View Full Version : Training Hours and Safety


AshBrown
1st Mar 2011, 13:38
Dear All,

A colleague and I (neither of us are pilots) are writing a paper on training and safety. We are interested in the number of compulsory hours of training required to complete training before one has a licence. Our very basic research thus far has shown that aviation incidents have improved over the year and that tentatively this has been linked to improved training.

A review of 558 NTSB aviation incidents reports during 1983–2002 [Ref[1] (http://www.pprune.org/#_msocom_1) ] revealed that although the overall accident rate remained stable, the proportion involving pilot error decreased by 40% ‘from 42% in 1983–87 to 25% in 1998–2002’. Over the same period the rate of pilot errors related to poor decision making declined by 71%, accidents involving poor crew interaction declined by 68% and accidents during takeoff declined by 70%. The review concluded that these trends in reduced pilot error involving decision making and crew coordination may ‘reflect improvements in training and technological advances that facilitate good decisions’.

Now a very brief look at the number of hours required currently in the reveals if training under Part 61 at least 250 hours are required and for a Commercial Part 141 at least 190 hours are required.

Am I right to assume that the minimum number of hours require to obtain a licence has increased in recent years?

I'd like to create a graph of the hours required for a licence and was wondering if anyone can help me with or locating the data. Ive not had much success with the historical information.

The Table will look like this:


Year Number of hours training
2010 250
2000 ?
1990 ?
1980 ?
1970 ?
1960 ?
1950 ?

Any help much obliged!

Ash

[1] (http://www.pprune.org/#_msoanchor_1)Baker SP, Qiang Y, Rebok GW, Li G. Pilot error in air carrier mishaps: longitudinal trends among 558 reports, 1983-2002. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2008 Jan;79(1):2-6. PubMed PMID: 18225771; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2664988.



Nicholas49
1st Mar 2011, 14:50
It might be wise to re-post this question in the Safety forum, if the mods will allow you to, which might give you a more focused reply.

Nick

SNS3Guppy
1st Mar 2011, 15:19
Ash,

Hours have little to do with safety, either in training, or after the fact.

When you ask how many hours of training, you post "250" under the year 2010. Are you asking about the number of hours to get a basic commercial pilot certificate? Private certificate? Airline Transport Pilot certificate? Type rating?

250 hours is a generic minimum number for obtaining a commerical pilot certificate, but that's not all training, either. In fact, only a few hours of that are actual training. Do you want to know the minimum legal times to obtain a certificate, or the actual training hours that go into obtaining a particular level of certification?

It's a little more complex than simply jotting down the hours for a given level of certification.

A private pilot, for example, may require 40 hours legally, but typically has closer to 70 to 80 hours prior to taking his or her practical test. During that time, the amount of instruction received may be 20 hours, it may be more.

When completing some type ratings, three weeks of ground training, full time in a classroom, may be conducted, followed by one or two weeks of simulator sessions. More training may go into the type rating for a specific, single airplane that a pilot flies, than he or she had for all of his or her primary training. Type ratings are issued for specific types of airplanes, and pilots who hold multiple type ratings will have had considerable initial and recurrent training on each type of aircraft.

On my current airplane, for example, just the recurrent or refresher training, done regularly, is 24 hours of classroom and 12 hours of simulator, plus an additional 9 hours of briefing/debriefing. That's more training done every few months than is required for a basic private pilot certificate, and that's for one aircraft. The answers to your question really vary depending on the individual pilot and what he or she is flying, how much he or she flies, the nature of the training, the level of certification, the rules and regulations under which he or she flies, etc.

A typical professional pilot will have received training along the way as a private pilot, commercial pilot, an instrument rating, an airline transport pilot, a flight instructor, an instrument instructor, and a multi engine instructor. He or she may also have seaplane training, conventional gear (tailwheel) training, high performance training, complex training, type-specific training, as well as training in other areas such as different categories and classes of aircraft (helicopter, etc). While the ATP (airline transport pilot) certificate requires 1,500 hours minimum, only a fraction of that is required training. A professional pilot holding an ATP,however, may have well in excess of that amount only in training, to say nothing of a significantly higher total time.

I really don't think you can accurately make a correlation between minimum certificate flight time requirements, and mishap records, any more than you can reasonably draw a parallel between total time and mishap statistics. Recency of experience, experience in type, experience under flight conditions (night, instrument, etc), command experience, nature of training, type of operation, etc, all have a significant bearing and all make a big difference in the relationship of the various components of your question.

A colleague and I (neither of us are pilots) are writing a paper on training and safety. We are interested in the number of compulsory hours of training required to complete training before one has a licence. Our very basic research thus far has shown that aviation incidents have improved over the year and that tentatively this has been linked to improved training.

A review of 558 NTSB aviation incidents reports during 1983–2002 [Ref[1] ] revealed that although the overall accident rate remained stable, the proportion involving pilot error decreased by 40% ‘from 42% in 1983–87 to 25% in 1998–2002’. Over the same period the rate of pilot errors related to poor decision making declined by 71%, accidents involving poor crew interaction declined by 68% and accidents during takeoff declined by 70%. The review concluded that these trends in reduced pilot error involving decision making and crew coordination may ‘reflect improvements in training and technological advances that facilitate good decisions’.

Your first paragraph suggests primary training toward a private pilot certificate (the first "license" or pilot certificate one generally receives), as you specifically asked about training "before one receives a license." The private pilot certificate is typically a 40 hour minimum, though some training systems have a lower requirement.

The second paragraph, quoting NTSB statistics, makes multiple references to a crew environment, in which case the pilots often both hold ATP certificates, and typically have substantial advanced training from numerous sources.

I have over 80 different aircraft in my logbook. I hold five different FAA certificates, with various ratings and so forth. I've been flying since I my teenage years, and have flown a wide variety of aircraft and types of flight operations. Every time I take off, I face the same possibility of an engine failure on takeoff that is faced by a student pilot; either it will, or it won't.

If I happen to have a fatal mishap, what will be the difference between me, and the student pilot who does the same? I'll die with more hours in my logbook. That's all.

I'm well into my career at this stage, and frankly, I still consider myself a student pilot.

AshBrown
1st Mar 2011, 15:53
Thank you for your thoughts and comments.

250 hours for a US commercial pilot certificate. The 250 hours is total number of logbook flight hours is my understanding. I'd like to know split between training and logbook flying time if possible but I am not as interested in the 'book/classroom' side of things.

Now I am //very// aware that I am oversimplifying a complex topic.

The training it self is very complicated but I am trying to paint with some broad strokes. This may or may not be correct.

"While the ATP (airline transport pilot) certificate requires 1,500 hours minimum, only a fraction of that is required training."

Yes but am I correct to assume that when logging the 1500 hours there is an instructor/qualified pilot to hand?

You do have a lot of experience by the sounds of it. One study in 2002 revealed that total flight time ‘showed a significant protective effect against the risk of crash involvement’ and ‘that pilots who had 5,000–9,999 hours of total flight time at baseline had a 57% lower risk of a crash than their less experienced counterparts’.

Now I am trying to find out the reason for improved outcomes in recent years. The paper above suggests that training has improved (and may be an independent factor) and as such I was wondering if this training is (at a very basic level) linked to the number of hours/length involved in training.

I am a noob/non-pilot and as such I am feeling my through this. I do appreciate the complexity but I am still keen to look for patterns.

Any suggestions about the hours of ATP training over the years?

Best wishes

SNS3Guppy
1st Mar 2011, 21:41
Yes but am I correct to assume that when logging the 1500 hours there is an instructor/qualified pilot to hand?

No, not at all. In fact, an instructor is present for very little of it, as a rule.

The training it self is very complicated but I am trying to paint with some broad strokes. This may or may not be correct.

It is incorrect.

Additionally, while you indicate that you're not interested in the classroom training that a student undergoes, you're missing a big part of the picture. The training that occurs is most certainly not all in the airplane. Instruction given in a flight training device, for example, isn't flight time, but today a great deal of training takes place without ever leaving the ground. Entire type ratings take place without ever having set foot in the actual airplane. Indeed, a pilot arriving on the line with your local airline may have never been inside the airplane he's flying; today may be his first flight. The rest has all been simulator time, even though he's 100% legally qualified to fly, with type rating in hand.

The ground training received is very crucial. Did the pilot simply get handed a book and told to go read, or was he given a thorough course of instruction? How did he do at that instruction?

I've seen a number of applicants wash out long before ever reaching the airplane; the ground training is a crucial part of that.

Any suggestions about the hours of ATP training over the years?

The actual training on the ATP is often just a few hours; just enough to pass the checkride, which is a glorified instrument checkride, which is something the applicant most likely did right after his or her private pilot certificate. Then again, the commercial is little more than a glorified private. Not a lot more training is involved.

It's the big picture that counts. There is no correlation between the total time and the amount of training received. I've worked with 15,000 hour pilots who couldn't manipulate the rudder pedals properly, and I've worked with very low private and commercial pilots who were whiz-bang sticks with excellent attention to detail, good hand-eye coordination, great instrument skills, and who were very competent aviators.

The military turns out aviators into very complex equipment with very low hours; the hours and the skillset do not necessarily correlate. The nature of the training is very important. One cannot compare two 250 hour pilots on the basis of their flight time, nor even on the basis of the hours of instruction, to come up with any meaningful formula to explain why one might be safer than the other.