Old 21st Mar 2012, 09:03
  #5 (permalink)  
Wirbelsturm
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Planet Moo Moo
Posts: 1,242
It also must be recorded here that there are very many unemployed fATPL holders out there of unspeakably poor quality who will most likely never secure employment at the pointy end.
This is quite possibly the most pertinent point of all!

The old system of Cadets and selective enrolement meant that if you were rubbish and not up to standard you got thrown out of the training system. The Cadet system was run along similar lines to the Military (In most cases the instructors/examiners were ex-mil, look at Prestwick!).

Now the ability to complete a course, if the student is average/below average, is the ability to continue to pay for it. Admittedly the atrocious are still (hopefully) weeded out but the 'poor' still continue to follow through to the end of their 'course' and 6 months with a carrier to be bounced out for the next 'cash paying' co-pilot. The abiliity to pass a course is, in many ways, no longer dictated by ability more by how deep the applicants pockets are.

As a friend of mine who works as a TSC for one of these placement airlines says, he is flying single pilot in many cases. Always with a new, inexperinced, if enthusiastic, Co-pilot who struggles with SOP's, aircraft handling and lack of familiarity with destination airfields. He then coaches them through 6 months with almost certain knowledge that they will not be given a contract. He has complained to the company that it is both extremely hard work for him and very unfair on the co-pilots.

Sadly the rot will not stop from the Trainees as they are only trying to get a rung up the ladder, understandably so. The movement needs to come from the CAA who should be taking a stance on airlines making profit from passengers being flown by a trainee who is not being paid to fly commercially. Unfortunately, as with the EASA FTL's and BALPA's weak willed stance, the CAA/BALPA are toothless dogs that roll over at the first sign of conflict.

Until we have our own 'Colgan' the public will want seats cheaper per mile than a local bus and won't give a damn who is poling them around the sky at Mach 0.79 with no option to 'pull over to the side of the road'.
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