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Old 06-28-2007, 05:02 PM   #1  
Snakes & Nape
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Default SATSair....Heads Up

For those who may be thinking about flying for SATSair, you may want to consider several facts before you sign on the dotted line (literally). It has been the experience of a number of pilots that what they may have been told in an interview and "reality" are somewhat different.

For example, 1) The compensation for the first six (6) months you are with the company is the equivalent rate of $ 27,000 per annum. That breaks down to $ 1,038.46 per two-week pay period. The company calculates your daily pay rate at $ 129.81 for 8 duty days per two week pay period. That is all straight forward. What one must realize is that when you are assigned trips with a 12 hour duty day, your pay rate is $10.82 per hour and if you fly a 13 hour duty day, which is not out of the question, your hourly pay rate drops to $ 9.98. You can do the math ! Also realize that on many ocasions, you start your duty day and do not get a lunch break until the duty day ends !!!

2) SATSair operates 26 SR-22 aircraft. Of those 26 aircraft, 12 are not air conditioned. If you live in the Southeastern part of the U.S., you know that the summer heat makes sitting in a non air conditioned aircraft almost unbearable for you and your passengers. Imagine sitting at Atlanta's Hartsfield airport for 32 minutes in line for takeoff in 90+ degree weather. It has happened ! Also realize that it takes a l-o-n-g time for the aircraft to cool off when flying below 10,000'....if it does.

3) The Cirrus SR-22 does have an XM Satellite Weather System;however, the owners manual specifically states that the XM Satellite Weather System is for situational awareness only and the aircraft does not have an FAA approved thunderstorm detection system installed. Despite this, crews have been scheduled to fly into areas of know thunderstorm activity and have been scheduled to take-off when numerous convective sigments were issued for the departure airport and/or the areas of intended operation.

As Captain Jack Ross (Kevin Bacon) said in the movie A Few Good Men, "Gentlemen, those are the facts and they are irrefutable".

It's no wonder that a significant number of pilots have left the company. When one spends several weeks in a non air conditioned aircraft, in 90+ degree weather, sweating uncomfortably for $10.82 per hour....well you figure it out. No one is saying don't join the company. Just realize that "reality" may be somewhat different than you were led to believe. The good news is you'll move up a shrinking seniority list very rapidly !!

Last edited by Phantom Flyer; 06-28-2007 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:15 PM   #2  
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Entry level job's don't have the best of everything, just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:25 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Flyer View Post
That breaks down to $ 1,038.46 per two-week pay period.
I get that much in a day and the client buys lunch. Take the CSIP course instead of the "transition course".
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:28 PM   #4  
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Is that you Dave?
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:09 PM   #5  
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Although I agree with you on many points I do have to point out a few things. Not once was I ever led to believe this job would be easy. I was told point blank in the interview I would be putting in long days.

Pay, you're right. Its not great, but its not bad for a single engine piston. Could it be higher, of course. Will they have to raise it, yes. Keep in mind this isn't a CRJ, or a 757.

As far as the weather goes, in the company this issue has been brought up and addressed. I suggest your read 135.173, and 135.175. 10 pax or more, we carry 3. No regs state we cannot do what we are doing. This also allows said pilot to better their skills at reading the weather and not relying on technology totally. Old skill being lost in this modern age called pilotage.

A/C, there are 14 of 26 with it. Is it perfect? NO WAY! I am from Florida myself, and I can personally attest to almost dying in the heat. What does the company intend to do? Get rid of the older planes with out as newer planes come in with it.

Lunch breaks? You need to eat? Just kidding. I have run into that also, so I spoke up about it. They were very willing to work in a lunch for me on many occasions. Most of the time they schedule a break long enough to eat.

Now, keep in mind I have worked for some garbage companies in the past. Is this operation perfect? Nope. Not bad though for 2.5 years old. In my interview they did just about all they could to scare me off, and made it sound a lot harder than it actually is. Maybe they went from one extreme to another. I couldn't say as I am not doing the interviews.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:50 AM   #6  
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JD, it's good to see that there are pilots out there that are still actually willing to do actual work. It feels much more satisfying when you can do the same job or better with supposedly "Less" equipment. You obviously realize what the job is and take it for what it's worth. I'm confident one day you'll get rewarded in a very good way for the effort. I feel I'm in the same situation as you are, well soon I won't be in a sense, I just got my reward. A Piper/TBM dealer closer to home than my current job needed a new full-time demo/delivery/safety pilot. Going from unknown hours to a set 8.5hr day(with occasional extra hours) with a great benefits, plus brand spanking new airplanes, it'll be sweet.

So I guess what I'm saying for others out there, just because it's not a cake-walk job or whatever, maybe it's the perfect job for some of us who are willing to work for that money, and really enjoy doing certain things attached with it. My 135 freight/pax job I loved the flying. I hated the sitting, but the flying was definately the most challenging and experience building type you can find. The money wasn't bad either, my first 6 months was @ $27k/yr also, but you get very "nice" raises each 6 months. BTW, they are looking for new hires for the Cessna 310 line pilots.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:09 PM   #7  
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I agree with what JD wrote below (I work for SATS also). I've had a lot of long days, but I'm having a lot of fun. I like my job. But it is a job, you have to work a little. And while I've had some long days, I've also had some periods where I almost felt guilty, and was checking in to see when I was going to get to fly again. Over the winter things slow down and we get a lot more easy days and freebies at home on standby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsavage View Post
Although I agree with you on many points I do have to point out a few things. Not once was I ever led to believe this job would be easy. I was told point blank in the interview I would be putting in long days.

Pay, you're right. Its not great, but its not bad for a single engine piston. Could it be higher, of course. Will they have to raise it, yes. Keep in mind this isn't a CRJ, or a 757.

As far as the weather goes, in the company this issue has been brought up and addressed. I suggest your read 135.173, and 135.175. 10 pax or more, we carry 3. No regs state we cannot do what we are doing. This also allows said pilot to better their skills at reading the weather and not relying on technology totally. Old skill being lost in this modern age called pilotage.

A/C, there are 14 of 26 with it. Is it perfect? NO WAY! I am from Florida myself, and I can personally attest to almost dying in the heat. What does the company intend to do? Get rid of the older planes with out as newer planes come in with it.

Lunch breaks? You need to eat? Just kidding. I have run into that also, so I spoke up about it. They were very willing to work in a lunch for me on many occasions. Most of the time they schedule a break long enough to eat.

Now, keep in mind I have worked for some garbage companies in the past. Is this operation perfect? Nope. Not bad though for 2.5 years old. In my interview they did just about all they could to scare me off, and made it sound a lot harder than it actually is. Maybe they went from one extreme to another. I couldn't say as I am not doing the interviews.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:16 PM   #8  
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<double post>

Last edited by skydweller97; 06-29-2007 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Accidental double post
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:19 PM   #9  
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I agree with what JD wrote below (I work for SATS also). I've had a lot of long days, but I'm having a lot of fun. I like my job. But it is a job, you have to work a little. And while I've had some long days, I've also had some periods where I almost felt guilty, and was checking in to see when I was going to get to fly again. Over the winter things slow down and we get a lot more easy days and freebies at home on standby.

The company will provide crew meals for, "on the run" days if we ask.

I just flipped through my pocket log and I've averaged less than 40 hrs a week on duty, with a little over four hours a day flight time, since April. Over the winter it was about 30 hrs a week, about 2.5 hrs flight time per day average. I've been here a year so I'm making 36K.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsavage View Post
Although I agree with you on many points I do have to point out a few things. Not once was I ever led to believe this job would be easy. I was told point blank in the interview I would be putting in long days.

Pay, you're right. Its not great, but its not bad for a single engine piston. Could it be higher, of course. Will they have to raise it, yes. Keep in mind this isn't a CRJ, or a 757.

As far as the weather goes, in the company this issue has been brought up and addressed. I suggest your read 135.173, and 135.175. 10 pax or more, we carry 3. No regs state we cannot do what we are doing. This also allows said pilot to better their skills at reading the weather and not relying on technology totally. Old skill being lost in this modern age called pilotage.

A/C, there are 14 of 26 with it. Is it perfect? NO WAY! I am from Florida myself, and I can personally attest to almost dying in the heat. What does the company intend to do? Get rid of the older planes with out as newer planes come in with it.

Lunch breaks? You need to eat? Just kidding. I have run into that also, so I spoke up about it. They were very willing to work in a lunch for me on many occasions. Most of the time they schedule a break long enough to eat.

Now, keep in mind I have worked for some garbage companies in the past. Is this operation perfect? Nope. Not bad though for 2.5 years old. In my interview they did just about all they could to scare me off, and made it sound a lot harder than it actually is. Maybe they went from one extreme to another. I couldn't say as I am not doing the interviews.
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:16 AM   #10  
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Gentlemen:

I don't know who "Dave" is. A good friend of mine currently flies for SATSair and he provided the information. He also showed me his "training contract", information sheet and pay stub. I have also talked to several SATSair pilots on my trips into and out of Charleston, SC (CHS).

I have talked to several SATSair pilots who have run into the flying into "areas of known thunderstorm activity" and from what they say, their company is addressing the issue. I know what flying in areas of thunderstorm activity is like and I'm not a big fan....and I have X Band radar onboard. I would not think of operating a Cirrus in those conditions.

The purpose of the original post was simply to point out that it may not be a job for everyone. I'm staying in my current position and hope that SATSair can make some improvements so that the quality of life improves for my friend. It may be a mute point however, as he has had a second interview for a good corporate position and will probably leave SATSair within the next month.
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