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August 08, 2022

The 2022 Pilot Shortage

Received a message from a friend yesterday. He's a CP, IR, CFI: the usual for a serious hobby pilot with IT background (he's a fairly normal sysadmin - Cisco etc.)[2]. But on the side, he flew a Caravan for Martinaire for 4 months or so, and a King Air for a jump outfit a bit on weekends. And now, he accepted a job at an airline. Part 121, not a quasi-airline like Boutique.

He's going to spend a week typing in ATR 72, then a month or so in Florida getting ATP. As soon as he passes the checkride, he's getting into the right seat. The airline pays for everything.

All these years, the media kept making stories about "pilot shortage". And it always was bollocks. So I tuned it out this time around too, but things look different now.

I mentioned this to my wife. She said that she saw an interview with an airline CEO (I don't watch TV, but she does). The exec said something to the effect that, for decades, they sent people to furlough, then recalled them, and pilots always trundled obediently back. But not this time. They aren't returning, thus making the 2022 pilot shortage real.

If she told me before I heard from my friend, I'd think the exec was lying as usual.

Maybe some people don't want to ruin their health by getting jabbed with a dangerous non-vaccine, and the pay no longer makes ruining one's health worth it, even at majors. I dunno, that could be a factor. But it cannot explain the entire amount of pilots not returning from the 2020 furloughs.

[2] For comparison, I have PP with 700 hours, no IR.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at 07:29 AM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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1 You have a lot more time than me. (IIRC around 74 hours). But I did rack up all that time when I was learning and only making $30K a year for Claris. Alas, most of that time was in a Taylorcraft with no radio, so my radio skills leave me too cowardly to attempt anything under the Seattle airspace.
Plus that T-craft was something like $25/hr wet.

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