How to solve the US pilot shortage

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

  1. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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  2. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    And what is it that interests you?
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most of my helicopter friends are playing “I got a secret on social media.” They’ll post a pic on them in a fixed wing cockpit or a pic of an airliner with no description. Then everyone comments below “you going airlines?” Or “why are you flying airplanes now?” Then they’re cryptic and won’t answer the questions so they can get as many comments as possible. Just say you’re going to the airlines already! Name the airline while you’re at it! Everyone has to make a big deal out of everything. Rant over. :)
     
  4. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I frequently mention to pilots that if they are mainly interested in manipulating the controls and all the other stuff (talking with people, working with ground folks, being away, etc.) is mainly a burden, then flying for the airlines will not be for them. Nothing wrong at all if someone feels this way, BTW. The reality of airline flying is that you will have to be able to deal with passengers, crew, ground folks, etc. And be away from home during trips. This is not for everybody.

    I don't happen to know what flying jobs are available where you can fly single-pilot and be home every night AND have decent pay, though. But there must be some. Maybe a day charter operation. I've heard of a operation (Vistajet?) where they fly Cirrus jets for charter and it may be a day operation. Normal charter, fire fighting, etc. takes you away from home.

    For those who don't have a problem, or enjoy interacting, with passengers and crew, airline flying is a good job.
     
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  5. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’m sorry but how can anyone make the decision to do this and not understand that travel is part of the job. I can definitely understand things changing that require a different job but why talk crap about the job? It would be similar to a truck driver complaining about traffic and how it’s so unbearable they can’t be a truck driver any more and now have to find a new job. Begs the question why that individual ever became a truck driver.

    hopefully the OP finds a job that will meet the needs and be rewarding to boot.
     
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  6. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  7. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Oh, you silly kids! How cute!

    :D
     
  8. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    When I read your first post, I thought "he doesn't have an airline pilot job problem, he has a ****ty ex-girlfriend and child visitation problem."

    But then after reading your other posts, it's clear that the airline pilot thing probably isn't for you. You've made it to the big U, so you know that it does get better with seniority and all that, but if is a drag going to work, then maybe it's time to change course."

    Like @kayoh190 said, this job isn't the end-all/be-all for a lot of people. For others, it can be. I like the airline gig. Not because of the flying. I think all of us doing it as a living can admit to ourselves that airline flying isn't like tooling around at 500' in a Cub or doing acro in a Pitts. But, seeing that this is a (mostly) general aviation board, most of the airline guys on here have a love for aviation that GA will scratch. That's not to say that I don't find satisfaction in finishing a flight successfully and safely, especially when there were challenges to be dealt with along the way.

    What I do like about the job is the time off that allows me to do the stuff I love. Which includes spending time with my (non-****y) wife and see the kids and grandkids. But what works for me looks like may not work for you.

    That's for you to decide. It sounds like there are other paths available to you that you would really enjoy doing and provide a lifestyle more compatible with your reality. I'd think on it for a bit, and make a career change now... while you're still young (which you are, despite what you think ;) )
     
  9. Shuckers86

    Shuckers86 Pre-Flight

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    Like @Sluggo63 said airline flying is not the end all/be all for every pilot. I personally loved it. Even with all the current hassles it’s still a little boy’s dream job, at least this little boy! What other career can you channel your inner Ernie Gann. Every single flight has its own challenges. Flying an MD11 from SFO to NRT then flying an ILS to 200m is pretty cool. Taking off out of MIA on a sunny morning and flying over the Bahamas to SJU is straight up beautiful. If the positives don’t out weigh the negatives do something else with your life. I retired last year. I miss the people and the flying. I don’t miss hotels and company bs. I still fly every week it’s just a lot slower and lower in the mighty 172. Fly Safely
     
  10. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you're sure a career without airplanes is what you want for now, you might consider law enforcement. Like aviation, a college degree is a plus but doesn't matter what the degree is in. Like aviation, they pay you to be trained. Since you have a first class med, you are in good health. And young. You'll get good pay, great benefits, and won't be traveling.

    I was once a police officer in a major metropolitan city. Still miss it once in while.
     
  11. TomF

    TomF Pre-Flight

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    The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

    You are still very young although it may not seem like it now. There is high demand in most parts of the country for skilled construction labor.
     
  12. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are a few short range charters, helicopter tours, CFI, police helo air ambulance that are single pilot and don’t do overnight trips. Of course “decent pay” is subjective.
     
  13. Richman67

    Richman67 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The job definitely isn't what it was. When I started, the then "old timers" complained about it, and now, 20 years later, it's fallen even further. ALPA is right on the mark in this case. It's not a pilot shortage, but a shortage caused by the steady degradation of the profession in real terms. The real shortfall didn't start until contracts were slashed in the naughties (2005 ish), and sure enough, just after that was when the pipeline collapsed upon itself and hiring minimums went to near wet commerical hours. They've never recovered in real, current dollar terms, and the cost/benefit to most people just isn't there, especially when the cost of learning to fly has tripled or quadrupled in real dollar terms. Hassle factor has increased substantially.

    This isn't just aviation. All of corporate America has been so enamored with labor arbitrage over the past 30 years, that the real value of wages and working conditions have degraded to the point they're nearly unrecognizable. Rather than invest a portion of the return to make jobs livable to encourage people to stick around with longevity and provide continuity to the enterprise, it's just dog-eat-dog to get to the lowest expense possible on the ledger. People are treated as a burden, not a resource.

    Unionization helps blunt most of that. You're not held hostage to the administrative tyranny that befalls most middle class workers (sorry Joe, the computer says broken legs aren't covered). Sure, unions provide a common voice to negotiate, but more so, it provides a check and balance to most hairbrained schemes lower level managers can conjure up to advance themselves and leave the problems that they create to the next person.

    At least you can turn your phone off on your day off. My next door neighbor works for BigCo. Makes about what I make. Has his own office, so he's not a cubical person. He's on his phone constantly on his days off and in the evenings, even when he's walking his dog. I asked him about it sharing beers one evening. He tells me that if he's not "available" 24/7 for phone and email, he gets dinged on his performance reviews. No extra money. Talk about theft of labor. Back in the day, you're time off was your time off. Business stopped at 5 and on the weekends. Nothing is that important. It's no wonder that GA has been in decline. When you're tied to work like that, who has time to fool around at the airport?

    Hang in there. It gets better. With some seniority, you can get more time off, and that will let you start your side enterprise.
     
  14. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    It is. Not sure what he's looking for.

    UA first year pay is running over $90,000, plus per diem, plus another 16% of gross into the B/C Plan (401k). https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/legacy/united_airlines

    If you don't want to be flying, no amount of money will be enough.
     
  15. squincher

    squincher Pre-Flight

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    What job could you possibly get that would make your ex act right? If you let her run your life, she will.
     
  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, but helicopters are ****ing weird, dude. :p
     
  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You mean weird like in a special kind of beauty all their own…sure I buy that. :)


    CEA656BA-E4A7-4B18-81F9-959C80A075CB.jpeg
     
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  18. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    This was just sent to me.
    Envoy (regional airline) Line Check Airman paystub for August. This is not a YTD total, it’s for August only.

    Make of it what you will.

    35821B71-06EA-49C5-9FDF-CB9FE046C7E9.jpeg
     
  19. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Still not enough. At 234 flight hours they deserve twice that a month.
     
  20. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder En-Route

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    Those are probably credit hours. Can't fly more than 100 hours a month per the regs.
     
  21. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, he didn’t FLY that many hours. I wonder where all the credit time came from.
     
  22. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And that divides out to more than $400 an hour. Something doesn’t smell right.
     
  23. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    6C16A525-5870-43A6-90FB-E6502A2B0BB3.jpeg

    https://www.businessinsider.com/american-regional-pilots-getting-massive-pay-raise-envoy-piedmont-2022-6?amp
     
  24. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Greg, I just left a regional and most are offering 300% credit and yes, Envoy is paying their LCA's more than a 787 CA at this point. That has ruffled more than a few feathers at AA, but that's what they are paying them. My former regional was not that far behind Envoy. It's amazing to see what Crew Support has been throwing out there to get IOE (CA's and FO's) and routine Line Checks covered.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
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  25. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Lotta credit in a month. Wonder what actual flight time was.

    There’s also a reason LCA’s need to be retained with that kind of pay/credit hrs.
     
  26. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    There are commercial airline pilots making over $1,1 million a year? I mean, if the gross was $97,441.94 and there are 12 months in a year.. the math says $1,169,303.28. Or was August some kind of fluke month

    Otherwise, sign me up.. I'll sleep in a crash pad 3/4 of the month for that kind of dough! (and get to fly planes)

    I feel like I'm missing something
     
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  27. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    You are. ;)
     
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  28. Dave Anderson

    Dave Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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  29. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Just keep in mind Envoy can’t even keep enough pilots on property at this pay rate for their LCAs who are probably *the* most critical to keeping the airline running. That’s gotta be telling.
     
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  30. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    $1,000,000 regularly? No.
    These are strange times. We definitely had pilots have 7-digit salary years during Covid. That is coming to an end (for us).

    As far as Envoy, and other regionals, being an LCA was one of the boxes to check that would propel you to the front of a major airline hiring list. If a regional airline lost all of its LCAs to major carriers, they could no longer staff the airline. Supply and demand.
     
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  31. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Their current pay scale is temporary and reverts downhill in about 15 months.
     
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  32. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    Correct. I’m guessing there’s a lot of “make hay while the sun is shining” over there.
     
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  33. kaiser

    kaiser Cleared for Takeoff

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    So everyone is getting juiced up now… what happens when pay reverts and the hangover starts?
     
  34. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder En-Route

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    I just finished my first month on the line for a legacy airline. Best job I've ever had, period. I love the flying, love the people I work with, and it's the flying job that fits exactly who I am and what I was looking for. As my wife said, "you found your tribe". But this job isn't for everyone. No job is for everyone, each of us are motivated and satisfied by different things. I hated being at the beck and call of the owner at my corporate job(s), and hated the extra duties outside of the cockpit. Some people love that stuff. I enjoy being in a very structured environment, where I can be one of 10,000+ pilots and fade into the background. Other people hate having rules and SOP's to abide by, and enjoy shooting from the hip and being 50% of a two person flight department.

    If you don't want to be an airline pilot, cool, please don't be one. I'm sure plenty of you guys have jobs that I would have zero desire to do. But that is what makes the world go 'round, as they say.
     
  35. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This reminds me of the travel nurse problem right now. Hospitals furloughed all these nurses to save money during COVID. Then these travel nurse companies grabbed them up and are paying them up to $7K a week. Hospitals are now bleeding money like crazy and going bankrupt. Those contracts are starting to dry up because they just can’t pay those staffing costs.

    I just find it strange that we went from 10 years ago where regional pilots are eating Ramen and can’t make ends meet to $90K a month. I can’t see these staffing costs be sustainable for the long run. Just like healthcare, airline profit margins are tight. Once this COVID money dries up, it’s gonna get ugly.
     
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  36. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Understand that 'regional pilots' aren't making 90K/month. A few might be. Delta had a similar transitory situation when they brought their A350 online a few years back, and suddenly everyone is saying that 'Delta pilots' are making 900K+/yr. You see this garbage all the time on APC - everyone loves to point to the outliers. Because of the shortage, premium is flowing freely pretty much everywhere. Many guys I fly with are dropping their schedule and rebuilding with 150-200%. That's how the 200+ hour credit occurs. As you mentioned it won't last forever, and I'd be willing to bet we'll see a big shift in the regional model going forward.
     
  37. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We’re riding the salary wave in my industry as well but I think it’s getting ready to come crashing down. Already happening for our competitors. Needless to say, I’ve got my resume ready. ;)

    https://www.newspressnow.com/news/l...cle_6f22de36-2eeb-11ed-835e-af23372c99ee.html
     
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  38. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    I agree. This was an outlier. But, right now it seems like the regional pilots are making some much-needed inroads on pay and QoL. Coming up military, I didn't live the regional life, but I'm glad those pilots that are doing that flying are finally getting the pay and benefits that they rightly deserve. Let's hope that they can keep the compensation package commensurate with their abilities and responsibilities going forward.
     
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  39. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    I think we're seeing a flattening of the compensation between the low and high ends of the market.

    I don't think the regionals will drop back to where they were but I also don't think they will maintain the near-parity many of them have just achieved. My guess would be that they'll drop back a little but will still be a lot better off than they have been traditionally. With higher crew cost, however, the economics of the smaller aircraft are less attractive so, over time, there will be fewer of them.
     
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  40. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    It has to. Fee for departure contracts were expense management exercises AND entry level 121 experience builders for the majors.

    For the current wave of regional contracts to remain sustainable, the model has to change. I think the movements being made by United, SWA, Delta, AA to develop their own pipelines provides a natural opportunity to re-imagine the bridge to majors.

    Makes me wonder about viability of the LCCs (no SWA, you’re no longer an LCC) AND regionals as independent segments.