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Who has decided to give up recently, and how much money have you wasted?

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Who has decided to give up recently, and how much money have you wasted?

Old 24th Nov 2009, 13:53
  #1 (permalink)  
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Who has decided to give up recently, and how much money have you wasted?

Due to the amout of dissolution on here recently, there must be loads! Or are people still taking the plunge?
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Old 24th Nov 2009, 14:41
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Oh, people are still 'getting wet' alright. Diving with a broad smile straight into the deep end!

Nothing can, or will, stop the galloping Army of eager wannabes.

If you want job security take a job at Oxford!
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Old 24th Nov 2009, 17:18
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Groan and the debt is increasing and the letters of demand becoming more frequent , alas the flight hours are becoming less frequent
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Old 24th Nov 2009, 18:01
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I think you will find that the requisite funding is very much in place.

This is no longer a job with career progression; more an exercise in vanity.
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Old 24th Nov 2009, 21:30
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v6g
 
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It depends how you define the objective. If you've earnt the right to tell your golf buddies that your son or daughter is now a qualified pilot then many people consider that money well spent, irrespective of their likely career prospects.

Notice how this site has ads down the side for sunglasses that make you look like Mr Cool. For many that's their objective when they go into it - an eventual job flying a plane is a happy coincidence.

I often wonder how different this industry would be if, instead of wearing white shirt'n'tie with epaulettes, pilots were made to wear blue boilersuits and protective eyewear (the kind you have to wear in school chemistry).

The integrated school I'm associated with isn't having any problem getting bums on seats.
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Old 24th Nov 2009, 22:31
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Hence my choice of words!
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Old 25th Nov 2009, 09:16
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the lunatic fringe
 
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In the early 80s aviation was in a parlous state. No jobs anywhere, and unemployed pilots galore. I still have the huge folder of reject letters. I scratched a living on the edge of aviation, and hung in there. My current seat is the left seat of a 747-400.

My motto then, and still is.

The only time you lose is when you give up.
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Old 25th Nov 2009, 21:08
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L337, it is so good to hear someone make a comment like that, makes a change.
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Old 26th Nov 2009, 09:36
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Well done L337!

Yep, this ol' timer remembers the early 80s.... plenty of type-rated and experienced candidates scratching around..lots of ex-mil and wannabees too.

One day I was out door-knocking with CVs... and happened to be in a Chief-Pilot's office 15 minutes after he'd received a resignation.

Following Monday Aztec course, then Navajo, KingAir, Citation and 125..all in 11 months! It CAN be done... if you refuse to give in! Good Luck to you all. bm
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Old 26th Nov 2009, 16:48
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I don't share the optimism I'm afraid. Ups and downs are cyclical in the industry and the current recession is just another down. Problem is that the ups are not quite as up as they used to be and terms and conditions have fallen badly.

Back in the 80's how many airlines were recruiting foolish low hour pilots with little to offer than a huge wedge of cash to pay for a type rating and some unpaid or badly paid work experience? That is what is destroying the industry as a place to work. I already have an airline job but wonder if this is a sustainable career?

The jobs will come back again but will they be worth having?
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Old 26th Nov 2009, 17:45
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No.

That's the tragedy. We're at the end of an era. Actually we're about 18 months past the end the era.

The new era will be very different.

Servicing 100k of debt on a seasonal cadet salary leading to an unstable contract FO position on max hours/min terms will be thoroughly miserable.

Eventually you might think the market will correct by restricting supply. The cynic in me thinks that Michael O Leary will have anticipated this and is already cultivating Romanian pilot farms and laying whatever political and regulatory foundations will be necessary.

The profession is screwed.

Basically.


WWW
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Old 26th Nov 2009, 18:22
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I have to say I agree. The industry is on a long downward spiral and unfortunatly I have 30 years left. Our company maintains it's T's and C's only because a few management pilots have held a line in the sand. We have however gone from one of the lowest paid biz jet operators to one of the highest in under 2 years.

I had hoped the pilot community could have stopped the rot. But now I believe it will take some serious incidents to force the regulator's hand. Maybe EASA will follow the lead of the FAA who now seems to be understanding the problems.

I spoke to a TRE in RYR and I am convinced they are not far from a 20,000 FO for 3 years ( paying for type), a 40,000 Captain for 3 years (paying for upgrade) and then like a professional sportsman out the door by 30. And with all those desperate for a proper T's and C's job after "gaiing experience" a collapse in legacy/non lo-co companies T's and C's.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 07:58
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It's not just aviation, other areas are being hit badly too. I worked in engineering after graduating and it has gone from being a profession that prided itself in providing good and innovative solutions for clients to one that is focused on profit and shareholders, only. Pensions, salaries and Ts & Cs are dropping all the time and more is expected of staff in return. If you don't fall in line, you're down the road.

Pilots on the whole are still relatively well paid and while it may not be the job it used to be, it could be a whole lot worse - try holding down an 80-100k job in the business/commercial world and you will find out what pressure and stress really is. I have friends at director level working 12-14 hours per day 6 days a week just to keep their heads above water.

Possibly only those working in Gordon Brown's client state are having an easy ride at the mo, but their time is coming.................
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 14:27
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Pilots on the whole are still relatively well paid and while it may not be the job it used to be, it could be a whole lot worse - try holding down an 80-100k job in the business/commercial world and you will find out what pressure and stress really is. I have friends at director level working 12-14 hours per day 6 days a week just to keep their heads above water.
Yeah, but a lot of pilots are not on 80-100k and if they are not on that now they never will be. Many of us have made and make other sacrifices that those in the commercial business world do not have to make. How much did they pay for their training? As for pressure and stress, being in the kind of debt that many pilots are in combined with the lack of job security and career progression has to rank way up there in the stress stakes.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 15:02
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FWF,

Don't disagree with you, was just comparing comparing a high end pilot salary with similar positions in industry. It's the same as you go down to lower salaries as well, many other careers are feeling the pinch, not just aviation.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 17:19
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The answer, at least until things get better and thats a big maybe, is to have something else to fall back on. I'm now on my second layoff/redundancy and despite the possibility of another flying job I am giving serious thought to gaining a usable qualification outside of this industry of ours. This scenario happened in my previous profession (engineering). The whole thing fell apart, training vanished, all the jobs became contract/freelance and I got into flying, partly because it offered a permanent, pensionable position. What I didn't reckon on was the instability, the seniority system which works fine at BOAC where you join at 20 and never leave but screws you in the real world where carriers go bust and layoffs are common and the inescapable fact that we are heading down the seasonal/contract/dock labour type schemes where you pay for everything. Including the right to do the job or get promoted it seems.

I love to fly. Thats the main reason I did it. It's the best job you could have but it has become the worst possible career unless you are in your last 5 years at BA. The job I am after is only part time and I reckon as the economy tanks further and trading conditions get tighter, coupled with more expensive and increasingly scarce oil plus governments determined to screw the last tax penny out of the industry and it's customers, more if not all pilot jobs will go the same way. I don't mind flying 6 months out of 12 but I'm damn well making sure that I don't depend on it any more.

I am sorry to have to say this but if I were thinking of starting out in aviation now, I wouldn't. I would fly for fun but there is no way I would depend on it to provide a career until I retire. I'm afraid that those here plunging themselves into tens of thousands of debt are on a hiding to nothing. You may realise your dream, but in 10 years when you have mortgages and kids etc your dream will be an utter nightmare as you earn less and less for more and more and job security becomes nonexistent. Unless there is a sea change in this business which sadly will take a fatal accident or two to bring about, you would be well advised to have a fall back position for the frequent periods without work and to provide the retirement which no airline will do in the future. Think about it.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 18:56
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What I didn't reckon on was the instability, the seniority system which works fine at BOAC where you join at 20 and never leave but screws you in the real world where carriers go bust and layoffs are common and the inescapable fact that we are heading down the seasonal/contract/dock labour type schemes where you pay for everything.
A very good point - it must be - I had not thought of it! It is not yet affecting BA but the future is uncertain and, as you rightly point out, many must surely be wondering is this a job for life?

I agree about the sea of change too, but the harsh reality is (and I assume you are alluding to the commonly held belief that pay-to-fly pilots are unsafe) there are no statistics (thank God) to prove the lack of safety. Take Ryanair as the most common example, as everyone knows they have yet to have a serious accident, but, whilst you regularly find critics from within their own ranks on here, I cannot recall a single one who believes there is a lack of safety. I have a couple of friends who work for them, one is a Captain, one an experienced (now) FO, and they tell me the training is rigourous, the engineering second to none, the management harsh, but the pay good.

So my question is this (and it is a question, not an opinion - yet): is the fatal accident you mention really a risk, or do the LoCo managers in fact have it sussed: you simply don't need to pay us that much any more, and it still all works?

I really hope the answer is no, or we will all be giving up, and the answer to the thread question is that we will have wasted our lives, that's how much.

Of course that is not to imply I am sitting waiting for a fatal accident. I am sitting waiting for fatalities of management careers and hope that, because they are all short term opportunists, better (maybe not as good, but better) times will roll.
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Old 28th Nov 2009, 11:52
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Mikehammer

"and I assume you are alluding to the commonly held belief that pay-to-fly pilots are unsafe"

I'm not saying they are unsafe, they hold the same licence that I do and undergo the same training. I do however think they are immoral and in the end cutting their own throats. I have been flying quite a while and came up the old way. No jumping straight into a jet with 200 hours. I was selected by an airline for my ability to do the job, not my ability to pay. Started on turboprops and built my way up on my merits rather than my dad's chequebook. I am now in the position that having been laid off again, I cannot get a look in because all the entrant schemes are reserved for 200 hour graduates of flying schools who are willing to work for nothing or even pay to do the job at the expense of the more experienced who have fallen on hard times. I spent many years in the RHS of a heavy and never attained command as a result so I am now caught between a rock and a hard place. Too many hours to get an FO job and no P1 time so no chance of a DEC. Wonderful.

As far as the fatal accident scenario goes, I sincerely hope it never happens. The willingness of the pay to fly brigade has encouraged the managements to think that they can cut all costs to the bone. Training is expensive and I can see it being the next thing to go under the axe. One day in the sim rather than two, bare minimum to get pilots legal again and back on the line. Modern aircraft go wrong infrequently so the only place that you ever see certain faults, multiple failures and engines going bang at the wrong time is the sim. A few years of this practice and suddenly Captain Grump of Sod 'em all airlines has a heart attack or a dose of the runs and 20 yr old FO Wannapay is on his own. Cue major failure. Now what? Hopefully Wannapay will have the wherewithal to sort things out but he may not. He may have never practised emergency descent drills or whatever since the type rating. The result could easily be fatal. Not necessarily his (or her) fault but once the press get wind of the fact that people were injured or killed or an aircraft trashed or all three, and the guy up front bought his way into the profession despite failing an aptitude test years before and I can leave the rest up to your imagination. A similar scenario has already occurred in the States and the FAA have now limited these schemes to pilots with 1500 hours minimum.

I think much of this stems from the culture of instant gratification that is now the norm. I want it now and I'll get it now because I've got the money. Previously, you waited your turn and kept trying until you succeeded. That's all gone and its all me, me me until they get bored and go off to do something else leaving the industry in tatters and those left behind on miserable T & C's assuming they even still have jobs. Once these processes are started and the race to the bottom is underway it's nearly impossible to stop. Personally I think its too late. Our profession will become part time or summer only and training, upgrades etc will be payable by the candidate. Every job seems to be going the same way which is why I reckon you need something else to back it up. Things tend to go in cycles and the tide may turn but I'm not holding my breath.

Wonderful world isn't it?
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Old 28th Nov 2009, 11:55
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In these difficult times - "keep calm and carry on"
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Old 28th Nov 2009, 16:26
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Northern Boy

Thanks for the reply, I must say I agree with many of your sentiments, especially regarding the "I want it now" brigade, but then I am biased because I too am doing things the piston then turboprop way, albeit still at entry level. I still have my (albeit badly paid) turboprop job and so I have not suffered redundancy like you, but what you say about experience preventing you from being hired strikes a chord because it affects me too in as much as I cannot progress my career, and will go no further within my current airline so I need out, and it seems there is none.

I do hope things are not as extreme as you think, and that we are not now part of a profession of part time hired summer hands only. My own belief is that market forces will, given time, change this practice, perhaps I am clutching at straws and yet still drowning. If the US can limit wannabes to minimum 1500 hours then why can't/shouldn't Europe? Also some more experienced (in aviation) chaps I talk to mention an old fashioned need for airlines to have a mix of experience, is this not still a requirement any more?

Anyway I wish you the best of luck, I find it somewhat scandalous that a pilot of your experience gets passed over in favour of low experience low cost wanabes, but as I say I think it is poor market forces causing this, and they have no shame.
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