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Pilot Shortage Is Here


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12 minutes ago, Rich Pulman said:

...this 20,000+ hour pilot will simply retire from the industry at age 53. I suspect there’s others here who will do something similar. Until the industry is prepared to prevent the loss of that kind of experience, the cry of “pilot shortage” is the same as crying wolf. As an old friend of mine likes to say: “sympathy lies somewhere between sh!t and syphilis.”

You will find more like minded company than you probably think. I could staff an entire Capt course with a few phone calls. 

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Not that Management is blameless - as they allowed it to happen - but for years, at contract negotiation time, the pilot Unions and/or Associations would eat their young. The Executive of the Unions/Associations tended to be senior in seniority, and if Management said they could not afford a raise, or could afford X%, then the Unions/Associations would negotiate a deal which paid the senior pilots more, while allowing the company to reduce their starting wages for the unborn to compensate. This tactic was not unique to pilots, it's prevalent among all Unions/Associations. Obviously, this situation was not, and is not sustainable, and there is definitely no easy fix. Newton's Third Law always applies: For every action, there is an equal, and opposite reaction.

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2 hours ago, AvWatcher said:

Not that Management is blameless - as they allowed it to happen - but for years, at contract negotiation time, the pilot Unions and/or Associations would eat their young... 

You are absolutely right… and the cause factors are numerous; taken together they could potentially lead to a perfect storm. My point in all of this is/was and continues to be that it was easily predictable and is easily fixed. In a few years time, the only thing that will save the day is an economic downturn. Military planners are already praying for this to happen… they see it as a pilot retention initiative. 

Here is a simple employment elasticity question that airline MBA’s frequently get wrong: 

Doctors in Cuba aspire to be bartenders in Cuban resorts because:

A. They like wearing bowties;
B. The rum is free;
C. It’s a shorter commute to work;
D. They make more money 

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When I questioned a certain MEC chair on that subject, his snide response was, "Screw them. I'm not going to negotiate for someone who isn't here yet". When I replied that some day in the future, his own pension could be threatened by the company's inability to crew their operation due to a shortage of people, he laughed and called me naive. 

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Those who wish for the US border to be opened to Canadian Pilots should be careful ....  If opened to southbound Canadian Pilots then of course the reverse would be true, and then what the heck open sky airlines operations with cabotage  rights would be the way to fix the problem.

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4 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

 The operators who created this will begin poaching each others experience and training backlogs (and costs) will soar at the very time that training availability is most needed to save themselves from future pain. The supply side will not be able to keep up and wages will cease to be the issue as 100% of available resources will not be sufficient to match the operational tempo. 

Airlines with 8 different types will feel this acutely. Status pay will be proposed, and you won’t be allowed to switch types. It will be a major shame if the unions buy this. If I wanted to fly one type for life I would have applied at [...].

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32 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Those who wish for the US border to be opened to Canadian Pilots should be careful ....  If opened to southbound Canadian Pilots then of course the reverse would be true, and then what the heck open sky airlines operations with cabotage  rights would be the way to fix the problem.

As I understand the process, offering Green Cards to skilled professionals doesn't imply any notion of reciprocity.  

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5 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

As I understand the process, offering Green Cards to skilled professionals doesn't imply any notion of reciprocity.  

Not at the moment but if the tap was opened, you can bet that the US pilots would demand the same.

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My goodness, why would they do that? And, even if they did, it would likely have the same efficacy as Canadian helicopter pilots lamenting about TFWs. I've previously sent my resume off to the federal government attached to bogus job adds that seek only to obtain a LMO... all  to no avail. 

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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1 minute ago, Wolfhunter said:

My goodness, why would they do that? And, even if they did, it would likely have the same efficacy as Canadian helicopter pilots lamenting about TFWs.

of course they would want to stop any influx of "Cheap Canadian Pilots". 

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They wouldn't be cheap, they wouldn't be temporary and after a short period of time, they wouldn't be foreign either.  I think that's the point of a green card. It's not for everyone but I bet lots of folks would jump at it. I would!

Edited by Wolfhunter
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46 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

They wouldn't be cheap, they wouldn't be temporary and after a short period of time, they wouldn't be foreign either.  I think that's the point of a green card. It's not for everyone but I bet lots of folks would jump at it. I would!

Cheap in that they could  shift the supply and demand problem that has driven up salaries in the US.  I don't expect their arrival would be greeted with any applause from the various US pilot associations.

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The last time the US opened their doors to Canadian and other foreign pilots was a result of deregulation and a shortage of pilots in tbe US. Other nations including Canada had a surplus with many qualified pilots willing to go. If that option were to repeat itself, only those qualified would be considered (1200hrs min) and what established Canadian pilot would really leave to join the bottom of some other seniority list? Different times and different circumstances.   

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38 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Cheap in that they could  shift the supply and demand problem that has driven up salaries in the US. 

While I'm not an MBA guy, I don’t subscribe to the notion that the only way to maintain salaries at the point they should be is by creating or sustaining a shortage of labour. There is a balance to all things, but when experienced pilots are driving trucks and operating excavators, and, at the same time, employers are screaming shortage and LMO’s are flying off the shelf, there is a systemic problem that creates a vacuum of sorts. Nature and DJT will find a way to fill it… eventually.

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3 hours ago, blues deville said:

The last time the US opened their doors to Canadian and other foreign pilots was a result of deregulation and a shortage of pilots in tbe US. Other nations including Canada had a surplus with many qualified pilots willing to go. If that option were to repeat itself, only those qualified would be considered (1200hrs min) and what established Canadian pilot would really leave to join the bottom of some other seniority list? Different times and different circumstances.   

It’s not about who would leave, although some would. It’s about competition for new pilots, and if a new pilot had the opportunity to work for a Delta connector or an any Canadian one, and that person looked 20 years down the road at the compensation differences at the respective majors, very quickly we would have competition for pilots in Canada.

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1 hour ago, Zan Vetter said:

It’s not about who would leave, although some would. It’s about competition for new pilots, and if a new pilot had the opportunity to work for a Delta connector or an any Canadian one, and that person looked 20 years down the road at the compensation differences at the respective majors, very quickly we would have competition for pilots in Canada.

Leaving Canada today for a Delta connector job might appeal to a fractional group of newbie 1500hr ATPL’s. Crash pad life style might be better than some northern wilderness but it would be years before you could afford to live near any future ATL, JFK, or LAX mainline DL base.

I know a few pilots who left Canada in the mid 80’s to fly in the US. Some due to the shortage and others via green card lottery. I even  interviewed/job offer in CVG with Comair at the same time. Starting pay in 1985 was $13,500. Banderante FO. A decent house in northern Kentucky was $40,000. Didn’t accept the offer. 

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Those are exactly the people all airlines are trying to attract. If the 5 majors and dozen-odd other large airlines in the US were also able to recruit them, we would see the true effects of shortage here. 

BTW, junior captain at DL is DOH 01/2017. ATL base, MD88. $227USD/hr. source: Airline Pilot Central

That absolutely destroys any pay scale in Canada. 

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49 minutes ago, Zan Vetter said:

Those are exactly the people all airlines are trying to attract. If the 5 majors and dozen-odd other large airlines in the US were also able to recruit them, we would see the true effects of shortage here. 

BTW, junior captain at DL is DOH 01/2017. ATL base, MD88. $227USD/hr. source: Airline Pilot Central

That absolutely destroys any pay scale in Canada. 

No disagreement regarding the current US/CA pilot payscale comparison and it’s been like this for many years. But it does take awhile to get to that level of US pay after making the move south of the border. 

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so it looks good for Pilots in the near future until at least "Remote controlled airliners come into use. Never say never, that is what those could not imagine an automated landing in zero visibility said when it was first mentioned. :D They could not imagine placing the lives of all onboard in the hands of "Mike" for a fully automated landing but are we not there now? Now ust imagine instead of the onboard crew monitoring that landing, the monitoring was done from remote.

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2 hours ago, Malcolm said:

so it looks good for Pilots in the near future until at least "Remote controlled airliners come into use. Never say never, that is what those could not imagine an automated landing in zero visibility said when it was first mentioned. :D They could not imagine placing the lives of all onboard in the hands of "Mike" for a fully automated landing but are we not there now? 

Not this guy Malcolm. :)

The first ILS approach in Canada was installed in Moncton, NB. My father did the the ILS instrument installation and calibration on the the MOT aircraft, a Lockheed 10 I believe, which was then test flown by qualified pilots. Today, CATIIIb approaches are flown daily around the world, again by qualified pilots in the most sophisticated aircraft in service. Amazing advancements in aviation, but after 40 years of flying airplanes for a living and knowing what I know can happen to the best laid plan there’s no way I will ever be a passenger in a pilotless aircraft. 

Edited by blues deville
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19 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

so it looks good for Pilots in the near future until at least "Remote controlled airliners come into use. Never say never, that is what those could not imagine an automated landing in zero visibility said when it was first mentioned. :D They could not imagine placing the lives of all onboard in the hands of "Mike" for a fully automated landing but are we not there now? Now ust imagine instead of the onboard crew monitoring that landing, the monitoring was done from remote.

An auto land is a marvelous step forward in technology but you can't compare that, (two pilots monitoring the equipment)  to a pilotless airliner...for many obvious reasons...:P

Won't catch me in a plane without humans up front...that goes for me and my family ;)

Edited by Kip Powick
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1 hour ago, Johnny said:

I have several friends who are now flying biz jets in Canada. All for very good organizations but I know not one of them are earning the salaries mentioned in this article. But I can certainly see this part of aviation struggling too in the near future.

Edited by blues deville
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9 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

Won't catch me in a plane without humans up front...that goes for me and my family ;)

I fully understand that sentiment and used to share it. But, I’ve had more exposure to UAV/UAS than I ever wanted to admit to. Now that the skill fade era is upon us, I mostly drive. Then again, I’m the sort of person who will drive a motorcycle to Mexico just for coffee. 

What do you say to the notion that a simple overshoot and VFR circuit at night has become a potential life extinguishing event and a hand flown raw data ILS to minimums followed by a stable transition to landing is now beyond the skill set of most, especially overseas. I don’t mean that to sound alarmist, I briefly worked as a TRI/TRE with mostly foreign students and was dismayed… 

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Why is this discussion all about $$$$$  There is far more to a job, especially a flying job than money.  Sure you can make more dollars but what about lifestyle.  If your flying sucks then dollars don't make up for that.  IMHO.  

I work to live I do not live to work.

 

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