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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 09:02 AM

Airline pilot shortage

If any of you have a bachelors degree and a private pilots license, or have kids with an interest in aviation, there are programs to help guide you or them through the process of getting qualified and hired at major airlines.

The announcement that I saw was a program called ďAviateĒ, you can apply to the program after just two semesters of college in an aviation related field, or else after your bachelors degree when you are enrolling in a partner flight school or when applying for a regional job if youíre that far along. The salaries that pilots make after just a couple years now are very high. It used to be pretty hard to move from regionals to majors, but now, thereís a massive pilot shortage and likely will be for the next ten years. Therefore, airlines are competing to secure future pilots through programs that coach, provide certain benefits, and promise a secure job prospect when you successfully finish training.

Commercial major airlines want a bachelors degree when hiring, but it can be in any field.

Iím sharing this because I know itís hard for young people to find career paths that donít land them in massive debt with no opportunities. And others may have an interest in aviation and are ready fro a career change.

On the other hand, with climate change, maybe air travel will be reduced in the future.

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Response to lostnfound (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 09:48 AM

1. This is very interesting!

I did a little googling and found an article that says that through Aviate, United needs to hire at least 10,000 new pilots.
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/october/08/united-launches-aviate-recruitment-program

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Response to lostnfound (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 09:52 AM

2. What's the pay?

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Response to Dirty Socialist (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:35 PM

13. Looks like six figures as first officer. Path to pilot job which can pay $250,000 nt

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Response to lostnfound (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:08 AM

3. This seems to go in cycles.

Part of the problem now is that pilot training is horrifically expensive. When I got my pilot's license some 30 years ago it cost me only $35 per hour for the airplane and the instructor. Now it's at least four or five times as much, just for the 60 or so hours of basic flight training, and you'll probably need 1,000 hours of flight time with instrument and multi-engine ratings and probably an ATP certificate just to get hired at a regional airline. You probably will be in massive debt by the time you qualify for an airline job. There are some programs that make it a little easier, and some airlines have started offering in-house training, but it's not an easy road by any means.

You should be aware, as well, that the airline industry is kind of a canary in the economic coal mine; it has never been very stable - most of the old pilots I know have been laid off at least twice in their careers. After 9/11 the airline I worked for laid off hundreds of pilots and didn't start hiring again for a long time. Most of the major airlines have been through recent bankruptcies and mergers, which messed up many pilots' careers as well. Aviation is something you really, really want to do or it's not worth the expense, hard work or uncertainty; although the money can be pretty good, you don't do it just for the money.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:13 AM

4. All very good points.

One of the traditional paths to airline piloting was through the USAF. I'm not sure if that source has dried up, really. It may have. However, airlines have reduced the number of flights these days to reach their goal of flying only full planes.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:25 AM

5. By the time I retired from the airline we were seeing fewer military new hires.

I worked in the flight training department so I saw and talked to the new hires. Most are civilian pilots now. The Air Force doesn't need as many airplanes as they used to - drones are the new thing, and modern methods of warfare don't require huge fleets of airplanes like in WWII, so they don't need or train as many pilots. The reduction in the number of flights is mainly because they are using larger airplanes. They've replaced the old 100-passenger DC-9s with 150+ passenger airplanes, and all the three-person-crew airplanes like 727s and DC-10s are also gone. Even the regional airlines are using larger airplanes - you don't see many of the small turboprops any more because most of the regionals are now using jets that carry as many as 80-100 passengers. Even so, there is a pilot shortage, mainly because of the crushing expense of training that I described.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:33 AM

6. Thanks. I don't follow that sort of thing very much.

You're probably right that fewer pilots are coming out of the military. And, the cost of flight training to even the entry level of airline piloting is horrendous. I suppose older pilots are retiring faster than they can be replaced, too.

It sounds like a dilemma for the airlines, doesn't it?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:03 PM

14. Does airlines still have a mandatory retirement age?

If so, one way to reduce the shortage is to let pilots that want to and meet physical health requirements to continue flying until they retire or fail to meet the mandatory physical health requirements. If pilots fly longer, their pay and retirement benefits should continue to increase through to when they are done.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:09 PM

15. The FAA recently changed it from 60 to 65.

It's doubtful they'd be willing to change it again - and most of the pilots I knew were more than ready to retire when their time was up. The schedules tend to be pretty fatiguing, which is a fact most people aren't aware of.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:33 PM

17. Maybe I look at myself and project onto other professions.

I plan to retire as an engineer and business person boots first (as in my boots will be the first thing out the workplace door on my last day of work).

Maybe they can let old timers that meet physicals work part time, they maybe fly for a couple of months and take three or four off.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 07:09 PM

16. My brother just retired as an F-16 Pilot w/ the Airforce (Colonel). He is now flying with

Delta as his retirement job. I feel a lot safer with someone like that in the cockpit than a trainee who has worked their way up. Sorry if that sounds bad, but I would much rather have someone up there who has been through the most stressful and demanding situations and has come through with flying colors than someone who is basically a novice. I would prefer that they choose their pilots from the USAF.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:24 PM

11. Definitely only for those who actually love to fly

And who have the right personality or character traits to do the job.

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Response to lostnfound (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:20 PM

7. There are a number of colleges that

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Response to lostnfound (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:28 PM

8. They should pay them better and give them more humane work schedules. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:39 PM

9. My brother gets paid very well

He works limited hours because those are FAA rules. He flies 777's to Hong Kong, so the trip is grueling, but they have several pilots onboard and they sleep in shifts. He spends the night and then comes back. Then he's done working for a week for two.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 03:00 PM

10. Many US pilots work at low salaries for regional carriers subcontracted by big airlines. Those

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:32 PM

12. Salaries at regionals aren't so low anymore

Even regionals are offering signing bonuses.
https://epicflightacademy.com/airline-pilot-salary/

May only need a couple years at a regional to get snapped up by a major, at which point first officers start at nearly $100,000

Supply and demand has made it much more favorable.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 10:32 PM

18. My brother did deliveries way up in northern WI and then another regional in TX

Then was hired by a major around 1990

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