Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

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golden hawk
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Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by golden hawk »

http://www.avweb.com/avwebbiz/news/Prof ... 382-1.html
March 26, 2013

Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots
By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief


A Canadian group is trying to get formal recognition for pilots as professionals in the same league as doctors, lawyers and engineers. Tom Machum, president of the College of Professional Pilots of Canada, told AVweb that if successful, the College would set and enforce standards for commercial pilots and provide needed input into regulations and laws that govern aviation in the same way that the governing bodies of other professions operate. "We're hoping that we can transform piloting from its current status which is really kind of recognized as more of a trade into the true realm of being a professional," Machum said. He said the overall goal is to enhance safety by providing the framework for pilots to excel at their jobs. If successful, it would be the first professional pilot designation in the world.

Largely through word of mouth, the College has attracted more than 1,000 members (out of about 24,000 eligible pilots in Canada) and Machum hopes it will gather the support it needs from government to become the self-regulating body it wants to become. Machum said its principal functions would be pilot certification and accreditation of flight school curriculums along with ongoing support and education to ensure professional pilots achieve and maintain the highest levels of expertise. He said it would be open to anyone with a commercial license or higher.
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KK7
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by KK7 »

Isn't being a pilot more of a trade anyways?

Oxford dictionary:
Trade
Pronunciation: /treɪd/
noun

1 [mass noun] the action of buying and selling goods and services:
a move to ban all trade in ivory
a significant increase in foreign trade

[count noun] North American (in sport) a transfer:
players can demand a trade after five years of service

2 a job requiring manual skills and special training:
the fundamentals of the construction trade
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by HavaJava »

A job requiring manual skills and special training...

Sounds like that would apply to surgeons as well...
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Ki-ll
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

So what exactly makes a pilot a professional? Paying for his CPL/MIFR and getting it in one-two years? Is it passing a PPC? Or paying a membership fee to the club?
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by mbav8r »

KK7 and Ki-ll, you're both out of the club!
Seriously though this has been beaten to death but suffice it to say, a professional would not have accepted the wawcons being offered by Encore and SR or at least if we had a professional designation they wouldn't have had to!

pro·fes·sion·al

1
a. Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession: lawyers, doctors, and other professional people.
b. Conforming to the standards of a profession: professional behavior.

engaged in one of the learned professions

c (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
2

a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer>

b: having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier>

c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>

3

: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot>
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Ki-ll
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

mbav8r wrote:KK7 and Ki-ll, you're both out of the club!
Seriously though this has been beaten to death but suffice it to say, a professional would not have accepted the wawcons being offered by Encore and SR or at least if we had a professional designation they wouldn't have had to!

pro·fes·sion·al

1
a. Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession: lawyers, doctors, and other professional people.
b. Conforming to the standards of a profession: professional behavior.

engaged in one of the learned professions

c (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
2

a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer>

b: having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier>

c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>

3

: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot>
So what you are saying is that pilots who went to Encore and Sky Regional are not professionals? Could we include Georgian and CMA into that list? What about Orca Airways and Carson Air? Keystone? Conversly you are saying that there are no Sky Regional/Encore/Georgian/CMA etc. pilots in this Professional Pilot club?
In definitions that you have provided I never saw anything that reflects a wage or working conditions.
Just my five cents...
I know it would be nice to make a six figure wage, work 5 days a month right seat on a Navajo, do that right out of flight school and also be called a professional while doing that. Somehow I think one needs to wake up first, then work on his airmanship, then prove that his airmanship is solid and maybe then call himself a professional. Unfortunately that process takes way too long, I guess it is way easier to pay a membership fee.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by 5x5 »

The concept seems a bit flawed to me without being tied to a change in society's view of airline travel. And I think that's unlikely.

How many of you travel with an air carrier when you vacation with your family? When you do, do you search around for the lowest cost?

When you need medical attention, do you search around for the cheapest doctor?

If you need legal advice/representation, do you search around for the cheapest lawyer?

I would hazard a guess that for a lawyer or a doctor you would opt for the best one. That's because the outcome of the situation you are dealing with that requires their services has a lot of variability based on their individual experience and skill. Airline travel isn't like that. For the most part, every flight is pretty much like any other as far as safely getting from point A to point B. The individual pilot doesn't have much, if any, of an impact on the flight compared to any other pilot employed by the same airline.

Since the individual can't be easily identified by the paying customer as a significant factor in the outcome of the flight, why would they pay more to fly with pilot X?

Training and skills are not a significant issue in the "plight" of pilots. It's a supposed lack of jobs and a dearth of high-paying jobs. So overseeing school curriculums and somehow managing pilot certification won't change this. At most it would allow this new organization to restrict somewhat the training portion of the industry. The only real point in this would be to ultimately reduce the number of pilots and attempt to increase the wage due to lessened supply. Sounds like a basic labour union to me and not anything like a professional association.
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mbav8r
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by mbav8r »

Ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, .........
Do you get it yet? No not yet, ok lets say we achieve this designation and now lets say down the road the the college sets a minimum that a pilot could be paid, it would be unethical to work for less and enforced by the ethical standards set forth to be considered a "Professional Pilot", no more bottom feeder.
To answer your question, yes I would consider a pilot working for a company that pays and treats pilots like crap, unprofessional.
I was out of work, as a pilot, for 3 years because I refused to work for less than I was worth and more than a normal full time job. I always set my terms and conditions and if they weren't honored I left, by the way I never ever once signed a bond, that is also unprofessional, in my opinion!
Problem was and will be, without enforceable standards, there will always be ten pilots willing to sell their mothers for every one that won't
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Chuck Ellsworth »

I paid the fee and joined and I am retired.

Why would I have done that?
Somehow I think one needs to wake up first, then work on his airmanship, then prove that his airmanship is solid and maybe then call himself a professional. Unfortunately that process takes way too long, I guess it is way easier to pay a membership fee.
Maybe because I feel I have achieved the above and think that the college might improve aviation?
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Ki-ll
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

mbav8r wrote:Ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, ethical standards, .........
Do you get it yet? No not yet, ok lets say we achieve this designation and now lets say down the road the the college sets a minimum that a pilot could be paid, it would be unethical to work for less and enforced by the ethical standards set forth to be considered a "Professional Pilot", no more bottom feeder.
To answer your question, yes I would consider a pilot working for a company that pays and treats pilots like crap, unprofessional.
I was out of work, as a pilot, for 3 years because I refused to work for less than I was worth and more than a normal full time job. I always set my terms and conditions and if they weren't honored I left, by the way I never ever once signed a bond, that is also unprofessional, in my opinion!
Problem was and will be, without enforceable standards, there will always be ten pilots willing to sell their mothers for every one that won't
That kind of makes sense. But...
What should we do with the pilots who will not enter that College? Shoot them because they sell their mothers for flight hours?
How is a bond unethical (that is a rhetorical question, no need to answer)? I know two people, off the top of my head, who left an operator after getting their training done to fly for a different operator on a different machine. How is that for unethical?
Should we all get those recent college grads who now fly Dash-8's to be designated as professionals too? How about those cadets for the Air Georgian program?
TC is about to lower the bar across the board with cancellation of that 50% FO time towards the ATPL - a common trend in life around. They believe it would not compromise safety. Why does College think that raising the pilot standards is better?
You live by your ethical standards, kudos to you. Why should someone else live to your standard?
. . wrote:I paid the fee and joined and I am retired.
Maybe because I feel I have achieved the above and think that the college might improve aviation?
I would join if I believed that too...
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by AuxBatOn »

So, does the guy that smokes up a big doobe before a flight considered a professional? Are people that think it's okay to do drugs in their time off considered professional?

I think those questions are more important than the "is he willing to work for less". They are far more fundamental to the professionalism and ethical behaviour of a person....

The sad fact is that anybody (and I mean, ANYBODY) can be a commercial pilot. With enough money, you will eventually pass your flight test. Does it mean you are a good pilot? Does it mean you will make good decisions? Nope.. It just means you had enough money to buy your way to being a pilot.

What we need, before we even think about considering ourselves professionals, is a standard that is set and adhered to. Can't make it? Too bad, so sad buttercup.
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mbav8r
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by mbav8r »

What should we do with the pilots who will not enter that College? Shoot them because they sell their mothers for flight hours?
In the future, with this designation and still with many hurdles to go, it will likely be mandatory to join in order to practice in the profession of piloting. It could be where, the college takes over licencing and it could be where your licence fees also covers membership. To be fair I don't know this, just speculating.
I know two people, off the top of my head, who left an operator after getting their training done to fly for a different operator on a different machine. How is that for unethical?
You're correct, unethical, however what is the reason for leaving, was the pay sub standard? I noticed they left to fly different AC, not the usual, got a PPC and took it to another operator of the same.
Here's a novel idea, instead of bonding, pay someone enough that they won't want to leave.
TC is about to lower the bar across the board with cancellation of that 50% FO time towards the ATPL - a common trend in life around. They believe it would not compromise safety
I'm not sure what you're referring to, haven't read or seen anyhting about that, but it seems you will still need 1500 hrs for an ATPL instead of what, 1750-2000. I agree with transport, not likely to compromise safety, unless of course you find a 1500 hr fresh ATPL in the left seat of a q400. By the way, an inside source of a certain new start up, told me, they were looking at 1900 Captains to go directly into the left seat of a q400, because their pay was not attracting the kind of applicants they thought they would get, instead of paying enough to attract better qualified candidates. Perhaps something for the ethical standards board to look at, in my hypothetical future.
I would join if I believed that too...
So ,you choose to do what, nothing?
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Ki-ll
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

In the future, with this designation and still with many hurdles to go, it will likely be mandatory to join in order to practice in the profession of piloting. It could be where, the college takes over licencing and it could be where your licence fees also covers membership. To be fair I don't know this, just speculating.
Directly from the College's website:
How does the College fit with Transport Canada and ICAO?
Being a professional pilot is much different than other professions as we can practice our work in multiple jurisdictions and countries on a single flight. The College has no interest in issuing licences or developing regulations, and consequently views Transport Canada and ICAO as key partners. The College does however aspire to maintain the standards and calibre of professional pilots on behalf of, or in conjunction with, Transport Canada. This is indeed a complex endeavour and many details remain to be finalized.
You're correct, unethical, however what is the reason for leaving, was the pay sub standard? I noticed they left to fly different AC, not the usual, got a PPC and took it to another operator of the same.
Here's a novel idea, instead of bonding, pay someone enough that they won't want to leave.
I am not sure for the exact reasons, but pay was definitely not an issue for one guy since the other job paid less. The second one might have something to do with pay. Why would he apply, go through the whole process, accept the conditions, get trained then quit and never fly that airplane again? I don't think that is fair to do to any operator.
I'm not sure what you're referring to, haven't read or seen anyhting about that, but it seems you will still need 1500 hrs for an ATPL instead of what, 1750-2000. I agree with transport, not likely to compromise safety, unless of course you find a 1500 hr fresh ATPL in the left seat of a q400. By the way, an inside source of a certain new start up, told me, they were looking at 1900 Captains to go directly into the left seat of a q400, because their pay was not attracting the kind of applicants they thought they would get, instead of paying enough to attract better qualified candidates. Perhaps something for the ethical standards board to look at, in my hypothetical future.
Not really 2000 instead of 1500. I am talking about guys who go right seat of a turboprop straight out of flight school. Normally they would get their ATPL at 2800 hours, they never have to be a PIC of anything bigger than a C172 to be a holder of an ATPL. I guess with MPL coming it won't matter anyway.
How is an experienced 1900 Captain not qualified to be a Dash-8 Captain?
So ,you choose to do what, nothing?
I choose to become a professional on my own terms, not by being told that I am now a professional by some random people.
My only beef with this college of pilots is that I am afraid that it will be a place for non-professionals to call themselves professionals after paying 60$ fee and passing some kind of an exam. I don't have an extensive career in aviation, but I have seen that true professionals are extremely hard to come by. No college will ever fix that.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by KK7 »

I'm all for having some sort of professional organization to stand up for pilots and attempt to set some sort of standard. All power to you.

My issue is this misguided concept that pilots are playing on the same field as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.. We are nowhere near that level of education, nor do our jobs require the same level of thinking. I have a BASc in Engineering I can tell you that this profession and the others that are typically listed as "professional organizations" require a large amount of analytical problem solving, critical thinking and only in a few specific instances, some manual skills like surgeons, who are in the minority of these organizations and only comprise a small part of their overall job.

In our society, this is the difference between tradespeople who go to college, and professionals who go to university. Colleges teach specific skills, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and as it turns out, flying aircraft. Universities teach softer skills like problem solving, analytical and critical thinking. One might take Biology and not become a biologist. The tools one learns in universities are easily applicable in other areas. Things learned in colleges are not so easily transferrable. Both are important. At some point in the past however, someone decided that professionals and those who go to university are more important and worth more than tradespeople and those who went to college. Tradespeople are laughing their way to the bank now, while university grads are finding out that they are a dime a dozen.

With a commercial pilot's licence, you would be hard pressed to find many other jobs that you can apply those skills to other than flying an airplane. One might gain experience through their career in other areas, but the skill of flying an airplane primarily resides with aircraft.

Pilots mainly fly the aircraft through manual skills, pushing buttons and following procedures. There is very little analytical problem solving and critical thinking involved. There might be the occasional need to bring in such skills in an unusual emergency, but these times are rare, and we are certainly not educated to do so.

I don't mean to bring down the job of being a pilot. It demands a great deal from an individual and I take pride in being the best, most professional pilot I can be. But comparing me and other pilots to a doctor or the engineer that designed the airplane is like comparing the contractors to the architect and engineer who designed the bridge. We are each important and we each have our place in society.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by BTyyj »

KK7, aren't pilots overpaid on average then? If it takes no thinking skills to fly a plane, shouldn't pilots be paid more closely to carpenters, ranging generally $35-70k, or even less, considering that there's a huge oversupply of pilots.

So if it takes so little thinking skills and education to become a pilot, why am I, as a paying passenger, spending so much of my money supporting pilot's bloated salaries, where many, especially at WJA and ACA, are earning well into the six figures?

If all that's required of flying a plane is
Pilots mainly fly the aircraft through manual skills, pushing buttons and following procedures. There is very little analytical problem solving and critical thinking involved. There might be the occasional need to bring in such skills in an unusual emergency, but these times are rare, and we are certainly not educated to do so.
couldn't anyone do it. Why am I paying such high prices for an obviously unnecessarily high paid employee.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

BTyyj wrote:couldn't anyone do it.
Anyone does "do it".
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Chuck Ellsworth »

Lets start with a simple question.

What is the minimum education requirement to become an ATPL holder?
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

. . wrote:Lets start with a simple question.

What is the minimum education requirement to become an ATPL holder?
There is no education required.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by BTyyj »

Why are pilots paid so much then?
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by bald seagull »

Airline Pilot = Bus Briver
Corporate Pilot = Limo Driver
Charter Pilot = Taxi Driver
Cargo Pilot = Truck Driver
Helicopter Pilot = Heavy Equipment Operator
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by x-wind »

I want to see my profession improved. I support this. I've got quite an education from flying, much more then my post secondary provided.

An ATPL is a good starting place. But the college is planning to take over licensing. Perhaps they'll be changing the licenses, perhaps they'll be making the licenses a greater achievement then they currently are. AM I WRONG HERE??

[quote="Ki-ll"]So what exactly makes a pilot a professional? Paying for his CPL/MIFR and getting it in one-two years? Is it passing a PPC? Or paying a membership fee to the club?[/quote]

Those are the only things you can suggest that would be qualifier to a pilot being a professional? Weak brother.

I don't think I've met an old pilot with how made flying his career that does not consider himself and his craft a profession.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Ki-ll »

BTyyj wrote:Why are pilots paid so much then?
Supply and demand.
x-wind wrote: Those are the only things you can suggest that would be qualifier to a pilot being a professional? Weak brother.
I was being sarcastic there, in case no one noticed...
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Chuck Ellsworth »

I am having a bit of a struggle trying to figure out if flying is a " profession " but slowly I am getting to think that it just might be.

In fact the more I think about it the more rare this job is because it is a profession where there is no requirement for an education, short of the ability to read and write.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Masters Off »

However, perhaps we can consider a few things:

First, our industry is extensively deregulated. Yes, almost anyone with a decent physical and relative mental state can pass a medical, flight and written test with ease. Now, before you go on to say that they aren't professional on that basis, perhaps you can notice that most laws are relatively the bottom of the barrel. These are the same law makers that state I can take off at night, on a narrow gravel strip, with no landing light (as I have no passenger) with retro-reflective markers. No one said that the law defined anything above the absolute minimum.

Further, there's many differences. One guy in the left seat at west jet does not have an equal job as a twotter driver in NWT. No, one is not above the other (although some would have you think the move from 767 to 777 in Air Canada means you're at the top of the food chain) however it's all based on how each operator feels like paying you. Someone long ago in Air Canada determined that the bigger the aircraft, the bigger the pay. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the industry, we've seen some operators pay less than 50% of others with the same aircraft, working similar hours. I'm not asking for communism, I'm asking for a recognition of a level of competency.

We don't have official apprentices. How long will I sit in the right seat, or the single-engine, piston aircraft before I graduate to the left seat, turbine (for example.) One typically associates this with a pay increase (save Carson Air and their wisdom). Some in the industry feel its an absolutely miracle we can get jobs at all (Joe Chow, Skydive Toronto Inc.-STI) Others pay you over and above much of the job your working; doing specific corporate and private work that in itself is pure luck of having a good operator/owner.

Finally, don't kid yourself. 250 hour guys with a dad in AC or the right connections can sit in the BE02 or even 737 with the minimal experience. On the other end of the scale, I've watch many of my friends give up in frustration when they didn't get that break, year after year, season after season, out of money or patience. All because they didn't know someone, didn't have that lucky chance, or their roadtrip didn't go as well as hoped. Forget regulations, smarts, amount of people with licences, the injustice is pure and wide open. Some of the best potential pilots sit frustrated, while some of the luckiest, most well connected or richest sit in the right seat of "the dream" wherever it may be.

No it doesn't take a lot to keep up a licence. Yes we're all different. Could we be held to some minimum standard beyond Transports dismal belief? Absolutely. Does it mean restricting the number of licences? Possibly. What about further testing candidates, demanding certain test scores, etc. Possibly. How about demanding a specific wage? Well, demanding minimum wage for those at Carson would be a start, but we'd be dreaming to get a living wage (yes, there's a quite a difference). What about blackballing the guys who walk with type ratings. Absolutely, hold them accountable. What about cautioning pilots from working for places like keystone? Absolutely. If they're informed and still go with greedy eyes to that Navajo/Beech, then they should also be able to be held accountable.

And the biggest question, can an independent body of peers help provide this attempt at a semi-normal accountability of financial, safety, normalcy and recognition? Time will tell.

Having said that, I'm not a professional yet, but until I get to where Cat, Doc and the Colonel are, I don't think I'll fit in that category. For now I'm just holding on to my licence to learn.
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Re: Professional Recognition Sought For Pilots

Post by Liquid Charlie »

Pilots could only be considered professionals if we also invited the members of the world's "oldest" profession to join us -- :smt040

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