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RFDS feeling effects of global pilot shortage

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RFDS feeling effects of global pilot shortage

Old 18th Sep 2019, 10:06
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Hey DEJA_VU.....loved your comments, unfortunately you were spot on !
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 10:23
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Yes, regional captains pay is just as lousy.
Fair call. Curiously where do you draw the line of lousy / not lousy?

It's not that bad, some just want it all which aviation doesn't cater for! Some seem to always 'compare', "he is getting more than me mentality"! It's not about comparing it is what it is, don't like it then you shouldn't have signed up!!!!!! I spent many years in AeroMed, was the best job, not the best paid but the best job, not everything is about money, we are so focused on the $$$ some lose sight of life itself! The Ruffdus like ALL Co's have their internal issues, what aviation Co doesn't?
Thanks for a balancing input. I also dare say that people who are all about the money are far more likely to voice their complaints via this medium then the large group of pilots who just lurk and get on with the job.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 10:48
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by spektrum View Post
Can someone please tell me which flying job in this country is the best kept secret?
Iíd bet this is certainly toward the top of the list.

Paspaley Flying Boats - Paspaley Group

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Old 18th Sep 2019, 11:28
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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[QUOTE=spektrum;10572685]Fair call. Curiously where do you draw the line of lousy / not lousy?


I would draw the line of lousy/not lousy based on earning enough that a pilot can afford to provide modestly for a family and maybe even save enough for a reasonable retirement. Despite all the comments that it is wrong to compare I can't help but mention that a Melbourne suburban train driver earns around the same as a RFDS / Regional Captain pilots fixed pay before his/her penalty rates kick in, possibly doubling his/her take home pay. The train driver does this with zero training costs or years of striving, simulator and medical renewal and job security for life.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 13:41
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Despite all the comments that it is wrong to compare I can't help but mention that a Melbourne suburban train driver earns around the same as a RFDS / Regional Captain pilots fixed pay before his/her penalty rates kick in, possibly doubling his/her take home pay. The train driver does this with zero training costs or years of striving, simulator and medical renewal and job security for life.
AS a train driver I can endorse your philosophy. I gave up flying for a career 13 years ago and have never looked back. Suburban guys, particularly in Brisbane and Melbourne are quite well paid notwithstanding the roster.

Freight drivers - depending on company and depot - can earn well over $140K and if you go to one of the Pilbara operators you can take home north of $200K easily, particularly if you are employed as a residential driver there, though FIFO employees are on much less. I now work a 2 week on, 4 week off roster and gross around $110K but that was my choice to go part-time. On a 2 on, 2 off FIFO roster, that was around $165K give or take, though a good mate has just left for another company and is on $210K as a casual Driver.

We still have Cat1 medicals to comply with, though that is essentially the equivalent of an aviation Class 1, with a few things omitted, and I know of quite a few guys who have struggled to pass that with the more stringent criteria imposed recently, mostly stress testing or sleep related. To earn the sort of coin though, you are up at all hours, can have your shift changed at the drop of a hat +2 hours or -4 hours, many depots operate "blank line" or "pencil" rosters, where you know your RDO's and that is it. You don't find out what you're doing tomorrow until you sign off today, though the Suburban drivers have a fixed roster and can swap jobs/days with other volunteers to suit their own needs.

Knowing what I know now would I ever go back to flying as a career? RFDS, perhaps, but I don't have the experience to qualify, but beyond that, not a bloody chance... I fly for fun now, when I want, where I want and I don't have to deal with security going to work every shift...

Last edited by KRviator; 18th Sep 2019 at 13:51.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 15:51
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I had a mate who did a short spell with the RFDS,

Basically maintenance is as good as it gets, they can't afford to have an aircraft break down when a call comes in so write it up and it's fixed no questions asked.
They really look after you and job security is excellent.
By GA standards pay is good however he did mention that the flight nurse earned more than he did.
Base was determined by supply and demand, apparently Charleville was popular and no one wanted to leave.
You are required to live within a certain distance/time to the airport.
Single pilot IFR, and could be quite demanding when trying to land on a bush strip during a stormy night.

It's a unique job, like flying in Antarctica or being a seaplane pilot in the Maldives.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 21:57
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I have a suspicion that the new generation of pilots starting out in Australia see being in GA for any longer than 2 years is a failure by the pilot.

Its all aboat getting multi crew turbo prop time as a leg up to the big jet.

Cobham Coastwatch
Rex
Sharp
Skippers
Jetstar
Virgin

If these companies could source all their pilots via pay for training, sorry "cadet scheme" they would.

RFDS is now stuck with trying to source pilots who used Govt funding to pay for their licence because they failed to get into one of the above schemes.

Last edited by pilotchute; 19th Sep 2019 at 01:31.
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 00:39
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Pilotchute, I am also seeing and hearing of more GA companies who will select a self-funded pilot over a VETFEE funded pilot any day. As a broad generalisation, self-funded pilots are more likely to turn up on time, be prepared and have done some homework prior to the lesson / flight. VETFEE pilots are more likely to be at uni because Ma & Pa want them to do a degree, and becoming a pilot might help pickup chicks.

We are also seeing the first failure rate when GA pilots move from singles to twins (piston or turbine)...there are those who shouldn't be flying anything more complex than a 206, and there are those who shouldn't be flying...

On the regional airlines, we are starting to see the difference between cadets who are trained to operate an aircraft within a particular set of paremeters, and those ex-GA jockeys who can fly an aircraft. Both are now appearing in the captains seat, and the difference is obvious.

The RFDS situation is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 05:37
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
I had a mate who did a short spell with the RFDS,

Basically maintenance is as good as it gets, they can't afford to have an aircraft break down when a call comes in so write it up and it's fixed no questions asked.
They really look after you and job security is excellent.
By GA standards pay is good however he did mention that the flight nurse earned more than he did.
Base was determined by supply and demand, apparently Charleville was popular and no one wanted to leave.
You are required to live within a certain distance/time to the airport.
Single pilot IFR, and could be quite demanding when trying to land on a bush strip during a stormy night.

It's a unique job, like flying in Antarctica or being a seaplane pilot in the Maldives.
Sorry to labour the point but Krismillers mate only worked for the RFDS for a short time, why, could it be he/she couldn't get a sustainable wage? He goes on to mention "By GA standards the pay is good" The truth is that GA pay standards are appalling. The reasons for this are unchanged over 50 years that I know of, pilots working for below salary, flying unserviceable aircraft overweight and out of hours etc just to get the hours to get to the high paying gig in an airline, then sneering at GA as crap. Shonky operators cutting corners, tendering below par to get a contract and then putting the screws on pilots to make it work for them. And so we come to this now that the RFDS is claiming it's a global shortage of pilots that is responsible for their predicament, what garbage.
Make no mistake, the RFDS is not that cosy fuzzy Mother Theresa like benevolent organisation it makes out, it's a business, as ruthless and cutthroat as any other in this industry and a long way from the Rev. Flynn's idea of a community service.
And for a few obviously retired ex airline pilots to suggest that RFDS or GA pilots should just suck it up because they "want it all" and have lost sight of what life is all about or the CEO to suggest the "pilots give back to the sector" is the height of hypocrisy.

A look at the post from KRviator will give you an idea what is happening in the real world, he has to be the smartest guy to visit PPRuNe. We all know why his industry can afford to pay what they do, no shonky operators undercutting and no sycophantic drivers prepared to work for less. Costs passed onto the consumer, easy
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 09:52
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Sorry to labour the point but Krismillers mate only worked for the RFDS for a short time, why, could it be he/she couldn't get a sustainable wage? He goes on to mention "By GA standards the pay is good" The truth is that GA pay standards are appalling. The reasons for this are unchanged over 50 years that I know of, pilots working for below salary, flying unserviceable aircraft overweight and out of hours etc just to get the hours to get to the high paying gig in an airline, then sneering at GA as crap. Shonky operators cutting corners, tendering below par to get a contract and then putting the screws on pilots to make it work for them. And so we come to this now that the RFDS is claiming it's a global shortage of pilots that is responsible for their predicament, what garbage.
Make no mistake, the RFDS is not that cosy fuzzy Mother Theresa like benevolent organisation it makes out, it's a business, as ruthless and cutthroat as any other in this industry and a long way from the Rev. Flynn's idea of a community service.
And for a few obviously retired ex airline pilots to suggest that RFDS or GA pilots should just suck it up because they "want it all" and have lost sight of what life is all about or the CEO to suggest the "pilots give back to the sector" is the height of hypocrisy.

A look at the post from KRviator will give you an idea what is happening in the real world, he has to be the smartest guy to visit PPRuNe. We all know why his industry can afford to pay what they do, no shonky operators undercutting and no sycophantic drivers prepared to work for less. Costs passed onto the consumer, easy
i feel sorry for people like you, you truly are just plain angry with yr multiple "bag 'em" posts!
How many years did you work for the RFDS to make you so bitter?
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 08:36
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by machtuk View Post


i feel sorry for people like you, you truly are just plain angry with yr multiple "bag 'em" posts!
How many years did you work for the RFDS to make you so bitter?
Deja Vu is spot on...after decades in the rfds, it has become a corporate entity and a long way from when I started....Management are their for one reason,,,themselves!
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 08:44
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by machtuk View Post


i feel sorry for people like you, you truly are just plain angry with yr multiple "bag 'em" posts!
How many years did you work for the RFDS to make you so bitter?
More than likely they applied and never got a job with them, and because they didn't hire 'gods gift to aviation' then clearly they are a bad place.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 09:19
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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The job is excellent, but the pay is lousy. It really is as simple as that for a lot of people.
The pool of pilots who have the experience required and are happy to do what is required to the required standard for the money on offer is drying up.
Unfortunately RFDS management refuse to accept that reality.
Rather than trying to attract people who are only ever going to use them as a leg-up to the airlines they’d be better off properly looking after the pilots already there so that they don’t leave. Believe me, a lot of them don’t want to leave but they have a family and a life like everyone else.
As has been mentioned above, the fact that the pilot is the lowest paid person out of everyone in the aircraft is a disgrace.

Last edited by rcoight; 20th Sep 2019 at 09:55.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 10:36
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Why are the drivers the least paid onboard? Because they can get away with it. I agree it is a disgrace. I have never flown these demanding ops, just a few jet patient transfers.

The rosters seem stable, demanding call out and weather, remote strips, black holes.....

Experience levels used to be demanded extremely high.

Why have pilot wages been allowed to slip?

Yes the public think its a charity service hence the huge amounts raised in the public arena. Yet private companies that may tender low to win the contract but then? Where does all the money raised go?

Why are these drivers not some of the best paid???
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 12:01
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Australia
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Why make a big deal about the pilot being the lowest paid on board? Doctors and nurses need a uni degree and substantial extra qualifications to work in the aero medical field. Itís not a competition between them and the pilots. By all means go for higher wages, but you wonít get the money by pointing to the medical staff and complaining.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 12:07
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Originally Posted by Global Aviator View Post
Why are the drivers the least paid onboard? Because they can get away with it. I agree it is a disgrace. I have never flown these demanding ops, just a few jet patient transfers.

The rosters seem stable, demanding call out and weather, remote strips, black holes.....

Experience levels used to be demanded extremely high.

Why have pilot wages been allowed to slip?

Yes the public think its a charity service hence the huge amounts raised in the public arena. Yet private companies that may tender low to win the contract but then? Where does all the money raised go?

Why are these drivers not some of the best paid???
They don't give a **** about their current pilots and and have no qualms about breaching the EBA when it suits them, so why would the current Pilots want to stay!!
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 16:22
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Originally Posted by logansi View Post
More than likely they applied and never got a job with them, and because they didn't hire 'gods gift to aviation' then clearly they are a bad place.
I'm not sure if this post is just an appalling use of English or is the new virtue signalling around the use of the latest Woke gender pronouns, they and them.

In any case for your ease of understanding and to avoid offending any very sensitive woke souls, God's gift to aviation ( herein after to be known as "they" ) never did apply to the RFDS ( herein after to be known as "them"), When "they" was seeking employment in the general aviation field, "them" only operated in remote areas and "they" chose to accept work with another city based Aeromed operator for many years and thereafter enjoyed an amazing career through to retirement in heavier than air vehicles of a more significant size and speed. So "them" were never offered or enjoyed the benefit of "they"'s God given gift.

Clearly "them" or "they" are not "a bad place", or even a good place for that matter. A place has co-ordinates, you know a whole lot of numbers in groups with a letter in front. In fact "them" is an organisation, not a place. "They" has no opinion on wether "them" is a good or bad organisation but "they" believes that "them" do not currently offer good long term career prospects for people like "they", gifted or not.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 18:21
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Just perused the RFDS website, I see an advert for B350 pilots with required min hours of 2000 plus 500 ME. Seems a tad on the low side unless all they’re doing these days is flying the magenta line.

Deja Vu is correct about the history of GA pilots conditions. I look back on my career and shake my head at what I accepted just to get a few more hours on the next level up, Only did well after leaving to fly overseas. A move that I cannot recommend too highly to anyone wanting to lift themselves out of the poverty cycle.
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Old 21st Sep 2019, 01:21
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cloudee View Post
Why make a big deal about the pilot being the lowest paid on board? Doctors and nurses need a uni degree and substantial extra qualifications to work in the aero medical field. Itís not a competition between them and the pilots. By all means go for higher wages, but you wonít get the money by pointing to the medical staff and complaining.
Exactly!!

They get paid more because they are worth more, the pilots role on board is probably the least complex and least demanding of all three roles along with the fact the only role which has sensible (??) duty time restrictions.
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Old 21st Sep 2019, 01:35
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Obidiah View Post
Exactly!!

They get paid more because they are worth more, the pilots role on board is probably the least complex and least demanding of all three roles along with the fact the only role which has sensible (??) duty time restrictions.
What is 'worth' anyway? Who decides what someone is worth? Purely as an observation, the pilot on these flights is responsible for all lives onboard not just the patient. Duty time restrictions don't mean anything when you are single pilot IFR going into/out of an outback strip at 4am in crap weather. How ironic that an employer demands high levels of experience with a certain level of pay but then when it suits them i.e. supply drops, they simple reduce the hours requirement. New joiners are magically 'worth' more!
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