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"Hero" pilot's pay cut, pension stopped

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"Hero" pilot's pay cut, pension stopped

Old 24th Feb 2009, 16:15
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"Hero" pilot's pay cut, pension stopped

Sky News reporting that he's 40% down, and pension scrapped. No word on whether that was before / after the crash landing.

To be clear - there is NO suggestion it's in any way whatesoever linked to the Hudson incident

Link: Hudson River Plane Crash: Hero Pilot Chesley Sullenberger Has Pay Cut And Pension Stopped | World News | Sky News
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 16:28
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Mega Dittos

Yup - me too club. All post 9/11 - I am down 40% and lost defined pension. Common picture in US airlines.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 16:39
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Salaries and pensions slashed...?
xxx
Common occurence in USA... Since the 1970s...
I was a PanAm pilot, airline bankruptcy in 1991... was hired in 1968.
My PanAm pension is US$ 1,200/month.
xxx
Ask ex-Eastern, or Braniff pilots... same story.
Airline pilots are very rich people.
At least that is what the public believes.
xxx

Happy contrails
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 17:00
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Sully is spot on.

Do air passengers in the UK know they could be on a plane with a pilot who is paying to be there for hour building? For some pilots who haven't been taken on by the airlines they can pay for their own type ratings and pay to fly to get some hours.

It would make a great 'panorama' or 'dispatches' program to find out what really goes on behind the flight deck door with regards to this.

I wonder how the passengers of that US Airways Jet would have felt if they had a pay-as-you go pilot on board.

And there are some good stories to be told about the quality of these guys, some good but some very bad indeed.

There's little or no selection procedure- it's all a quick buck for the airlines.

Disgrace
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 17:22
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He & Jeff Skiles are due to come to AirVenture this year. It will be great to have a chance to thank them both for everything they are doing to wake the government and public up to the detrimental change to the average pilot's working life.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Hudson pilot urges safety funding

The pilot of a plane that ditched into the Hudson River in New York has called on US airlines to invest more in recruiting and training pilots.

Capt Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger told Congress his pay had been cut by 40% in recent years, and the industry might not attract the "best and brightest".

"The single most important piece of safety equipment is an experienced, well-trained pilot," he said.

He was hailed as a hero after January's landing, which all on board survived.

At the hearing, an air traffic controller recalled the captain telling him he would land in the river, and thinking this was a "death sentence".

Controller Patrick Harten said it felt like hours before he heard of the plane's "heroic landing".

Earlier, Capt Sullenberger told the House committee he and other pilots had seen their wages cut, and that this was deterring potential recruits.

He said it was necessary for companies to refocus on the recruitment and training of pilots, and that this should be "at least as important as their bottom lines".

"We've been hit by an economic tsunami: September 11th, bankruptcies, fluctuating fuel prices, mergers, loss of pensions and revolving door management teams," he said.

Capt Sullenberger said his decision to stay in the airline industry had come at "a great financial cost to me and my family", with his pay cut and pension downgraded.

"It is an incredible testament to the collective character, professionalism and dedication of my colleagues in the industry that they are still able to function at such a high level."

Sullenberger: Pay cuts driving out best pilots - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON The pilot who safely ditched a jetliner in New York's Hudson River said Tuesday that pay and benefit cuts are driving experienced pilots from careers in the cockpit.

US Airways pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger told the House aviation subcommittee that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years and his pension has been terminated and replaced with a promise "worth pennies on the dollar" from the federally created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. These cuts followed a wave of airline bankruptcies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks compounded by the current recession, he said.

"The bankruptcies were used to by some as a fishing expedition to get what they could not get in normal times," Sullenberger said of the airlines. He said the problems began with the deregulation of the industry in the 1970s.

The reduced compensation has placed "pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation," Sullenberger said. "I do not know a single, professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps."

The subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard from the crew of Flight 1549, the air traffic controller who handled the flight and aviation experts to examine what safety lessons could be learned from the Jan. 15 accident which all 155 people aboard survived.

Sullenberger's copilot Jeffrey B. Skiles said unless federal laws are revised to improve labor-management relations "experienced crews in the cockpit will be a thing of the past." And Sullenberger added that without experienced pilots "we will see negative consequences to the flying public."

Sullenberger himself has started a consulting business to help make ends meet. Skiles added, "For the last six years, I have worked seven days a week between my two jobs just to maintain a middle class standard of living."
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 17:28
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It's not the answer to the larger problem of course but Sully has a good offer from Richard Branson.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 17:34
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You can hear the testimony of various groups involved in the Hudson ditching at Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

It's live now, but it'll be retrievable later.

Sully, ALPA and other pilots - and cabin crew - have really used the opportunity skillfully to point out, in their testimony to Congress, how piloting as a profession is being less and less well rewarded, and for no good reason, and that if this continues, pilots and cabin crew in the future are unlikely to match the quality we saw in action on the Hudson. Who, of any quality (educational, aspirational etc), will want to do it?
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 17:41
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Such a brilliant speech! Apart from his exemplary handling of the incident itself, if he keeps this up, we will all owe him a huge debt of gratitude. It is well overdue that these issues are brought before the media.

It is all soooo true. And so sad that the travelling public dont realise that their 'cheap' fares come at the expense of safety. The safety that comes from highly skilled, well paid proffessionals. Not rich kids or mercenaries.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 17:44
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ATC thought they were done

Hero Pilot Says Cuts Driving Away Experienced Pilots; Hearing Describes Plane Crash In Hudson - cbs5.com
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 18:08
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I seem to remember perhaps last year or the year before, something about AA pilots taking early retirement and that it may have had something to do with locking in their pension value or something like that. Did that turn out for those that retired early to be a smart financial move based on what has happened to the stock market?

Thanks.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 18:19
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While I decry where our beloved profession has gone, it was at my beginning 40 years ago, I was given this by a UAL DC-8 F/O:

It would be a great job if:

I made as much money as my in-laws think

Got as much poontang as my wife thinks

Had as much time off as my neighbor thinks

T&C may change, but human nature is immutable
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 18:25
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Do air passengers in the UK know they could be on a plane with a pilot who is paying to be there for hour building? For some pilots who haven't been taken on by the airlines they can pay for their own type ratings and pay to fly to get some hours.
How do you propose we fix this? Realistically, the only jobs out there are the moment are for those able to fund their own type ratings. Short of the government paying, this problem can only be solved from within.

Too often I read this website to find yet more moaning about new low hour pilots self-funding their type ratings. Do you think that they do this for fun? Because Daddy has handed them a blank cheque? You may be concerned about your own job (and rightly so) but as senior pilots within the airline you are best positioned to halt this trend.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 19:22
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How do you propose we fix this? Realistically, the only jobs out there are the moment are for those able to fund their own type ratings. Short of the government paying, this problem can only be solved from within.
No, it cannot be solved from within. The past has shown that after every downturn, the entry fee (paying the training, then also paying the rating, and thereafter also paying the line training on top of it all) has risen and remains there. The market is too competetive at this level, unions seem to have been unable to stop it.
Airlines' sole purpose is to earn money. One thing that would end "paying for line training" was if passengers were to quit flying airlines that engage in this kind of scheme. Making them aware of this problem is a necessary first step.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 19:29
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This subject has been done to death ad nauseum both here and elsewhere...

It will always come back to the same thing... pax want safety above all other considerations... with the exception that is of paying for it.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 19:33
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No, it cannot be solved from within. The past has shown that after every downturn, the entry fee (paying the training, then also paying the rating, and thereafter also paying the line training on top of it all) has risen and remains there. The market is too competetive at this level, unions seem to have been unable to stop it.
Airlines' sole purpose is to earn money. One thing that would end "paying for line training" was if passengers were to quit flying airlines that engage in this kind of scheme. Making them aware of this problem is a necessary first step.

Hey I got an idea why don't you start another thread along the idea of

Flights at risk as pilots refuse to accept 'demeaning' pay to learn

I'm sure the passengers will understand
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 19:35
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It will always come back to the same thing... pax want safety above all other considerations... with the exception that is of paying for it.
Do you mean that you can assure me 100% safe flight if I pay the right amount?
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 20:21
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'Do you mean that you can assure me 100% safe flight if I pay the right amount? '

Yes, FSLF if you pay enough you wont crash because then the pilot has enough cash to pay off the birds---that's what they mean

Jim Henson you really created a classic I say--- a classic
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 20:26
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Operators and TRTOs will all say that safety is never compromised even with a pay as you fly pilot.
At the end of the day, if FO Bloggs has 30k spare, he can opt to obtain a type rating of his choice. At the end, he still needs to pass the required skills test and obtain satsifactory reports from the TRI. No amount of money (not yet at least!!) will make an unsafe pilot pass these hoops.
So on Day 1 of his line training, we have FO Bloggs who has self sponsored his TR and FO Speakin who has received his TR from a bonded airline scheme.
Both have the same hoops to pass once again and positive progress must be made each flight. Passengers on their flights will not know who is actually flying as equal standards will have been instilled at the training stage.

Although I may agree that the Self sponsored TR route is causing T&Cs to fall, the media will not have any leg to stand on. (Unless of course the financial burden is shown to affect performance).

We should not sideline these pilots who follow these routes. Potentially this may increase conflict within the flightdeck environment between pilots.
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 20:32
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No, it cannot be solved from within. The past has shown that after every downturn, the entry fee (paying the training, then also paying the rating, and thereafter also paying the line training on top of it all) has risen and remains there. The market is too competetive at this level, unions seem to have been unable to stop it.
Airlines' sole purpose is to earn money. One thing that would end "paying for line training" was if passengers were to quit flying airlines that engage in this kind of scheme. Making them aware of this problem is a necessary first step.
Hmmm, and how many experienced and 'non-deserving' pilots (that is if the SSTR pilot community are indeed 'deserving') would be unfairly put out of work in that scenario?

Failed plan, let's hear the next one...
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 20:49
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How does it go? "If the airlines pay you peanuts, then expect monkeys to do the job!"

Only one problem, when I'm SLF I don't want a monkey up there in the cockpit and when I'm on the flight deck I don't want SLF calling me a monkey either!

MB
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