Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flying for the Soylent Corp.

submitted by: Exupery
Forget canned goods, perhaps a program where every employee with more than 12 years is forced to submit to DR Kervorkian for inclusion in Soylent Green is the answer. The public is consuming the seed corn of the implied promises of a good career in exchange for the considerable skills and education required to fulfill these highly technical jobs. But be prepared for future Buffalo crashes from low skill pilots. Are the doctors next in corporatized medicine’s plans? I assure you the instigators will have their private airplanes and won't go near the transportation (or medical) system they created.

submitted by: Exupery

The link to the original article: Costs of Old Age Trip Up Airlines

From prairie2: Corporate medicine is already driving down Doctor pay where it can and quality care is not on the list of priorities. Hospitals admit to killing 100,000 people a year from errors, you can bet the number is really much higher and will increase. Prairie2


Anonymous said...

As a medically retired pilot I am bothered by more than one factor in the WSJ article.

People don't become pilots to work for the lowest paying airline, part of the appeal in years past to be an airline pilot was the pay and working conditions. Now we have pilots leaving the business to find other work since they see the future and it isn't good.

While Jet Blue and other carriers look good to start with at some point their workers will want better pay and benefits. If they get them in a while we will have Jet Red and then Jet Orange all hiring young low time pilots and paying as little as they can. Then we have a bunch of old pilots with no retirement and no possible chance of new employment and of course real retirements have gone the way of the passenger pigeon. While the workers suffer you see the same faces running the airlines and making real money and when one company goes under they seem to be able to start another airline or find work at another upstart and another industry gets to push their workers into being serfs or peasants. In the long run it will hurt since almost all businesses are trying to gut worker pay and conditions so at some point just who will be able to travel, buy big tickets short we are going have a smaller and smaller consumer group and consuming is what is driving the present day America.

Anonymous said...

At times the turnover rate of pilots and mechanics in the airline business is a safety factor. I feel that a corporate memory as in experienced pilots and mechanics that know the equipment, know how to fix it and how to fly it save the airline money and make it a safer airline.

Training is expensive and all airlines want to save money and training and recurrent training are two big items that can have their costs reduced. I had over 6000 hours PIC in one airplane, to be honest I had most of the problems that airplane could give me, not all by any stretch but I knew it and how it flew and a big part of it was spending that time in it. With that amount of time you even learn the sounds it makes and know when you have a sound that doesn't belong. There were times that my experience in the airplane and my total experience may have averted problems, like having a very aft CG due to baggage smashers loading about 150% of the bags we could carry on a flight or engine failures, windshear problems and on and on.

We had good but not great recurrent training. But having said that the same airline let a few pilots (mostly management pilots) have incidents that should have resulted in termination somehow disappear and not only no record be kept but also no notice to the FAA and the pilots keep flying the line with passengers.

Part of being a good pilot is knowing your limits along with everything else. The less time and experience you have the higher limits you should have as both something hard as in the regulations but also as a judgment system but it is difficult if not possible to teach judgment. Efforts have been made to teach First Officers to speak up and to teach about "Accident Chains" but more efforts need to be made.

Readers that are interested might want to take a look at a series of reports a TV station in Texas did on mechanics that have got their certificates thru licensing mills and others that come from south of the border that cannot read and write English but are "using" manuals written in English...and these places are doing subcontract work on airplanes for major US carriers both passenger and freight...while American mechanics are being laid off by the very same company that is using the imported mechanics (the saving is at least half the per hour rate and these are NOT union American mechanics.

The big lesson is that labor in America cares nothing for other labor groups. We didn't care when clothing jobs were moved away. We didn't care when skilled manufacturing jobs were moved away. Now between cabotage and the race to bottom in pay in working conditions a proud profession is being reduced to a "job" not a profession or dare I say, a career. If you can do it to airline pilots why not Doctors, I don't see a problem with a radiologist in India reading my x-ray, heck you never see one as a patient anyway and the last places I've had e-rays done were are all electronically...why not save money and have a Doctor in India, Korea or China read it? Then what next can we move off shore? Lawyers? We already use American and foreign mercenaries so soon enough we will have a rich one or two percent and the rest of us will be living like they do in India or China or Cambodia.