In Defense of the Contract Pilot

By Robert Mark on September 30th, 2008

Do you know this guy? 3 He’s Jeff Beck, a contract pilot of some renown. Contract pilots essentially lead a vagabond life from airplane to airplane until they’re no longer needed with no single place to really call home. They wait only for the phone to ring about their next job. In the pilot business, we could also call them aviation’s first line of entrepreneurs.

I’ve known Jeff for at least a decade although I knew of him for much longer than that. He’s an experienced international business aviation pilot with a pocketful of type ratings on almost every jet Gulfstream has ever produced.

Jeff Beck is also known for saying what needs saying, a trait where people in our industry often come up a little short.

What that means in English is that Jeff’s style of communicating what’s on his mind often slips underneath the skin of some younger and more sensitive readers … actually, some older ones too. He’ll no doubt make a perfect blogger when he decides to set his mind to it.

In the mean time, I’d like to offer up a bit of something else Jeff’s known for, his sense of humor which is something else we’re all a little short on these days. As one veteran to another, I introduce you to Jeff beck.

Protecting the Contract Pilot Way of Life

by Jeff Beck

In an effort to end the worst Independent Contract Pilot financial disaster since The Wright Brothers, it is time we sent Congress a $7 billion plan to purchase toxic debt from troubled Independent Contract Pilots.

The Democrats, who control both the House and Senate, questioned whether there were sufficient protections for Aircraft Operators, but they will probably acknowledge the need to act quickly. Some Democrats said they might use the opportunity to increase the daily rate pay limits on what Independent Contract Pilots are paid and look for ways to increase Contract Pilot usage.

One silly House Leader politico (D., Calif.) said, “We will strengthen the Contract Pilot community by ensuring that the Aircraft Operators are accountable to the Independent Contract Pilots in any future actions under this broad grant of authority, implementing strong oversight mechanisms, and establishing fast-track authority for the Congress to act on responsible regulatory reform.”

Another silly little Majority Leader (D., Nev.) was more critical saying, “While the Bush proposal raises some serious issues, we need to resolve them quickly so the Independent Contract Pilot community can survive and get back to work to feed their families.”

The Republicans praised the plan and called for swift action to enact the required legislation.

The Treasury secretary, who is not much smarter than the others,  said, “I am convinced this bold approach will cost Aircraft Operators far less than the alternative — a continuing series of Independent Contract Pilot failures and frozen flying markets unable to fund recurrent training.”

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Jetwhine’s editorial staff is convinced Mr. Beck’s proposal could easily be reviewed by Congress right after they deal with the FAA funding bill.

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2 Responses to “In Defense of the Contract Pilot”

  1. TSA is after General Aviation This Time - Jetwhine: Aviation Buzz and Bold Opinion Says:

    […] Jeff Beck suggested the time has come for the two largest aviation organizations in the nation – NBAA & AOPA – to work together. I agree. 450,000 phone calls and e-mails can raise some serious awareness. Quinn agreed but made it clear that, “our leaders in this segment of the industry have a real challenge ahead of them.” […]

  2. TSA is after General Aviation this Time | RENT-A-PLANE Says:

    […] Jeff Beck suggested the time has come for the two largest aviation organizations in the nation – NBAA & AOPA – to work together. I agree. 450,000 phone calls and e-mails can raise some serious awareness. Quinn agreed but made it clear that, “our leaders in this segment of the industry have a real challenge ahead of them.” […]

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