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What Happens To Laid-off Pilots?  
User currently offlineDandy_don From United States of America, joined May 2000, 202 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 12 months 15 hours ago) and read 5784 times:

Do they get severance pay?

What alternative type of work to they find?

Do they have to retrain before returning to flying?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN951U From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 12 months 15 hours ago) and read 5770 times:

Severance pay? None. Benefits? Some airlines extend limited health/travel benefits if they go voluntarily.

Alternative types of work? Anything they can find. Today, probably not another airline job. I know somebody whose parent is laid off from American (ex-TWA). He's working retail right now for lack of anything better.

Retrain? If they lose their currency. Comair pilots had to retrain to an extent after their strike.... even the most basic lapse like three landings in type in 90 days.

User currently offlineDeltaASA16 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 12 months 14 hours ago) and read 5739 times:

The USAToday ran a Frontpage in the Money section about that a few months ago... This Layed off serior pilot was working at the Home Depot, trying to make wnough tmoney to pay the bills and feed the family...Rough times  Sad


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6210 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (12 years 12 months 13 hours ago) and read 5733 times:

Unlike executives, unfortunately, pilot skills are very industry specific, and pay very company specific. A captain making $280,000 at a major airline won't make anything near that in any other job. Even if he leaves to go to another airline, he won't be making the $280,000 like he was before. He'd start at the bottom of the totum pole again, regardless of his experience.

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 12 months 12 hours ago) and read 5688 times:

As to what alternative to flying? Anything they can get. I've heard of many ex Ansett pilots(who were laid off in 2001 after AN collapsed) working in jobs such as bricklaying, retail or even going back to flight instructing on light singles and twins or flying charter.

User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2635 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (12 years 12 months 10 hours ago) and read 5670 times:

We now have about a quarter of our pilots list on furlough. Here's some of the jobs I've heard they've started since leaving:

Motorcycle mechanic
Gold panning in Alaska
DC-10 Engineer for Ryan Airlines
Gulfstream pilot
Cheyenne pilot
Hollywood camera operator
Aircraft mechanic

Most of those with jobs had them before coming to Hawaiian. For the vast majority of the unemployed however, flying has been their career for many years and it's difficult to find ANYTHING that you're not over/under qualified for.


One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (12 years 12 months 9 hours ago) and read 5648 times:

There are only a few companies in the world that will pay a person to whine. Right now most of them companies are in bankruptcy. I would think most pilots could find work at turnpike toll booths...The booths are kind of like a cockpit, you would see lots of traveling people. They just couldn't keep the money.

Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineDe727ups From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5553 times:

Hey...to be able to whine is a time honored tradition for pilots...it's part of our contract.

User currently offlineUSAir330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 850 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5477 times:

I met this pilot at Northeast airport once.... He was A Flight Engineer with ATA on the 727. Now he's A Flight Instructor flying Grumman AA1's and Piper Cheerokees.

From A plane with 3 engines to a single engine prop with only 1 passenger....

User currently offlineJjbiv From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5418 times:

ATA has a program for former flight engineers to transition into an F/O slot after obtaining the appropriate certs, ratings, and time. He has a Boeing waiting for him if he wants it.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30403 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5343 times:

For a lot of these guys, smaller airlines won't even look at them.

You end up spending several thousand to send him to get his type rating on your aircraft and then the major calls and wants him back.

You just know where he is going and it isn't with you.

Better get a newbie and have him trapped there for a year or two because of his lack of hours.

User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5336 times:

There was a pilot whom i used to know that used to fly for QF. He started as a SO on the 747 then worked his way up to FO on the 767. He ended up out of a job with them for some reason and went to a college to teach theory. After a couple years he was offered a job as a FO on a J31 flying regional routes. After about 6 months he made captain on the J31. What a jump that was to go from flying 747/767 heavies to a small twin engine turbine- the J31.

User currently offlineLMML 14/32 From Malta, joined Jan 2001, 2566 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5324 times:

Tough times indeed. Some ex-Ansett pilots found themselves in the cockpits of Azzurra UK A320's, albeit only for the Summer, after being grounded for over a year.

User currently offlineAtenara From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5304 times:

some pilots chose to work for other airlines! like when PAL closed down for two weeks in 1998. the pilots had job offers aerolineas argentina and sri lanka air.

some chose to go into other busineses like managing farms and some chose to live out their 401K's till there death.

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