The astonishing idea that you might get what you pay for in airline pilots, as in so many other things, has hit the mainstream.
It is a bit irksome, however, to read the suggestion that the Colgan Air crash in Buffalo somehow revealed a hidden truth. Pilots earning $23,900 a year! Who knew?
Plenty of people knew. And many were writing about it, notable among them Liz Fedor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, who wrote in July 2007 about the poor pay of regional airline pilots, and Patrick Smith, the Ask the Pilot columnist at salon.com, who has written extensively and incisively on the subject.
Just a few months ago, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger of Hudson River splash-landing fame warned of the consquences of inadequate pilot pay.
Why weren’t we listening?