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Old 01-11-2017, 09:17 AM   #21
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Like I said, what you describe is all typical of a 135 operation. I've been in one for a few months, experience many of the same things you describe, and still love it.

What I'm about to write up isn't only for TWInsider, it's for anyone else looking at this and getting a bad taste about it. I have no affiliation with Tradewind and pretty much know nothing about them. It's not specific to Tradewind, therefore, but 135 ops in general.

First off, anytime someone comes in saying they have "the truth" about someone or something, it immediately sets off red flags. Any particular viewpoint is an opinion, even if supported by many items of fact. Saying that you alone have the truth is rather sensationalist and even insulting - what special powers do you have that others there do not by which you were able to deduce this great "truth"? You have an opinion, influenced by your negative experiences - of which others may not find the same experiences to be a big deal. Anyway...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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.
They might not have very much time in the PC-12, but they have the FAA requirements regarding 135 IFR captains (1200 hours), have jumped through the hoops for initial training and competency checks, and were found to be proficient enough at that point. On top of that, you don't know every single pilot's flight experience before showing up to this gig - what if they sat right seat in a Caravan for a few hundred hours? Not technically a PC-12, but similar enough. As the PIC, if you screw something up, it's on you and the company, not the SIC. As the SIC, if you see something you don't like while flying with a particular PIC, say something. If you feel that didn't result in an adequate resolution, escalate your concerns to management.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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.
Potentially? How do you not know? Do you not have a weight and balance form? Is it not accurate? As a SIC, your ass is on the line in that airplane too - again, if you're not comfortable with something as a SIC, speak up. If your concerns are disregarded, don't go. If you're making these decisions to go as a PIC, you're an idiot and perpetuating the problem. It's healthy to be nervous of sketchy conditions, and I certainly am when landing a PC-12 full of 8 pax on a snow-covered runway with a significant direct crosswind, but that's the job in the 135 world.

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Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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.
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect each person to be responsible for their devices and bring their own appropriate chargers/converters, but maybe that's just me. Our crew houses don't have anything aside from basic furniture, most don't have internet or TVs either. We take care of any important business at the airport using the internet there before we leave, and we all have our own supplies if we're going to be gone overnight. Fairly standard.

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Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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?
These are petty complaints. I assume there's a door on the bathroom - someone could change in there. Pilots I overnight with don't trot around naked from what I've seen, they have some form of nightwear - if only white shirt/boxers, but good enough, we're not lounging in the living room, we're sleeping and maybe transiting to the bathroom where we'll be seen for a maximum of 2 seconds in the process assuming the other person is even up.

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Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
“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.
Being able to utilize crew houses while you're off is a great perk, but keep in mind their primary purpose is for the crews that are on duty and actually need them. The other issues with cleanliness and roommates can be resolved in an adult-like manner by talking to the other pilots about things that are bothering you (trash, dishes, etc). Again, if that doesn't get you anywhere, escalate to management. In the meantime you can be an adult and leave things better than you found them - take some initiative to clean up a bit, and others are more likely to keep the place clean once it's that way. Is it technically your job? No, but when everyone has that mindset, it's never going to get done.

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Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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!
Same deal as the crew house - be an adult, talk to the others, and anything related to official company use of the car (crews getting to/from the crew house and the airport) takes priority. Anyone else using the car for any other reason should check around and make sure it's cool with everyone else and see if they want to tag along, and make sure a car is available for any crews needing it for official business above. These are not the types of things management always needs to come down and dictate, they're fairly common sense things that a group of adults can work out on their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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.
This happens everywhere. If you think it's going to be different as you move up or around, you're going to have a bad time. Once settled in, the job is fairly simplistic and routine in and of itself, and people get comfortable and/or bored. Comfortable, bored pilots tend to find things to complain about, no matter how petty. You'll be dealing with that for quite a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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.
Where I'm at, we don't get per diem until a full 24 hours away from base. Duty days are normally scheduled 14 hours for me too. If we run late, we get pushed out into the max 16 hour territory. Whatever, it's the nature of the 135 beast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post
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.
For all your complaints, putting a "black box" in the aircraft seems like a terrible idea - no way something like that would be used to improve upon QOL like what you suggest. Surveys make more sense, we get them once a year in addition to being able to submit anonymous feedback forms at any time.

The bottom line is that 135 operations aren't for everyone, and that aside, pilots as a group tend to be whiny at times. If you truly believe that life at Tradewind is terrible to the point where you're not happy there and the QOL and benefits aren't worth it, jump ship when you're able and move on. I'm not saying that all of your claims are unsubstantiated, by any means. But the 135 world (and 121 to an extent) are not perfect, and ****ty situations and hard work are at times part of the game. Some people come in thinking it's going to be akin to a 9-5 M-F office job where everything is peachy, everything is on schedule and everyone is diligent and gets along - they generally end up disappointed. We have SICs (and PICs) drop out of my company as well because it's not what they expected, even though many of us don't have any major complaints.

Come in with the right expectations, take the job for what it is, and be an adult when it comes to dealing with others and doing things that might not be your job but that will improve your environment, and the 135 world will be a bit less miserable to you (and to all who deal with 135 ops).

Last edited by RBZL; 01-11-2017 at 09:21 AM. Reason: I can sometimes spell words correctly - this was not one of those times
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:22 AM   #22
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Your numbers are wrong on the new class ZZZ and XXX, seeing as you come from that new class and are unhappy you try to bring the other new SICs down with your bad attitudes. And if you are so unhappy with this company why don't you leave? Tradewind is a great company to work for and I personally love it and I am not who you say I am.

Last edited by vagabond; 01-11-2017 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Do NOT post initials or any personal identifiers
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:31 AM   #23
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TWInsider,
So what I hear that you're saying is that the company provides living accommodations, but that's not good enough for you because of a lack of interpersonal skills. (fyi, most places don't provide for such. And in the 121 world, you're likely to live in a crash pad that you pay for out of pocket with the exact same issues).
Also, you have a car available, but that's not good enough for you. Again because you lack interpersonal skills.
Also you are given an allowance if you want to rent on your own, but that's not good enough either....
Regarding the lack of curtain on the door. If it's such an issue to you, why didn't you put a covering up? Sure it's not your area of responsibility.. but as a pro tip, airlines like seeing people who can take initiative.

To the issue of the PC-12. You do realize that it's a SINGLE PILOT airplane, that is operated heavily by low time owner pilots. It's a SIMPLE airplane. Anyone worth their salt should be able to fly that airplane with the flight hours that you mention!

And finally to the most egregious part. You threw someone under the bus on a public forum for possibly committing a violation. Messing with someone's livelihood that way makes you a lowlife. If you really have issues with things of such nature there are proper ways to deal with it. But again, it's apparent that your interpersonal skills are highly lacking.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:53 AM   #24
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You sound like a real pleasant person TWInsider. Get a grip! I personally know people who have worked at Tradewind and they all had great things to say about the company.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:01 AM   #25
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RBZL you make some great points and I appreciate you taking the time in your in depth response.

TWPilot I love how your focus is on identifying who this is rather than implementing change as management. Just keep naming names or posting initials and eventually you will get it right. In the process people are going to get burned with false assumptions just fueling the fire of more things people who fly here are ****ed about.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:51 PM   #26
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I'll preface this by saying I've never spent much time on these forums, but after watching this develop the last week I feel compelled to weigh in.

TWinsider:

You, like anyone else in any industry are entitled to have misgivings about your experience. Your execution on the matter is unprofessional, and I don't think you fully understand or appreciate the ramifications they're placing on the entire pilot group. I, like many of the pilots here work hard to prove that the company's trust in my skillset is well-placed. Your temper tantrum (which I'll add is filled with exaggerations and half-truths to sell your case) makes us all look bad on the whole. You were most likely an SIC for long enough to earn a PIC position, right? Was that not enough time to discover this wasn't the best fit for you? No one forced you to sign a year-long contract, if in fact you didn't feel comfortable with what's entailed in the day-to-day here. The operations here are not entirely different from any other 135 operator in this industry. What you're cultivating right now is a new culture of mistrust within the ranks and I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I don't appreciate that.

Moreover, your tongue-in-cheek comment toward *** is nothing short of slander. I was present in SBH and there was in fact an SJU-based maintenance professional on hand with a full compliment of equipment to mitigate the maintenance issue by the numbers. Again, you're taking creative license with your portrayal of the scenario. You're selling an image of a company that doesn't follow-through on maintenance concerns and you're hurting a positive image we all work hard to promote. As for flying "Overweight Aircraft", if you are in fact a PIC, I would assume you'd exercise the operational control you've been endowed with. I have never known anyone to fly an overweight aircraft in my experience here, and any decision to leave bags behind for reasons of safety has been met by the expected level of support.

Again, in my time here, I have seen many improvements to the QOL. Deleting both new-hire and upgrade contracts, retention bonuses and the like. I have never had a time-off request denied, provided I gave advance notice. Your post is concerning because it portrays the entire pilot group as ungrateful, all while taking our professional image to task.

In the future I'd recommend you approach a scenario like this with a little more tact and professionalism. End rant.

Last edited by UAL T38 Phlyer; 01-11-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:13 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TWInsider View Post

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..
While I normally do not feel the need to stoop to the level of drama this post is creating, but when my life and decisions are specifically referenced, and incorrectly at that, I feel the need to remove the slanderous association from my name. As in the airlines, military pilots are required to maintain currency, not only in the airplane, but in weapons systems, deployment readiness…the list goes on and on. I openly gave Tradewind the majority of my time during the busy season, with the understanding I could take extensive military leave on the back end in order to become recurrent in the C-130, get spun up with my new unit and attend upgrade school. I take it quite personally that you feel the need use my situation as a way to create credibility in your post. Tradewind has been nothing but understanding and supportive of my military requirements.

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Your numbers are wrong on the new class ** and *, seeing as you come from that new class and are unhappy you try to bring the other new SICs down with your bad attitudes. And if you are so unhappy with this company why don't you leave? Tradewind is a great company to work for and I personally love it and I am not who you say I am.
As for specifically “calling me out” for initiating this post, what you do not know is that during my time at Tradewind I was able to assist ** in revamping a welcome package for the Tradewind new hire classes. I have sent money saving solutions to management and have been met with encouragement to continue sending new ideas. I have brought up multiple issues to standard captains as well as management and have had positive feedback and results. Ironically, just today, I offered to work a recruiting booth at this year’s Women in Aviation Conference to assist in growing our ranks. Why would I openly burn a company and then offer to assist with recruiting. If you would like to see the email, please feel free to reach out to myself, or ** up north.
My husband has been on multiple overnights, successfully I might add. Dispatch was more than willing to work with him so that he could catch a repo out of Miami in order to move some of our belongings. He is constantly making cookies for ground personnel here, in Nevis and in St Barths as he understands the hard work that they all put into helping our company run more smoothly.

None of the aforementioned items are consistent with the OP’s disgruntled post, nor do they warrant that I myself am the one who posted. I would appreciate it, if people have issues or questions, that they bring them to me directly!

Last edited by UAL T38 Phlyer; 01-11-2017 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
go straight to the POI.
That will do nothing but cost you your job. The POI and the FAA can be sued for interrupting their business, so they will approach your complaints with shyness. The reason is that it is hearsay, very likely not provable on paper. The best thing you can do is get the experience you need and bail. No drama. Let some other sucker file a report.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:35 PM   #29
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Since you told everyone that we are desperate for PICs we have recieved 3x as many applications, so thanks for that. I should warn people though this is the view from the SBH house... No check in or check out though, no reciepts to expense. You do have to make your own bed though. I'll take this all day over some hotel in NJ. Juding by the fact that we have bonuses now in lieu of contracts (that were a raise for everyone) I am assuming you are not actually still employed here.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:02 PM   #30
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How hard is that 500 XC Point-to-point for SIC? By the time I can apply I should be around 1200 TT and have the night / instrument time, but as a jumper dumper XC is very hard to come by.
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