Hmmm...."deserves Congratulations Beyond All Belief"? A Hero?


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I suspect little has changed in the General Aviation scene in ZF over the last 40 years. Huge pressure on young Pilots to "get the job done," if you won't do it - there is a line up of 250 hr Pilots that will.

No knock on Tindi, they have always been an excellent operation.

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Air taxis prompt Ottawa probe after 175 crash deaths

Transportation Safety Board of Canada to start investigation in early 2015

Wed Nov 19, 2014 - CBC News

Canadian safety regulators are launching an investigation into air taxis, concerned over the numbers of deaths associated with those operations each year.

Announced Tuesday evening, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said the probe will aim to determine why that sector of the aviation industry has seen 175 deaths over the last decade, dating back to 2004.

"We'll be analyzing historical data and case studies of selected accidents in Canada as well as occurrences from other nations," said TSB chair Kathy Fox. "We'll also be engaging industry, the regulator and other stakeholders in the coming months to gain a full understanding of the issues affecting air taxi operations."

At focus will be single and multi-engine planes (except for turbo jets) that seat nine or fewer people, excluding pilot seats. They're also referred to as 703 carriers.

Their services are often used to transport miners and other workers to remote locations, or groups of people to hunting or fishing camps that are difficult to access.

Last year, of the 39 accidents involving Canadian-registered commercial planes, 18 of them were air taxis. Five were fatal, with 19 people killed.

'One suggestion is to require flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders on those aircraft,'

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Agreed.

Interview the entire industry. We all have stories of how we got squeezed to go just a little bit further outside our comfort zone, not to mention the rules. Sadly the company culture sometimes supports this kind of behaviour. Sadder still...some of us did it, patted ourselves on the back for getting away with it and swore never to do it again.

Others were not so lucky.

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We've discussed this here before, the "5 in 5 rule." Very good chance you will lose 5 friends, in your first 5 years as a Pilot.

One of the many reasons I lose my mind when I get the "we're all equal" speech from (other) Airline Employees.

I know---I'm spitting into the wind but.....

Consider your post. Essentially, you are stating that because at some stage in the "learning process", some pilots make fatal errors, those who survive and pursue a career in commercial aviation with an airline are "superior" to other employee groups within that airline.

And you are "losing your mind" over the fact that your perspective is not shared by other employee groups.

Consider that someone near and dear to me had more than one close friend (cabin crew) suffer a horrific end because of one of those tragic pilot errors. She does not think less of other pilots by reason of that very sad and fortunately rare occurrence.

And equally as fortunate, she doesn't "lose her mind" when confronted by those who hold to the fervent belief that their chosen occupation entitles them to special status.

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I want to expand just a little bit on my comments on the perception of some (certainly not all) pilots that the learning process they "survived" and their function within an airline entitles them to "special status". Operation of the aircraft is only one element, albeit an important element, in the product delivery chain. Absent the sale of space, operation of the equipment is irrelevant. Would that render marketing personnel the "most valuable asset"? Perhaps the employees whose task is to deal with and resolve the problems of those pesky consumers of the product are the "most valuable asset"? There are the services of those able men and women who ensure the equipment actually functions as intended----are they the "most valuable asset"? And---shudder---what about those "bean counters" and MBA types who secure the funding necessary to acquire the equipment; secure landing rights and counter space; and....surely, they are "most valuable"?

The fact is that every employee group brings something to the table without which no other group can adequately function. The relationships are symbiotic, each fundamentally and necessarily connected to the other in such a way as to give the whole the means to operate.


If the argument is simply that the job of piloting the aircraft requires extensive training and a unique skill set with which not everyone is equipped then I respectfully suggest that the same argument applies to most of those same employee groups. While many pilots no doubt have "people skills", most would confess upon close questioning that they would have little patience dealing with those few intransigent passengers whose voices are often loudest and welcomed by the ears of the press.


The significant majority of FA's have University degrees and speak at least two languages. Sure---mandatory training requires only 4-6 weeks of time but are the years preceding irrelevant? Are the life lessons that rendered them able to function as "issue resolution specialists" in a thin metal tube hurtling through the skies 6 miles up eight to fourteen hours at a stretch--are those of no weight in the balancing of the scales?


I don't know about most but despite upteen years of post-secondary education and my best efforts, I confess my total ignorance when it comes to engaging in electrical repairs. How many pilots are similarly afflicted despite their investment of years of training and the acquisition of qualifying hours on aircraft of all type? Of what relevance then is that investment in assessing value when the aircraft can't be operated because of an undiagnosed electrical fault?


I know----I won't persuade any of the target audience with these remarks but still---I hope that on some level, most realize that pilots are a cog in a wheel and everyone requires that wheel to turn in order to earn a living.

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I know----I won't persuade any of the target audience with these remarks but still---I hope that on some level, most realize that pilots are a cog in a wheel and everyone requires that wheel to turn in order to earn a living.

How true.....we had a briefing in CP many years ago where by a very knowledgeable individual who made almost the same statement...that being that in years past the pilot was the "hub" of the wheel and all others were just the spokes and their purpose was to support his/her operation. This knowledgeable individual stated that pilot was now replaced in the hub by the passenger and that the pilot was now just one of the spokes in the wheel.....there to get the job done.

I truly believed that the majority of us in CP at that time agreed with the "new" principle and endeavoured to do the job to reflect that subtle change.

Naturally the events that occurred later moved CP and AC together and there were instances where the CP attitude came to the forefront and things did, in my opinion, change for the better.

While it is true an airline can not survive without pilots, I do believe that the ingrained superior attitude of many pilots has been replaced with an attitude of cooperation with all aspects and functioning parts of their airline. Certainly their are exceptions and a few still hold to the mantra that they, as divine directional consultants of high speed aluminum tubing, are entitled to be worshipped by those that do not occupy the pointy end.......but hopefully they all learn, easily, a different way to work with all members/employees of their respective airlines.

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Morning UpperDeck, you and I have gone around this debate before. I remember many years ago having a Female M.D. join the Airline as a Flight Attendant. It was something she always wanted to do, had this romantic impression of the job.

Needless to say she didn't last very long.

The fact there are highly educated F/A's is academic, the requirements for the job are a high school diploma and two languages. Being a good F/A is a tough job, the reality is the days of it being a career are over. It is now a $20/flight hour job, hiring 18 year old kids out of high school. Rouge and WestJet are the new standard.

It has taken decades of Unionized (socialized) nonsense to bring me to this point. In my mind CUPE is the worst offender, but they are not alone. In CUPE's twisted mind they've tried on "work of equal value" to a Pilot, they believe a F/A should deadhead in Business Class and a Pilot in economy.

Our most Junior Rouge 319 Captain can leave AC and earn 500K/year tomorrow in Asia. Without AC what are the opportunities for a Flight Attendant in the real world?

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UD says:

"“Operation of the aircraft is only one element, albeit an important element, in the product delivery chain. Absent the sale of space, operation of the equipment is irrelevant. Would that render marketing personnel the "most valuable asset"? Perhaps the employees whose task is to deal with and resolve the problems of those pesky consumers of the product are the "most valuable asset"? There are the services of those able men and women who ensure the equipment actually functions as intended----are they the "most valuable asset"? And---shudder---what about those "bean counters" and MBA types who secure the funding necessary to acquire the equipment; secure landing rights and counter space; and....surely, they are "most valuable"?”

The bean counters reward themselves with huge bonuses, very generous pension provisions, ‘extra special’ benefits and enjoy a special travel priority, none of which the rest of the rabble is entitled too. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that group seems to believe they’re a cut above the other ‘employees’; why not the highly skilled pilot?

Johnny says:

"It has taken decades of Unionized (socialized) nonsense to bring me to this point. In my mind CUPE is the worst offender, but they are not alone. In CUPE's twisted mind they've tried on "work of equal value" to a Pilot, they believe a F/A should deadhead in Business Class and a Pilot in economy."

I couldn't agree more with Johnny's observations with respect to the FA unions; I recall the drive for equality with pilots back when the FA's had their own union; I think it was called CALFAA.

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UD's comments above reminded me of a story I've taken from the web and posted below.

When the body was first made, all the parts wanted to be the boss. The brain said, "since I control everything and do all the thinking, I should be the boss. The feet said, "since I carry man where he wants to go and get him in position to do what the brain wants, then I should be the boss. The hands said, "since I must do all the work and earn all the money to keep the rest of you going, I should be the boss. And so it went with the eyes, the heart, the lungs, and all the other parts of the body, each giving the reason why they should be the boss. Finally, the **bleep** spoke up and said it was going to be the boss. All the other parts laughed and laughed at the idea of the butt-hole being the boss. The butt-hole got so angry that he blocked himself off and refused to function. Soon the brain was feverish and could barely think, the feet felt like lead weights and was almost too weak to drag the body anywhere, the eyes grew bleary, and the hands hung useless at the sides. All pleaded with the brain to let the butt-hole be declared the boss. And so it happened; all the other parts did all the work and the butt-hole just bossed and passed out a lot of crap. THE MORAL: You don't have to be a brain to be a boss, just an old butt-hole. Alternate moral: No matter how well things are going, it can all be shut down by a single **bleep**.

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Johnny...

You're right. We've trod this path before.

I won't remark upon the educational requirements (formal) for pilots. In truth, I do not correlate "higher education" with intelligence. I am relatively confidant that there are many pilots with basic educational backgrounds whose remarkable pilot skills prove my point. Although I was not trying to compare pilots and cabin crew in my earlier posts (I couldn't if I tried), I do not believe that a degree in Fine Arts (for eg) renders one more likely to be more dependable on an aircraft in the event of an emergency than an FA with a high school degree.

But as you "rant" about CUPE and its unreasonable demands, consider the cadet program (I'll say no more). Consider also the demands of ACPA that Air Canada "revisit" the seniority issue as a condition precedent to contractual revisions for new equipment. Unreasonable positions are typical of many bargaining agents, not just the agent representing FA's.

The discussion of "equality" per se as it relates to the significance of all employee groups to the success of the airline does not require any consideration of specific job-related perquisites. However, you seem to confound the words "equal" and "same". While two individuals may be equal, they may be very dissimilar. Deadheading priority was historically determined by DOH. All cabin crew and flight crew were treated in the same manner with the exception of the Captain who had contractual rights to "J".

In your opinion, flight crew take priority over cabin crew regardless of function. A reserve pilot--newly hired---deadheading YUL to YYZ to CDG should take the seat in priority to the 30 year I/C who is fumbling with paperwork preparing to work that YYZ to CDG flight. Your only rationale is that the reserve is identified as a "pilot" and ipso facto has a "greater claim" to that SA "J" seat than the I/C.

And I don't agree.

Defcon...

I believe your remarks are based upon your understanding of a long ago debunked story of FA's seeking pay equality with pilots.

I suspect you may subscribe to that philosophy referenced by someone else in another thread that while we are ALL equal, some are more equal than others.

You also said;

The bean counters reward themselves with huge bonuses, very generous pension provisions, ‘extra special’ benefits and enjoy a special travel priority, none of which the rest of the rabble is entitled too. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that group seems to believe they’re a cut above the other ‘employees’; why not the highly skilled pilot?

Some of those on the Ford assembly plant are also "highly skilled". I'll bet any amount you couldn't do their job but I don't hear them whinging on a daily basis about the pay and benefits of the senior executives.

Go back for a moment. You said "highly skilled". Are you distinguishing between some pilots and others who are somewhat less skilled? Do you acknowledge that some are ahead of the curve while others lag behind? They are paid the same amount. Is that fair? Is it right? Do you advocate for a meritocracy?

No? Well all of those so-called "bean counters" you moan about are held to account on a daily basis. They don't work "shifts"; they're on call 24/7. And if they screw up---they don't have a union representative appearing on their behalf at a grievance hearing. No---they're gone. And if they are recognized as good then they are "head hunted" and if their current employer doesn't want to lose the benefit of their services, that employer ups the ante.

Johnny said that pilots could earn upwards of $500,000 working overseas. You think that employer will just take any and all who apply? Given enough applicants, that employer will separate the wheat from the chaff...picking the best they can get for the money.

When you're willing and able to be judged daily as to your competence and value then let your voice be heard.

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Hmmm. Yet another chapter in the book of sad thread drifts.

The attempt to link occupational categories with personal worth is a fool's errand. We are all born intrinsically equal. We don't all enjoy the same standard of living, pay, working conditions, the list is endless. The reasons have nothing to do with personal worth.

Consider the case of the multi-millionaire hockey player versus the starving PhD cancer researcher. How do you compare these two? It's like drawing to measure the height of an office tower with a measuring tape.

If I wanted to earn the salary and bonus of a corporate CEO, I would naturally expect to have to become one first. It's not a question of whether I was made better or worse. It is simply a matter of knowing that CEO compensation packages apply to CEOs.

I happen to know a lot of physicians who are specialists - Neurologists and Neurosurgens are not exactly stars on the EQ scale. Their teams include some of the most competent nursing professionals I have ever met. Do they earn the same? No. They earn the compensation, schedules and benefits that go with their job category. If a nurse wants the same compensation as a physician, there really is only one path - become a physician. I also know a number of individuals who were nurses before also becoming physicians. Wonderful, empathic and supremely competent people, as they were before they chose either field.

I suggest there is little to be gained, yet much to lose, in over-scoping a discussion of compensation. Inevitably it is the levelling of a wobbly table by cutting down a leg. A very Canadian approach that simply drags on progress. We would do better to find a constructive way to celebrate a gain made by someone, or a group, and then learn how to elevate more individuals and groups to that new level.

All just my opinion.

Vs

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Well What about someone who is educated and licensed as an AME. AND Educated and Licensed as a Pilot. My worth must have just doubled. But wait there is more. What about other certifications does that increase ones value to the corporation. I sure hope so.

It is a good thing I work as part of a TEAM to keep the company running.

My compensation is based on my contribution not my education.

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I appreciated Vsplat's take and I think I can understand UD's frustration with pilots & their egos.

On the other hand, some clarification is required I think, for the public good, if nothing else.

UD said; "when you're willing and able to be judged daily as to your competence and value then let your voice be heard."

Every year the pilot puts his career on the line as he undergoes two medicals, recurrent ground schools, a number of simulator adventures and is of course always one mistake from a career ending fender bender, or worse. I doubt there's any other occupation on planet Earth that receives anywhere near the scrutiny of the airline pilot, including physicians and lawyers who ought to. I kind of believe those factors alone justify a pilot voicing an opinion with respect to his being treated like any other employee.

,

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Defcon....

I am NOT frustrated with "pilots and their egos". Some pilots some times make comments that generate a desire to respond. And maybe---just maybe---some of those pilots evidence an ego that is somewhat over-sized but the same can be said of many other persons engaged in other occupations..

I don't believe you are positioned to "clarify" for the "public good". And I don't think any such clarification is necessary.

I could break down and criticize your last paragraph but suffice it to say that for whatever reason you've placed pilots on a particularly high pedestal. Aspirational admiration? I suggest that your conclusion that no other occupation is as subject to exhaustive public scrutiny is hyperbole--at the least.

In any event, the point of at least a portion of my comments was that all employee groups are "essential" and that no particular group--pilots or otherwise---is more vital than another to the ultimate success of the corporation. Why on earth would you infer a suggestion that pilots aren't entitled to express an opinion; "I kind of believe those factors alone justify a pilot voicing an opinion with respect to his being treated like any other employee."

Of course they're entitled to express an opinion. And without doubt, the pilots of Air Canada or any other airline should expect to be treated like any other employee. Did anyone suggest otherwise?

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Hmmm. Yet another chapter in the book of sad thread drifts.

The attempt to link occupational categories with personal worth is a fool's errand. We are all born intrinsically equal. We don't all enjoy the same standard of living, pay, working conditions, the list is endless. The reasons have nothing to do with personal worth.

If I wanted to earn the salary and bonus of a corporate CEO, I would naturally expect to have to become one first. It's not a question of whether I was made better or worse. It is simply a matter of knowing that CEO compensation packages apply to CEOs.

Vs

Perfect, nailed it. Every airline- the entire econonomy, the world- needs call centre workers, pilots, a CEO, and someone to drive the lav truck. Choose wisely. And by "choose" of course I mean weigh the cost, benefits, time, and probability of success relative to the personal level of effort and commitment you're willing to put out in the process of becoming qualified. And then Just Do It, to coin a phrase.

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.... If I wanted to earn the salary and bonus of a corporate CEO, I would naturally expect to have to become one first. It's not a question of whether I was made better or worse. It is simply a matter of knowing that CEO compensation packages apply to CEOs ...

.... We would do better to find a constructive way to celebrate a gain made by someone, or a group, and then learn how to elevate more individuals and groups to that new level.

Hate to crash the party, Vsplat? But your post seems (to me at least ;) ) uncharacteristicly foggy. Absent context, I'll agree with both your admonishment to seek the career that most meets ones aspirations and your rosy sentiment wishing the best outcome for other trades. BUT! Without context, there's no meaning, no weight, as it were.

e.g. AME's. FWIW, I think they've been rather ill-served by their bargaining agent. Is it remedial to suggest aspiring AME's switch to flight school for any hope of fair compensation? And simply tell the current cohort to like or lump it?

Your inclusive final paragraph does seem at odds with your preceding argument on facing the cruel world as it is. Perhaps I mis-read ...

Cheers, IFG :b:

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Respectfully, there is plenty of context if you look for it. AMEs looking to pilots as a benchmark for fair compensation is ridiculous, as is any other non pilot doing do. For context they need to look at their similarly-qualified and employed peers- other AMEs around the industry and world. Likewise for every job everywhere, in every industry. As VSplat so clearly stated, CEO packages apply to CEOs. In the case of ACPA pilots, they certainly didn't look within their own company for context, they looked at what other similarly-qualified and employed pilots are paid within Canada and around the world, and then negotiated a deal. I think you'll find that it is not at the top, nor is it at the bottom of the list. If FAs, AMEs, station attendants, call centre workers, and sales agents can look around the world and bring a convincing argument to the company that they are underpaid relative to their peers doing the same work, they've got the beginning of a solid bargaining position. What pilots make is completely irrelevant. If you want to be compared to pilots, you have to be a pilot. So yes, absent a change in career paths I'm afraid it is, "like it or lump it."

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ZV suggests various employee groups should compare their wawcon with others around the world.

Why should the people of North America, an AME for instance, accept that his governments management of the economy over the last thirty-five years would only take him to a place in time at which he’d be competing to live in the first world on third world wawcon?

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.... What pilots make is completely irrelevant. If you want to be compared to pilots, you have to be a pilot. So yes, absent a change in career paths I'm afraid it is, "like it or lump it."

On the face of it, nothing to disagree with there, Zan (as I said earlier). I'm just still not clear how that comports with:

  • ".... We would do better to find a constructive way to celebrate a gain made by someone, or a group, and then learn how to elevate more individuals and groups to that new level"

That said.you're perfectly right in that it does make a stronger case to base your arguments closer to home, but negotiators shouldn't leave anything off the table. While of course it's facile to argue that AME's should be paid the same as pilots (and nobody was doing that), pilot pay can still be brought into their discussion through cross comparisons, e.g. relative to others in this country rather than overseas, etc. etc.

Not to drift into that complicated discussion, my only point was that I could agree with both propositions in isolation, but they didn't seem to blend easily.

Cheers, IFG :b:

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