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Start ::  Pilot's Lobby ::  Important Announcements/Welcome/Achievements ::  Changes in Termination Policies
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Changes in Termination Policies

Westcoast Posted: 11.01.2019, 19:26


registered: Jan. 2006
Posts: 982

Status: online
I'm sure that most of you have noticed that our roster tends to kind of "silt up" with inactive pilots, those whose names on the roster are next to a red bar.  This happens whenever a pilot goes 30 days without filing a PIREP.  It happens to everyone now and then; your computer crashes, your boss sends you to Tanzania on a business trip, your girlfriend throws you out of her apartment, etc.  We have had procedures for handling this since the early days of SPA (we were flying mainly biplanes in those days).  The onus falls on your Hub Manager to nag you about filing a PIREP , or applying for Leave status, applying for retirement (100% of your highest SPA salary, a great plan), etc. 

Why do we bother?  Well, our latest new pilot has a Pilot ID (PID) number of 675.  This means that 642 pilots have signed up since Bill Ditz, our most senior currently active pilot, signed up about 15 years ago.  There are currently only 60 names on our roster, and that includes 21 "Retired" pilots.  Imagine if our roster had an additional 582 names on it - all inactive members - it would be 10 pages long.  So, some maintenance work has to be done.  Nonetheless, sometimes there are as many inactive as active pilots on the roster and some of them haven't filed a PIREP in hundreds of days.  How does this happen?  Well, it turns out that Hub Managers would rather yank and bank than nag.  I know.  As the longest serving Hub Manager, I can tell you that I'd rather have a root canal than send out a sheaf of nag mails.  Nothing but solid negative fun.  So, Hub Managers put it off, and off, and off.

So, in an attempt to simplify our clumsy and time consuming process, we have made some changes.  You can read about the new rules under Organization<<Rules in the left hand menu on the home page.  In a nutshell, we have simplified the process and shortened the time lines.  If you don't file a PIREP for 30 days, your name will turn red on the roster and, a short time later, your Hub Manager will transfer you to formal "Inactive" status.  This will automatically trigger an email notifying you and SPA management that you status has changed.  The red bar and following automated email is your hint to get flying.  If you have problems getting a flight in, email your Hub Manager and explain the problem.  You may need to go on leave until the situation resolves, etc.  If another 30 days goes by without contact or a PIREP, expect an email from your Hub Manager explaining that you will be terminated in 7 days if he doesn't hear from you or see a PIREP.  That's it; you're not going to be warned again.  About ten days later expect to see an automated email informing you that you've been terminated and that your site access has been suspended.

New members who fail to file their first PIREP within 14 days will be sent a single email requesting response in 7 days, after which they will be terminated.

I'd be happy to answer any questions about the new policies.  Until then, keep the dirty side down.


Mike Daugherty
VP Operations
St. Paul Airlines

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Oswald Posted: 12.01.2019, 12:06

registered: Oct. 2017
Posts: 52

Status: offline
last visit: 15.01.19
Dear Mike,

as far as I can say that is fair enough. Usually someone who looses interest should be polite enough to say good bye or to reply to an automated email. If for whatever reason someone is not able to fly for a longer period and communicates this to his hub manager, an individual solution with longer leave should be achieveable, I suppose.

I presume that a personal fate that might block all communication is a more or less rare situation. Reactivation of the former pilot status shouldn't be too difficult in such cases.

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SPA031 Posted: 16.01.2019, 15:47


registered: Jan. 2006
Posts: 1131

Status: offline
last visit: 18.01.19
I think that a courtesy email or two might be considered before termination. I was inactive for a while due to illness.
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Westcoast Posted: 16.01.2019, 17:02


registered: Jan. 2006
Posts: 982

Status: online
The new policy provides that at least two emails be sent to an overdue pilot before termination.  The first is sent automatically after he becomes 30 days overdue and notifies him that he has been moved o inactive status.  The second is sent 30 days later warning the pilot that he will be terminated in 7 days if he doesn't file a PIREP and/or contact his Hub Manager.  I think this is adequate for most pilots, many of whom never fly a single flight and most of whom fly a few times and then become inactive.  In the case of senior pilots who have flown a substantial number of hours for SPA, I think it's a good idea to send an additional personal email before the final, 7 day warning is sent

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jer029 Posted: 17.01.2019, 08:43


registered: Nov. 2011
Posts: 863

Status: offline
last visit: 20.01.19

Additionally, the HR person (currently me) receives the names from the hub managers after the second 30-day warning is issued.  I review the list - terminating those who never flew a flight while reaching out with another email to those who have put in hours of flight with us. For pilots like you who've flown many hours  (and done so much more wink), I would likely offer "Retirement" status - and would probably put you there anyway since you came off that status once already.

I like the personal aspects of our VA, where the "regulars" get used to seeing each other around the forum, on the active flight map, running their Econ2018 charter company, etc. and notice when all of a sudden someone "drops off the radar".  This inspires me to reach out before final termination to see if there's anything we might do to keep them an active part of our little community. 

Extending this type of courtesy to everyone who signs up and disappears without flying any flights - or perhaps only one or two flights, is impractical and undeserved considering that the management team has spent more time getting them registered, sending them emails, and terminating them than the entire time they've invested in signing up and flying here.

As a side note, I've made changes to the hourly pilot roster available from the pilots office - separating the Retired roster from the Active roster to improve monitoring of our Active pilots. 

In trying to stay true to the pledge on our main page, "You are not just a number here", we really do try to meet the needs of our active pilots and keep everyone satisfied, but this relationship requires some reciprocal effort by the pilots as well.  One flight every 30 days isn't much to ask for in return, and perhaps an initial email or response email regarding changes in their flight status.

edited by: jer029, Jan 17, 2019 - 09:04 AM

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bill721 Posted: 20.01.2019, 20:54


registered: May. 2015
Posts: 76

Status: offline
last visit: 20.01.19
Sounds good.  You know you're getting old when you are the senior currently active pilot...:)  I'm just glad to still be flying with this great airlines.

Bill Ditz
PID 33
VATSIM Call Sign SPA302

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