Flight Training - April 2011 - 46

CAREER PILOT»

responsibilities, depending on the company and its policies. Either way, FOs should get plenty of stick time and experience analyzing weather and adding input to the captain’s decisions. After all, FOs are tomorrow’s captains and need the experience. At most companies it’s seniority, not hours logged or flying skills, that allow you to move up to captain. So in terms of flying skills or experience, the first officer may well be the better man or woman for the job. But, in the interest of playing the seniority game, the person hired first gets the fourth stripe. Good captains are humble folks who realize the only reason they are in the left seat is because they got hired first. A good captain doesn’t have a massive ego and is able to recognize that, despite

thousands of hours logged, he is not the ace of the base. He listens to the FO’s input and consults with his FO before making critical decisions. On legs where the FO is the pilot flying, a captain should let the FO make the decisions and fly the way he or she likes—within reason, of course. Unless the FO is compromising the safety or comfort of the flight, the captain will simply be the pilot monitoring; working the radios and dialing in changes to the autopilot/flight director (AP/ FD) control panel, or FMS if the autopilot is off. Airlines have clear procedures that each pilot performs depending on whether the autopilot is engaged. If the AP is off, the pilot flying only concentrates on flying the airplane. The pilot not flying

handles radio communications, checklists, and all entries into the boxes. If the AP is on, the pilot flying handles the entries into the flight management system (FMS) and AP. Some airlines and flight departments have variations on these procedures, but all are in agreement that the point is to keep the pilot flying concentrating on flying, and the pilot monitoring to handle nonflying duties and monitor the performance of the pilot flying. When I arrived at a regional airline 11 years ago, I thought I knew a thing or two about crew operations from my experience as a charter and occasional corporate pilot. I was wrong. I was taken aback by the seriousness with which airlines adhered to the roles of pilot flying and pilot monitoring.

CAREER ADVISOR

SLUMPING CFI SALARIES
» By Wayne Phillips »Q. I just got my CFI and at age 54 I’m not

planning to work for the airlines, but $10 to $12 an hour for such a demanding job as a flight instructor is really sad. When will salaries get better?—Scott »A. There are many factors that have put flight instructors at the bottom of the pay scale, and it’s been like that since the Wright brothers. We are our own worst enemy. We sell ourselves cheap to flight schools and students, and it’s our own fault. Why? Two reasons, I believe. First, there is a fear that if we make a flight hour too expensive, we won’t get students. Second, there is always another CFI nearby who will take $10 per hour, and every FBO or flight school operator knows that. Basically, the salary bar is set really low simply because most CFIs are desperate to build flight time and will accept peanuts for pay to do it. What industry on the planet views a career as a teacher, instructor, educa-

tor, or faculty member as an “entry-level position”? Instructors in medicine, law, and even on ski slopes are seasoned professionals who are highly valued and respected because of their education and experience—and they are compensated well because of it. In the aviation world, we anoint a relatively low-time pilot with a mere 250 hours as a flying “professional” well-suited to train future pilots. The fact that many of these freshly minted instructors are youngsters in their 20s further fosters the image that CFIs are merely interns learning the flying trade and, just like hospital interns and law clerks, they are worthy of only a pittance. The most successful CFIs, who are getting $75 per hour—and they are out there—have acquired beaucoup time and a high level of maturity. Further, they have stayed clear of flight schools and oppressive salaries. They work independently and find a niche. The successful CFI

making bigger bucks is most likely in his 40s or older and has become expert in something, whether it’s Garmin G1000 equipment, technically advanced aircraft (TAA), mountain flying, instrument flight, or some other specialization. But it takes time to develop clientele that respects these attributes and is willing to pay. The best marketing strategy for these pros is word of mouth. The basic laws of economics will, I believe, change the dynamics. There is deep concern about the future of aviation that is shared at AOPA and among manufacturers. The pilot population is declining along with student completions. Eventually, the laws of supply and demand will make an impact on all levels of the industry. When the industry wakes up and makes aviation a pursuit worthwhile, more talent will be attracted.
Wayne Phillips, an airline transport pilot with Boeing 757 and Falcon 20 type ratings, is a B-737 instructor and operates the Airline Training Orientation Program. Send your Career Pilot questions to careers@aopa.org and we’ll answer them here.

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Flight Training - April 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - April 2011

Flight Training - April 2011
Contents
President’s Perspective
Right Seat
Flight Forum
The View from Down Low
This Weekend
Tech Tip What It Looks Like News
Training Products ASI News
AOPA Action
Since You Asked
Final Exam
Member Products
Success Story
News Member Products
Insights
Flying Carpet
REVVING UP THE REVIEW
EXIT STRATEGY
TECHNIQUE
Weather
Accident Report
Flight Lesson
Flight Deck Roles
Career Advisor
Career Pilot News
The Owner/Mechanic
Male Students
Say What?
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Training - April 2011
Flight Training - April 2011 - Cover2
Flight Training - April 2011 - Contents
Flight Training - April 2011 - 2
Flight Training - April 2011 - 3
Flight Training - April 2011 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - April 2011 - 5
Flight Training - April 2011 - Right Seat
Flight Training - April 2011 - 7
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Forum
Flight Training - April 2011 - 9
Flight Training - April 2011 - The View from Down Low
Flight Training - April 2011 - 11
Flight Training - April 2011 - This Weekend
Flight Training - April 2011 - Tech Tip What It Looks Like News
Flight Training - April 2011 - Training Products ASI News
Flight Training - April 2011 - AOPA Action
Flight Training - April 2011 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - April 2011 - 17
Flight Training - April 2011 - Final Exam
Flight Training - April 2011 - Member Products
Flight Training - April 2011 - Success Story
Flight Training - April 2011 - News Member Products
Flight Training - April 2011 - Insights
Flight Training - April 2011 - 23
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - April 2011 - 25
Flight Training - April 2011 - REVVING UP THE REVIEW
Flight Training - April 2011 - 27
Flight Training - April 2011 - 28
Flight Training - April 2011 - 29
Flight Training - April 2011 - 30
Flight Training - April 2011 - 31
Flight Training - April 2011 - EXIT STRATEGY
Flight Training - April 2011 - 33
Flight Training - April 2011 - 34
Flight Training - April 2011 - 35
Flight Training - April 2011 - TECHNIQUE
Flight Training - April 2011 - 37
Flight Training - April 2011 - Weather
Flight Training - April 2011 - 39
Flight Training - April 2011 - 40
Flight Training - April 2011 - 41
Flight Training - April 2011 - Accident Report
Flight Training - April 2011 - 43
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - April 2011 - Flight Deck Roles
Flight Training - April 2011 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - April 2011 - 47
Flight Training - April 2011 - Career Pilot News
Flight Training - April 2011 - The Owner/Mechanic
Flight Training - April 2011 - 50
Flight Training - April 2011 - Say What?
Flight Training - April 2011 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - April 2011 - 53
Flight Training - April 2011 - 54
Flight Training - April 2011 - 55
Flight Training - April 2011 - Debrief
Flight Training - April 2011 - Cover3
Flight Training - April 2011 - Cover4
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