- Mar 25, 2002
- Total Time
Where is the Yipster ... he called it...
He said he is fearful that if there is a shortage, airlines will hire pilots who are technically qualified but don't have the "right stuff."
"If the industry is stretched pretty thin ... that can result in someone getting into the system that maybe isn't really the right person to be a pilot. Not everybody is supposed to be a pilot," Allen said.
Lee Moak, president of the pilots union, said he doubts a pilot shortage will be felt in the U.S. for about three to five years. If U.S. airlines start hiring pilots in large numbers, he said, pilots now flying for foreign carriers will likely return home. There are currently about 90,000 airline pilots in the U.S. and Canada.
"The cost of getting into flying is very expensive," Davis said. "When I talk to college students, if they're coming out of a 4-year collegiate (aviation) program most of them are $150,000 -to- $160,000 in debt. And that only gives them the qualifications to go be a flight instructor. If you're making $20,000 a year as a flight instructor you're lucky."
A shortage in the U.S. will likely first be felt at regional airlines, which tend fly smaller airliners and hire less-experienced pilots than mainline careers. A typical pilot career path is to get hired as a first officer at a regional airline, get promoted to captain and then get hired by a mainline carrier.