Food for thought

Ned

Active member
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Posts
39
Total Time
500
As a solution to our glut of pilots, the root cause of all the industry's employment woes, why not make it exceedingly difficult to become a pilot?

For example, as its been pointed out, when XYZ airline can't get any 2000 hour pilots, they don't raise the pay, they lower the qualifications until they find the guys that will take the job.

Why not advocate for the FAA to make it very difficult to become a commercial pilot. So when XYZ can't find a pilot, the pay goes up until they do. They can't dip below the commercial minimums can they? Maybe require 1000 hours for a commercial license or a master's degree in a science field from an accredited university. This won't eliminate the bozos, it would just eliminate a lot of people and kill the supply of pilots.

It seems like a good bit of effort is spent for naught in an effort to keep up those employment standards. Embry Riddle will fill every one of those CFI slots if a strike happens. There are just too many pilots out there that need a job. No amount of moaning will change that!
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
There is more to commercial flying than flying for an airline. What does the kid who wants to tow banners do? Would you ask him to get a masters degree to pilot that pawnee or cub, and a thousand hours paid privately before he can tow that banner? Why, for a paltry hundred thousand dollars, he could then meet the minimum entry level qualifications and make five dollars an hour.

Seems a high price to make the industry pay in order to boost your own entry level wage, doesn't it?

You're talking apples and oranges. There is no correlation between the minimum certification requirements, and industry competitive minimums. The hiring market is based on supply and demand, on free enterprise. Create a requirement for thousand your commercial pilots, and you'll still have thousand hour pilots hired, only with no practical experience behind them. That is not progress.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Raising the quals

You'll still get plenty of people and, er, bozos who want to be pilots. I remember twenty years ago or so when you needed 200 hours to get an instrument rating. That didn't stop people who wanted the rating. The hours minima were establish to set a certain experience requirement. People would have to bore a lot of holes in the sky to meet the 1000 hour minimum and they would not learn much in the process.

Even if you establish 1000 hours for commercial requirements and/or a Masters requirement, you won't ferret out as many wannabes as you might think. And, those who remain, 1000 hours, Master's and all, will still work for nuthin' to have a job. Moreover, as you noted, companies fix their mins in jello. That assures them that they will always have an applicant pool from which to draw. And, no pilot shortage to worry about, until they run short of 250-hour pilots. Someone in another discussion made that astute observation as we attempt to define "pilot shortage."

The ERAU situation is a microcosm of the business at large. Have a strike and hire scabs, if it comes to that. I always felt that ERAU students received a first-rate education. Now, here comes a real-world education opportunity in the area of labor relations.
 
Last edited:

publisher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
592
Total Time
20,000
Business

In a good many of these discussions, it seems to get lost that all of these opportunities are BUSINESSES. They are not there to happily employ pilots at what they seem to feel that they are worth.

I am empathetic with pilots to a point but I get so tired of hearing we are going to do this and that because pilots are not getting what they deserve as someone will do it cheaper and maybe even better.

In most business, that is how it is everyday.... Joe the local saleman is always going to be concerned that he will be replaced by someone else. Same with management, same with data entry clerks.

There was an article today that said Boeing was looking at buying up used aircraft to keep new discount airlines from forming. Now that is the good old American way,
 

TMMT

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Posts
21,654
Total Time
Alot
Ahemmm…

Pardon me, but isn’t it already hard enough as it is to reach the commercial license? And what about the ATP?

How many folks start training every year, how many complete the PPL, CMEL or go on to achieve the ATP?

When I was training in the late 80’s I had to achieve my PPL before I could attend any of ERAU’s flight courses, once there I was shelling out colossal amounts of money for the privilege to learn to fly on top of pursuing my degree.

When I left Riddle I was a newly minted CMEL, broke and no job insight. The job market had yet begun to boom and I had no capital for my CFI so I returned home and promptly went to work with a local Sheriffs Dept working in the Detention Center. I flew about once a week, rental, mostly VFR local stuff harassing the tower operators in the pattern of my local airport. It took about 6 months and the acquaintances of my family to land me a flying gig in a 310, flying for FREE!!!

Two guys owned a 310 and used it for business trips; both were rated pilots but needed to concentrate their time on work but ran on a shoestring budget. My current job schedule was 4 on 3 off and I needed the time, it was IFR multi… and the rest was history.

I ran that scheme for about a year and a half, building up around 700 hours of multi time before I even landed my first interview, for a King Air position. I hired on and had to relocate to Texas for not much more than a penance but it was all that was out there at the time. The road to my current job has been long and hard, full of ups and downs and I have suffered just as all the other pro pilots have. I’ve worked part-time jobs to make ends meet, I’ve fueled and washed planes, slung hash at the local choke-n-puke and even worked in retail (a thankless endeavor if there ever was one).

The point I am trying to make is this, it’s already hard enough to become a pro pilot regardless of your flying goals, be them the airlines, fractionals or corporate, to place even more demands upon and already demanding profession would probably kill it off at least from the civilian point of things.

What we should be concentrating on is getting a grip on reckless management running our airlines into the grounds for the fastest and most expedient profit possible. These people know that the financial winds will change and their life expectancy as a CEO or CFO is at best 5 years, therefore they try to impose as much as they can in as short a time as they can, all the while visions of beach houses dance in their heads.

We should begin to educate the flying public and the public in general to the real concerns of aviation so that everytime some self-appointed aviation expert parading around behind the facade of a journalist begins to slander our occupation they will have the knowledge to counter it.

Lets not become our own worse enemy here, we have enough enemies in this phone booth as it is, and to start a knife fight in such a cramped space would be occupational suicide.

TMMT
 

trainerjet

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2002
Posts
507
Total Time
8000+
Re: Business

publisher said:
In a good many of these discussions, it seems to get lost that all of these opportunities are BUSINESSES. They are not there to happily employ pilots at what they seem to feel that they are worth.

I am empathetic with pilots to a point but I get so tired of hearing we are going to do this and that because pilots are not getting what they deserve as someone will do it cheaper and maybe even better.

And I am getting tired of your so-called "business" point of view, which is invariably anti-pilot. Perhaps you should start a message board for pilot-bashing management types. Maybe you'd be more welcome there. Or just go back to that sad-sack "business" of yours: your AviationCareer.Net magazine. Aviation career......yeah, right!!
 

uwochris

Flightinfo's sexiest user
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Posts
381
Total Time
2500+
raise the standards!

I agree, I think the standards should definetly be raised. Not so much in the sense of hours to certification, but in terms of added testing.

For instance, some of the aviation college programs here in Canada require you to get a certain GPA before they allow you to fly. Another college only accepts the top 30 students into flying after the first year at college. The downside to programs like this is that some people end up wasting a year (ie. those that don't make the cut). The upside is that there will be more motivation to do well.

I think all flight schools and colleges should adapt a zero tolerance level to people wishing to fly commercially. I like the idea of some sort of standard being set like I mentionned above, or some type of testing whereby if you fail X amount of quizes, you have to leave.

Might sound unfair but I think it would be for the best.
 

avbug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,602
Total Time
n/a
Trainerjet,

Perhaps rather than bash other posters, your time might be more constructively spent addressing the question posed in the opening entry in this thread.

Publisher is right. Companies are businesses.

Establishing higher levels of experience as suggested will only damage the industry, and will do nothing to increase wages or benifits. This is a rather complex issue, but so long as people are willing to pay for their jobs, and sell their souls at any price to do a job that a welfare applicant would reject as paying too little...things will continue.

You may as well set the entry level requirement at 5,000 hours; it won't change a thing.

Granted, there may be less pilots to choose from as less and less people are able to break into the system, but this is selectively the same thing that pay for training programs do at the entry level. Rather than address pools of qualified applicants and picking the best ones for the job, companies look at those who can pay the most for their jobs.

There is NO benifit to be gained in hacking out the legs from under the industry. The future of the industry is the generation of kids just cutting their first zit, first setting foot in a junior high school classroom. Make it so tough that they dont' dare dream of a career in aviation, and we have accomplished nothing.

Those who try to make an industry prosper by shutting down the foundation of the industry soon find that they lie in their own filth.

Allow the youngsters to flourish...think about it. You won't get higher on the seniority chain until they hire in under you...you need them.

There is NO "glut" of piots. There is no shortage of pilots. There is an industry, and it hires and fires as demand dictates. This occurs because the industry is run by businesses. Pilots don't pay pilots; companies pay pilots. This isn't rocket science.

Kill the supply of pilots...what a winner. Why not just kill the pilots themselves? What's the difference? So long as we're to consider such a ridiculous concept, why not just turn to traditional decimation...kill every tenth man in order to shave down the numbers and motivate the troops. Hannibal did it. Mussolini did it. Hitler in varying ranks did it. Why not the aviation industry today? Rather than choke out those struggling to get an equal chance at making their livlihood, let's just stamp them out of existence to "better" ourselves?

What a ridiculous idea.
 

Speedtree

lovin' life
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Posts
193
Total Time
4000
Easy Boy. Just because you may be right and disagree with him doesn't mean he is neccessarily wrong. Pilots like to fly, CEOs like to make money. It takes management to run an airline and it takes pilots to fly one. The trick is trying to get them to work together to create a business where everyone is happy and the company has some longevity.

I think of professional sports. All we see are the high-profile athletes making 10s of millions of dollars/year and the owners trying to make money and win the championship. Granted we are providing a different kind of service but what about all those guys who love to play baseball traveling around the country in a bus, earning peanuts on some AA ballclub. They do it because they have a dream and they love to play baseball.

Most of them knew what they were getting into and for the most part, most pilots do too. I have no illusions that if I decide to work for an airline everything will be perfect.

But we can keep trying.
 

Speedtree

lovin' life
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Posts
193
Total Time
4000
My reply was for trainerjet not Avbug. I type or think too slow, or both.
 

trainerjet

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2002
Posts
507
Total Time
8000+
Not only is Avbug the expert on all subjects known to aviation, he is also an expert on the best way for me to spend my time. Thanks...I'll take it under advisement.


SpeedTree, et.al.....my point being that the views of the "publisher" are a bit skewed for someone that proposes advice on how to further your aviation career....presumably as a pilot. Maybe if you send him some money to help further his "business", he will help you further yours??????

OK....management bashing over. My opinion on the subject of this thread...like most others that have voiced theirs, I believe it is a bad idea and would never work. It's a supply and demand issue, not a "qualification" issue. Arbitrarily raising the minimum standards for certification would serve only to raise the minimums for certification.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Certification demand and supply

American flight schools could lose business if the hours mins were upped, and here's why. American pilot students could go abroad to earn their certificates! Before you discount this notion, think about it. Commercial certification requirements in most countries are somewhere at 250 hours. Then, I read somewhere that because of post-911 immigration crackdowns, many European would-be students are turning to Australia as a source of flight training. So, you could see Americans who would normally consider training here go abroad and spend their U.S. dollars for flight training. Then, they would come back and convert their foreign licenses to U.S. certificates merely by taking the writtens and practicals.

I'm sure the Florida congressional delegation would be thrilled to see that happen. :rolleyes:

Realistically, I believe that ICAO, of which the U.S. is a member and signatory, sets forth the hour and training requirements for certification.

Hey, uwochris, did I read correctly on the Transport Canada site that you need only 150 hours for a CPL? I read that on what appeared to be the Canadian equivalent of the PTS. If so, I find that hard to believe.
 

uwochris

Flightinfo's sexiest user
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Posts
381
Total Time
2500+
Hey Bobby,

The 150 hours you saw on TC is NOT a mistake; however, there is a catch.

The catch is that you have to be registered in part of Canada' new "Integrated Commercial Pilot License" program (ICPL). Only a handful schools in all of Canada offer it. This new program set out by TC in Canada was designed to make flight training a lot more structured. As an ICPL student, you must solo within a certain amount of time, you must have your PPL in a certain amount of time, you must must not take breaks in between your training, etc etc. Also, in my program (I'm not sure if this is part of my school or ICPL) but we have weekly quizes at groundschool and we are not allowed to miss more than X amount of classes (not sure of the number). Also, the minimum groundschool time was changed... as part of the ICPL, going from PPL, CPL, MIFR... we get over 430 hours of required groundschool training. This is a big jump from the prior number.

Also, the ICPL was designed to be more easily converted to FAA or JAA licensing.

I'm sorry I don't more about the ICPL program and it's regulations, but it has received a lot of positive feedback from Canadian companies and foreign ones as well.

Here is a link from TC's website on a Q and A about the ICPL:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/civilaviation/general/flttrain/Integrated/Q&A.htm
 
Last edited:

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Canadian CPL requirements v. U.S. Commercial requirements

Thanks, Chris, very interesting. I copied the following from the site to which Chris referred:

4. Why do we need two pathways to the commercial licence?


Most of the world uses two pathways. ICAO specifies “approved” and “unapproved” courses. Until the eighties, Canada always had approved and unapproved courses. As it is less structured, the regular course will continue to call for more overall flight experience, e.g. 200 hours vs 150 hours for CPL(A) course.

(emphasis added)

Still, it's fewer hours than a Part 61 Commercial certificate. Just the same, I would doubt that the FAA would ever impose higher mins than 250 hours, as Avbug opined above.

Some schools have established minimum grades for moving on to the next step. E.g., MAPD requires a B average in all flight courses for students to get the coveted "interview."
 

publisher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
592
Total Time
20,000
Thanks

Thanks for the defense.

There are some that think that if you are so egregious as to post an opinion in disagreement with the whine, you are anti pilot and pro management.

Will Rogers said that if you want to talk to someone, first walk around behind them and look at things from their point of view.

The trouble here is that there is a good deal of myopia. By the way, to clear up something, my magazine is about aviation careers. That includes management, flight attendants, maintenance, dispatch, customer service , FBO's, and a bunch of others besides pilots.

The point was and is that these are businesses.
To think that an airline or any other kind of business and employee groups can live in some vacuum and not be subjected to the vulnerabilities of competition is unrealistic. Life is competition and that is what keeps the overall system in line.
 
Top