• NC Software is having a Black Friday Sale Event thru December 4th on Logbook Pro, APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook, Cirrus Elite Binders, and more. Use coupon code BF2020 at checkout to redeem 15% off your purchase. Click here to shop now.
  • NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

A "Crisis" in Flight Training???

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Hi!

from Flying:
A Crisis in Flight Training
The flight training industry is facing a two-edged crisis. There's a coming shortage of airline pilots, and the prospective students to fill those slots simply can't get loan money — as much as $200,000 — to pay for their training. There are possible solutions, but not ones that anybody really likes. Robert Goyer says it's time to get real and start looking seriously at these hard choices. To find out more, click here for this week's Web Exclusive.

http://blogs.flyingmag.com/left_seat/2009/10/a-crisis-in-flight-training/comments/page/2/#comments

cliff
NBO
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
Here we go again...the mythical "pilot shortage" which does not now exist, and never did.
 

tdwnds1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Posts
177
Total Time
4784
I agree that right now us pilots are a dime a dozen, but...

I go with the "dry up from below and above theory". Soon (in the next couple of years) most of the older pilots are going to retire. If the market and their 401ks recover, that might happen sooner.

At the same time,domestic flight instruction is down AT LEAST 30 percent. Most instruction I am seeing is overwhelmingly for international students, not domestic.Sallie Mae cut everyone off, even the GI bill dosent finance flight training. In addition, much of the new generation dosent have quite the patience to wait 15 years of maybe longer to make some real money. Not when they can go into engineering or heathcare. So where is the new batch of people going to come from?
 

William Holiday

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Posts
146
Total Time
5500++
I've been hearing about the "shortage" for 30 years.....mins go skinny from time to time, but still hard to get a good job. Pay rates for a guy starting out with a B.S. degree=B.S. wages.

The real problem is pilots....we need protection from ourselves, were willing to take it because we love what we do. Fix that and the problem is solved.
 

epic!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Posts
702
Total Time
some
$200,000 for training!?! are people seriously dumb enough to spend that much?
 

ualdriver

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Posts
1,400
Total Time
13Kish
The whole concept of a pilot shortage is laughable, especially for the next few to several years. IMO we have 1000's of pilots who are currently underemployed. We have 1000's of pilots who are unemployed. We have 1000's of pilots currently back in the military who would gladly come back to the airlines if airline CEO's would simply stop beating their pilots about the head and shoulders. And we probably have 1000's of pilots with a wallet full of ratings who are working in various other non-aviation professions who would gladly make the jump to the cockpit if only a reasonable, professional wage were to be paid. Further, I fly with "old" guys all the time and I'll tell you what- these guys ARE NOT going to retire before age 65, whether the market recovers or not, for various reasons, most of which involving the fact that they wouldn't have had enough money to retire at age 60 even if the market hadn't crashed.

As posted above and as many will post below, we've been hearing of a "pilot shortage" for decades. The only times we have had close to a "shortage" is when regional airlines couldn't hire 20K/year pilots during good economic times. We all know that isn't a shortage- that's just a lack of pilots wanting to work for poverty wages. Had that wage been bumped up to 40k or 50k a year (certainly a reasonable entry level wage for an airline pilot and affordable by the airlines and the flying public), they would have had a HR department flooded with applicants.

Regardless, most problems, including a real "pilot shortage" problem can easily and quickly be fixed by economics. Pay a wage that allows an employee to service the debt required to obtain this profession -or ANY profession for that matter- and the banks will loan money and guys will choose to become pilots, or accountants, or IT guys, or whatever. Pay guys 20K/year, take their pensions, destroy their quality of life, cut the pay at the top end of the profession that serves as the "carrot" to entice young professionals to endure the hardships early in their profession and you reap what you sew.
 

Rerouted

What Dream?
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Posts
198
Total Time
4000+
Pay guys 20K/year, take their pensions, destroy their quality of life, cut the pay at the top end of the profession that serves as the "carrot" to entice young professionals to endure the hardships early in their profession and you reap what you sew.

Simply the most accurate comment I've read on this board in years. You can't argue with sound logic.
 
Last edited:

rumpletumbler

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2002
Posts
1,209
Total Time
1475
The real crisis in flight training is the instructors who don't give a rats behind about what they're producing and thus put shat heads on the street with license to kill themselves and their families.
 

Secret Squirrel

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2003
Posts
1,257
Total Time
some
To add to all that, The military this year for the first time trained more UAV pilots that pilots for manned planes. And very soon they will have a program in place where UAV pilots will not be trained in airplanes prior to flying the UAV.
 

UndauntedFlyer

Ease the nose down
Joined
Feb 26, 2006
Posts
1,062
Total Time
22,000
There has to be a pilot shortage in the future. This is because the wages are now and forever to be at school teacher levels: $20K to 80K per year. That's it.

Nobody will leave the military for that kind of work plus the insecurity of the profession. Now lets look at the colleges. In 10 years 75% or more of those programs will be closed. Why, you ask? Answer: The cost of a Commerical Certificate will increase from the current level of $75K to $300K by the year 2020, plus the cost of college will double or tripple by then. So you see a college flight training program will be $500K by 2020 at a state school and it will be $1,000,000 at places like ER. No one will pay that for a job that starts a pilot out at McDonalds level wages, lets them make it up to higher levels and then closes the airline, forcing them to start all over at the bottom. It is insanity.

Yes, I know the wages will go up but not enough to attract the military pilots or those who may be choosing a career. For a pilot choosing a civilian route but without money, there will be no money available to borrow for this profession because it will be such a bad investment.
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
A rather broad-brush assumption that most pilots come from college flying programs. Not true.

There's no pilot shortage. There has never been one, and there is no reason to expect one.
 

nosehair

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Posts
1,238
Total Time
24/7
There's no pilot shortage. There has never been one, and there is no reason to expect one.
Wait and watch. This time it is different. All the old tried and true standards that we grew up with are changing. I don't think anybody can make an accurate forecast about anything anymore.

Even the weather is different, now. :(
 

UndauntedFlyer

Ease the nose down
Joined
Feb 26, 2006
Posts
1,062
Total Time
22,000
A rather broad-brush assumption that most pilots come from college flying programs. Not true.

There's no pilot shortage. There has never been one, and there is no reason to expect one.

AVBUG: It is very true, as you say, that most civilian pilots (in the past) have not necessarily come from college programs. But I can say that now things are changing rapidly. Local flight schools are ceasing operations everywhere and the levels of training is dropping to never seen low levels. The civilian flight tests are way off from there previous levels. In many locations of the country it is all but impossible to find flight training, even to just get a private pilot certificate. Yes, in the very largest areas like Arizona, Florida and California it is still possible to find a civilian flight school but not in the Heartland areas and other areas too. Learning to fly is becoming a big commitment that may likely involve long drives to a distant airport or relocating. This is all part of the problem and it is only getting worse.

As for the colleges, they are still training because young people and their parents still want their kids to go to college for something and flying is an appealing major. However, the reality of the costs compared to the jobs is now becoming a consideration. On graduation parents are writing letters of complaint to the Board of Trustees at these schools, saying that the whole program was a sham for a major. I have seen these types of letters. The result will have to be a closure of some of these college programs. The only ones that will survive will be the ones that have a foreign pilot training and recruitment program like ER.

In 5 years the costs of flying will probably double and triple in 10 years. College tuition is going way up too. These costs are becoming prohibitive and the payback does not exist.

It may take 10-years for the effect of this plus the age-65 retirements to kick in, but at that time there has to be an extreme shortage of pilots, just like in the foreign countries where the airlines and foreign governments have to train their civilian airline pilots (in the USA).

My youngest son is 18-years old and he has his commercial certificate; but, he's studying to become an electrical/computer engineer. If a flying opportunity opens up in the future, great, but no one in the flying profession should have all their eggs in one basket. No one can predict the future but I do think there will be a real pilot shortage in this country in 5 to 10 years. If not, every young person must have a back up. Aviation degrees are not a back-up.
 

SIG600

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Posts
1,592
Total Time
375
To add to all that, The military this year for the first time trained more UAV pilots that pilots for manned planes. And very soon they will have a program in place where UAV pilots will not be trained in airplanes prior to flying the UAV.

What rock did you dig this nugget out from under? Because it's not true. What IS true is that the USAF is ramping up (significantly) the UAS program. But to say that military wide more UAS pilots were trained than the rest of us, isn't even close to the truth.

Whoever said GI Bill money doesn't cover flight training, also partley untrue. The Montgomery GI bill remains unchanged. However the Post9/11 GI bill does NOT cover flight training (although it's 10x better than the MGIB in terms of money, schooling, the fact you can pass it on to family/kids, etc.).
 

Secret Squirrel

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2003
Posts
1,257
Total Time
some
How about Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/215825/page/3





In an e-mail, Gen. David Petraeus, who commands the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, praised Schwartz for doing "a particularly impressive job of accelerating" the deployment of UAVs, and helping the troops on the ground. This sort of joint effort may sound unremarkable, but in the annals of Army–Air Force relations, it's practically revolutionary.
In 2007, the year before Schwartz became chief, UAVs were performing 21 combat air patrols at any one time, for a total of just over 100,000 hours. By 2011, they'll reach 54 patrols and almost 350,000 hours. For now, the joystick pilots have to be certified fighter pilots as well.
But Schwartz says this requirement will be dropped
, mainly because there aren't enough fighter pilots to fill the growing demand for UAV crews. "There's no need for them to be pilots," one senior Pentagon official says. "It's sort of like a union regulation."
This year, the Air Force will train more joystick pilots than new fighter and bomber pilots. "If you want to be in the center of the action, this is the place to be," Schwartz says. "It's not a temporary phenomenon…It's a sustainable career path. I've made that very clear." Lt. Col. Travis Burdine, a Predator pilot-from-afar, has gotten the message: "We all joined the Air Force to go flying, but word on the street is that job satisfaction is very high [manning a joystick]. Every day we're doing this, we're in the thick of the fight. We fly 36 [combat air patrols] a day. Where they're happening, the hottest 36 things are going on."

Looks like you need to get your head out from under the rock. The air force is replacing you faster then the Majors are outsourcing.
 
Last edited:
Top