AirbusCanada From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 354 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5560 times:
Word out of Bombardier is, Pilot attrition rate among the U.S. regionals are running around 50%. To address the short term problem, Bombardier is selling two surplus CRJ-200 sims to the open market. FSI have just moved one simulator form France to St. Louis. Still there are massive amount of backlog for CRJ simultors across the globe.
Now my question is..
Is the attrition rate actually running at 50% or its just a myth?
Why the airliners aren’t raising salary levels to reduce to attrition rate? No airline can survive 50% attrition rate even if the pilots work for free.
The airlines having these problems are the regionals. They would have to raise the pay a lot to keep guys from leaving for the majors. For now they are attacking the problem by lowering the standards for new hire pilots. Some are hiring pilots with as little as 250 hours.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 10415 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5347 times:
A shortage of CRJ pilots is not a surprise at all. CRJs are planes that many pilots use to build time in order to move to major airlines with larger planes that pay better. If the regional airlines hope to retain pilots and lower the attrition rate, then they will need to pay more. However that is unlikely because they need to have super low costs in order to maintain their contracts with the major airlines. The ERJ and CRJ both rapidly lose pilots even though the planes are very good to fly. The E170 has a more modern flight deck than either the 737 or A320, but pilots are always eager to move to the bigger jets where they will work fewer hours (since block times are longer on larger jets) and get paid more.
One problem with the regionals keeping pilots is that they got accustomed to paying very low wages shortly after 9/11. They also don't have strong unions to increase pay. What is happening now though is that the larger airlines are hiring now since they are needing more pilots to replace those retiring or leaving the job. The regional airline pilots are rapidly leaving which is requiring the airlines to train more and more pilots at a faster rate.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 14287 posts, RR: 100
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5168 times:
Quoting Okie73 (Reply 1): I know Mesa airlines is so short staffed they just cancled all the CRJ pilots vacations for the rest of the year.
That will only hinder their ability to interview for a better paying job. It won't stop them.
Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 2): However that is unlikely because they need to have super low costs in order to maintain their contracts with the major airlines.
That is the problem. Unless 50% of the CRJ's/ERJ's are quickly turned into beer cans, the regionals simply do not have enough pricing power to increase wage rates much. Due to the known pilot shortage, the low paying airlines are naturally taking the most attrition. Hey, its great to see the free market working!
That implies there are enough replacement candidates waiting in the wings and that training is the bottleneck. Hmmm....
I'm thinking this will start to impact small town service shortly. The profit on the regionals is too low to further subsidize the service... so if costs grow too much, plans must be grounded. This will hurt both Bombardier and Embraer short term. Does anyone have a link on grounded regional jets?
Quoting Okie73 (Reply 1): For now they are attacking the problem by lowering the standards for new hire pilots. Some are hiring pilots with as little as 250 hours.
Welcome to Mr. Toads wild ride!
Hey, what is this doing to the business jet pilot pool? Any rumors? I'm thinking that the "Pay to fly" programs are hitting a wall, but I have no information.
Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5121 times:
The problem here is the attitude that pilots will sacrifice now for better lives later.... airlines have taken advantage of this and beat down pilot pay and work rules so bad at the regionals that many just choose to not do it anymore and those who are there try their best to get out as soon as possible. Seriously, should a pilot, no matter what his/her years of experience or seat in the cockpit, make a salary similar to that of a fast food employee? With the training and responsibility involved, most definitely not.
Previously airlines had a huge supply of pilots and it worked for them in keeping pilot pay low. Unions have been extremely unsuccessful at being able to strike with the current administration or do anything else to combat the abuse from airlines. But, finally supply and demand has caught up with them and they have no chance but to raise pay in order to survive.
My airline (a large CRJ operator in the US) looses dozens of pilots a month and although growing, has actually been steadily decreasing the size of its already extremely small pilot group. They simply cannot get enough people to interview, desire to take the job, and come to / pass training to balance out the number of pilots leaving on a daily basis. This is with hiring people with the absolute minimum requirements.
That is another point that I don't feel many people think about, the experience level in the cockpit of regional airliners is falling like brick. On a daily basis, brand new FOs with less than 300 hours total time are having their first experiences... in the cockpit of a jet airliner. First time flying an ILS down to minimums, first time dealing with snow, etc. They're paired with brand new captains who have the bare minimum requirements to upgrade to captain and very commonly, don't have any previous experience flight instructing or otherwise flying with inexperienced first officers. Its a recipe for disaster.
Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5042 times:
Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 5): 300 hours total time in what? The type, jets, or ... heaven help us, all planes?
Yeah, all planes. My airline recently hired someone who had a commercial single / multi engine / instrument (nothing else, no CFI or anything)... and 194 hours total time... in all aircraft. They went through there very defined training course, took their checkride, and came to the airline. Absolutely zero real-world experience. Their first real world experience is going to be flying a CRJ with people in the back.
Add that plus a couple months of severely inadequate training (most regional training is pretty bad, completely unorganized, and not geared towards such inexperienced pilots... its really mostly self-guided, and a 194TT pilot can't self-guide teach themselves an advanced jet) and you have yourself a line qualified, but completely incapable, first officer. This FO is sooner or later going to be paired with a less than average/capable (50% of all are) captain and its going to be scary. I've seen some crews at my airline and at other regionals while in the jumpseat that really... really... frightened me. Theres just not enough experience in either seat. The Captain isn't experienced enough to handle things single pilot and the FO isn't experienced enough to probably even fly a Piper Seminole.
You need a captain experienced enough (hopefully through a good amount of giving flight instruction) to handle the worst of situations and a bad FO at the same time... and you need an FO who can hold their own and do their half of the job, be second in command of this jet they're flying, not act as a ill-prepared ill-trained unexperienced student.
Airlines have two choices to fill their cockpit seats, increase pay or lower requirements. Unfortunately for the sake of safety, they've chosen lowering requirements because... well, its cheaper. But even this well is trying up, they still can't fill their cockpit seats and something is going to change. The abuse and low pay for so long is finally getting them where it hurts.
One last note that I find somewhat scary. You're required to have 1200TT to fly a Piper Arrow under Part 135 flying cancelled checks from Phoenix to Tucson, but only 190TT to be an FO of a Part 121 CRJ flying 50 people in a snowstorm, at night, in the middle of winter and still be expected to handle an engine explosion on rotation.