I think it was a ploy to keep him in the spotlight. Why? I don't know, but that's the only explanation I could come up with.
The fact that he does have such a distinguished past especially involved in aviation made his comments that much more...hurtful? I think many pilots, a lot of whom are x-military pilots, now commercial pilots, feel like he turned on them. Pilots confide in fellow pilots, and when one does a 180 on you it hurts.
Yeah pilots get paid a lot, but that's only the top rung of the profession. Pilots literally spend their whole life striving for that spot, and once it is achieved it isn't too long before they are forced to retire. They all hold a college degree, many have spent upwards of $30,000-40,000 to earn their ratings, and have read libraries of aviation books. It is somewhat like going through med. school. Please don't flip out about that analogy, I said "somewhat".
A human life isn't hanging in the balance on the operating table, rather hundreds of lives trust the 2 men up front to get them safely, comfortably, and in a timely manner to their destination, and the fact that the pilots do this so well, with what seems to be no errors leads people to believe they have an easy job.
There are no 3 strikes and you’re out of the game in this business. It’s one strike and you’re out for the count, and if paying the pilots hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure myself, family and friends are safe with them in control than I say hell…they deserve a raise.
But then again that's just a college kids point of view.