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Old 27th Mar 2016, 06:17   #61 (permalink)
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Wireless is right. That's pretty much everything I would have said too.

As soon as the industry can supply itself with jet-experienced pilots (and historically it has always had the random stipulation of minimum 60 tons, so no E-jet), Flybe guys will find it ridiculously difficult to get out.

I can only hope since the big panic sale of pilots in 2013/14, the idiot trainers who infected the Dash fleet were also thrown out. The majority were, as stated, good at what they did, but there was a hard core of notorious plonkers whose presence was continually tolerated.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 08:41   #62 (permalink)
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When I left in 2013 there was certainly not the plethora of opportunities there are now. There were opportunities to go and get jet time but they involved a sacrifice, in my case going to the arse end of Europe and flying for peanuts. It paid off though and within 18 months I was back in the UK, Airbus rated with lots of time on type and it made everything worthwhile. When times change from the current recruitment "boon", no you're probably not going to walk into a well paid jet job in the UK but those days have gone forever anyway. It will involve looking elsewhere for opportunities but you're wrong to say that those opportunities simply won't exist for Dash drivers. It will probably involve a move out of your comfort zone, which is something that I got the impression many in the redundancy turmoil of early 2013 simply weren't willing to contemplate.

I can only echo, however, the sentiments regarding Flybe before the January announcement of three years ago. A simply wonderful place to work with opportunities for a great lifestyle. If the archangel Gabriel came down now and told me "Rex you can go back to Flybe with things exactly how they were but the company will be stable and profitable and it will never change but you must stay there until retirement" I would happily give up my long haul ambitions right now and go back. You can't put a price on being at home with a fantastic lifestyle and that's what Flybe offered for so many. People accepted the lower level of pay in order to fly their 500 hours a year and work with their friends. Sadly, as soon as the hatchet plan to retrench the company around the "superbases" of Manchester, Birmingham and Southampton reared its ugly head, the job changed out of all recognition. You had the guys who wanted to receive their lower remuneration to work at home for Flybe now scattered to places in the UK they never wanted to be and flying 900 hours a year on the dash.

2013 was a horrible turn of events and reality check for the people in the outlying bases (and even for the guys in the big bases) and the company will never be the same again. Ultimately I realise my post has given kind of conflicting opinions regarding going to Flybe regarding the career implications of the dash against the conditions at the company but it's best to have the full picture. If you're a young guy cutting your teeth in aviation there aren't many better aircraft to do it on than the dash at Flybe. Lots of visuals (unless they've banned them again) and plenty of opportunity to hand pole to your heart's content. It's not a long term proposition though and have a carefully constructed exit plan.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 10:37   #63 (permalink)
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Maybe Rex. But I simply can't responsibly abvocate that turboprop predjudice is gone for good. I feel it's temporary which is why I responded to what you indicated. You mentioned moving out of your comfort zone. I was Embraer rated and still had to end up flying from the Arsenal end of no where, albeit on a wide body. But it nearly broke my home life. It maybe fine in principle just to say up sticks if/when/maybe. However in the job decision stage it is a consideration. Everyone's lives are different. If it does happen it's no good saying to your wife and children "sorry, should've been bus rated, we need to move to Ghana". It's real when it happens. Normally suddenly, as we all found. I heard this sentiment about guys not being willing to work overseas a lot, and it always was from the pilots without families. I don't have children myself and was mobile but it wasn't through choice.

I would rather be bus or 737 rated with options to stay flying within the UK than find myself again in that sudden station if that's where my wife and children's lives lay. I saw for many colleagues it wasn't a case of not willing to contemplate but "how can I" with young children in school and a family. I remember one strong man in tears in the crew room with his worry.

We're quick as pilots to assume loved ones follow our wandering paths. But having been flying, flying machines in various methods now for 20 years and having lost a lot along the way I can safely say the rest of our lives may not follow us.

And as an informed person making making a decision, if I knew my heart and family life lay firmly in the UK I wouldn't be so dismissive about the ramifications of simply "being unwilling", especially now as there's choices in UK flying employment.

Last edited by Wireless; 27th Mar 2016 at 10:49.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 10:44   #64 (permalink)
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Wireless you're right, for the people with family it was and is different (and very many of those had perfectly valid reasons to be unwilling) but my comments are more for the younger audience on here with no ties. I was one of those (well relatively young anyway) and was fortunate to be in that position as it turned out.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 11:36   #65 (permalink)
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Turbo Prop Prejudice

Hi All,

The TP prejudice, sadly, is still there; or more accurately disappearing slowly as more and more people move through the ZFT system.

Many carriers twigged that the CAP 804 requirements for ZFT covered pretty much every TP aeroplane except a handful of sub 19 seaters. This was fantastic news for those who wanted an opportunity to leave TP carriers. Hence we find ourselves in the current (positive) pilot movement situation. Good for the top end, good for the middle and good for new starters.

What has become apparent is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO CONCEPT from those who have never worked with a Q400 of the capability it has. The Q400 was designed to operate in a jet environment at TP efficiency and it does it very well. More-or-less full glass cockpit, 285Kts TAS cruise, slippery little bugger, 235 down-wind => 210, 180Kts on base and 160 to 4d; it is a jet in all but name. I have flown jets that are easier to manage energy on.

The usual response when all this is explained: "...oh! Its not a Shed then?...". Yes. Thats right. MOST modern TP's are most certainly not Sheds (Shorts 360 for the youngsters).

These people with an awareness gap cannot be blamed for their lack of understanding. How many of us really understand the finer points of another carriers SOP's and/or types if they appear to be at the other end of the spectrum to our own?

What is encouraging is the response of training departments to the TP drivers "making the difficult transition to jet" (). The recognition that a good apprenticeship has been served elsewhere on a challenging type is growing by the month.

The middle managers (and at least one very senior manager I know at a major charter outfit) are already aware that gap exists between reality and words written in a manual. Things are changing albeit a little slowly.

Apologies for the fairly lengthy post!

In summary, the TP "capability gap" is closing now with the advent of ZFT rules changing a couple of years ago. As more carriers move towards Skills Lists/Competencies (the updated stance on NOTECHs) this snobbery will disappear. I've certainly started to see this where I am now and it is VERY positive.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 12:59   #66 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BugSpeed View Post
it is a jet in all but name.

I have flown jets that are easier to manage energy on.
Me too. The BAe 146. But then there's not much that is draggier or more...flexible.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 16:40   #67 (permalink)
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As a recent exFlybee I can only affirm what has been written in all of the above informative posts. Regarding the attitude of training departments towards ex Turbo prop guys the current situation is only positive in my experience, they seem to appreciate our basic flying skills and ability to think a little bit outside the box. Just passed my skills test on a 100t Boeing and no issues so far apart from trying to find the ALTSEL on numerous occasions in panic!

To summarise, training departments in the UK will continue to give Flybe/Eastern guys a shot for the foreseeable future... but the real test will be when things slow down, whether or not the HR departments will let them in the door when there are plenty of jet guys applying for the same jobs.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 19:56   #68 (permalink)
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Sadly I don't think they will. This is nothing to do with skillsets. It's more to do with costs. Surely a trained person on the same type will be cheaper. Milk it now for when it all changes the same cycle will return.

Right now - if you can't find the crew having the same type ratings - then it goes to the second level down the food chain, TP guys and girls.

When that erodes - it will be instructors or cadets....hopefully
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 21:52   #69 (permalink)
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Bugspeed - well said! I've struggled many times in the past with those in recruitment posts who have "ABSOLUTELY NO CONCEPT" about the Q400.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 08:55   #70 (permalink)
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Having flown Q400, E-Jet and now Airbus I have to say the Q400 was the most demanding to fly - which is precisely why the jet prejudice is a nonsense. I'm not sure that I'd class a Q400 as slippery though (except in comparison to an airborne wheelbarrow! ;-)

My advice to those still at Flybe or even thinking of joining is to think hard about what you want from the job of being a pilot. There's upsides and downsides to all flying jobs. I once chatted to a 777 Captain who had flown everything from instructing in Cessna's through turboprops at Eastern and then small jets before finally flying the heavies. He said to me that his job satisfaction had proved to be inversely proportional to his paycheck and he bloody hated sitting there for 11 hours at a time staring at a 4000 mile ocean in the middle of the night but was trapped by the salary.

If Flybe offered a 5/3 fixed roster pattern that would in my view make a big difference because it would dramatically improve lifestyle and people would be more inclined to tolerate the downsides like low pay and roster disruption. Ironically as they are so short of crew they're probably less likely to do this now than ever and yet it's precisely the kind of measure that could solve their staff attrition issues in the longer term.

I also think it will be interesting to see if Saad stays. Many suspect he's only in it for the money and his 3 year contract involved a huge bonus if he managed to significantly improve the share price 3 years after taking over. In fact the share price is (I think) lower than when he joined so he may decide to leave anyway which may leave the way open for a more charismatic leader with more flair, better people skills and the ability to re-energise the workforce. What Flybe needs is someone like Branson or Colin Marshall with a genuine passion for aviation and customer service, the intellect to innovate and the ability to create passion in his staff and a bit of theatre around the brand.

Sadly I suspect Saad is a bean counter who lacks flair. He intimidates his staff and I'm not sure if he really cares about his passengers. If you read the financial sites he doesn't seem to have impressed the city analysts or investors. He went around sacking and demoting (often capable and experienced) managers left right and center while spouting meaningless phrases he picked up on an MBA course. He sacked stacks of pilots only to find himself recruiting to replace them almost immediately, he grounded a fleet of jets for months and then realised (as an 'O' level economics student could have told him) that by doing that he was still paying all the leases but not earning any revenue from them to offset that so he put them back in the air again. He has opened and closed bases all over the place which led people to wonder if there was cohesion to the strategy. He shed and lost excellent staff who had a strong sense of loyalty and customer service ethic. Fundamentally his biggest failing is that he hasn't managed to take his staff, the city or perhaps even his customers with him quite the way one might have hoped.

Thankfully Flybe weathered the storm but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he decides to seek his fortune elsewhere.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 10:33   #71 (permalink)
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^^^^^^^ Can only echo Desk Pilots post above. Having met the man on more than one occasion I was left completely underwhelmed by him both as a leader and a strategist.

90% of his decisions seem to be to scrap something and then re-introduce it 6 months to a year later under a different banner, with zero accountability or recognition of previous mistakes.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 11:22   #72 (permalink)

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I don't think the leases work like that, desk plot and whitemonk. It's not a simple case of the aircraft cost a one off x amount to operate and then he realised it would pay to fly them, to think that is a little naive. There's a whole wrath of associated costs. The engines were owned by the Walker Trust so I'm led to believe and then leased back to Flybe, the airframes were a separate entity. Then factor in sky high fuel prices, and (according to the company) sky high crew and high fuel burns then those associated costs mount up if they fly. If they don't fly then the only thing you pay for is the airframe lease costs because Saad got rid of the other cost (crews). The engines aren't being used and no fuel is being burnt. But then came Project Blackbird. There was no way on this God's earth that these jets were going to be sold. You could see it right from the start. There's only 138 sold worldwide since the aircraft's inception. We possessed 14 by 2008 which at that time equated to 20% of the world's fleet of 195s. Up until we got rid of the first one we possessed 11% of the world's fleet so that tells you a story doesn't it, well it tells me that as beautiful as the aircraft is to fly, they are commercial dogs, nobody wants them, that's not my opinion, that's fact and couple that with a very, very high cost base, high leasing costs and high fuel costs, the 195s were never going to stay, or so we thought. As Project Blackbird was in full swing I think it became abundantly clear that nobody wanted the 195s. So now we're stuck with them, and the reason they're flying again is because we have done deals with airports to drive down the associated costs. Couple this with a much lower cost base and fuel that's 50% cheaper then all of a sudden they might just break even - just, which is obviously alot better than a loss. Let's face it, we were (& still are with handouts) flying these aircraft on domestic routes, mainly in the uk. Apart from a few trunk routes if airlines could make money flying jets over 100 seats on UK domestic routes then airlines would be doing it in abundance, but they're not, this tells you a story as well.
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 07:10   #73 (permalink)
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Your biggest problem is Ham Salad's love of purple. You now have a fleet of flying dildos, which wouldn't look out of place with Ann Summers written on the side instead
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 08:48   #74 (permalink)
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You now have a fleet of flying dildos, which wouldn't look out of place with Ann Summers written on the side instead
Considering our times, it might well be the best marketing strategy ever!
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 12:22   #75 (permalink)
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Lovely comments Otto.

Last edited by RVF750; 13th Apr 2016 at 12:44.
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Old 7th Apr 2016, 00:47   #76 (permalink)
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What's best integrated or modular?
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Old 13th Apr 2016, 12:44   #77 (permalink)
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Integrated for the quality of training, and the possibility of referrals and mentoring opportunities.

Back to Flybe. Historically I honestly believe Jersey European existed as a means to Legally "launder" money (purely metaphorically speaking) via expensive aircraft leases out to the offshore bases of the paper companies who owned most of the aircraft.

With a lot of the Q400s and the E195s this historical flaw is one of their big hurdles to recovery. The Republic Q400s are a good step, and the sooner they get out of the E195s and the expensive Q400s run out of lease and can be re-acquired on better terms the sooner their cost base will become manageable.

Ham Salad, certainly has one hand tied behind his back, as did Jim before him. LHR is a gon starter, as they costs are even more than at LGW, who drove Flybe out of the airport and very nearly out of business altogether....

Last edited by RVF750; 26th Apr 2016 at 10:15.
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Old 13th Apr 2016, 17:25   #78 (permalink)
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Jack Walker was laundering money was he?
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 21:30   #79 (permalink)
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Pay rise

Do I hear Flybe pilots getting a pay rise and new roster agreement.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 22:59   #80 (permalink)

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The latest pay/scheduling offerings have been unanimously rejected by the members. Discussions are taking place with regards an improved offer.
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