Sully, Skiles, and Harten testify to Congress

… and tell it like it is.

Really good article here. Some good quotes:

“People don’t survive landings on the Hudson River…”
“I thought it was his own death sentence…”

Both by Patrick Harten, controller at N90. Sully cut straight to it, though:

Sullenberger, a 58-year-old who joined a US Airways predecessor in 1980, told the House aviation subcommittee that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years and his pension has been terminated and replaced with a promise “worth pennies on the dollar” from the federally created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. These cuts followed a wave of airline bankruptcies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks compounded by the current recession, he said.

The reduced compensation has placed “pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation,” Sullenberger said. “I do not know a single professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps.”

More good bits in the article. Read and discuss.


The reduced compensation has placed “pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation,” Sullenberger said. "I do not know a single professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps."

I agree 100%. I’ve been telling people that for maybe 9 years now. This industry can crew you up and spit you out. Who wants that for their kids. I will let my kids make up their own minds, but I will not encourage aviation. And I’ve had a great time in aviation. But I see how my relationship is with my 2 oldest v. my 2 youngest. I was gone for the first 2 40+ weeks/yr and never have left the youngest two. I’ve seen the resentment my wife has too.

Can you imagine 30 years with a company only to lose your pay and pension all in the last 5. I know some can, but ouch.

Not to compare apples to oranges, but I think the airline business as a whole can chew you pretty good. My Dad retired from NW after 32 years between ramp and pax services. Pay cuts, bs days off with bs shifts. I bought into it hook line and sinker. I tried unsucessfully to get out twice but it is in my blood, and I honestly enjoy the work, maybe not so much some of the bs that doesn’t need to be with it.

If Sully can get people to wake up and see that the airline industry is and has been in rough shape for a long time, with the same outlook for the future I say that is awesome!!

What’s amazing is that these people who have their pay cut, their pensions worth only pennies on the dollars, bad shifts, etc., are being forced to keep their jobs. They aren’t allowed to accept employment elsewhere.

Oh, wait. They do have a choice. If they don’t like their job then the can quit and take up employment elsewhere.

What’s better? To have your pay cut by 30% to only $120,000 a year or to have your pay nut cut but your job cut out instead?

I’d rather have a pilot up front that is flying because he loves to fly and wants to do it more than anything else rather than a pilot who sits up in the pointy end of the plane only because he wants big bucks.

In other words, the follow equations are not always true:

Higher Wages = Better Pilot
Lower Wages = Worse Pilot

And there is always the choice of business aviation. If Congress and Pres. Obama would stop attacking business aviation when they themselves use business aviation.

True, they / we all have choices in life. However when contracts are made to give “X” amount of $ and that is not meet, then I think we’d all agree we’d be upset. The days of people staying true to one company are gone, it is all about the $ I don’t care if it is the airlines, computers…everyone goes where the $ is.

Like I said I love what I do, just wish I had a bit more $. :wink:

Yep, and it’s the money that puts food on your table, pays the mortgage and the such. Making a choice of “change” most likely will put you in an unemployment line since the job market is quite lean until something comes better (if there is a better choice) which only further excasperates the monetary situation.

Personally, I get hungry and do want to stay dry on those rainy days. It’s becoming a “put up or shut up” world. It’s put up and take the pay cut or find yourself on the street with no money other then unemployment. Looking for a job just doesn’t pay my necessity bills.

Unfortunately, seems that dedication doesn’t give you more pay in today’s economic times, probably less since your pension would be more then a lower experienced person, so the company has more incentive to get rid of you or renegotiate your contract so that you are “lower cost” to the company.

Don’t like it, then the employee needs to change cuz it sure won’t be the company. See above for the vicious circle.

Just look at the autoworkers and their union for an interesting road to be explored.

Not many people in your position with the love of their jobs. With regards to money and payscale, in my experiences, it’s not experience in the real world that gets one up the corporate ladder quickly, it’s not what know what you know that gets one up the corporate ladder quickly, but who you know. :wink: Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but they are far and few between.

Keep up the good work!

I was reading about this same topic over on After bogging through entry after entry it hit me. In the airline industry we ALL still love it. Yes we all have taken it in the pants here and there in one way shape or form, but we’ll all tell one another stories about our first flight we worked on the ramp, size aircraft pushed back or parked…we all still flock to these forums to debate the world of aviation. Face it deep down we all love what we do! :smiley: :wink:

Now we all sing koombya (spelling?) :wink: :laughing:

Amen, let’s see, Comair CRJ-200, Gate B12, KDAY, (me rambling on).

P.S. Kumbaya