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New G550 India : beware

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New G550 India : beware

Old 13th Feb 2014, 11:50
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 22
New G550 India : beware

This is a warning to my fellow G550 pilots.

If you are offered work on a new G550 in India, Poonawallah Aviation, be careful.

I have seen a complete lack of integrity from the Principal and one of the Directors.

The rest of the team are excellent, Pilots are excellent, Ops staff excellent, Accountable Manager excellent (but was fired Feb 1st).

I spent 5 weeks there and they did not pay a single Rupee for salary or expenses. Of course, I was assured many times that all my expenses would be reimbursed.

They did not pay;

Any salary
Airline ticket to or from India
The hotel bill
Several internal flights
Many many taxis
Plus the bribes ...

The Principal genuinely believes that he should not pay any salary as the aircraft did not fly, despite the Accountable Manager agreeing to pay from Jan 1st.

They very generously offered to pay a salary when the aircraft was ready to fly and wanted me to wait indefinitely, could have been a few days, could have been months. Bearing in mind they had already delayed me first 6 weeks, then a month, then another month. Obviously I could not accept such a magnanimous offer, and in any case, I had other freelance work offers from Operators that actually pay pilots.

They also say they are under no obligation to pay any expenses, despite being agreed by the Accountable Manager and Ops staff.

As well, they agreed I would have medical cover in india from January 1st, but I discovered that there was no medical cover. If I had been ill, one can be sure these guys would leave you high and dry.

India is a great country to work in, and previously I have had a very very good experience. But if an owner is dishonest, you have no recourse to the courts. Therefore in my view, it has to be money in advance if a country does not have a legal system that at least gives you a chance of recovering the money.

The G550 has been parked up since 29th October awaiting C of A, etc, etc. due slow bureaucracy. That's an incredible three and a half months. If they cannot find a local pilot, they will wait perhaps another two months or more for a pilot validation and security clearance.

Why are smart people so dumb? The question has haunted servants, wives and bartenders throughout the ages !! Perhaps they have no brainpower left for common sense? If you ask the Principal a simple question, he comes up with some one of the dumbest answers you have ever heard

It seems he enjoys being laughed at? He saves a months salary and some expenses and ends up grounding a new aircraft for months .

If you need the work and are desperate go for it, but fore-warned is fore-armed !
G550 driver is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2014, 14:43
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: any town as retired.
Posts: 2,154
got that T shirt

Spent almost 6 months getting the C of A and other "paperwork" in order... big difference I was paid on time, with all expenses, plus rotational business class flights even before AOC issued.

However before going out there I demanded: 1 return open business flight, 10k$ in advance, and Imodium.

Gulfstreamaviator is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2014, 15:08
  #3 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 22
Wish I had thought of that, oh well !

We have our fair share of companies in the West that have not paid salaries, but it's usually because the company goes out of business. The difference is, with this company it was intentional, they knew they could get away with it.

From what I have seen, the Indian companies seem reliable payers, but best not to take any chances.
G550 driver is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2014, 16:00
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Age: 54
Posts: 12
Not getting paid

Sadly, this has happened many times before, especially to out of work pilots, who have not worked contract overseas.

There are sizable monies held in escrow or on account, if you know where to look for it.

This company must have an account with Gulfstream and RR as well as Jeppesen etc.

Find out who legally owns the aircraft - is it a bank or a leasing company?
Who was the flight planning company?
Who was going to handle the aircraft and arrange permits etc?

N927GA was deregistered by Gulfstream for export to India. FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Inquiry

This aircraft is not currently registered in India Active Aircraft Register Enquiry

And is not currently approved for charter http://dgca.nic.in/firms/Western.pdf

I would suggest that you write up all of your expenses, attach a copy of the written agreement and copies of your expense receipts in a nice folder.

Write to the owners, by registered mail. Be polite, just ask for what was owed and next time, get it all in writing.

If you do not get a response or a refusal to pay (actually very useful, because the return letter becomes an admission that there was an agreement):

File a lien with the companies involved and send a copy to the registered office of the company that owns the aircraft.

Putting a lien on any one of these well funded accounts usually gets some attention very quickly.

You can also file a complaint with the aircraft registry. Indian, Bermuda, UK. IOM?

As a prior contract pilot myself - I have to also ask - did you have an Indian crew Visa?

Whose registry was it? The DGCA would have issued you with a flight crew license validation if it were an Indian registry. This would have been supported by a letter of sponsorship from the operating company and would therefore go towards proving that you were in the country for a legitimate reason.

I am assuming that you have a written contract? Otherwise, you were on vacation in India, with little formal recourse available to you.

If you go off flying contract again; never purchase your own ticket or book your own hotels with your credit card and always demand an advance. It just isn't worth it and any reputable company will not have any issue with these requests.
GIVSP is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2014, 08:35
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 22

Agree with you, but the issue is if the company do not wish to pay, then that's it, game over.

BBC recently said if new legal cases were to be put on hold it would take 350 years to clear the backlog. You can forget about any legal action. This is the reason for my warning, it has to be money in advance for this company.

And in answer to your question, no, not a crew visa - an employment visa - as that is required for a validation. (FATA)
G550 driver is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2014, 13:04
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: any town as retired.
Posts: 2,154
The Indian courts are a waste of time

I read that a divorce can take 30 years................If not in advance then

as previously indicated, the best action is the indirect route..... kick ass under the counter. glf
Gulfstreamaviator is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2014, 15:29
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: FL410
Posts: 25
G550 Driver.....I feel your pain! sadly though, one doesn't have to travel as far as India to get shafted by employers. It seems that as we have exported capitalism in an easterly direction, they have obviously embraced it! Anyhow thanks for the good advice, I for one will try and stay firmly in Europe where you can at least get a speedy divorce
Encorebaby is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2014, 23:29
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Up north
Posts: 1,616
I think the point made here by GIVSP is don't go via Indian company or aircraft "owner". Try to get you money by approaching the SPV or other entity that actually owns the aircraft and hopefully, in this case, is registered outside India.

Good luck!

CaptainProp is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2014, 05:14
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow
Posts: 719

If you have your contract and all documents in order as well as signed expense sheets you do have recourse and this can be filed under the civil case section of courts. They will be served a notice in 30 days and have to respond. It is a different matter how long it takes to resolve and the cost benefit analysis especially if you live outside India.

A suggestion would be if you can file the complaint in your home country (possible if the contract was signed by you there) and then get some sort of order passed which would jeopordize their travels to that country. Usually Singapore and / UK are good places to sign and register contracts with Indian companies.

Note: Not an attorney but have seen this done in the business I am in and use this frequently when dealing with countries of the commonwealth.
Wannabe Flyer is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2014, 06:39
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: any town as retired.
Posts: 2,154
cross border does not work......

Just because you "signed" your copy of the contract in Blighty, does not help. glf
Gulfstreamaviator is offline  
Old 16th Feb 2014, 19:08
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 76
Now VT-CPA in India ex N927GA Serial number 5427.

the words out, just gash, stay away!!



1362 VT-CAP FALCON 900
DUAL RATED is offline  
Old 17th Feb 2014, 14:40
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Utopia
Posts: 527
New G550 India : beware

Thanks for the heads up! Good to have the words of non-payers spread around.
Klimax is offline  
Old 25th Feb 2014, 04:34
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Tree
Posts: 222

They are all tied up in their own insane bureaucracy. Cant blame the British as they were at it long before the Brits arrived on the scene.

SOP for most of them down there is break the contract, from the outset. Most of the underlings are on the fiddle, they just cant help themselves.

When you employ one of them you need to do a "stock take" every month or sooner.

Racists? Oh they will leave a rabid Afrikaner standing.

Tin hat? I'm off to the bunker.

Last edited by Sop_Monkey; 25th Feb 2014 at 05:25.
Sop_Monkey is offline  
Old 25th Feb 2014, 10:34
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Where the Money Takes Me
Posts: 904
Any idea what kind of condition the 900EX EASy is in? I hear its in DXB?
LGW Vulture is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2014, 10:51
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 22
Update :

Cyrus Poonawally known as "Cyrus the Virus" (he owns a company manufacturing vaccines) paid the USD 5000 or so expenses for the five weeks in India.

However the fees are still unpaid.

Personally I prefer a verbal agreement or a handshake for any work I do, and up until now that has been more or less ok.

Here in india, corruption is so endemic and normal that even if everything is in writing, it makes no difference. You may as well count on a handshake because there is no way of taking the matter to the courts.

India ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in 2011. Only since then has "trading in influence" been illegal i.e. to influence the Police or a Judge concerning an investigation or court case. Same applies for instance to;

bribery in private sector
bribing a foreign public official
embezzlement of property in private sector
obstruction of justice
liability of legal person - companies are not liable for corrupt acts of employees

In essence, no way to recover the money that is owed. Cash in advance is required here unless the Principal has a good reputation.
G550 driver is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2014, 05:28
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: MCO (occasionally)
Posts: 387
This thread is such a good laugh.

Look, the only answer is "Do Not Do It" unless one of the following is true:

1. You are building time, and this is the least cost method. Heck, you can't even lease a G550 to do your EASA touch and goes for 10,000 Euro. So if you log 100 hours and are only out the 10,000 Euro, this will be cheap at only 100 Euro an hour.
2. You are wealthy and are looking for adventure, not a pay check. You'll certainly find adventure, but the pay check is a crap shoot.
3. You need lots of new drama in your life. Complaining about your ex wives can only take you so far.
4. They are willing to pay three months salary + estimated expenses in advance. They will agree to this long before they will actually do it.

FrankR is offline  

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