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n471wn
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Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 12:39 am

We hear so much about the pilot shortage which was of course exacerbated by the many pilots who took early retirement. In many industries, retired workers can come back as contractors if there is a need. Is there any reason why retired pilots (who are not yet 65) could not come back to the airline they left or another airline and go to the bottom of the seniority list? Do pilot contracts generally not allow this? Do airlines have any programs to bring in pilots during a shortage?
 
dstblj52
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:13 am

Generally at the mainline careers the shortage is of training capacity necessary to move people onto the hardest stressed domestic operations, whereas the true crew shortages are at regionals which pay a lot worse and are really only interesting if your planning to build a career and need the hours
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:20 am

Sure they can return—at the bottom of the list in the US. They’d have to app,y, interview get selected. Some have returned as ground or sim instructors. Quite a few are going into corporate flying.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:45 am

dstblj52 wrote:
Generally at the mainline careers the shortage is of training capacity necessary to move people onto the hardest stressed domestic operations, whereas the true crew shortages are at regionals which pay a lot worse and are really only interesting if your planning to build a career and need the hours

You’d think they’d be offering the retired guys contract to train get their aims going 24/7. Maybe they are

On another note this is where northern pacific thinks they will be able to hire pilots from. Since they won’t have to go to the bottom
 
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zeke
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 2:02 am

n471wn wrote:
We hear so much about the pilot shortage which was of course exacerbated by the many pilots who took early retirement. In many industries, retired workers can come back as contractors if there is a need. Is there any reason why retired pilots (who are not yet 65) could not come back to the airline they left or another airline and go to the bottom of the seniority list? Do pilot contracts generally not allow this? Do airlines have any programs to bring in pilots during a shortage?


What is the attraction for a pilot to come back on the worst roster and minimum pay ?

Generally you see FOs that have been employed for about 3-5 years to be the most vocal against this, they think they know everything, think because they are faster they are better. Just no real idea what command involves.

I hear some airlines pay on the basis of total Part 121 experience, that may attract some retired pilots back so the start on the top FO pay scale.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 2:08 am

I don't know if this is accurate or not, but by the time some of the retired pilots have to go through the same application processes again, they may have passed 65th birthday right? These things are time consuming and don't last overnight.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 2:52 am

32andBelow wrote:
dstblj52 wrote:
Generally at the mainline careers the shortage is of training capacity necessary to move people onto the hardest stressed domestic operations, whereas the true crew shortages are at regionals which pay a lot worse and are really only interesting if your planning to build a career and need the hours

You’d think they’d be offering the retired guys contract to train get their aims going 24/7. Maybe they are

On another note this is where northern pacific thinks they will be able to hire pilots from. Since they won’t have to go to the bottom

Corporate operators are offering nice packages for pilots that left during The Great Retirement.

Home Basing, choice assignments, choosing days off, and some big $$$. This is on top of their already generous retirement packages, with subsidized medical, etc.

Depending on the number of ex-wives they are supporting, they could be bringing in real good money.
 
Snuffaluffagus
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 3:01 am

They can interview again, go through initial new-hire training (even if they have 10,000 hours on the aircraft they will be flying), go on the bottom of the seniority list and sit reserve, like I had to do when I was a new-hire.
 
ChasChandler
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 3:18 am

How many pilots and support staff quit or were fired for refusing the vaccine? Maybe waive that mandate and try and bring them back on board.
 
727231
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 4:14 am

Pilot Union would never go for it.
Plus the FAA would make all airlines install turn signals that would require one to remain on while a retiree is flying.
 
bluecrew
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 4:38 am

ChasChandler wrote:
How many pilots and support staff quit or were fired for refusing the vaccine? Maybe waive that mandate and try and bring them back on board.

Not many, by any stretch. That's a complete non-sequitur.
 
Indy
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 5:00 am

Want to reduce the shortage? Pay a wage that makes retirees want to come back, and pay a wage that makes the high cost of education and training worth the time and effort for new pilots. Do what other employers do. Sweeten the pot until you've met your staffing goals.
 
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zeke
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 5:27 am

Indy wrote:
Want to reduce the shortage? Pay a wage that makes retirees want to come back, and pay a wage that makes the high cost of education and training worth the time and effort for new pilots. Do what other employers do. Sweeten the pot until you've met your staffing goals.


Just imagine asking doctors approaching retirement or just recently to retire to come back and work as a resident, you would get zero uptake. Only in aviation it is considered appropriate not to consider an applicants previous qualifications and experience.
 
flyboy730
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 5:33 am

As someone who has many years at my airline, most all the folks that took early retirement did so because the industry today is physically and mentally exhausting. I love to fly however, over the last 5-10 years minus 2020, the QOL is deteriorating more and more each year. Sure there are folks who need the money but, for the ones who don’t, there’s very little to no motivation to return. I am maxed out on pay, retirement, and on the top 35% of the seniority list and my QOL is very comparable to what it was 15 years ago. I have 16 years left before 65 but, unless QOL changes for the better, I’m looking to get out within the next 3-5 years. This is a young persons game. Back 20 years ago, the 7-8 hours block followed by 8 hours rest, then the red eye dead head was just annoying. After many years of that coupled with aging, it becomes very hard on your physical health. I workout 1-2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, so I’m physically fit however, in the mirror I look 10 years older than I am. The other aspect is the toll this career takes on our home lives. I’ve been telling my wife for 20 years that everything will get better with seniority however, that’s not happening. I say all this not to complain, just to point out that for a large portion of us, money is only one factor and it’s generally not our top priority.
 
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AirPacific747
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 6:43 am

What would truly help would be for the US airlines to help foreign pilots obtain work visas and convert to FAA. I know many and including myself who would love to pursuit this path, but without any assistance and any job offer, it seems like a very big hurdle to overcome.
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 7:08 am

Media reports Sen. Lindsey Graham is going to introduce a bill lifting the retirement age for commercial pilots to 67 from the current 65.
 
n797mx
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 7:13 am

Not necessarily currently retired, but I know guys that have been sim instructors and were about to retire that have gotten money just absolutely thrown at them.

At my regional, we can't keep our managers either because they are getting hired out by mainline.
 
mikejepp
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 4:07 pm

The airline industry in the US treats its employees terribly. Most of these pilots are sick of being lied to by crew scheduling, being scheduled and pushed to FAR maximum schedules, sent to subpar hotels, flying in the middle of the night, working under expired contracts, dealing with delays, encountering daily issues with passengers, etc. They're worn out and are living the retired life. Yes, a few get other jobs and there are some exceptions, but for the vast majority... even if they could, they're sitting on a boat somewhere in Florida and they ain't comin back....

I mean, really, think about what its like flying these days and imagine being that your daily life for 40 years. Airlines are trying to squeeze every drop they can out of their pilots. You're now in your mid-60s... at some point its just time to be done.
 
johns624
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 4:37 pm

They retired for a reason. Read Flyboy730s reply. People here don't seem to realize the wear and tear a long career puts on your life.
 
JoseSalazar
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 4:39 pm

ChasChandler wrote:
How many pilots and support staff quit or were fired for refusing the vaccine? Maybe waive that mandate and try and bring them back on board.

Only one US airline (UAL) fired people or really forced the issue. Tons of pilots flying around who didn’t get that shot.
 
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adamblang
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 05, 2022 5:57 pm

ChasChandler wrote:
How many pilots and support staff quit or were fired for refusing the vaccine? Maybe waive that mandate and try and bring them back on board.

Like 12. Not hyperbole. Literally around 12.
 
DashTrash
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:38 am

FlyingSicilian wrote:
Media reports Sen. Lindsey Graham is going to introduce a bill lifting the retirement age for commercial pilots to 67 from the current 65.

It may be introduced but it sounds like there is little support.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
bourbon
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:50 am

DashTrash wrote:
FlyingSicilian wrote:
Media reports Sen. Lindsey Graham is going to introduce a bill lifting the retirement age for commercial pilots to 67 from the current 65.

It may be introduced but it sounds like there is little support.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Chuck Schumer won’t go for it. Not a chance.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:20 pm

AirPacific747 wrote:
What would truly help would be for the US airlines to help foreign pilots obtain work visas and convert to FAA. I know many and including myself who would love to pursuit this path, but without any assistance and any job offer, it seems like a very big hurdle to overcome.


No, no way should this happen. Not unless an American pilot gets the exact same visas and ability to convert to whatever country your from.
 
Etheereal
Posts: 439
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:23 pm

An industry problem has to be fixed by the industry itself, not by having to hire discount pilots. That's not helping the problem.
 
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AirPacific747
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:43 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
AirPacific747 wrote:
What would truly help would be for the US airlines to help foreign pilots obtain work visas and convert to FAA. I know many and including myself who would love to pursuit this path, but without any assistance and any job offer, it seems like a very big hurdle to overcome.


No, no way should this happen. Not unless an American pilot gets the exact same visas and ability to convert to whatever country your from.


Of course. It should work both ways. Let’s streamline EU-US legislation and immigration policies.
 
classicjets
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 1:54 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
AirPacific747 wrote:
What would truly help would be for the US airlines to help foreign pilots obtain work visas and convert to FAA. I know many and including myself who would love to pursuit this path, but without any assistance and any job offer, it seems like a very big hurdle to overcome.


No, no way should this happen. Not unless an American pilot gets the exact same visas and ability to convert to whatever country your from.
It's already happening for Australian pilots under the E-3 visa scheme, isn't it?

Sent from my ELE-L29 using Tapatalk
 
bigb
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:10 pm

zeke wrote:
n471wn wrote:
We hear so much about the pilot shortage which was of course exacerbated by the many pilots who took early retirement. In many industries, retired workers can come back as contractors if there is a need. Is there any reason why retired pilots (who are not yet 65) could not come back to the airline they left or another airline and go to the bottom of the seniority list? Do pilot contracts generally not allow this? Do airlines have any programs to bring in pilots during a shortage?


What is the attraction for a pilot to come back on the worst roster and minimum pay ?

Generally you see FOs that have been employed for about 3-5 years to be the most vocal against this, they think they know everything, think because they are faster they are better. Just no real idea what command involves.

I hear some airlines pay on the basis of total Part 121 experience, that may attract some retired pilots back so the start on the top FO pay scale.


That’s far from the reasons why younger guys are against it. They are against it because it causes their careers to stagnate because the US airline industry is seniority driven. When someone retires, that creates seniority movement upwards allow guys to upgrade into their position and allow guys to back fill the open vacancies created with upward movement which results in mainline carriers hiring allow guys at the regionals a opportunity to enjoy better QOL and higher pay vs where they were at n Regionals… Getting stuck at the regionals is not ideal…

See the impacts of the age 65 increase had on the impacts of pilots careers during the 2008 to 2012 timeframe.

The only airlines crediting ones prior 121 time are regional carriers that are having a hard time staffing their flying. There is a good reason they are having such a hard time staffing as well. Mainline carriers and ULCCs don’t have to and will not credit prior 121 experience.
 
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starkwind
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 3:04 pm

n471wn wrote:
Do pilot contracts generally not allow this? Do airlines have any programs to bring in pilots during a shortage?


If I remember correctly, If you took the early retirement offer, at the beginning of COVID, part of the agreement was that you were not able to come back or being reinstated. I guess this is in comparison to all the furloughs, which are able to come back.
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 3:42 pm

If airlines were able to convince more women to become pilots this would greatly improve their pilot staffing numbers. The problem is this would require major changes from the bottom to the top.

The biggest of which is seniority for schedule bidding as well as the schedule in general. It is difficult enough for male pilots to manage a family while being in this line of work. Even more so for women who want to become mothers or at least leave open that opportunity. It takes a level of seniority and airline scheduling to allow for schedules that can accomodate both. It is much easier for women to just forgo the pilot career than it is to try to make these competing interests work. Seniority means you cant just leave for child bearing years and return. Out and back 9-5 home every night flying schedule is very rare. Its a career where you have to pay your dues and make lifestyle sacrifices. If this can be changed then it would help to bring more women into the pilot force and reduce the staffing problem.
 
e38
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:29 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
If airlines were able to convince more women to become pilots this would greatly improve their pilot staffing numbers. The problem is this would require major changes from the bottom to the top.

The biggest of which is seniority for schedule bidding as well as the schedule in general. Out and back 9-5 home every night flying schedule is very rare. Its a career where you have to pay your dues and make lifestyle sacrifices. If this can be changed then it would help to bring more women into the pilot force and reduce the staffing problem.


MSJYOP28Apilot, so what type of seniority system and scheduling process would you propose to encourage more women to become pilots?

e38
 
Canuck600
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 12, 2022 2:21 am

If the regionals would up their salaries up a bit more it would probably be a incentive for some of the pilots that have left the industry to come back. It will cut into profit margins, but which is worse, making a few hundred thousand less a year or losing even more money because you can't staff all your flying commitments?
 
flyboy730
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 12, 2022 4:03 am

Canuck600 wrote:
If the regionals would up their salaries up a bit more it would probably be a incentive for some of the pilots that have left the industry to come back. It will cut into profit margins, but which is worse, making a few hundred thousand less a year or losing even more money because you can't staff all your flying commitments?


The regionals are upping their pay. Envoy just announced today a gigantic raise in their current pilot pay. Make no mistake though, the industry as it is right now the money will only buy temporary happiness up until you realize that you’re beyond exhausted, chronically fatigued, and you have destroyed your health.

I think the point a lot of people are missing is pilots who are financially secure aren’t making their decisions based on finances. Money is of course a factor, no doubt. I am maxed out on pay, my 401k is company funded and maxed out every year, and in a lot years I’m getting more in profit sharing than 1/2 the population’s annual household income, and I’m looking to leave the industry within the next 3-5 years. The job is physically and mentally exhausting. I’ll be 50 this year, I am in the gym 5-6 days of every weak, and my diet is by far better than average, and yet in the mirror I look at least 10 years older than my age. Outside of the physical exhaustion, this job wreaks havoc on the family life. In the history of airlines, we always knew that seniority would lead to better QOL, that isn’t the case anymore. I’m flying and dead heading more in my 20th year than I did when I was in my 5th year. To my point, the biggest shift I’m seeing within my friends and myself is that we’re realizing there’s more to life than being on the road 20 days a month and working 14 hour duty days. And all the money in the world doesn’t matter if you’re raising your children over FaceTime and constantly missing all important family events, and even when home we’re like walking zombies, all the while working towards an early death.

If the airlines want to grow and staff properly, they will have to address this job from more than just a financial standpoint. Through the years, this industry has destroyed the profession and made it to where the only people it’s appealing to are 20 year olds with unlimited energy and no families.
 
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par13del
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 12, 2022 1:34 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
AirPacific747 wrote:
What would truly help would be for the US airlines to help foreign pilots obtain work visas and convert to FAA. I know many and including myself who would love to pursuit this path, but without any assistance and any job offer, it seems like a very big hurdle to overcome.


No, no way should this happen. Not unless an American pilot gets the exact same visas and ability to convert to whatever country your from.

Since no other country has the domestic aviation market that the USA has, that would be given in a hear beat, the issue is the USA market and the money to be made there, you really think the European airlines want cabbotage because they want to show the America public good customer service?
 
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par13del
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Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 12, 2022 1:38 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
If airlines were able to convince more women to become pilots this would greatly improve their pilot staffing numbers. The problem is this would require major changes from the bottom to the top.

In my opinion, the line should be If REGIONAL airlines were able to convince more women......
Regional flying allow pilots to stay closer to home, and since females are the primary family caregiver........
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 12, 2022 2:14 pm

par13del wrote:
MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
If airlines were able to convince more women to become pilots this would greatly improve their pilot staffing numbers. The problem is this would require major changes from the bottom to the top.

In my opinion, the line should be If REGIONAL airlines were able to convince more women......
Regional flying allow pilots to stay closer to home, and since females are the primary family caregiver........


This is a common misconception of regional flying. It tends to be more grueling than mainline, and involves layovers two or more time zones away from home, and sometimes international layovers.
The industry requires a great deal of personal sacrifice, regardless of gender. It is up to an individual to decide what they are willing to sacrifice to pursue a career in aviation.
 
johns624
Posts: 5576
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sun Jun 12, 2022 2:37 pm

orlandocfi wrote:
par13del wrote:
MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
If airlines were able to convince more women to become pilots this would greatly improve their pilot staffing numbers. The problem is this would require major changes from the bottom to the top.

In my opinion, the line should be If REGIONAL airlines were able to convince more women......
Regional flying allow pilots to stay closer to home, and since females are the primary family caregiver........


This is a common misconception of regional flying. It tends to be more grueling than mainline, and involves layovers two or more time zones away from home, and sometimes international layovers.
The industry requires a great deal of personal sacrifice, regardless of gender. It is up to an individual to decide what they are willing to sacrifice to pursue a career in aviation.
Correct. There is a misconception that pilots only fly to-and-from their home hubs.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1778
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sat Jun 18, 2022 4:38 pm

Repealing the 1500 hour rule would solve the issue right away. The “pilot shortage” is a fake issue. There is a governance issue, not a shortage of qualified, capable people wanting to be airline pilots. The governance issue needs to be corrected.
 
Vicenza
Posts: 826
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm

Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:53 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
Repealing the 1500 hour rule would solve the issue right away. The “pilot shortage” is a fake issue. There is a governance issue, not a shortage of qualified, capable people wanting to be airline pilots. The governance issue needs to be corrected.


Perhaps, but wanting to be airline pilots (or in any other career) is a different thing entirely from meeting the required legal requirements. I'm very sure there are many junior doctors who want to be top surgeons or consultants too......but either group has to gather the necessary experience to meet the requirements.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1778
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: Could retired pilots help the pilot shortage?

Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:33 pm

Vicenza wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:
Repealing the 1500 hour rule would solve the issue right away. The “pilot shortage” is a fake issue. There is a governance issue, not a shortage of qualified, capable people wanting to be airline pilots. The governance issue needs to be corrected.


Perhaps, but wanting to be airline pilots (or in any other career) is a different thing entirely from meeting the required legal requirements. I'm very sure there are many junior doctors who want to be top surgeons or consultants too......but either group has to gather the necessary experience to meet the requirements.


The requirements changed very recently, in order to increase pilot pay and choke off the supply of pilots, who were "ruining the job market." This was a choice we made. It's not a shortage, it was a conscious decision that we all made as a country. This is exactly the result we wanted. Why pretend otherwise?

It's good that you brought up doctors - the number of residency seats is carefully controlled by doctors, which is why they are paid so much. It's great, according to the people who benefit from that.

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