This makes the Crashman angry... angry enough to rant! Crashman's uncle was a 747 driver for Eastern, who retired before the airline industry - and his airline - fell upon these sad days. Crashman asks
Why do we so dishonor this group of essential, highly skilled people, so necessary to the modern world? Why are their unions the object of so much management pressure? Why are they so underpaid and overworked until they reach the very top level - which few do? Why do they always have to fight for enforcement of the most basic safety rules, like on-duty hours restrictions and safe MELs? Why do they now always have to pay from their own pocket for their training? Why are things arranged so that even a young person totally in love with flying now gulps and thinks twice before setting out to be a pro? And usually has to give up somewhere along the line, just to make a decent living and feed a family?
Because nobody cares? Airlines have made flying the worldwide most preferred mode of transport and made its price within the reach of everyone - to the point where it is unusual now to find anyone who hasn't
flown somewhere (this was NOT true as recently as 30-40 years ago). And we STILL have no regard for these first-line soldiers of aviation, who put it on the line - literally! - every single day? Who hold thousands of human lives in their hands every month? Not even doctors do that - and Drs. get to bury their mistakes. Anything goes wrong with a flight, and U betcha where the groundhogs' finger will first point!
: You will NEVER KNOW
how many line pilots have earned 30 years of pay in 30 seconds - and never made the newspapers or even an incident report. You will NEVER KNOW
how many lives have been saved because some fine Captain somewhere looked at the mets, took the hardest road, and said: "Sorry- today, this flight is cancelled." You will NEVER KNOW
how many disasters have been averted because somebody with years of training and thousands of hours looked at a MEL, at a Wx report, at a shaky gauge indication, at some frost on the wing - and did the right thing even when the Company punished him/her for it. And to hear tales like that Delta Captain's - YAAAAGHHHHGGGH!
(mods have to take Crashman away, struggling and frothing at the mouth, and calm him down by giving him some NTSB reports to read.)
OK, ok.. Crashman is better now. And would like to thank the real Big Iron pros on here (not just airlines, all commercial pilots) who - despite their difficult, underpaid lives - are still here taking their valuable time hangar-talkin' for us so we can learn, and encouraging the youngsters- while giving them no illusions. We all know what it is to love flying - Crashman remembers practicing aerobatics from a book at age 7 using a yardstick and a pair of flipped-over sandals for rudder pedals - but something is very wrong
with this picture....