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Training Bonds - I need info for an article please.

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Training Bonds - I need info for an article please.

Old 24th Apr 2013, 06:58
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If you're a journalist your piece would be better off highlighting to the general public the pay to fly issue and the degradation of experience and T's & C's which is making the sky an undeniably less safe place to be. Also the plight of experienced pilots who can no longer find work because of the 200 hour cadets willing to prostitute themselves for less pay than they'd receive at their local McDonalds.
I agree with most of what's written here however I do not think the skies are any less safe because of the degradation of experience. Tell me Rex old son, were you not once a 200 hour hero straight out of Oxford? Pay to fly/Oxford hot shot, what's the difference?
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 08:27
  #22 (permalink)  
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Parabellum do you have any evidence for your assertion that this will not
affect the insurer's approach.
During a period of aviation recession I spent nearly three years working in the London market, dole wasn't an option. Regularly crashing and killing people will certainly get an airline a higher rate but that is a bit different to using lesser experienced junior crew. The aviation market is currently oversubscribed and competition for the business is stiff, insurers aren't going to start arbitrarily introducing limitations if it will affect their share of the business, as I said, if the airline is subject to recognised and proper regulation and the regulators allow the use of P2F, that will be accepted by underwriters until such time as they have justification to change or introduce additional premiums.

Both Lloyds and the companies market have their own, separate, survey departments who will have looked into and will continue to monitor the P2F situation, if it is the considered opinion that using P2F justifies an additional premium then it would be applied across the board and not individually by some lead underwriters but not others.

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Old 24th Apr 2013, 09:31
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financial stress and the constant training workload.

Originally Posted by shaun ryder
agree with most of what's written here however I do not think the skies are any less safe because of the degradation of experience. Tell me Rex old son, were you not once a 200 hour hero straight out of Oxford? Pay to fly/Oxford hot shot, what's the difference?
Referencing the recent CHIRP I received where a training captain expressed concerns about the cumulative fatigue effect of constantly training due to the higher workload on the Captain of an inexperienced First Officer. Some bases, it stated, were purely training and the regulator's response was that it issued recommendations to operators to balance experience levels. Clearly, if there is a high volume of low houred guys then the fatigue levels of training captains will increase significantly.

Furthermore, the low-hour First Officer is operating under extreme financial stress, which is a symptom of the industry at the moment. So, whilst everyone was a 200 hour pilot at some point some were cadets and financially protected from the massive financial risk or gaining hours on MEP and MET aircraft. That's a significant difference the "we all had 200 hours at some point" fails to address.

Last edited by Journey Man; 24th Apr 2013 at 09:35. Reason: poor spelling
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 17:08
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There are Captains working under financial and personal stress. Whilst I don't agree with PTF, the integrated to right seat mentality is not far removed from PTF. We have all flown with them. That's not a sweeping statement as there are some very talented guys out there. PTF whatever.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 17:23
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Snoop P2F has already killed pax and 3rd parties

Of course many civilian pilots pay for training - that's the same for every industry but by P2F we mean paying to do someone else's job - and paying to sit in the RHS (and even LHS "upgrades") - paying to fly passengers so the airline doesn't have to pay professionals.

Standards vary hugely amongst P2F and if you are a customer then standards are certainly lower mainly through the entitlement culture and idiom of "the customer is always right".

P2F has already killed passengers :

The Colgan 3407 Captain who pitched the Q400 TP airliner beyond the stall into an incipient spin was P2F with Gulfstream in the US flying passengers in a B1900 before joining Colgan - he failed IR and SIM rides but was passed through the system:

www.operationorange.org/colganQ&A.pdf

The victims families reacted by forcing Congress down the 1500h minimum flying experience route before flying airliners.

This is already the case in Australia for B737/A320 sized aircraft but in the EU we have lower and lower experience and so lower and lower Ts&Cs for pilots.

When a doctor qualifies do they have to pay for training on the surgical instruments they use in operating theatres. Do they rent those theatres (without financial gain) to practice on the public? Does a Tube driver pay for the specific type of Tube he drives? Does he pay to drive those carriages for the first 6 months and then get told to move on into unemployment so another driver who wants to pay for 6 months can take over?

When a punter pays a just a few GBP (pre tax) for a LoCo flight do they realize the Pilot occupying the front RH seat may be subsidising the flight by paying to work?

P2F is not an apprenticeship scheme, these are fully CAA qualified Commercial Pilots who have passed the Authority approved flight tests and ground exams which has already cost them between 75000 and 120,000.

How has this come about?

Because the system changed from UK National to JAR (European now EASA) rules, these new commercial pilots have around 250 flying hours on relatively light aircraft. Under the National system in the 1990s, they would have required at least 700h.

If you weren't ex Military or a fully sponsored British Airways cadet, in the past the route was to become a flying instructor. "Those that teach can" but the pay has not risen much since the 1980s (a weather dependant 10 a flying hour) unless you are highly experienced and work under contract for the military or large commercial flight school. Alternatively, you could work in General Aviation (Medivac, Banner towing, glider or parachute schools, Business aviation flying turbo props/jets, Freight, aerial photography etc, etc). This apprenticeship scheme gave commercial pilots well developed flight skills and huge experience of poor weather operations, logistics, and airmanship. The pay was not always good and some work was part time but the flying was fun and the pilots learnt a lot.

When the CAA rules changed to allow much lower flying hours to gain a commercial licence, the LoCo airlines in unison with less than scrupulous schools (in the USA the slang is "Pilot Mills") took advantage of a new market. This deteriorated into the money making racket we have seen over the past 5 or so years. They know these new pilots without much experience find it hard to find jobs or simply want to get the best paid employment asap to start paying back huge loans. So they sell the "shiny jet syndrome". This involves selling not just the "approved" commercial pilot course but they tell the new pilot he/she needs a Jet Type Rating ( previously a business expense of an airline that the employer bonded the pilot to 1 to 3 years service with no repayment if they stay working that long).

A Type Rating costs around 18,000 to 25,000 for a B737 or small Airbus. It is mostly Simulator time and lots of ground school. The tests are multiple choice except the "flight test" which is conducted by a CAA approved examiner (TRE). To have it issued on the pilot's licence also requires 6 landings in the real aeroplane which can add a further 5 to 8k. Some schemes led to a genuine job with the likes of easyJet - until 2008.

The Ryanair scheme never guaranteed employment. They even charge for interview! It runs to this day and those that pay ( see: https://pilot.cae.com/Programs/Ryanair.aspx - around 30,000 Euros) are placed in a holding pool on contractor pilots who often have to set up their own businesses to become self employed (except the Inland Revenue says to be self employed you need more than one client - not just Ryanair!).

However, the Pilot Mills now tell airline pilot wanabes that Type Rating on own is no longer enough to get a job in the post 2008 market. They may have as little as 200 hours total flying experience but are already in 120,000 debt.

The Pilot Mills and some airlines now say these pilots need time on type in real operations. This is called Line Training and should take about 40 sectors ( a sector is one trip eg: Luton to Amsterdam). However, the LoCos/schools sell 100h to 500h blocks of time on type for up to another 30,000. So the pilot on your next holiday flight may only have 300 hours with just a few on the Airbus when the Captain collapses from a heart attack mid flight (eg: Qatar: Pilot dies mid-air of heart attack - Oneindia News )

The worst examples are the schools that send P2F cadets to FAA and EU blacklisted airlines such as Lion Air:

Eagle Jet - Airline Pilot Central Forums

Eagle Jet International, Inc.

http://www.pprune.org/terms-endearme...petitions.html

A whilse ago I met with 5 unemployed A320 Type Rated pilots. One young chap had been promised easyjet employment - he had been through the approved pilot mill and come near top of his class. After Type Rating he did Line Training and was failed by the company for a lack of confidence (he had around 100 hours on type and under 400h total flying). he is now unemployed with huge debts to repay and insufficient experience to get a real airline job (need min of 500h on type these days even abroad). Another slightly older pilot had flown 100h with easyjet and wanted to do some more but they refused after that last flight. he remains unemployed looking for a flying position.

Often a P2F airline will eject the P2F cadet after the term and get another one. This process means they never have to hire another First Officer (FO) again. In the meantime, the employed FOs are on the ground on standby, unable to gain flying experience needed towards a command/captaincy.


How do these Pilot mills operate? They use LoCo airline Captains who wish to top up pensions or just gain Instructor ratings. Apparently, Stellios approached one such school at airline startup and was quoted a huge figure to pay for training new pilots. He was told it was less than an accident!

Thankfully we have not seen any major accidents in the UK as yet but there have been many incidents, including tail scraped landings and very high cockpit workloads for the Captains who have to fly with low houred cadets or P2F pilots. See: http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources...JZ%2012-08.pdf

Last edited by angelorange; 24th Apr 2013 at 17:26.
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Old 30th Apr 2013, 09:34
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Flying Journalist, I dare you to print, word for word, together with the references provided, what Angelorange said above. Go on, I dare you, it is, after all the truth.
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Old 30th Apr 2013, 11:52
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Where's the regulator? Indeed where are all of them? It is they who are supposed to police standards of the industry, not just rake in the money for LST's, licence issues, sim audits, airline audits, etc.etc. I wonder how an XAA head would stand up on a really well researched 'Hardtalk'. There in lies another hiccup...well researched. I've seen a few of those programs with an airline CEO in the supposed hot-seat. The questions were trivial and not the root core of the problems. The CEO could run rings around the interviewer. The real crux of the matter never was debated.
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Old 30th Apr 2013, 13:38
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Flying Journalist

I don't think there was any P2F element, but just have a look at the experience level on the flightdeck of the Metroliner that crashed in Cork. That will lead you into your next project: ticket agents pretending to be airlines.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 08:18
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Parabellum, re your post =19= " no money changes hands". Is that quite so ? Forgive me if I am getting terms mixed up, but as a candidate for SIA DEC long time ago, I was required to put up front a cash deposit known as a Training Deposit. It was a lot of money. The cash would be placed in a Singapore Bank Account & returned, with interest, on completion of the five year "bond" period. Quite a good deal , actually, if you had the money in the first place. UNfortunately, exchange rates not favouring the GBP at the time, the amount required was increasing. By the time I would have worked my notice with my existing employer, by joining date for SIA, the "Training Deposit" would have exceeded my ability to pay. So, cash really did change hands !

Moreover, the company applied a rigorous bond on top of the aforementioned. Leave or "jump-ship" within the five year period would mean losing the deposit and then being pursued for a contract break. The latter was for a huge amount of money or jail time.I believe that a couple of cases were successefully pursued in the States by SIA and the pilots were ruined or did time in the Pen. Can't remember.

I bear no criticism for SIA and training bonds in one form or another are commonplace. Actually, it is the rather unprofessional actions of a number of pilots who accepted sponsored pilot training or type conversions in exchange for "bonded" service and then reneged that caused an increase in the bonded activity.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 08:41
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Flying Journalist, hope this is useful stuff and we are remaining close to thread. I agree with Slowjet, I too was unable to fund the initial training deposit for SIA which cost me my dream job. Fabbo company, great people & marvelous place to live. Bonds work two ways sometimes. In my last job, I was moved from 767 to A340 & bonded for two years. Quite happy but I did poke fun at the company for issuing a ONE year contract (part of the Age Over 60 problem ) but bonding for TWO. Instead of beating me round the ears, my CP gave me dates, coffee & told me to calm down, explaining that the deal worked in my favour (thanks Nasser). If the Company failed to renew my contract, I would be free to leave with a valuable rating & no bond to pay off. If I left within the one year contract, that would be a contract break plus bond break & I could look forward to many sleepless nights. At which point, he winked and asked " More Coffee ?" !
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Old 3rd May 2013, 09:30
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There are two sides to every story. I suspect a number of non pilots reading this, if offered a free MBA on the basis that they stay with their sponsoring employer for a minimum period of time after completing the course, would not feel unduly exploited. It depends on the fairness of the terms. At the end of the day bonds (if they even exist) at good employers are largely irrelevant. At dodgy employers they go hand in hand with confiscating passports, pay to fly cadets etc. So I would argue it is not bonding per se but rogue airlines that are the problem.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 09:47
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Thumbs down

Bonds are fine, 'Pay to Fly' isn't. Simple.

The industry is hitting rock bottom and still finding new depths...

Lynch the bean counters (and the profiteering CEOs)! They don't give a monkey's as all they care about is:

-the bottom line (short term)
-their share of the (short term) profit
-where their next job will be on the way up the snake's ladder...

...Leaving all of us who are committed to our carriers as a career to deal with the when it rears it's ugly head a few years down the road.

And we are the ONLY ones that suffer. Along with the pax when the smoking hole occurs...

Last edited by Flying Clog; 3rd May 2013 at 09:51.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 11:14
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There are a few airlines out there that still bond pilots and pay for type ratings. CityJet is one - although, probably more because no pilot would pay for an RJ rating than for any other reason.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 21:58
  #34 (permalink)  
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Slowjet - Yes, I too was a B744 DEC with SIA and had to put up S$60,000.00 as a bank guarantee on which I paid about one percent, (the DBS charged 3%!), I didn't count this as 'money changing hands' as it didn't go to the employer and within the scheme of things was very small beer. In my case the money was held in a London branch and the guarantee issued by their Singapore office, most of the guarantee was a charge against my UK house and not cash.

My point was that, provided you complete the agreed period of return of service then no money changes hands and that is the case. P2F is a different story all together.

Last edited by parabellum; 3rd May 2013 at 22:04.
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Old 4th May 2013, 02:13
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Pay to fly schemes do increase the threat level. A good example is the A320 accident in Kos. If you don't believe that, read the report.
http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources...JZ%2012-08.pdf If that pilot hadn't have been paying for his own rating, then he wouldn't have been in that seat. The airline exposed the passengers to increased risk to make money from pilot training.

Airlines who sell the pilot's seat are putting passengers at risk. They justify it through their training requirements but are training way in excess of those requirements because the pay to fly schemes are very profitable.
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Old 4th May 2013, 06:54
  #36 (permalink)  
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Slightly off track but had the FO mentioned in the Kos incident been in the military, (and I suspect a no pay airline cadetship), then long before he got the chance to do damage to anything bigger than a training aircraft he would have been chopped.

Quite how you introduce quality control to a money driven training system, as it has now become, I'm not sure.

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Old 4th May 2013, 09:52
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Thanks Parabellum. Guarantee schemes, Training Bonds and contract breaks all linked but seperate. Journo has probably decided not to proceed with his article ! Oh & S$60,000 being small beer; I am coming over to your place & the beers are on you ! I agree that in the wider scheme of things, a lot of these schemes are, in fact, quite good. However, where pilots are asked to pay, up front, in the first place, as with the guarantee scheme, a stumbling block occurs. Some really deserving pilots (not suggeting I am one) are left out in the cold because they are unable or unwilling to put hot money on the desk, even if it is, later, to be returned.

Cripes, just seen where you live. Not coming over. Can't afford it !

Last edited by slowjet; 4th May 2013 at 09:55.
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Old 4th May 2013, 10:10
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Another aspect of not having a proper salary based employment with a long-term contract of employment: many cadet pilots these days can be on a contract that pays only when you fly. You are in deep debt and need to repay the loan. Thus you'll be tempted to fly when you are not fit. You can't afford to lose any income. A real safety issue, and with lower and lower experience in LHS even more so.
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Old 4th May 2013, 22:49
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The S$60,000 is definitely not small beer slowjet, but the interest payable after discounting the interest earned, if any, definitely is!
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Old 7th May 2013, 08:53
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Yes,parabellum, I see that. Still a fearsome amount to raise in the firstplace & would detract many applicants. Not a crtiicism. Still a good deal for those who had the money or could raise it. Glad it worked for you.

Last edited by slowjet; 7th May 2013 at 08:54.
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