Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Am I Reading Too Much Into This?

Historically, FAR 135 Operation Specifications (that book that tells an operator what they can and cannot do), has had errors in it in the management category. When I was Chief Pilot, my name never showed up on the Ops Specs. As a matter of fact, by the time the Ops Specs caught up with me, there had been 2 Chief Pilots after me! Not uncommon.

I got our revision today for our Ops Specs and noticed some things in the management structure that struck me odd. We've changed Chief Pilots and the new CP's name was in all the right places save for one. No problem. Happens.

Then I looked at the individual base Lead Pilots of which I am one.

Someone else's name was in the spot where mine should have been. Hmmm...

The name that is there is the guy who transferred from the Lake Havasu base where he was the Lead Pilot, to our base where I'm the Lead Pilot. In his place in Lake Havasu is the guy who used to be Lead Pilot and is now the new Lead Pilot and the Ops Specs shows that. The company has opened another base and basically pointed to 2 guys and said, "You're going here." The other two pilots had volunteered to go including one from my base. (My problem pilot.)

I just get this gut feeling that I'm being replaced as Lead Pilot and I had to find out by reading the Ops Specs. No phone call. No email. No heads up. This concerns me because the Ops Specs were finalized on October 30th. Which means they were submitted long before then. (The wheels of government grind exceeding slow.) On several occasions I've asked the higher-ups to explain to me just what being a Lead Pilot entailed. What authority do I have? Where do I fall in the hierarchy of the base? (There's a medical side to the base and an aircraft side to the base. You can break the aircraft side into airplane and helicopter so there are 3 chains of command at our base!) To whom do I take my lead from?

I never really got a clear answer. I was led to believe the Lead Pilot position was the one who did all the paperwork, made the schedule and was the go-between between the home base in Phoenix and Modesto and Lafayette and Redding. That's what I asked and that's what I was told in clarification. But comments and emails expecting me to do other things from different chains of command and no clear answers to questions made the job somewhat frustrating.

I really have no problem giving up the Lead Pilot position and just becoming a line pilot. The only downside is the extra $30/day I get for being Lead Pilot. It adds up to over $4000/year. The thing is, 10 days of work-over gives me the same kind of money and I get more than 10 days of work-over in a year so it's kind of a moot point.

I don't know...gut is rumbling. Not feeling good about this.

I sent an email to the Director of Operations asking about the situation. Awaiting and answer will make this a long weekend...


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