For those of you in this industry longer than most, is there a trend that you are seeing, have seen, or are in fear of seeing that will have a detrimental effect on the quality and calibre of people sharing the skies with you?
I'm not an old guy, but the trend I saw in my instructing days is that unlike what Sully was pushing for, the brightest and youngest are not the ones attracted to aviation. The average joe who sees flying as something "cool" rather than "passion" seem to be the ones dropping money on becoming these so to speak, "future pilot's of the industry." Don't get me wrong, there will always be people who are passionate about this career and will do anything to improve, even at the 10, 000 hour level. The inability to spark the right candidate is what I feel causes the development of these so-to-speak "drivers" as you addressed them. Anybody can pitch a plane up and down while rolling it right and left. Anybody with a semi-intellect can coordinate a turn. Anybody can't strive to be the best they can possibly be, because that attitude requires a certain kind of individual in today's society, because life has become so easy - so why work so hard for it? The whole mentality behind why a high school student should work hard with their grades when they can pass with the bare minimum and still make six figures after a trades programme
I have a strong philosophy on this and it is that until the day the 22 year old can go and be an occupational therapist making 80k/yr as a start salary, our future generation will remain smart enough to not invest into flying as a career. Unless however they are so in love with this that they put up with the conditions as a means of paying their dues. While the latter are the ones that end up typically advancing and being the pilots we so-called respect, the truth remains that the smarter our future generation gets, the less "younger" and "brighter" individuals will step forward to invest into an industry where the LCC is going to convince them to work for peanuts Why not make money doing something that gives us the cash flow to go and fly on our own terms? This is a grand reason for why the doors will be open to any average joe to come in and simply get by with the bare minimum and even worse, settle for the bare minimum. I'm sure every one on these boards know or have come across somebody they are scared to share a flight deck with - the scarier thing being that these individuals are out there flying our families around. A prime reason why I never taught to the flight test guide, rather taught to a point where I would feel comfortable sending one of my loved ones with my students.
There's no such thing as gods gift to aviation, but the doors to a north american piloting career are too wide. Some control would facilitate a much better economic stamina for our industry - but then how would companies get away with paying us 19k/yr for a job that bonds you out at 25k? Or the company that takes advantage of the 250 hour noob that doesn't know any better and actually thinks that being paid 23k/yr to fly a B1900 is a privilege.
So in short, the answer to your question is that we need to up the standards for the candidates we take in to become pilot's and hope that these educated individuals won't settle for the industry's condition. A union to support them would aid a lot of benefits. The days of an operator paying the implementer of his/her business plan in KD needs to be over. Rhetorical question, does this mean that all of us are dumbfounded individuals settling for the bare minimums calling it "paying our dues" This can't be, none of us are average joe's, we are all a mix of Mavericks, Geese, and Hollywood's. Sarcasm, as I know some people are going to take it to heart.
Mind you, this is only coming from a thousand hour ding dong written in the perspective of a pilot (or driver lol) so maybe I'm just dumbfounded to the point that I might land and sit on the runway all day while I take pictures of these UFO's that seem to over fly the runway. Being a driver is so cool cause I can just pull up anywhere and watch planes.
Ok, time for me to put down my Serengeti's and get back down to earth