Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Reality Check

Old 11th Apr 2008, 18:58
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Flight Time Limitation

'A typical day had her up at 5 a.m., at the airport by 8 a.m., and making three flights spread out so that the last one landed about 10 p.m. Then it was wait for a hotel shuttle; sleep; get up again at 6 a.m.'

...there must be a FTL scheme in the US?

Last edited by Jetgate; 11th Apr 2008 at 23:45.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 19:21
  #22 (permalink)  
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If anything this article in the NYTimes highlights that many in your proffesion are underpaid. I think this will surprise many customers. After all everyone assumes the person flying the plane is well compensated, happy, experienced ect....

Things can only change though when people start caring about service and safety and not just about the cheapest ticket from point A to point B.
Not everyone is a freak like me who likes to pick the airline, and the plane, and if I could the person flying it...

Afterall our safety is in your hands........we as customers should start respecting that.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 20:49
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I am currently a high school student. I am doing well at school and I have recently taken my first steps toward hopefully a career in aviation. I have been for, as long as I can remember been obsessed with aviation. I can see no other workplace other than the skies for myself. However my dream seems to become further out of reach the more I research.

I have reasearched the different routes I can take such as sponsorship, Military service, and paying for myself. My parents seem to disfavour the military route with todays climate, but I actually would'nt mind joining the RAF. Unless I win the lottery I doubt that I could afford to sponsor myself without years of debt. With more and more airlines closing their sponsorship and training I am left wondering how am I going to achieve my dreams.

However just recently I have taken the opinion that. I will become a pilot. I have decided that if I really want to do this, then I will do anything to achieve this. (Maybe a slightly naive outlook) I have decided that I will approach this challenge with the attitude that I will get the sponsorships, I will be the one that gets hired. Even if i have to live on the streets to pay for training and leave school at 6 to work the night shift, or mow lawns. I will become a pilot. With this attitude no newspaper article will ever make me reconsider achieving my dreams or lowering my goals.

If i really want this, then i will.

(first post)
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 23:22
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Like many already said, the article was written to shock the reader. I'm sure that there is truth in it, but it is meant to scare rather than inform. I don't think we would have to do much research to find people with graduate degrees who are unemployed/ underemployed and in debt. Follow your dreams don't base your decisions on what some idiot wrote.

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Old 12th Apr 2008, 03:51
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Nice to have started a decent discussion.

Aviation has been good to my generation, but I think we saw the best of it. My son wants to fly, he's still very young but the costs of the training is a burden even on my expat salary. How can a young person pay for themselves?

There are jobs now down here, but for how long? And how long before the T&Cs approach US levels? Sleep in the cabin between flights when flying a jet? OMG as the kids would say. I thought that went out with bush flying - which was mainly daylight anyway.

I'm trying to channel my kids into a skill-based job that is not office-based and can give them the chance to work for themselves later on. The way world is going, most jobs will be out-sourced to some cheaper part of the world, unless it requires being done in-country. Many office jobs will just disappear.

Feel for the next generation - it is going to be tough out there. Feel for mine too, when the heck can we retire? Never to the level of comfort our parents had I fear.
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 04:57
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Depends on the rules, 8 hours of flying in 15 duty hours, can be bumped to 16 if the next day is scheduled for 14.
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 08:05
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Are the skills learnt as a pilot transferable to other professions? I've heard of qualified people, dentists and the like moving back to their old careers, but what does 10 years spent on the flightdeck offer to other employers?
I would say so, predominantly CRM and being a team player with any PIC time showing good leadership etc. Like most jobs out there the basic requirements are the same, just the speciality that sets them apart. I currently work as a Release Manager in IT having worked my way up from customer services but it was the customer services skills that formed 60% of the job requirements with IT knowledge forming the remainder!

When it comes to T&C's though, as rcl7700 says
All the roads are rocky, not just aviation.
- couldn't agree more. I used to work for Abbey Life who were bought by Santander, then sold to Resolution who then outsourced us to Capita. Whilst my T&C's were all the time protected by TUPE if I want to move up in the company I have to surrender my protected terms and move to a Capita contract that has significantly less favourable terms than what I have now (less holidays, more contractual hours, less overtime pay, minimum redundancy terms).

So in short I agree whole heartedly with people that says stick with a job that you love doing - hence why I am planning a move into aviation because I have no job satisfaction at the moment and the 9-5 routine is a killer along with a sore neck from looking at the planes buzzing overhead!
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 09:53
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Having been an airline capt in both the US and Europe, I can say that the article is very accurate from an America pilot's viewpoint. The flight and duty limitations in the US are very unsafe. One can legally be on duty for 16 hours/8 hours flight and only required to be away from the airport (not necessarily at home or in a hotel) for 8 hours. You can legally do the 16on/8off duty for six days in a row and believe me when I say that crewing takes full advantage of this. Legal does not equal safe. The pay in the US is truly horrible. I doubled my salary by coming to work in Europe. As an fo on the ATR I made $500/week and as a capt I made $860/week with no add ons such as duty pay/sector pay etc. I work in Europe now because I couldn't make a living flying in the US. Unfortunately I see Europpean airlines T & C's following those in the US instead of the other way around. The amount of pilots leaving the industry in the US is unbelievable, in fact I am the only person from my flight school still flying professionally and I would have quit except for the fact that I fould a good contract gig overseas. I can honestly say that when I move back to the US I will be changing careers to something non-aviation. Flying is still a good job in Europe but (and I truly hope that I'm wrong) I feel that it will soon become more like in the US.
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 19:24
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Hah, and there I was, just going to get all dreamy about it and jack in my current job to move into the aviation industry.... where I have always longed to be.
Not any more I'm afraid... PPL will do nicely thankyou and I can keep my $20k/month job.
Minimal responsibility, late start, early finish - take the day off if I like.. take the week off if I want !!

Thanks for the wake-up call lads n lassies, I dont know what I was thinking of .

Happy & safe flying to you all...

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Old 13th Apr 2008, 09:02
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"......$20k/month job. Minimal responsibility, late start, early finish - take the day off if I like.. take the week off if I want !!"

Wish I had a job like that!

When can I start?

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Old 13th Apr 2008, 10:10
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Capt Roo

Convince your kid(s) to go first for a profound university education to get a BSc or MSc and subsequently a few years of experience in any kind of industry. Forms their character, provides them with a plan "B" in case professional flying turns out to be a dead end and fills their pockets with valuable cash in order to pay for the CPL/IR/Multi/frozenATPL by themselves. Prepares them much better for the world out there than the kids where daddy payed everything for a "seamless" aviation career. Additionally, having worked in a different environment BEFORE joining an aviation career enables them to see pros and cons of both sides.
An aviation career IMHO is still a great, yet sometimes hard and difficult way to work. There are however too many people out there who are constantly moaning and complaining with either no will or option to change their situation.
Enable your kids to have a good plan "B" while following plan "A".

All the best for you and your family

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Old 13th Apr 2008, 16:18
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If you want to enjoy flying again, retire early and buy a seaplane.
I retired early and I am thinking about buying a seaplane.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 17:57
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more than 100k student debt after training

I guess that figure is taken from the most fancy FTO they found, and after adding a SSTR the student paid for?

Now, I'm also only in training, but I pay 35k (US Dollars) for PPL, CPL and ATPL incl. 150hrs ME time. Add another 10-15k for living cheaply during these 6-8 months in the States and a bit for the FAA/JAA conversion and it adds up to roughly 50-55k US Dollars.

Don't get me wrong, it's a whole L O T of money.......but invested in what I want to do SO BADLY after all, and the fancy private university fees for 3-4 years of studying aren't small either.

I work a c**p job at the moment to earn my training, and the only thing that keeps me driving to work at 6am six days a week is the outlook to do it for flying. Guess I'm tooooo naive heh....
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