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Old 10-30-2012, 09:41 PM   #76
koncha
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Chaz: Pilots (and the rest of the flight and cabin crews) aren't going to improve your positions as long as the government retains the protectionist policies in place regarding foreign ownership of domestic airlines. The service provided by airlines like Emirates or Singapore is outstanding. I pay more to fly foreign carriers when the opportunity arises.

American carriers are in a race to see who can treat customers the most like inanimate cargo. To do that, they are also reducing the allure of flying for everyone involved.

Most airports are nothing more than temporary tenements for passengers who plan to arrive at the airport early enough to handle the rare worst-case scenario. TSA treats people with disregard often enough to make the experience miserable. Cabin crews are frustrated with the horrible pay and disregard showing by dispatching.

Until the domestic carriers are forced to REALLY compete, it will only get worse.

I say this as a person with nearly 1 million miles on domestic airlines and 100,000+ just this year. I am a United flyer but I periodically cheat on them with Delta and American.

Don't get me started on the boarding process. If United were a Chinese company, management would go into the office the Executive Vice President of Boarding Process and Livestock Control, put a pistol on his desk, and expect him to do the honorable thing.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:37 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koncha View Post
Chaz: Pilots (and the rest of the flight and cabin crews) aren't going to improve your positions as long as the government retains the protectionist policies in place regarding foreign ownership of domestic airlines.
You're wrong. Pilot pay won't improve as long as pilots are willing to accept shitty pay. Airlines aren't going to magically increase a pilot's wage when there are 10 more standing behind him begging to live in poverty for the chance to fly. Capitalism doesn't work like that.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:34 AM   #78
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got my Private in 1992 and bought a '76 C182. Bought an Aztec in 1998 and flew that until this August, now I'm flying a 2000 C182. I've been very lucky as I was introduced at the start to some of the old timers who taught and supervised my maintenance, especially with the twin. I've been able to do "owner-assisted annuals" from the getgo. If not for having an A&P and an IA to work under, I would have never been able to afford any airplane. I hated to let the Aztec go, but it took a lot of time to keep it airworthy, the C182 is easier with fixed gear, gravity fed tanks, and since it's a lot newer, it is not affected by as many Airworthy Directives. Hanger rental is a big cost, insurance isn't too awful with 2000+ hours and INST rating - what kills me now is keeping the electronic data bases (for the GPS units) current and legal - I'm using my iPad for charts and approach plates which is pretty reasonable, but that doesn't keep the panel mount navigators up to date. Self serve fuel is 5.25 at my airport and the hanger rented from the city is ~300/month (but I do store a lot of other goodies in there - ).

Flying isn't cheap obviously, but if you were flying enough hours anyway, and you picked the right airplane like an older Cessna, maybe a 172 or even a Piper Warrior / Archer, and were able to help with the maintenance and inspections, and could base it at a smaller GA airport (cheaper fuel, cheaper hanger, etc.) aircraft ownership might work out for someone. And especially if you had a partner. But if you're only flying 20-30 hours a year, then rental or club is the way to go, you just get stuck with whatever equipment they have.

FWIW I'm a Senior AME and would be happy to address any medical questions or issues, off the record obviously (here or via PM). I don't know everything about FAA Medical Certification, but I can usually find the answer.

PMR
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:46 AM   #79
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Piney Mountain: Thank you for the offer of AME advice. Thankfully, for now, that's the one thing that's not FUBAR in my professional world.

PunkinHead/Koncha: I've flown many excellent foreign airlines (and flew for one). The service certainly is vastly superior and in many cases, the working conditions and pay are equal or better than the "best" US passenger carriers. I've wondered if foreign airlines would even want to operate/own inside the US. If it is all about free market then I don't see why they wouldn't. I also don't see why they couldn't offer a superior product. Better pay, however, is another thing. At this stage it is true, pilots in the US have let themselves (via their various union contracts) into the basement. Even improving it somewhat won't be enough. Airlines have seen just how low the pilots have let themselves settle for. Frankly, overall, its a ruinous disaster. One of the basic things (of many issues, such as engineered bankruptcies) is if the railway labor act can't be changed (essentially there is a no strike clause) I don't see how the conditions can be appreciably be improved. My connection to the "fun" world of GA? I started by learning and instructing in GA, flew GA type planes in AK, but due to the upheavals in the commercial sector (furlough's etc.) , find that it is impossible to return to GA's what is now even more extremely marginal conditions/opportunities. (i.e. overqualified). Another one of the nauseating aviation catch 22's. From my years in aviation due to the variables of moving, furlough, downsizing and being recycled I don't think I could have ever afforded the money or stability for a proper family, much less owning any sort of airplane to fly for fun, even though, early on I once did own an airplane.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:03 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkinHead View Post
You're wrong. Pilot pay won't improve as long as pilots are willing to accept shitty pay. Airlines aren't going to magically increase a pilot's wage when there are 10 more standing behind him begging to live in poverty for the chance to fly. Capitalism doesn't work like that.
I don't think I am wrong but I am willing to accept the possibility.

I think the atmosphere for flying is toxic beyond the pay of the flight and cabin crews. Everyone is so damn angry when flying because they are treated like inanimate cargo. That starts with the airlines and TSA. I can't imagine an industry that treats their customers with such disregard will treat their employees any better.

The protectionist policies of the USA allow this situation to continue among the domestic flag carriers. The only way I see it changing is through the entry of an external party to force a re-think of the domestic market. We need a carrier to enter the market that isn't going to speed the run to the bottom (Spirit and Allegient).

I am a United customer specifically because of the Economy Plus seating. I can't use a laptop in normal cattle-class. However, I am limited in my functionality because of a lack of wifi on the aircraft. I'll pay a premium if I can be billing clients while in-flight. I typically choose Airbus over Boeing because the seats are 1" wider with United. It makes a difference.

I don't want to get nickeled and dimed because it is a pain for my expense report. I end up eating a lot of fees. I want an all-inclusive price with seats large enough to work, connectivity to email so I am more effective, early boarding so I have overhead space for my bags (I can't bill if I am sitting in baggage claim), a meal on flights over 3 hours and a boarding process that gets the plane out on time without confusing people who travel twice a decade.

All that said, I am watching the UA/CO flight crew negotiations. That is going to set the tone for the industry for a decade.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #81
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Yes, it is embarrassing and even somewhat shameful to be in a industry when you're the pilot, a so-called professional, and to see the way the passengers/clients/customers are treated. I flew boxes for awhile, much better. They liked the treatment and usually got there on time too! I don't have a lot of choices right now but if the terms/conditions were similar I'd pick flying freight over passengers. In some cases the terms/conditions for freight are much better.

Gone are the days when the flight attendant asked me (as a passenger): "Would you like dessert?" ""Uh, yes". "How about an ice cream sundae?" "Sure!". "Would you liked hot chocolate sauce on that?" "OK". "And nuts?"
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:02 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koncha View Post
Chaz: Pilots (and the rest of the flight and cabin crews) aren't going to improve your positions as long as the government retains the protectionist policies in place regarding foreign ownership of domestic airlines. The service provided by airlines like Emirates or Singapore is outstanding. I pay more to fly foreign carriers when the opportunity arises.
Not to derail the thread but, while often disputed, it's widely believed that both Emirates and Singapore are heavily government subsidized.

It's easy to provide world class service when cost concerns aren't a driving force.

Tipsy - just a lowly freight dawg
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:48 PM   #83
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I have been flying for a little over 15 years; took my first lesson after getting a job after grad school.
Been flying this for the past 13 years. Was up there yesterday - loops, rolls, cubans, spins... what a wonderful machine!
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:49 PM   #84
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Beautiful. That's more of thread's intention, sans hi-jacks - of which I am guilty of. A Yak, correct? Can the engine sustain inverted flight? For a long time I wanted to take a Pitts or Extra, neither of which I have access to, and fly it on a clear night over where I live (the bay-area) and roll it inverted taking an upside down tour with all the lights and sights. Illegal I guess, but being night, who'd know? Ignorance asks: how difficult would this be to do? Inverted with no real horizon, and an indefinite horizon off the wing tips.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:57 PM   #85
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Got mine. Private license with some instrument training to save my butt in case I do something stupid. Earned it back in the day at Chapel Hill Flying Club when we rented 152s for $48 per hour wet (on top of the outrageous $50 per month club fee )

Used to fly Pops' plane until he sold it. We had some fun in that thing. Sun n Fun trip was a good memory with my Pops that I won't forget. Renting these days still. A lot more expensive than it used to be.

Buying one for myself is in the financial plan, but it will be a few years. Seaplane rating also on the bucket list.

Funny I run across a lot of guys that fly and ride. Something about machinery, the freedom, the challenge, etc. Lots of similarities in the hobbies.

Get the rating. You won't regret it. Only costs a few grand and you can do it over time....
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #86
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I fly for a small private flight department but we are operated by a management company. I see this as the best of both worlds, for the most part the company and our boss leaves us alone as long as no one screws anything up, yet we have great benefits that the management company provides for us.

I'm so glad I never went the airline route, I am truly happy and enjoy my job.

I have never met a happy airline pilot.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:02 PM   #87
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I have never met a happy airline pilot.
I'm happy. :)

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Old 11-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #88
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Hey mutineer......do like Aunt Bea did on Andy Griffith.....give it a shot and at least solo. That will give you an idea of trying to decide...."yea, that was cool and I want to go further" or "that was cool but I see more dollar signs in my future, I'll stick to bikes."

Spent 2 years whittling away at my PPL I took my checkride in '94. Rented this and that...Cherokees, 150's, 172s. It was fun to do but other than my CFI who I worked with I didn't know anyone else that flew......boring. My sister's uncle by marriage was building an RV4 and kept telling me to come out to his airport and hang out. I finally did. I was 14 again.....I met alot of cool people, helped the uncle finish his RV4, got a job pumping gas and washing planes for flight time. I didn't make a dime and was having the time of my life.

At the time I was working midnights. I would get off work Saturday morning and head straight to the airport. Would run the FBO all day. We had a couple 150s, one Cherokee and a Cub. Combo grass/asphalt strip with lake at one end and marina at the other. I thought I could fly till i flew the Cub. I have about 10-15 hours in the Cub. Before that I was scared of crosswinds. After a sometime in the Cub and you go back to tricycle gear you realize how little you use the rudders. THere was no crosswind I wouldnt fly in.

Bought a 150 a couple years after that...kept it for a few years and it started getting expensive. I saw plenty of hangar queens and decided I didn't want that to happen to mine. Sold it to a friend of mine and bought a bike.

Still fly occasionally with those friends but fly more down the road on the bike.

I don't really miss it due to the cost but its always in the back of my mind.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #89
PineyMountainRacing
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Originally Posted by Gumbeaux View Post

Funny I run across a lot of guys that fly and ride. Something about machinery, the freedom, the challenge, etc. Lots of similarities in the hobbies.

....
I think it's the sensation of your body moving thru space, in more than one dimension. Motos, airplanes, I get a similar feeling riding a good horse
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by koncha View Post
I don't think I am wrong but I am willing to accept the possibility.

I think the atmosphere for flying is toxic beyond the pay of the flight and cabin crews. Everyone is so damn angry when flying because they are treated like inanimate cargo. That starts with the airlines and TSA. I can't imagine an industry that treats their customers with such disregard will treat their employees any better.

The protectionist policies of the USA allow this situation to continue among the domestic flag carriers. The only way I see it changing is through the entry of an external party to force a re-think of the domestic market. We need a carrier to enter the market that isn't going to speed the run to the bottom (Spirit and Allegient).

I am a United customer specifically because of the Economy Plus seating. I can't use a laptop in normal cattle-class. However, I am limited in my functionality because of a lack of wifi on the aircraft. I'll pay a premium if I can be billing clients while in-flight. I typically choose Airbus over Boeing because the seats are 1" wider with United. It makes a difference.

I don't want to get nickeled and dimed because it is a pain for my expense report. I end up eating a lot of fees. I want an all-inclusive price with seats large enough to work, connectivity to email so I am more effective, early boarding so I have overhead space for my bags (I can't bill if I am sitting in baggage claim), a meal on flights over 3 hours and a boarding process that gets the plane out on time without confusing people who travel twice a decade.

All that said, I am watching the UA/CO flight crew negotiations. That is going to set the tone for the industry for a decade.
Every airline that has tried to offer value add service (at a price) has failed. The public complains but when push comes to shove they choose price over service. Virgin America is spending it's way to bankruptcy as the latest example.
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