Pilots underpaid and overworked?

This article talks about how becoming a pilot is not all that it used to be as pay decreases and working hours increase. The result is a little scary for frequent flyers:

Poor pay and fewer big-airline jobs to move up to have led to fewer applicants, creating a pilot shortage that is most acute overseas but also felt in the United States.

Regional airlines have had to reduce their hiring standards drastically. Earlier this decade, they could insist on candidates having a minimum of 1,500 hours of total flight time before an interview. Today, that minimum is 500 hours at many regional carriers, and the decline is contributing to safety concerns among some experts.

I have a friend who is a US Air Force fighter pilot who must have tons of flight time. He mentioned that if he decided to continue working after leaving the USAF he would look seriously at FedEx but he didn’t mention any passenger airlines. I guess it’s a little scary that our best pilots get paid more to fly cargo than people.

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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  1. pilotmatt says:

    It ought to be a crime that those who pursue a pilot career outside of the military can easily spend 3-4 years and 30-50 thousand dollars on flight training alone and expect to get on at an airline making only peanuts for several years. Look here to see what pilots make:



    For a new pilot’s base salary, take the guaranteed hours times the first officer 1 yr pay rate. It is usually less than 20K. Pay does jump up to around 26K your second year, but retail clerks can make that.

  2. mernid says:

    Roger Cohen should be sued and so is the regional airlines association. These dogs are taking advantage of young kids trying to build up flight hours at regional airlines.

    The pilots should start at min salary of 50K if we want safety…by paying mcdonalds wage for operating a complex machine full of souls, we are pushing the limits of sanity in this industry.

    What is happening now is disgusting..its not fair for the passengers or the pilots…sue the regionals till they bleed.

    Until then, I wont be a moron to work for peanuts…I will fly for personal/recreational only…theree is no way I will build my flight hours doing this kind of shit.

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