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Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:49 pm
by PilotRecruit
Came across a very interesting article today. I think this would be applicable to more industries than my own, but highlights some key issues facing aviation today. What are your guys thoughts?

https://disciplesofflight.com/pilot-shortage-where-did-pilots-go/

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:57 pm
by mandala499
Here's the clickable link:
http://disciplesofflight.com/pilot-shortage-where-did-pilots-go/

Yes, I read this today too.
Over where I am, we keep hearing about pilot shortages, yet we still have unemployed pilots.
Unsuitable education, and unwillingness for airlines to pay for entry training is an issue here.
At least the bidding and seniority here is nothing like in the US.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:01 pm
by maxamuus
I think the end of the cold war and the down-sizing of the US military is a big factor. In years gone by the US Military is where you trained to become a commercial airline pilot. So the number coming out of the military these days are way down and all most all of them go into the majors.

Then you have the express carriers. The majors LOVED them because they could pay them peanuts compared to mainline pilots. So pilots who went to school to be pilots came out of school finding themselves working at XYZ Express airlines for 15 dollars a hour. Why go spend all the $$$$$$$ and time to become a pilot if you can make more as a shift manager at Taco Bell?

So i think those are the major reasons why. The situation is only going to get worse as time goes on until wages again rise to make it worth the time and money to go to school to become a pilot. In the end that will likely be the end of the express carriers.

[Edited 2015-06-17 08:08:16]

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:07 pm
by jfklganyc
A lot of the article has facts and some of it is pure exaggeration

A crew scheduler threatening a pilots job on a phone? Never. Sat reserve at a garbage regional for 3 years and that never ever ever happened.

Maybe a Chief Pilot...but never a scheduler

The truth is if you stick out the regional crap for 2 to 5 years you end up at a major with a dream job. That is the other side of the story that this guy didn't pursue.

But keep the shortage coming...good for all of us!!

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:10 pm
by N766UA
The pilots went to better paying jobs.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:07 pm
by northwestEWR
I know quite a few guys who decided to go into Airline Operations and Dispatch instead of pursuing the pilot side of the airline. Very similar money, home every night, no 100K training program, etc.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:19 pm
by Flighty
1. Demographics. Vietnam vets retired. Anybody who was 25 in 1975 is 65 and retired now
2. Post 9/11 mainline shrinkage gave bad publicity and mainline wage cuts
3. Express carriers had a pilot surplus, cutting entry wages to nothing, giving bad publicity, deterring new trainees
4. New 1500 hour requirement. So even if young people want to become an airline ATP (which they have not since 9/11), now it is too expensive to do so, unless you have a rich dad.

The 1500 hour requirement could easily make it so young trainees enter not based on skill, but based on their parental wealth. Does this make us safer?

[Edited 2015-06-17 10:23:55]

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:45 pm
by A332DTW
My stance on the new ATP regulations have not changed. It's quantity over quality. Getting a decent flying job is next to impossible for new flight program graduates. 250 hour minimum flying jobs are few and far in between. This leaves the CFI route the most reliable route to get to 1000 hours. A lot of graduates are broke after school and have to find a way to pay for their CFI. The grace period for their $100K student loan ends in a blink of an eye, and now any job will do just to pay the bills. In a nut shell, the system is broken. How that will tie in with the shortage, time will tell.

[Edited 2015-06-17 10:53:05]

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:49 pm
by 777ord
Sadly, a lot of them have discovered that the dream they had a kid years ago, is a nightmare today. Flying as we all know isn't what it used to be that made us all fall in love with aviation. Now it's purely a spreadsheet and numbers industry and myself included, decided that I don't want to spend my life doing boring turns to small town USA, but would rather be a CFI on the side, and travel how and when I wanted to. I work in the airline industry, and, fly when I want. I'm home every night and I am glad I made that decision. Do I miss the skies? Oh sure! But I know my decision will pay off in the end.

I look at some of my classmates from college who are having to decide to pay for rent, or the minimum payment on their 100k degrees for a regional job.

For the lucky ones, they are going internationally to Qatar, Emirates etc....

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:03 pm
by AirPacific747
Well hopefully the pilot shortage will continue and get bigger, because for the last 5 years, airlines have taken advantage of pilots big time, with pay-2-fly schemes, and now even pay-2-become-captain. And DYs latest move on the Dreamliner: Make pilots pay 40,000k USD up front to cover training costs which you will then get back over a three year period.
Plus they can allocate your days off away from your home base, which means theoretically you could be away from home the entire month.


Payback time hopefully!!

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:08 pm
by DashTrash
This is an extremely short sighted post.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 3):
A crew scheduler threatening a pilots job on a phone? Never. Sat reserve at a garbage regional for 3 years and that never ever ever happened.

I have been and know other pilots that have been as well. The threat is generally "I'm showing you unavailable on reserve and forwarding this to your CP". Another I got is "for some reason management wants to appease you with this trip swap. Don't try this again. I will junior man your ass immediately if you do". Yeah. That happened. Scheduling has way too much control over your life at many regional airlines.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 3):
The truth is if you stick out the regional crap for 2 to 5 years you end up at a major with a dream job. That is the other side of the story that this guy didn't pursue.

This blanket statements tells me I should be at a major, then. Truth of it is many airlines push pilots to some extent. If you don't push back and get nailed doing something you shouldn't, you just became a regional lifer. Way too many pitfalls to make this blanket statement. Hell, for that matter most of us who were out of college but not yet working for an airline when 9/11 happened will be lucky to find a job at a legacy. We're seen as high time and bitter. The type of pilot that can infect a crew. Pretty bad stereotype to have hanging over your head, especially through no fault of your own.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:07 pm
by frmrCapCadet
All those drone pilots who don't like the stress of military ops are in the wings waiting. LOL

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:38 pm
by redflyer
Quoting maxamuus (Reply 2):
I think the end of the cold war and the down-sizing of the US military is a big factor. In years gone by the US Military is where you trained to become a commercial airline pilot. So the number coming out of the military these days are way down and all most all of them go into the majors.

Even if the US military had as many pilots as it once did, it still couldn't fill the ranks of the pending pilot shortages that are looming on the horizon. The airline industry alone is about 6X the size it was during the 60's and 70's. You couldn't address the pilot requirements for this size of industry based even on yesteryear's military pilot ranks. There's been some great articles recently on this issue in various flying rags. I was shocked to learn that in 1980, what's considered the peak, there were around 350,000 GA pilots in the US. Today, that number is down to around 180,000. While not all GA pilots would become airline pilots it just goes to show that the pool to draw upon for those airline pilots is tremendously smaller.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:44 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting DashTrash (Reply 10):
I have been and know other pilots that have been as well. The threat is generally "I'm showing you unavailable on reserve and forwarding this to your CP". Another I got is "for some reason management wants to appease you with this trip swap. Don't try this again. I will junior man your ass immediately if you do". Yeah. That happened. Scheduling has way too much control over your life at many regional airlines.

Not being available on res is the number 1 dick move you can do to an airline and a crew scheduler. Call out before your res shift starts or work the shift.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:47 pm
by KELPkid
Why did a Cessna 172 go from ~$50/Hr to well over $100/Hr to rent in the post-9/11 world? Add your cost for an instructor on top of that, and there's your answer  

I used to be able to afford to rent a plane with the disposable income of a single recent college grad software engineer...but also post-9/11, the MBA's took over the business world and moved those kinds of jobs to India  I'm still employed in tech (as a network administrator), but any hopes of upward career mobility (other than maybe gunning for my boss's job, head of IT) are pretty much dashed now...I'm also married with a kid.

P.S aircraft rental rates have gotten even more ridiculous every time I've even entertained the thought of flying again...

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:18 pm
by Maverick623
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
I used to be able to afford to rent a plane with the disposable income of a single recent college grad software engineer.
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
P.S aircraft rental rates have gotten even more ridiculous every time I've even entertained the thought of flying again...

You hit the nail on the head. This isn't just a flying-only problem; this is the problem with our entire economy. Costs have risen far more than wages.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:42 pm
by 26point2
AIN has a story about the pilot shortage and reports that small cargo operators are in crisis due to pilot staffing shortage. In the AIN paper issue (missing from the www version) Cape Air claims they invited 50 pilots to a hiring class and only 28 showed up.

Off topic but I had no idea Cape Air operates 84(!) Cessna 402s I find that remarkable.

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-ne...-crisis-among-small-cargo-carriers

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:25 pm
by AirFiero
Aviation is STUPID expensive. I am fortunate to own a Cessna T210. Just the maintenance cost alone makes me feel not so fortunate. No wonder it's so hard find pilots, it's too damned expensive to even get a license, let alone all the costs to be hireable by an airline.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:28 pm
by KELPkid
Quoting AirFiero (Reply 17):





Aviation is STUPID expensive. I am fortunate to own a Cessna T210. Just the maintenance cost alone makes me feel not so fortunate. No wonder it's so hard find pilots, it's too damned expensive to even get a license, let alone all the costs to be hireable by an airline.

I once had the cash (i.e. enough on hand) to buy an airplane. Glad I didn't. I couldn't live with the $5,000 or $10,000 suprises on the annual   It takes a doctor or lawyer level income to be able to afford the annuals, insurance, and hangar rentals...wised up and bought a house instead!

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:46 pm
by AirFiero
Absolutely! I had an $11,000 annual once. Crazy.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:02 pm
by ACKattack
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 16):
AIN has a story about the pilot shortage and reports that small cargo operators are in crisis due to pilot staffing shortage. In the AIN paper issue (missing from the www version) Cape Air claims they invited 50 pilots to a hiring class and only 28 showed up.

Living on the Cape, I haven't heard anything about this yet, but it wouldn't shock me. The other problem is in the summer, where there is max flying, the cost of housing is astronomical. I can't imagine how they can break even.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 16):
Off topic but I had no idea Cape Air operates 84(!) Cessna 402s I find that remarkable.

It seems like they are flying everywhere in US, and flying constantly around New England and the Cape & Islands.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:03 pm
by 26point2
Confucius say If it flies, floats or f**ks it's cheaper to rent.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:19 pm
by FighterPilot
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 16):
Cape Air claims they invited 50 pilots to a hiring class and only 28 showed up.

It's no wonder no one showed up, going by http://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/cape_air I wouldn't either if that's what they make. How do you survive on $200/Wk as a 402 FO? I made more as a King Air 90 FO than one of their 402 Capts. I'm just glad I'm a pilot in Canada not the States where it has gotten way worse.

Cal   

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:24 pm
by KELPkid
Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 22):
How do you survive on $200/Wk

Remember, that's US dollars

3.5 weeks of flying at that rate will buy you rent   I'm sure your second job at McDonald's will supplement the flying "income" nicely...especially in a place like Cape Cod, Massachusetts   

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:24 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 22):
It's no wonder no one showed up, going by http://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/cape_air I wouldn't either if that's what they make. How do you survive on $200/Wk as a 402 FO? I made more as a King Air 90 FO than one of their 402 Capts. I'm just glad I'm a pilot in Canada not the States where it has gotten way worse.

Its 135 so don't need ATP, so its a good place to start now with the new rules.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:51 pm
by FighterPilot
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 24):
Its 135 so don't need ATP, so its a good place to start now with the new rules.

Good place to start? Working 40hrs a week only making $10,400USD a year? No thanks.
There's no pilot shortage, only a pilot pay shortage.
Hopefully the lack of "pilots" equates to an increase in pilot pay in the near future.

Cal   

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:52 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 25):
ood place to start? Working 40hrs a week only making $10,400USD a year? No thanks.
There's no pilot shortage, only a pilot pay shortage.
Hopefully the lack of "pilots" equates to an increase in pilot pay in the near future.

Cal   

No there is a pilot shortage. Half the people that apply where I work dont have their ATP and very few options. There are not like thousands of people WITH ATPs sitting around doing modeling.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:56 pm
by b747400erf
Pilots are leaving the industry because of a lack of high paying jobs, and others not going in because quality of life is so poor for the first 10 years, not because there is such a shortage. If there is a real shortage then regional and lcc's would be raising pay.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:57 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting B747400ERF (Reply 27):

Pilots are leaving the industry because of a lack of high paying jobs, and others not going in because quality of life is so poor for the first 10 years, not because there is such a shortage. If there is a real shortage then regional and lcc's would be raising pay.

They have where I work 3 times in the past year.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:25 pm
by FighterPilot
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 28):
They have where I work 3 times in the past year.

And there's a reason they've had to up it three times in only one year. The pay is garbage. Young pilots are finally smartening up and refusing to work for peanuts.

Cal   

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:26 pm
by phillyramp270
If it was a lot easier and cheaper to get my pilot license I would do it, but I have to Settle on being an aircraft mechanic. A whole lot easier and cheaper

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:29 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 29):
And there's a reason they've had to up it three times in only one year. The pay is garbage. Young pilots are finally smartening up and refusing to work for peanuts.

Cal   

And they are becoming captains after like 2 years now and making quite a bit.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:14 am
by AirFiero
What do some of the airlines pay? Like AA, WN, and so on?

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:19 am
by DeltaRules
Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 3):
The truth is if you stick out the regional crap for 2 to 5 years you end up at a major with a dream job. That is the other side of the story that this guy didn't pursue.

Not saying it can't happen, but I can name four former flight instructors from my first school ("Where being airline-owned means everything.") who took more than five years to get to the majors. One just got to mainline Delta after ten, one is still a CRJ captain after nine, another is still flying RJs after ten, and one bailed for Emirates after seven.

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 10):
I have been and know other pilots that have been as well. The threat is generally "I'm showing you unavailable on reserve and forwarding this to your CP". Another I got is "for some reason management wants to appease you with this trip swap. Don't try this again. I will junior man your ass immediately if you do". Yeah. That happened. Scheduling has way too much control over your life at many regional airlines.

I have a captain friend who was junior-manned recently and got a call from the company telling him he needed to come to work.

He'd left for a cargo company flying MD-11s months before. He was expecting to get a call from the Chief Pilot, but I don't think he actually did.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 24):
Its 135 so don't need ATP, so its a good place to start now with the new rules.

What I find amazing is even THEY'RE asking for 1,000TT.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:26 am
by SPREE34
Quoting N766UA (Reply 4):
The pilots went to better paying jobs.

^^^^^^^THAT, right there.

Food Stamp starting pay, then pay that makes it impossible to pay for the training you needed to get the job.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:28 am
by 93Sierra
There are other routes than the Cfi pyramid scheme. I'm happily flying a Shorts Sc7 Skyvan for a DZ and making more than regional FOs and sleeping in my bed every night.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:45 am
by hz747300
It's becoming a global issue. Think about the number of airplane orders in the recent years for the ME3, CX, and a few others, which all are already showing the signs of disgruntled crew and resignations because of conditions.

As much as the pay has deteriorated, the main complaint on the EK pilot board is toll that night flying, and ULH with short turnarounds takes on the body and family.

CX is attempting to use bases outside of HK to solve part of this, but EK has not yet, and CX still has pilots struggling with CoL in Hong Kong, and eroding T&Cs, as well as leaving CX if they are based and joining a US major.

So unless the airlines start scraping the bottom for pilots, or taking 35 minutes of actual flying time cadets from India, who will be flying these planes?

The worst part probably is the loss of experience and passion from the business, so people join who have no passion for it, and view the same path as more or less becoming an accountant.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:06 am
by ltbewr
I would add that for most young people, they just don't have the interest in flying planes. Flying has become a far less glamorous experience. Many don't want the responsibly of flying, especially in the post-9/11 age. Many figure it is easier and more lucrative is to come up with some 'app'. It has too much responsibility for the low pay early in your career. Few live around a small airport and even if one does, you can't hang around for security or liability reasons. Flying small a/c is too expensive, at a time of declining middle class incomes in families to get started and continue.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:37 am
by DashTrash
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 13):
Not being available on res is the number 1 dick move you can do to an airline and a crew scheduler. Call out before your res shift starts or work the shift.

Not going to argue that. What about the scheduler that drops that line of bullshit when you WERE available on reserve, but took the maximum contractual allowable report time? That's what I'm referring to. We had a couple of seriously toxic schedulers.

Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 33):

I have a captain friend who was junior-manned recently and got a call from the company telling him he needed to come to work.

He'd left for a cargo company flying MD-11s months before. He was expecting to get a call from the Chief Pilot, but I don't think he actually did.

That would be awesome.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:16 am
by covert
There are more highly qualified pilots out there than one would think. The two-tiered seniority system (regionals/majors) accepted in the USA puts pilots off from changing jobs, because you have to start back at the bottom regardless of how experienced you are. The unions of the major airlines force this system with their collective bargaining agreements, so that the majors contract routes to regional airlines for a set price to fly these smaller planes around. In order to sustain this model, they pay their staff the equivalent of pennies compared to those at the major airline.

When mass furlough/layoffs happened 5-13 years ago, a lot of pilots said to hell with aviation and went to career fields where your experience is valued and you are offered an appropriate wage to move laterally between companies. A lot of those guys have ATPs, but would never come back from a $80k USD job somewhere in an office to sit in a right seat of a regional airliner making $25k USD per year.

So there isn't really a pilot shortage in the USA, there is a shortage of appropriate pay for pilots.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:28 am
by northwestEWR
Quoting covert (Reply 39):
The two-tiered seniority system (regionals/majors) accepted in the USA puts pilots off from changing jobs, because you have to start back at the bottom regardless of how experienced you are.

The seniority system isn't just a problem in the pilot group. It's applied to the rest of the staff too and it's an absolutely awful system. The most senior, most experienced and best problem solvers usually end up picking the easiest shift (and that's their right) and leave the most challenging and difficult shifts for the lowest on the totem pole. You end up with the least experienced people doing the most difficult work. That doesn't work out so well. Especially in customer service.

It's going to take programs funded/backed by the airlines that pay for training. Or a job guarantee before people are willing to shell out the money for a not-so-lucrative and difficult career path.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:46 am
by bjorn14
Pay is certainly part of it. But like someone said the 250-hour jobs are few and far between. At that level you haven't spent a boatload of money to get your tickets. So not a huge debt load to manage. If the FAA would allow 19-seaters to be under Part 135 rules there would at least be a place to start.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:26 am
by Semaex
Quoting hz747300 (Reply 36):
It's becoming a global issue.

Is it really? I don't see pilot shortage in Europe, unfortunately.

Quoting hz747300 (Reply 36):
As much as the pay has deteriorated, the main complaint on the EK pilot board is toll that night flying, and ULH with short turnarounds takes on the body and family.

But let's face it; that's a first-world-problem. Anyone who signs up to become a pilot knows the rough schedules, knows what kind of jetlags they face (especially on legacies such as EK) and that quality time with family is rare. As long as rosters are legal, it's okay.
However, I do agree that CX is going the right direction when they station crews outside of their home base.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 37):
Many don't want the responsibly of flying, especially in the post-9/11 age.

Care to elaborate what 9/11 has to do directly with the fact that younglings don't want to join the airline business?

Quoting covert (Reply 39):
The two-tiered seniority system (regionals/majors) accepted in the USA puts pilots off from changing jobs, because you have to start back at the bottom regardless of how experienced you are.

The seniority system by itself is not that stupid in my opinion. Paygrade according to seniority really makes sense when you cannot (and should not) excel at work. Everybody is supposed to do the same in the cockpit, unlike in industries like engineering or craftmanship, where better work gets you better pay. So more money through higher seniority is a good thing.
I believe the origin of the seniority system also has to do with the fact that it loyalizes pilots to their airlines. Why would you change your employer when you know you will start from scratch at a new one? It gives the pilot an incentive to stay and the carrier a long-term planning perspective.
The system nowadays, I do undersand that, is facing work-life balance perversions, and the spirit of the seniority system is not respected at all anymore. That's something the article in the OP highlights too, the lack of respect.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
Why did a Cessna 172 go from ~$50/Hr to well over $100/Hr to rent in the post-9/11 world?

Holy baby Jesus. Last month I payed 280€/h wet for a little SEP VFR flight around Frankfurt. I'd go flying every single weekend if it were only 100 bucks!

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:49 am
by RJ321
Quoting PilotRecruit (Thread starter):

Over here in Jordan, the supply of commercial pilots far outweighs the demand for them so pilot shortage is not the case here in Jordan.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:13 am
by n562wn
Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 40):
The seniority system isn't just a problem in the pilot group. It's applied to the rest of the staff too and it's an ABSOLUTELY AWFUL SYSTEM. The most senior, most experienced and best problem solvers usually end up picking the easiest shift (and that's their right) and leave the most challenging and difficult shifts for the lowest on the totem pole. You end up with the least experienced people doing the most difficult work. That doesn't work out so well. Especially in customer service.

I'm not sure I completely agree with that sentiment. I think the seniority system is ok "in theory" and this is coming from someone sitting towards the bottom of the totem pole. There's something to be said about knowing your quality of life will continually improve over the years (should the company survive) and I'd argue that many of the senior, most experienced, best problem solvers refined these skills from being junior at some point at time while facing challenging shifts.


Quoting covert (Reply 39):
There are more highly qualified pilots out there than one would think. The two-tiered seniority system (regionals/majors) accepted in the USA puts pilots off from changing jobs, because you have to start back at the bottom regardless of how experienced you are. The unions of the major airlines force this system with their collective bargaining agreements, so that the majors contract routes to regional airlines for a set price to fly these smaller planes around. In order to sustain this model, they pay their staff the equivalent of pennies compared to those at the major airline.

When mass furlough/layoffs happened 5-13 years ago, a lot of pilots said to hell with aviation and went to career fields where your experience is valued and you are offered an appropriate wage to move laterally between companies. A lot of those guys have ATPs, but would never come back from a $80k USD job somewhere in an office to sit in a right seat of a regional airliner making $25k USD per year.

This brings up the notion of a 'universal seniority system' in which I have mixed feelings. Part of me feels that if you invested a certain amount of time in a company, you should be afforded the seniority to bid your shifts and SEAT POSITIONS (when it comes to pilots) ahead of those just hopping aboard while moving laterally. Meanwhile, I agree that your experience in a comparable position should afford you a relatively equal initial pay from where you left. I can't imagine those doling out the pay checks would ever allow such things to transpire, but I think it would make jumping into an aviation career a lot more appealing.

A big part of me is happy to see that the younger generation has a backbone and less and less people are willing to endure the sacrifices while working for poverty wages to fly for a regional airline. When it comes to pilots, a lot of times we are our own worst enemy when so many accept atrocious wages to chase a "dream job " at the Majors or even worse, some pilots just fester at the top of the seniority list at a regional further exacerbating the problem in allowing Legacy carriers to exploit cheap labor. In the same breath, experience needs to be gained somewhere outside of the military so I'm not sure of the ideal solution.

All that said, I hope regional and major airline pay rises substantially to continue to entice quality people to the field of aviation.

[Edited 2015-06-18 03:27:53]

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:05 pm
by jfklganyc
I have no problem with the seniority system.

I have a problem with pilots.

Pilots are type A personalities that are constantly scheming about the best way to get a notch ahead in a system that is the great equalizer. They can never relax and enjoy.

If they make $120,000 and a guy at DL is making $130,000, they talk about how great DL is and how crappy their airline is.

Whatever airline they left was always the best airline, because they did it this way there, and we suck because we do it another way.

Then they take the first upgrade on the largest airplane they could hold and complain complain complain about quality of life, pay, and how the senior guys sold them out.

Meanwhile, if they stayed in the right seat for a while, they would likely make close to the Captains pay they are making on reserve, they would be working a lot less, they would have all the weekends/holidays/vacations they want off and they would go over to the Captain seat like a gentleman down the road Senior FO Line Holder -> Mid range Capt Line Holder.


But pilots don't do that. I see it everyday. I read it on fb everyday: "I hate being away from my family. 3 am call outs suck. Merry Christmas to all...I'm at a hotel in CLE." Yada Yada Yada. You took the fourth stripe voluntarily.

Pilots are their own worst enemies.

(And I am not talking about regional pilots where I know you have to take the FIRST upgrade to get out of the regional system)

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:56 am
by Passedv1
Quoting maxamuus (Reply 2):
Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 25):

There's no pilot shortage, only a pilot pay shortage.
Hopefully the lack of "pilots" equates to an increase in pilot pay in the near future.

Cal   
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 26):
Quoting covert (Reply 39):
So there isn't really a pilot shortage in the USA, there is a shortage of appropriate pay for pilots.

When I started flying in the late 80's a senior Captain at a legacy made close to 250K/year. A First Officer made 150K. And these are not "inflation adjusted" numbers. While you were slaving away for peanuts, what kept you going was the prospect of having a phenomenal financial future that made up for the personal sacrifices required of the profession.

I think what you are seeing today is the ramifications of the huge paycuts the legacy carriers have taken in the last couple of decades. Smaller carrot at the end coupled with more expensive flight training leads to cost benefit analysis that says that a pilot career is just not worth it....which leads to fewer student starts...which leads to no CFI jobs...which makes the early career prospects even more abysmal...which leads to fewer student starts...

To fully understand the problem in the U.S. you cannot look at it from the eyes of the general population you have to look at it from the eyes of someone likely to succeed in the field. The pilot candidate is not thinking of becoming a pilot or a janitor when they grow up...so all of these comparisons of pilot salaries to the population at-large is just dumb. Someone that is likely to be successful as a pilot is choosing between pilot & engineer or pilot & doctor or pilot & CPA and other professions. A pilot proffesion use to compare favorably to many professions. An engineer/CPA generally did pretty well from the day after graduation and had modest career earning potential, a physician and pilot had very similar early earnings potential (low) but you made up for it by having a high mid-late career earnings potential. Today an airline pilot career has an abysmal front end and a modest back end. No where near enough to allow you to catch up in order to make the early career sacrifices worth it. People are becoming engineers instead.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:11 am
by b747400erf
Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 46):
While you were slaving away for peanuts

Cost of living was a lot cheaper in those days. Today you have to go on food stamps to make ends meet.

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:07 pm
by NWAROOSTER
Quoting n562wn (Reply 44):
the problem in allowing Legacy carriers to exploit cheap labor.

This is not a problem which is exclusive to the airlines. Most companies world wide are striving for cheap wages and benefits for it's employees. The nineteenth century has returned and the sweet shops are rebounding. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. When the have nots of the world no longer can tolerate the unbearable quality of life and hunger, the world will implode making WWII look like a game of "cops and robbers."   

RE: Pilot Shortage: Where'd All The Pilots Go?

Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:59 pm
by barney captain
Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 45):
Meanwhile, if they stayed in the right seat for a while, they would likely make close to the Captains pay they are making on reserve, they would be working a lot less, they would have all the weekends/holidays/vacations they want off and they would go over to the Captain seat like a gentleman down the road Senior FO Line Holder -> Mid range Capt Line Holder.

I routinely fly with FO's that have or will pass on upgrade to facilitate a better QOL. Your statements are blanket and inaccurate.