There's a huge and growing demand for pilots at the nation's regional airlines. The Government Accountability Office says the small carriers need to hire thousands of new pilots.
So you'd think lots of folks would be in line. After all, some pilots pull in $200,ooo a year.
But starting salaries are much lower, which is sending some pilots elsewhere.
Take Doug Fowler, who quit his regional airline gig with Atlantic Southeast Airlines (now ExpressJet) after nine months.
"My paycheck -- my [take] home pay -- was $13,300," Fowler says.
According to the Air Line Pilots Association, the average co-pilot at a regional carrier starts out at about $22,000. That's $10 an hour. Fowler says he had to work a second construction job just to pay the bills.
"You should be paid more than $20,000 a year," he says, citing the responsibility pilots have for the fifty passengers on board. "My wife's life is worth more than twenty grand a year," he says. "So that's the way we look at it."
But that's not how regional carriers look at it. They bid contracts to the big airlines to fly small planes on short routes. It's fiercely competitive. So about the only way to make money is to pay pilots next to nothing.
"Typically, pilots worked in this position and moved on to another company, so the airlines felt they were being used as a stepping stone," says aviation consultant Kit Darby. Everyone knew the game. "Since they were leaving anyway, there wasn't much incentive to provide a living wage at the starting position," Darby says.
All that used to happen quickly. Within a year, you were on your way to captain's seat and better pay.
But now there are more barriers.
Mandatory retirement for pilots went from age 60 to 65. And a new Congressional mandate requires pilots amass 1,500 flight hours before they can get an airline job. That's a 600 percent increase.
Darby says something's got to give at the regionals.
"They have to be mindful that they are competitive with other companies, or they'll take what is an inadequate supply and turn it into no pilots available."
Doug Fowler, the pilot who quit, says he might return to the big guys one day. But for now, he's content flying corporate customers in a single-engine turboprop at about $30,000 a year.
A look at the critters that live on money finds about 3,000 types of bacteria. Most are harmless. But researchers found traces of DNA from anthrax and drug-resistant pathogens, too.
Washington, Ill., lost half of its assessed property value to a tornado in November, but residents who lost everything are eager to reclaim their hometown.
News reports indicate the 15-year-old was hoping to eventually get to Somalia, where his mother lives. He crawled into the wheel well of a jet that flew from California to Hawaii.
Investigators are studying a piece of metal discovered on a beach in western Australia to see if it might be debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Hollywood is no longer the go-to place for shooting feature films and TV shows.
Just eight percent of big budget Hollywood films were made in LA in 2013, down from 65 percent in 1997. And from 2005 to 2013, California's share of one-hour TV series dropped from 64 percent to 28 percent.
Why the big exodus? States like Georgia, New York and Louisiana -- and countries like the UK and Canada -- are offering attractive tax subsidies to lure filmmakers.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a "state of emergency" in the local film and TV production industry.
The Association of Film Commissioners International held their convention in March at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Century City. It’s been called “The Poacher’s Convention.” Dozens of booths lined a big hotel banquet hall. Each one promoted the natural beauty of their state or country -- and their generous tax incentives.(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
A sign atThe Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Tradeshow in West Hollywood, California.
“The show is called ‘Locations Trade Show’ but it’s really not about locations anymore, it’s about incentives, and North Carolina is a 25 percent fully-funded rebate,” said Aaron Syrett, the North Carolina Film Commissioner.
The movies “Iron Man 3” and “The Hunger Games” and the TV shows “Homeland” and “Sleepy Hollow” were all shot in North Carolina. The state spends $80 million a year on those rebates.
But, Syrett said, his state isn’t really competing with California. “We’re competing with Georgia and Louisiana,” he said.
States like Utah also offers filmmakers a 25 percent discount. To drive the point home, the wallpaper in Utah’s booth was just the number “25%” repeated in a huge font.
“The business is here in Hollywood. We want to keep it here. Everyone here wants to take it away,” said Art Yoon with Film LA, the group that issues permits to shoot in Los Angeles. “I mean, we have a $100 million tax credit, that’s not nearly enough. We’re going to have to up that if we want to be serious about keeping the industry here.”
California, by all accounts, hasn’t kept up. The state has a lot else going for it: local talent, sunny weather, and a support system, like caterers and electricians.
But documentary filmmaker Deborah Rankin said it ultimately comes down to dollars and cents: “Especially as an independent filmmaker, it’s really, it’s hard. It’s hard raising the money, and you’ve gotta make it go as far as it can,” Rankin said.
Filmmaker Dan Gagliasso is working on a Bosnia-Kosovo war film, and plans to shoot it in Minnesota, largely because of generous tax credits – especially if you shoot in the northern part of the state. And, he said, the red tape in Los Angeles makes shooting there more difficult.
“You know, if you say the wrong word, suddenly you have to have a study because you’re crossing a stream with a horse. It’s like, ‘Well gee, it’s a private horse ranch, that horse crosses that stream every day!’ They don’t care. It’s bureaucracy,” Gagliasso said.
Hollywood filmmakers are hoping California lawmakers will pass a bill that would extend the state's current $100 million a year film production tax credit. The bill would also expand the range of films eligible to apply for tax credits, and would open the credits to television pilot production. Its main opponents are education groups who are lobbying for more school funding rather than increasing production incentives.
One nonprofit in Tulsa has flipped the script on preschool. The Community Action Project says its premise simple: To help kids, it says, you often have to help their parents.
One Tulsa, Okla., nonprofit believes that improving poor kids' prospects also requires preparing their parents for well-paying jobs. The program's director says managing both is a tough nut to crack.
If you're of a certain age, you'll recognize this familiar sight:
From the VHS of yore, this bright green FBI warning prohibited the "public performance" of any content. That distinction between public and private is what will largely decide the outcome of Aereo's case. Aereo argues that since the content is going directly to a customer, it's not that different than picking up a TV signal via an antenna you might buy and set up in your house. Or as CEO Chet Kanojia puts it, it's what makes it legal for you to sing a Miley Cyrus song in your shower: no one but you is enjoying/suffering through that performance but you.
But there's more than just television at stake in this case, something that everyone involved seems to be aware of. Cloud computing companies in particular are keeping a watchful eye on how this all plays out.
A lot of companies that rely on the cloud are worried that depending on how the court rules, it could mean companies will need to look differently at the content on their servers, including issues of copyright and licensing.
As Western leaders craft another round of sanctions to counter the Russian president's moves in Crimea, they might do well to consult a grandmaster at chess — Russia's national pastime.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others are competing to be the main landlords of the cloud. Their terms and prices could control who gets to build what on the Internet, and for how much.
Activists say a federal law that allows employers to pay people with disabilities pennies per hour is out of date and should be changed. But some say the law is a lifeline for the disabled.
Archaeologists in South Carolina are excavating a Union officer prisoner-of-war camp site, hoping to find historical artifacts before they are buried under new construction.
High unemployment and the growing use of meth and other drugs have fueled an explosion of property crimes. Amid cuts to law enforcement, community watch groups are cropping up to fill the vacuum.
The Obama administration said Tuesday it has certified that Egypt is upholding its 35-year-old peace treaty with Israel and therefore qualifies for some military and counterterrorism assistance.
Sherpa guides packed up their tents and left Mount Everest's base camp Wednesday. It's an unprecedented walkout to honor 16 of their colleagues who were killed last week in an avalanche.
The Angels first baseman became the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th homers in the same game. He drove in five runs Tuesday night to help Los Angeles beat the Washington Nationals 7-2.
A month after the devastating mudslide that killed at least 41 people, the president stopped at the tiny town of Oso, where he promised to "be strong right alongside you."
The court ruled that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous 911 tip. The 5-4 decision split the court's two most conservative justices.
You've seen those high-tech bracelets worn by everyone from Oklahoma City Thunder hoops star Kevin Durant to Apple CEO Tim Cook. And yet, Nike reportedly is going to shutter the division, and lay off the engineers, who make the athletic company's FuelBand wearable fitness tracker.
Is the wearable fitness device market slowing down? No, not really. In fact, for many, the standard Fitbit or calorie-counter apps are too basic. Check out these unconventional additions to the list of tech aimed at getting you in shape.
Not everyone can afford a personal trainer or a life coach who takes responsibility for their clients' health. That's where Coach Alba comes in. After answering a survey on pivotal moments in daily life, Coach Alba is designed to text users during "crucial moments" to remind them of goals, and to encourage good behavior. If, for example, late night snacking is your vice, Coach Alba will ping you in the evening with reminders of what you've already eaten that day. Find out more about Coach Alba here.
If you think words are cheap, then Pact might be the right phone app for you. Aside from allowing you to track your diet and exercise on your phone, Pact adds the element of financial reward if you keep your set goals. Your pay off comes at the expense of fellow users who did not make it to the gym when they said they would, or those who ate a donut instead of a salad. Be warned: fail at meeting your goals, and you end up paying more successful Pact users with your hard earned cash. Find out more about Pact here.
Like Pact, GymShamer uses public accountability as motivation. Unlike Pact, you pay with your dignity, not your money. GymShamer is set up to notify your friends via your social media accounts when you miss a trip to the gym. Winner of a Foursquare hackathon in January, GymShamer may be coming to an embarrassing social media debacle near you. Find out more about GymShamer here.
If you're a gamer, gameplay advantages may be more your speed. The Striiv Pedometer rewards the amount of steps you've taken by providing goods for a Farmville-esque game on your phone and computer. In this case, you're populating an enchanted island with trees and animals. It's like Lost, but with rewards for people who continue to pay attention. Find out more about Striiv here.
Speaking of gaming and fitness, "Zombies, Run!" is an app that places the user in the middle of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where running isn't just for exercise, it's for survival. Like Striiv, the more you exercise, the more rewards you receive. Unlike Striiv, you're also running for your life. "Zombies, Run!" will instruct the user on how far they have to go in order to escape the hoarde of imaginary zombies following close behind. Think "Running Dead," not "Walking Dead." Find out more about "Zombies, Run!" here.