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Flying for free to build hours

Old 6th Nov 2020, 01:59
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed. Go on Neville, tell us where you got your free hours. Scab
I have never worked for free or paid for commercial operations. When I was younger I was probably more of persuasion that people who did it were scabs ruining the industry etc so I never did it and took the 'honourable' route. Only to watch people work for free (including sky diving) and those who bought twin time (or managed to have it already through family connections) especially; do really well out of it. Meanwhile all the "honourable" pilots were still in GA while all the so called scabs were flying in airlines. Sure operators appreciated that you did it the "right way" but they still didn't hire you. "Get XYZ experience then give me a call"

I have no idea what point you're trying to make here.
So it's criminal to work for free as a pilot but OK to work for free as a plumber or accountant or LAME?? In fact those guys used to annoy me more. It was like just having a commercial license and few hours wasn't enough, you needed to have some other totally unrelated qualification that took 3-4 years to obtain just so you might get a shot a flying some clapped out aircraft.

Last edited by neville_nobody; 6th Nov 2020 at 06:20.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 08:28
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
I have never worked for free or paid for commercial operations.
why are you fervently defending scabs so much then?


Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
So it's criminal to work for free as a pilot but OK to work for free as a plumber or accountant or LAME?? In fact those guys used to annoy me more. It was like just having a commercial license and few hours wasn't enough, you needed to have some other totally unrelated qualification that took 3-4 years to obtain just so you might get a shot a flying some clapped out aircraft.
What do plumbers or accountants have to do with it? That's a false equivalence and irrelevant. What matters is our industry as commercial pilots. Our pay and conditions are hard fought, and are directly undermined by people willing to work for less or work for free.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 10:13
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Wow! Think this through a bit, Sir!
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 10:15
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nigelsomers View Post
Well I am just trying to get into the industry and start paying off my VET fee debt. I'm not sure what the expectation is (i.e fly for free?) because I haven't had a job as a pilot yet. Very disheartening given the amount of money invested in this...
My roof needs some ridge caps cemented and pointed. I'm willing to spot you some cash to do the job. You won't be working as a commercial pilot any time soon, that's the reality of the situation. You need to look elsewhere to earn an income. Offering to work for free will end your career before it even starts.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 10:26
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nigelsomers View Post
..We just feel we have no other choice to get a break in the industry, so we are going ahead with it..
Understand there is an Air Pilots Award and it is the law that if you are working as pilot you must be paid as per the Award as a minimum. No operator is going to fall for the "fly for free" trick. Even if you did fly for free, by mutual consent with the operator, as soon as you left that employment you can take the operator to the FWC and they will be forced to pay you. Everybody knows that. There is no such thing as working for free, so put into action your plan B. Obviously your flight instructors drilled into you during training to always have a plan B.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 10:31
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Say you have 2 candidates, both skilled, friendly, eager, etc.

Candidate 1: Worked for free but does not require a type rating, has time on type.

Candidate 2: Never worked for free but requires a type rating, no time on type.

Bills are piling up. You need someone in your (I dunno, Caravan?) ASAP because your two Chieftains aren't getting released from their 100 hourlies until they get a new engine each.

Who do you choose? How much is the integrity of the candidates standing before you worth to your bottom line?
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 10:34
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Training them yourself means you don’t inherit bad habits.

How long is a caravan endorsement? A day?
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 11:09
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Ummmm, I don't understand the hypothetical scenario. With the two Chieftains stuck in maintenance why can't the employee pilots who usually fly them fly the Caravan?
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 11:38
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Because the Caravan while single engine is Gas Turbine and requires a Flight Review.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 12:06
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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What do plumbers or accountants have to do with it? That's a false equivalence and irrelevant. What matters is our industry as commercial pilots. Our pay and conditions are hard fought, and are directly undermined by people willing to work for less or work for free.
I'm referring to pilots who have those qualifications who work for free just so they get a flying job. Is that acceptable but flying for free is not? What about working for free cleaning aircraft or in the office so you can get a foot in the door? What's the difference?

why are you fervently defending scabs so much then?
I am not defending it I'm ambivalent about it. There are three issues in play one is how do you get experience when you don't have any and people I saw who did work for free or paid to fly did well out of it. It was probably a good use of their time/money. Thirdly there is no real repercussion for doing it in fact you are rewarded through career progression.

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Old 6th Nov 2020, 14:33
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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I've seen this in the helicopter industry. Let me fly your shiny gas turbine choppers for free please Mr/Mrs AOC holder!

Once they had some experience they would then say, oh, I've got experience now, how about paying me to do the same job? Never happened. The accountants just found the next mug to fly for nothing and they were 'let go'.
When they moved off looking for their next job with their fist full of hours usually the operator would give us a ring and ask how they were. Nothing was ever embellished but most operators were rightly skeptical when they were told they were let go at the end of their 'paid for by themselves' hour building.

Thankfully those dark days of 'fly for free' seem to be over in the helicopter industry (going back to the 90's now) and I would hate to see them in the fixed wing world as well. Getting ahead is one thing but trashing the already diminished T's & C's for newbies is, in my opinion, despicable.

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Old 6th Nov 2020, 21:52
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Working for free opens a whole can of worms doesn't it. Just what constitutes working for free? I know a few Electricians and Plumbers and Carpenters that sometimes work for free. Usually this is through organisations like Lions,Rotary,Jaycees etc or could be by themselves by taking on maintenance duties for say Ronald McDonald house etc. This is charitable work or called "giving something back". One sparky I know belongs to a church and will fix members electrics if they are pensioners and can't afford to pay a contractor. Angel flight pilots also could be deemed working for free if they hold a CPL. Glider towing if a club member etc all is for free for the greater good.
This is a world away from offering to work for free at a business that is making money from your efforts. This is illegal and they can be prosecuted for it. Because you are not on their books you will not be covered by workcover. You are not a contractor either if there is not a record of payment to you as they can claim your charges off their taxable income. The tax office will also want your tax if a real contractor or employee. So we taxpayers are getting ripped off too.
Sometimes you read of unscrupulous small shopkeepers getting young jobseekers to work a few days for free as a "trial" only to let them go and repeat the process again and again. This is illegal. Do not partake in it no matter how hard it is to break into the workforce. Unfortunately there will always be some business owners only too willing to take advantage of the vulnerable. Report them if you have evidence as they not only screw their unpaid workers but businesses that do the right thing and compete against them.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 21:55
  #93 (permalink)  
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Maybe if I don't get a break in the industry, I'll just build an Instagram or YouTube channel as do what Mentour Pilot and flywithgarrett is doing.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 23:51
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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...I think maybe the OP now has an idea it wasn't such a good idea. From what I understand the Diploma of Aviation has a VET fee loan cap of about $80K so if he's spent $120K on the course he probably owes somebody money now, despite not earning an income above the VET repayment threshold. Picking fruit etc should be on his plan B radar.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 00:45
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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More like $150,000 cap plus a $30,000 admin fee. Just the cost of that admin fee could get you 100 command hours. I'm guessing the cost of the pilot costume is on top of that.

Some providers aiming for the rich list will keep on fooling people that there is a "pilot shortage" and because that is what they want to hear, they sign up. It's the most expensive way of doing it, but the providers do very nicely until they suddenly go bust, leaving the students with nothing to show for it but a VET debt that the rest of us have to subsidise.

Then when they finally get qualified for double what it would have cost them if they'd worked and saved up for a few years, they try to white ant the industry and those same people who didn't fall for the sales pitch. White ants have always been a problem in this industry but the sense of entitlement that the massive government loans have given them seems to have made it worse. Clearly the Govt were also taken in by the "pilot shortage" rubbish or there should be an investigation into the vested interests.

The training provider made it's money from selling courses, not command time, so these people often only have the bare minimum of 70 hours. That's going to make it pretty tough to find work.

In my experience success in the industry is like the tortoise and the hare. Most of the ones like the OP who have contemptuously tried to stamp on people's heads on the way up have fallen by the wayside. Former students of mine who have got to the top of their game have all been self funded. Nothing like a few years of underground FIFO prior to starting the course to prove commitment.

gulliBell, thanks, I now have an image of someone turning up at the farm complete with sparkling white shirt, gold bars, raybans and whizz wheel in pocket. I wonder if they would pick fruit for nothing just to get ahead? Knowing some of the hard core fruit pickers out there I think they would last just a few seconds.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 07:46
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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OK, so you get a job flying for free. Great. You are off gaining some command hours.
Few months down the line, you ask to be paid, operator decides he is going to take the next one in line, offering to work for free.
You've just lost your sweet gig but that's OK, you have some command hours! Time to hit job number two and progress further.

​​​​​​You keep sending out resumes but no one is taking you. You start speaking to a recently hired pilot. He wanted some twin time so offered to work for free. Guess you aren't getting your second job without working for free after all.

You dig in, just for a little while, you'll get a paid job soon right. Job two, you gotta work for free now.

That's OK, in six months, you'll have some quals for job three. Surely that has to be a paid job. At least you hope it is because you don't have any money left...

The biggest problem for working for free is someone else can always afford to do it longer than you can to get to their goal. You aren't the first, you won't be the last and it most definitely isn't just a few of you from your group.

A lot of operators won't take you just because you offer to work for free either. Command time, ratings, availability and time on type account for most of it, followed by recommendations from those in the game.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 09:51
  #97 (permalink)  
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Devil

I don't get it. From the first lot of replies the OP received to his question, it is quite clear that most, if not all, would agree that working for free is not a very good idea.

Why then, is this discussion continuing?

FWIW, I would not acknowlege, or even speak to anyone who ever admitted to having done so!
But maybe that's just me; A cranky old bastard!

Taily; You wanna make with the padlock?
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 23:24
  #98 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by morno View Post
I don’t know much about VET, but you’re telling me that you pay the same interest rate that a bank would charge? If not, then yes, we are subsidising you.

I and many others worked our arses off to get our qualifications, and you just want to come in an undercut us all by “working for free, but only at the start”. How long does “the start” go for?

You're degrading your future profession, you’re preventing someone from earning a living and you have a lot to learn about professional integrity.

What about the legalities of insurance etc. when you prang an aeroplane and injure your passengers? You’re not a paid employee, so you most likely aren’t covered by any form of indemnity or hull loss insurance. I bet you’d argue that you are an employee, but watch a lawyer tear that apart in court and then sue you for millions.

Regarding your claim about friends who work in graphic design or whatever needing testimonials etc. Do you think you need that sort of crap to work as a professional pilot? Did you do any sort of research about your intended career path as a pilot? Do you understand your VET loan requirements and the fact that you don’t pay anything until you reach a certain threshold of income? Don’t cry to us that you’re “lumped with debt”. You’ve got a loan that doesn’t require repayments until you earn a certain amount.

What about those of us who have genuine debts like housing loans, and the cost of keeping a family going. You might be a long way down the chain from some of us, but if we get enough of you scabs volunteering to fly for free, it goes up the chain and then next thing you’re affecting my income.

It’s a very small industry buddy, and if people find out your name, then it’ll spread like a weed and your name will be dirt. You might work your way up through the industry no problem because of it, but it won’t be an enjoyable path because of the hatred people will have for you.

Yes, sounds harsh doesn’t it, but if you degrade my profession, then you deserve every criticism you get.
You are such a terrible human being. To call me and other people "scabs" is insulting. I am fresh to this aviation industry and never thought that asking to work for free would create so much hysteria in a forum. You really need to be more thoughtful in your responses. You really do remind me of a school yard bully. I'm sure you wouldn't say that to my face if we had this same conversation at an aerodrome.

I have been reading everybody's responses here and most of it is meaningful insights. "you're a scab" is childish my friend.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 08:12
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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Offering to work for free might be seen similarly to contractors crossing union picket lines. Hence the malice shown against those who undercut workers hard won pay and conditions by working for less than the Award (or for free), or who cross union picket lines, should come as no surprise. Being fresh to the aviation industry, as you say, and having only operated within the protected confines of a flying school environment, you obviously weren't aware that raising this issue in a public forum was going to stir up a hornet's nest of angst (contrary to what you say, it's not hysteria). Many here would cut a young guy some slack for not knowing any different. But now that you know that offering to work as a pilot for free is a bad idea, take that advice onboard and execute your plan B. Bad ideas in aviation have consequences you just don't see in other occupations. You simply can't compare it to graphic designers or plumbers or many other occupations where people might work for free to get some valuable experience. Remember also, if an operator does take you on working for free, what corners they might also be cutting on aircraft maintenance? On training? On SMS? On insurances? etc. I dare say you probably don't have the nouse or the fortitude to deal with operators at that end of the industry, and if you were to do so you'd be setting yourself up for more grief. And you should also be aware that insurance underwriters of charter aircraft often have minimum experience requirements for pilots that are higher - actually much higher - than the experience you will have as a freshly minted CPL. Bending a relatively inexpensive training aircraft as a solo student pilot is one thing, there is a limited insurance risk for that. But when fare paying passengers are being carried on charter operations the insurance risk is way way much more. Hence working for free doesn't overcome that hurdle for you. Tune your radar further afield if you want to earn a living. I can tell you I was quoted $2000 to bed and point 40 ridge caps on my roof. That is good money for one days work. I've been working as a pilot for almost 30 years and never saw any more than about half that for a days work.
p.s. "you're a scab" is in the lexicon of Industrial dispute. It's not being childish in this context.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 01:30
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nigelsomers View Post
You are such a terrible human being. To call me and other people "scabs" is insulting. I am fresh to this aviation industry and never thought that asking to work for free would create so much hysteria in a forum. You really need to be more thoughtful in your responses. You really do remind me of a school yard bully. I'm sure you wouldn't say that to my face if we had this same conversation at an aerodrome.

I have been reading everybody's responses here and most of it is meaningful insights. "you're a scab" is childish my friend.
There is a large amount of the industry that lurk around these forums. Please. If your username is anything close to your real name, stop posting. Nothing good will come of it.

You don't owe it to anyone here to justify your position if you still haven't changed your mind from the replies you have recieved.
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