yes, the bonus is they won't have to work for D**KH??DS anymore- Unless of course they join Nationaljet..........:ugh:

Green gorilla 15th Jan 2007 11:07

I have never worker for skippers how bad is it.

Hawk777 15th Jan 2007 11:38

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?

Icarus2001 15th Jan 2007 11:46

How would "the clients" know?

Sorry the aircraft broke...sorry the CA called in sick and we could not find a replacement...

Green gorilla 15th Jan 2007 12:03

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.

neville_nobody 15th Jan 2007 12:29

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......

bushy 15th Jan 2007 13:19

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.

Green gorilla 15th Jan 2007 21:09

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.

Dawn Raid 15th Jan 2007 23:43

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.


Hawk777 16th Jan 2007 01:13

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.

Whiskey Oscar Golf 16th Jan 2007 02:46

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?

Brasilian Bird 16th Jan 2007 03:09

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!!! :E

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!!!

VH-UFO 16th Jan 2007 09:35

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.

gas-chamber 16th Jan 2007 10:36

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.

captwawa 16th Jan 2007 12:01

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.

Cruze Power 16th Jan 2007 14:18

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:cool:

Brasilian Bird 16th Jan 2007 14:46

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!!! :E

A1BUGSMASHER 16th Jan 2007 15:53

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.:ouch:

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......

randa 17th Jan 2007 05:24

In reply to the original post, I think after some time at Skippers in the turbo props and some multi-crew experience, the cv starts to look interesting to those operating bigger equipment.

Personally, I enjoyed my time at Skippers - good crews, nice aeroplanes, home every night, most weekends off. Sure the money sucked, but it was still more than I was getting flying pistons, and the job satisfaction was high. I would have happily stayed longer if a jet job had not presented itself. If you're only after the money, go do something else!

Icarus2001 17th Jan 2007 09:16

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
..there is the rub brasilian bird, they are not ALL having that problem.
Look at the other operators at PH. NJS put pilots in the RHS as FO with thousands of hours, previous Metro/Bras Captains, some were C&T crew. Skywest do the same, Alliance have only taken high time (4000+) turbine Captains as FOs for the F100. Ozjet took the cream as well. Network does take lower time pilots but not as low as I hear Skippers will take. Pilots with less than 400 hours total time and cadet pilots without a rigorous supervision and training system.
So only Skippers take VERY LOW TIME pilots for the RHS who may or may not be upgradeable. A certain C441 pilot comes to mind. Why can other operators be more choosy? The answer is very simple T & C. What they are prepared to PAY for experienced drivers so that they avoid the six o'clock news and can keep the contracts and the way they TREAT their staff. Loyalty works both ways.

Hawk777 18th Jan 2007 02:59


Skippers have just anounced a new RPT route.

PH-PH via the circuit area.

Departs daily at 1130

captwawa 18th Jan 2007 04:01

T & C's
Apparently some people that are leaving may have stayed IF money and rostering were improved. Sounds like the same old argument.

Interesting times ahead - especially if more pilots keep leaving...

Does anyone know how the mining companies / clients know how pilot hours are verified (or if they are)?????

Brasilian Bird 18th Jan 2007 04:19

Icarus, that was the point I was trying to make (not very well I might add!!! :})

They would not have such a hassle keeping pilots if they paid them what they deserve for their experience. From what's been coming down the grapevine lately, there's not many REALLY experienced guys left in their fleet... e.g. they had Metro guys who had years on type who left for greener pastures because the deal was better elsewhere... had Skippers offered better I'm positive at least a couple would have stayed (family life, all that)

But really with what they were getting, they had no choice. Like was said above, if another operator dangled a bigger/better aircraft in your face and offered better pay, would you stay?

I sure as hell wouldn't!! :E

As for management, and how they treat them, I've seen it myself. They are not nice. Reasonable people give you reasonable rosters/hours/rest, and take into account personal circumstances. I've heard of guys needing time off for personal stuff (not because of a big night out) and it wasn't given. Then it's made to seem like the pilots fault. Well who schedules their aircraft to maximum available with not a lot of leeway for breakdowns etc?? Dunno if it's improved lately but the same apparently went for the cabin chicks as well. Off sick for a week, so lets hammer them for the next fortnight. Nice way to burn them out!!!

Wonder if it is the same at Network, Maroomba et al...? Don't think so, they look a lot happier! :E

Green gorilla 18th Jan 2007 04:39

Maybe in 10 years time it may be different more advanced aircraft required by mining companies requiring more training and more respect from these folks.

Brasilian Bird 18th Jan 2007 05:07

GG, you may be right. I can see a lot of the mines going to jets if runway improvements allow it. That just leaves the really remote/smaller strips for the likes of Skippers, Network etc (if they keep the smaller aircraft, that is)

No worries mate 20th Jan 2007 01:11

I see Skippers are looking for DE Capts (already endorsed) for the Bras and Metro. They are having trouble finding non-endorsed guys to fill the seats, what chance will they have of finding endorsed pilots?

Wombat 20th Jan 2007 02:58

Yes, they certainly are going to have a hard time attracting experienced drivers on T&Cs that they offer.

The management over the last few years have always hinted, "If you don't like the T&Cs, then leave".

Well, guess whats happening!!!!:D
And this lot of Pilot's, F/As & Grd staff are not the last to leave in the near future.


Brasilian Bird 20th Jan 2007 05:39

DE Capts (already endorsed) for the Bras and Metro.
Fat chance!!! They've all buggered off to greener pastures!!! RS and all his mates in management must be doing a merry dance right about now...! :E :}

Icarus2001 20th Jan 2007 05:41

I checked with a mate the other day...Dash 8 - 300 Captain gets $68K and apparently any DE crew will still be bonded for two years, even if they have the endo???????!

Brasilian Bird 20th Jan 2007 05:46

Sounds like the usual modus operandi over there... wonder how many takers they will get..? :}

I have no pity for them any more, they had some great guys who they royally shafted. Whats that saying, "What goes around comes around"? Watch it in action! :E

Led Zep 20th Jan 2007 09:35

Check the Jobs page of the AFAP website. Looks like there is something "fishy" going on at Skippers! Maybe the whole "endorsed applicants only" is a red herring. :p Ahhhhhrrrrrrrrr Matey!

I'll show myself out. :}

Equatorial 23rd Jan 2007 07:05

More leaving?
Have heard that the senior check and trainer on the Brasilia fleet is going as well as the senior F/O both to National Jet.

With that F/O going that makes the next senior F/O's Qantas cadets!

Is this true? How does that effect seniority?

anyone, anyone?

Icarus2001 27th Jan 2007 02:31

I don't think they use the S word over there equatorial.

Latest I heard is two new dash crew are heading back to fly the brasilia to keep them in the air. The friendly neighbourhood regulator is not happy.

flightfocus 27th Jan 2007 02:46


Skippers have just anounced a new RPT route.

PH-PH via the circuit area.

Departs daily at 1130
Ha ha - I hope that I can get a window seat on the scenic flight. "Continue left orbits till advised" sounds so interesting. Can't be a lot of training benefit in that.

Would have thought bump & grinds would have been more effectively done out west (CUN?) or down south (BLN or BUN?) than getting shafted in the PH CCT area.

Icarus2001 28th Jan 2007 03:28

Would have thought bump & grinds would have been more effectively done out west (CUN?)
You have your WAC upside down again.:ugh:

flightfocus 28th Jan 2007 11:37

You have your WAC upside down again.
Bugger! Hope that doesn't give away where I might be from....:sad:

Ahhh... the big blue thing is on the left now. Gotcha :8

My bad. :bored:

Zhaadum 28th Jan 2007 12:45

Not Perth I guess! The ocean is on the wrong side, it can get confusing. Lots of strange goings on over here. "W.A.it a while, 3 hrs (2 now:)) and 20 years behind the rest of OZ".


skytops 30th Jan 2007 02:17

Anyone here get in, or know anyone who got in, following the recent Skipper's interviews?
Just curious what are the hours of boys and girls getting in.

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