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RFDS feeling effects of global pilot shortage

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RFDS feeling effects of global pilot shortage

Old 6th Nov 2019, 11:47
  #141 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 856
Originally Posted by morno View Post
Déjà Vu,
I know several people who currently work for that section and I definitely do not hear comments like that about working there. In fact the comments are so far from that posted by the previous poster that it does make me wonder if maybe there was something else at play that isn’t being told.

What was possibly so bad that they were left tainted forever? I know some people may not always enjoy working for particular companies, but what could possibly happen that they would get onto a public forum and bash them to that extent?

I have several years of working for one of the sections of the RFDS, but it probably wasn’t recent enough that I could give any valid commentary on their current retention problems.

However, aviation in Australia*as a whole is also very different than what it was 10-15 years ago. There’s a different generation of pilots who just want to skip over all that GA stuff and move straight to a jet. Most of these will never return back to GA and fill roles in companies like the RFDS. Also, at least when I worked there, the job is not the same as it was 20+ years ago, when people were happy to retire in that job. It was a busy, hard job. Sure you got lots of days off generally, but when you were at work, the duties were often 12+ hours, and the additional tasks you carry out just helps add to that fatigue. There’s a lot of night flying, most years I was there, at least 50-55% of my yearly total was night hours.

Flying part of it aside, yes there was some administrative changes over the whole organisation that probably made it less of that friendly company it was 20+ years ago, but I certainly wouldn’t say that I despised them to the point of getting on here and bashing the shit out of them.

well said Morno -
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 12:20
  #142 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by morno View Post
Déjà Vu,
I know several people who currently work for that section and I definitely do not hear comments like that about working there. In fact the comments are so far from that posted by the previous poster that it does make me wonder if maybe there was something else at play that isn’t being told.

What was possibly so bad that they were left tainted forever? I know some people may not always enjoy working for particular companies, but what could possibly happen that they would get onto a public forum and bash them to that extent?

I have several years of working for one of the sections of the RFDS, but it probably wasn’t recent enough that I could give any valid commentary on their current retention problems.

However, aviation in Australia*as a whole is also very different than what it was 10-15 years ago. There’s a different generation of pilots who just want to skip over all that GA stuff and move straight to a jet. Most of these will never return back to GA and fill roles in companies like the RFDS. Also, at least when I worked there, the job is not the same as it was 20+ years ago, when people were happy to retire in that job. It was a busy, hard job. Sure you got lots of days off generally, but when you were at work, the duties were often 12+ hours, and the additional tasks you carry out just helps add to that fatigue. There’s a lot of night flying, most years I was there, at least 50-55% of my yearly total was night hours.

Flying part of it aside, yes there was some administrative changes over the whole organisation that probably made it less of that friendly company it was 20+ years ago, but I certainly wouldn’t say that I despised them to the point of getting on here and bashing the shit out of them.
Yes what he said 👍😀
Alice Kiwican is online now  
Old 7th Nov 2019, 03:16
  #143 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Aust
Posts: 188
Originally Posted by Alice Kiwican View Post

Yes what he said 👍😀
Yeah, I don't know what he said but I agree with it!
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Old 7th Nov 2019, 06:39
  #144 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 54
Posts: 1,996
Must have had a bad experience with a flight nurse!
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 01:50
  #145 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South Island
Age: 40
Posts: 517
So much back and forth on this debate and so much right on both sides.

As a pilot that's done both... I'll err on the side of saying the RFDS job is slightly less technically demanding.
(Perhaps just because you're left to do things your own way within the realm of SOPs)
The skills required, whilst very specialised, aren't beyond most pilots. Its just about exposure.
Conversely, airline ops aren't beyond most RFDS pilots or those of other backgrounds.

You don't go into the RFDS as an expert in the field. You learn as you go, just like anywhere else.

Retention though. This is key.

They need to pay somewhere between airline FO and airline Captain, which currently doesn't seem to be the case.

I find airline duties more demanding, the flying more demanding, etc., but we get a lot more days off and better pay to compensate.
The RFDS was more emotionally demanding, without a doubt. But also very, very rewarding.

But, the level of responsibility.

Id go back to the RFDS any day, but the pay cut is unswallowable, even as an airline FO.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 02:44
  #146 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Maningrida
Posts: 38
I see it as a trade off between $$ vs fulfilment (lifestyle). The answer is different for every person.

Supply and demand will eventually drive the price (in this case, Salary).

With airlines recruiting heavily, I really do feel for worthy causes like the RFDS. They provide a vital service to those in our big country.

By our nature, I feel a lot of pilots are highly motivated and goal driven (I feel that if you aren’t when you start, you tend to become such after a few years!).

An airline (Jet) command in Australia is seen by a lot of people as the pinnacle. Once you’ve achieved that, the job becomes one of managing work/life balance and doing so for the most amount of $$.

Perhaps then, fulfilment starts to diminish (the rate might depend on the size of your mortgage!). We all look back at how rewarding GA flying can be but very few willing to take the risks with that move...

I would implore anyone to seek employment with RFDS. Take away the industrial agreement considerations, at its roots, a wonderful function, founded by some history-making, famous Australians which helps people in need.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 03:06
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Aust
Posts: 188
Originally Posted by dontgive2FACs View Post
I see it as a trade off between $$ vs fulfilment (lifestyle). The answer is different for every person.

Supply and demand will eventually drive the price (in this case, Salary).

With airlines recruiting heavily, I really do feel for worthy causes like the RFDS. They provide a vital service to those in our big country.

By our nature, I feel a lot of pilots are highly motivated and goal driven (I feel that if you aren’t when you start, you tend to become such after a few years!).

An airline (Jet) command in Australia is seen by a lot of people as the pinnacle. Once you’ve achieved that, the job becomes one of managing work/life balance and doing so for the most amount of $$.

Perhaps then, fulfilment starts to diminish (the rate might depend on the size of your mortgage!). We all look back at how rewarding GA flying can be but very few willing to take the risks with that move...

I would implore anyone to seek employment with RFDS. Take away the industrial agreement considerations, at its roots, a wonderful function, founded by some history-making, famous Australians which helps people in need.
Agree pretty much 100% with your view. Everyone recognises the contribution of the very worthy RFDS.

The reality is though generally a pilot gets one go at this career, what seems fine when your 35 is not the same as when you are 55. As much as s/he may love the job the average person with a family can't knock back an additional 50-100K/year while it is potentially on offer, there are some however that are happy as they are and that's good.

So the RFDS should expect to be just another stepping stone through the GA ranks unless they address this issue. Judging by the vacancies advertised for the RFDS there doesn't seem to be a matter of urgent pilot shortage and this makes the whole story a little suspect.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 03:30
  #148 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Agree pretty much 100% with your view. Everyone recognises the contribution of the very worthy RFDS.

The reality is though generally a pilot gets one go at this career, what seems fine when your 35 is not the same as when you are 55. As much as s/he may love the job the average person with a family can't knock back an additional 50-100K/year while it is potentially on offer, there are some however that are happy as they are and that's good.

So the RFDS should expect to be just another stepping stone through the GA ranks unless they address this issue. Judging by the vacancies advertised for the RFDS there doesn't seem to be a matter of urgent pilot shortage and this makes the whole story a little suspect.
Kind of curious, what is the rough number for a current rfd pilot salary, with its corresponding base and experience level? Goggling around, I found glassdoor mentioned around 92k average but they dont really specify location/experience.
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Old 11th Nov 2019, 08:48
  #149 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Aust
Posts: 188
Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Agree pretty much 100% with your view. Everyone recognises the contribution of the very worthy RFDS.

The reality is though generally a pilot gets one go at this career, what seems fine when your 35 is not the same as when you are 55. As much as s/he may love the job the average person with a family can't knock back an additional 50-100K/year while it is potentially on offer, there are some however that are happy as they are and that's good.

So the RFDS should expect to be just another stepping stone through the GA ranks unless they address this issue. Judging by the vacancies advertised for the RFDS there doesn't seem to be a matter of urgent pilot shortage and this makes the whole story a little suspect.
Standby for the foreign pilot card for the good old Rufdus, all becomes clear now.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 01:23
  #150 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
Age: 35
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by KRviator View Post
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...
How did you get started with Freight driving? Asking for a friend...
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 06:00
  #151 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cab of a Freight Train
Age: 38
Posts: 658
Originally Posted by jnvivier View Post
How did you get started with Freight driving? Asking for a friend...
The easiest way is to look on Seek using the keyword "Locomotive". Entry-level drivers jobs are usually titled "Trainee Locomotive Driver" or occasionally "Trainee Train Driver", but using the more general Locomotive means you'll catch qualified jobs as well and can tweak your resume to show what you'll eventually be doing. IF you're in Auckland, TransDev is Currently advertising for Trainee's for their 2020 schools but I think they're the suburban trains. If you do come across one that you'll apply for, sell your mechanical aptitude, understanding of physics & maths - inertia/gearing/levers etc, ability to work as part of a team, but also independently as needed, a good communicator to liase with Train Control & Signallers, etc.

Off the top of my head, once you've done your training in the classroom and are qualified to go out as a Driver's Assistant/Fireman/Observer/Second Person, you should be on around $60K, depending on the company. Classroom training will be around 3-4 weeks depending on company and another week or two to qualify as a DA. Qualified driver's, depending on company and depot, will be on between $110-190K. To get qualified as a Driver, from off the street, will take 12-24 months depending on company needs. The blokes that do the "relay working" (sleeping in a crew car as the train travels with the 2nd crew on the loco) out of Adelaide to Perth & Darwin are at the upper end of that salary range. Queensland Coal Driver's around the middle and general freight are in the bottom third or so - but overtime can boost that significantly. Time spent away from home adds up too with various allowances.

A word of warning: There is shiftwork, then there is railway shiftwork. It isn't "Oh, I've got 0400's all next week". Trains run early, late or are cancelled altogether. Fatigue can be a huge factor depending how far you have to drive for work and if you don't make an conscious effort to keep fit, you will find yourself struggling to pass the medicals as you age, it is a very sedentary job. That being said, I've been doing it for 14 years and I wouldn't do anything else - flying included.
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Old 14th Feb 2021, 14:03
  #152 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 67
Are you able to fly for an airline like Cobham for example or QLink and do part time flying for the RFDS as well? If so what would a part time RFDS pilot be paid approximately?
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Old 14th Feb 2021, 17:11
  #153 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 393
Originally Posted by TinFoilhat2 View Post
Are you able to fly for an airline like Cobham for example or QLink and do part time flying for the RFDS as well? If so what would a part time RFDS pilot be paid approximately?
So you go around the Alliance thread beating your chest and then come here asking a question that proves you don't have even a CPL.

Even if someone is on leave without pay, I highly doubt RFDS would hire them for they will only disappear when things improve. If they were a regular line pilot absolutely not.
Got to the backyard and play while the grown ups talk.

Last edited by Climb150; 14th Feb 2021 at 18:52.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 03:58
  #154 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Hiding in Plane Sight
Posts: 101
Do not know where you folks are getting your info but here is the actual RFDS Qld numbers

Aeromedical Pilot: Base Rate effective 1 July 2018 $119,946.52

increases per year x WPI to and including 2021

Retention Tiers - In addition to the Role Base Rate applicable to the Employee's classification, the Employee will receive the Retention Loading for completion of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 years' Continuous Service with the Employer, as set out in the table below:
2 years 4%
4 years 11%
6 years 12%
8 years 13%
10 years 14%

Additional allowances for Remote Area $10k gratuity, ~$10k accommodation, Refuelling allowance ca $900, LoL $2K, and vehicle allowances. Superannuation at 12.5%, 6 weeks annual leave, personal leave, study leave, URTI leave, annual medical expenses, Salary Packaging to GUV $30K, FRMS approved roster so basically 2 days, 1-2 nights, Grey day and 4 days off.

Far above the Award and actually pretty good on any terms of comparison.

Last edited by Al Fentanyl; 15th Feb 2021 at 07:32.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 00:03
  #155 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Chicago
Posts: 12
To navigate toward the Thread title a little, I'm not sure if they're indeed feeling the pinch, no I've not got the experience of a 20 year captain or even a 10 year Captain, but I meet all their requirements and some and still never received any sort of response.

The RFDS in my eyes has always been the pinnacle of flying. I delved very lightly in the airline world but most of my time is GA and I've heard of them interviewing Instructors with no charter background- which I find both infuriating and sad- hopefully not true.

They've recently just put up a relieving pilots add based in WA and hopefully their, "pilot Shortage" will figure it's self out.

Stay safe and happy guys!
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