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John Stossel on the pilot shortage.

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John Stossel on the pilot shortage.

Old 06-06-2022, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Fat Old Tired View Post
Does anyone else feel like a loser for being an airline pilot? I feel like it's a lousy job with little room for improvement or growth and the salary caps out. I feel like a loser and regret my career choice every day. Anybody else?
Yeah it caps out, but at a pretty nice amount. I canít think of any other job thatís this easy that gives this much time off pays well into six figures. If you wanna a multi million dollar salary go get your MBA, get on your knees for the next 20 yrs, get your ceo job and **** your life away chasing that dollar.
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Old 06-06-2022, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Fat Old Tired View Post
Does anyone else feel like a loser for being an airline pilot? I feel like it's a lousy job with little room for improvement or growth and the salary caps out. I feel like a loser and regret my career choice every day. Anybody else?
You should have tried a different career first to gain some perspective. It is a high paying job that contributes greatly to society. If you're lacking fulfillment it is probably coming from a different part of your life.
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Old 06-07-2022, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Cujo665 View Post
Letter to Stossel,

John, Youíve been sold a bill of goods on the pilot shortage issue. Major Airline Pilots today still earn only 70% of their late 70ís & early 80ís purchasing power. Itís even far worse at the regional level. In the late 70ís the government deregulated airlines creating competition, yet they left labor groups regulated under the railway labor act. This law effectively hamstrings unions from any job action. It takes the better part of a decade without a contract to finally get released to strike. After deregulation, management looked to employee concessions as a means to remain profitable. For decades, pilot wages and working conditions slowly deteriorated until pilots were making poverty level wages, living in group hostels, and eating ramen noodles. As the reward decreased, the experience level of new hires decreased. Put another way, the less the reward, the lower the experience level they were forced to hire. What used to take 4,500 hours of experience before seeing a jet airliner eventually dropped to 250 hours. Historically, it took many thousands of hours before flying passenger jets. This law change (almost 12 years ago now) simply restored a fraction of the experience levels previously required. 12 years is plenty of time for new pilots to complete military or college or even self paced training. So where are they? The fact is not enough people want the job anymore currently.
Also, there is no 1500 hour rule. The law change required an Airline Transport Pilot license to fly Airline Transport Category jets. The ATP license may be obtained at several different hour requirements all based upon experience, education, and training. A college educated military trained pilot may obtain an ATP at only 750 hours. A college educated pilot with a BS in aviation requires only 1,000 hours. A college educated pilot with an AS in aviation only requires 1,250 hours. A pilot with no formal education, no military training, and only self paced flight training requires the 1500 hours. That said, even then it not simply the hours, they just obtain the new certificate (ATP) prior to flying at the airlines, so they are demonstrating by way of an oral exam and flight test a much higher level of proficiency and expertise than a basic 250 hour commercial licensed pilot.
A brand new commercial pilot flying small 4 seat Cessna aircraft is prohibited by FAA regulations from carrying passengers under charter until they have 500 hours and even then may only do so in the daytime. A commercial pilot must have 1,200 hours experience before they can carry passengers in that same small cessna at night or in bad weather. These are not new rules or laws. In comparison, the ATP rule to fly large transport category jets makes perfect sense and is a natural progression.
You also were left with a false impression that the pilot is paying for their flight time themselves. In most cases, once they have their commercial license they take jobs as flight instructors, banner towing, traffic reporting, fish spotting, pipeline patrol, fire watch, scenic flights, flying for the Civil Air Patrol, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and as first officers at charter companies flying business turboprops and small business jets.
I respectfully submit that you were fed a one sided viewpoint on the pilot shortage by the very people who created it. The simple fact is they made the profession so unappealing for so long that not enough people are entering the profession. What started as a pay shortage, as it still is, since the FAA pilot database shows plenty of licensed ATP holders that could be flying. Theyíve chosen not to because the reward is still only 70% of the purchasing power it used to hold. Theyíre making better pay, and have a better quality of life where they are now. Currently, the shortage is a pay shortage, it will shortly morph into a physical shortage as even more pilots retire with nobody to replace them. Management needs to start funding pilot training, and create a cradle to grave type of guaranteed career advancement that doesnít require going into $250,000-$400,000 in debt for education and flight training to get s $50k job.
Well written and I agree. The only thing I would change is the statement about a college educated military trained pilot can get an ATP at 750 hours. A military trained aviator requires no degree actually. Plenty of Army Warrants with no degrees working with an ATP.
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