Guys, I have a question. I was a passenger on board an AirAsia flight last night and during the taxi the FA introduced the crew as Captain such and such and a name. No FO such and such, just a name. I did not think too much about it until mid-flight the name came out. It was a two striper. The last time I saw 2 stripes was when the PFE on a DC8 wore them. There was a WTF moment from me and again about .5 later when the captain came out (2 striper back up front) and wondered who was flying the aircraft. Is it possible the 2 striper had control? Is a 2 striper able to be "rated"? Is this the new normal to get cadets some cockpit (not the same as flight experience) experience? Now it is possible that there were 3 pilots up front however it is the second time I have seen this. Now remember I have been away from the airlines as a pilot since 2005. Have things changed this much? BTW both crew members were western if that makes any difference. I don't think so but there it is. Any answers?
Does it matter how many stripes they had on their shoulders? If they are licenced and rated on the aircraft they can fly it, regardless of whether they have one, two, six or twenty stripes on their uniforms.
Does it matter how many stripes the SIC has or is his/her competence of more importance? Yes, of course a two striper (usually a second officer) can be rated on the aircraft.
It usually (varies by company) means the pilot has not yet gained a full ATPL, or has not attained a certain number of hours within the company on type. Things have obviously changed since you gave up the LHS. BA, Qatar, Cathay, Lufty, Ryanair, FlyBe, easyJet to name but a few companies who use two stripers. Even on ULR crews, the RHS could be a two striper. It does not in any way imply they are a 'cruise relief pilot' or a cadet. As noted above, BA two stripers are designated FO's and three are for an SFO.
2 stripes is an excuse for companies to pay a qualified officer less for a certain time period to do the same job pending some bull$hit as that officer qualifies to earn 3 stripes and get a pay increase which they should be grateful for.
Many moons ago I had the experience of traveling as SLF on a domestic flight somewhere in SE asia. The flight was supposedly fully booked, so I just went to the airport and at the check in desk (yes, it was a wobbly desk) I asked the nice smiling girl to call the senior supervisor. A jolly fellow appered, wearing SIX stripes on the cuffs and sholder, who on hearing my humble pleading, readily exchanged a hand-written boarding card for some small pieces of generally green coloured paper, doing away with unnecessary formalities such as issuing ticket... Those were the days
On certain airlines, once cleared to fly without a safety pilot (FO in the jumpseat), a one striper will be flying with an instructor captain only, so when the captain leaves the cockpit he will be in charge.
Even one stripers are fully rated in order to continue their in-flight instruction. They make the takeoffs and the landings etc.
In the 60s and 70s all pilots joined BEA & BOAC as Second Officers and wore one stripe. After a certain time, depending on experience, they became First Officers and wore two stripes. When they had sufficient experience they became Senior First Officers providing they held an ATPL. I seem to remember that when Cambrian (the Klingons) amalgamated with BA all these rules disappeared as their guys with only a CPL could become SFOs. For a short period about 1972 one or two chaps were promoted to command in BEA straight from FO as they had insufficient time to become SFOs when their number came up. But all qualified pilots wore the company brevet (wings) on their jackets.
I began in ALITALIA in 1967 as a Viscount copilot. After line traning I began to fly "solo" (without a regular 'second pilot' on board) with a Captain. I had a pilot's license of the third degree, R.T. certficate, and second class navigator. After 1 year I accrued the second stripe. I wore the third half stripe (to be distinguished from young commanders wearing three full stripes) after some hundred miles of Long Range Flights. So it's not a matter of stripes, but of training and airmanship.
although a tad over-generalizing, must agree with andrasz...
These idiotic manoeuvres by companies to degrade personel and achieve cost benefits over other people's backs is becoming absurd. Training in flight? Fine, do it on cargo runs! WE HAVE SIMULATORS FOR THAT, or ferry flights. Passengers involved? only fully certified pilots at all times! And then they DESERVE the three bars!! As if it's not enough the FE had to be eliminated due to "cost efficiency" now they are just moving these absurd tactics up the ladder. Besides, indeed, WTF SHOULD a passenger think if he or she seees this. Keep it simple and stupid, captains on board four, first officers three period.
But then again, give the captain a 5 bar epaulette, the first a four, the FE/ replacement three and the FA two. THAT makes sense!
Many, many years ago I was flying as captain for a small airline where we wore three stripes. At one airport we were getting very poor service from the agents, so I went into their office. Service didn't improve until I heard the handler on the phone say "I've got the First Officer of the XX here". I pointed out that he actually had the captain there, and things started to get done. I later managed to get company policy changed, on the basis that agents, like passengers, expect the captain to have four stripes. It's all about perception.
There is no such thing in AF as cruise relief pilot, as far as I know (this could have changed of course). All FO's are equally qualified and rated to land the aircraft, and they all share the sectors equally with the other crew members.
Experience may or may not have contributed in the sad AF story, but you gotta find some other arguments to play up this one.
If you fly with my airline, you may see a one striper on the flight deck. It's nothing to do with qaulifications, it his/her rank. One stripe is a Second Officer, two a Junior First officer, three a First Officer. It's about time in the company and pay! As far as the regulatory authority is concerned, they are equally qualified.