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Flying for free to build hours

Old 31st Oct 2020, 07:43
  #1 (permalink)  
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Flying for free to build hours

Wasn't sure where to put this but myself and 13 of us have just finished our training pre-lockdown. We have approached almost all GA operators up north offering to fly for free. Our group is desperate to get work and we already have crippling debt of around 120k each.
Thoughts on offering to fly for free? We are willing to fly for free for about 4-6 months to get some hours.
Apparently more and more graduate pilots are offering to fly for free these days. I guess we feel like we have no other choice or we have to study something else and incur more student debt.
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Old 31st Oct 2020, 23:11
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Hi BNEA320


Not the late BNEA320.

Tail Wheel
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Old 31st Oct 2020, 23:54
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BNEA320 you need to get out more.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 00:12
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Obvious troll is obvious. Mate how shit must your life be to waste it pulling this nonsense?

das Uber Soldat is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2020, 00:30
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Wouldn’t surprise me if this were true to be honest. There would be a lot of desperate pilots out there right now.
The most vulnerable would be those starting out.

From my experience up north, those who offered their services for free, were usually blacklisted. Remember the pilot who does the hiring in the entry level jobs is usually someone who’s only been there themselves for a few years and is still trying to climb the next rung of the ladder.

No one likes a scab.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 00:35
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Originally Posted by nigelsomers View Post
Wasn't sure where to put this but myself and 13 of us have just finished our training pre-lockdown. We have approached almost all GA operators up north offering to fly for free. Our group is desperate to get work and we already have crippling debt of around 120k each.
Thoughts on offering to fly for free? We are willing to fly for free for about 4-6 months to get some hours.
Apparently more and more graduate pilots are offering to fly for free these days. I guess we feel like we have no other choice or we have to study something else and incur more student debt.
There’s pilots out there with years of experience with crippling mortgage debts of $500-800k who are stacking shelves on a supermarket or holding traffic control signs. You aren’t special.

Fly for free is performing work for free which is illegal. Your name will be very quickly known amongst the aviation community and will become mud. Don’t do it.

The last time there was a lot of pilots offering to work for free was before social media was ubiquitous. Walk into one charter company saying you’ll work for free, and by day’s end your name will be splashed across chat groups read by pilots from every operator in the state or even country.

Just find alternative employment for a period, and when aviation picks up (it will pick up) find legitimate employment.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 01:00
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have spoken to quite a few other pilots about starting an airline & obviously they would not be paid anything, just taking a share of profits. If no pay is required for crews there goes one big impediment to start up costs. Could easily start just chartering off many airlines who have parked aircraft.

Make sense. 1000s of pilots looking for work.

Big question is where would they fly to ?
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 01:48
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So the harsh reality of the "free flying training paid for by the government" comes home to roost, eh? I doubt there any banks dishing out that kind of money.

These people have been conned by a few unscrupulous operators who have used the VET loans to swindle people. Taxpayers are already paying dearly enough for this and naivete and bad decisions of the suckers who fell for it.

Maybe there's a bright side, maybe these people are setting a trap for those employers who need to be shut down by Fair Work Australia .






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Old 1st Nov 2020, 01:01
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Originally Posted by dr dre View Post
There’s pilots out there with years of experience with crippling mortgage debts of $500-800k who are stacking shelves on a supermarket or holding traffic control signs. You aren’t special.

Fly for free is performing work for free which is illegal. Your name will be very quickly known amongst the aviation community and will become mud. Don’t do it.

The last time there was a lot of pilots offering to work for free was before social media was ubiquitous. Walk into one charter company saying you’ll work for free, and by day’s end your name will be splashed across chat groups read by pilots from every operator in the state or even country.

Just find alternative employment for a period, and when aviation picks up (it will pick up) find legitimate employment.

Well said. Spot on.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 02:31
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As much as there is trolls out there, I hate to think there may be a legitimate student desperate to make the break into the industry who has written this post.

I agree with all that’s been said. Don’t do it.
If you’re flying and working, you deserve to be paid. If an operator works you flying or otherwise, and doesn’t pay you they need to be held accountable and are simply a bunch of crooks.
They’re getting paid by whoever you’re flying. If they can’t afford to pay wages they should fly their flights themselves or call it quits, pandemic or not. The worst part is that it’s happening and some operators are using COVID as an excuse to undercut and work their pilots harder and paying them less.

Things will pick up again. There’s nothing wrong with learning a trade. Or finding another job for a few years.

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Old 1st Nov 2020, 02:58
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To fly for free is performing work for free which is illegal. Your name will be very quickly known amongst the aviation community and will become mud. Don’t do it.
Pretty much what my old Instructor (the late Tony K) used to say....well more like thundered actually.

"Once you have your Commercial Licence you will never work for nothing..." he would roar on occasion.
He added that for those who did, word generally got around and they found themselves shunned by others.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 03:21
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How exactly is a $120k vet fee-help debt crippling?
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 03:30
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Victim of a bored god

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Things to think about:
  • Work unpaid for a sleazy operator will contribute to putting a legitimate operator and paid honest plots out of work.
  • No workers compensation insurance no cover for injuries at work.
  • In the event of an accident I may be liable for the aircraft damage, other property damage and injuries to other people.
  • Living with the reputation you will get.
And that is just the beginning of your woes.

Your friend in the same position that posted previously should also read this thread.

Do you have a career or profession you can fall back on until flying starts again?
tail wheel is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2020, 04:08
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Positions Vacant: No Scabs

There is plenty of work out there, picking fruit for example. Mangos right now I think. Oh... but it is outside in the hot sun, backbreaking, hard to get to, and not so well paid, and it seems far too unpleasant for many of mother's special and entitled boys and girls.

I worked as a labourer as many did, working on a shovel for a full 8 hours a day, 7 dpw to earn my $$ for flying training. Just because you got a loan doesn't make you special.

Be proud and earn your bl**dy living by working, even if it is hard, hot, cold and/or dirty work. Don't be a scab, or you may well suffer a future being totally unemployable in aviation as others have said.

You may have to put in a few hard years, but that's life.

SB



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Old 1st Nov 2020, 04:24
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have spoken to quite a few other pilots about starting an airline
Really? Have you actually had a look at what's involved?

Are you and your colleagues familiar with the Civil Aviation Act, in particular S28? And also the CASA the AOC process?

obviously they [the pilots] would not be paid anything, just taking a share of profits
If the big question at the moment is where would your airline fly to, then it's probably putting the cart before the horse at this point to talk about sharing profits I think.

I guess all that's left to say is.....GOOD LUCK because you and your mates are really going to need lots of it!
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 05:24
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Despite all the bravado here about not flying for free unfortunately it has been around forever. Plenty of current airline pilots have flown for free or better still paid to fly in commercial operations.

The reality has always been how do you get experience when all you get is a door slammed in your face? This problem has always been around and I don't see any real viable solution. Your only option is to work for free or to work in another industry and fly privately until you have enough experience that someone will pay you.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 05:50
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The con is when the flying schools trick people into thinking that they will be employable with the minimum command hours, then max out the VET loans with a load of worthless dual training. The admin fees these people pay on the top of the loan could get them another 100 hours in command and much more employable, but then they would actually have to get out and earn the money to pay for it.

Instead of conning students the schools should help students bridge the gap between CPL and being employable, so that we don't end up with people like the OP suddenly wondering what happened when the reality of a massive loan and no chance of work hits them and then going out wanting to white-ant the rest of us.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 06:44
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I live close to an AD which houses many flight schools. And since the end of the first wave they've been flying like mad: every day, up to 10 acft in the area at a time.

As I look up, I can't help but wonder: what are those students possibly thinking? Or, more accurately, what kind of sweet songs do these flight schools sing to them...
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 09:26
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A good pilot is one with the integrity and courage to say “no” under pressure.

“No”, I won’t risk my passenger’s lives.
“No” I won’t bust the minima to get in.
“No” I won’t fly that unserviceable aircraft.


A pilot offering to fly for free is a pilot displaying a distinct lack of that required character. Makes them a bad pilot, regardless of experience or skill.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 11:06
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A pilot offering to fly for free is a pilot displaying a distinct lack of that required character. Makes them a bad pilot, regardless of experience or skill.
Well it makes them a permanently unemployed pilot, not sure it shows a lack of character. And no I never paid to fly or flew for free but I wouldn't necessarily black ball someone who did. Great to take a stand but what are you supposed to do to get hours just to get in the game?? Not everyone has family money, makes 100K a year in another industry, has a father in the RFDS or has family friend who owns a charter business.

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