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How Pilots Should Be Paid

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SATOPS recommends that 'Transport Canada investigate a means to require air operators to remunerate pilots in a way that eliminates the operating pressures associated with the method of payment.', the method of payment in question being flight pay for revenue hours. Here is an alternative.


The method of payment is hourly and pilots are paid for an 8 hour day and any overtime that is applicable. Statisitcs Canada reports that the average hourly wage for Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations is $18.34 per hour. Let us say that helicopter pilots are worth $30.00 per hour. A 40 hour week (about a 2000 hour year) would gross $1200.


According to the Canada Labour Code, hourly wage earners are entitled to overtime, so a pilot would be paid for 16 hours if he works a 14 hour day. If he works one hundred 14 hour days a year he is paid for 600 additional hours. This total of 2600 annual hours grosses the pilot $78,000 per year.


The Canada Labour Code also makes rules for payment of workers on holidays.


This works for contract pilots as well. If the employer is complelling the pilot to work a 14 hour day, the pilot will receive $480 for that day whether he flies or not. One hundred days work amounts to $48,000.

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Pilots should be paid for time worked.


After almost 10years in the industry I still can't believe that we can sit around an office, clearcut, or airstrip for 14hrs, fly 2hrs and not get paid a lick of OT.


Of course, there are many issues with restructuring pay, but there should be some provision for extra hours worked. I know somebody's going to say something about the 8 hour days, but those are few and far between for most of us, and distributed around 12 months of work, it becomes relatively insignificant.


We all love the $500/day situation, but how many guys remember the $120 a day paychecks for sitting on a stump drinking coffee for 12+hours?


Of course, I haven't thought a workable system through, and anything the government implements will be crap... but there has to be some type of reform doesn't there? :D



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This is year number thirteen for me in the wild world of aviation and the one thing that I can say for sure is that there is no way in Hades that I could re-enter normal society and become a 9 to 5 time card puncher. Scheduled lunch breaks, two fifteen minute coffee breaks... my, my, how exciting. Those of us who chose to do nothing but whine and complain should probably quit, the stress created by working at a job that you detest is very detrimental to a long and healthy life.


I consider myself very lucky to do something that I love to do, something I wanted to do from a very young age. I do get paid a comfortable wage and if I didn't think so I would do one of two things: quit, or find a higher paying position (logging, offshore IFR).


On Thursday morning last week I was crossing the Peace Arm and watching the sun light up the snow capped peaks of the Rockies, last time I checked McDonalds didn't offer those kind of field trips.


Nuff said, enjoy your day.

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So "whiners" should find another career eh? If somebody doesn't step up to the plate to create some positive change, then who will?


To all of you old high-timers complaining about those of us who would like to promote change - you are like the frog that is put into a pot of cold water and slowly boiled to death because it can't sense the slow change in temperature. Perhaps we should listen to those who are relatively new to the flying game because maybe, just maybe, they have something construtive to say. Perspective is everything.


This cause in particular may not be one that has a positvie effect on the industry, but there are many others that do. All this bullshit about "that's the way it is" and "I paid my dues..." is just that - BS. There used to be segregation, male only votes, apartheid etc. That's just the way it was. Great... just great.


There are many issues with our industry, and I'm not saying I would do anything else, but there are changes that need to be made. The abuse of low-time pilots, engineer duty times etc. need attention. Who's going to do that? All I'm saying is, when someone proposes a change, hear them out and stop this protectionist bullshit that comes everytime we start one of these posts.



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Auto Relight,


I do not wish to enter into a mud-slinging contest with you or anyone else, but I have to say this; I'm not an old high timer and I'm not protectionist but I do believe that I'm well compensated for what I do. How much do you think your worth per annum? $100,000.00, $200,000.00? A good friend of mine said to me on the weekend "If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, water your own grass." He's not an old high-timer either.

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