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enilria
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What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:06 pm

So the regionals are already losing pilots en masse to the majors, retirements are increasing at the majors, and now cheap fuel will inevitably lead to growth at all levels of the industry. A solution to the pilot shortage is needed now or just a relaxation of the 3000 hour rule.

First airlines like ZK felt the pinch. Now airlines like Skywest are having heavy attrition. Pay alone won't fix things quickly enough.

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Beatyair
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:11 pm

But are not the majors moving towards bring more of the mainline fleet backing into cities that they gave up to the regional s? I know United is doing this.
 
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par13del
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:15 pm

When the regionals are sucked dry of pilots the industry will return to equilibrium.
All flying will be mainline, pilots wages will return to human levels and not McDonald wages, pilots will be able to live where they work versus commute to work, scope will no longer be needed and pax will finally have to pay what it cost to fly.

Now the reality will be somewhere between those extremes.
 
commavia
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:17 pm

It's really quite simple.

Regional operators will either raise their pay, and in turn pass that higher cost on to their mainline customers, or they'll simply go out of business. Those appear - at least to me - to be the only two choices.

Personally, I think an equilibrium will naturally be shaken out over the next 5-10 years where regional operators will continue to be able to staff themselves as essentially mainline flow-through houses, paying RJ pilots more than they're making now but still less than mainline pilots flying jets twice as large. The fallout will be that, with this higher labor cost structure, the remaining regional operators that survive this shakeout will pretty much fly nothing smaller than 70-seat jets because anything smaller will be be rendered simply uneconomical, and in turn just about any market today that is incapable of supporting a larger jet is likely to lose all mainline-branded, scheduled commercial air service.
 
azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:32 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):

It's really quite simple.

Regional operators will either raise their pay, and in turn pass that higher cost on to their mainline customers, or they'll simply go out of business. Those appear - at least to me - to be the only two choices.

Precisely. I've always maintained that the regionals will have to either shut down, or pay up.
 
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enilria
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:35 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 1):
Quoting par13del (Reply 2):

Raising pay is a nice thing, but it won't create more pilots. It may in the long term, but when you need 3000 hours to make a living it's gonna take years to change the stream. How many pilots will retire in the next 5 years? 15-20% I'm betting because of the bubble from extending the pilot retirement age.

The small regionals are very economic at these fuel prices. They are not going to disappear.
 
azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:42 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 5):

No, it won't create more pilots physically, but it just might motivate aspiring pilots to actually take the airline route once again. It may motivate people to stay in the industry and not bail because it's at times, not financially viable. People becoming pilots have fallen, because they now know what the road is like to get to the goal. It's not as easy as everyone thinks.

What is this 3,000 hour rule you speak of? Are you referring to the silly 1,500 hour mandate? If so, that is not insurmountable. One can just do what many of us did when it was normal to get hired with more than 1,500 hours. You teach, fly cargo, fly skydivers etc... You earn those wings as a regional pilot.

The true root of the problem is pay and working conditions. Many aspiring pilots have quickly figured out that it's not the glamorous dream job from the get go. There's a long hill to climb to get to flying heavies, international and achieving high pay.
 
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compensateme
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:42 pm

Most likely scenario: mainline carriers (both legacy and not) will continue to hire, prompting modest pay increases at the regionals, prompting flight schools (technical / community college / etc.) that vanished since 9/11 to reopen & prompting banks to provide credit more easily to those pursuing careers in aviation.

Gone will be the days of hourly 50-seat service from Gators Creek, GA to Atlanta.

Gone will be the days of operating 50-seat or even 76-seat hourly service in major business markets (which will trickle things up).

Gone will be service to small communities: either by less flights, less operating carriers, or in some cases, altogether. This will also trickle things down... EAS communities may lose service altogether (and really should anyway) as new EAS communities are designated.

At the end of the day... the consumer will still have plenty of choices, but maybe not the 20 choices he had -- and never really needed -- to depart at 9AM years before...
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roseflyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:47 pm

The market will solve the problem. Wages will go up which will attract more pilots. Airlines might have to start up more internship programs and training. Airlines in Asia are already having to put up the money to pay for pilot training.

We will see more flying shift to larger planes. Regional jets will go back to flying regional routes. Pilot pay will increase and bring more people into the profession. Flight training schools will grow and might even be subsidized by airlines. When the number of training schools increase, so does the ability to gain hours as a flight instructor.

The market will address the shortage, but some airlines will go out of business as smaller planes are less economical to fly with higher wages.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:01 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 6):
One can just do what many of us did when it was normal to get hired with more than 1,500 hours. You teach, fly cargo, fly skydivers etc... You earn those wings as a regional pilot.

That may be true, but I think you're out of touch with entry level jobs these days. Yes, you can flight instruct. To fly cargo, 95% or more places require IFR 135 minimums, which is still 1200 hours. Skydiving jobs are few and far between. Traffic reporting, nearly gone. The number of entry level jobs has also dropped, which doesn't help the situation.

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roseflyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:07 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 9):

Yes entry level jobs have gone away, but if airlines start injecting money into flight training schools, jobs will come back. We hit the point where the supply of pilots willing to pay for their own training and capable of finding those entry level jobs to get them enough hours is not enough. Soon airlines are going to start injecting cash into pilot training. If an airline like Skywest is going to subsidize training, they can get contractual commitments for people to work for 5 years and keep their pilot stream. Unfortunately this eats away at their margins so they will have to get very desperate.
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azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:12 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 9):

Even more reasons to prove the arbitrary 1,500 hour rule is silly. I realize times have changed, but there is still a path to get the required time. It may not be easy, but to get to the top, the road should be challenging and filled with learning experiences.
 
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:55 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 11):
Even more reasons to prove the arbitrary 1,500 hour rule is silly

What surprises me the most is that none of the regionals, not even ZK, took the FAA to court over the 1500 hour rule yet. Why would the carriers put up with it if it's making them lose business from the effect of having less planes flying around?

[Edited 2015-01-24 10:57:51]
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:15 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 11):
It may not be easy, but to get to the top, the road should be challenging and filled with learning experiences.

Yes, it should be. 1200 hours of hops in the pattern in a 152/172 aren't experiences that transfer to flying a jet. Maybe it's time to go to the European style for training.

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DDR
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:29 pm

Hopefully the number of regional carriers will shrink. I would like to see the surviving regionals all owned by a major carrier with a flow through agreement for all pilots.

I agree with many posters that the number of cities currently served will have to be reduced. The remaining destinations will likely see reduced frequencies. In a way this helps because the airlines can command higher fares by having a limited inventory of seats to sell.

Also, hopefully we will see the end of regional jets operating between major markets and a return of mainline aircraft and jobs on these routes.

I just hope the airlines don't fall for the current low oil prices. Oil is going to go back up, no doubt. When it does, the carriers that have eliminated the most 50 seaters will be the successful ones.
 
azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:50 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 13):
Yes, it should be. 1200 hours of hops in the pattern in a 152/172 aren't experiences that transfer to flying a jet. Maybe it's time to go to the European style for training.

I sort of beg to differ. If you've done any instructing, you know you just don't occupy space and sit there watching the student bounce around the pattern, not learning anything. Instructing builds a whole new set of skills and confidences that are translated to the cockpit of an airliner. Not to mention, in todays advanced light single and multi engine airplanes there's an early introduction to glass cockpits, which is knowledge and skill that is transferred.

I've flown with FOs that came fresh from flight schools and flown with "experienced" former flight instructors. The differences are quite apparent. The low time guys excelled in many avenues, but there's no substitution for raw flying experience and having applied the rules and regulations over and over again. I'm not disparaging low time folks at all, some of them were sharp and motivated. Others were simply going to through the motions and playing catch up, seemed like robots and were unable to adapt and apply their knowledge to the fluidity of certain situations. There's indeed a difference.

I think you're right though... to a certain extent I believe we should use an ab-initio style of training to produce new airline pilots in the USA. We seem to do so much training of other countries pilots, maybe we should look at our own for the same thing. My biggest concern is that we'll have an industry worth of robots at the helm of our airplanes and pilots that can't think outside the box and actually aviate.
 
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:28 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 10):
Unfortunately this eats away at their margins so they will have to get very desperate.
Quoting DDR (Reply 14):
Hopefully the number of regional carriers will shrink. I would like to see the surviving regionals all owned by a major carrier with a flow through agreement for all pilots.

I'm hoping that we get the return to real regional carriers, who basically get you from one state to another at basic cost, not everyone who is travelling needs the option of being able to connect to a hub to get you to all corners of the world when you just want to go see Grandma, those global benefits must come with a cost.
Links or ownership to the major carriers have created the situation that exist today, so let 's see how round 2 plays out, I say one was the carrier within a carrier.
 
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:37 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 16):

I think that flow through agreements allow pilots to see a "light at the end of the tunnel." That is to say, they know that they will get a position where they will earn a decent wage.
 
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par13del
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:46 pm

Quoting DDR (Reply 17):
I think that flow through agreements allow pilots to see a "light at the end of the tunnel." That is to say, they know that they will get a position where they will earn a decent wage.

Except scope was put in place to "somewhat" prevent such flows, and where they were / are allowed the conditions can be somewhat onerous.
It's not about regional pilots seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, its about legacy pilots ensuring that the companies do not use regionals to lower wages and benefits along with flying options.
 
azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:48 pm

Quoting DDR (Reply 17):
I think that flow through agreements allow pilots to see a "light at the end of the tunnel." That is to say, they know that they will get a position where they will earn a decent wage.

I agree, especially given the seniority system and how one has to start all over at the bottom, regardless of time spent getting to that point. A flow-through, if managed and executed properly can be a huge benefit to all parties involved.
 
okie73
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:28 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 5):

I'm going to disagree with previous responses. Raising pay will create more pilots, quickly. There is a large number of pilot who have left the industry because of low pay. Many are working outside of aviation, many more are doing another kind of flying. There are also pilots who have never considered the regionals. A guy making 50,000 a year flying a Lear is not going to go to a regional to start over at 20,000.
 
KD5MDK
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:33 pm

So how long before we start losing major regional carriers?
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:47 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):
So how long before we start losing major regional carriers?

That started a little over 2 years or so ago with Comair.

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azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:00 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 22):
That started a little over 2 years or so ago with Comair.

The slow death of Comair was not a result of the pilot shortage.

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 21):

Comair is gone for very different reasons. No regional carrier has disappeared yet, from this shortage of pilots and the newfound success of the mainline carriers. There is Great Lakes however, which was a mess to begin with, but has probably offered the most in this new dynamic we're facing. There has been some consolidation (Mesaba, Pinnacle, Colgan) and some shrinkage of certain carriers, like Envoy. Also, there has been a resurgence of other carriers, like Mesa and PSA and growth through new partners like Compass.
 
flight152
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:18 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 13):
1200 hours of hops in the pattern in a 152/172 aren't experiences that transfer to flying a jet.

Like hell it doesn't. Ask yourself this; who would you rather have at the controls during an inadvertent stall- a seasoned CFI or the crew of Air France 447?
 
warden145
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:19 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 6):
No, it won't create more pilots physically, but it just might motivate aspiring pilots to actually take the airline route once again. It may motivate people to stay in the industry and not bail because it's at times, not financially viable. People becoming pilots have fallen, because they now know what the road is like to get to the goal. It's not as easy as everyone thinks.

Speaking as someone who has a strong passion for aviation and would give up valuable body parts to be able to establish a career as a professional pilot, I am not currently pursuing a career in aviation specifically because it doesn't seem to be financially possible at this point. As I understand it, as things currently stand, after going 6 figures into debt, there's really no practical way to get to a point where you're making more than $20,000 a year for a very long time (IIRC something like 15+ years), and there's no guarantee you'll ever advance beyond that point. Between the low pay (I earn more than that driving limousines) and the high debt load, that sounds to me like a recipe for financial ruin.

If the climate changed to the point where advancement would be a reasonable possibility and I could expect to make even $45,000 a a year after 5 years or so, I would jump into it right now. The bad news is, I would have to start at the absolute bottom and it would take time to get to a point where even a regional would give me the time of day, so it may still not be viable for my specific situation. But, maybe seeing it from the perspective of someone standing on the outside looking in might benefit?
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:24 pm

Quoting flight152 (Reply 24):
Like hell it doesn't. Ask yourself this; who would you rather have at the controls during an inadvertent stall- a seasoned CFI or the crew of Air France 447?

In what kind of plane? In piston plane, the CFI. In a transport category airplane, the AF447 crew. There is more to the AF447 incident than JUST a stall.

-DiamondFlyer

[Edited 2015-01-24 14:24:45]
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:26 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 23):
Also, there has been a resurgence of other carriers, like Mesa and PSA and growth through new partners like Compass.

There is no "growth" in regional carriers. There is a constant whipsaw of the flying, to keep the cost to the mainline carrier to a minimum, and PSA is the reason it happened.

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KD5MDK
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:26 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 23):
Comair is gone for very different reasons. No regional carrier has disappeared yet, from this shortage of pilots and the newfound success of the mainline carriers. There is Great Lakes however, which was a mess to begin with, but has probably offered the most in this new dynamic we're facing. There has been some consolidation (Mesaba, Pinnacle, Colgan) and some shrinkage of certain carriers, like Envoy. Also, there has been a resurgence of other carriers, like Mesa and PSA and growth through new partners like Compass.

It seems to me like there's been some shuffling around (Envoy shrinks, Compass grows) but every major that wants to place some flying with a regional seems to be able to find a taker. At what point will regional flying stop growing because more capacity isn't available?
 
doug_or
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:31 pm

As the pilots they have become more valuable I can see contract carriers shrinking rather than going under. While the performance sections of their contracts might allow the majors to terminate contracts they probably would be hard pressed to find other regionals to pick up all the slack.

Greats Lakes is somewhat unique (compared to other part 121 regional airlines in the US) in that no entity with a significant amount of money cares if they go TU.
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azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:53 pm

Quoting warden145 (Reply 25):

You have to start at the bottom, no matter what you want to do. Starting pay is horrible, but it doesn't class forever. Making $45k is not far off after 5 years because you're certainly not at starting pay for that long. As far as advancement, it depends on the airline you pick, as all have different situations. If you want this career bad enough, I'd say jump in with two feet strapped with the knowledge and realistic outlook you've got and see where it takes you.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 26):
In what kind of plane? In piston plane, the CFI. In a transport category airplane, the AF447 crew. There is more to the AF447 incident than JUST a stall.

Yes, there was lots more to AF447, but ultimately, the lack of situational awareness and recognition of a stall, is what killed them. I haven't flown a piston plane in almost 15 years, but I guarantee you I'd be able to get out of stall. Stall recovery is essentially the same in all airplanes. It boils down to getting airflow over the wing and getting it to fly again right?

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 27):
There is no "growth" in regional carriers. There is a constant whipsaw of the flying, to keep the cost to the mainline carrier to a minimum, and PSA is the reason it happened.

Yes there is... some airlines grow while others shrink. It's primarily due to whipsaw, for sure. You've quoted growth, so you're splitting hairs. I get your point but in the end, if one airline is hiring pilots, taking on airplanes and expanding, they're growing. It may be at the expense of another carrier, or based on past events at that carrier, but it's still growthPSA however is not the reason, it's been happening for YEARS. In fact, PSA benefitted from growth at one point, while others in the industry shrank. It's a never ending circus.

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 28):
It seems to me like there's been some shuffling around (Envoy shrinks, Compass grows) but every major that wants to place some flying with a regional seems to be able to find a taker. At what point will regional flying stop growing because more capacity isn't available?

Yup, it's primarily due to whipsaw. . It all boils down to the regional partner who can do it cheapest, in the timeframe the mainline partner wants and under the terms the mainline partner demand. I think the growth of the regionals will be dictated by what the mainline partners require and from what regional partner can meet their needs. It won't be a matter of capacity being available, because planes can always be ordered or shuffled around.

[Edited 2015-01-24 14:57:08]

[Edited 2015-01-24 14:59:36]
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:01 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 1):
But are not the majors moving towards bring more of the mainline fleet backing into cities that they gave up to the regional s? I know United is doing this.

Delta sure is at my regional airport. Lots of 717's in place of the CRJ-200's.
 
VS11
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 15):
My biggest concern is that we'll have an industry worth of robots at the helm of our airplanes and pilots that can't think outside the box and actually aviate.

Your concern has already happened. Flying commercial jets is really like following software installation/troubleshooting instructions, which paradoxically it has become exactly that. I know this from an AA B777 captain who shared his thoughts a couple of years ago.
 
azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:15 pm

Quoting VS11 (Reply 32):
Your concern has already happened. Flying commercial jets is really like following software installation/troubleshooting instructions, which paradoxically it has become exactly that. I know this from an AA B777 captain who shared his thoughts a couple of years ago

I know that it hasn't entirely, because I actually do it for a living. There is still lots of aviating that takes place, even in the most automated airplanes. Despite the automation, the pilot is still involved in making decisions, executing a plan and attempting to be in the loop with everything that is going on around him/her, all while the automation is doing it's thing. They go hand in hand.
 
planemaker
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:32 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):
Personally, I think an equilibrium will naturally be shaken out over the next 5-10 years

By 2025 there will be single-pilot RJs... problem solved.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
KD5MDK
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:39 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 30):
Yup, it's primarily due to whipsaw. . It all boils down to the regional partner who can do it cheapest, in the timeframe the mainline partner wants and under the terms the mainline partner demand. I think the growth of the regionals will be dictated by what the mainline partners require and from what regional partner can meet their needs. It won't be a matter of capacity being available, because planes can always be ordered or shuffled around.

Doesn't whipsaw require that the low bidder be able to staff the flights? If AA goes to Compass and says "We'd like to you to take 50 E170s and fly them at 10% less than Envoy does", but Compass can't hire 50 aircraft worth of pilots, what happens?
 
warden145
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:41 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 30):
You have to start at the bottom, no matter what you want to do. Starting pay is horrible, but it doesn't class forever. Making $45k is not far off after 5 years because you're certainly not at starting pay for that long. As far as advancement, it depends on the airline you pick, as all have different situations. If you want this career bad enough, I'd say jump in with two feet strapped with the knowledge and realistic outlook you've got and see where it takes you.

I completely understand that you have to start at the bottom, and I'm not afraid to do that as long as there's a path up and a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel...maybe I've misunderstood things, but it seems to me that in the post-9/11 airline climate, the chances of rising up even slightly from the bottom is all but non-existent. That's why I'm afraid to start...I was under the impression that the starting pay was where you were all but guaranteed to stay at for at least 10 years and possibly 15+, and the chances of rising past that are very slim, since there have been so many more pilots than jobs in the last 14 years. Has this changed substantially enough that there's a reasonable chance of making it into a successful career at this point?

Quoting planemaker (Reply 34):
By 2025 there will be single-pilot RJs... problem solved.

Please DO NOT start that debate again!!!
ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
 
Flyer732
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:49 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 9):
The number of entry level jobs has also dropped, which doesn't help the situation.

Yes and no, if a new pilot keeps their eyes strictly focused on one place, yes. If you're willing too expand your horizons, then no. There are plenty of low time jobs around the world, that happily hire foreign pilots with 250-350 hours, train them well and hand them the keys to a Cessna 206 or 210. I did it, and loved every minute of it.
 
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:50 pm

Quoting enilria (Thread starter):
and now cheap fuel will inevitably lead to growth at all levels of the industry

Do airlines really expect this to last?
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azjubilee
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:51 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 35):
Doesn't whipsaw require that the low bidder be able to staff the flights? If AA goes to Compass and says "We'd like to you to take 50 E170s and fly them at 10% less than Envoy does", but Compass can't hire 50 aircraft worth of pilots, what happens?

Generally, they wouldn't take on the extra work unless they knew they could make it happen. These agreements come with strict operating expectations. It would be foolish, but not unheard of for a regional airline to take on work it couldn't handle. It's happened before and those carriers, in addition to the mainline customers, paid the price.

Quoting warden145 (Reply 36):
completely understand that you have to start at the bottom, and I'm not afraid to do that as long as there's a path up and a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel...maybe I've misunderstood things, but it seems to me that in the post-9/11 airline climate, the chances of rising up even slightly from the bottom is all but non-existent. That's why I'm afraid to start...I was under the impression that the starting pay was where you were all but guaranteed to stay at for at least 10 years and possibly 15+, and the chances of rising past that are very slim, since there have been so many more pilots than jobs in the last 14 years. Has this changed substantially enough that there's a reasonable chance of making it into a successful career at this point?

Starting pay is for one year. Each year there will be an increase in pay, improving your financial situation. 10 years and 15 years of stagnation is a bit of an exaggeration. As far as advancement, he worst case scenario is that you are an FO for an extended period of time, but even then you're gaining seniority and likely getting a raise each year. I was a stagnant FO for 7 years, it's not fun, but it's doable. It's all in the timing and choosing and getting hired by an airline that is experiencing a growth wave. Those pilots that were lucky enough to time it right, had minimal time on reserve, minimal time as FO and were able to move up the chain quickly. It doesn't always happen that way, but that's the nature of the beast. I can't predict the future, but if I were you and you had the means to do so, I'd pursue this if it is truly what you want to do.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:03 am

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 1):

But are not the majors moving towards bring more of the mainline fleet backing into cities that they gave up to the regional s? I know United is doing this.

That's a totally different situation. The OP is referring to the pilot shortage. If something is not done, then airlines may need to make cadet programs or start recruiting abroad.

Expressjet is already making an ATP program for pilots who applied but are just short of having one. I expect more airlines to have similar programs in the future.

Quoting enilria (Thread starter):
3000 hour rule

Holy s#!t!!! Is that how much you need in Canada? In the US its only 1500! And it used to be 500!
When wasn't America great?


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Mir
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:29 am

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 19):
A flow-through, if managed and executed properly can be a huge benefit to all parties involved.

As long as the flow is not the only way to get to the mainline carriers, I'm okay with it. But I'm concerned that it might take on that role. We had a period of history in this country where companies looked after people from cradle to grave, and it wasn't a particularly good one for workers' rights.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 27):
There is a constant whipsaw of the flying, to keep the cost to the mainline carrier to a minimum, and PSA is the reason it happened.

No, Endeavor is the reason it happened. Or Mesa. Or GoJet. Or Republic. You can go back through the history of regional airlines and find a company that took concessions in exchange for jobs. That's the nature of the contracting game. And it sucks, but it's the way the industry is structured these days and it's not changing.

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 30):
Making $45k is not far off after 5 years

That's still ridiculous. It shouldn't take you five years to make $45k. You should be topping that in three years at most. For comparison, I made $45k the day I started as an FO flying 135 in a CJ. The idea that someone doing the same job in a larger, more complex airplane where two pilots are required by type certificate (not just operating rules), carrying more passengers, should have to wait for five years to make the same amount of money is pretty silly.

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 30):
Yes, there was lots more to AF447, but ultimately, the lack of situational awareness and recognition of a stall, is what killed them. I haven't flown a piston plane in almost 15 years, but I guarantee you I'd be able to get out of stall.

I guarantee you the AF447 crew would have been able to get out of a stall as well. It's a simple maneuver. But, as you say, the inability to recognize a stall is what killed them. You can't recover from the stall you don't recognize. So to say that you'd prefer someone with CFI time at the controls rather than that crew (which I know you didn't say, but others on this thread did) is quite presumptive.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 40):
Yes, they benefited by taking PAY CUTS. If the PSA pilots had a spine, the whole regional game would be different.

No, they didn't take pay cuts. They put in pay caps, which is not the same. A pay cap is only a problem if you run up against it. They figured that with the demographics of the mainline carriers and the prospect of growth, they wouldn't have to worry about running up against the caps, and thus they'd be getting growth essentially for free. That only works if you have a relatively young pilot group, which they did - for someone like Eagle with a very senior pilot group, their rejection of the idea of pay caps makes total sense (though they eventually decided to take it). And PSA didn't come up with the pay caps - Endeavor was the first pilot group to approve the 4/12 cap scheme.

Also, PSA had no leverage. They're a small regional, and if they didn't play ball AA would probably have taken away their aircraft and given them to someone else (probably Mesa). And then they could reapply for their jobs, but at Mesa (who has a worse contract and lower pay rates). It should be clear why that's ultimately a worse option.

-Mir
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:37 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 43):
As long as the flow is not the only way to get to the mainline carriers, I'm okay with it. But I'm concerned that it might take on that role. We had a period of history in this country where companies looked after people from cradle to grave, and it wasn't a particularly good one for workers' rights.

I agree, there should be multiple avenues to the mainline job. I think a flow thru, if managed correctly as I said, is one viable option.

Quoting Mir (Reply 43):
No, Endeavor is the reason it happened. Or Mesa. Or GoJet. Or Republic. You can go back through the history of regional airlines and find a company that took concessions in exchange for jobs. That's the nature of the contracting game. And it sucks, but it's the way the industry is structured these days and it's not changing.
Quoting Mir (Reply 43):
No, they didn't take pay cuts. They put in pay caps, which is not the same. A pay cap is only a problem if you run up against it. They figured that with the demographics of the mainline carriers and the prospect of growth, they wouldn't have to worry about running up against the caps, and thus they'd be getting growth essentially for free. That only works if you have a relatively young pilot group, which they did - for someone like Eagle with a very senior pilot group, their rejection of the idea of pay caps makes total sense (though they eventually decided to take it). And PSA didn't come up with the pay caps - Endeavor was the first pilot group to approve the 4/12 cap scheme.

Also, PSA had no leverage. They're a small regional, and if they didn't play ball AA would probably have taken away their aircraft and given them to someone else (probably Mesa). And then they could reapply for their jobs, but at Mesa (who has a worse contract and lower pay rates). It should be clear why that's ultimately a worse option.

Remember, Endeavor was in Ch11, they too had no leverage. Life in bankruptcy as an airline pilot is like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun.

Quoting Mir (Reply 43):
That's still ridiculous. It shouldn't take you five years to make $45k. You should be topping that in three years at most. For comparison, I made $45k the day I started as an FO flying 135 in a CJ. The idea that someone doing the same job in a larger, more complex airplane where two pilots are required by type certificate (not just operating rules), carrying more passengers, should have to wait for five years to make the same amount of money is pretty silly.

I agree. The pay at the regional level needs to be higher for sure. I was just illustrating a point, that it won't take 10-15 years to reach that pay.
 
CBUDAD
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:45 am

This is what was supposed to happen in 2008-2009. Remember the 60 year age rule for pilots? Well, the FAA increased that to 65 at the same time that the economy imploded and most pilots lost both pay and pensions. So they stayed. Our daughter graduated with all her ratings and a B.S. degree and worked as a flight instructor for five years. She is now the Chief Flight Instructor for California Baptist University with better pay and benefits. Her students will be the ones that get to enjoy the industry's recovery by getting jobs at the airlines.
 
CBUDAD
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:49 am

I also completely agree with the ridiculous pay that the regional pilots get plus horrible schedules. Of course, we all have to earn our seniority and benefits but hopefully the pleasure of flying a cool ERJ outweighs the sacrifice of low pay and tough schedules.
 
Mir
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:12 am

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 44):
Remember, Endeavor was in Ch11, they too had no leverage. Life in bankruptcy as an airline pilot is like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun.

They were a bad position, sure. But that's normally when concessions get made. I keep hearing people bash PSA on the grounds that they could have said no and accepted the (very negative) consequences, but Endeavor could have done the same thing. Ultimately the argument doesn't get anyone anywhere.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:27 am

What is the annual net recruitment of regional pilots? Hundreds leave but how many are recruited? Seems it would be a smaller number and a more meaningful measure to understand and solve the problem.
 
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enilria
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:12 am

Quoting nkops (Reply 38):
Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 41):

I meant to say 1500, but that is still an enormous hurdle to overcome. There are not enough paid positions to allow pilots to get that many hours without taking 5+ years with basically no income.
 
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:39 am

The reality is that some companies will go bankrupt first. This means cities that do not pay enough will loose service and people will have to drive further to the next airport. This will somewhat drive fliers to mainline. More so it will trim off demand from communities that do not generate enough yield for RJ service.

The 50 seat will fade first (smaller are being retired so quickly, it isn't worth discussing). But the 76 seaters will survive as enough cities would lose service congress would modify the 1,500 hour rule.

Quoting par13del (Reply 2):
Now the reality will be somewhere between those extremes.

Exactly.

Quoting commavia (Reply 3):
Regional operators will either raise their pay, and in turn pass that higher cost on to their mainline customers, or they'll simply go out of business. Those appear - at least to me - to be the only two choices.

The third option is downsizing until the supply demand curve for RJ service and pilots is in balance.

Quoting compensateme (Reply 7):
Gone will be the days of operating 50-seat or even 76-seat hourly service in major business markets (which will trickle things up).

There will be 76 seaters due to corporate contracts paying a premium for 'on the hour' service to major markets. Your 'solution' impacts revenue more than costs. There will be a balance out.

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 11):
Even more reasons to prove the arbitrary 1,500 hour rule is silly.

That will be one of the first casualties. There was no reason for the rule. Since that rule exists to just deny small communities service, there will be political will to overturn it. Too late for many communities, but there will be another rule.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 41):
The OP is referring to the pilot shortage. If something is not done, then airlines may need to make cadet programs or start recruiting abroad.

I suspect we'll see cadet programs.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 41):
Expressjet is already making an ATP program for pilots who applied but are just short of having one. I expect more airlines to have similar programs in the future.

That seems like a wise move. I fully expect to see accelerated ATP programs to save service to smaller communities. E.g., 'equivalent collage courses' with some classroom and a bunch of simulator time (but cheap simulators, heck maybe not much more than multi-monitor PCs) to 'build time.'

We'll still have RJs in a decade.

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KD5MDK
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RE: What Happens When Regionals Sucked Dry Of Pilots

Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:03 am

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 39):
Generally, they wouldn't take on the extra work unless they knew they could make it happen. These agreements come with strict operating expectations. It would be foolish, but not unheard of for a regional airline to take on work it couldn't handle. It's happened before and those carriers, in addition to the mainline customers, paid the price.

Sorry, I mean what happens when AA goes to all of the existing airlines and they all say "We don't have the manpower".
(Ok, the obvious answer is the flying does't happen.)
How far away are we from a point where everyone turns down a major's offer?

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