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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pay To Fly

While carrying passengers? 

Pilots learning to fly paying big money for the privilege. We work hard, build hours, gain experience and then we receive the opportunity for employment. At that time we are paid to fly. Or better said, we should. And while US commuter pilots are often paid below a standard of living, guess what's happening in Europe? Apparently there are airlines where the pilots not only make minimal income, but they also pay to fly!

The term indentured servant comes to mind. Should this be legal? It's not in France, nor in the US. Charging pilots for the privilege to build flight time, while carrying passengers has an unethical tone to it. Taking advantage of the financially challenged pilot who spent all their hard earned money on becoming qualified, is wrong. What can be done? 

Take a moment and read more at the European Cockpit Association (EAC), sign the petition and then  come back to tell us what you think about all this.   

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Pay to fly, is it just, is it right, I think personally, for a junior pilot to have to pay, to gain hours, and, keep his rating, is wrong, the airlines need to stop this, and pay the junior pilot, with it happening openly in parts of Europe, and the c.a.a. not doing anything, it leaves you wondering, especially in light of German wings co- pilot having only just over 600 hrs, just, how much level of experience have some of these junior
    pilots have.
    It, also, raises the issue of cost to an airline, when airlines are cutting and making pilots wages lower, that many have to have, a 2nd job, to make ends meet.
    To, an airline, and in the world of de regulation, this would be candy to a baby, this I feel, needs to stop, before ,we see
    more junior pilots or this practice expanded.
    Although, British Airways recently re started up its, training program , and Airbus opening up flight academies to answer the ,looming shortage, the airlines, have to change their approach, ift nothing done, a day will be soon, when, due no action, both pilots will be pay to fly, with very few hours, you cannot further cut the wages of those pilots who already fly, competition yes, not at the price of safety...

    1. My thought is that when pilots stop paying, don't fly, and leave that seat empty airlines will have to pay them. I know that is a challenge, as it's a job and a step to get flight hours. But... Make a stand for fair pay, and hold to it. I suspect that will be the only way.

      Strictly from a business perspective it makes sense to make money and have employees pay. But in most countries that is illegal. And from a safety aspect...they are opening up a huge can of worms and potential for problems.

      What would the airlines do if everyone quit who was "paying" to fly? They would need to hire pilots. I think part of our responsibility to ourselves is to take a stand for what's right.

      Thank you for your comment. I's wrong.

    2. This is an interesting thought... I will look into the apprenticeship aspect. That does not sound like a good idea. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Karlene,
    I think you were far too kind and understated about this cancer.

    P2F is not only unethical, it's wildly unsafe. Further, it may cut out the best-qualified candidates who don't have access to millions of dollars via mommy and daddy while they buy their way to experience.

    All while unsafely flying the unsuspecting public all over kingdom-come.


    1. Oh, not understated... just tried to post neutral as possible. We are learning in the PHD program that good writing is to state the facts and remove the emotion. But... I'm doing something to stop this. Or working towards it, I should say. And...mommy and daddy paying for the kids to fly is not the issue, it's the kids who don't have the money that are getting sucked into the trap.
      But... I say, don't complain...fix it. So, thus I am working on a plan!! Thank you for the comment.

  3. Although not an active pilot, they did not ask, so I did not tell.
    Of course, this is a horrible practice, one that I sincerely hope does not bloom in the U.S. The 'trends' need to move the other way, paying regional FOs at least a living wage while they continue to learn. IMO, our Congress really screwed up. I will always agree that 250 hours of total time is NOT enough experience for young pilots to drive right-seat on even small Part 121 jets, fifteen hundred hours, is overkill. (Both are minimums, but...) I do not know the Magic Number and yes, I appreciate that very few - if any - candidates began flying small transport jets with but 251 hours of total time. Again, requiring 1500 is just nuts! The regional carriers must pay a living wage, lobby the Congress for a far more reasonable number of hours, and train the good candidates themselves. P2F has no place in American commercial flying and I hope we never see this horrible practice. Ever. -Craig (of Cedarglen)

    1. Craig, Thank you so much for your comment. I'm not sure if the industry is correlating the stress of survival with the stress of pilots in the flight deck. There is no room for this at all! Also, I'm looking at researching this for my FAA law course (this quarter) and write an article. Thank you so much for comment!

  4. Well, after being on the sidelines for many years, (not that I wanted to, of course), I think that rule makers and industry leaders are taking us to a point where they are pursuing a more dark objective: to replace human pilots in the cockpits. I know this may sound quite crazy, but not for me. The Germanwings accident somehow looks as a way to make the public opinion to loose confidence in human crews, then this thing about Paying for Flying is like a crazy thing to discourage future pilots to follow a career in aviation. With all this drone technology already crowding the skies, I think this is going to end the human pilot concept. Hope it won't happen that way, but I am thinking this is unavoidable.

    1. This does not sound crazy. And the exact thing I'm suspecting too. But... I will do my best to attempt to not make this a reality. Thus the reason I'm working on my PhD. I hope to keep the industry strong! And... Pilots in the flightdeck.


Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!