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Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools

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Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools

Old 21st May 2018, 13:47
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Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools

Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools creating a shortage of instructors to train the next generation
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Old 21st May 2018, 18:26
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Flight schools should think about hiring older instructors and offering them living wages and benefits .
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Old 21st May 2018, 20:19
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But then the cost of getting a license will increase even more...

Also, how many "older instructors" are out there that would rather work at a flight school than at an airline?
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Old 21st May 2018, 20:45
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I guess I'm missing something in the math here. You can't get a Part 121 job now without 1500 hours. You can get a CFI at 250. So there are well over 1000 hours you have to get somehow, and there are only so many jobs banner towing and the like. So practically speaking, nearly every aspiring airline captain has to spend at least 4 times as long instructing as the amount of instruction required to get a CPL and CFI. The airlines can't poach them during this time, because they don't (can't) have an ATP.

I think the article is just a whinge by a Part 141 outfit that is paying peanuts and can't keep staff. That said, it's clear that since the requirement for 1500 hours in the right seat, the whole training system is pretty broken and at some point the airlines are going to have to figure out how to fix by (shock horror) spending money.
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Old 21st May 2018, 21:46
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Originally Posted by tsgas View Post
Flight schools should think about hiring older instructors and offering them living wages and benefits .
tsgas,

The idea has been proposed but I suspect it'll not get much traction or at least not enough to turn any tide. Instructing has historically been a steppingstone for low(ish)-time guys to build hours. There are people who make a career of av education at the university level where the pay/benefits/lifestyle are good...or the guy flying elsewhere for a living who instructs because he enjoys it. I don't have stats on that but suspect they're relatively few in number. The statistically insignificant number of people I knew in the Part 121 world stopped instructing when liability became a threat.

A CFI shortage is becoming a "thing":

https://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/...-230828-1.html
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Old 21st May 2018, 22:35
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Originally Posted by Intruder View Post
But then the cost of getting a license will increase even more...

Also, how many "older instructors" are out there that would rather work at a flight school than at an airline?
If the pay was somewhat decent - I reckon a lot would... 9-5, fixed roster, no away trips, few, if any, missed birthdays etc.
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Old 21st May 2018, 22:54
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I think that most of us had not chosen this profession if it was 9-5 work and no far away trips.
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Old 21st May 2018, 23:25
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Got to challenge the words "raiding" or "poaching" in this context. They imply taking something that belongs to someone else. Instructors don't "belong" to the flight schools. Didn't you fight a civil war in the States over that?? Instructors have worked and studied hard and handed over their own cash, lots of it, to gain their qualifications. They are both legally and morally entitled to get the best return they can on that.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 10:22
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Flight schools for decades have offered piss poor wages to instructors, or even no wages.

They have taken advantage, as any good business should, of oversupply in the market, allowing them to purchase that skill for almost zero cost ... as the supply dries up, they'll find themselves having to pay a decent rate ... they can't complain.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 10:34
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n5296s ; well stated. The answer to all this is, of course, is blindingly obvious but airlines,driven by their own beancounters and rewarding them in the process, will never allude to the solution. A return to the glory days of fully sponsored Cadet Pilot Training. IN the 60's/70's, The BA College at Hamble was full of top instructors very happy with their lot. Oxford, Carlisle & Perth were also full of Cadets and, therefore, full of dedicated, very professional, well respected Instructors. Indeed, that level of Instruction was a career goal for many who wanted to be Instructors. Most were ex-mil. Cadet graduates with brand new CPL/ IR's will have received the benefit of very high quality instruction by very professionally motivated instructors.

National carriers should all dip into a funded Pilot Training Acadamy. Draw on cadets would be in proportion to the funding. Ideas around this model have been posted for decades. Indeed, even for a Instruction Career path, Schools could embark on fully funded courses for those who wish to become career Instructors . No one took the bait, it costs too much eh (?)and now we have the result.

I know many career orientated instructors who never wanted to be airline pilots. I know many more instructors, the so called 'Self Improvers' (!) , who suffered sitting around grass airfields as Assistant Flying Instructors through Full Flight Instructors who hated the ordeal and just counted up to hours building targets. After a while, that just became the norm. Awful for both professions, Airline Piloting and Professional Instruction alike.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 10:44
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With the greatest respect to instructors, I came up through his route myself, it is apparent that airlines are having to move down the food chain. First choice would be experienced, type rated pilots from companies a tier below, then medium jet experience before moving onto military and turbo prop regional airline pilots. Flying school instructors would be well down the list for direct entry into an airline and would normally expect to have to go through a regional or biz jet job before getting a look in.

Back in the 1960s, airline recruiters were looking at PPL holders as potential employees and offering them CPL training. Could it happen again ?
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Old 22nd May 2018, 10:54
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I recall Flight magazine often having no jobs - there were none in the world, well not that needed to be advertised. Then there was the week there was one job, and the anecdotal result which would be in the jokes section if it were not so un-funny.

Harassed Chief Pilot finds a foot high pile of applications on his desk. He bins half of them.

"The last thing I need is unlucky pilots."

That was a painful time. British Eagle had gone and I was eyeing the Sunday Times' 8th page ad. It had a picture of a T tail and some happy crews. My heart sank. I had just breezed through my ALTP (ATPL) having had some years of flying behind me, including the BAC 1-11, but I did not qualify for the job. My basic postwar education was nowhere near the requirements. Then I saw it . . .

The job was for aircraft cleaners.

70 is the new 50? There's a lot of good blokes out there who are too old for command. They carry years of experience and many of them could show the youngsters a thing or two in the gym. Cut off at 70? I can hear the snarls from here.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 15:05
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{Disclaimer: the following is opinion with no clairvoyance implied or expressed]

The wild card in this whole CFI supply puzzle is the extensive training infrastructure in the USA at the university level; It’s BIG. Of course, there are shortcomings in any system with cost being a big issue. I have no idea how to solve that. I just know the training capacity exists and likely with room for some expansion.

[ see Detailed list of AABI Accredited Programs and interactive map ]

It appears alliances/programs/collaborations are being formed from the legacy/LCC to regional to university to flight school with the goal of getting fresh blood into the pipelines with a stint as a CFI as an integral, required part.

That should keep CFIs coming along until some other reliable way is found to get large numbers of fresh CPLs to ~1500 hours.

And yes, some flight schools will still be in a tight spot. That’s where the expats come in. Can’t find enough locals ? Bring in the expats and make it worth their trouble.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 01:40
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The expats then leave jobs in their home countries which simply moves the shortage around rather than solves the problem. There is a thread running on one of the Australian forums about Aussie Pilots being able to work for US regional airlines.
Australian pilots can work for US regionals.

Australia has been a source country for Pilots but is now experiencing its own shortage and has been recruiting abroad which would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.

We could be experiencing a demand similar to that last seen during the growth of civil aviation after WW2.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 06:57
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Originally Posted by Landflap View Post
n5296s ; well stated. The answer to all this is, of course, is blindingly obvious but airlines,driven by their own beancounters and rewarding them in the process, will never allude to the solution. A return to the glory days of fully sponsored Cadet Pilot Training. IN the 60's/70's, The BA College at Hamble was full of top instructors very happy with their lot. Oxford, Carlisle & Perth were also full of Cadets and, therefore, full of dedicated, very professional, well respected Instructors. Indeed, that level of Instruction was a career goal for many who wanted to be Instructors. Most were ex-mil. Cadet graduates with brand new CPL/ IR's will have received the benefit of very high quality instruction by very professionally motivated instructors.

National carriers should all dip into a funded Pilot Training Acadamy. Draw on cadets would be in proportion to the funding. Ideas around this model have been posted for decades. Indeed, even for a Instruction Career path, Schools could embark on fully funded courses for those who wish to become career Instructors . No one took the bait, it costs too much eh (?)and now we have the result.

I know many career orientated instructors who never wanted to be airline pilots. I know many more instructors, the so called 'Self Improvers' (!) , who suffered sitting around grass airfields as Assistant Flying Instructors through Full Flight Instructors who hated the ordeal and just counted up to hours building targets. After a while, that just became the norm. Awful for both professions, Airline Piloting and Professional Instruction alike.
The main source for commercial schools (ATOs) of FIs historically were QFIs leaving the Services. Once the Services started to contract significantly ( in the 1990s?) then that was the onset of dwindling numbers joining the Commercial flying schools. Not only did they train the ab-initio students, through their STANDARDS DEPARTMENT they ensured that non Services instructors (self improvers) were also trained to teach the customer to a high standard. Minimum experience 1000 hours instructing to join the staff.

So with QFIs reaching retirement, the void was mainly filled by non QFIs. Hardly surprising that the QUALITY control took a bit of a dip. Add to the mix that the remuneration is hardly appealing, then instructing becomes a stepping stone.

The policy of British Aerospace Flying College at Prestwick in the 1980/90s was to pay the instructing workforce something equivalent of a jet FO at that time. 44 FIs of which probably half a dozen or do were 'self improvers'.



Last edited by parkfell; 23rd May 2018 at 08:21. Reason: Minimum experience to join the staff
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Old 24th May 2018, 08:48
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Interesting observation by an examiner about the low-time CFI issue:

" Instructors are spending less time in instructor positions before they move on to employment at other flying jobs. The result of this is that they gain less experience—important experience that makes them better at their job."

“…an instructor 10 years ago probably wouldn’t be hired by an airline until he or she had more than 2,000 hours of total flight experience. Now, it’s not unusual to see instructors hired at the minimum 1,000 hours for a restricted ATP qualified applicant. That means they have spent 1,000 hours less time providing instruction to students. If they previously instructed 15-20 applicants for ratings and/or certificates before moving on, now they will be instructing more like 4-6 students. The result is that those who are providing instruction are continuously turning over and never really gaining the greater period of experience that makes them better at doing the job of preparing students for pilot certificates.”


https://www.avweb.com/news/features/...-230854-1.html
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Old 24th May 2018, 09:19
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70 is the new 50? There's a lot of good blokes out there who are too old for command. They carry years of experience and many of them could show the youngsters a thing or two in the gym. Cut off at 70? I can hear the snarls from here.
Maybe getting a bit past it now, but not so long ago I lost my Class 1 physical medical status but didn't lose my brain, so whereas I could no longer instruct ab initio pre-solo students - in case I should unfortunately die before they had proved that they could fly solo - but once they had gained a very basic PPL and could carry a passenger then I could have used my experience to help them towards the CPL and/or Instrument Rating, e.g. they could have built hours as P.i.C, with me just a passenger giving them very valuable hints, tips, and advice, i.e.. my instructing capability had no relevance to my physical medical condition ( or lack of it in fact ) but .... shock ! Horror! the very thought of it proved a non-starter to the bureaucrats, tho' I have sat as "Safety Pilot" for those cleared for solo Instrument Practice, and my unofficial inputs have been much appreciated.

In fact, NZ medical standards for a Microlight are set at the aged driver licence renewal standard, viz. at age 80+, whereas I can no longer renew my professional flying licence I am ( so far ) allowed to drive home after each driving licence renewal medical, so I can fly, and instruct on, a microlight. So all is not lost, we have had young students starting on the microlight - Light Sport Aircraft in some administrations - who have gone on to the Airlines or Air Force quite successfully.
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Old 24th May 2018, 13:35
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"..moves the shortage around". I'd like to see evidence of this "shortage"; Starting pay rates for many newly-qualified pilots are still only just above burger-flipping money in many airlines. The reality is that for many years, certain sectors of the industry have become used to a free supply of expensively-trained pilots at no cost to themselves.
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Old 24th May 2018, 13:54
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Originally Posted by ShotOne View Post
The reality is that for many years, certain sectors of the industry have become used to a free supply of expensively-trained pilots at no cost to themselves.
Certainly the historical case in the USA. But there is more chatter lately about the cost of flight training. Hard to say it that means anything here will change.

I remain a skeptic about the shortage.
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Old 25th May 2018, 08:43
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Hello Hungry pilot airlines!

I am available: hire me!
Just need a work permit again.
I will be glad just to fly a C208 or PC6/PC12... or if you insist put me in an ATR
No Boeing or airbus please!

Thank you
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