Pilots hope and wait for Sully's, Colgan accident and unions to enhance their careers

Rez O. Lewshun

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There are plenty of post on FI discussing the impact of the Colgan hearings and press coverage. Many pilots are hoping that govt and unions will respond and make changes to their careers.

The old as dirt question is, when are pilots going to do for pilots what pilots need? Why wait and hope for other people and tragic events to occur? Has this tactic worked?

The reason why this career is not better is because there is too much apathy and cynicism. Too many pilots willing to accept the status quo. Recall, during the Professions infancy, pilots gave their representation copies of their resignation letters. Going to management with a fist full of resignation letters.... now that is leverage!


The question is... what are YOU doing to enhance your career and our profession?

You don't have to run for union office or be a committee chairman..... But there are little acts that make a big difference. The key is everyone doing a little bit, not a few people doing everything.

A small contribution to CAPA-PAC or ALPA-PAC
Attend one or two unions meetings. This is three or six hours of your time each year.
Join a committee. Many committee only require 5-10 hours a month. This can be accomplished on layovers and productivity sits.
Picket or demonstrate for your own pilot group or another.


The managing of pilot careers is political. It is nothing but political. The needs and wants of 90,000 pilots is miniscule compared to the needs of 305 million Americans and the corporations that control the money. But when significant minority percentages of 90,000 pilots participate, the apathy and open invitation for others to speak for us is loud and clear.

Defending and promoting the profession is slow and arduous work. If you are looking for instant gratification, this is not the place. But your career is a 20-30+ course of endurance....


Stop waiting for Sully's and horrific accidents to convince others to do for you what you are not willing to do for yourself.....


Won't you participate in the profession? Who knows, the career you save might be your own.......
 

Whine Lover

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Q: ".. what are YOU doing to enhance your career.."

A: " Flying as much as possible. Picking up overtime and VJA while the company is furloughing. Not paying any attention to Unions, message boards, or my fellow workers who do get involved and try to participate and keep informed. I'm just going to work as much as possible so that I might enhance MY financial position."


Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was....



YKMKR
 

Sonny Crockett

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Q: ".. what are YOU doing to enhance your career.."

A: " Flying as much as possible. Picking up overtime and VJA while the company is furloughing. Not paying any attention to Unions, message boards, or my fellow workers who do get involved and try to participate and keep informed. I'm just going to work as much as possible so that I might enhance MY financial position."


Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was....



YKMKR
Boy aint that the TRUTH!

Sounds like 75% of UNITED pilots.......
 

WayBack

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Pilots have to look to the gov. because they have no faith in ALPA, and why should they?
They've been dancing around the same rest and duty times for the last 30-40yrs....they sure as hell have a convention or two every year, just to work on duty/rest times. But the pictures of last years trip in Canada, showed to be a more successful fishing trip.

The only thing ALPA has been quick to act on, was the Age 65 rule. Boy, they really helped out the pilot groups with that one!
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Pilots have to look to the gov. because they have no faith in ALPA, and why should they?
They've been dancing around the same rest and duty times for the last 30-40yrs....they sure as hell have a convention or two every year, just to work on duty/rest times. But the pictures of last years trip in Canada, showed to be a more successful fishing trip.

The only thing ALPA has been quick to act on, was the Age 65 rule. Boy, they really helped out the pilot groups with that one!

What do you suggest unions do differently? And where does pilot apathy come into play?
 

UALjan15

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Defending and promoting the profession is slow and arduous work. If you are looking for instant gratification, this is not the place. But your career is a 20-30+ course of endurance....


Stop waiting for Sully's and horrific accidents to convince others to do for you what you are not willing to do for yourself.....
Rez, this mantra of yours hasn't been working very well, has it? Maybe it's time to rethink your approach.

I think that we would all agree that the Congress has a lot on its plate right now, and pilot pay, training, working conditions, etc are going to be so far down on the list that they won't warrant anything other than a few soundbites and maybe some subcommittee hearings. Nothing more, unless something happens to put it on the front burner.

What gets something to the front burner? It's called groundswell, and I'll use a recent example. The AIG executive bonuses pissed the entire nation off, and it didn't take long for every congressman/senator to have their office flooded with calls, e-mails, etc. The issue got so hot that it soon trumped all other congressional business. So how do pilots create this kind of groundswell?

The first step is shedding blood. Done. Colgan did their best to provide a perfect recipe of inexperience, incompetence, fatigue, poor training, and some of the ramifications of poor pay (excessive commutes, second jobs). The NTSB highlighted it all, and the press picked up on it, leading to a couple of days of newspaper and video coverage of the problems. To make it even better, Sully and crew provided an excellent counterpoint where the public can see just what an experienced crew is worth. Is this enough to create a groundswell of public outcry? I say no way.

If aviation returns to safe and uneventful operations, this will naturally pass with no reform. To take it to the next level requires further education of the public. What's the quickest way to educate the public these days? I would say a YouTube expose that is so shocking that it gets people to link to a website that has the sole purpose of educating laymen of our plight, never forgetting that the internet public has ADHD and needs "high impact" content. Stuff like training records for weak pilots, Mesa camping trips, puppy mill pilot schools/low hour F/Os. Just lay it all out there in a way that will piss the most number of people off.

At the end of the website "experience," provide links for people to sound off to the FAA and their congressmen. The goal is create a "spike" of concern that gets Congress concerned, and then ALPA-PAC can take it from there.

Your mistake, Rez, is that you think that enough effort and money, applied through the unions, will fix the problem (given a few decades). Maybe if we were the UAW, we might do better--but in the end I just think we're too small. We can't generate enough $$ to grease the number of palms that it takes to do things "old school." I think we need a fresh approach; one that gets congress asking us "what do we need to do to fix this," as opposed to wandering the halls of congress with a couple of lobbyists tugging at their pantlegs.

After years of reading your same old schtick, I'm interested to see if you can expand your playbook.
 

727Niteflyer

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so look at the duty regs. How many people have died and although never a direct result, fatigue has been a factor. Gov't wont change the duty regs, whats a pilot to do, besides use the F word ?
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Your mistake, Rez, is that you think that enough effort and money, applied through the unions, will fix the problem (given a few decades). Maybe if we were the UAW, we might do better--but in the end I just think we're too small. We can't generate enough $$ to grease the number of palms that it takes to do things "old school." I think we need a fresh approach; one that gets congress asking us "what do we need to do to fix this," as opposed to wandering the halls of congress with a couple of lobbyists tugging at their pantlegs.
Sounds good... HOW do we get congress to ask us "what do we need to do to fix this," ??? Do we wait? Do we act?

As I said in the first post. Congress represents 305 million Americans. In addition, they are influenced by the big gun lobbyist for the heavy hitters. So how do we squeeze in there?


After years of reading your same old schtick, I'm interested to see if you can expand your playbook.
The same old schtick? When has increased pilot participation been the same ol song and dance. It has never been. That is the problem. As a group we accept the status quo. The professional pilot culture is apathy and cynicism.

Are you saying increased pilot participation as described above will be futile? How do you know? It has never been tried.

When has there been 10,000 plus pilots in uniform on the DC Mall? Are we willing to do that?

Our particaption is something we can control right now. Influencing congress is much more competitve and difficult. So what is $5 to ones union PAC? 5 hours of volunteer time a month? 5 hours of LEC attendance per year?



So how do we get congress to come to us?
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Can you ever answer someone without using another question?

Provide suggestion for unions to do things differently.

Analyze pilot apathy and how it effects career effectiveness....
 

UALjan15

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Sounds good... HOW do we get congress to ask us "what do we need to do to fix this," ??? Do we wait? Do we act?
I think the whole point of my post was answering this question. I'll dumb it down: Get the constituents pissed off so that they flood their representatives and the FAA with concern. How? Go read the post again.


The same old schtick? When has increased pilot participation been the same ol song and dance. It has never been. That is the problem. As a group we accept the status quo. The professional pilot culture is apathy and cynicism.
No, the same old schtick refers to your one-man campaign on FI calling for more pilot participation. I will agree that it has never been tried. I also don't think that it ever will be tried, despite your best efforts to convince us all of the merit. The question I'm trying to get you to consider is this: given the current level of pilot participation and lobbying dollars, how can we best apply that to enact real reform?

I threw out an idea about trying to educate the public with the goal of creating a groundswell. I don't think it's been tried, and I think in today's internet society, we have to adapt and evolve. I was hoping you'd comment on that, instead of going back to your usual playbook. Does it hurt much banging your head up against that wall?
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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I think the whole point of my post was answering this question.
I disagree. I think you just came up with a witty way to fall back on apathy.


I'll dumb it down: Get the constituents pissed off so that they flood their representatives and the FAA with concern. How? Go read the post again.
I'll ask again.. HOW do you get the constituents pissed off? You've got to provide details.

Also what is the lastest with AIG.... have we seen real reform?



No, the same old schtick refers to your one-man campaign on FI calling for more pilot participation. I will agree that it has never been tried.
So there is an idea that you agree has never been tired. Active participation. We will never know what kind of repsonse we will get if pilots don't give it a shot.

Or said this way: if pilots become activist would it help?

I also don't think that it ever will be tried, despite your best efforts to convince us all of the merit. The question I'm trying to get you to consider is this: given the current level of pilot participation and lobbying dollars, how can we best apply that to enact real reform?

I threw out an idea about trying to educate the public with the goal of creating a groundswell. I don't think it's been tried, and I think in today's internet society, we have to adapt and evolve. I was hoping you'd comment on that, instead of going back to your usual playbook.
Did the Indians wait for the British to fix things for them?

Did the Blacks wait for the Southerners to end segregation?


Does it hurt much banging your head up against that wall?
Not sure if you participate or not. By this thread, I would say no, but message boards are a poor way to understand others.....

Waiting for a groundswell (as you suggest) or grassroots movement is passive. Pro-activity or activism is required. Union leaders and empty guns... only until the membership provides the ammo will we be effective....

Also, consider what I have suggested...

It takes minutes to sign up for ones union PAC...
6 hours a year to attend two LEC meeting.
4 hours a year to attend two picketing events.
5 hours a month to participate in low level committee work.


This simply isn't much to ask for.... again our culture amongst our ranks allows it....

Am I tired of banging my head? Nope.... I am not going to take my hands off the controls, slide my seat back and watch our career graveyard spiral....

And it may do that... but I'll be banging my head as it does....
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Unions could close their doors. Stop taking money from workers and stop destroying business and productivity.

Consider watching the NTSB public hearing on the Colgan accident.... you'll get an idea of what management has in mind for workers...
 

BigMotorToter

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What do you suggest unions do differently? And where does pilot apathy come into play?
Here's one:

ALPA stops representing commuter airlines that don't meet certain safety criteria. Not just FAA mins, but an increased amount defined by ALPA.

This would be a very pubilc move in light of the current events.

The list of non represented airlines would be made very public. People may stop flying said "less than safe" airlines.

Hopefully many of these airlines would then go out of business and the older, more established airlines (like it used to be) would have to grow again to pick up the slack. And along with this growth, so would the better paying pilot jobs.

We would have then gotten rid of less than safe airlines.

Created a way to grow the Major airlines again.

Create more better paying pilot jobs for higher experienced pilots, many of which may have been at these $hitty Co. which helps offset the pain of a lot of job losses at these airlines.

In the long run, the health of our profession will be on it's way to being restored, as well as providing a safer transportation system.

If we can create more, higher paying jobs, then ALPA will more than make up for the due's they will loose by dumping scumbag operators.
 

Linedriver

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Nothing will happen until this problem becomes an obvious pattern. Until then you may see additional training in the form extra training in the sim for stall recovery, videos or biannual checks for both captains and fo's in an attempt to passify those who are calling for action.

In the end it will all be just lip service to silence the squeaky wheel, unfortunately.
 

JungleJett

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ALPA starts handpicking who they represent.....and they lose valuable dues, not going to happen.


ALPA just needs to get the message out about what is really happening in the airline industry. I see all the news about how the Colgan pilots killed 50 people because they lied about past failures, slept in the crew room ,had very little experience in certain conditions, did not get trained on such and such....all while the NTSB has YET to release its final determination. Nothing is being done to protect these pilots..NOTHING. It is awful quiet from DC...except for the lynch mob known as congress and the press.

Someone on here once said that ALPA was there to protect the intergrity of the pilots....seems than ran when the heat got turned up. Now, snort some blow or show up to work half in the bag, they got your back.
 

pianoman

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Unions could close their doors. Stop taking money from workers and stop destroying business and productivity.
yes, all those pesky rules like not having less than 12 days off when I'm already away from home for 3 nights a week. Or negotiating/maintaining jumpseat agreements. I would much rather just have the company pay me whatever they think is fair. And if I refuse a flight for safety reasons, they can just fire me. After all, that plane won't make money sitting on the ground, will it?

Or that stupid aeromedical department I just used last month with an important health/FAA medical question. I should have just called up the Feds!

If we would just quit being so greedy, like wanting health care for the first 6 months of employment, the airlines would make a lot more money and pay us more out of the goodness of their hearts.
 
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