Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

RFDS feeling effects of global pilot shortage

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

RFDS feeling effects of global pilot shortage

Old 25th Sep 2019, 03:38
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Perth
Age: 39
Posts: 94
Just a thought, why don’t the RFDS go two crew?

Get a low-time (500-700hr pilot) in the RHS, get them involved in the operation. Get experience with a mentor in the LHS then after a few years move them into the left seat.

But I agree, the RFDS pilots definitely need to be on an airline salary. Simple market economics, pay more for a better product.
For this proposition then yes, they will need to pay jet airline pay. The RFDS is one of the few places where you can get refuge from baby sitting someone whilst getting a reliable income. Make it multi crew and you'll see even more people leave. It's the same crap then may as well try and go where the money is better.
spektrum is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 06:11
  #102 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: space
Posts: 380
Drongo Driver, the PC12 is weight limited at remote bases. Standard fuel load for some bases (1800lbs?) is way less than full tanks (2300lbs?). You could have onboard a pilot(essential!), flight nurse, doctor, up to two stretcher patients non stretcher patients, a police officer, or patient relative. So easily 6-7 persons. If you get retasked mid flight to a close destination you will be too heavy to land. Adding another pilot to the load doesn't really help in this regard.
zanthrus is online now  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 09:26
  #103 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The Pointy End
Posts: 32
Originally Posted by spektrum View Post
For this proposition then yes, they will need to pay jet airline pay. The RFDS is one of the few places where you can get refuge from baby sitting someone whilst getting a reliable income. Make it multi crew and you'll see even more people leave. It's the same crap then may as well try and go where the money is better.
Ah of course. Totally forgot having someone in the RHS is “babysitting”

They couldn’t be passing on experience or sharing the workload in such a high-intensity scenario like aeromedical flights into the middle of nowhere. I forgot that people are born with 10,000 hours and there’s no place for young pilots trying to improve their skills. No wonder the young guys nowadays have such a bleak outlook on the industry...
DrongoDriver is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 10:09
  #104 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Aus
Age: 28
Posts: 467
Originally Posted by spektrum View Post
For this proposition then yes, they will need to pay jet airline pay. The RFDS is one of the few places where you can get refuge from baby sitting someone whilst getting a reliable income. Make it multi crew and you'll see even more people leave. It's the same crap then may as well try and go where the money is better.
junior.VH-LFA is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 12:07
  #105 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Perth
Age: 39
Posts: 94
What's the problem? Every major airline in Australia takes cadets and its not everyones wish to fly with them. Remember, there is no pilot shortage in Australia. There is a shortage of experienced pilots willing to work for the money airlines (mainly regionals) are paying.
spektrum is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 14:39
  #106 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 28
To be fair, the majority of GA in Australia is generally a pretty bad work environment to be in. Why endure 4,000 hours of it when someone can just babysit you in a multi crew environment? We can't all be born during a that period in time that makes us great pilots, so most of us younger drivers will always just be inept.
Jeffory is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 23:16
  #107 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: On my V Strom
Posts: 263
Krismiler, were you serious??
"The trade off for lower pay is a more relaxed working environment without having every aspect of your day micromanaged with SOPs, over regulation and endless simulator checks"

Do you really think they are not working to strict SOPs? Do you really think they are not doing 6 monthly sim sessions?? Quite offensive that you dumb it down. Professional aeromedical pilots operate to strong SOPs and are trained and tested to the same standard as the airlines...

And I'd like to know what constitutes a bush pilot now. These days the aircraft are fitted with advanced avionics and GPS guidance - not much different to airlines. The difference is dirt strips and less radar ATC guidance. Still lots of following the magenta line.
Trevor the lover is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2019, 23:39
  #108 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The Pointy End
Posts: 32
Originally Posted by spektrum View Post
What's the problem? Every major airline in Australia takes cadets and its not everyones wish to fly with them. Remember, there is no pilot shortage in Australia. There is a shortage of experienced pilots willing to work for the money airlines (mainly regionals) are paying.
I never said anything about cadets. The RFDS is the last organisation in the world who should take cadets. The reason I said 500hr-700hr is that it’s usually a pilot whose done a wet season or at least a bit of GA flying. They’re around the time where regionals are trying to poach them and if you get them into the organisation, they see the lifestyle, conditions and what they’re doing actually making a difference.

The other problem with having such high requirements is that they’re usually only attained after 5+ years in GA. Good luck finding someone after that period in GA who doesn’t now hate GA and wants the security and cashflow of an airline job.
DrongoDriver is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2019, 02:03
  #109 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 1,186
Krismiler, were you serious ?
No offense meant but you would have to experience the airline environment to believe the endless regulation, micro management, daily blizzard of memos and instructions and sheer volume of all the books. Pedantic checking and training, every move being monitored and in many cases, a punitive culture. Back of the clock and timezone changes are no fun either.

I've done bush and aeromedical in past lives and quite frankly, would be quite happy to go back to it if I had a decent base, same pay as I'm on at the moment and staff travel benefits.
krismiler is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2019, 02:19
  #110 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Aust
Posts: 159
Originally Posted by DrongoDriver View Post
Just a thought, why don’t the RFDS go two crew?

Get a low-time (500-700hr pilot) in the RHS, get them involved in the operation. Get experience with a mentor in the LHS then after a few years move them into the left seat.

But I agree, the RFDS pilots definitely need to be on an airline salary. Simple market economics, pay more for a better product.

The day RFDS go two-crew will be the day I hand in my resignation.
Luckily, it won’t happen.

Completely agree with your last paragraph.
rcoight is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2019, 04:45
  #111 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 2,182
Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
No offense meant but you would have to experience the airline environment to believe the endless regulation, micro management, daily blizzard of memos and instructions and sheer volume of all the books. Pedantic checking and training, every move being monitored and in many cases, a punitive culture. Back of the clock and timezone changes are no fun either.

I've done bush and aeromedical in past lives and quite frankly, would be quite happy to go back to it if I had a decent base, same pay as I'm on at the moment and staff travel benefits.
It’s not rocket science is it krismiler?

Serious question: In the big scheme of things, just how much would a 50% pay rise for the pilots add to the cost of the operation. When you have hundreds or even thousands of drivers I get it. But we’re talking about a handful of dedicated people who would gladly stay if they were simply able to build a deservingly slightly above average life for themselves and their families​​​​​​. Not to mention the long term solving of the RFDS Crewing issues!

Frankly I still shake my head that we are even having this discussion.
KRUSTY 34 is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2019, 05:02
  #112 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Aust
Posts: 205
Originally Posted by KRUSTY 34 View Post



Frankly I still shake my head that we are even having this discussion.
At last I have an ally. Its not about what Drs. Nurses, airline pilots etc earn but about a liveable and sustainable salary.
The idea that 2 crew would solve the problem is farcical, all that means is that 2 people are surviving below the poverty line
deja vu is online now  
Old 26th Sep 2019, 22:55
  #113 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Goolwa
Age: 56
Posts: 124
I think a point a lot of people forget is the list of things that can end a pilots career suddenly, medical issues mainly but other regulatory burdens as well. Other professions (Doctors, nurses etc) do not have the same 'sword of Damocles' hanging over them. This should be reflected in their renumeration.
Dexta is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 00:42
  #114 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Aust
Posts: 159
Originally Posted by KRUSTY 34 View Post
Serious question: In the big scheme of things, just how much would a 50% pay rise for the pilots add to the cost of the operation. When you have hundreds or even thousands of drivers I get it. But we’re talking about a handful of dedicated people who would gladly stay if they were simply able to build a deservingly slightly above average life for themselves and their families​​​​​​. Not to mention the long term solving of the RFDS Crewing issues!

Frankly I still shake my head that we are even having this discussion.
Absolutely spot on.

Unfortunately management don’t see it this way. The sad truth is they just don’t place much value on what the pilots do.

Except, of course, when there’s PR to be done. Then they want pilots and nurses out there smiling away saying how lucky they are and how amazing everything is...
rcoight is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 00:51
  #115 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hole in road
Posts: 115
I have no doubt throwing more money at RFDS pilots will help with retention but as I understand those that leave are often just looking for a better roster or natural career progression. Whilst the likes of Deja vu will try and convince you RFDS pilots are earning something akin to poverty line incomes, the reality is their incomes are generally well into a 6 figure amount, additionally there are also substantial tax benefits due to the charity status of RFDS.

In short RFDS pilots are considered to be in the top 10% of wage income earners in Australia. Whilst the likes of Barnaby Joyce may struggle on their 200k salaries most sensible people can sustain a good standard of living on a RFDS income.

As to the superlative skills of RFDS pilots, and yes they are pretty skilled pilots, some skilled pretty pilots too, but I doubt they can be called highly skilled bush pilots in the traditional sense, PNG pilots and similar are the true bush pilots and the accident rate reflects the difficulty of their work.

The challenging remote area flying disappeared along with NDB's, dead reckoning and piston engines, now its a world of FMS and glass cockpits and zero tolerance for risky scenarios. Airstrips are all surveyed, and generally of high standard for dirt strips, LSALT's are well promulgated and conservative and rigid SOP's rule the day/night. SPIFR in the likes of B200's and PC12's is not overly demanding compared to that of the piston engine era.

If management were to substantially increase pilot wages during the present relatively short lived high pilot demand times to retain pilots then they would wear this expense during the depressed times. Their trick is to see how long they can juggle with the present attrition rate until the cycle trends down, probably the easier tool to use is bolster the numbers the best they can, improve rosters and work/life balance and when things trend down tighten up the roster again. I don't suspect any of this is an easy process for management to deal with.
Obidiah is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 01:34
  #116 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 2,625
All those sprouting 'children of the magenta line' BS probably need to move on from the 70s and realise that a PC12NG ( and virtually any new GA aircraft / Biz Jet) is way more technically advanced than either a A320 or B737 and that in fact it probably takes more airmanship to fly either jet than a PC12 due to a lack of technology.

I would argue that a RFDS Pilot in a PC 12 is much more of a magenta line follower than any domestic airline pilot just by the simple fact they are actually flying new technology. By comparison the magenta line in a A320\737 can't keep you in controlled airspace in Australia amongst other limitations. Additionally neither jet has all the avionics SA that is available to RFDS pilots. Newer GA aircraft are built for private pilots so have more help and work load reduction built into them than any airliner in Australia has.

I would suggest that the RFDS could probably get away with a lower experience level just by the simple fact that their aircraft are actually really technically advanced.




neville_nobody is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 03:30
  #117 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 96
Neville, absolutely spot on.

Anybody who thinks that RFDS pilots are out there fighting thunderstorms with an ERC, an ADF and a whiz wheel really have the rose-tinted glasses on
BigPapi is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 05:29
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: On my V Strom
Posts: 263
Hence my question in post 107 - just what is a bush pilot now? Is remote area flying really remote area flying when a coupled up GPS takes you to within 3 meters of some Kimberley dirts strip.
Trevor the lover is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 07:59
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Aust
Posts: 205
If management were to substantially increase pilot wages during the present relatively short lived high pilot demand times to retain pilots then they would wear this expense during the depressed times. Their trick is to see how long they can juggle with the present attrition rate until the cycle trends down, probably the easier tool to use is bolster the numbers the best they can, improve rosters and work/life balance and when things trend down tighten up the roster again. I don't suspect any of this is an easy process for management to deal with.[/QUOTE]

I hope you are not saying what I think you are saying... which from my understanding is that if management give the pilots a pay rise now, at a time of high pilot demand then they would have to " wear this expense" in times of a pilot glut. Hmmm. how awful. Or to suggest that to improve rosters and work/life balance now to help retain crews but screw them back again when we have got plenty of applicants. How exploitive is that? Disgraceful!

The standard of living argument is absurd. Barnaby has 2 families and they are all big eaters. Too many variables to be able to generalise. We have been talking about having a rewarding career and a comfortable retirement not involving Centrelink.

Would it be possible that you have more than a passing interest in all this,? just saying
deja vu is online now  
Old 27th Sep 2019, 10:41
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Aust
Posts: 159
Good question. It certainly sounds like management / accountant speak.
rcoight is offline  

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.