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Gravediggers?

Tarzan

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SkyBoy1981

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You have made me see the light. On my next trip I will make sure that the entire crew gets together in the jetway and sings "Kumbaya" before each flight. Time for a group hug!! :rolleyes:

You speak of not complaining about things..yet your username is "tiredofteaching". Classic.
 

Goose Egg

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TiredOfTeaching said:
All the negativity out there will pull you into the hole right with them.

Spot on. I've noticed this not only on this board but in my place of work as well. There's no reason for it, at least not as far as I can tell. I only ever wanted to fly and pay bills. And since I am accomplishing those two items, I'm a happy person, and I sometimes can't comprehend why it doesn't seem to work that way for other people.

Why are we so negative?

I've said this before, but I think it has everything to do with having realistic expectations. For example, some people say that "this career ain't what it used to be," which I interpret to mean that I'll never make more than $100k as a pilot. Ok, now consider how many other people, working day in and day out, will never make $100k/year in their lifetimes. And many of these people have much more education than pilots, and will work harder, and be gone more often, and will work just as many holidays. I have Phd. student friends who envy me because, although I don't get paid well, I get to do what I love and they can tell that it positively affects my life.

So, in the future, pilots will not live in giant mansions and have pools and drive fast, expensive cars. That's fine with me, because that's not why I got into flying in the first place. I never wanted anything more than to fly for a living and have a subdivision house and a normal car. That's a realistic expectation.

One other thing that I think causes us to complain is that we as pilots and human beings tend to look at what other people have accomplished and judge ourselves against it. Don't do this, it will only hurt yourself. All you can expect out of yourself is your best. Life is life, and it is not a zero sum game.

-Goose
 

SkyBoy1981

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So why exactly is our occupation not what it used to be? Simple..because of a group of people who are too passionate about what they do and allow their emotions to stand in the way of what is practical. They are willing to go down to some school in Florida and fork out $120,000+ for someone to make them into an airline pilot. Who cares about money..who cares about work rules...we get to go to work and fly airplanes right? I mean, thats all that matters. Something tells me the professional aviators of the older era didn't see it like this, and that is why they got what they deserved in return.

I'm not saying that I don't enjoy what I do for a living, and I'm also not saying that constantly griping about everything to the point of making yourself miserable is constructive. My point is that a certain amount of b!tching and complaining is sometimes necessary to preserve what is left of our occuptation. If we all just walk around content with what we are given and never fighting for what we really deserve, then where is that going to take us? If, deep down, you like what you do, thats fine...but for the sake of all of us make sure you are getting your fair share of the deal. If that means bitching, then so be it.
 

Goose Egg

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SkyBoy1981 said:
So why exactly is our occupation not what it used to be?Simple..because of a group of people...

Not sure, but my guess would be market forces completely beyond my control as an individual. Sure, you've got guys willing to PFT and work for obscenely small amounts, but there's a lot more to it than that. No one factor, including pilot wages (or lack thereof), is completely responsible.

...who are too passionate about what they do and allow their emotions to stand in the way of what is practical. They are willing to go down to some school in Florida and fork out $120,000+ for someone to make them into an airline pilot...

This is exactly my point about unrealistic expectations. If I had sunk $120K into my flying career, you're darn right that I'd be upset that I didn't have a more favorable payscale. And we all should be aware, by now, that merely forking over cash does not make one an airline pilot. It's all about input vs. output; cost vs. benefit. I put $20k into my flying, plus a 4 year at a state school. A regional job that pays about that much in the first year is fine with me...

Who cares about money..who cares about work rules...we get to go to work and fly airplanes right? I mean, thats all that matters.

...but I certainly wouldn't take $20k per year to fly airplanes indefinitely. Are you kidding? My goal was to eat, pay bills, and fly. $20k ain't going to cut it for very long.

Something tells me the professional aviators of the older era didn't see it like this...

Ever read Fate is the Hunter? You should.

My point is that a certain amount of b!tching and complaining is sometimes necessary to preserve what is left of our occuptation. If we all just walk around content with what we are given and never fighting for what we really deserve...

I agree, to a point. We should speak up if something is not right. But how is it determined what we "really deserve." And who determines it? Is it the pilots? Management? Union kingpins? The customers?

If, deep down, you like what you do, thats fine...but for the sake of all of us make sure you are getting your fair share of the deal.

I'll like it, and it'll be more than "deep down." But what's my fair share?

-Goose
 
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SkyBoy1981

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You're thinking into this way too hard....your fair share is a career with compensation, benefits, and work rules comparable to any other professional career. Your fair share is a company that abides by the pilot's contract. Most professional careers have improved over the years in the way of employee pay and benefits, there is no reason that ours should keep going backwards. Unless, of course, you can't seem to define what it is that you should be getting in the first place.
 

Big Duke Six

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Why do we b!tch?

Good question. If there were anything rational to it, we wouldn't have 250k/yr widebody captains b!tching about not getting their crew meals served to them on china plates. Happiness is a state of mind.

Originally posted by Goose Egg:
I've said this before, but I think it has everything to do with having realistic expectations. For example, some people say that "this career ain't what it used to be," which I interpret to mean that I'll never make more than $100k as a pilot. Ok, now consider how many other people, working day in and day out, will never make $100k/year in their lifetimes. And many of these people have much more education than pilots, and will work harder, and be gone more often, and will work just as many holidays. I have Phd. student friends who envy me because, although I don't get paid well, I get to do what I love and they can tell that it positively affects my life.

So, in the future, pilots will not live in giant mansions and have pools and drive fast, expensive cars. That's fine with me, because that's not why I got into flying in the first place. I never wanted anything more than to fly for a living and have a subdivision house and a normal car. That's a realistic expectation.

One other thing that I think causes us to complain is that we as pilots and human beings tend to look at what other people have accomplished and judge ourselves against it. Don't do this, it will only hurt yourself. All you can expect out of yourself is your best. Life is life, and it is not a zero sum game.

Truer words have never been spoken. I'm happy where I'm at. But hey, I enjoyed flying freight too, because it was the flying I was there for. I dealt with the rest, but the only memories I took from there were of flying and of the people I worked with. If things hold together at F9, I'll be happy making mid-100's as a captain. That's enough. If it's not enough, I can do other things along the way to supplement that. I appreciate how our union has helped us, yet we maintain a healthy working relationship with mgmt. Everyone I've talked to wants the company to stay healthy so they can retire from there some day, and I feel the same way.

I've always been curious: Did ALPA research the financials of the ALPA carriers before getting the wage and benefits packages they did? I'm sure they did, but then why did they not see the writing on the walls when the economy began its downturn in '99-'00? Are they so blind (ignorant?) that they felt they would never have to go backwards once they made the strides upward in wages, even in the face of plummeting travel and fares? I realize how difficult the situations become when the labor groups feel they can't trust mgmt. Union mentalities are fascinating to a degree.
 

Goose Egg

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SkyBoy1981 said:
You're thinking into this way too hard....your fair share is a career with compensation, benefits, and work rules comparable to any other professional career. Your fair share is a company that abides by the pilot's contract.

Believe me, I see your point about having good work rules, benefits, etc.--I truly do--and I completely agree. However, I don't think that you realize that other "professionals," especially at the entry level, have it just as bad (or worse) than we do. Three examples that readily come to mind are sales, public accountants, and medical interns. Believe me, these guys have a lot crappier work rules than us (read no work rules. They are "professionals.")

Another point that Big Duke Six made is that some people seem to think that work rules, benefits, pay, etc. should remain static in a dynamic business environment. Sure, it'd be nice if we could plan on the security of ever-increasing pay and ever-sweetening benefits, but that's just not realistic. A rising tide raises all boats, just as a falling tide lowers them. As it turns out, we can't even plan on the security of ongoing employment, but that's how the working world is nowadays. If this hasn't occured to you, you might not be thinking about this hard enough.

Most professional careers have improved over the years in the way of employee pay and benefits, there is no reason that ours should keep going backwards.

Define improved. The way I see it, many are in decline, not just us.

-Goose
 
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UnAnswerd

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Goose Egg said:
some people say that "this career ain't what it used to be," which I interpret to mean that I'll never make more than $100k as a pilot.

100K??? Not for nothing, but if you can't live off of even 50K, you have issues. If I made 50K, I'd feel pretty wealthy indeed.
 

SkyBoy1981

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Goose Egg said:
Believe me, I see your point about having good work rules, benefits, etc.--I truly do--and I completely agree. However, I don't think that you realize that other "professionals," especially at the entry level, have it just as bad (or worse) than we do. Three examples that readily come to mind are sales, public accountants, and medical interns. Believe me, these guys have a lot crappier work rules than us (read no work rules. They are "professionals.")

Another point that Big Duke Six made is that some people seem to think that work rules, benefits, pay, etc. should remain static in a dynamic business environment. Sure, it'd be nice if we could plan on the security of ever-increasing pay and ever-sweetening benefits, but that's just not realistic. A rising tide raises all boats, just as a falling tide lowers them. As it turns out, we can't even plan on the security of ongoing employment, but that's how the working world is nowadays. If this hasn't occured to you, you might not be thinking about this hard enough.



Define improved. The way I see it, many are in decline, not just us.

-Goose

Perhaps, but how long do they have to stay at this "entry level" before getting anywhere? There is also not a "race to the bottom" going on in these other industries that you speak of. Thanks to the Mesas, Freedoms, and GoJets of our industry things only keep getting worse. My only point was that sometimes we have to bitch a little or we end up just like them.
 

SkyBoy1981

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UnAnswerd said:
100K??? Not for nothing, but if you can't live off of even 50K, you have issues. If I made 50K, I'd feel pretty wealthy indeed.

....and its people like this that contribute largely to the problem. Thanks for proving my point.
 

Goose Egg

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SkyBoy1981 said:
My only point was that sometimes we have to bitch a little or we end up just like them.

Point taken and agreed upon.

unanswerd said:
100K??? Not for nothing, but if you can't live off of even 50K, you have issues. If I made 50K, I'd feel pretty wealthy indeed.

skyboy said:
...and its people like this that contribute largely to the problem. Thanks for proving my point.

I don't think that unanswerd is saying that pilots should max out at $50k, no, not at all. I just think he's saying that if any given person can't live off $50k (depending on area of the country and family situation) then they have some moderate to serious financial management skill deficits.

To extend the hypothetical, I don't see myself working as an airline pilot for $50k for an extended period of time. Maybe 75 though.

-Goose
 
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FN FAL

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UnAnswerd said:
100K??? Not for nothing, but if you can't live off of even 50K, you have issues. If I made 50K, I'd feel pretty wealthy indeed.
It's all in what you do with it.

My wife's brother used to room with us a while back. I was making about 25,000.00 a year as a mechanical assembler, drove a new Camry, owned a motorcycle and had no problem scaping up enough dough to make payments on 1/3 of a turbo 300 series cessna twin. He was making almost 40,000.00 a year and dove a beater, didn't have a pot to pee in and was broke all the time.
 

UnAnswerd

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SkyBoy1981 said:
....and its people like this that contribute largely to the problem. Thanks for proving my point.

And what was your point? That you can't live without earning $100,000/year? For Christs sake, you steer an airplane. What, do you think you're worth millions???
 

SkyBoy1981

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UnAnswerd said:
And what was your point? That you can't live without earning $100,000/year? For Christs sake, you steer an airplane. What, do you think you're worth millions???
....and he continues to prove my point. You'd better just shush while you're still ahead and before the real hardcores come along.

I hear GoJets is hiring if you're interested in a job. You seem to fit the profile well.
 

cynic

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Because flying is easy. It doesn't take years of study, it takes 60K and a few months at pilots R Us. Its easier than college, hell, its probably easier than high school calculus, and ANY moron with cash can get the certificates.

Thus....
We have RJ pilots that say 'Dude watch this' as they crash
We have Beech 1900 pilots that don't understand VMC or weight and balance
Pilots that show up drunk
You get the idea....

and 99.99999% of the time a chimp will do just fine anyway so thats what we have.

Now flame on, but its just reality. Should we pay more and get better pilots, perhaps some sort of vetting system... thats another debate and not my point.

But as for why wages are low... because airlines are willing to take the folks that work for 20K a year and they know 99.99999% of the time, the moron will do just fine.
 

SkyBoy1981

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cynic said:
We have Beech 1900 pilots that don't understand VMC or weight and balance.
You really should educate yourself at least a little bit on this crash before you get on a message board and ridicule the dead pilots.
 

coolyokeluke

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cynic said:
Because flying is easy. It doesn't take years of study, it takes 60K and a few months at pilots R Us. Its easier than college, hell, its probably easier than high school calculus, and ANY moron with cash can get the certificates.

Thus....
We have RJ pilots that say 'Dude watch this' as they crash
We have Beech 1900 pilots that don't understand VMC or weight and balance
Pilots that show up drunk
You get the idea....

and 99.99999% of the time a chimp will do just fine anyway so thats what we have.

Now flame on, but its just reality. Should we pay more and get better pilots, perhaps some sort of vetting system... thats another debate and not my point.

But as for why wages are low... because airlines are willing to take the folks that work for 20K a year and they know 99.99999% of the time, the moron will do just fine.

OK flying isn't brain surgery but it's certainly not THAT easy. Did you ever teach somebody with PHd's or master's degrees in fields like physics and it took a WHOLE lot of time before they "got it"? Why is a Bonanza called a "doctor killer"? And yes, given enough time most people will eventually be able to do it. But will they be able to hack the pace of learning/flying the sim at a 121 ground school? Some can and some can't. There was a large number of applicants compared to folks who got the job where I'm at. True, some "chimps" get in but most have pretty decent credentials. Pilots are driven folks who can withold instant gratification. Thus they compete for $20k a year with the expectation that it will get much better. Yes I agree that's too low, same old problem of supply and demand.
Are there drunk pilots, and rogues, and people who don't have a clue? Sure. But if you look at the overall record the industry does a very good job, and I would argue the safety record wouldn't be what it is if people in this field were as bad as you say.
 

hindsight2020

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Well Listen, the problem with the "realistic expectation" argument is that the threshold is all over the freggin' place, going from individual to individual. I read some people's take on it and I sit in awe. Nobody considers being able to make 75K and being frugal an unrealistic expectation. The problem in aviation is that the "entry level" period never ends! It is absolutely ridiculous. And those who minimize that REALITY are on the atypical side of the compensation scale.

People aren't bitching because they might not reach the six figure mark, yeah a lot are in that track, but most down in the pits are bitchin' because they're 10 years into the dream and can't top out 30K! And that's ridiculous. Rolling around the hamster wheel looking for a crappy job, but guess what, you can't get that crappy job so instead you gotta get a crappiER job to build experience just for the crappy job, and on and on up the prescribed ladder until people get tired of the bullsh$t. That's the problem, it's not spoiled Capts whinning about the low quality caviar,although they are part of a different problem, it's boatload full of people who can't pay the bills.

Few industries with technical skills (such as we the flying a$$clowns)have entry-level conditions that prescribe a "get out of the business" result to the cost-benefit question FROM THE GET-GO. And don't give me that sh%t about doctors slaving on their residencies, yeah 45K is real rough on a single 27yo. But aviation, nooo , here you get a degree and then a Masters , maybe a Phd while you're at it, since a TAship pays more part-time than what a GOOD salaried full-time CFI job pays (the math on that one still gives me nightmares), and still you're freggin' pulling the slave hours on the second job just to meet a reasonable age-adjusted subsistence index. Simply putting your nose to the grindstone and hoping for the best while you suck dirt for 10 years like a commited little pilot is simply foolish and to suggest that 'attitude' is the key to succcess in this business is naive and ultimately biased by the dynamics of those who judge the condition of any matter based on their particular circumstance, without opening themselves to the possibility that maybe just maybe, those who are born rounding 3rd base and those at the plate with a holed-up wiffle bat don't quite have the same condition, and 'attitude' (read the subjecitve quantification of 'realistic expectations') has sh%t to do with it.

Solution? Break the vice. Knock down the incentive for people to want to be Kobe. This country is addicted to the myth of its own dream, and everybody pledges alliegance to the same feeble dream in hopes of recouping the investment placed in their loyalties (read whoring out for the big time, you know the Eminem rags to riches bull). Break that cycle and perhaps this industry might kick back the usual supply/demand gridlock. Nobody makes 200K anymore, people at the bottom get bracketed up, no expectations of blowing up. Do that, those who wanted the big time are dis-incetivized (sp?) and those who truly value their professional worth are able to EAT and perform a duty with pride. Idealistic, perhaps, but I rather do that than whore out to a stupid high school speech about 'having the right attitude'.... I might be poor (ask the IRS they got tables for it) but at least I'm not a punk.

Wow, I feel better and I don't even want to be an airline pilot :D
 

Goose Egg

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hindsight2020 said:
The problem in aviation is that the "entry level" period never ends! It is absolutely ridiculous.

No, I completely understand what you are saying here, and I agree with your point. Making $30k after 10 years in is a legitimate concern. I'm not saying that it's a risk I'm unwilling to run, but it if it did happen to me, I'd definitely do something about it--maybe even a career change. Like I said, I like flying, but I like eating too. I'm just remaining (perhaps foolishly) optimistic that it won't be a choice between the two.

Here's a quote from myself from an earlier post...

Goose said:
...but I certainly wouldn't take $20k per year to fly airplanes indefinitely. Are you kidding? My goal was to eat, pay bills, and fly. $20k ain't going to cut it for very long.

Make that $30K as well.

And don't give me that sh%t about doctors slaving on their residencies, yeah 45K is real rough on a single 27yo.

First of all, you don't know that all interns are single. Second of all, they've got a STACK of debt. And third of all, they really, and mean REALLY put in the time. The comment about medical interns wasn't so much about pay, it was about working conditions and "duty day." A medical intern's working conditions are ostensibly much worse than ours. That's all I was trying to say.

But aviation, nooo , here you get a degree and then a Masters , maybe a Phd while you're at it, since a TAship pays more part-time than what a GOOD salaried full-time CFI job pays...

If you think a Phd. is going to help you in flying, you're smoking something.

Simply putting your nose to the grindstone and hoping for the best while you suck dirt for 10 years like a commited little pilot is simply foolish...

It's not foolish, it's risky. There's a difference. Success and risk are mutually inclusive.

and to suggest that 'attitude' is the key to succcess in this business is naive and ultimately biased by the dynamics of those who judge the condition of any matter based on their particular circumstance...

I think you are missing my point here. I never meant to imply that if one just has a "chipper" attitude and does their job like a brave little soldier that everything will work out fine for them. I'm sorry if that's what came across. What I meant to say is that success in this business, or what I would term "success," comes from risk, hard work in uncertainty, strategy, luck, sacrifice, and a realistic expectation for the results of said traits. Will I ever fly for a major? You know, probably not. That's fine. That's a realistic expectation. Are there other ways that I can fly for a living and have a fulfilling career? Yeah, as long as I don't tell myself that I'm a failure if I don't get this one job or tell myself that I should be making $XXk by a certain point in my career. Things take time, sometimes more time than expected. And if I did luck out and fly for a major, that'd just be icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.

And what if because of unforeseen circumstances I can't fly for a living? Well, that's fine too. I'll figure something else out, and I'll still be a happy person. (Heaven knows I have a whole list of plan B's!) Hell, I'll just go fly gliders in addition to a "normal" job. I've got my CFI-G already and I don't need a medical.

Gosh, you guys are way too serious. You need to calm down and enjoy life. You're worrying yourselves into an early grave.

...without opening themselves to the possibility that maybe just maybe, those who are born rounding 3rd base and those at the plate with a holed-up wiffle bat don't quite have the same condition, and 'attitude' (read the subjecitve quantification of 'realistic expectations') has sh%t to do with it.

Sorry dude, I lost you there. Wiffle bat?

Nobody makes 200K anymore, people at the bottom get bracketed up, no expectations (emphasis added) of blowing up. Do that, those who wanted the big time are dis-incetivized (sp?) and those who truly value their professional worth are able to EAT and perform a duty with pride.

Is there an echo in here? I think that's what I've been trying to say all along-- realistic expectations. (And I think that'd be "disincentive-ized.")

Idealistic, perhaps, but I rather do that than whore out to a stupid high school speech about 'having the right attitude'.... I might be poor (ask the IRS they got tables for it) but at least I'm not a punk.

Yeah, a bit. But I'm idealistic enough to believe that success can be had somewhere in this industry. There are plenty of examples of it around.

Oh, and just for the record, I don't think I ever used the word "attitude."

-Goose
 
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