The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

GA in Australia - Is it over?

Old 18th Jun 2017, 15:44
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 19
Decline of GA

An honest thought for a change from a sky burner.....
Please discuss or criticise at will.....
Having worked in GA for many years and struggling to pay of training debts (let alone buy a house or new car etc) I thought of applying to the bigger companies and regionals.
Was unlucky with the interview at Qlink but was not current on twins and didnt have chief pilot background etc.

Applied for many charter/ scenic jobs similar to what I have been doing for years and was told a couple of days ago by one company that I have "too many hours".?

Applied for twin jobs and advised "do not meet hour requirements for contract/insurance requirements".?

I am not saying I am anything special and don't want anyone to crack the violins out but I think I have had enough. Like Dick Smith said the industry will destroy you if you don't get out in time.

I was actually dreaming of an old public sector job I had a few years ago the other day. That has got to be a bad sign surely?
doublemamba is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 01:26
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: Queensland
Posts: 60
GA in Australia - Is it over?

Just an honest question. It seems to me that thriving hubs of healthy GA activity such as Cairns and Darwin are no longer. For example Cairns in the 80's and 90's and earlier supported quite a few organisations of quite some size who were doing lots of charter work. Canberra had quite a thriving GA scene.
Many smaller rural centres would have their one or two operators with a single or two and maybe a twin. That seems more rare now.
Is GA such a canary in the coalmine that it reflects the overall health of the country economically or what? I can't help but wonder. It is a pity in one sense though. It was such a good apprenticeship for those eventually moving through. Maybe not so secure and financially rewarding for those who stayed on but still an interesting job.
bushpig is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 01:52
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: moon
Posts: 0
From what little I have seen, you could fire a cannon through many country airports without hitting anything. The costs and regulatory burden are choking GA to death. Now I have to go finalise my ASIC paperwork.....
Sunfish is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 01:55
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Oz
Posts: 843
Technology has improved, instead of ferrying a team for meetings simply logon to the Google Hangout etc..I flew charters in the 90s, it was a full time gig moving people around for meetings, interviews etc...These days almost any company will go to any length to avoid travel expense.

Rex and Qlink took most of the regional traffic across the smaller populations also. People seem to get sucked in by that Qantas Frequent Flyer points scheme also...little guys had no chance.
PoppaJo is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 02:34
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cab of a Freight Train
Age: 38
Posts: 675
Originally Posted by Sunfish
The costs and regulatory burden are choking GA to death. Now I have to go finalise my ASIC paperwork...
That's the answer right there.

$1600 for CASA to issue an Experimental CoA.
$500+ for an hour of circuits at Warnervale - in my own plane!
$200+ to issue an ASIC to prove I'm not a terrorist - and now I have to front up to an approved someone a hundred miles away to prove I am who I say I am, when the KRviatrix just got a new passport at the local Australia Post.
$10,000 for ADS-B in an experimental aircraft because we can't trust the Dynon or Garmin GPS source that the FAA says is perfectly adequate.

And let's not forget the vast majority of the GA fleet are older than anyone who will either fly, or fly in them, and that is not necessarily a good look. About the only small GA operators I can see staying afloat in years to come are the meat-bombers and scenic flight operators.
KRviator is online now  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 03:09
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 19
Collapse

To be honest after 5 years of slugging away in GA charter I see no improvement. When I have spoken to people over the years about promoting the industry on a larger scale I always get blank looks. This includes CASA and chief pilots etc.

Looking at getting out now before the industry implodes. When you work 60 hour weeks and bust your arse you hope to see some improvement over time but I just don't see it and you question whether it is even worth the effort. I always wanted to own a plane one day but I could never afford it ( or a house on a GA wage for that matter).

Last edited by doublemamba; 10th Jul 2017 at 07:50.
doublemamba is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 05:11
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: nosar
Posts: 1,200
RAA at least seems to be going strongly. Airfields that once had GA operators have been replaced by airfields that have RAA schools. Most airfields in Australia also house at least one Jabiru, most have several.
If RAA had never gotten started there would be a lot more GA schools around. Just saying.
Aussie Bob is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 15:59
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 912
Yes RAAus and the fee help scheme made for very uneven playing fields for schools. Add the airport privatisations and CASA effectively closing down aviation tourism by making it almost impossible for an overseas pilot to fly here due to CLARC's inability to process paperwork, but most of all the cost and time taken for maintenance.
Clare Prop is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2017, 01:43
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: Queensland
Posts: 60
RAA might have taken the place of some flying schools and perhaps aero clubs but many places embrace both. Probably not a bad idea. Learning on something small and 'floaty' and perhaps a taildragger as well is better for learning basic skills. Learning cross country without a GPS and lots of drift at a slow speed can be fun as well. I think the two (GA schools and RAA) can go hand in hand quite comfortably.
It is more the step up from there that has me thinking that GA charter from VFR single up through IFR multi seems to be a thing of the past and more's the pity.
Doublemamba I think a big part of the problem is there are just less jobs so employers are more picky maybe. Although I have encountered similar problems to you in the past. 'What do you want to work here for with the hours and types you have behind you' ..sort of thing. Well in my case I have been in the industry but out of actually flying for a few years and actually enjoyed GA and remote area flying and would not be looking to use it as a stepping stone to a 'burner'. If you already have relevant experience it should be an advantage not a disadvantage as well.
One aspect of GA charter dying out has to be the much higher cost of running even a small operation now with the much higher charges and cost of compliance with what are times regulation for the sake of regulating. Also less direct charges coming via the maintenance organisations being increasingly regulated as well. And on top of that, the rural and other communities not being as 'vibrant' economically as governments would have us believe.
The point about many things being able to be done online is a good one but is only a small part of the picture.
Anyway, me dribbling on here probably won't solve anything but it is interesting to see that other opinions are close to my own.
bushpig is offline  
Old 21st Jun 2017, 01:46
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 77
As someone wanting to pursue a career as a pilot I am a little worried. All the cadetship threads talk about how you become a slave to the airline and that you do not get the same level of practical flying experience as you would through GA. All the GA threads are about how the industry is dead and there is no future.

So, which way to go? I'd be happy with either path if it means I'm flying one way or the other but it does concern me that it appears to be very difficult to go from CPL through to MECIR + 1000hrs command along the GA route in order to secure a job in RPT. As someone who is currently building up hours towards CPL, should I just pay for the privilege and get MECIR off the bat, or should I attempt to build experience in single VFR and hope for employer assistance along the way? Any advice appreciated.
Kranz is offline  
Old 21st Jun 2017, 10:32
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 292
Originally Posted by Kranz View Post
should I just pay for the privilege and get MECIR off the bat, or should I attempt to build experience in single VFR and hope for employer assistance along the way? Any advice appreciated.
It is highly unlikely any employer will contribute to your MECIR, you will need to shell out for it yourself at one point or another.

So, which way to go? I'd be happy with either path if it means I'm flying one way or the other but it does concern me that it appears to be very difficult to go from CPL through to MECIR + 1000hrs command along the GA route in order to secure a job in RPT.
The GA route won't guarantee you a position in RPT, even when you have accrued the required experience you will still be faced with the psychometric tests that are used to cut down the numbers of cadet applicants.

You need to decide whether you would like to be a slave to the airline that offers you a cadetship, or be living on tins of baked beans while working as a casual in GA and trying to scrounge for flying hours during the off peak seasons (depending on where you are working). For the sake of job security, I'd take a cadetship any day over GA. But it is all about what kind of an experience you want in your journey. Just don't expect that 5,000 hours in GA will count for anything, because a twit who happens to be good at recognizing shapes and patterns will jump in front of you with 200 hours.
mikewil is offline  
Old 21st Jun 2017, 12:03
  #12 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 19
Yes that is correct. I got through all the circles in the square holes thing and was obviously found to be crazy enough to go to the next stage...
Mind you we were told it's a 12 month wait for a start even if you got through the interview / sim !
You can't bloody win in this game.
doublemamba is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2017, 00:06
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Outback Australia
Posts: 355
And yet I know (personally) of 2 blokes who came through GA - both about the 2500 hour mark with MECIR (PA31s - neither had turbine time, to my knowledge). Both applied in Nov / Dec 2016 to the carrier whose heart is in the country (and whose hand is in your pocket).

Both (in the last month or two) have been signed off as FOs working from their preferred base.

One is one of the best pilots I have ever flown with - professional, knowledgeable, unflappable, does his homework. Would cheerfully put my kids in an aircraft with him, without a second thought.

The other is a lazy tw*t who doesn't know sh!t from shoe polish, and is still being spoon fed by Mumsy. I thank the good Lord above that he is FO, and will seriously start to worry if / when he becomes Captn.

So consistency in hiring techniques, and what an airline is looking for? Consistency, my arse.

And to answer the question GA in Australia - is it over? The answer is not quite, but definitely in its death throes. Look at the number of GA operators who have gone out of business in the last 15 years, and the majority who have gone are owner / operators. The majority of those left are either corporates or cowboys - very few owner / operators still around. It doesn't even need any effort by the Regulator to kill off the industry - all it needs is more of the same.
outnabout is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2017, 14:33
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 421
Just don't expect that 5,000 hours in GA will count for anything, because a twit who happens to be good at recognizing shapes and patterns will jump in front of you with 200 hours.
I well remember a young 1500 hour GA pilot who went for a Qantas interview 15 years ago. Having flown with him I knew he was an excellent pilot and very intelligent. He was knocked back by the aptitude test on the first day. Four years later he was accepted by a Hong Kong airline and got his A320 command three years later. 15 years on he is a senior management pilot on the A330 and wealthy beyond his dreams. So much for warm and fuzzy HR interviews and matching objects with each other.
sheppey is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2017, 09:46
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 31
For me there's a very simple correlation between the demise of small flying schools/clubs and the rise of the large commercial flying academies, universities and airline cadetship programs.

There was a time when every school/club in the country always had a few students sitting around building hours towards their CPL. That used to be the backbone of many of the schools/clubs. Now that business has moved on and the only training to be done is for recreational purposes. I think this move towards purely recreational training has also contributed to the rise in RAA.
pokeydokey is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.