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-   -   Flying for free to build hours (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/636464-flying-free-build-hours.html)

nigelsomers 31st Oct 2020 07:43

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.

Ragnor 31st Oct 2020 23:11

Hi BNEA320


Not the late BNEA320.

Tail Wheel

ROH111 31st Oct 2020 23:54

BNEA320 you need to get out more.

das Uber Soldat 1st Nov 2020 00:12

Obvious troll is obvious. Mate how shit must your life be to waste it pulling this nonsense?


Blueskymine 1st Nov 2020 00:30

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.

dr dre 1st Nov 2020 00:35


Originally Posted by nigelsomers (Post 10915573)
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.

getaway 1st Nov 2020 01:00

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 ?

Clare Prop 1st Nov 2020 01:48

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 .







rcoight 1st Nov 2020 01:01


Originally Posted by dr dre (Post 10916232)
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.

xaos03 1st Nov 2020 02:31

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.


Pinky the pilot 1st Nov 2020 02:58


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.:ooh:
He added that for those who did, word generally got around and they found themselves shunned by others.

Squawk7700 1st Nov 2020 03:21

How exactly is a $120k vet fee-help debt crippling?

tail wheel 1st Nov 2020 03:30

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?

Seabreeze 1st Nov 2020 04:08

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




SIUYA 1st Nov 2020 04:24


have spoken to quite a few other pilots about starting an airline
:eek: 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
:confused: 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! :ok:

neville_nobody 1st Nov 2020 05:24

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. :mad:

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.

Clare Prop 1st Nov 2020 05:50

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.

JRK 1st Nov 2020 06:44

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...

Checkboard 1st Nov 2020 09:26

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.

neville_nobody 1st Nov 2020 11:06


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.


Black Maria 1st Nov 2020 11:20

Directed very generally at those in the position of a newly minted CPL etc..,employment will return so do t give up hope. Take it onboard as an expected road bump in the cycle of Aviation.

Undertake a trade, another field and when Aviation predictably picks up get back in...and for the next SARS, COVID etc etc. you will have some extra skills to survive.

History shows that perseverance rather than selling your soul will see you make it.


Checkboard 1st Nov 2020 13:51


what are you supposed to do to get hours just to get in the game??
What everyone has done since day one in aviation - it's not a new question.

zanthrus 1st Nov 2020 14:32

Flying for free.

Simple. Don't do it!

You are screwing yourself.

You are screwing your mates.

You are screwing the industry for the future.


DON'T DO IT!!!!!

JOSHUA 1st Nov 2020 18:13


Originally Posted by neville_nobody (Post 10916332)
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. :mad:

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.

Absolute twaddle! I qualified as 9/11 happened, no flying jobs. Not once did I consider offering to fly for free though. I hunted down a job in flight ops of a small airline, spent a year getting to know people and decision makers - when they needed some more pilots, I was front of the queue and paid.

Don’t offer to fly for free, it does nobody any favours and in my mind, undermines any self respect for yourself

nigelsomers 1st Nov 2020 19:11

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...

Global Aviator 1st Nov 2020 21:33

From GA to airlines it is a growing problem and companies will use Covid to forever bastardise conditions.

Pre Covid it was bad enough with the likes of VietJet P2F. Have a look at this forum - https://www.pprune.org/south-asia-far-east-45

All you can do is stand true and follow your beliefs, however there are going to be thousands that will climb over anything, get up the greasy pole and do anything. I cannot think of any airline where I know people that this isn't happening. Very sad.

Tough times however it will get better! Surely it cannot get any worse!

As for hour building if you have a large group like you do, get a bit of cost sharing happening, do a lap of Oz. There are plenty of non aviation jobs out there if your willing to work. I only heard recently Broome is a hotspot for any employment with accommodation thrown in, the added bonus with that is that you are where lots of flying happens.

Good luck and do not sell your soul.

Roj approved 1st Nov 2020 22:35


Originally Posted by nigelsomers (Post 10916775)
Well I am just trying to get into the industry and start paying off my VET fee debt.

Well, call me stupid, but I’m not sure how you are going to be able to pay your VET fee debt if you are flying for free????

And from the VET website:

Repayments are taken out of what you earn through the tax system.
You won’t need to make repayments until you are earning more than $51,957 a year. This is called the repayment threshold.

There is no interest charged on HELP debts

So, if I am understanding you, you want to get some experience, so you can get a paying job so you can start paying off your “crippling” VET debt which you don’t need to pay off until you earn +$51k pa and it will be automatically deducted from your salary?

VET is the cheapest money you will ever get, forget about it.

What you are really wanting to know, is: How do I get some experience so I can kick off my career?

Lead Balloon 1st Nov 2020 22:36


Originally Posted by neville_nobody (Post 10916332)
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. ...

I wouldn’t be surprised if Virgin 3.0 will attempt to get pilots to ‘volunteer’ to pay Virgin to fly for Virgin, as a demonstration of the pilot’s commitment to making the carrier viable in the longer term. That commitment will be rewarded ‘later’...

neville_nobody 1st Nov 2020 22:50


Originally Posted by JOSHUA (Post 10916749)
Absolute twaddle! I qualified as 9/11 happened, no flying jobs. Not once did I consider offering to fly for free though. I hunted down a job in flight ops of a small airline, spent a year getting to know people and decision makers - when they needed some more pilots, I was front of the queue and paid.

Don’t offer to fly for free, it does nobody any favours and in my mind, undermines any self respect for yourself

In Australia around that time the guy at the front of queue would have had 10000 hours not someone in the back office with a bare CPL and maybe 200. You would have been told to go off and get some experience.

lucille 1st Nov 2020 23:59

Where does anyone start these days? You hardly see GA in the bush except for sightseeing tourist operations.

In the ‘70s there were lots of thriving VFR SE charter operations across the country. Admittedly, some were pretty grubby cost cutters with dodgy equipment but they did pay. The glorious old GA award paid less than a labourer.

Sigh...ahh the good old days...Not!

Blueskymine 2nd Nov 2020 00:43

It’s always been the same. In fact even when aviation and Ga was booming, you could always shake a tree up north and dozens of pilots would hit the deck.

We poured beers, worked for the council, drove taxis, strapped buses to our back and kept pestering the local operators until we got a start.

I’ve always said those who stuck with it always got to where they wanted to be in the end. The ones who didn’t, didn’t.

An interesting observation after years in the game is the expats. They made good money and progressed quickly. However any bump in the road and they lose their seat. Even the rock solid jobs now like air japan and the big 3 are done.

Meanwhile anyone in ‘that group’ that wants to stay still has a seat. At this stage.

My advice, head up north when you can. Find a spot where you can financially survive, get a job, keep pestering the operators and hanging around until they are forced to give you a job. Work ops, or the phones if you can. Help out on the line. Wash planes, sweep hangars. Learn the engineering side by lending a hand on the tools.

Good luck :)

3 Holer 2nd Nov 2020 01:34

The fish are biting well today, must be the nice weather.

Nigel you are loaded Mate. $120K in debt and you can afford 6 months with no income ???? I say TROLL or not enough to do and you are taking it out on your keyboard !!!:= 320, sure that ain't YOU?

getaway 2nd Nov 2020 02:06


Originally Posted by SIUYA (Post 10916310)
:eek: 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?



:confused: 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! :ok:

no aoc needed if airline already has one. Think outside the box. Not a true charter or lease of an aircraft but flying an aircraft of an existing airline, that has aircraft parked, can't sell them for anything worthwhile.

There is great demand in for example, in school holidays, that existing airlines can't cater for.

brokenagain 2nd Nov 2020 02:15


no aoc needed if airline already has one. Think outside the box. Not a true charter or lease of an aircraft but flying an aircraft of an existing airline, that has aircraft parked, can't sell them for anything worthwhile.

There is great demand in for example, in school holidays, that existing airlines can't cater for.
It’s good to see that our resident travel agent is also an expert on how to run an airline. If it wasn’t for your FB page showing that in fact you are a real person, I’d think that your many identities are in fact a very elaborate troll.

Lead Balloon 2nd Nov 2020 03:07


Originally Posted by getaway (Post 10916933)
no aoc needed if airline already has one. Think outside the box. Not a true charter or lease of an aircraft but flying an aircraft of an existing airline, that has aircraft parked, can't sell them for anything worthwhile.

There is great demand in for example, in school holidays, that existing airlines can't cater for.

So these pilots will be flying the aircraft of an existing airline under the AOC of an existing airline to cater for demand that isn’t being catered for by the existing airlines? Takes a special kind of genius to come up with that plan.

SIUYA 2nd Nov 2020 04:42

getaway,


no aoc needed if airline already has one. Think outside the box. Not a true charter or lease of an aircraft but flying an aircraft of an existing airline, that has aircraft parked, can't sell them for anything worthwhile.
That's not what you were originally proposing. :=

Let me refresh your memory........you said:


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.
So which one is it? :confused:

The way I'm seeing it is you want to start an airline with your mates, work for free, and fly aircraft of an existing airline. Good luck, but I really reckon you're going to have a very hard time getting CASA to...Think outside the box... to accept that proposal.

As LB says, it takes a special kind of genius to come up with that plan. :ok:

getaway 2nd Nov 2020 05:04


Originally Posted by brokenagain (Post 10916937)
It’s good to see that our resident travel agent is also an expert on how to run an airline. If it wasn’t for your FB page showing that in fact you are a real person, I’d think that your many identities are in fact a very elaborate troll.

it's not running an airline. A virtual airline is much simpler. You just have to think outside the box.

Not sure why you can't grasp this very simple concept.

It's not rocket science.

Hard part is finding routes big boys don't want to do, as too thin or big boys scared.

This is where tour operators come in.

In EU, charters are huge, run by tour operators.



There are today 1000s of pilots, who will never ever fly aircraft again.

There are 1000s of aircraft parked. Many will be parked for years or forever.

An airline within an airline could work with the difference being the pilots are not paid a salary, they are paid a % of profits, they are "owners".

If a traditional airline makes no profit, they fold.

Think of ACMI without the C.

Imagine a charter type operation, with crew shareholders.

Worst case scenario, they make nothing, but keep their currency & get some hours up. Best case scenario, they make more than they would have working for Rex, Virgin Mark 2 etc.

Why do many airlines try to get you to book accom, car rental etc. through them ? Because sometimes, there's more money in that, than the airfare component, but you need to fly there to do the accom/car etc.

eg. right now, there are some incredibly cheap deals on accom almost everywhere, but public has to get there to take advantage of them.

poteroo 2nd Nov 2020 07:06


Originally Posted by Clare Prop (Post 10916338)
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.


Agreed. But think of the bigger picture here: aviation VET loans are only a small part of the now $70b loans bill that our gullible governments have built up over the last few years. Most of it will never be paid back because the recipients have done a runner overseas, can't get that prized top level job that they 'deserve', or they will cleverly remain on or below the repayment threshold for so long that the debt will eventually be written off by Treasury. There are thousands of tertiary qualified people who have achieved it on the VET system, but their degrees are not worth the paper they're printed on. They were always going to have trouble using said degree to get a job in their chosen industry because the market was already flooded. Not just the sausage factory flying schools told porky pies: most of our top tertiary institutions did too. It's tough out there, but as the saying goes...... when the going gets tough - the tough get going.

Lead Balloon 2nd Nov 2020 07:13


Originally Posted by getaway (Post 10916989)
it's not running an airline. A virtual airline is much simpler. You just have to think outside the box.

Not sure why you can't grasp this very simple concept.

It's not rocket science.

Hard part is finding routes big boys don't want to do, as too thin or big boys scared.

This is where tour operators come in.

In EU, charters are huge, run by tour operators.



There are today 1000s of pilots, who will never ever fly aircraft again.

There are 1000s of aircraft parked. Many will be parked for years or forever.

An airline within an airline could work with the difference being the pilots are not paid a salary, they are paid a % of profits, they are "owners".

If a traditional airline makes no profit, they fold.

Think of ACMI without the C.

Imagine a charter type operation, with crew shareholders.

Worst case scenario, they make nothing, but keep their currency & get some hours up. Best case scenario, they make more than they would have working for Rex, Virgin Mark 2 etc.

Why do many airlines try to get you to book accom, car rental etc. through them ? Because sometimes, there's more money in that, than the airfare component, but you need to fly there to do the accom/car etc.

eg. right now, there are some incredibly cheap deals on accom almost everywhere, but public has to get there to take advantage of them.

Now I get it! Great idea.

[LB walks backwards, slowly, while smiling and nodding but not making eye contact.]

Flying Bear 2nd Nov 2020 08:50

I own two companies in aviation that have been hard hit by COVID...

Even so, we have found a way to not put a single staff member off, in fact we recently needed to employ an extra one as a result of our team’s monster effort to keep us afloat.

That new pilot gets proper pay and conditions.

Our team continues to pull strongly together and for that I am truly grateful.

My point, for the avoidance of doubt, is that if you offer to work for free - you are cutting the throat of my team and destroying the chance for us to be there “on the other side”.

If I learn who you are, you will be blacklisted from opportunities with our companies, at least. I will make an effort to spread that sentiment to my industry peers.

Maybe that’s seen as trivial by the selfish or ignorant - but it’s a message that needs to be received loud and clear...,


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