So the wedding is August 2nd. I got super lucky in the bidding of vacation time this year as based on my seniority I should have never been able to get 3 consecutive weeks in the summer, but somehow I did. So I’ve got off July 30th through August 21st.
We’ve been thinking something tropical, something beachy with blue water, lots of booze and good food. Extra points for all inclusive, double extra points for a Hyatt or Marriott chain as she’s got tons of points built up from work trips. We’d settled on the Caribbean as it’d be a fairly short flight from the east coast and there are a lot of places to choose from. So that’s my first crowdsource question: Experience or advice regarding a cool honeymoon spot in the Caribbean or perhaps Mexico/Central America? Hawaii’s on the table too but maaaan that’s a 10 hour flight from Dulles and ugh.
So here comes the wrench in the plan. The Cardinals are playing the Orioles at Camden Yards August 8th-10th and I’d really like to go to a game. She’s driving out to Kansas City a month before the wedding and I’m flying out, so we’re planning on driving back to Virginia together, most likely leaving the Monday after the wedding. We’d rather not rush back only to sit at home for 3 days before going up to Baltimore for the game and leaving immediately after for the main honeymoon spot so we came up with the idea of a road trip.
New Orleans is the front runner right now but that’s a wee bit out of the way for a drive from KC to DC, so that brings me to my second crowdsource question: Roadtrip ideas between those two cities and mind you, we’ll have Walter with us. And being how New Orleans is in the lead currently that should give you an idea that we’re basically on the hunt for drunken debauchery for about 3 straight weeks so keep that in mind regarding your suggestions. Replies, fan mail, ask box, and emails to jamescarlheath at gmail dot com are all accepted and appreciated.
Ready and go?
At first I thought this was ludicrous because it was saying that I was supposed to have been keeping receipts all year for anything I purchased outside the state of Virginia so I can now add it up and be charged 5.7% of it. However upon further research, the Virginia Use Tax only applies to items purchased out of state tax free costing more than $100. Okay cool, pretty sure everything I purchased out of state was subject to local sales tax so that’s fine.
However it won’t accept any amount less than $1 for out of state food purchases. What if I was agoraphobic and never left my home inside the state of Virginia and therefore never purchased a single cent worth of food out of state? I mean, I’m not but the Virginia Comptroller can’t prove it. I purchased plenty of food out of state but I can’t recall buying any tax free food. I certainly don’t have any receipts. So $1 it is? You can have my nickel’s worth of tax I guess, but I’d like to go on record as saying this is absurd.
This is how people become Libertarians!
He’s happy I swear. These are celebratory margaritas!
Today was a really big career milestone for me. I was certified as a radar associate controller on the Dominion and Franklin sectors of Washington Center. They’re my first two D sides and combined they’re good for essentially a 50% pay raise. Today was the culmination of 14 months of training and it finally justifies all that I left behind in the world of flying jets to come sell out and work on the other side of the frequency. It’s been frustrating and difficult and I’ve had second thoughts but today I sat at the sector and worked and made decisions on my own with no one telling me what to do and it finally felt like all of this last year has been worth it.
But while this is a really great moment worth celebrating, it’s also a reminder of how far I have left to go. My area has 8 sectors, and checking out on both the D and R positions means I’ll require 16 total certifications before I’m fully qualified. I’m really only 1/8th of the way to my final goal which is both intimidating and humbling. In fact tomorrow, as soon as I medicate what I assume will be a wicked hangover, I’ll probably spend the rest of the day studying airspace, restrictions, procedures, and letters of agreement because I start training on my next two sectors Friday night. This is the cycle I’ll repeat for the next two years or so. It’s daunting but also strangely comforting that there will always be another goal on the horizon.
Step 1: Bury stick.
Step 2: Re-find stick you just buried.
Step 3: Extract stick.
Step 4: Celebrate and repeat.
I’ve logged hundreds of hours instructing over this lake. During the summer in Phoenix this was one of the few places you could go to escape, or at least minimize, the ground thermals.
Epilogue: About the same time that departure took off we had a Navy E2 climbing out of Norfolk with a mechanical problem that had to divert back while experiencing moderate icing. Needless to say, in the words of Tommy Lee Jones in Firebirds, I was busier than a three peckered goat for like 10 minutes trying to coordinate.
So Walter’s got all of these asshole dominant puppy tendencies we’re trying to break and honestly most of the suggested ways feel like I’m sitting here all night playing hard to get with a dog.
By MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
February 13, 2014
CHICAGO— The regional (or Fee for Departure) segment of the airline industry is comprised of over 25 airlines, operating over 50% of all departures in the USA, and flying into the world’s most complex airspace, and largest (and sometimes smallest) airports, in some of the most challenging weather conditions on the globe.
This means that, at any given time, you are more likely to be flying on a regional airline than the mainline airline through which you’ve purchased your ticket. In fact, it was not until just recently that the airlines were required to tell you the name of the regional airline on which you are actually flying. Most people think that if they buy their ticket through United.com, for example, they will be flying on a United airplane, with United pilots, and United service. Many times, however, this is simply not the case.
You may recall the fatal crash in Buffalo, NY in February of 2009. Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of this crash. It was Continental Connection flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air. Many friends and family members of those who died in that crash had never heard of Colgan. They were wondering why their loved ones were flying on Colgan when they thought they were flying on Continental. Much attention was focused on fatigue, and flying proficiency (rightly so), but there wasn’t much talk about pilot compensation. At the time of the crash, the First Officer earned about $20k/year. For her flight from Newark to Buffalo, she would have been paid about $30-$40. Total. For the entire flight.
Little has changed up to now unfortunately. Regional airplanes are painted in mainline colors, your flight is coded as a mainline flight, ticket agents, gate agents, and ground workers might all be employees of the mainline. But once you cross the threshold and board that regional jet, or turboprop, you can often hear passengers’ exclamations of how much smaller the airplane is than they’d expected. The trend now, however, is to replace these smaller regional jets with larger, more sophisticated aircraft, carrying many more passengers. Instead of receiving raises, pilots are offered only concessions. Take it or leave it. Leave it, and we’ll place the aircraft at a cheaper airline and shut you down. This is the reality of regional airlines and its dangerous downward spiraling of pilot compensation at a time of record profits, as well as a scarcity of qualified pilots. We believe this is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.
We are: highly technically skilled, highly trained, highly competent, professional airline pilots operating some of the most complex equipment in and out of the busiest airports and airspace in the world, during all types of meteorological conditions.
But compared to our mainline peers, we are grossly undercompensated.
And chances are, we will be piloting your next flight.
The starting salary at a regional airline for First Officers (Co-Pilots) at one of the largest regional airlines is $23,256/yr. Broken down hourly, that’s a mere $12/hr, based on a 40-hour workweek.
You might hear the media and airline managements proclaim that we make a great hourly wage, but that’s entirely misleading. While away from home more often than at most full-time careers, airline pilots don’t get paid anywhere near 40 hours of pay a week.
Preflighting, flight planning, weather data gathering and interpreting, boarding, deplaning, configuring the cockpit before departure, maintenance delays, weather delays, inbound aircraft arrival delays, “sit” time between flights, and any other time that the door is not closed with the parking brake released is ALL UNPAID.
Imagine only being paid at your job for performing specific tasks, while some of the most important parts of your work go unpaid. That is how airline pilot pay structure is set up.
Let’s do some quick math. Consider this: You’re flying from Chicago to (insert any smaller city within about a 1-2 hour range) let’s say Cleveland, Ohio. You purchased your ticket on AA.com and paid $150 for your one-way flight. You arrive at the airport and head to the American Airlines terminal. You get to your gate, and see AA flight 3575 to CLE will be an hour-long full flight. You board the airplane, and find your seat on the 50-seat Embraer painted in American Eagle colors. You hit some turbulence en route as the pilots navigate around some winter storms. You are confident in your pilots’ ability to get you safely to your destination. As a professional airline pilot, your first officer is more than capable of completing the flight safely. But for his troubles, for this example flight, he will earn exactly $25.84, about $0.50 - yes that is fifty cents - per ticket. From your $150 ticket, a mere half a dollar will have gone to pay your First Officer. Chances are, you tipped your shuttle van driver more than your pilot made from your ticket.
In most industries, one can take their skill-set with them to another company or employer. Skills and experience do not lose value over time. If anything, their value increases.
But not at the airlines. A mainline Captain with 30 years of experience and tens of thousands of flight hours, who leaves for another airline, will make the exact same pay as a new-hire First Officer with the minimum qualifications. If Sully Sullenberger decided to come out of retirement tomorrow and fly for American Airlines, he would earn roughly $39,000 his first year, regardless of his very famous experience.
BUT WHY DO THEY PAY SO LITTLE?
The regional airline industry has experienced tremendous growth, as mainline airlines have essentially outsourced shorter flights to smaller cities to these traditionally entry-level regionals. While this may have worked early on, 9/11 changed everything. Whereas before pilots expected to spend only a few years at the regional level, able to move on quickly to mainline airlines, the post-9/11 industry experienced a period of extreme pilot career stagnation, resulting in an extended era of low wages, and inability to move on to the mainlines.
In short, the regional model is broken. The regionals are unsustainable, and everyone in the industry knows it. But instead of effectively managing their industry by offering competitive wages to attract new-hire pilots to staff the regionals, airline managements have decided to lower labor costs to the point of near-poverty level wages. This has only exacerbated the glooming pilot shortage.
To answer the question though, they pay so little because they can. As was previously mentioned, pilots cannot simply switch airlines if a competitor offers a better future. On the regional level, there are over 25 regional airlines providing passenger feed for the mainlines.
Mainline executives demand regional pilots agree to concessions, or the feed they provide will be awarded to the next lowest bidder, and your airline will be shut down.
This, in combination with the Railway Labor Act’s extreme restrictions on the ability for pilots to strike, has culminated into what we are seeing today: the erosion of the pilot profession, as airline executives realize record profits. We feel that near-poverty level wages has an adverse effect on safety, and that corporate greed will unfortunately be to blame for the next great air disaster.
We want our pilots focused on operating their aircraft, not wondering how they’re going to pay their bills.
Mike Herrera - Secret Weapon
I haven’t listened to this song in about 10 months and that’s because I completely burnt myself out on it. During the 4 months I spent at the FAA academy in Oklahoma City last year, I felt for the most part alone and under an enormous burden of pressure. It was a 4 month trial I had to pass in order to win a career. I listened to this song every morning in my car as I drove from my mom’s house in Midwest City to the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. I listened to it over headphones before each radar problem I ran. The song became a rallying cry for me during a really challenging time in my life and now it’s so inexorably linked to that period and the connotation is such that I can’t listen to it without a flood of thoughts and memories and emotions rushing back to me.
But this is a really great acoustic version.
www dot how do I convince the puppy that not everything needs to be a group event involving him like for example pooping dot tumblr dot com