Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Finally....Just a Pilot!

I am no longer in management...of any kind!

I had to take a little trip to Phoenix to the mothership to meet with the Director of Operations (DO), Chief Pilot (CP) and the head of the Air Medical Group (AMG). It was in regards to me filing a process improvement form regarding pressure to take flights. Basically, I upset the apple cart.

Turns out, the AMG head didn't like the fact that a Lead Pilot questioned the fact that his DO questioned him. Apparently, I'm not allowed to do that.

So...AMG Head hauls my butt to PHX, puts me up in a nice hotel, feeds me a meal, pays my mileage to and from SMF all for a 30 minute chat about how I shouldn't use safety reports to get back at my DO and CP and how he can't figure out for the life of him why they'd want me as a Lead Pilot and they have issues with my ability to check weather and how it's not the company's responsibility to make me happy in life.


I didn't use the safety report to get back at my DO. They offered me the position (and I accepted against my better judgement) as there was no one else to do the job. It was a favor to a new employer. I can check weather with the best of them (just ask my crews!) and whoever said it was the company's job to make me happy in life???

When I had a chance to speak I raised my concerns that I had been pressure to force another pilot to take a flight he couldn't legally take, that I was being second-guessed from Phoenix about weather at a mountain airport I have been into more times than anyone in PHX, and that during the interview I was explicitly told, several times, that they wouldn't do that.

Yeah. Like that.

It all fell on deaf ears. The DO looked away. The CP looked down and the AMG Head brushed it off and started in on me again.

I found out what I wanted to know. The AMG Head isn't going to have a lowly Lead Pilot question his buddy the DO.

So I resigned as Lead Pilot. Something I had wanted to do for some time. I told them it had nothing to do with being hauled down to PHX. It had everything to do with not being in any kind of management position. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt thankyouverymuch.

My 2 years are up in October. I am giving this job one more shot. Many of my peers are recommending that I bail ASAP but there are other considerations.

I would love to go to FlighSafety International and teach KA200's to clients. Something I think I'd be good at.

But that entails moving to Southern California, something my wife doesn't want to do and I'm not too particularly interested in either as this is a bad time to sell. (I've crunched the's doable but I lose quit a bit of the equity I've managed to accumulate. My house will be paid off in 12 years. I'd have to start all over with a 30-40 year mortgage. :( ) But it is an option.

We'll see how it goes over the next 5 months...


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