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Advice On Beating "training Bond" Bs.

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Is this really the case?

Let's ask the pilots: Which companies are currently using Training Bonds?


From personal experience, I could name two small companies who do (for annual training and PPCs) and I could name two medium-sized companies (~20 machines) and two large companies (50 plus machines) who don't (including my current employer).


Everyone has you sign a letter of employment and confidentiality agreement, and I think that is quite normal.


As far as type-rating bonds go, I've never had the pleasure of having an employer endorse me on a new type, so I can't comment on that end, but that being said, I would not be opposed to signing one, as long as the terms are reasonable...


Obviously, I'm not going to name names here, as we all know what happens when someone names companies that may be paying advertisers on Vertical Magazine, but if you want to know, just PM me and I'll be happy to share... ;)

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I can understand why some companies would want to have bonds to protect their investments, also why someone would sign one under certain circumstances. I have seen both sides get burned. Personally I think if a company gives you a type rating and pays you fairly, reasonable rotation schedules, good working conditions that bonds would be unnecessary. Why would the pilot leave? But on occasion it does happen, it's the cost/risk of doing business.


As stated, do your homework. This is a small industry, you can always find out the general consensus about a company,usually by making a few phone calls. If you don't have a friend that has worked for a company, your friend probably does have one that has.


I have 8 type ratings and have never signed a bond, but if I did I would make sure that it covered my butt too! No layoffs, guaranteed wages for the duration of the contract and regular schedules for example.


My 2 cents

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Guest who's yer daddy

As hybrid and Skidz said.


The attached link on the first page was an interesting read.


At HAC this past year in the Legal Seminar the lawyer stated that training bonds were null and void. I read an article in the past where the ACPA (Air Canada Pilots Association) took AC to court over the same idea and won. Cant remember the details of it but that is basically the summary. If its required for your job then its a necessity.


Of my seven endorsements only one was a training bond and it was abused by the company. The others were honored by our words and a hand shake.

I had several lawyers look at it and they were all of a different opinion.


Its not right when a company pressures you to sign a multi year deal to fly a heavy and then try's to force you to crew their R44 or Jet Ranger. A wage freeze and an attempt at a wage roll back also occurred during the term. Not to mention rotation issues.


I feel the company approached the training bond as a "we got you now" and tried to abuse its position and flex its muscle on more than one occasion.


I understand the costs of big endorsements and training but they should not be abused form either side. I recommend like hybrid mentioned that if you are going to sign a bond make sure it includes your wage negotiations and all the other little details that are part of your employment contract. That way there is no misunderstanding. This way you can document all your facts if they do not live up to their side of the bargain. eg.. serviceable aircraft, competent support staff, safe working environment etc


Have your lawyer add your requirements to the contract and then see if the company will sign it. And take your time...If they pressure you to sign right away like they did to Skidz - its going to be bad right from the start.

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How about this; the money invested into you as a pilot or an AME goes directly onto your license, if you have $10,000 worth of training, and quit after 6 months, company XYZ takes over the remaining balance based on pro-ration over a 12 month period. Simple.


that would alleviate a whole #### load of whining between employees and more so the operators.


I was once asked to sign what amounted to this, and I agreed as I thought it was a fair compromise. Both parties are essentially covered, or at least have a reasonable out. It still takes both sides to abide by something like this, but thankfully in my case it turned out ok. I did end up leaving early and so I paid my left-over pro-rated amount. I guess had they been an as*hole operator they still would have jerked me around anyways. Thankfully for me, they weren't as*holes.


At the end of the day though, there's nothing that can protect a person entirely. There's always going to be unscrupulous companies, even with apparently fair and bulletproof contracts. You can't always protect yourself from getting invovled with some chick who turns out to be a bunny boiler, but there's usually signs early on that things could go bad quickly...

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I think what Chopterlol meant was if you left early, your new company would have to "pay out" the pro-rated endorsement costs to the previous employer. Wouldn't really work as it might be for the wrong type, wrong license, or you might just be quitting the industry all together.

I had to sign one of these things when I got my first (and only) endorsement. Didn't feel good about it but signed anyways. As an apprentice about to get his license, you don't really have a choice. Luckily I have long since worked that time off. Would I sign one tomorrow? Not with the current employer. I figure I have put my time in that another endorsement would have been payed off in terms of time already. Would I sign one for a new company? Probably; as long as the terms are not ridiculous. Putting a year in at a "bad" company might be tough, but doable. Two years would be pushing it….



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