Monday, October 30, 2017

And Then the Cavalry Charged

Added video ref at bottom.
Tomorrow is a special Anniversary. 100 years ago on Oct 31 1917  the Last Great Cavalry charge, of 800 Australian bush soldiers,  descended upon the Ottoman forces at Beersheba. We shall remember them in the Tavern. In Oz it is as famed as the 700 British who rode into the Valley of Death in the Crimea, who charged by accident, poor navigation or orders cock-up. 

The Australian Light Horse had no such mis-direction.

The Cavalryman has had a very long history, from the myth of the Centaurs, through the 'Equestrians' of the Roman Legions, to the epitome of the western Christian Knight. And onward through to recent centuries of mounted troops. Only in the 20 century have they become 'mechanised' and taken to the air.

The famed Knights Templar of the last millenium are what most people think of when the word is spoken. The Templar Order did not confer Knighthood, despite hollywood imaginings. One joined the Templars as a Knight already: those who were not Knights joined as 'Sergeants'.  Times saw changes. The much later Oz fellows had barely a Knight in their ranks, quite a few sergeants and many a farmboy. In fact, mostly farmboys. Literally. 

But what gallant lads they were.

The Knight Templar was a 'Heavy Cavalry'. Each had full armour and weapons, shields, lances, swords, clubs, various daggars and lumps of metal with which to whack the enemy: they had as many as four horses and a small retinue of squires, hired on a pro-tem basis. The Sergeants were specialists: blacksmiths, armourers, engineers, financiers.  'Ground crew'. They were less well equiped for battle but formed a Light Cavalry in reserve. The latter, financial bookeeper chaps, constructed and maintained the first modern International Banking System. 

But, to the Australian Light Horse. Several 're-enactment' chaps came by to tell the tale. Tasmanian Light Horse Troop Sergeant Nevill Thomas told us:
“Because of the speed of the horses, the light horse regiments got through Turkish lines and managed to take Beersheba: the charge of the light horse at Beersheba was, in my opinion, 
the last great, successful cavalry charge of modern warfare.” 
The mounted charge against Beersheba played a significant role in the fall of the Ottoman Empire, with it being one of the greatest victories by Australian forces.
The Tasmanian C Squadron 3rd Light Horse regiment were instrumental in the attack, clearing enemy forces from Tel el Saba so the 3rd and 12th regiments could charge Turkish lines.

I shall pull pints. Let the tale be told. Let the men themselves tell it.
The battle of Beersheba took place on 31 October 1917 as part of the wider British offensive collectively known as the third Battle of Gaza. 
The final phase of this all day battle was the famous mounted charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade. Commencing at dusk, members of the brigade stormed through the Turkish defences and seized the strategic town of Beersheba. The capture of Beersheba enabled British Empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza on 7 November and advance into Palestine.
The mounted troops spent the summer of 1917 after the second battle of Gaza in constant reconnaissance and in preparation for the offensive to come. The Turkish forces held the line from Gaza near the coast to Beersheba, about 46 kilometres to its south-east. The Allied forces held the line of the Wadi Ghuzzer from its mouth to El Gamly on the East. The positions were not continuous trench lines but rather a succession of strong posts. Both sides kept their strength in front of the city of Gaza.
The newly arrived British commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby used plans prepared by Lieutenant General Sir Phillip Chetwode. The plan was to attack Beersheba by using mounted troops from the east whilst the infantry attacked Beersheba from the south west. The preparation also involved persuading the Turkish forces that the offensive would again be against Gaza. Chetwode was in command the 20th Corps and the Desert Mounted Corps was under Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel.
The greatest problem for Chauvel was to find sufficient water in the Beersheba area for his mounted troops. Information from reconnaissance revealed that there was none other than at Esani which was too far to the west to be of any use for a surprise attack.
Chauvel, through studying the records of the Palestine Exploration Fund and after questioning local Arabs, knew that the larger ancient towns in the area to the south and south-west of Beersheba must have had existing water supplies. At Asluj the old wells were found and a fortnight’s work put them into working order. This made the attack on Beersheba a feasible operation.
Various deceptions were employed to keep the enemy thinking the attack was going to be at Gaza including keeping the Infantry strength there until the last minute. Beersheba’s defences were held by 1,000 Turkish riflemen, nine machine guns and two aircraft. The position was extended through a series of trenches and redoubts placed on commanding positions with good zones of fire; but on the east and south the trenches were not protected by barbed wire. 
The Turkish forces were relying on the forbidding open terrain as well as the absence of water to defend Beersheba. 
Calculating that the attack was most likely to be upon Gaza they were also not prepared for a force such as Allenby’s which was moving on 30 October.
Chauvel’s orders when he left Asluj early on the evening of the 30 October were for Major General Chaytor's ANZAC Mounted Division to close the Beersheba Road at Sakati (almost 10 kilometres north-east of the town) in order to prevent Turkish reinforcements from coming in and also to cut-off escape from the town. Once the road was secured, he was to storm Beersheba using Major General Hodgson's Australian Mounted Division. 
Allenby had insisted that Beersheba must be captured on the first day of operations. 
On the night of 30 October about 40,000 allied troops moved towards Beersheba, including most of Chetwode's 20th Corps and Chauvel's the Desert Mounted Corps, in a night march of over 40 kilometres.
Trekking since October 28 via Esani members of the 12th Light Horse Regiment arrived at Asluj on 30 October. Corporal Harold Gleeson mentions in his diary that he obtained no water at Asluj and at 6pm on 30 October recorded moving on towards Beersheba, marching all night on a “very weary and dusty ride of 30 miles.” Private Hunter in his diary wrote “The dust was terrible. One could not see beyond his horses head. The horses braved the journey which was about 36 miles. Walked at my horses head for about 10 miles of flat country giving him a rest.” 
The horses were carrying heavy packs on average of about 120 kilograms and their riders knew that there was no water available until Beersheba fell into their hands. Private Keddie: “On this stunt we have been told we would have to live on what rations we had for a few days.”
On the morning of 31 October, Chetwode's three British divisions attacked the Turkish positions around Beersheba from the west and south supported by a sustained artillery bombardment of over 100 guns. By 1 pm they had driven the Turks from their defences to the west and south west of Beersheba, but the wells of the town were still in Turkish hands. 
The 4th Light Horse Brigade waited, scattered over a wide area as a precaution against bombing, to the south-east of the town. Private Hunter: “The Turks immediately started shelling us with heavies. Good cover and tact on our part prevented casualties”. Their horses were unsaddled, watered and fed. William Grant was the Brigade’s new commander following Brigadier General Meredith, who had been invalided home to Australia.
The wells of Beersheba were vital for the welfare of the Desert Mounted Corps’ horses, many of whom had been without water for several days. Enemy resistance at Tel El Saba, three kilometres to the east of the town, had been stronger than expected and it took a stiff day of fighting for Chaytor’s force to capture this strong redoubt protecting Beersheba's eastern flank. The fall of Tel El Saba at 3:15 pm meant that the 1st and 3rd Light Horse Brigades were free to attack Beersheba from the East.
At 3:30 pm there was only a few hours of day light remaining and orders were issued for the final phase of the struggle, the occupation of Beersheba.
Chauvel decided to put Grant’s 4th Light Horse Brigade straight at the remaining trenches, from the south-east. Chauvel knew that he must take the town before dark in order to secure the wells for Allenby's large force. Private Keddie recorded: “We began to talk among ourselves saying Beersheba will be taken and us not doing anything when about 5 o’clock our major came and said that Beersheba had not been captured but we were going in.” 
Chauvel: “owing to the constant attacks from aeroplanes, which had devoted a good deal of attention to my own headquarters, it took some time to assemble them and push them off”. 

General Grant gave the order personally to the 12th Light Horse Regiment: “men you’re fighting for water. There’s no water between this side of Beersheba and Esani. Use your bayonets as swords. I wish you the best of luck”.
The Light Horse were equipped with rifles and held their bayonets as swords, which would have been more suited to a cavalry style charge. Fortuitously their bayonet tips had been sharpened on the orders of Major General Hodgson, on 26 October.
Grant made the decision to order his light horsemen to charge cavalry-style, when they would normally have ridden close to an objective then dismounted to fight.

Trooper Edward Dengate: “we got mounted, cantered about a quarter of a mile up a bit of a rise lined up along the brow of a hill paused a moment, and then went atem, the ground was none too smooth, which caused our line to get twisted a bit . . . Captain Davies let out a yell at the top of his voice . . . that started them all we spurred our horses . . . the bullets got thicker…three or four horses came down, others with no riders on kept going, the saddles splashed with blood, here and there a man running toward a dead horse for cover, the Turk’s trenches were about fifty yards on my right, I could see the Turk’s heads over the edge of the trenches squinting along their rifles, a lot of the fellows dismounted at that point thinking we were to take the trenches, but most of us kept straight on, where I was there was a clear track with trenches on the right and a redoubt on the left, some of the chaps jumped clear over the trenches in places, some fell into them, although about 150 men got through and raced for the town, they went up the street yelling like madmen.” Captain Robey was at their head.
Captain Jack Davies followed Robey’s men towards the town and shouted when three miles away: “Come on boys Beersheba first stop”. 
Major Fetherstonhaugh’s horse fell shot and was himself shot through the leg. The major put his horse out of its misery then got down behind his dead horse and fired his revolver until he ran out of ammunition. 
Fetherstonhaugh wrote to Davies congratulating him. In the letter he also mentioned his own injury: “I got a bullet through both thighs, it made a clean hole through the left but opened out a bit and made a large gash through the back of the right which will take a little while to fix up”.
While the 4th Light Horse Regiment dismounted at the trenches and tackled their objective on foot many in the 12th Light Horse Regiment were able to get straight through and take the town, Keddie: “we were all at the gallop yelling like mad some had bayonets in their hand others their rifle then it was a full stretch gallop at the trenches . . . the last 200 yards or so was good going and those horses put on pace and next were jumping the trenches with the Turks underneath . . . when over the trenches we went straight for the town.”
Sergeant Charles Doherty wrote that the horsemen who cleared all the trenches came up to an open plane which “was succeeded by small wadies and perpendicular gullies, surrounding which scores of sniper’s nests or dugouts each were holding seven or eight men. After progressing another quarter of a mile, we turned to the right at an angle of 45 degrees to converge on Beersheba. The enemy’s fire now came from the direction of the town and a large railway viaduct to the north. The limited number of entrances to the city temporarily checked us but those in front went straight up and through the narrow streets. Falling beams from fired buildings, exploding magazines and arsenals and various hidden snipers were unable to check our race through the two available streets that were wide enough for 2 to ride abreast.” 
Private Keddie had a near miss: “I felt a bullet go past my ear and thought if that bullet had been a few more inches to one side” as did Trooper Dengate: “I suppose you heard about the capture of Beersheba by the 4th Brigade, well I was right in it, and came through safe, and with my skin intact, I got a bullet through the leg of my breeches, just above the knee, grazed my leg but didn’t make it bleed.”
The success of the charge was in the shock value and sheer speed in which they took the town before it could be destroyed by a retreating Turkish force. 
31 light horsemen were killed in the charge and 36 were wounded. 
Some originals from the Brigade who had enlisted in 1914 such as Edward Cleaver and Albert “Tibbie” Cotter, the famous Australian cricketer, were killed. 
The next morning Private Keddie rode over the ground to see if any of the horses could be found roaming but he recorded only seeing dead carcases. Keddie: “We were sent looking for the horses whose riders were killed so we made for the other side of the town where several other light horse regiments were . . . met some friends in the first light horse and yarned for a while they asked me what it was like in the charge gave them a full account”. 
At least 70 horses died. 
The Turkish defenders suffered many casualties and between 700 and 1,000 troops were captured.
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the famous mounted charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade into Beersheba.

Let us all charge our glasses, tankards, horns and cups and drink to fine men who offered their lives to rid the world of evil, even if it is always momentarily.

These are the Brave.



For a fine 're-enactment' of the charge, for a film, my friend Cynthia sent a link. Just scroll down a bit.

Thank you m'dear.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Gordian Knots and Judicial Bastards

The Land of the Free isn't anymore. The descent into chaos is being forced through by legal activists who tie ordinary people up in knots at the behest - sometimes - of the nastier elements in society. I say 'sometimes' because it is all too often the case that Judges do not even wait for an anti-social complainant but go right ahead and try to tie someone up at whim. The law - or rather Judges - are creating a Gordian Knot to augment the hangman's noose and the Christian is the target.

But perhaps it is the Judges who should be the target.

You know about the Gordian Knot, of course.  The origins of the “Gordian knot,” a term commonly used to describe a complex or unsolvable problem, can be traced back to a legendary chapter in the life of Alexander the Great. As the story goes, in 333 B.C. the Macedonian conqueror marched his army into the Phrygian capital of Gordium in modern day Turkey. Upon arriving in the city, he encountered an ancient wagon, its yoke tied with what one Roman historian later described as “several knots all so tightly entangled that it was impossible to see how they were fastened.” 

Phrygian tradition held that the wagon had once belonged to Gordius, the father of the celebrated King Midas. An oracle had declared that any man who could unravel its elaborate knots was destined to become ruler of all of Asia.

According to the ancient chronicler Arrian, the impetuous Alexander was instantly “seized with an ardent desire” to untie the Gordian knot. After wrestling with it for a time and finding no success, he stepped back from the mass of gnarled ropes and proclaimed, “It makes no difference how they are loosed.” 

He then drew his sword and sliced the knot in half with a single stroke. 

In another version, he simply pulled out a lynchpin running through the yoke, loosening the knot enough that he was able to unfasten it. Whatever method he used, the young king was immediately hailed as having outsmarted the ancient puzzle. That same night, Gordium was rocked by a thunder and lightning storm, which Alexander and his men took as a sign that he had pleased the gods. True to the prophecy, he went on to conquer Egypt and large swaths of Asia before his death at age 32.

Something of the same needs to be done with the tangled law. Freedom needs to be released back into the American experience.  A bold stroke is needed and many had high hopes for Mr Trump. We wait. But not with our breath held.

Of course, we do not use swords much these days. America is the land of many firesticks, Kimusabe. And the $1.50 FMJ solution seems a favourite of baddies that perhaps goodies might look at. Not that I am recommending shooting judges, mind you.

It has been tried though.

So what has brought on this train of chatter in the Tavern. It came about when  Erik Erickson dropped in to tell of the latest atrocity in the 'Get Short, Old, White, Christians', saga. Some of the finer, manly customers were seeking solutions.
Bake This Particular Cake, Bigot
The American media would have you believe there is a concerted effort among Christians in America to discriminate against gay Americans. “No gays allowed,” they claim small Christian business owners are saying. 
It is a fiction created to avoid dealing with the facts. 
The fact is I am unaware of any Christian business that refuses to serve gay customers, but I am aware of many gay activists targeting Christian small businesses for persecution.
The latest issue is also the one where the Left has most dramatically overplayed its hand. Jack Phillips, a baker in Denver, CO, has been compared to a Nazi participating in the holocaust. 
A member of Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission said that. 
What crime did Phillips commit? 
He dared to offer a cake to a gay couple for their same-sex wedding.
You may need to read that last sentence again. 
Phillips is both a committed Christian and a renown artist. His cakes are elaborate creations. Phillips was willing to provide a cake for the same-sex wedding, but Phillips was not willing to provide his extra artistic talents for the particulars that the couple wanted. They could have the wedding cake, but he was not going to customize it the way they wanted it. 
For that, Phillips had to be prosecuted.
Before going further, it would be helpful for you to know just how committed a Christian Phillips is. 
He will gladly bake a cake for a gay person, but he will not bake a cake for a Christian who wants a Halloween-themed cake. 
Phillips believes Halloween is a pagan holiday that dishonors God, so he will not lend his artistry to its celebration. 
He will not bake cakes for anyone’s second wedding, even if a church is willing to do the wedding. Divorce is a sin. 
Phillips will not bake cakes celebrating other religions’ religious holidays.
But Phillips was willing to bake a cake for the gay couple for their wedding. 
Still, he must be prosecuted because he would not customize it the way they wanted. 
For that, he must be shamed, boycotted and compared to a Nazi. His case is now before the Supreme Court.
He goes in the company of Baronelle Stutzman. She regularly provided flowers to a gay couple in Washington. She had a long list of gay customers that she lovingly served. But Stutzman would not provide flowers for the same-sex wedding of her longtime customers. The couple did not file charges against Stutzman. They were, after all, friends and longtime customers. 
But the state of Washington pursued her anyway.
Stutzman was found guilty of discrimination by the Washington State Supreme Court and risks losing her home, her business, and even her dog because of the judgment unless His Majesty Anthony Kennedy, the supreme ruler of the United States, deigns to carve out some small exception for Christians in private enterprise.
It really all comes down to Anthony Kennedy, who decided the Supreme Court had the power to change the multi-thousand-year-old definition of marriage, despite the government not having created it. Now Kennedy will tell us whether the First Amendment’s “free exercise of religion” language means we can actually freely exercise our religion or only believe it without living it.
What the Christians before the United States Supreme Court want is not a ruling that says they can discriminate against gays and turn away a gay couple from their business. All they want is a ruling that says their artistic talents are speech and their speech cannot be compelled to endorse a religious ceremony they disagree with.
The compromise here should be obvious. 
Just as we should abhor the idea of forcing a black printer to print the fliers for a Klan rally or forcing the Muslim butcher to carve a pig for a church barbecue, we should not force the Christian to provide goods and services to a religious ceremony their religion decries as sin. 
You may disagree, but who are you to tell someone else how to live his faith? 
Anthony Kennedy, though, is our supreme ruler and he will tell us all.
Heck, and there you were thinking Trump is making America Great Again.

It still grates.

Most of us are and have always been Law-Abiding citizens, mindful of being obedient to reasonable, rational rules that ensure that civil life goes as smoothly as possible considering the small percentage of raving lunatics around who would do harm to innocent folk going about their lawful occasions.

But now we have laws that do harm to innocent folk and it is increasingly difficult to figure out what is a lawful occasion and what isn't.

Bad laws MUST be broken, ignored, rejected. 

Bad judges too.

Not that I know this particular Judge to be a bastard. Erik doesn't like him, but me..... I do not know much about him.

His - America's - Laws, though, are a well know enough mish mash of foolery that need sorting out and we see little in the way of cutting the stupidity and anti-Christian ones, let alone using the straight-forward ones most agree with that could be used to prosecute criminals (such as the Clinton and Obama crowd).

Someone has to cut through this Gordian Knot and earn the approval of Alexander's gods. And the thanks of decent people.

Not that I would ever call for someone to shoot the bastards.

But, it does seem to be the American way.

Cool down fellows. Have a drink.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

How Much Should Your Pilot be Paid?

At any given moment, day and night, there are 10,000+ passenger aircraft airbourne around the world carrying between One and Two Million passengers. Each plane is crewed by pilots and hostesses and many a gay chap who wishes he could wear the girls' clothes. And if you think that is a bit of a worry I recommend you consider first the worrying levels of pay they all get. The burger-flippers in Maccas often get more.

I quite often get wind of customers arriving at my local airport and watch them winging their way inbound by looking at, a handy site that shows the entire 10,000 going to or on their way from far flung places.  It is a life of glamour and adventure - or it was once. 

(*See note at bottom)

And I marvel at the skills and dedication of so many professional folk who guide them (air traffic controllers) maintain them (techies) and equip all the navigation aids and instruments (leckies). It is the 'transponders' amongst the many items in the aircraft that show the aircraft details on your computer.

The transponders do not tell you how much the pilot takes home each week, nor the meagre pay of the hostesses. But a couple of chaps dropped in for a rest in the Tavern's sumptuous accomodations and gave us the good oil. It caused a bit of spluttering into tankards, I can tell you. There are some quite highly paid pilots, as one might expect for such a complex task and such responsibility for lives. But most crews are paid appallingly.

The first chap, Tyler Durden, spoke about the ladies and wannabes. The Hosties. He had been looking at 'employment' figures.
It Is Seven Times More Difficult To Get A Flight Attendant Job At Delta Than Enter Harvard

One of our preferred "off beat" economic indicators is how many workers apply at any one given moment in time for jobs that are hardly considered career-track. An example of this is the number of applicants for minimum wage line cook jobs at McDonalds, or flight attendant positions at Delta Airlines; conveniently, this is a series which we have tracked on and off for the past 7 years.
As regular readers may recall, back in October 2010, the Atlanta-based carrier received 100,000 applications for 1,000 jobs, an "acceptance ratio" of 1.0%. Things appeared to improve modestly in 2012 when Bloomberg reported that Delta had received 22,000 applicants for 300 flight attendant jobs: this pushed the acceptance ratio slightly higher to 1.3%, as by this point the job market had improved somewhat, and there were far better job career options available.

Fast forward to today when things have turned decidedly more grim for the US job market once again, at least based on this one particular indicator. According to CNN, Delta is once again on the hunt for new flight attendants, and has roughly 1,000 open positions for 2018, although this year the competition is virtually unprecedented: so far, Delta has received more than 125,000 applications for this hiring round, which all else equal would result in an acceptance ratio of 0.8%. 
Note, we said "virtually unprecedented" because this year ratio of applicants to open positions is identical to last year, when 150,000 people applied for 1,200 flight attendant jobs, resulting in an identical, 0.8% acceptance ratio.

So what makes it such a tough gig to land?
"You need to not only be a customer service professional, but also a safety expert," said Ashton Morrow, a Delta spokeswoman.

Political correctness aside, you have to be young, relatively good looking, preferably a female (sorry, sexism does exist)...
oh and willing to accept next to minimum wage.

Even so, one would think one is trying to get into Harvard: applicants first submit an application, then chosen candidates submit a video of themselves answering a set of questions. Selected candidates are then asked to come in for an in-person interview. Last year, 35,000 people made it to the video interview part. The candidate pool was then whittled down to 6,000 people for in-person interviews.
The Delta "admissions committee" was happy to chime in:
"After making it through the highly competitive and exhaustive selection process, they put all their previous experience and skills to the test during our flight attendant initial training," said Allison Ausband, Delta's senior vice president of in-flight service, in a release Monday.

Having made it so far through the process, in which the lucky candidate literally has to be better than 99 of their peers, the new hires go through an eight-week training program in Atlanta where they learn how to handle mid-flight emergencies like a fire or a sick passenger. The company describes the training program as "grueling" and that it will "stretch each trainee to the limit" in a video.
Finally, having reached the promised land, what untold wealth and riches await the lucky guy or gal? 
Well... nothing more than minimum wage: average entry-level flight attendants earn roughly $25,000 a year, according to the company. Wait, that's it? Well, there are perks, such as the increasingly more unaffordable - for most - employee benefits which include health insurance coverage, 401(k) with a company match and a profit-sharing program. Workers also get travel privileges for themselves and family member.
Oh, and once hired, forget about having a personal life: "work-life balance can be tricky for flight attendants early in their careers since they don't have a lot of control over their flight schedules."

For any reader contemplating applying, here are the minimum qualifications:
applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a high school degree (sic ?)or GED and be able to work in the U.S. Flight attendants cannot have any tattoos that are visible while in the company's uniform. Visible body piercings and earlobe plugs are also not allowed.
Putting this entire farcical process, which among other things demonstrates the true state of the US job market, Harvard's acceptance rate for the class of 2021 was 5.2%. In other words, it is 6.5x times (round it up) easier to enter Harvard than to get a job at Delta. As an attendant.  And there is your jobs supply-demand reality in one snapshot.
Hey, they still look glamorous  (in the adverts) and the myth goes on. But we might be somewhere near an explanation for the reduction in standards. The young, svelt, shapely hostess is almost an era past, and it ain't just affirmative action demanding that 60 year olds have to get a look in. 

But are things not far better at the pointy end of the plane? Well, you might be surprised: you may even be shocked. Jeff Friedrich was on his feet with a pint tucked into his chest for the next bit of a telling.
How We Ruined Airline Jobs

Working in aviation has lost its glamor. 
It happened because the law gave carriers every advantage over their workforces—and because we demanded lower airfare.
Nobody wants to be a pilot anymore. 
As the airlines tell it, a so-called pilot shortage has made it impossible to staff their fleets, forcing them to cancel flights and park hundreds of airworthy planes in the desert. One airline ventured to blame its 2016 bankruptcy on its inability to hire enough pilots, and even at always-profitable and carefree Southwest Airlines, the challenge of recruiting millennial aviators keeps middle management awake at night. “The biggest problem,” a Southwest executive told Bloomberg, “is a general lack of interest in folks pursuing this as a career anymore.”

Airline execs tend to make the shortage seem more mysterious than it is, as if something in the contrails is fueling this “general lack of interest” in the profession. 
That’s evasive. Rather, the shortage is best understood as an obvious manifestation—and perhaps the nadir—of a long-term deprofessionalization of what was once a solidly middle-class career: 
We made the pilot occupation so unattractive, so tenuous and poorly paid, that people stopped wanting to do it.
The degenerating passenger and pilot experiences aren’t separate phenomena but in fact are intimately related, both resulting from policy choices that have propelled a decades-long, ongoing makeover of the national air-transit system. The difference, perhaps, is that we are more conscious that we, the passengers, are getting a raw deal.

 But there is more to the pilot shortage than just pay. Industry representatives are pushing Congress to address the rising cost of pilot training, which can exceed $100,000 after requirements became more stringent in response to a 2009 crash. Competition for pilots has also gone global, causing many young pilots to leave the U.S. to chase more exotic opportunities with Emirates and other Middle Eastern carriers. 
And there are class-conscious obstacles to recruitment—flying has become less glamorous.
But at the regional airlines where the effects of the pilot shortage are most acute, even management seems to have finally acknowledged that pay matters, as evidenced by their recent efforts to raise starting salaries that paid first-year pilots as little as $15,000 to $20,000. And although many jobs have gotten worse in the past few decades, pilot wage stagnation distinguishes itself in several respects.

First, airline jobs appear to be caught in a steeper free fall. Before President Carter and a Democratic Congress deregulated the airlines in 1978, few industries paid higher wages. In the 1990s, a number of studies reviewed deregulation’s impact on airline wages, attributing decreases in the range of 10 to 20 percent for pilots, and more for flight attendants. While many observers hypothesized that wages would stabilize as the shakeout from deregulation attenuated, wages never managed to find a floor in the decade after 9/11. According to a Government Accountability Office analysis, pilots’ median weekly earnings fell another 9.5 percent from 2000 through 2012—lower wage growth than 74 percent of the other professions included in the GAO’s review.
Regional airlines are having the hardest time hiring pilots. These companies, where most pilots now begin their careers, operate almost half of all domestic flights on behalf of major carriers like Delta, United, and American. 
The regional industry grew as a strategic response to the downturn after the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks. The airlines’ losses were unprecedented. Through 2005, the airlines lost more than $50 billion and received more than $5 billion in direct government aid. Four major carriers went bankrupt, and the industry shed more than 100,000 jobs, around 15 percent of its entire workforce.

If the unions refused to renegotiate their contracts, the airlines threatened to declare bankruptcy.
The 50-seat regional jet played a key role in the industry’s recovery. Until about 1998, smaller airports were served either by larger jets, which were oversized for these markets, or turboprops, which flew slow and not as far. As the airlines attempted to stave off bankruptcy, they began buying a repurposed corporate jet manufactured by Bombardier, the CRJ200. The plane allowed the airlines to better match their smaller markets with demand, which in turn allowed them to redeploy larger planes to more lucrative international routes. The jets could also reach markets that were beyond the reach of the turboprops, allowing airport hubs to expand their customer base.
At first these planes were operated in house or through wholly owned subsidiaries, but after a time the flying was outsourced to independent companies. That strategy was initially constrained by the pilot unions, because collective-bargaining agreements typically limited how much flying could be outsourced.
A standard response emerged: If the unions refused to renegotiate their contracts, the airlines threatened to declare bankruptcy, where they might be judicially absolved from the commitments they had promised to workers. Forced to make concessions, the unions allowed more outsourcing to avoid options that would hurt their current members more, like additional layoffs or pay cuts. Because of these dynamics, every major airline had secured permission to fly more regional jets by the mid-2000s. As a result, regional jet capacity grew by 97 percent between 2000 and 2003, suddenly making these planes an integral part of the system.
Regional airline pilots and flight attendants have always made less than their mainline counterparts, but before 2000, the regional airline workforce was much smaller. In 1978, regional aircraft flew approximately 5 percent of all domestic departures; in 2000, 16 percent; in 2015, 45 percent.

Through outsourcing, the major carriers effectively introduced a permanent secondary scale. The result is that today’s young pilots are embarking on careers that look markedly different from the ones their senior colleagues began a generation ago. 
Though it’s still possible to make $200,000 flying international routes at a top airline, new pilots must now progress through a regional pay scale before they begin their ascent of a major’s scale, meaning it will take them longer to get to top pay, and their lifetime earnings will ultimately be lower. 
This helps explain why more than $100,000 in income now separates the top-earning 10 percent of pilots from the lowest-earning decile, a wage differential matched by few occupations.

The airline industry has no formal minimum wage because the Fair Labor Standards Act exempts transportation workers. Because of that, unions are it—the de facto wage floor. The problem is that America’s uniquely permissive bankruptcy laws have undermined the strength of unions.
Most other countries’ bankruptcy courts do not work this way. Canada does not let bankrupt companies tear up labor contracts.
When I interviewed for my flight attendant position at Pinnacle Airlines in 2010, the hiring manager slid a piece of paper across the table and told me, as if issuing challenge, “That’s how much you’ll make in your first year” 
—a fairly cinematic way of telling someone their salary is $15,500, though at least she was candid. 
It compelled me to justify myself, to explain to my interrogators how I planned to live in New York City on so little—less than minimum wage after accounting for the cost of my uniform and unpaid training time.

After I convinced them, I was soon working with pilots who were making about $20,000. Some of them had worked for one or even two failed regional airlines before landing at Pinnacle, where they’d once again found themselves at the bottom of the pay scale.
Nonetheless, when Pinnacle went bankrupt in 2012, a victim of what my CEO termed “a race to the bottom” among the regional carriers, labor became the focus of attention, just as it does in all airline bankruptcies. A judge agreed that the company’s pilots were paid “substantially over market,” granting approval of a reorganization plan that included a 9 percent reduction in pilot pay, plus smaller cuts to flight attendant pay and employee benefits.
It’s always been tough to make a buck running an airline. In general, the fixed costs of operating any airplane are high, but bigger planes tend to have lower costs per passenger. We have airline hubs because very few pairs of cities are large enough to sustain a high frequency of service using large airplanes. The hubs allow airlines to assemble enough passengers to fill a larger plane, allowing them to profitably increase service between two cities. The academic and former airline executive Michael Levine, one of intellectual forefathers of deregulation, has described hubs as “factories [that] manufacture route density.”
Southwest and other low-cost airlines have famously scorned hubs. They operate as point-to-point operations, mostly flying lucrative routes between major cities, and only as often as they can fill an airplane. By comparison, operating hubs is considerably more expensive and complex. Hub operators—these days Delta, United, and American—have historically recouped these costs by operating as “everywhere to anywhere” airlines. Through the cross-subsidization of routes, consumers paid a premium to access a comprehensive network that could get them from Bemidji to Bamako.

As more low-cost airlines began competing on the lucrative routes between major cities, it was harder for the hubbed operators to charge the premium they required to recoup their higher operating costs. In short, the point-to-point business model was compromising the sustainability of the network model. That competitive pressure motivated the hubbed carriers to use outsourcing and the market power they acquired from consolidation to continue pushing regional wages down, even while they earned huge profits.
The pilot shortage is the limit of that strategy—pay got too low, so people stopped wanting to do the job. 
The airlines could try to charge more money to the passengers flying from smaller airports, but that has its own drawback—at some point those passengers will opt to begin their trip by driving to a larger city. Consolidation has also made it less essential for the hubbed airlines to worry about smaller markets. As the airlines consolidated, more traffic is being handled by the largest hubs. This means airlines don’t need to reach as deep into the country to fill a large plane that’s bound for Paris or New York. In some ways the hubbed airlines have become more like Southwest.
Pilot crash-pad, Ft Lauderdale.

Essentially, we have made a consumer-welfare trade-off, swapping a more comprehensive system with somewhat higher fares for a more limited one that can deliver the best value on the country’s most popular flights. The winners of the trade-off are people who make frequent trips between New York and L.A. The losers live two hours outside of Memphis, or work entry-level jobs on the flights that would serve those communities.
He had a lot more to say about the airline industry in the USA and I recommend you hear all of it by following the links. I have little knowledge of the pay in other nations, so tell me if you do.

Meanwhile tired and underpaid pilots who have to 'slum-it' in low cost, shared accommodations, living like frat boys, does not bode well for safety let alone passenger comfort.

When you next fly, perhaps tip the hostesses and the pilot.

Buy them a drink or tell them to come to the Tavern where it is free.


*Note. For FlightRadar 24, just click on the link beneath the second picture from the top above. You can scroll in and out to see specific places (right down to aircraft landing and taking off and taxiing) or out to see the entire fleets. Chose an aircraft and click on it. It will turn red. Its details will be on the left side of the page - owners, callsign, where it is from and going to, its height and speed etc.