How to solve the US pilot shortage

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FPK1, May 30, 2022.

  1. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Faster than a 182 and had it for 17yrs and no ATP?

    From your other post it sounded like after enough burger runs they just hand you a ATP, guess not.
     
  2. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    To clear up one point. The major airlines have no shortage of qualified applicants and are still being very selective. It’s the regional airlines where there is a shortage and much of that is training capacity not applicants. The massive early retirement programs the majors had coupled with a very rapid return in demand have created the issue. Demand for pilots at the majors will slow considerably after they catch up the early retirements.
     
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  3. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    So it would be way, way, way more than a year before I get a schedule and pay where I am home at least 3 nights a week and weekends and making $350k plus?

    Which is much different than your first response:

    to
    Why leave out the important bits?
     
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  4. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    And if the majors slow their hiring, the regionals become even more of a dead end street, they become less desirable than they already are.
     
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  5. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    Some of us have other occupations than just posting on PoA all day. ;)
     
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  6. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Given the cost of fuel and what a ticket costs today, I don't think we'll have a shortage in a few months. Costs have about tripled in 6 months, and going up. Was going to go to Modesto (flying into Oakland or San Francisco) to see daughter. Coach ticket was close to $1100. Coach Non refundable fly at odd hours? $850.

    Got a family of 5 and want to fly somewhere for vacation? Not happening. Business travel? Memo came out last week about only absolutely necessary travel.
     
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  7. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Being a ATP who doesn’t work for a regional, I got plenty of time and I’m on salary, just kicking back and listening to some blues in my yard right now.
     
  8. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    I guess you have little or no understanding of how bidding and advancement works at a major airline. The line was ability to make that income. I did not say you would make it the first 3 years. You can however easily have the schedule you mention and probably do it by year two if not sooner. You simply choose to remain in a junior category where you will quickly be senior in that category. Once you are in the upper third in category you can with PBS build the exact schedule you want. In the second year if you want to chase the dollar you can easily pull in 200k plus 32k in a retirement fund. I have flown with widebody copilots who easily break 400k and a few topping 500k. Pick up one 3 day overtime trip worth 23 hours as a Captain and you are adding 15,600 to your income plus another 2500 hundred in the retirement acccount. Copilots would earn 68% of those numbers doing the same. Get rerouted on that trip and you might add 10k more. This is all on a long expired contract so there probably will be retro pay on all that. The beauty of a airline job at a major is you can make the job into virtually anything you want. You can chase the dollar or chase quality of life.
     
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  9. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    So he could go direct, no prior 121, to a major?

    Because if not, what would he care how the system works at a major.
     
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  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I know exactly how it works, but if I quit my job, TODAY, I won't be anywhere near what you are talking about for YEARS, even though I have enough time for ATP. Which major can I walk into, tomorrow, interview, and have what you are talking about only a year or so away?

    Becuase you said I could have that, in a year or so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2022
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  11. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Shhh, let’s just talk about what a majors guy with seniority makes and has for time off :rolleyes:

    Can’t be asking those hateful questions like how long off the street it would take for say you to get there


    To answer your question, and you know the answer, NONE. Otherwise who would ever volunteer to take the pay and schedule of a regional.
     
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  12. snglecoil

    snglecoil Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I mean I know of around 30 instructors and a bunch more students just at my flight school…so there’s that.
     
  13. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Not quite true anymore. No bets on how long it lasts but a degree is not required today.
     
  14. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Time at a regional? Anywhere from six months to the end of your career or you do like I did and punch out to other segments of aviation if it gets to sucky.

    The airline thing is all about timing. Not much more than that… if you catch the wave it is very rewarding.

    If not you turn into @Jackk.:biggrin:
     
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  15. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    If I didn't have to acquiesce to the upward career mobility demands of an otherwise very supportive wife, there's an obnoxiously pink-painted ATR in SJU now paying low six figures left seat with my name on it. That'd be the extent of my tolerance for 121 flying... *dry heaves*.

    Milk-run city in and out of my hometown. Short-legged, EZ bake oven weather, no winter ops. Single pilot would be even better, but we all have crosses to bear in this life. :D













    (....I still rather have the extra gas :D)
     
  16. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    I'm been keeping an eye on this thread with amused interest, but since I'm on vacation with the family, I'm trying to keep my screen time to a minimum. But since you called me out personally ;) (and nobody is awake yet), I've got a few seconds to post.

    I do work at one of the large US cargo carriers. It's a great job for me. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Just like <<insert your job here>> isn't for everyone. Are there dues to be paid? Yes. Is the "payment" getting less painful. Yes (for now). I always equated it to a medical doctor's residency. You did your undergrad, completed medical school, and now you're working 80 hour weeks for $70,000/year for 3-7 years of residency (I'm getting all these numbers from Mr. Google so they may be wrong).

    I got to the 121 world via the military route, so I can't speak first hand on how the regional world works, except second-hand through the FO's I fly with. But, there are plenty of experienced posters on here who can give you good information on it (@jordane93 ... right back at you with a shout-out).

    I'd like to think of myself as pretty pragmatic when it comes to my job. In fact, when other pilot friends of mine are thinking of applying here and ask me about my airline, I tend to undersell it. The last thing I want is to give one of my buddies a rose-colored-glasses view of what life is like at my airline and then get here and realize that's it's not all rainbows and unicorns. I would never want to do that to a friend. My wife gets angry with me when she hears me on the phone with a buddy telling them about my job. She asks "why do you make it sound so horrible?" And what I said above is why.

    For those asking if they could switch jobs right now and make what they're making now. The answer is absolutely not. No way. Don't even think about it. If that's what you need, that this path isn't for you. I will tell you that I just recently flew a leg starting a trip out to SEA, and we had a long weekend layover there before continuing on over to Asia. I had flown with the FO before, so when I met him in Ops, I was surprised when he told me that his wife was going to jumpseat out to SEA with us to spend the weekend out there with him on the layover. I didn't recall him saying his wife was an airline pilot (and thus eligible for the jumpseat). It turns out she was a computer programmer for years. Made a whole career of it. But in her late 40s decided that she wanted to get her PPL. She got the bug, and then decided that she was going to do a late-in-life career switch to the airlines. Took her 3-1/2 years from 0 to getting a job at a regional. Hopefully, I'll see here on the line in a few years. Now, is she making what she was making in her other job? I don't know what she was making before, but I'd bet my life the answer is "NO." Is it something she wanted to do and was willing to sacrifice to do? Yes. Does it help that her husband is a 777FO at a major airline? Of course.

    To answer what @jordane93 was alluding to in his post... yes, advancement is very quick at my airline (right now). The last seat bid we had, we had probationary pilots (still in their first year here) hold 757 Captain slots. It'll be a while before they get trained, so figure that they'll be Captains after being here 3 years. Is this normal? Right now, yes. Over the course of a few decades, no. The music is going to stop eventually, and someone is going to be the last pilot hired on the junior seat, and will be there until the next hiring wave begins again. But, if anyone is thinking of making the switch to airline flying, now is probably the best time in the last 30 years to make the jump.

    I'm bored and the family is still sleeping, so I'll give you my pro/con list for my airline, and what I tell people who are thinking of coming here.

    I was starting a list of my perceived pros and cons, but the family is awake and we’re going to head up to a beach town up north for some fresh from the sea seafood.

    Youse guys carry on!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  17. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    I think I said that. The hill you need to climb to get hired without a degree is however taller and steeper.
     
  18. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    Excellent reply!
     
  19. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've been told of pilot shortages and impending pilot shortages all my life. Never seen one! When pilot hiring got moved from the Cheif Pilot office to HR it got screwed up even worse. HR crying of no pilots. Problem #1 then was HR didn't know what an airplane was or what it does or what it take to operate one. So how were they to tell the difference from an MIT grad that can't grab his(or her) *** with one hand, and the pilot who has been flying third world night freight for years without bending metal. Right now airline mgt is blaming a pilot shortage for poor performance of their companies. Nothing new. So lets look a little further. ALPA magazine just had an article about it, yes a bit biased, but good numbers. between 2019 and 2021 there were15591 new ATP's issued, and 9671 retirement's, surplus of about 5920. So there should have been plenty of applicants. I know its statistics and such can be manipulated and all that. So talking with the people I know doing the training they say they cannot train fast enough. I think its more of a training bottleneck than anything else at this point. I can go back and teach if i wanted to, but have no desire.
    The snowball in training goes something like this. Somebody retires off the 777, that creates an opening for a 777 capt, the 767Capt bids it and is awarded it. they move from the line into training, so there is an opening for a 767 capt, the 737 capt bids it and moves from line flying into a training cycle, witch creates an opening for a 737 Capt and a 777 FO bids it and so on. For one open slot you will have many people moving into training cycles and not flying the line. Simulators are very complicated and can be very temperamental. One goes down and all training scheduling gets affected. So a training cycle that should take you off the line for maybe 5 weeks, may take more like 8 weeks or more. That creates staffing shortages and ultimately schedule disruptions on the line. Very difficult for mgt to plan staffing several years in advance, if they screw it up, then you have what we have now. Training bottle necks. Next it will be massive layoffs.
    The typical new hire briefing. first day of indoc...................."Congratulations, you just won the lottery and your going to be a Capt in 6 months. Second day, here is your furlough notice, don't call us, we may at some point call you back."
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2022
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  20. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Very well said!
     
  21. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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  22. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  23. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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  24. TailWheelChamp

    TailWheelChamp Pre-Flight

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    Very late to this party, and didn't read all ten pages, so apologies if this has already been hashed and rehashed.

    I have three buddies in their early/mid 50s who were airplane pilots at two majors. All three were "bought out" and took early retirement a couple of years ago during the height of the pandemic. The airlines used their PPP money to buy out older pilots instead of keeping them onboard for when things ramped back up...which is what the PPP money was meant to do.

    There will be no sympathies from this kid extended towards the airlines. They made their own bed.
     
  25. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Curious, what are the pilots doing now?
    Also, from what I recall the PPP money prevented the buyouts and retirements. The airlines about the day after PPP money ran out, did generally start massive reductions in force.

    Tim
     
  26. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    The PPP money prevented furloughs. There were still a lot of buyouts. Airlines were in survival mode at that point not knowing if they'd even survive.
     
  27. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Pay raise next month!
    #keepthepilotshortage :D
     
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  28. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That would appear to be contrary to the terms of the PPP loan... at least wrt getting loan forgiveness.

    and which airlines qualify as "small business"?
     
  29. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    What degree/training do you have for a backup career? What was your fallback plan if a pilot career didn’t work or if you lost your medical?

    Execute that plan.
     
  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Sounds like pretty poor ADM.

    But you are where you are. Make your daughter your priority and go find another job that will let you care for her. Time to set aside your own preferences and make sure your kid has the parent she needs.
     
  31. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    In the 91/135 world, it’s not just the pay. It’s insurance minimums. So many 60+ year old guys flying turbines because they came up in a time where you could get into a King Air without having double the qualifications of a guy going to the airlines. Those guys are retiring and it’s leaving holes, at least from what I’ve seen around here.

    Time in type requirements make it tough, and good luck getting it without riding around for free for a while (if you can find someone willing to bother with you).

    Every young guy I know is just shooting for the airlines. None of them are trying to go 91/135. The airlines are a much clearer path to the best money, and you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars of your own money to get typed in a plane the owner might sell six months down the road. It makes me wonder how the corporate world will keep filling the ranks.
     
  32. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    No, you’re not. Nor are you the only one to find himself in an undesirable box as a result of poor decisions. Many people are a bit short-sighted. Now you’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation.
     
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  33. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Not trying to be personal. Merely stating the situation as I see it, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful. My apologies if I offended you as that’s not what I intended.
     
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  34. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’m glad you recognize there is not a flying job that will meet your domestic needs.

    Have you considered looking into flight ops management jobs at your current employer? Driving into work in the base CP office for a normal business hours job would solve your problems.

    Also remember to adjust your fit for duty decisions with these stresses in mind. Won’t take much more on your plate and you’re not FFD.

    edit: also consider sim instructor jobs. All of the training facilities are short.

    could you shoot me a pm with the airline name. Just wondering if you’re senior to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
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  35. SFDukie

    SFDukie Pre-Flight

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    You're prioritizing your most important role in your life, currently-being a good father to your daughter. Putting her needs ahead of your wants. To be captain obvious, that's the antithesis of a loser.

    In the bay area, CFIs charge $80-120/hr. The good ones are booked out to the point where they turn away work. Would be home every night, with some control over the hours you work.
    Until your daughter starts school, could be an option. Then you might have more options with respect to doing something you enjoy and find rewarding.
     
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  36. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Where were you flying before your current gig?
     
  37. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Have you investigated the training department at your airline?
     
  38. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    @Little Carmine I'd say sim work would be an easy way of retaining some income, closer to banker's hours, without have to incur re-education costs (a loss of income which could be a non-starter at this life stage anyways).

    I had a long manifesto written on the topic to include my personal journey/anecdote which hits very close to home on this topic, but then I remembered the audience on here anymore (i've been here a little longer than you, just trust me on this one lol) and decided against it.

    BL, you're not the first or last pilot to deal with these realities, nor are you a loser for finding yourself on the business end of the opportunity costs of such a vocational choice. Feel free to PM me and I can give ya more personal details, if you need someone with flying-incompatible domestic realities/responsibilities to chat/vent with. I wish you health and happiness in this process. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
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  39. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I know plenty of pilots with either no degree or an aviation specific degree. It’s not the end of the world if you get furloughed, fired or quit. We have plenty of pilots in my company that lose their medical and go into internal management positions. And on the outside, jobs are everywhere right now and a specific degree related to that job isn’t always required.
     
  40. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The job is definitely not a panacea - my best friend went from corporate to a major, thought he hit the jackpot, then quit after a few years to go back to flying corporate again. While not the same situation as yours, I thought it was a pretty solid move to recognize that the airlines just weren't for him and made a choice to fix the problem rather than be unhappy.

    With this hiring environment it seems to me that you'd be able to shift to a different position within aviation that'd better suit your home life and still get the bills paid. Good luck!