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US Pilot Shortage

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US Pilot Shortage

Old 6th Aug 2007, 06:48
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Angel US Pilot Shortage

This news article http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0802/p01s08-ussc.html is well worth a read and a listen to the reporters commentary.

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Old 6th Aug 2007, 17:21
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Cool Who would have thought?

Being a middle timer and in aviation for over twenty years, I have seen the cycle. The bigger problem is the issue of the pilot unions not working as "Trade" or "Craft" unions and working as general "Labor" unions. Except for individual mentoring there is no formal professional development scheme. Each airline and existing pilot group seems only conscious of getting immediate profit from the other, without considering the long term consequences. Why would a young person want to join with this level of antagonism?

A lorry driver can make more money his first year than many regional pilots will make for their first two. The work rules tend to be more restrictive and protective for the driver than for the pilot. Yes, I do hold licensure for both.

Aviation is a profession. Crew and the people that count on them need to remember that. Few other professions have to deal with the restrictions of legal off duty activities as we do. What about career ending health issues? How about the new hire restart at your next company? No barister, physician, accountant, or engineer would put up with it. But, we do!

Companies treat us this way because we allow it. The children are watching and paying attention. We tell our children that they should be respectful and expect the same in return. Why would they want to emulate us?

Because of our passion we have sold ourselves cheap. In the free market the seller sets the prices to what the market will bear. Value is perceived and trade occurs.

Maybe we need to improve our perceived value and gain a bit more respect and following.... compensation and quality of life!
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Old 6th Aug 2007, 20:34
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American airlines face pilot shortage

By Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor
Published: August 05, 2007, 23:05

New York: The aviation industry is on the rebound financially, but a looming pilot shortage could create some unexpected turbulence.

For a view of what this could mean for passengers, one need only look to Northwest Airlines.

Since last Friday, the Minneapolis-based carrier has cancelled hundreds of flights because it hasn't had enough pilots in reserve to fly all of the planes it had scheduled and handle all of the overtime created by summer weather delays.

The result: Thousands of passengers like Maria Montoya, who spent seven hours getting from Detroit to New York, were delayed, rerouted and frustrated.

Aviation experts say Northwest's cancellations are unique, a product of the carrier's overzealous cost-cutting to lift itself out of bankruptcy, which it did this past May. But as the industry continues to recover, they warn, demand for new pilots could soon outstrip the supply. And unless airlines start aggressively recruiting and training new pilots now, such problems could affect the entire industry.

Key reasons for the potential shortfall: Flying has lost much of its glamour, and not enough young people want to become pilots. Smaller and regional carriers are already having trouble hiring new pilots and have lowered their standards, requiring fewer hours of flying experience.

Since 2002, four major airlines have gone bank-rupt and thousands of pilots have been furloughed. Many of those who remained saw their wages cut by as much as 40 and 50 per cent.

Many also lost their pensions and had to give up hard-won work conditions. For an 18-year-old looking for a career, the blue uniform with its gold captain's stripes may not have seemed as appealing as before. That's reflected in pilot licence data: The number of student pilot licences that the Federal Aviation Administration issues has declined from a peak of 98,000 in 1998 to 85,000 in 2006.

The number of commercial pilot licences issued has dropped from 124,000 in 1999 to 117,000 in 2006.

At the same time, major carriers like Northwest started relying more on smaller regional carriers to feed their network systems. Traditionally, those regional carriers were where new pilots paid their dues, working for about $25,000 or less per year for several years before going to the more lucrative airlines, where senior pilots could eventually make $200,000 or more. But as major carriers cut back on pilots' benefits at the top, they also created more low-paying jobs at the bottom. That's where the pilot shortage is being felt most.
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Old 7th Aug 2007, 17:30
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The number of student pilot licences that the Federal Aviation Administration issues has declined from a peak of 98,000 in 1998 to 85,000 in 2006
Somewhat overlooking that fact that the price of Aviation Gasoline to pay for those training hours has gone from 95 Cents to $3.10 a gallon in the same period, and losing its glamor comes some distance down the list from actually being able to afford it. Further fails to make the connection that those same soaring fuel costs are also a key reason in driving the airlines to bankruptcy and back, thus eroding the terms and conditions available in the industry, thus removing the incentive to be a commercial pilot.
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Old 20th Feb 2008, 22:47
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Originally Posted by Two's in
Somewhat overlooking that fact that the price of Aviation Gasoline to pay for those training hours has gone from 95 Cents to $3.10 a gallon
Crikey you guys have it bad over there, I'd much rather pay the $10 per gallon that we have to pay here

I guess it's all relative

The growth forecasts in recent years for the airline industry may need to be rethought, how much of an impact will the rising fuel costs, green issues & crew shortages have? I guess only time will tell.
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Old 20th Feb 2008, 22:51
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Ricknorman - You believe that then carry on but me..................... not this year if ever. Rock on !

The industry changes constantly, European aviation has proved that low hour pilots can do a good job, serve their apprenticeship and go on to be as professional as any in the FAA land that need significantly more hours to get their first start.

The system has its failings, most accept that you choose the licence most suited to you, either JAA or FAA and run with it, some convert at great expense and will just as likely do as well.

I would rather believe that those around me have the same minimums, commitment and have been certified as competent by the same people that passed everyone else working rather than introduce a two tier system not based on anything I have any faith in.

There are plenty of people in Europe desperate for their first start in the industry that have attained the requirements to hold a frozen ATPL, I hope they secure their first job soon; I trust the system and would have no hesitation in flying with them.

Much as though plenty will now most likely have a go, if it isnít broke, leave her alone.

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Old 21st Feb 2008, 01:57
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Have to say my eyes have been opened a bit recently. Have been flying with previously unimaginable 280 hr (TT!) FOs lately on widebody, and, tho nothing has gone decidedly wrong, all has been quite well. They seem reasonably up to snuff on procedures, handling etc...
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