What is wrong with the aviation industry?

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KiloDelta
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What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by KiloDelta »

Hi All,
I am new to this forum and by going through and reading the posts I have learnt more than what I could by surfing google. Many things have come as a shock such as:

1) The wage, living condition for starting out or pilots graduated with a CPL is very very low. Compare this with the following:
- A person who earns a Class 1 trucking license after 2-3 months of training can start of earning 48k and then slowly progress to earning up to 100k over the years and if he becomes a owner / operator.
- Same thing goes with Marine navigation, first officers in the shipping industry, starting at 48k with high probability of employment after graduation and the salary goes on increasing as the experience stacks by.
- In the railroad industry for example CN Rail. A starting salary for a high school graduate for a conductor position is 84K and after 2 years the conductor is promoted to being a locomotive engineer and the salary is easily 100k a year.

I am not interested in the aviation industry for money alone, but I am just comparing and trying to understand that why is it soo bad out there for pilots. Of all the industries I mentioned above the aptitude, intelligence and knowledge, experience, safety regulations is no where near close to what is required from a pilot. Then why are pilots at the bottom of the stack when it comes to pay, quality of life and employment?

I regularly read things like "Work on a ramp, clean toilets to show yourself worthy of employment?" - "Do a road trip dropping resumes to every employer to prove that you are really into it?" No other occupation does that or demand that much from a person. Is it just in Canada or everywhere in the world? Airlines in Asia are ever increasing and are always needing pilots bcoz local candidates cannot afford the training, but then they have age limits etc. Can someone explain why it is so hard out there and if this profession is even worth pursuing. I am 40 year old, married with kids. Always had been interested in aviation.

Recently, SpaceX launched two astronauts in their Crew Dragon capsule. The surprising thing that this capsule was totally automated. The computers controlled everything from take off , to orbit and then docking with the international space station. Similarly, Airbus 350-1000 demonstrated a fully automated pilot-less take off. Going forward would this mean the pilot profession may come to an end with all the automation? Would general aviation / short-haul will be affected as well?
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flyingcanuck
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by flyingcanuck »

Lol we all know this, it's just the way it is. I'm sure someone here will tell you, either deal with it or don't start in aviation professionally. It sucks but Canada is unique, and there's alot of factors to get us to where we are today. As to your age, tbh I'd say just buy a plane and do your ppl and fly for fun, I doubt you want to get paid shit for the next 5 years and probably be gone alot or have to move.

Oh and realize this forum is pretty negative, no one goes online to tell everyone how great the job is
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by rookiepilot »

KiloDelta wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:39 pm Hi All,
I am new to this forum and by going through and reading the posts I have learnt more than what I could by surfing google. Many things have come as a shock such as:

1) The wage, living condition for starting out or pilots graduated with a CPL is very very low. Compare this with the following:
- A person who earns a Class 1 trucking license after 2-3 months of training can start of earning 48k and then slowly progress to earning up to 100k over the years and if he becomes a owner / operator.
- Same thing goes with Marine navigation, first officers in the shipping industry, starting at 48k with high probability of employment after graduation and the salary goes on increasing as the experience stacks by.
- In the railroad industry for example CN Rail. A starting salary for a high school graduate for a conductor position is 84K and after 2 years the conductor is promoted to being a locomotive engineer and the salary is easily 100k a year.
A) Do one of those things then.
B) Supply and demand.
C) None of those jobs above, do you end up with the cushy AC captain's position, flying a handful of days a month to Asia and making 300K.

People in law school kill themselves at first, to make partner one day, and big bucks.
MBA's kill themselves to work for GS, one day to make director and big bucks.
Architects.......
Surgeons........
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PilotDAR
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by PilotDAR »

no one goes online to tell everyone how great the job is
Yeah, I have to keep some things secret!
A person who earns a Class 1 trucking license after 2-3 months of training can start of earning 48k and then slowly progress to earning up to 100k over the years
Apples to oranges. The learning curve is very different. After 2-3 months, you may have experience to have value as a driver. It'll be 2-3 years as a new CPL before your experience is broad enough to make you really employable, while still competing with other CPLs for the few jobs.

Yeah there's negativity here, perhaps because of occasional disappointment, in part because hopes/expectations are not aligning with reality well. There's lots of positive experience too, perhaps pilots don't want to brag about it!
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GoinVertical
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by GoinVertical »

I know some people that made 40k plus their first year flight instructing, but they had to work like a dog at a busy school, push weather, not really care about results, etc. to manage that.

It is only what you make of it, but as said above, you can end up a senior wide body captain making 300k annually going to work a few times a month.

Like PilotDAR says, you need a couple years experience to be considered employable (though maybe not during the golden age of 2017-2019).

Because of the potential, and the experience required to get there, there are people that have no problem working for free to gain that experience. This drags the whole industry wage standard down when employers know that people are willing to fly their aircraft just for the experience.

I think the biggest reason that Canada is unique is that there are so many small operators flying to remote locations, and in a lot of cases they are subsidized in some way due to being an "essential service". Because there are so many smaller operators, larger operators (almost) always have a decent sized pool of experienced candidates to hire from, so why bother doing things with cadet programs the way they do it in Europe or Asia?

Additionally, since flying is a passion for so many, people are often willing to put up with any other additional bullshit to "make their dreams come true".
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photofly
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by photofly »

It’s a “tournament”, as analyzed by Levitt and Dubner:
https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/freakonomics-summary
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:00 am It’s a “tournament”, as analyzed by Levitt and Dubner:
https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/freakonomics-summary
Am I supposed to kill 1 out of 4 pilots I meet?
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by photofly »

I think responding to posts on AvCanada fills that role.
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by digits_ »

Ouch
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by Beefitarian »

:smt071
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KiloDelta
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by KiloDelta »

Please check this. 500 hours & your in a B777 cockpit, thats why I asked why are things so hard here?

https://www.flightdeckfriend.com/job/ae ... fficers-2/
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by digits_ »

KiloDelta wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:32 pm Please check this. 500 hours & your in a B777 cockpit, thats why I asked why are things so hard here?

https://www.flightdeckfriend.com/job/ae ... fficers-2/
500 hours on a multicrew airplane over 10 ton. A king air won't cut it.
You basically need a job like that before being able to be hired for a job like that. The Canadian system offers much more opportunities for pilots starting out.
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by PilotDAR »

500 hours & your in a B777 cockpit
"your" is not equal to "you're"!

I think you missed a few vitally important additional requirements presented in the ad.

Remember that thoroughness, and comprehension of details are pretty important aspects of being a pilot. Employers are looking for this in candidates. You sure want to make a good impression to those who might let you fly their plane, by demonstrating that you have read and understood the relevant information!
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twa22
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by twa22 »

PilotDAR wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:52 pm
500 hours & your in a B777 cockpit
"your" is not equal to "you're"!

I think you missed a few vitally important additional requirements presented in the ad.

Remember that thoroughness, and comprehension of details are pretty important aspects of being a pilot. Employers are looking for this in candidates. You sure want to make a good impression to those who might let you fly their plane, by demonstrating that you have read and understood the relevant information!
Here we go again with the spelling police

OP is new to the world of aviation and doesn't understand the intrinsic nature that aviation is, it's easy to look at an ad in Europe and mistake it for being much easier to get a job there then here... and frankly, and realistically, it is much easier to get into a big jet in Europe then it is here (or anywhere in the world for that matter). Oh, and since that was a 777 ad, just for a bit of clarity to the OP; Canada has the LOWEST PAID 777 PILOTS in the world. Yes, that's right, you get hired at AC and somehow end up on the 777, you are making 50-60k a year or whatever it comes out to. I don't know how many get 777 ground school to begin, but just saying.

I really annoys me when old guys like you come in and preach "thoroughness, and comprehension of details are pretty important aspects of being a pilot. Employers are looking for this in candidates. You sure want to make a good impression to those who might let you fly their plane, by demonstrating that you have read and understood the relevant information!" You talk as if you're perfect, and because OP made a couple mistakes pointing out an ad, he's not thorough or doesn't have comprehension of detail... or at least that's what your bolded comment insinuates in my view

So on top of the fact these forums are negative, you also have a lot of know it alls like in the above example. I love aviation, love flying planes and couldn't be happier to be doing what I do. I generally try to stay away from replying to posts like these, but these types of comments really piss me off...
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by PilotDAR »

but these types of comments really piss me off...
Yeah, piss off happens from time to time, it's not personal, it's big picture. If I read a post, and believe that it's an English is a second language post, I lower my expectations, I don't speak any other language well myself, so I respect someone who does. As for English speakers, What's the excuse for careless grammar when the poster has time to formulate and proofread a post? If there's an error in a rushed reply, yeah that happens, but if you have time to apply your skill, I'm hopeful that everyone would like to be seen to be presenting their best.

Yes, I stand by what I wrote:
Employers are looking for this in candidates. You sure want to make a good impression to those who might let you fly their plane, by demonstrating that you have read and understood the relevant information!
If a poster new to aviation would like the wisdom of a bunch of aviation old guys/gals, they will make the best impression by demonstration their thoroughness. I've been yelled at in a cockpit for not being thorough (though not for grammar!) so yes, the old pilots are paying attention to detail. Speaking for myself, I'll go extra for even the newest pilot who similarly displays attention to detail. It's not negative, it's just maintaining an existing standard.
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by AirFrame »

One reason comes to mind: Unions. All of the positions listed you'll be in a union from the time you start your first job. Flying, you'll likely be non-union until you reach an airline.
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twa22
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by twa22 »

PilotDAR wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:18 am If a poster new to aviation would like the wisdom of a bunch of aviation old guys/gals, they will make the best impression by demonstration their thoroughness.
lol

So much for your thoroughness in grammar... I wish you continue to bestow your great wisdom upon others, cheers.
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by digits_ »

twa22 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:11 pm and frankly, and realistically, it is much easier to get into a big jet in Europe then it is here (or anywhere in the world for that matter)
That is not true. The path to a big jet in Europe is much shorter, but there are way fewer paths available. The pilots flying the big jets in Europe might have gotten into their plane without much hassle, but there is a big group of commercial pilots that never got into any airplane. When you start flight training, you'll have much more chance of belonging to that last group.

You can improve your odds a bit with a pay to fly scheme, that's another 50k EUR you have to drop, after a self funded type rating and another bunch of courses.

The average pilot -and that's not related to skill, mainly to luck- will have a better chance in Canada to end up in a big jet versus in Europe.
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As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by twa22 »

digits_ wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:25 am
twa22 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:11 pm and frankly, and realistically, it is much easier to get into a big jet in Europe then it is here (or anywhere in the world for that matter)
That is not true. The path to a big jet in Europe is much shorter, but there are way fewer paths available. The pilots flying the big jets in Europe might have gotten into their plane without much hassle, but there is a big group of commercial pilots that never got into any airplane. When you start flight training, you'll have much more chance of belonging to that last group.

You can improve your odds a bit with a pay to fly scheme, that's another 50k EUR you have to drop, after a self funded type rating and another bunch of courses.

The average pilot -and that's not related to skill, mainly to luck- will have a better chance in Canada to end up in a big jet versus in Europe.
Yea, shorter definitely, maybe not easier, so I should've said shorter instead of easier, but I based my comments on the many pilots that I do know who have made it to the big jets fairly easy. Anyways, it's all irrelevant nowadays with what's happening the world
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Re: What is wrong with the aviation industry?

Post by PilotDAR »

lol

So much for your thoroughness in grammar... I wish you continue to bestow your great wisdom upon others
Yup, you got me! I admit it, no excuses, I missed a proof read error. I also bounced a landing the other day, and wrote the date on the wrong line of a journey log last month too.

But no bestowing, I don't have the importance for that! I'm just a guy who's been doing aviation for a long time. My Mom had two degrees in English, and a real interest in aviation. She taught me to always present my best effort, 'cause you never know who's watching. I'm happy that I followed her advice, as I've spent a career in my passion of aviation, working with a number of interesting companies and clients, and I've never applied for a job.

In any industry, including aviation, (other than the horrible bump right now), there are people who need a job done - including flying planes. While new pilots are looking for that breakthrough job, these employers may be looking for their next staff member. I have hired, and been hired, directly as a result of posts on this, and another pilot forum. I've formed many friendships with very like minded pilots too! (Yeah, it's more than just me!)

So, among the advice I would like to pass along to new pilot candidates, people may notice you here. If they do, it's probably their first impression of you, you may as well make it your best! When I see a new pilot with an attention to detail in how they present themselves, my mind is open that they fly with the same care - a foot in the door. If I see a new pilot who misses details, or is not so concerned, they will get a closer look if I have any involvement with them flying a plane. If your first impression is what you posted on a forum, it's mostly the writing you do which is being considered for that first impression.

This, is not wrong with the aviation, or any other industry. Some people who employ are using all the tools to assess a candidate/applicant. So I consider it fair to remind candidates that people really are paying attention to detail. The candidate can make of that advice what they wish. The advice may be worth just a tiny amount more than their investment in reading it!
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