- Jul 3, 2005
Shiny-Jet-Syndrome: The Career Killer
<<enter Sally Struthers in front of a black backdrop>>
Sally: "Every year hundreds of children from around the world are afflicted with a paralyzing disease. Shiny-jet-syndrome. SJS."
<<Fade to daylight. Sanford Airport, Comair academy, a 19 year old CFI climbing into a Seminole with his student>>
Sally: "Thats right. Today 9 in every 10 young pilots is a victim of SJS. Take Jimmy here. Jimmy is a smart, young man. He was raised in an upper, middle-class suburb. Jimmy's dad was a Delta pilot. Jimmy has been a flight instructor here at Comair academy for 3 weeks now. See how happy he is? See how much pride Jimmy takes in his job?"
<<Jimmy hears a jet engine overhead, looks up at the contrail of a jetliner passing overhead, fade to black>>
<<Fade to daylight. Sanford Airport, Comair academy, summer, the 19 year old CFI climbing into a Seminole with his student>>
Sally: "It's now been six weeks since Jimmy started his new job. He has almost 60 hours of instructing under his belt. The symptoms of SJS have already begun to manifest themselves. Jimmy is a victim. He constantly complains about his lack of career progression. With a little over 500 hours total time and zero actual instrument, Jimmy had expected to be flying a regional jet by now."
<<Zoom to Jimmy in the cockpit, sweat pouring from his face, his features twisted. angry, arrogant, frustrated (i/e Anakin before becoming Darth Vader) Fade to black>>
Sally: "A year later, SJS has fully taken him over. Jimmy is a regional jet co-pilot now. Let's watch..."
<<fade in on Jimmy walking through the terminal. He is wearing a uniform of sorts. He is carrying his hat, listening to his IPod, with his backpack tossed over his shoulder. His hair is frosted at the tips and he chews gum as he strolls through the terminal. He see's "RJ" - the Comair mascot up ahead, and thinks of how cool it is to fly for an airline with a big, fuzzy, talking, RJ for a mascot.>>
Sally: "Jimmy looks happy now, he's an airline pilot. With less than one-thousand hours total time though, Jimmy is a burden to the Captains he flies with. His ego is enormous. He feels as though he is a modern day Ernest Gann or SkyKing but without the autopilot and flight director he is borderline dangerous. He is lazy, apathetic, and still angry. He had expected to be working for a major airline right now."
<<camera pans to Jimmy peering outside the terminal at a Boeing 737...and then, an EMB170 taxies out from behind it. A crooked smile forms on Jimmy's lips. Fade to black.>>
<<Fade to daylight. The cockpit of an EMB190. The year is 2010 and Jimmy is a Captain.>>
Sally: "SJS has finally claimed its victim. Jimmy -- for the time being -- is happy. His airline flies an armada of narrow-body, Embraer jets that carry as many as 120 passengers. Jimmy gets paid less today than a city bus driver. He earns less than an Amtrak conductor. On average he is earning more than $100/hr LESS than the major-airline pilots he has replaced. His copilot, Sean, has been an airline pilot for about one month. He is elated to be flying a big-jet for $20,000/yr. As long as his parents continue to send those allowance checks, this could be the best job ever!"
<<camera zooms on Captain Jimmy as he sees a Boeing 757 pass by in Delta colors... Jimmy's vision blurs... he looks again and the paintjob has changed. It says "Delta Connection" now. Jimmy's mouth contorts once again to that crooked smile. Fade to black>>
<<camera fades in on Sally>>
Sally: "Do YOU know someone who is a victim of SJS? Watch for these warning signs! "
- Do you know a CFI who has applied at Mesa or Boston/Maine?
- Do you know a CFI who is burned out after 6 weeks of instructing?
- Do you know a student pilot who has answered an flight school ad for "guaranteed interview with our regional airline partner"?
- Do you know a pilot who has purchased a CRJ type-rating?
- Do you know a regional-jet pilot who has purchase a 737 type-rating?
- Do you know an airline pilot who has taken concessions in order to allow their company to purchase larger airplanes?
- Do you know a pilot who believes that AirTran and Jetblue are the "majors" they've wanted to work for for "their whole lives"?
- Do you know any member of the RJDC who STILL BELIEVES that mainline pilots are hurting their career expectations?
- Do you know any airline pilots who refuse to dress in their uniform as specified by their SOP because "if they wanted me to dress better, they'd pay me better"?
- Do you know any airline pilots who carry their hats for 4-days without ever putting it on their head?
- Do you know any airline pilots who wear a backpack rather than carry adult-luggage?
- Have you flown with copilots who say, "I cant believe they pay us to do this!!"?
- Do you know any individual whose first "real" job involved carrying 50-90 people in the back of a jetliner?
- Do you know any regional jet pilot who drops the "Express" or "Connection" portion of their airline name while using their profession to attempt to pick up women in a bar?
"Here at the Jets R' Neat Institute we are researching cures for SJS. We've developed revolutionary cures including:
- Make minimum experience requirements to fly part 121 at LEAST as stringent as part 135 minimums -- and make it a regulation.
- Shut down all flight schools that "guarantee" interviews.
- Raise CFI pay so that pilots are more likely to spend time in that position.
- Require that each part 121 candidate have at least 500 hours PIC (not instructor time) operating within the IFR system in day and night, and in all weather conditions.
- Preference to be given to pilots who have held jobs outside of aviation.
- Bryan Bedford and Johnathan Orenstein to be executed publically at dawn.
- Duane Woerth will be forced to watch the execution of the above before being surprised by his own execution. He's just too stupid to be left in charge of ALPA.
For less than the cost of a good-quality, high definition television you can sponser an aspiring airline pilot and show them what life would be like if they actually made the money that major airline pilots used to make. This is the first step in ending SJS."
<<camera fades to Jimmy's Comair Academy enrollment photo. He's shaking hands with mascot "RJ">>
"Jimmy needs your help. Please send your check for $7626/month to:
The Jets R' Neat Institute for the Elimination of SJS
C/O Doctor Sven Rosenstein
Happy Valley Trailer Park
Coraopolis, PA 15108"
<<we now return you to your regularly scheduled episode of Spongebob>>
This message has been sponsered by people on reserve with entirely too much free time!