Cockpit Seeker

European petition against P2F

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AGEPAC: cartes sur table

  • "M. le Secrétaire d'État, auprès de la ministre de l'écologie [...], quelles mesures [entendez-vous] prendre pour résoudre [le] problème [de l'emploi pilote] et [vous] assurer que l'offre de formation est bien en adéquation avec les besoins dans ce secteur d'activité?"

C'est à la suite de cette question posée à l'Assemblée Nationale, publiée au JO (Journal Officiel) le 18 novembre dernier, par le député UMP Damien Meslot, maire de Belfort, pour l'instant sans réponse officielle, que l'AGEPAC (Association Générale des Elèves Pilotes de l'Aviation Civile) a pris les devants en publiant fin novembre ses "STATISTIQUES DES ELEVES PILOTES DE LIGNE, PROMOTIONS 2006 - 2011".

Cependant, dans un environnement où "on manquera de pilotes d'ici quelques années" (ou non d'ailleurs), la vraie question à traiter ne serait-elle pas:

  • "N'existe t'il pas des distorsions de concurrence entre les compagnies Européennes que nous pourrions gommer et qui piégeraient les pilotes hors de l'emplois?"

Qu'il nous soit permis de citer le fameux "rapport Grassineau" (de juillet 2012, commissionné par le ministre des transports de l'époque) qui proposait des réponses nationales mais resté confidentiel car... ne plaisant pas!


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Insight: Aviation industry

After 5 years, these words are more relevant than ever, and might echo for a long time in the future.

"We face remarquable challenges in our industry.

In order to ensure economic security and an uncompromising approach of passenger safety, management must work with labor to bargain in good faith. We must find collective solutions that adress the huge economic issues we face, and recruiting and retaining the experienced and highly skilled professionals that the industry requires and that passenger safety demands. But further, we must sustain and develop an evironment in every airline and every aviation organisation, a culture that balances the competing needs of accountability and learning.

We must create and maintain the trust that is the absolutely essential element of a successful and sustainable safety reporting system to detect and correct deficiencies before they lead to an accident. We must not let the economic and financial pressures detract from our focus on constantly improving our safety measures and engaging on ongoing and comprehensive training.
In aviation, the bottom line is that the single most important piece of safety equipment is an experienced well trained pilot.

_Captain "Sully" Sulenberger,

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SNPL support

Voici l'extrait de l'éditorial de l'édition de septembre de "La Ligne", la revue interne au SNPL France ALPA qui fait la part belle au "pay to fly" (adhérez au syndicat pour voir le reste, suivre les actions en cours et faire entendre votre voix).

Nos remerciements au SNPL qui, contrairement à la DGAC ou la FFA, a accepté de nous apporter son soutien sur le dossier.


USA: P2F origins (part I)

FAA pilots can't p2f unless...

...unless being military-trained pilots; graduates of a four-year bachelor degree program with an aviation major; graduates of a two-year associate degree program with an aviation major; or having 1,500 hours total time as pilots!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Once upon a time (in 1924), Harold Pitcairn, a 1916 apprentice at Curtiss Flying School, son of Scottish emigrant industrialist John Pitcairn, founded the Pitcairn Flying School and Passenger Service.

Pioneering the industry, rebranded Eastern Air Lines in 1926, it dominated the New York-Florida market for decades till the 1950s.
As luck would have it, in 1978 passed the Airline Deregulation Act allowing a low-fare environment in which it couldn't compete (just like modern day Europe and majors).
Sold to union-crusher Franz Lorenzo in 1986, along with an asset transfer to his 1981 previously acquired Continental Airlines (still in operation today and that would later play a role in our story) and labour unrest against IAM, TWA and... ALPA for deep cuts in pay and benefits (today's Alexandre de Juniac if you will), the company was driven to the ground in 1991.

In 1988, three years before going bankrupt, one of its former Boeing 727 captain (who flew during 1989 pilots’ strike) began a small charter company named Gulfstream International Airlines (GIA) offering flights around South Florida, the Bahamas and Cuba in Cessna 402s.

Early on, Captain candidates paid $15,000 up front starting in 1992 with intermediary business Avtar International doing the recruiting and advertising, selling multi-engine time in Cessna 402s with the assurance from the Miami Flight Standard District Office that this time was loggable! At the time, these pilots received compensation following successful completion of Initial Operating Experience (IOE).

Called "Pay to work" programs, P2F was born,
allowed by GIA' Thomas L. Cooper (go get that man).

Avtar International (the Eagle Jet of its time, started by Vic Johnson of New Jersey and Bill Veiga, a former Cessna test pilot) initially sent most intern pilots to Gulfstream's chief competitor, Airways International as Gulfstream possessed only one aircraft, the Cessna 402B.

But our entrepreneur didn't stop the phenomenon, quite the contrary. He started his own training school the same year, Gulfstream Training Academy (GTA - still no connection to the business jet manufacturer of the same name) sister company of his airline where ab initios weren't allowed and first officers paid to fly as line qualified first officers for GIA in the newly acquired (1994, year that would see a codeshare agreement with United Airlines) Beech 1900!

For $32,699, students got 522 hours of training—including 250 hours as a first officer for GIA (below is a set of Avtar advertising ranging from 1995 to 1996 in the Flying Magazine).

As Gulfstream continued to grow, they took a majority of the Avtar pilots, Avtar that added a turboprop program when, simultaneously, offering a heavy turboprop program with Airways International on their SD3-330 (this program ended with the demise of Airways International and was only briefly restored later with Gulfstream's own SD3-360s).

In 2006, Tom Cooper sold his GIA stakes:
as of 2009, the 70-120 students Gulfstream had in the program at any given time, about half ended up staying with the airline, at least until they built 1,500 hours and an ATP rating (some stood longer). Between the students and alumni, GTA accounted for 95% of the crews who operated GIA's fleet of 25 Beech 1900D aircraft.
But business would not soar much longer, and this industry would go south, involving GIA, GTA, Continental and a tragic event that would change regulations...

As for Cooper, he would later go back to business in 2011, reviving Sun Air with two GIA's 1990 aircraft, a 1981 company now headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, just like... GIA.


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Libération: pilots forced into exil

Paru ce samedi dernier (27 septembre), et après l'article de Slate et de France Info, Libération parle des difficultés rencontrées par les jeunes pilotes pro.
Cependant, dévoilé par l'intéressé, ont été abordés entre la journaliste et l'interviewé:

  • les conditions de travail,
  • l'avantage d'une convention collective pilote (comme en Australie),
  • le pay to fly,
  • le bénévolat,
  • l'auto entreprenariat

Tel n'est pas l'angle choisi par l'article qui suit :

Source: Libération du 26 Sept. 2014

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European study

The largest, public-funded study on pilots' employment closes on 29 September! Your input matters!

Carried out by the University of Ghent and co-financed by the European Commission (DG Employment) the study is initiated by the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Civil Aviation (incl. airlines' employers and employees).

The outcome of the study will provide data about the extent, nature and consequences of these new ‘atypical’ forms of employment and help to give input for future EU actions in this area. ECA strongly encourages you to have your say and fill out the questionnaire!


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