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The Economist - Interesting Articles

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The Economist - Interesting Articles

Old 24th Dec 2002, 13:41
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Keeping Danny in Sandwiches
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The Economist - Interesting Articles

There are 2 interesting articles in this weeks Economist (Yes some pilots do read it).
The first forcasting our future demise (if only the manufacturers could stop writing "flakey" software).
The second about sleep deprivation.
http://www.economist.com/

Worth going out and buying yourself a copy (Dec 21-Jan 3)
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 14:55
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The story about sleep deprivation - http://www.economist.com/science/dis...ory_id=1487570 - had a bit about napping and sleep inertia, which reminded me of this recently-published report - http://www.atsb.gov.au/aviation/occu...ail.cfm?ID=453 - in which "controlled rest" on the flight deck played a part.
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 15:57
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Well its certainly a better quality of aricle than you'd find in the Daily Mail, but still a bit wooly when it comes to the facts. Perhaps they've used a bit of artistic licence when it comes to:

Airlines' single largest cost is staff wages, which consume half of a typical airline's annual revenue—far more than fuel, aircraft leasing or servicing costs. Pilots are the most costly airline workers to employ. At a typical airline, industry insiders say, 97 of the 100 most highly paid employees will be pilots.

I'd say BA was a fairly typical airline but our November 2002 report showed total revenue of £3556M versus pay, pension contributions and other employee costs of £1043M. I'd also like to know which 'industry insiders' think that all but three members of our board of directors earn less than the 97 highest earning pilots! I suspect with analytical skills like that they won't be insiders for long!
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 16:22
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I felt that the article on pilotless aircraft quite good, especially the point about passenger reluctance to use them. If the price of the seat is low enough SLF will fly on any old crate so why not pilotless a/c.

Hand Solo

I am not totally convinced that BA is a 'fairly typical airline' with the amount of waste that goes on, possibly it is a fairly typical ex-state owned carrier (in line with Air France, Iberia, etc)

Also I don't think that Directors are classed as normal employees of a company, so the bit about pilot pay would be in comparison to the Senior Managers in Operations, Cargo, Engineering etc.
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 19:28
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Even if it isn't a typical airline, with staff costs amounting to less than one third of total revenue it indicates that BAs staff are considerably better value than your typical airline. As for excluding directors from the pay comparisons, well they can't bandy around phrases like '97 out of 100' then remove anyone who doesn't fit. Either there are only three people in the company earning more than pilots, or there aren't. I'd hazard a guess the only pilot in the top ten earners at Easyjet will be the Chief Pilot. Or perhaps they aren't a typical airline either.
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 19:51
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Hope that the CAA read the article on sleep deprivation.

I've got less hope that anything will change, though.

Must go, noisy hotel last night, up at 0445, I need to...... .. .. . . .

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
Old 24th Dec 2002, 21:01
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From what I hear it's Brian Simpson MEP that needs to be reading it.
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Old 25th Dec 2002, 01:08
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Well.... this is what the union mentality has brought our Profession to. Is there not software available that could eliminate Engineers? - Lawyers? - Doctors? Enter problem and a computer generated solution will be presented - no creative thinking allowed.

Our Profession should be maintained and regulated from within - the same as the Professions mentioned above. With what we present to the public - perceptions such as those presented in this article will continue to abound.

I am a subscriber to the Economist and must say that I am a tad disapointed in their research.
four-engined planes; if one engine failed, the aircraft lost only 25% of its propulsion
- If you restrict a 2 inch water line by half do you lose one-half the flow?

At a typical airline, industry insiders say, 97 of the 100 most highly paid employees will be pilots.
Aircraft value - $90,000,000 + seat liability $2,000,000 each + serious incident could sink entire company. I would say that would rival most CEO's worth and responsibility. As long as the Bean Counters continue the mantra that monkies can fly airplanes - and continue the trend to pay peanuts - my money is on a continual degradation of our present airline industry.
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Old 27th Dec 2002, 05:30
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Orca:

Well said. I agree entirely.
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Old 31st Dec 2002, 10:20
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Orca,

No need to fear extinction. All the electronics and hydraulics and telemetry may be - in fact they really ought to be - able to fly the aircraft from a to b on their own, but the need still exists - and will always exist - for someone to be in charge of the process.

Two nearly-eternal reasons justify the need for a commander:

a) to solve problems and finesse situations when they arise

b) to catch the blame when something goes really wrong.. so it doesn't come back on the suits at HQ.
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Old 31st Dec 2002, 15:21
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The Economist

I used to work as a pivate client stockbroker dealing with a wide variety of people.

The firm had a client who lived overseas and dealt with us on a reasonably regular basis. He used to buy shares solely on the advice of The Economist.

Needless to say his investments were an absoulte disaster, he lost large amounts of dosh on a regular basis. If fact one guy in the office regularly sold whatever this particular client bought.

Moral of the story: The Economist is bad for your financial health!!!

Gusty

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Old 31st Dec 2002, 17:13
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Another Oz accident in which sleep inertia seems to have played a very significant role.

http://www.atsb.gov.au/aviation/occu...ail.cfm?ID=372
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Old 31st Dec 2002, 21:00
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Don't compare my job to other jobs

Just recieved this via e-mail. Not sure who the Author is but its worth the read....


Lot has been said and written in the press concerning pilots' salaries
and compensation. We have been told about how much it will cost our
company, our job has been compared to others, and various subtle and
not so subtle threats and intimidation tactics have been hurled at our
group.
In light of the current situation, please allow me, a pilot to give you
a small glimpse into my world...

DON'T COMPARE MY JOB TO OTHER JOBS

...How many boardrooms explode over Long Island Sound?

...How many meetings conclude with hundreds of dead bodies?

...How many trucks cost $82 million dollars?

...How many doctors spend half the month away from their families?

...Do the children of media representatives cry when Daddy puts on his
uniform to go to work because they know he'll be gone for a week?

...How many salesmen lose their jobs because they have high blood
pressure?

...How many lawyers spent Christmas alone in a hotel room?

...When your wife is watching TV and the program is interrupted by a news
flash of an aircraft accident, does she momentarily freeze in fear for
what she might hear?

There is not another profession in the world where the consequences for
mistakes are so catastrophic and unforgiving.

THE PRICE

...I pay the price when somebody loads full oxygen containers in the
cargo hold

...I pay the price when a terrorist has a bone to pick

...I pay the price when loaders forget to set the locks

...I pay the price when engineers design a fuel pump not quite correctly

...I pay the price when Mother Nature decides to shift the winds...


YOU SPEAK OF THE COST

...Ask the CEO of Valu-Jet the cost of a DC-9 buried in the Everglades...The Cost.

...Ask Fred Smith the cost to scrape a DC-10 and MD-11 from the runways
at Steward and Newark...The Cost

...Ask Korean Airlines the cost of a 747 that didn't quite make the runway at Guam... The Cost

...Ask Fine Air the cost to clean up a DC-8 off a Miami Street...The Cost

...Ask Bob Crandall the cost of a B-757 impacting a Colombian mountain...The Cost

...And if not for their Cool, Calm, Professionalism, what could have
been the cost of a UPS B-727 that suddenly went dark and silent four miles
above Chicago? How much were they worth to you that night? Industry
standard or 25% below? ...... The Cost

WHEN YOU TRY TO INTIMIDATE ME, REMEMBER

I am not your enemy, I am your asset, an asset who has experienced and
accomplished things few others dare to try. Realize this and there few
obstacles we can't overcome.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 20:33
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Orca strait,

I have to agree with you.

Let's shut up all the whinners who complain that airline pilots make too much. Let's have 250 hour CPL's captain the B777, B747, B737's and shoot Cat 3 approaches. Airlines will save money on flight crew costs, but will spend a bundle on cleanup costs.

I use to fly with an 18,000 hour ex. military, ex. airline pilot in an air-taxi operation, he said "I don't get paid for what I do, I get paid for what I know."
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 21:52
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"WHEN YOU TRY TO INTIMIDATE ME, REMEMBER I am not your enemy, I am your asset, an asset who has experienced and
accomplished things few others dare to try."
IMHO a little arrogant perhaps?

"Few others dare to try"
From the number of people who apply to be pilots - some of whom even pay airlines £50 for the privilege, I'd say many of us would love a chance to be a pilot. How many children grow up wanting to be media representatives, salesmen or accountants?

"Do the children of media representatives cry when Daddy puts on his uniform to go to work because they know he'll be gone for a week?"
How many kids have their "Daddy" on holiday for two weeks when he gets back because the law limits his hours? And isn't there always the possbility of flying short-haul?

If being a pilot is that bad, why don't you quit and join another profession? Even if you discount all the perks of your job, and despite all the things mentioned above, you get paid far more than most of us ever will. Is it really such a bad life, industry standard or 25% below?
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 06:56
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CB9002
I know its hard to sympathize, but consider the job. Its filled with pofessional peril and the private type also . Not talking about lawndarting a plane, lesser evils. I only saw the numbers when I wanted to join the club. I wish someone had sat me down and talked to me about the time away for one. Having to kiss your kids through the end of a phone 3 to 4 nights a week is no fun. I am a fairly new Captain in the past 3 years, I work pretty much all weekends. The last time I spent a weekend with the kids and wife was summer last year. I have missed birthdays, soccor practice, you get the idea. Yeah,I do make a good living. I honestly believe that the pay is high so people will put up with the lifestyle. As much as I like flying, I would not do it for a much lessor amount. Perhaps its petty to put a pricetag on happiness, but it allows me to not worry about money when I am home.
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 13:08
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Let's try an EXPERIMENT!

Take the highest-paying airline you know. Find their biggest aircraft. Find out the hourly flight pay of the most senior crew on said aircraft.

(I used United before The Troubles, the 747-400, and approximately $450 American an hour.)

Divide said hourly total by number of seats on board. This is your hourly crew cost per seat. Again, just an estimate, but about $1.50 American.

Multiply by a the duration of the longest flight you can think of. I came up with UAL's short-lived JFK-Hong Kong route from about 2 years ago. 15 hours.

The RESULT: each passenger paid the flight crew about $22.50 American for their flight. I'm by no means sure of this, but I'd bet their meals cost more than that.

QED. Now, what did I miss?
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