How to solve the US pilot shortage

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

  1. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I didn't ask them all, but a few offered up their reasons.
    Home more, can fix stuff around the home/yard most likely, stability of employment, less likely to have affairs, less ego, probably stronger if they want something done or need to be protected, are a few reasons.

    Maybe in your area pilots are all rich, and ditch diggers all poor.
    But around here I would guess that the ditch diggers are making more money as well.
    If you want to marry rich here, snag a plumber, electrician, home builder, drywaller, roofer, mechanic, that sort of guy.
     
  2. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I dunno about my area and I don't follow it that much. Just responding to a lot of what's been said here in this thread. Looks like @catmandu might have hit the nail on the head above in post#240. So what it boils down to, they want Schneider:goofy:
     
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  3. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Or an electrician, ditch digger, roofer, drywaller, painter, concrete guy, or any other trade.
    If you want to book your car in for a service, expect the shops to be busy for weeks as well, and the Ford dealer nearest to me charges $190/hour shop rate...how crazy is that.
     
  4. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are plenty of people in the "pipeline" for these jobs. The relatively "recent" problem is that the pipeline has become really long. But it hasn't stopped these people. Yes, a lot of people take a hard look at money. But there are lots of folks where money is not the highest priority. And that's not exclusive of aviation. Take art, music, theatre, teaching - just to name a few. As to quality of life, lots of people don't see the travel or the regular hotels as a burden. Different strokes for different folks. Maybe all those things are important to you, but not necessarily for someone else.

    Some pilots say they will do it if the pay was good enough (whatever that means). A reality to consider... flying and learning to fly a transport category jet and work as a crew is HARD. Really hard. Just wanting doesn't mean making it. The majority of the people I know who washed out or quit had the attitude that they were great pilots and the company just didn't treat them fairly.
     
  5. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Quality of life is a factor to everyone, maybe when they start flight school it isn’t, or the romance of traveling the world is still strong, but year 3 into flying to put food on the table, pay and schedule is going to be a major factor, as the colgan crash demonstrated, and staying in airport hotels starts too wear that romance off.

    People “wash out” for many reasons, most I know who didn’t make it through left, these days it’s not uncommon for someone to leave because during training they got a better offer.

    Some have family issues

    Some just don’t want to deal with the company early on

    And some can’t cut it, some because they 100% can’t, some because their instructors didn’t help in that regard, and everything in between.

    The days of people buying the company is the victim mindset in these matters has gotten a little long in the tooth.
     
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  6. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I know 3 people who got to be airline pilots, all 3 quit, and although 2 still fly, its smaller planes, they HATED AIRLINES, and the lifestyle, the 3rd is now a truck driver.
     
  7. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    We get it, you have a chip on your shoulder about airline pilots. There are a number of us on this board, all likely with more interactions with airline pilots each week than you've had total - yet somehow you're the most vocal about what you perceive as the reality of our job.

    But by all means, tell me all about how much I'm gone, how boring it is, how likely I am to cheat on my wife, to say nothing of how much less I make than a truck driver or ditch digger. Ignore everything said by those of us on the board that actually have genuine experience doing the work, because you have a sample size of a whopping three people. :rolleyes:
     
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  8. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I've seen first hand how airlines treat their paying customers, so can't imagine how bad they treat their employees.
    And if the jobs are so awesome, their would not be a shortage, but way too many, all competing for the rare job opening.
    So yes, I feel between that, and the many people i have talked to over the past 30 years about it, I am qualified to have an opinion.
    If a company treats their customers like ****, it must be 10,000 times worse for the staff.
    When airline pilots stop crashing, stews stop treating customers like crap, they don't lose or damage any more luggage, they stay on schedule instead of running late frequently, and they all show deep respect for the customers, then I will stop hating airlines! Until then, they can kiss my ....
     
  9. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Having worked in about every corner of aviation, I can say that modern airlines pilots get the most twisted around their axles when anyone says it’s not the best job on earth.

    Corporate pilots, AG pilots, 91 guys, if you point out something that is unpleasant in their work most will talk about it, or admit it, airline pilots appear to default to a angered defense, and fall back to what a great life the 60yr old 15+yr captain at a major has. Sometimes it feels they are trying so hard to convince others, that maybe it’s more a effort to convince themselves.
     
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  10. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    There are shortages in essentially every industry - including trucking and the trades that you keep going on and on about. You said truck driving is a great career in another thread - so how is there a shortage there?
     
  11. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Who said it's the best job on earth? I'm talking about someone who says that we're all mostly miserable. And it's simply not true. The people that say stuff like this all seem to 'hear it from a friend'. I'm just calling out the BS.
     
  12. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    So the divorce issue, away when you’re on, and super low regional pay are BS?
     
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  13. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    Was it David Allen Coe that said ditch diggers do it deeper?
     
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  14. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    "I'm talking about someone who says that we're all mostly miserable"

    Not sure how much more clear I can be.
     
  15. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    No shortage here of employees at the farm, for drivers of my trucks, or in my shop. As a matter of fact, I have more qualified applicants than I do jobs to give them.


    Why so defensive?
    Is all not going good in Utopia of airline life?
     
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  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That's all true at a lot of airlines too. That's the point - the airline industry isn't just the regionals, just like trucking isn't just the segment of the industry that's having problems getting drivers (is that long haul?). There are a lot of different types of airline gigs out there, some good, some crappy. I'd imagine it's the same in trucking, no?

    You're painting with a broad brush, and that's why I'm pushing back.
     
  17. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I wonder why customers who go more often to stores, gas stations, hair salons, and many other places far more than they ride on airliners, rarely complain about those stores and other services, but hate airlines so deeply, and do complain about them frequently.

    I wonder what would happen to Chevron, or Sobeys if they treated customers how airlines do?
     
  18. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The whole experience sucks - I agree. I'd fly around in a TBM if I had the means and time. But what does any of this have to do with being an airline pilot?
     
  19. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    I'm no sociologist, but here's what I think: air travel is expensive and people are stingy. The cheaper it gets, the more abusive it is. But people won't pay increased fares for improved service. So, when you're sitting at the gate, look around at the other passengers. They bear some responsibility in making the sucky system suck.

    OTOH, stores and salons deal generally in smaller dollar amounts and exert a lot less direct control over how a customer's day goes. An exception is car dealers, and people hate them even more than airlines!
     
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  20. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Problem is the pay difference between a topped out, and a starting trucker, and the time it takes to bridge that gap, plus expenses in training to get there.

    Compare that to a year 1 regional SIC, vs the unicorn, a 60yr old 15+yr capt at the majors

    The problem I see with the airline is is the carrot on the stick, every industry has it, just the length of the stick changes, when it comes to starting out at a 121 it’s not a stick as much as it’s a telephone pole.

    I think that’s the problem, and why the regionals have the issues they do.


    Long term wise, I agree with the other poster, how viable is it to have your product get worse and worse every year, and need gov bailouts, if I was the senior guy at a major I wouldn’t care, but if I was hitching my wagon to the horse of one day being the old well paid guy at a major, it would give me pause with the time commitment vs the products demise
     
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  21. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I agree with that, but I also think you overestimate what it takes to get to a point in the career that doesn't (at least by my definition) suck. You don't need to be a 15 year CA to have good QOL at a major, especially if you live in base.
     
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  22. Shuckers86

    Shuckers86 Pre-Flight

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    I flew as an airline/FedEx pilot for over 35 years. Was it difficult sometimes? Yes. Did I miss some family events? Yes. But I loved it! Every job has a BS level, my brother owns a trucking company making a lot more money than I did. My stress level was significantly lower than his. Landing an MD11 in Hong Kong or a 757 in ATL is a boyhood dream. I’m not saying flying for the airlines is for everyone but I wouldn’t trade my career for any job in the world. Fly safely.
     
  23. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He never said that.
     
  24. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    That's a self-actualized man right there.
     
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  25. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Speaking of regionals, I’ve always wondered how it feels when the brand on the side of the jet isn’t the same brand that signs the paycheck.

    Also, considering most regionals compete in the fee for departure space, that model kind if works against the profitability necessary to offer competitive pay and benefits. But then again, if regionals are the entry level employers, why should they be offering top tier comp & bene packages?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
  26. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    Part of the problem is people expect their air travel experiences to be just like going to the gas station or the hair salon. It’s not. But if those same people started to experience weather delays at the pump or the hair salon clippers had a mechanical preventing their stylist from completing the job, they would be beeching about those establishments just as they would the airlines.

    Then again, I don’t see the level “discontent” you imply in the flying public. Regardless, aviation as an industry is in its own little world. And as much as people like to compare other industries to the aviation industry its not a valid comparison on several levels. While more money, better schedules, etc. may work in the trucking industry, or the salon industry, its not a given to work in the aviation industry simply because the majority of people flying or wrenching are in it because its what they want to do. So unless more people want to be pilots or mechanics there will always be a shortage which money can’t fix.
     
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  27. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That was divers
     
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  28. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Super low regional pay hasn't been a thing for a number of years. Last week, it took a big step forward as two of American Airline's wholly-owned regionals upped first year pay to $90/hr which is a minimum of $81,000 for the first year.
     
  29. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    How about finish the sentence. Snapback occurs in August 2024. You're quoting a supplemental rate. Permanent CBA increases are much more paltry. This is a move by mainline to shore up their WO attrition to ULCCs. The incoming recession will temper much of this demand, it's no coincidence they picked 2024, they know what they were doing. It's a cyclical industry, as you well know.
     
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  30. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Line Up and Wait

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    Just checked a flight for a friend - KPIT to KORD. Round trip - $119. How?

    That’s amazing low in my opinion. I’d hate to be the guy responsible for being profitable @ those #’s.
     
  31. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Which is why I’m wondering why the majors aren’t just raising prices to manage demand instead of investing longer term in labor. I guess they’re baling some of it in considering there’s maybe 5% of all sears on any given flight that are available at the base rate/no fee price. Which is funny, because it’s not like the middle seat has less pitch or width than the its neighbors on the same row.

    Reason #69 why I don’t do the traveling consultant gig.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
  32. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That’s what single engine turbo prop guys make, and they have less than 10 seats to be responsible for, and probably have lunch with the owner if they wanted to, go look on jsfirm

    Plus once inflation hits it’s true number, which will be closer to 20%, that’s a down grade.
     
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  33. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That’s funny. I’ve had all of those jobs and the airline is still the best balance I’ve found. But it’s very subjective and really depends on what you want out of life. Every job I’ve had there have been good and bad spots. The airline has been the consistent winner for most good with the least bad. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. We all make the decision that is best for ourselves. One thing I have noticed is there are lots of pilots that think they know something about a career and don’t mind talking from a position of knowledge when they actually don’t have the knowledge. Ag aviation is a good example. I have listened to lots of airline guys talk down about ag. When I start talking about the knowledge requirements of that career their eyes glass over and very quickly decide they don’t want to work that hard. Also seen the same on the other side. ag guys crap talking about lazy autopilot managers. Equally ignorant.
     
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  34. Jackk

    Jackk Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I’ve been in more than a few of the seats, if you talk to a AG guy about having to get up very early all the time, they won’t go off on a huff and call you stupid, they’ll just say it sucks sometimes but it’s part of the deal.

    Same with a 135 and picky pax

    It’s always the 121 side of the house who gets very very defensive.

    Funny one, I had a atlas guy trying to bring me on, sent me one very poorly formatted email, with his phone number, I call and it goes to a voice mail that hasn’t been set up yet.
     
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  35. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like you’ve been unlucky and only associated with butt holes that happened to be airline pilots.

    Edit: AG pilots don’t have the market cornered for early morning work. That’s been part of every job I’ve had in aviation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
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  36. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    If I told an ag pilot that his job sucks and based my opinion on seeing Independence Day, I'd expect a similar response.
     
  37. snglecoil

    snglecoil Pre-takeoff checklist

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    *Gulp* …suddenly rethinking my decision to leave a 26 year corporate career at a soul-sucking Fortune 50 company for a chance to fly jets for a soul-sucking Airline. ;)
     
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  38. Jackk

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    But a AG guy probably laughed and bought ya a beer
     
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  39. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I have a feeling I'd get along with that AG dude really well! :)
     
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  40. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    Starting regional pay just jumped to over 7000 a month plus bonuses.