Smiling? I must have been thinking about the actual flying part!

Friday, August 17, 2007

closing thoughts & one last evidence

Well, I haven't blogged in quite some time. Truth be told, I had to let it go. Sometimes the dream becomes a nightmare and it starts to take you apart bit by bit. Well so aviation has become a heavy weight for me. I am moving on to my idea of greener pastures and that means quality of life. I am sad to say that the condition of general and commercial aviation is so bad it just grieves me to look at it daily and have no ability to make any dents for change. I had hoped this blog would get some attention and get folks talking, but alas I am powerless after all! If you are finding this blog for the first time, please read it through, and if you post any question or comment- I will gladly respond. But at least for now- I won't be adding anything new to this blog unless it is requested. Perhaps one day I will get to be paid for writing on the subject--since writing is one of my great passions just as aviation has been. In the mean time I can be found making a difference elsewhere. One day at a time, One smile at a time. I DO have one final parting story on general aviation that gave me another eye rolling pathetic laugh (completely true story). As well as a few comments that will follow in regard to Commercial Aviation.

A close friend of mine recently was looking to rent a light multi-engine in this area. I won't be using any aircraft, company or other names as I don't wish to be caught in any of that sort of politics- (disclaimer-disclaimer!)
So, said friend (from here on referred to as "CF" short for close friend,) is making a few calls regarding renting a multi engine. When she calls a certain (un-named) place (from here on referred to as "WTF" short for use your imagination! LOL) in regard to the certain (un-named aircraft type from here referred to as ME, short for-- yes- multiengine) they have for rental.
The conversation went like this- This is a direct cut and paste from my email - so as told by "CF" (close friend) text in peach,, with comments from me-- because I can't resist- inserted in purple text, so you can tell it was me- not CF who made the comment. Also I have replaced certain words so as not to identify anyone specific with the proper changes- found inside (parenthesis ).. this ones - just well-- sigh-- pathetic.

Okay - here's the conversation I had this morning with a local flight school. I was calling to inquire about getting checked out in their (ME.) Yesterday when I called (during posted business hours), the phone rang and rang. When voice mail finally came on, it sounded like a personal number so I didn't leave a message.

This morning when I called, it was answered by an older-sounding woman.

Me: I'm calling to get some information on the (ME) you have for rent.

Her: Okay. (hmmmm, just "OK"? not- great! I can help you with that- who am I speaking to? have you ever checked out in any of our aircraft before? )
Me: Can you tell me what the check-out requirements are?
Her: What's a check-out?
(OMG - here it is, this isn't happening!)
Me: Well, usually depending on the insurance company, specific hours and experience are required to rent a plane and I just wondered what those requirements were for the (ME).
Her: Oh, okay. Do you have your license?
(DUH? no I just wanted to rent your ME to see how she goes!)
Me: Yes ma'am.
Her: Are you multi engine certified?
Me: Yes ma'am.
Her: How many hours do you have?
Me: About 2000.
Her: Oh. That's more than enough
. (Oh my dear- I haven't even made that many pies! uhm, clearly we don't know what our insurance policy says)
Me: Are there specific requirements for me to have a certain number of hours in a (ME) or a complex airplane or something like that? Different insurance companies have different requirements so I was wanting to know what I needed to rent your (ME).
Her: might be better talking to one of the flight instructors to get more information

(why do your flight instructors know more about your insurance requirements than you? Perhaps you should get back to your baking granny)
Me: How easy is it to schedule a flight instructor?
Her: Usally 2-3 days is great. I don't keep their schedules cuz I've got other things to do. They keep their own schedule
. (what are those other things? Laundry? )
Me: Oh, okay.

Then she gives me the name and phone number of one of the instructors, saying he's available evenings and weekends and would probably be the best one for me to talk to. (okaaay- your PART time CFI knows MORE than you about the insurance requirements for your ME than you do? I'm gettin' scared -- next question is- is your CFI ME rated? and does HE have the requirements set by your insurance company? Alarm going off in head- these guys are not going to be around long--don't give them any large downpayments on block time!)

Me: Okay. And I just tell him I'm interested in getting checked out in the (ME)?
Her: Yes. And then if you don't mind, just give me a call back so I can put it on the schedule.
(WHAT?? wait a sec- WHO'S keeping whose schedule? I'm confused- I thought you had pies and laundry going? What about I need you to come in during normal business hours so I can get copies of your license & current medical, as well as make a proper file for you according to HSA/FAA requirements?) (please God please let the TSA come in and audit these people-- please? )

Then the usual end of conversation pleasantries.

Isn't that a trip?????? I had to bite my tongue not to laugh.
(oh CF you did so much better than I would have-- I would have had my head spinning like Linda Blair, spewing out obscenities about her responsibilities to help keep this country safe, while wild sarcastic laughter punctuated each point declaring the likelyhood that she would soon found herself jobless as this place is definitely on the DARK side! ) If she's doing things other than scheduling (which, of course, she's allowed to do), they really shouldn't have her answering the phone. Especially if she has no information in front of her - - like an information sheet on the planes, their prices and rental/check-out requirements. And what's with having a potential renter call her back to get on the schedule for a check-out? I would have thought the instructor would do that???? (I'm so sorry CF, I can't understand this either- it's like we are in the twilight zone! I think granny should be left to baking her pies!)

Can you imagine if I'd been brand new to aviation or more intolerant in wanting to get checked out?

I'm still chuckling.......
(end of email here)

I personally feel motivated to say a prayer for anyone who might come in contact with this un-named place- I wonder who is keeping track of maintenance requirements? Furthermore- please God don't let anyone who wants to learn only how to take off and fly straight and level find them!

Now as promised some words on commercial aviation- wow- the commuters are actually canceling flights due to pilot shortages, They are desperate to get warm bodies into the flight deck- the requirements are scary low- and just to add insult to injury-- think about this-- Joe Blow, straight out of an expensive flight school applies, gets hired, sails through ground school cause they are used to studying and haven't ever stopped cause they went straight from high school to flight school compliments of mommy and daddy, (these are the ones you commonly see that look about 15 years old and like they are playing dress up in their daddy's uniform) have very low actual experience time, are hired with 50 ME hours, then they get to the sim-- and have a 50% fail rate,,because they have minimal actual experience-- true story!
Now, consider this next scenario. Seasoned pilot, high times, including ME time, older than the rest of the class by a decade, had to work their way through all their ratings one at a time, while CFI'ing, very qualified- very desirable for that cockpit position, but they are older so they gotta study twice as hard as the youngsters to get through ground school, and then they bust on the oral. Why did they bust? Major pressure- short ground school, not enough training expertise from the airline to get them through it- and they never see the sim- where they would KNOCK THE SOX OFF THESE YOUNGSTERS! Cause nothing takes the place of experience!
God help us! this is so wrong- I can barely tolerate it.
Next complaint-- Okay big corporate fat asses! AKA CEO's CFO's etc. of airlines-- it must be nice to make such a huge paycheck- bonuses, etc, while screaming all the while how the airline is in trouble- here's a suggestion! IT"S NOT WORKING! TRY SOMETHING ELSE!
For Gods sake- if passengers knew the truth they would pay a few extra bucks for their tickets, they WANT meal service, movies etc. Your low budget flights only matter to a small percentage of your clientele. Entertain them, feed them, charge them more- and stop being so damn greedy! PAY YOUR FLIGHT CREWS! Need pilots? well they are gonna have to come from somewhere! Informed people don't decide to be pilots when they find out that they will be lucky to make $18,000.00 a year to start! Take a lesson from Southwest, let your employees have fun, get a decent wage and be happy- don't overwork your crews with bad scheduling, and your passengers will be happy and come back too!
If you have any doubts- regarding how bad it is in the regionals, just leave me a note on this blog- and i'll tell you stories that will make you wonder where the hell these corporate fat asses came from,, cause they are about dumb as rocks.
The end! unless of course someone comments- at which time I will respond with more of my sharp tongued sattire. AND as for my buds, Don't get any wise ideas about sucking me back into this with an anonymous comment!
Fly safe- and make sure you know the ins and outs of your chosen flight school!


Anonymous said...

This is "CF". Thought you'd like to know that all is not lost with regard to flight schools, at least outside of "my" flying area. I called a flight school in another area (actually, another state) to see about scheduling some flight time w/ an instructor to go sightseeing when I'm there. The guy who answered the phone was very helpful and very knowledgeable. He knew which of his instructors could fly which planes, what airplanes they actually had (versus what are listed on their website), what the prices were, recommendations on how far out to schedule, contact info for the instructor with whom I can fly their twin, etc. etc. I was happy with his/their service (over the phone) and will be interested to see what they're like in person when I go up there.

Cher said...

Well, Assuming, "CF" we are speaking of Colorado- I am relieved to hear my home state continues to stand above the rest! It gives my heart a moment of peaceful pause. Please God let there be more than one state with a decent flight school. Cause there sure as hell isn't one here in the land of the overly proud!.