Furloughed Midwest Capt. Scott B. Kaley, of Hilton Head S.C., wrote this in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, today, in the Editorial page (also at http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/39999982.html).
Lessons to be learned about flying experience
An examination of recent events in the aviation industry begs the question "why?" Let's examine the two most recent airline disasters that had entirely different outcomes, US1549 and CO3407. It might be a prudent consideration before the Milwaukee traveling public books its next airline ticket.
One of the nasty little secrets that the airline companies don't want the traveling public to know is that although the ticket was sold as a Continental Airlines flight, the actual company doing the flying was Colgan Airways of Manassas, Va. Airline companies really hate paying experienced airline pilot salaries and would rather subcontract flying out to the lowest bidder - as opposed to paying their own employees - as a cost-savings measure.
Of course, the results are quite predictable when the combined flying experience aboard most mainline air carriers is greater than the combined ages of those flying at regional air carriers. US 1549 piloted by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger that ditched into the Hudson River had a much different outcome than did Continental 3407, where it would appear that pilot error might be to blame.
Experienced airline crews don't get paid because of the days when it's sunny and everything is going well. We get paid to ensure everyone entrusted to our care during flight goes home alive at the end of the day, regardless of the circumstances.
As a furloughed airline pilot from Midwest Airlines with nearly 25 years and 15,000 hours of flying experience, I expect history to repeat itself until the traveling public stops falling for the bait-and-switch tactics the airline industry employs in the name of cost savings.
Capt. Scott B. Kaley
Hilton Head, S.C.Is it just me, or is he saying that only those flying BIG JETS for BIG PAY are safe behind the wheel? I mean he's right about "subcontracting to the lowest bidder," but has he really declared the BUF crash to be pilot error? What does he know about the crash that the NTSB and the rest of us don't?