Flight Instructors are underpaid

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foresterpoole
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby foresterpoole » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:51 pm

The local fight school here is pretty small. At the present time they have 1 full time CFI, a part time CFII and the CFII doubles as the ground instructor for both private and instrument. There is one CFII that is not flying because she lost her medical, but I'm told that should be temporary (maybe). The school easily and regularly is booked up, the two Cessna's are hard to get scheduled, as is the Tecnam. One reason I've gone to flying the Piper Arrow: not many folks/students are competing for that, in fact there are only 5 of us locally that are checked out to rent it, only 3 of us use it on a regular basis. Another reason not many CFI's are in the area are the rates: $35/hr in the FBO's aircraft, $45/hr in your own equipment. I assume the school takes their cut and factor in weather: your better off waiting tables. The full time instructor is waiting on a couple of applications to hit and he is probably gone, the part time instructor works after he finishes up a day job as a sheriff deputy and flies because he loves it! There is a constant turn over, I went through 3 instructors in 1.5 years trying to finish up. I'm glad I managed to finish up the complex endorsement before there was more turn-over. The owner of the FBO is a CFII, but he is swamped running the only heavy maintenance operation left in the area and he looks stressed out constantly, I feel for the guy.

I agree with comments: pay them competitively and they will stay, if not it's simply a stepping stone into the regionals since their pay is finally beginning to be competitive and some are offering direct pipelines to the legacy/majors. I find it laughable that everyone is panicking about a pilot shortage like it's something that just hit out of the blue. For years cost cutting measures, consolidation and bankruptcy at the legacy carriers along with the advent of low cost carriers depressed the pilot pay and did little to encourage recruitment with long days and multiple short legs. Now that was good for passenger fares, but horrible for long term stability of the crews, staff, and equipment in my opinion. When the FAA increased the hour requirements for FO's it was foreseeable if not a foregone conclusion there would be a shortage. If we add in insurance, cost of aircraft, maintenance, and the shrinking infrastructure support for general aviation (where everyone starts), it's becoming a perfect storm. So now we reap what we sow...

Sorry for the rant.... :oops:
Ed

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drseti
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby drseti » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:06 pm

foresterpoole wrote:Sorry for the rant.... :oops:


That was not at all a rant, Ed. Just a statement of the sad reality.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

chicagorandy
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby chicagorandy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:25 am

The new Governor here in Illinois just signed a bill that will in a few years nearly double the present minimum wage up to $15 an hour. A positive step or a path to more unemployment and higher prices? Probably the answer is yes to both.

When the rookie burger flipper make $15 an hour, the price of those burgers HAS to be increased accordingly.

I am but an 'outsider' retired geezer with an opinion on the subject. Flight instructors earning on par with seasoned airline pilots is great, but it then also increases the already stout costs for obtaining a pilot's license, further reducing the number of new applicants in a GA field already shrinking, limiting how many instructors can get a job, and round and round she goes.

I AM willing to bet cash money that if I held the answers I wouldn't need to win the wager - lol
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

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drseti
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:17 am

chicagorandy wrote:Flight instructors earning on par with seasoned airline pilots is great,


I don't think that's what anybody is seriously advocating, Randy. But neither is it desirable (or acceptable) for flight instructors to be earning a wage on a par with that rookie burger flipper you alluded to.

And no, I'm not being facetious here. Elsewhere on this site, I posted my flight school's 2018 Annual Report. In the Financials section, I disclosed that for the first year, I managed to earn more than the minimum wage, cashing in at a whopping $7.51 an hour. If I weren't a retired geezer like you, I couldn't possibly justify the enterprise.

But yes, to paraphrase you, "when the rookie flight instructor makes $15 an hour, the price of those lessons HAS to be increased accordingly."
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

chicagorandy
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby chicagorandy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:00 am

Yes, I was being a wee bit facetious. lol

I remain a grumbling curmudgeon knowing that MY Social Security check is unlikely to increase on par with these minimum wage dramatic upward moves. But contend that anyone who makes to 70+ can be as grumbling as they like - lol - Oh and Get off my lawn!
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

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drseti
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:09 am

chicagorandy wrote: anyone who makes to 70+ can be as grumbling as they like - lol - Oh and Get off my lawn!


By your measure (grumble, grumble...) I'm entitled to say "get off my forum!" :evil:
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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drseti
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:24 am

chicagorandy wrote: Get off my lawn!


Don't you mean "get off my grass runway"?
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Nomore767
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby Nomore767 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:42 am

Flight instructors, in my time, have never been paid enough. I have 1470 hours of instruction given, ask me how I know.
Thus being a CFI has,or the most part, has been a rite of passage job to gain enough hours to move onto a more attractive, more lucrative, piloting job.
Career instructors, were, and are, an anomaly which is a shame because those that really did like instructing were either financially sound enough to not need the pittance wages, or were CFIs as a second job. Personally, I worked at a hospital on night shift to support my family whilst instructing during days for pocket money and flight time.

My experience with the airline hiring process (in 1984) was such that the airlines were looking for the type and quality of your flight experience not just 1500 hours of Cessna instructing. This is why I flew for a regional airline, a night freight outfit and a small corporate flight dept. Still for pretty low money and few benefits.

The airlines are notoriously cheap and hate paying anything that might benefit pilots from uniforms to simulator training. They pay when they have to.Theres never any money for pilots and even if there is they fight tooth and nail not to pay it. In the end its about the money.

However, this is likely a false economy. For example, for years airlines like Lufthansa and BEA/BOAC (now British Airways) had training schemes for ab initio cadets and trained them from the basics to the right hand seat of their airliners. In 350 hours Lufthansa would produce a qualified junior First Officer on a 737 having trained them in AZ in Bonanzas and Barons, then turboprops in Bremen and finally into their training centre simulators. Not cheap but they ensured the quality of their product and knew exactly what their pilots were able to doLikewise in the UK students at Hamble and Oxford trained in Cherokees and Barons and entered BEA/BOAC as junior FOs
350 quality hours in an intense and structured training environment built around the airlines cockpit culture and operating procedures.
US airlines have consistently avoided this route and the limited supply of civilian and military pilots has somehow met the need.Desspite overseas airlines poaching US airline pilots. I know of several who left my airline for Emirates, Turkish, and Cathay.

As the pilots who stayed on at the airlines till 65 have now begun to retire, the military and civilian supply source is dwindling, especially those with 'quality time', you wonder who the next generation will be and where they'll come from.

Its tough to make money in aviation.

Wm.Ince
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby Wm.Ince » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:58 am

Nomore767 wrote:Flight instructors, in my time, have never been paid enough. I have 1470 hours of instruction given, ask me how I know.
Thus being a CFI has,or the most part, has been a rite of passage job to gain enough hours to move onto a more attractive, more lucrative, piloting job.
Career instructors, were, and are, an anomaly which is a shame because those that really did like instructing were either financially sound enough to not need the pittance wages, or were CFIs as a second job. Personally, I worked at a hospital on night shift to support my family whilst instructing during days for pocket money and flight time.

My experience with the airline hiring process (in 1984) was such that the airlines were looking for the type and quality of your flight experience not just 1500 hours of Cessna instructing. This is why I flew for a regional airline, a night freight outfit and a small corporate flight dept. Still for pretty low money and few benefits.

The airlines are notoriously cheap and hate paying anything that might benefit pilots from uniforms to simulator training. They pay when they have to.Theres never any money for pilots and even if there is they fight tooth and nail not to pay it. In the end its about the money.

However, this is likely a false economy. For example, for years airlines like Lufthansa and BEA/BOAC (now British Airways) had training schemes for ab initio cadets and trained them from the basics to the right hand seat of their airliners. In 350 hours Lufthansa would produce a qualified junior First Officer on a 737 having trained them in AZ in Bonanzas and Barons, then turboprops in Bremen and finally into their training centre simulators. Not cheap but they ensured the quality of their product and knew exactly what their pilots were able to doLikewise in the UK students at Hamble and Oxford trained in Cherokees and Barons and entered BEA/BOAC as junior FOs
350 quality hours in an intense and structured training environment built around the airlines cockpit culture and operating procedures.
US airlines have consistently avoided this route and the limited supply of civilian and military pilots has somehow met the need.Desspite overseas airlines poaching US airline pilots. I know of several who left my airline for Emirates, Turkish, and Cathay.

As the pilots who stayed on at the airlines till 65 have now begun to retire, the military and civilian supply source is dwindling, especially those with 'quality time', you wonder who the next generation will be and where they'll come from.

Its tough to make money in aviation.

All true.
. . . . “you wonder who the next generation will be and where they'll come from.”
Look south and overseas . . . with pencil-whipped logbooks.
When I left in 2011, we were already seeing it.
One way or another . . . those right seats will get filled.
Bill Ince
CTSW (E-LSA)
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

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drseti
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:18 pm

Wm.Ince wrote:When I left in 2011,


Bill, if that was at the standard retirement age of 65, it makes us exactly the same age. It sure is nice to have other old farts here on the forum. ;)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Wm.Ince
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby Wm.Ince » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:48 pm

drseti wrote:
Wm.Ince wrote:When I left in 2011,

Bill, if that was at the standard retirement age of 65, it makes us exactly the same age. It sure is nice to have other old farts here on the forum. ;)

Not so fast buddy . . . I went 2 years early. :mrgreen:

* I’m still an ol’ fart though. :D
Bill Ince
CTSW (E-LSA)
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

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bryancobb
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby bryancobb » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:04 pm

Here's one place the Airlines are finding fertile soil right now. In years past, this has been pretty much ignored
unless the applicant was female or black.
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Bryan Cobb
Sport Pilot CFI
Commercial/Instrument Airplane
Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter
Manufacturing Engineer II, Meggitt Airframe Systems, Fuel Systems & Composites Group
Cartersville, Ga
bryandcobb@att.net

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bryancobb
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby bryancobb » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:12 pm

A girl from my 87-17 (1987) helicopter class is now a Captain for Delta. She jumped into fixed wing as a Warrant Officer and flew King Air's and Shorts'.
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Bryan Cobb
Sport Pilot CFI
Commercial/Instrument Airplane
Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter
Manufacturing Engineer II, Meggitt Airframe Systems, Fuel Systems & Composites Group
Cartersville, Ga
bryandcobb@att.net

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Warmi
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby Warmi » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:37 pm

The current CFI to 1500 hours to Airpline Pilot path is very similar to an informal version of medical residency rules - the applicants are expected to earn a relatively low salary for 3-5 years as an investment in their future and with expectation of much higher income down the road ...
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

Wm.Ince
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Re: Flight Instructors are underpaid

Postby Wm.Ince » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:37 pm

bryancobb wrote: . . . . In years past, this has been pretty much ignored unless the applicant was female or black.

What data do you have to support that assertion?
Bill Ince
CTSW (E-LSA)
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator


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