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Pilot Shortage - Regional Airlines+ Essential Air Service (EAS)
Old 11-19-2017, 08:34 AM   #1
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Pilot Shortage - Regional Airlines+ Essential Air Service (EAS)

So if this a good time for younger folks to look into becoming a commercial pilot?

Here are a couple of interesting articles about pilot shortages over the next several years.

“THE PILOT SHORTAGE is here. It’s real, it’s global, and it’s been making headlines. However, we need to be clear which sectors of the aviation industry we’re talking about, and in which parts of the world.”
Blog says its a problem with regional Arline’s not the legacy carriers:

Fact and Fallacy of the Pilot Shortage

This blog talks about the pilot shortage as well as the Essential Air Service and references a report produced by a working group of stakeholders:
How the Experts Think We Can Improve Small Community Air Service | Cranky Flier

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Old 11-19-2017, 09:23 AM   #2
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I'm sure others with far more experience and knowledge will be along shortly to comment, but my understanding is unless you get your training via the military, the entry cost is substantially higher than the salary expectations, at least for the first several years.

I understand you really need a college degree to be attractive to major carriers, so add to the cost of a college education another $100K to get all the needed certifications. Note also that starting pay is low *- in the $40k range - and it takes a few years to work up to a decent paying job. And as noted in the article linked in the previous post, working conditions are far from ideal.

I think ya gotta really love flying to head down this career path.


*
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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary of a Commercial Pilot is $73,490 per year. The lowest-paid 10 percent of Commercial Pilots earn $34,860, while the highest-paid 10 percent earn more than $119,650 annually.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:33 AM   #3
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The shortage is real. What is happening only slowly is an increase in salaries sufficient to generate an ROI on over $100K for training. So kids are not starting. Also, Congress raised the minimum hours experience for right-seaters, which has also effectively increased the cost to get the job. Right now, the majors are raiding the regionals are raiding the corporate flight departments. The air force also has issues: https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/y...-fix-shortage/

In the end, wages will have to rise.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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I think REWahoo is right, and it has been that way for as long as I can remember. When I bought the Piper Tri-Pacer in 1975 I bought it from the chief pilot of Allegheny Airlines, a regional carrier at the time. Later I found out that I, a police officer for two years, was making significantly more money than he was. He could only afford the airplane because he was living at his parent's house.

He died in an airplane crash 20+ years later when a ground controller directed another aircraft onto the runway where he was landing. He didn't see it because he was flying due west into a setting sun and the glare blinded him.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:49 PM   #5
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I think this is an area where years from now you will not need a human pilot...

From some of what I read a large passenger plane can take off, fly and land itself today...

I also think this will happen faster than auto driving cars...
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:51 AM   #6
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I think this is an area where years from now you will not need a human pilot...

From some of what I read a large passenger plane can take off, fly and land itself today...

I also think this will happen faster than auto driving cars...
Do you recall the airfrance jet that went into the Atlantic a few years back?

Turns out the copilot was too inexperienced and relied excessively on auto pilot etc. in his panic did not know how to get out of a stall and crashed the jumble jet.

Because of stuff like this I think people will demand well trained pilots or they won’t fly.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:13 AM   #7
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Do you recall the airfrance jet that went into the Atlantic a few years back?

Turns out the copilot was too inexperienced and relied excessively on auto pilot etc. in his panic did not know how to get out of a stall and crashed the jumble jet.

Because of stuff like this I think people will demand well trained pilots or they won’t fly.
A properly flown jet with robotics would not have went into a stall and crashed. Military drones are flown all over the world and work well.
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:06 AM   #8
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When I worked on fuel control systems for business jets, the industry joke was:
In the future cockpits will be designed to have a human and a dog.
The humans job will be to feed the dog.
The dogs job will be to bite the human should they attempt to touch the controls.
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:21 AM   #9
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Like almost all "shortages" that I hear about in the media, the unstated implicit part of the headline should include "at the price they are willing to pay".
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:42 AM   #10
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A properly flown jet with robotics would not have went into a stall and crashed. Military drones are flown all over the world and work well.
No. When all systems work as they are supposed to, then it's easy, and autopilot can do the job. No robot can handle every possible situation that pops up during a flight. And as far as drones, they crash all the time. You never hear about most of them because nobody gets hurt or dies. Even with a drone, there is still a pilot, maybe 10,000 miles away and sitting in an office building, but there is still a pilot.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BeachOrCity View Post
Do you recall the airfrance jet that went into the Atlantic a few years back?

Turns out the copilot was too inexperienced and relied excessively on auto pilot etc. in his panic did not know how to get out of a stall and crashed the jumble jet.

Because of stuff like this I think people will demand well trained pilots or they won’t fly.
But your post kinda proves that we do not have well trained pilots.... at least not all of them... and there is no way to know if you have one or not...

I bet the ones that were on the plane that landed in the Hudson were very happy they had a very experienced pilot... but it could have been someone who knew nothing.... the luck of life...

OH... remember the Korean airline that crashed in LA or some other place in Cal.... same thing... inexperienced pilots flying the biggest planes.... and you would think that those would be the most experienced pilots...
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:36 AM   #12
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No. When all systems work as they are supposed to, then it's easy, and autopilot can do the job. No robot can handle every possible situation that pops up during a flight. And as far as drones, they crash all the time. You never hear about most of them because nobody gets hurt or dies. Even with a drone, there is still a pilot, maybe 10,000 miles away and sitting in an office building, but there is still a pilot.

That would be interesting to know at what rate they crash because of computer error vs pilot error vs being shot down....


And you last comment kinda brought a thought into my brain.... why can you not have pilots in a building somewhere and they handle a number of planes.... you probably know for sure, but the media says they are on autopilot most of the trip... if so, then you do not need a crew in the plane (or two on a long flight).... just have them be like a drone and a pilot takes over on take off and landing or when the autopilot says they should...
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:40 AM   #13
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No. When all systems work as they are supposed to, then it's easy, and autopilot can do the job. No robot can handle every possible situation that pops up during a flight. And as far as drones, they crash all the time. You never hear about most of them because nobody gets hurt or dies. Even with a drone, there is still a pilot, maybe 10,000 miles away and sitting in an office building, but there is still a pilot.
Exactly. Plus the drones are dead simple compared to an air transport airplane.

As you say, "every possible situation" is a huge number. Combinations of failures, external factors like ice, ATC issues, etc. put the number of "situations" into the millions. For amusement, search Google for "Gimli Glider." Since this "impossible" situation has now occurred a computer could be programmed to handle it, but what about the thousands or millions of "situations" that remain unanticipated? Sure, a meat-based pilot also may not be able to handle many of them either, but at least there is a chance.

Re cockpit automation, I was peripherally involve in the 777 program and one of the topics of discussion was how to keep the pilots engaged when the system didn't really need them for anything, and that airplane has been flying for a couple of decades. The question is not new.

Re future cockpit crew the way I heard it was that the crew was a pilot, a dog, and a cat. The job of the pilot was to make the PAs, the job of the dog was to bite him if he touched anything else, and the job of the cat was to keep the dog awake.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:42 AM   #14
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...why can you not have pilots in a building somewhere and they handle a number of planes.... you probably know for sure, but the media says they are on autopilot most of the trip... if so, then you do not need a crew in the plane (or two on a long flight).... just have them be like a drone and a pilot takes over on take off and landing or when the autopilot says they should...
You can fly that airline if you want, I prefer to fly with one that has a live pilot on board with as much to lose as I have if the SHTF.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:45 AM   #15
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... just have them be like a drone and a pilot takes over on take off and landing or when the autopilot says they should...
... And when the datalink goes down?

There is a psychological factor too. I have "flown" an airline-level sim with a friend who was a sim instructor and it is pretty realistic. It was a ball, but in the back of my mind I always knew that my biggest personal risk was spilling my coffee.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #16
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You can fly that airline if you want, I prefer to fly with one that has a live pilot on board with as much to lose as I have if the SHTF.
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:12 PM   #17
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You can fly that airline if you want, I prefer to fly with one that has a live pilot on board with as much to lose as I have if the SHTF.

Good point, but we all know that there are many times that does not help... 60 minutes just had a segment on a plane crash involving a South American soccer team.... seems the pilot did not have enough fuel to get to his destination....


BUT, to be fair, airline travel is one of the safest forms of travel out there...
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:26 PM   #18
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The optimum IMO is continuation of the philosophy that Airbus uses: The fly-by-wire systems will not execute a pilot command that would take the airplane out of its approved flight envelope. Stall speed, Vne, roll or yaw rate, etc. The next step for all the wonderful software that could fly the airplane is to also configure it to be a trusted advisor and coach. Best of both worlds and that is where it is heading.

BTW @BeachOrCity's analysis of the Air France 447 crash was far too simplistic. It does support the point, though, that others have made: meat-based pilots make mistakes too.
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Old 11-20-2017, 03:43 PM   #19
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The comments on this subject are going nowhere.I

Yes being a pilot is a good future career. But a college degree is required. Then best place to go to college to get on the pilot path is MTSU. You can come out of there with King Air ratings. A bunch of Europeans are enrolled in their aero program--sons of the wealthy.
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Old 11-20-2017, 03:55 PM   #20
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... a college degree is required. ...
Actually not true. Example: I have a friend with only a high school degree who is now flying for Compass and will probably be moving up to Captain soon. I am pounding on him to get some education, though, as he (and any nondegreed air carrier pilot) is only one busted medical from becoming "unskilled labor."
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