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Old 01-08-2017, 03:03 PM   #11
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Posts: 131

Does sound a lot like the 135 world, but Boutique Air is better in most respects. Schedule out of Denver is a little rough, with your normal 135 growing pains of not enough pilots, planes, or staff. All in all, if someone is looking for a nice step in between instructing/commercial and the regionals, BTQ is a good opportunity.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:52 PM   #12
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Now with an influx of Female pilots they are having co-ed overnights in the house, which is another recipe for disaster. Especially with no door on the upstairs room and having only the upstairs bathroom functioning. It is only a mater of time before there is a sexual harassment suit! Fornication between pilots is already happening and as a young professional with my career ahead of me, I just don’t want to be put in the position where any accusation could be made. They need to be sending all male or all female crews on overnights to TFFJ but again scheduling and dispatch is run by a bunch of minimum wage idiots that have zero clue what they are doing!
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:12 PM   #13
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The OP is certainly entitled to their opinion, and I will agree that some of the concerns here are legitimate. Particularly as we are absolutely experiencing growing pains as we have nearly tripled the number of pilots in the last year.

However with that said there is a gross amount of exaggerations and half truths listed. From my view these are a reflection of the OPs lack of understanding of how small Part 135 operations work, as well as the responsibility put on the crew themselves to efficiently run their day and advise dispatch/management what is not possible. For me at least a large part of what I enjoy about Tradewind is that degree of freedom and responsibility.

Furthermore I suspect I know the OP, and if so I question their motives considering they are no longer employed here and were never a PIC to begin with. Its possible I am in the wrong here, but for the sake of clarity I think it is fair to say. Otherwise I wish the OP goodluck in their endeavors, life is too short to work a job you are miserable in.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:15 AM   #14
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Default Tradewind

I do not think you are a PIC with this company, because you have our duty time wrong and our overnight pay. Also, other false statements, the SBH house does have an upstairs door, as well as the downstairs bathroom works, and we do have a converter. Not all new SICs regret coming, actually most of them really like it. Does this company have some problems? Yes! But all companies have issues, even when you get to the regionals! But you sound like a person who is just not happy with life and hide behind a computer and is terrified to show your true self. It sounds like you have had bad experiences, I haven't and have enjoyed every second with this company, and it is what you make it. So why not show us who you really are?
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:49 AM   #15
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Default Here's What's Really Going on at Tradewind...

Here's a priceless find. If you want to feel like the little monkey on the bottom left side of this image. I highly suggest that you work for Tradewind.

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Old 01-10-2017, 11:24 AM   #16
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I hate to break it to you, but it does not get much better. Almost every company on the entry and regional level operates like this. I've flown pistons, props, and jets...nothing has changed. If you talk, you get put on the radar. 95% of pilots play get-along-gang because they all think they will achieve their goals and dream jobs by staying off the radar. It's a ****ty 3rd world culture that North Americans have.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:08 PM   #17
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Default Relax

12 hour duty days? Must be nice.

Also, how much time in type do you think you need to be captain? Most (maybe all) pc12 operators hire captains with 0 pc12 time.

Sounds like someone convinced you that 135 (or regional 121) flying would be something it's not.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:04 PM   #18
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I ran across the post about the "truth about Tradewind" and sorry, but I could not just "stand by" and remain without a reaction...
I am not hidding myself behind some kind of avatar or "smart" user name.
My name is Maxime Desouches and I have been a "vendor" for tradewind for many years and operating as an independent pilot and a mechanic for many years. I am based in SBH (TFFJ) and seen many flocks of pilots, some PICs and some SICs come and go, as the flying industry is evolving.

The comments from "TWinsider" troubles me because they convey an undeserved and incomplete picture of this company's work force and employee's dedication to customer service and obvious safety's concern.

If someone has been working long enough in this industry, they would know that working in a commercial environnement is a bit more complicated than flying around a pattern in a cherokee.

FAA, US Customs, Landing rights, Foreign operations, Weather, Training, etc... to name a few are everyday's constraints that small (and big) operators have to deal with. And pilots don't know necessarely that aspect of the business...

Small operators, like Tradewind, are giving a shot to young pilots to get trained and to acquire the necessary experience to step up to "bigger and faster" irons that they would never get, and otherwise would be still counting landings in their mighty 172´s...😜

Twinsider knows probably little about the difficulty of finding housing in SBH, and sure pilot's life in a small company is full of changes to say the least.

But is he/she telling you that, besides good salary, the crew get "free"housing in San Juan?, access to a company car? Various advantegeous plan? Stay at the 4 seasons hotel in Nevis? Etc...

Sure your personnal life can be complicated, but so is college life....

The very nature of the business is that you might end up working on new year's day.

But you might also run across a celebrity that you will never encounter in your local flight pattern and you are filling up your logbook and getting paid while acquiring valuable experience.

The people in the company are young and motivated in every department. The management is giving every opportunity to employee and crew to move up. What is wrong with that?

Sure there are mishaps like everywhere, but I have never seen the company cutting corners on safety, customer service or disregarding regulations...

They trust their crew (you!) with the life of the passengers and don't hesitate to hand you a 2 millions+ airplane to play with.

Managerial positions were given to young talents in flying, maintenance and operations. Where are you going to find that?😳

So before pointing your finger at a few issues on the open web, behind the safety of your monitor, become a teamplayer and bring your suggestions and comments to the management.

And if you are reluctant to do, for whatever reasons, bring up the issue to me and I will convey your concerns without revealing your name. I don't have a dog in the race... but I recognize hard dedicated work when I see it.

But please, a lot of people in administrative, maintenance, handling, flying and management are depending on "bucks" so you can play "Buck Rodgers" so think about what you are doing and how you do it.

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Old 01-11-2017, 05:31 AM   #19
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Default The Truth About Tradewind Aviation

Bonjour Maxime! You make some great points. I must say however that your perspective is a little biased because you live in SBH and Tradewind really is one of a couple aviation jobs convenient for SBH residents. You, Tome, and Bruno really have a much different situation than the SJU crewmembers. I also love that you refer to yourself as a “vendor.” For the record I really like you and think that you are one of a handful of great guys “working” for the company. You have saved my day more than once so I am a big fan. I am sorry that you are not able to fly anymore, as you were clearly an asset to the left seat. I heard you did a great job fixing N668TW the other night when it wouldn’t start. After you soldered the broken wire together I assume the logbook entry read something like: “Was unable to replicate the issue.” I am pretty sure that wire was supposed to be replaced and that splices are not allowed according to the specifications of the manufacturer. But hey you saved the company from flying an actual A&P mechanic to SBH so that’s a win right!?!? If it was required, I am sure the maintenance department replaced that wire yesterday when the plane got back to SJU.

To touch on your other rebuttals. I do think that it is great that young pilots are getting a shot and are able to log landings in a plane other than a 172. I did mention, “We all have to learn somewhere.” My issue is that the PIC’s that are flying with the under 800 hour SIC’s have VERY little time in the PC-12 and they themselves are not 100% proficient in the aircraft. Be honest do you personally think a guy with 30 hours in the PC-12 is ready to be a PIC for this operation? Because that is whom they just upgraded.

“thenewguyhere” commented that there are companies hiring 0 time PC-12 guys as PIC’s and I am sure that is happening. But I am going to argue that they are not having to land at SBH 3 times a day with a plane that is potentially over weight and or out of balance, full of people that can more than afford to sue the company and the pilots individually. I have a lot of confidence in my skills and the aircraft but when the winds are gusting and I am full of people and bags there are landings where I am still nervous and respectful of the difficulties of landing at SBH.

I have no doubt that finding a crew house to rent in SBH is a nightmare. The rental market there is so crazy expensive. My issues with the house are just ones that could be solved for a few hundred dollars. I will refer to the plugs again. Clearly all the homes are 220V on the island. Well the company has flown over a TV and a box fan both 110V. The adaptors that have been supplied in the house are not step down converters they are just plug converters. So if you plug in the TV to the plug converter, which someone has already done, then the TV gets 220V and is completely fried. Why does the company not buy a 12 pack of step down converters and put them everywhere? All of the pilots travel with 110V electronics. I constantly have to hope my laptop battery lasts through all my PIC computer required tasks.

Then the bathroom situation. Management says that the bathroom drain downstairs is fixed but it never is 100% fixed. They just get the super slow clogged drain to drain “less slow.” I referenced that there is no door to the upstairs bedroom and got called out that there is a door by TWPilot. My point was that when you have to share the upstairs bathroom there is no door or wall for that matter separating the sleeping area so the other pilot has to come through your bedroom to use the bathroom. And on the subject of the door that is there at the top of the stairs. It is glass and has no curtain. When in the kitchen you can see right in the bedroom more importantly you can see right where someone is walking out the upstairs bathroom. How much would a curtain be for the door $20? I know one of our current female pilots that would lose her mind if someone saw her naked or partially clothed. Why are you putting all of the pilots at risk of potential sexual harassment?

Now Maxime to address a couple perks that you listed, that I left out. “Free"housing in San Juan, access to a company car and various advantegeous plans.” So if you are based in San Juan full time you do not get free housing. If you are based up north you can live in the crew house for free while you are down here for the busy winter season. Now there are some crew houses that have better living dynamics than others. If you luck out, your roommates are clean and respectful of the shared space. They are ok with having boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses in the house. More so than not your roommates are living a continuation of their college days and leave dirty dishes and garbage everywhere. They don’t shower on a regular basis and have terrible body odor that infects your entire condo. Sometimes they have an issue with alcohol and wont let you keep it in the house because they don’t drink. I could go on and on but you get the picture, and it really is the luck of the draw. But the point is that there are WAY more cases of “roommate frustration” than joyful rent free living.

You can also take the $750 a month housing allowance and rent your own place if you don’t want to be in the crew house. This is a nice option and there are a couple of the pilots that have done this. It can however be very hard to find a furnished place for less than $1,000 a month that is within walking distance to the crew condos. You see if you don’t live in the crew condos you don’t have access to the cars. They say you do but all of the pilots in the crew condos are fighting for the cars already without some other pilot that doesn’t live in the condo wanting to use the car to run errands or commute to work. Also it is very hard to find someone in Isla Verde to give you a 4 or 6-month lease. You see we are all down in Puerto Rico during the busy months for obvious reasons. Well landlords know they can get top dollar during the holiday season so they charge premium rents. It is impossible to not live in the crew condo in Isla Verde and not come out of pocket an additional $300-$500 a month once you have factored additional rent and utilities. But $300-$500 for rent in Isla Verde is nothing to complain about. So that is a small perk. But then when you go back up north the rents are insane and you are 100% on your own again because that is your base. So it is technically a gift and a curse.

Onto the access to the company cars: It is very nice and also necessary that the company rents cars for the pilots living in the crew condos. The issue is sometimes you need the car to drive to the hanger for work and your roommate has taken it to Rincon. Or they have taken the car to Fajardo and parked it there while they are in Vieques for 3 days. Sometimes your roommate wants to go down to the beach, which is 2 blocks away, and they decide that they would rather drive than walk. Lets not forget the most common issue of when you get in the car to go to work at 5:20am and there is no fuel in the car. So then you drive quickly out of your way. Throw a gallon or two in the car because you are pressed for time and then the empty fuel cycle perpetuates. And don’t even get me started on how disgusting some of the cars are. Littered with sand and fast food wrappers. Some of the cars smell so bad you can barely drive them without rolling down the windows. I am not saying that the entire shared car situation is like this. But most are!

Then there is the benefits package or “advantegeous plan” as you refer to it. That is an industry standard perk of the company as I am sure there are a few 135’s that don’t offer health insurance or 401k. The health insurance offerings are decent but as an SIC your salary is one that would be cut in half if you had to chose the most expensive plan based on family circumstance. This is not Tradewind’s fault as health insurance as a whole needs to be revamped. The 401k is nice and the company match is industry average. I apologize for leaving this out of my initial posting. That is a benefit of working here.

You made the remark that the people in a lot of the departments are young and motivated. I will somewhat agree, but I think that over time the motivation curtails, and then the lack of experience sets in, so they fall into the trap of just doing enough to get by. This could also be that they have so much on their plate that they can barley keep their head above water and stuff falls though the cracks. But it comes across to a lot of the pilots as laziness and just not really caring.

I give you my word that I have made over two-dozen suggestions to improve workflow, operational efficiencies and pilot moral. I am well aware of the fact that I do not know all of the ingredients in the recipe of how the Tradewind sausage is made. But there have been countless conversations and emails that I have sent with great suggestions, with shared sentiment of other PIC’s and myself, and I will get a one sentence response if even a response at all. Technically this post has a lot of great suggestions as to how to improve the company and pilot moral. Lets circle back in a month to see if management has taken any to heart and acted upon them.

To address TWPilot’s issues with me misstating the duty day and per-diem pay rates. I know we get $30 on international layovers in addition to the hourly rate. $40 is about what you are left with after taxes on an average day with an SBH layover. Before you go arguing that the per-diem is not taxed, none of us are filing expense reports for meals with the company so by federal law it is taxable. I did mistype that we have a 12-hour duty day rather than a 14-hour duty day. I was in my head conveying that we work 12-hour schedules most days and in the 12th hour we all are missing calls and making mistakes. But yes you are right, 14 hours is the Tradewind duty day and I would wager a bet that every PIC in the company with the exception of a couple new ones have due to being scheduled, been in the plane just off a runway in the 14th hour. Apologize for the mistake and you are welcome to believe I am not a PIC for it. We are all entitled to our own assumptions.

Finally TWPilot, in respect to your head in the sand about the new SIC’s that are not happy. You are right. NOT ALL of them regret coming here. There are 1 maybe 2 that don’t seem to complain or even talk very much in general. But I personally know of 4 out of the class of 5 that came down 2.5 months ago that are “going home” to put in applications with other carriers or are going on military orders because they are not experiencing what they were sold. I assume you are an assistant chief pilot or a standards captain and I hate to break it to but you guys are not approachable, not supportive and are completely unplugged from what is going on here. I am sure you have checked the pulse of the new SIC’s and they have told you to your face that they are happy and doing just fine here. If you want to know the truth, I would suggest maybe putting black boxes in the aircraft and listening to the conversations on a day-to-day basis between them and some of the more approachable PIC’s. Maybe send an anonymous online survey to all the pilots or place an anonymous survey iPad like the one in the SBH departure lounge in the Tradewind SJU office. Maybe just ask the pilots to type up 5 things that would make this company better and put it in a suggestion box. But I have $20 on the fact that this is just another suggestion that falls on deaf ears and business will go on as usual. It really is a shame this company could be so great.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:27 AM   #20
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Kinda long winded eh? Do they let you talk on the radio?

If the main concern is flying overweight, bear this in mind (It's important):


The decision to fly an overweight aircraft, or one that you're unsure of comes down to the flight crew. Yes, it's the captains decision, but you as an FO can refuse to fly also. Let him go single pilot. If you don't have enough backbone to refuse a flight that is THAT much over gross weight, you need to reevaluate your career choice. I asked the chief pilot how many pilots he's fired for refusing to fly due to being over gross weight. Can you guess his answer?


I'm sick of hearing pilots whine about things their company is "making" them do. Just stop doing it. If they fire you for not flying illegally (they won't), go straight to the POI.
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