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(Chicago Trib)   United Airlines brings back 600 pilots who had been furloughed for five years. Because who wouldn't want to fly on a plane with a pilot who hasn't been able to get a job with anyone else for the past five years   (articles.chicagotribune.com) divider line 31
    More: Followup, United Airlines, original  
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868 clicks; posted to Business » on 07 Sep 2013 at 10:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-07 06:18:20 AM
like riding a bike
 
2013-09-07 08:11:00 AM
They may have jobs, but this gig pays more...has better benefits...who knows?  I doubt it's been five years since they've flown.  Or banged a stewardess (or steward if that's your thing).
 
2013-09-07 08:29:13 AM
How the fark can you get away with furloughing someone for FIVE YEARS??? No pay, no unemployment. Did they get to keep their benefits at least?

/only read the first paragraph of TFA
 
2013-09-07 09:46:01 AM

colinspooky: like riding a bike


...just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.
 
2013-09-07 10:25:59 AM
"Hasn't been able to get a job" isn't exactly an uncommon thing for airline pilots.  Better them then some new guy with no experience.
 
2013-09-07 10:32:03 AM

wxboy: "Hasn't been able to get a job" isn't exactly an uncommon thing for airline pilots.  Better them then some new guy with no experience.


There's no such thing as a pilot with no experience. Even the ones in the cockpit for the first time have had simulation time nowadays.
 
2013-09-07 10:33:12 AM
Unless you really love flying, airline pilot seems like an absolutely horrible job.
 
2013-09-07 10:34:05 AM
The choice for many of them may be along the lines of 'keep flying for this shiatty little company for 50k' or 'go back to flying for the big shiatty company for 150k'.
 
2013-09-07 10:35:34 AM

Smackledorfer: Unless you really love flying, airline pilot seems like an absolutely horrible job.


It is.

ajgeek: There's no such thing as a pilot with no experience. Even the ones in the cockpit for the first time have had simulation time nowadays.


That's not experience.
 
2013-09-07 11:18:26 AM
Back is up, forward is down.
 
2013-09-07 11:39:50 AM
Pilots have to do hours of training to stay current.
 
2013-09-07 12:00:27 PM

costermonger: That's not experience.


So the thousands of hours of flight time necessary to get your license is also not experience, then? There were exactly two pilots with no experience. They'd be Orville and Wilbur Wright.

/stupid comment is stupid.
 
2013-09-07 12:24:20 PM

ajgeek: So the thousands of hours of flight time necessary to get your license is also not experience, then? There were exactly two pilots with no experience. They'd be Orville and Wilbur Wright./stupid comment is stupid.


So.. I said something remotely relevant to what you've written here?

Simulator training is not experience, period. I've done some training in a 767 simulator. I've never flown a 767. If I claimed - in any way - to have 767 experience, I'd be the butt of jokes for the rest of my career.
Let's put it this way: United can hire some young pilot from a regional airline and train them to fly an A320 in a simulator. Simultaneously, they recall a furloughed A320 pilot, put him through recurrent training in the sim. The first real A320 that both the newbie and the recalled pilot get their hands on after sim will have paying passengers in the back, and both guys will be qualified, but only one of them has an ounce of experience actually doing this.
 
2013-09-07 02:57:01 PM

costermonger: ajgeek: So the thousands of hours of flight time necessary to get your license is also not experience, then? There were exactly two pilots with no experience. They'd be Orville and Wilbur Wright./stupid comment is stupid.

So.. I said something remotely relevant to what you've written here?

Simulator training is not experience, period. I've done some training in a 767 simulator. I've never flown a 767. If I claimed - in any way - to have 767 experience, I'd be the butt of jokes for the rest of my career.
Let's put it this way: United can hire some young pilot from a regional airline and train them to fly an A320 in a simulator. Simultaneously, they recall a furloughed A320 pilot, put him through recurrent training in the sim. The first real A320 that both the newbie and the recalled pilot get their hands on after sim will have paying passengers in the back, and both guys will be qualified, but only one of them has an ounce of experience actually doing this.


Do you want your cheap airline ticket or no? If so that fresher face will take the lower pay.

Besides...pilots are now trained to be operators than pilots. Push the damn buttons and sit back...none of that cowboy stuff.
 
2013-09-07 03:36:04 PM
Yeah, I'm sure they haven't worked and have been living on the streets, dumpster diving for food to survive. Thanks for the warning,  subby.
 
2013-09-07 03:37:49 PM

Outlaw2097: costermonger: ajgeek: So the thousands of hours of flight time necessary to get your license is also not experience, then? There were exactly two pilots with no experience. They'd be Orville and Wilbur Wright./stupid comment is stupid.

So.. I said something remotely relevant to what you've written here?

Simulator training is not experience, period. I've done some training in a 767 simulator. I've never flown a 767. If I claimed - in any way - to have 767 experience, I'd be the butt of jokes for the rest of my career.
Let's put it this way: United can hire some young pilot from a regional airline and train them to fly an A320 in a simulator. Simultaneously, they recall a furloughed A320 pilot, put him through recurrent training in the sim. The first real A320 that both the newbie and the recalled pilot get their hands on after sim will have paying passengers in the back, and both guys will be qualified, but only one of them has an ounce of experience actually doing this.

Do you want your cheap airline ticket or no? If so that fresher face will take the lower pay.

Besides...pilots are now trained to be operators than pilots. Push the damn buttons and sit back...none of that cowboy stuff.


Both you and ajgeek seem to be completely missing costermonger's point.
 
2013-09-07 03:54:38 PM

Outlaw2097: Do you want your cheap airline ticket or no? If so that fresher face will take the lower pay.Besides...pilots are now trained to be operators than pilots. Push the damn buttons and sit back...none of that cowboy stuff.


Let's say I had to fly to Chicago for business on Tuesday, returning on Wednesday. I can walk across the parking lot from my office to the passenger terminal, get on a direct flight with a major US airline, and my round trip ticket - if I booked it right this second - would be $1746 Canadian.

This flight would take 1:30 from gate to gate, barring any major delays. 50 seats on the plane.

Assuming the most senior crew in the entire airline flew me both ways, the captain would make $294.21 for the round trip, and the FO would make $128.10. The cost of the crew, assigned to my seat, would be $8.44. Less than half a percent of my fare.

If we take the most junior crew possible at the company, my ticket costs the same, but only $5.33 would go to the crew. 3/10ths of a percent of my fare.

Say I wanted to fly from Chicago on to Hong Kong - long haul, senior pilots, big aircraft = highest paid pilots. ~1.5% of my fare is paying the pilots.

I just don't buy it. In the case of the regionals - who are by far the worst in this regard - I'd happily pay an extra $5 if it means that the FO can actually sleep on his time off, rather than moonlight as a barista to pay back his student loans.
 
2013-09-07 03:57:55 PM

Outlaw2097: Push the damn buttons and sit back...none of that cowboy stuff.


Also.. There's some truth to this, but judging by the way working airplanes are being flown into the ground, it doesn't seem like a fantastic strategy.
 
2013-09-07 04:34:53 PM

costermonger: Outlaw2097: Push the damn buttons and sit back...none of that cowboy stuff.

Also.. There's some truth to this, but judging by the way working airplanes are being flown into the ground, it doesn't seem like a fantastic strategy.


Totally agree...but this is a result of training a generation to fly the magenta line and always trust TCAS, even if you are getting a terrain - too low - pull up warning at 20k over Nebraska.

But again...the pilot idealism is stuck in a pre-deregulation mindset. Its still appears sexy to be a pilot...but like you said...its also nice to make a liveable wage and not work the street corner to make ends meet while working at a regional.
 
2013-09-07 05:27:01 PM
United Sucks donkey balls.
 
2013-09-07 07:54:35 PM

costermonger: ajgeek: So the thousands of hours of flight time necessary to get your license is also not experience, then? There were exactly two pilots with no experience. They'd be Orville and Wilbur Wright./stupid comment is stupid.

So.. I said something remotely relevant to what you've written here?

Simulator training is not experience, period. I've done some training in a 767 simulator. I've never flown a 767. If I claimed - in any way - to have 767 experience, I'd be the butt of jokes for the rest of my career.
Let's put it this way: United can hire some young pilot from a regional airline and train them to fly an A320 in a simulator. Simultaneously, they recall a furloughed A320 pilot, put him through recurrent training in the sim. The first real A320 that both the newbie and the recalled pilot get their hands on after sim will have paying passengers in the back, and both guys will be qualified, but only one of them has an ounce of experience actually doing this.


Along a similar vein, I'm guessing the rookie pilot who slammed his plane into the ground at SFO a few months back had plenty of simulator experience.
 
2013-09-07 08:26:46 PM

costermonger: Simulator training is not experience, period


Of course not. And squeezing the trigger at a rifle range isn't experience either, because someone's not shooting back at me at the time. And dissecting a human cadaver will give me NO IDEA how to potentially perform surgery later. Why do we even bother with that?

sim·u·la·tor
simyəˌlātər/

noun: simulator;plural noun: simulators:.a machine with a similar set of controls designed to provide a realistic imitation of the operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or other complex system, used for training purposes.

Come on back and tell me how those are apple and orange comparisons. I'm sure you've got something ready to go.
 
2013-09-07 08:29:34 PM

RogermcAllen: costermonger: ajgeek: So the thousands of hours of flight time necessary to get your license is also not experience, then? There were exactly two pilots with no experience. They'd be Orville and Wilbur Wright./stupid comment is stupid.

So.. I said something remotely relevant to what you've written here?

Simulator training is not experience, period. I've done some training in a 767 simulator. I've never flown a 767. If I claimed - in any way - to have 767 experience, I'd be the butt of jokes for the rest of my career.
Let's put it this way: United can hire some young pilot from a regional airline and train them to fly an A320 in a simulator. Simultaneously, they recall a furloughed A320 pilot, put him through recurrent training in the sim. The first real A320 that both the newbie and the recalled pilot get their hands on after sim will have paying passengers in the back, and both guys will be qualified, but only one of them has an ounce of experience actually doing this.

Along a similar vein, I'm guessing the rookie pilot who slammed his plane into the ground at SFO a few months back had plenty of simulator experience.


They train you to slam into the ground? Man, they need to fix that code...
 
2013-09-07 09:41:15 PM

ajgeek: Of course not. And squeezing the trigger at a rifle range isn't experience either, because someone's not shooting back at me at the time. And dissecting a human cadaver will give me NO IDEA how to potentially perform surgery later. Why do we even bother with that?sim·u·la·torsimyəˌlātər/noun: simulator;plural noun: simulators:.a machine with a similar set of controls designed to provide a realistic imitation of the operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or other complex system, used for training purposes.Come on back and tell me how those are apple and orange comparisons. I'm sure you've got something ready to go.


You're the one who wrote this:

"There's no such thing as a pilot with no experience. Even the ones in the cockpit for the first time have had simulation time nowadays."

I'm not disparaging training. That would be a strange thing for me to do - I'm a pilot who trains other pilots - often in simulators (they're brilliant tools) - for a living. I'm saying that even the best training is no replacement for experience. When I'm training someone, making them understand that is part of the goal. Beyond the most basic of training, as an industry, we never allow someone to take the controls of the aircraft unless they're qualified to be there. Yet we carefully monitor and restrict the duties of pilots when they're only qualified, rather than experienced. In the airline world, this extends to every pilot - 250 hours or 25,000 hours, if you haven't flown this type of aircraft, from this side of the cockpit, into this airport before - you're treated as a trainee, because you haven't got the experience required to be trusted completely.

That's why I found your 'no such thing as a pilot with no experience because simulators' assertion so ridiculous. A pilot in the cockpit of a new type for the first time is, for all the training they will have received, lacking experience. Doubly so if they're transitioning to a type that is significantly different from anything they've flown before - like piston to turboprop, or turboprop to jet. To use myself as an example - I have years of experience in piston twins, but let's say I develop a sudden aversion to money and leave the training industry and moved to flying a turboprop twin like a Q400. The day I finish my sim training I'm less trustworthy with the airplane than the guy I trained last year, who is lucky to have 1/5th the amount of time in his logbook, but has 500 hours flying this type of aircraft. My experience isn't worthless - I've probably had more shiat fail and I'm far more used to making decisions than the younger guy - but I'm in a foreign environment and haven't honed my skills completely on this particular type of plane.
 
2013-09-08 12:59:04 AM
Is this why my flight always takes off late? Endless banter and dickwaving between the pilots that has to finish first?
 
2013-09-08 01:11:08 AM

dangelder: Is this why my flight always takes off late? Endless banter and dickwaving between the pilots that has to finish first?


As if. The controllers have to have their opinions heard as well.
 
2013-09-08 11:54:49 AM

costermonger: ajgeek: Of course not. And squeezing the trigger at a rifle range isn't experience either, because someone's not shooting back at me at the time. And dissecting a human cadaver will give me NO IDEA how to potentially perform surgery later. Why do we even bother with that?sim·u·la·torsimyəˌlātər/noun: simulator;plural noun: simulators:.a machine with a similar set of controls designed to provide a realistic imitation of the operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or other complex system, used for training purposes.Come on back and tell me how those are apple and orange comparisons. I'm sure you've got something ready to go.

You're the one who wrote this:

"There's no such thing as a pilot with no experience. Even the ones in the cockpit for the first time have had simulation time nowadays."

I'm not disparaging training. That would be a strange thing for me to do - I'm a pilot who trains other pilots - often in simulators (they're brilliant tools) - for a living. I'm saying that even the best training is no replacement for experience. When I'm training someone, making them understand that is part of the goal. Beyond the most basic of training, as an industry, we never allow someone to take the controls of the aircraft unless they're qualified to be there. Yet we carefully monitor and restrict the duties of pilots when they're only qualified, rather than experienced. In the airline world, this extends to every pilot - 250 hours or 25,000 hours, if you haven't flown this type of aircraft, from this side of the cockpit, into this airport before - you're treated as a trainee, because you haven't got the experience required to be trusted completely.

That's why I found your 'no such thing as a pilot with no experience because simulators' assertion so ridiculous. A pilot in the cockpit of a new type for the first time is, for all the training they will have received, lacking experience. Doubly so if they're transitioning to a type that is significantly different from anything t ...


I think we were arguing different points (which is sadly, quite common). A pilot is someone who has their license. That means they've had the actual experience in the air with a veteran long enough that they're qualified to go out on their own without the supervision of a superior. The same thing is true for doctors, engineers, electricians etc. ALL of them have the experience necessary to be what they are, hence the "there are no inexperienced pilots." One isn't a pilot until someone signs off on them. I still stand by my previous statement; even ones who are going up with an instructor for the first time have what, hundreds of hours of simulator time before even getting IN a real cockpit? Training does equal experience. It's subpar compared to the real thing, but we have to start somewhere and I think that shouldn't be discounted in any way, shape, or form.

I'm sorry for getting snotty.
 
2013-09-08 02:40:30 PM

RogermcAllen: Along a similar vein, I'm guessing the rookie pilot who slammed his plane into the ground at SFO a few months back had plenty of simulator experience.


IIRC he was a very experienced pilot, just not on the 777.  One of the things that was speculated at the time was that since he was senior in experience to his trainer, the trainer found it difficult to correct him.

I don't know how valid the speculation was, post-incident speculation is most often crap, but that the speculation was there is an indication that the pilot had experience other aircraft to the point where he outranked his instructor in hours flown, and experience with the 777 simulator as he was training to change type.
 
2013-09-08 05:28:59 PM

ginandbacon: How the fark can you get away with furloughing someone for FIVE YEARS??? No pay, no unemployment. Did they get to keep their benefits at least?

/only read the first paragraph of TFA


They get to resume their jobs at the same seniority and get everything back that they had when they were working.  They can claim unemployment when furloughed but pilots have to keep flying to keep their license so I doubt few of them didn't keep flying somewhere.

You can buy job insurance too.  A lot of unionized workers do that.
 
2013-09-08 05:37:22 PM

Smackledorfer: Unless you really love flying, airline pilot seems like an absolutely horrible job.


My uncle flew jets with the Navy.  You get grounded at the drop of a hat in the military, especially once you're in your late 30s, so it happened to him and he mustered out.  We all figured he would go airline (this was back in the 80s when they were doing ok) but he was like NFW, thats "bus driving".  Said it woulda bored him to death.  He ended up doing some construction sup job for like $35k a year, kinda amazing, going from night carrier landings to telling people how many bricks they can load on a truck.
 
2013-09-08 09:41:16 PM

Bacontastesgood: Smackledorfer: Unless you really love flying, airline pilot seems like an absolutely horrible job.

My uncle flew jets with the Navy.  You get grounded at the drop of a hat in the military, especially once you're in your late 30s, so it happened to him and he mustered out.  We all figured he would go airline (this was back in the 80s when they were doing ok) but he was like NFW, thats "bus driving".  Said it woulda bored him to death.  He ended up doing some construction sup job for like $35k a year, kinda amazing, going from night carrier landings to telling people how many bricks they can load on a truck.


And yet NASA had 70-year-olds flying F/A-18s...
 
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