View Full Version : New ICAO licencing standards.

compressor stall
26th Dec 2003, 12:37
Chatting with my DAME yesterday. He mentioned that he had recently attended a conference in NZ where someone had presented a medical paper regarding medical standards for new proposed ICAO licencing standards. I have searched ICAO website for it, but to no avail.

The guts of a new category of licence was for (my words) a airline cockpit systems operator - basically a Claytons Pilot.

A potential "pilot" would undergo a training course from scratch in a simulator (not going through the bugsmasher/PPL/CPL/ATPL phase). S/He will never be issued with any of the above licences, but but issued with a "permit" to say fly only Airbus A330/40s etc. The person can then progress through the ranks of the cockpit as could you or me.

This proposal was ready to go some years ago, but was put on hold after 11/9 and pilots were furloughed etc. I feel it could be resurrected shortly to fullfill looming pilot shortages - particularly with the baby boomers retiring and and rapid LCC expansion in Asia.

Does anyone have any more information on this "licence" category, its proposed implementation and any other thoughts?

It spells doom and gloom for our profession! Not only are the skill levels being officially undermined, but the supply and demand curve many pilots are hoping will swing our way won't.

distracted cockroach
26th Dec 2003, 16:35
This doesn't surprise me. The boffins already see "GA experience as of little or no value in the airline environment." (this was said in exactly these words by a Massey University aviation "professor" to a group of pilots attending an airline CRM course in CHC (airline is no longer with us, neither is it's Aussie parent) We were suitably mortified and didn't take much notice of what else this woman had to say.
Now I don't want to offend any "cadets" or university trained direct entrants, but that is just garbage. A few thousand hours in GA, be it single pilot air transport ops, night freight or whatever, is of more practical value than a year or 2 sitting in a classroon or buzzing around with several other students in a light twin.
I have 20 odd (very odd!) years of aviation experience, with at least 3 quarters of that in "proper" airlines, the rest in GA and instructing, and nothing beats good old experience. I've seen some very good pilots come out of cadet style training, but I've seen some real idiots too. Whilst not everyone who rises through the GA ranks is an ace, it certainly seems to have a way of sorting out those with the aptitude and ability to succeed in the airline environment. They may not all have a great technical understanding of the ins and outs of theoretical CRM and aviation "psychology", but I know who I would prefer to be with on a really crappy night out in the middle of nowhere facing a non precision approach with half the flightdeck instruments not working!
Again, I don't want to offend those who are university or cadet trained, but those who come through GA are more likely to have had experiences that will stick with them for life.
That's what I reckon anyway!

Artificial Horizon
26th Dec 2003, 19:48
Yes it is true, I read an article in a pilot union newsletter recently saying that ICAO wants to implement this new licence sometime in the first half of 2004. It would basically allow a person who wants to fly airliners and not light singles or twins to bypass the traditional route and just train on jet simulators and systems to be given a rating purely on airliners for multicrew operations only.

It does suck a bit as most of us have spent years working our way up through the different licences, sounds as though ICAO really is concerned about a pilot shortage. It will be interesting to see how this new bread of pilots adapts to their new roles.

26th Dec 2003, 21:01
This was discussed a little while ago in Wanabe's. This idea is being kicked around for airline cadets being sponsored from go to whoa as does happen in Europe. It's one way of ensuring your pilot doesn't shift companies in a hurry. Will it work? No idea.
Personally, I feel sorry for them. Never to have enjoyed flying an aircraft by yourself on a nice sunny day. Strict 2 crew operations flying by numbers, autopilot on at 1000', off again at 300'.....

Chris Higgins
26th Dec 2003, 22:32
If I may be able to digress. I have experience flying in an airline environment out of the busiest airspace environment in the world. I was the Local Safety Chairman for my pilots union. What I am about to say will not surprise anyone.

We had guys and girls that came from the pilot factories in Florida, where they turn them out like sausages, and they seem to have about the same quality at end production. We had fresh faced kids that shook at the knees when they saw it snow, and wouldn't preflight the aircraft in Summer and remained huddled around the weather machine looking for convective weather. I had one individual, who had such a poor knowledge of weather radar, used the down tilt to paint the buildings of Manhattan, then ask for vectors around "weather", without even discussing it with me first. The startled controller spent the rest of the day laughing at our airline as each of us checked in.

The real fun came at upgrade. None of these guys made it through on the first attempt and many were fired in disgust by our training department.

One of the wierdest things was to see a first officer who didn't know how to centre the OBS on an RMI when cleared direct to a VOR.

My background has been odd too, and thank goodness it was. I flew light aircraft on international deliveries, flew air-ambulance for four years and flew aborigines in the Outback for fourteen months in old beat to death Cessnas. I taught Boeings in simulators and aerobatics in tailwheel aircraft and one thing never escapes me...how lucky I've been.

A simulator will never teach you anything about your mortality, it will never develop your mechanical aptitude and it will never teach you the pride you should take in the very manipulation of flight controls to effect safe flight.

Simulators demonstrate emergency procedures well, and they are good for procedural exercise and demonstration. Simulators save money and lives, please don't believe that they don't. It's just that simulators were never designed to replace the real thing.

That would be just as stupid as to say that pornography was designed to replace making love!:O

distracted cockroach
27th Dec 2003, 03:51
Agree with your sentiments completely CH. Point is that it's the "academics" from these pilot factories with no flying experience themselves, who are advising the rule makers. Talk about a vested interest!
It sucks.

27th Dec 2003, 05:07
It's the Same in other Professions

About 90% of graduates coming into agricultural science are not off farms - which about reflects the rural:city population anyway.

Techically skilled - yes, but they actually know little about 'agriculture' Not surprisingly, they make some incredibly dumb blunders. The learning process has to go back some time, and from a professional consulting point of view, I find them unemployable. My professional indemnity insurance wouldn't cover the sorts of basic errors that seem to be now standard for the industry.

Farmers have become inured to this, and now tend to use several sources of advice, especially for the critical decisions.

So far, I have never met an aggie who isn't off the land, because if you don't have a background in agriculture, sooner, rather than later, you'll spray the wrong crop, or worse. You don't need a degree to be an aggie - it wouldn't be a hinderance - but a sound knowledge of farming is worth sooo much more than a piece of paper.

It's interesting to note that mustering pilots are just not acceptable without some 'animal' handling experience - from ground level.

Agree with everything said previously. The only good thing about it all is that these 'robots' won't be allowed out into GA!


thinking pilot
27th Dec 2003, 07:49
Only the inexperienced believe that experience is not relevant, if you get my drift.

We need Keg on board now to dispute this fact.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
27th Dec 2003, 20:09
It's all fun and games while the going is good.

One day, these guys will see something they have not seen in a sim, and they wil come undone - unfortunately taking many with them.

These are latent accidents, waiting for the right group of circumstances.

Thanks God Boeing and Airbus build great equipment.

But at least they passed the psyche test.

27th Dec 2003, 23:19
TP. I don't put words into your mouth, don't take the same liberty with me! :mad:

FWIW, I think the idea is crap. Manipulation skills won't be the same, IF skills won't be the same. It'd be actually interesting to back this proposal up with some serious research.

As for the experience thing TP. :zzz: I've never disputed the requirement for 'experience' in being a part of a crew, I've disputed those that say that GA is the only place to get it and that cadets CAN'T get it! :rolleyes:

28th Dec 2003, 02:09
I second that. The FL cadets that I trained with in ground school only just made it through and the following classes were hit and miss. Not a very good way to blow 50-150k, not to mention that most of them have to apologise everytime the subject comes up.

Mr. Hat
28th Dec 2003, 05:39
There is a massive difference between the real thing and a synthetic trainer or sim. So many things cannot be replicated. All the chatter on frequency, weird navaids that each have their own mind...list goes on. You just can't recreate the real thing no matter how hard you try.

Above all the knowledge that if you stuff it in the real game its really going to hurt. In a syn trainer you are always going to be more relaxed.

Do you guys remember the first time you went into IMC in a light twin fully loaded with pax? Try and replicate that feeling!!

I suppose as long as they have passed the aptitude tests then they must be good;)

28th Dec 2003, 06:01
Just remember who drives the airline industry these days.

It is Accountants and Aircraft Manufacturers.

If the manufacturer can design an aircraft that is simple and safe to fly, efficient to operate, easy and cheap to train the crew the accountant that runs the airline is going to be very interested.

The accountant couldn't give a toss about pilot skill because he has learnt over the years that he has to pay for that and if he can get away from paying for skill he will.

Safety, the catchword we all talk about is unfortunately talked about tounge-in-cheek and is only important to the accountant when it costs him so he uses another phrase called risk management and allows safety to be cost effective.

Do we like it? NO!

Do we have to live with it? YES.

We are told if we dont like the heat in the kitchen then get out.

What else does one do when we have the so-called best job in the business? We stay.

:( :rolleyes: :confused: :{

Oz Ocker
28th Dec 2003, 08:24
Well, well, bl00dy well no muckin suprizes here are their?!!
Ya know I told youse all back in Septmber that this waz the way things waz gunna go, an ya hooted at me. Ava look agin.
Reed the frickin writin on the walls ya walliies, they did the same bl00dy thing wiv the nurses decades ago.
Becuase the demand is gunna outstrip the supply. Simple as that.
Ecanomic reasons.

But youse are all too bizzy scrapppin between yaselves in the skoolyard, ta look outside and see wot's goin' on.
The hole aviation industry in Oz is bein' dummed down.
Ya got some bloke hoo sells cheap lectronic crap made in China, and Dick Paste in a bottel wiv 'is big mug painted on the jar, flying a twin Commanch around as a private pilot, tellin' the guvament that 'e's an expert on air safety an/ airspace issues.
Bit like me, hoo's been inta 'ospital a few times, tellin the guvament that I no wot's wrong with the medical system.
The loonies are takin' cvntrol of the asylum!

But mark my words, the BIG MONEY - the airlines - need ta push this thru simply becuase demand is outstrippin supply.
Like I sayed before, ya job ain't an 'ard one, I mean I flys with me mate Arfa in 'is airaplane sumtimes, and e's let me ava go, an e reckons flyin a big jet is just the same but a little bit different becuase its a little bit bigger.
Well blokes, and sheilas, thats EXAKLEY how all non pilots look at ya, ya know.
They all rekon that in an emergency, any one can take over an 'ave the tower talk /em down.

Mark my bl00dy words, its gunna happen, but the barstards hoo are introducin' it ain't gunna be around to carry the full consaquences of their actions when the prangs start ta happen in ernest.

Be seein youse round!

bitter balance
28th Dec 2003, 13:36
Why make this into an anti cadet bash? This has nothing to do with cadet programs or cadets.

compressor stall
28th Dec 2003, 14:47
Exactly BB...

It will undermine and affect us ALL! It will take away jobs and career progression for each and every pilot flying today - cadet or non cadet.

The pilotless cockpit may soon be a reality.

What breed of dog will they use? :E

tubby one
29th Dec 2003, 12:07
Before you all have conniptionís perhaps you should look at what is actually being proposed, that is provided being INFORMED is an option Ė although for some of you that is clearly not the case.
However, if you do the research you will find that it will make little difference to the hard shells who have done the hard yards in GA - nor will it have much effect on the Uni types. Believe it or not the training world is not yet capable of producing drivers in sufficient quantities.


Review of Flight Crew Training Standards
The licensing Standards of Annex 1 were last comprehensively reviewed in the 1980s. The present review is aimed at updating the flight crew licensing Standards in Annex 1 and training Standards in Annex 6, to take account of recent advances in aircraft operations and training methodologies and technologies. The current Annex 1 Standards are prescriptive and do not contain any explicit performance criteria. Therefore, one of the tasks in progress is examining the practicability of developing competency-based Standards for the licensing and training of flight crewmembers. Work already begun by the Flight Crew Licensing and Training Panel (FCLTP) indicates that competency-based Standards would likely, in the initial stages, be limited to an abinitio commercial pilot licence tailored specifically for multi-crew operations. Before being implemented, any new Standards proposed by the Panel will also first have to be adopted by ICAO's executive body.

A point worth noting is that the supporters of this proposal are not just the bean counters or the academics there are as many professional pilots involved as any other interest group, although there may not be many of godís chosen few (the GA driver!!!). But that can hardly be surprising - we are talking professional pilots not whingers.

You might like to look at the Lufthansa site as well Ė they have been running close to the proposed model for some time!!!!
:rolleyes: :( ;)

404 Titan
29th Dec 2003, 12:36
I personally wouldnít get too worried about this proposal as the airlines, I can assure you, have very little slack in their simulator slots to do this and they certainly donít have or want to get involved in flying training. This will mean they will have to outsource it to companies that will specialize in this type of thing. When the average level D sim can cost anywhere from US$300.00 per hour up, all the briefing time, accommodation and food, I canít see any advantage in it to be honest over the traditional way albeit cadet or GA. It might be cheaper to do it like this in Europe where flying training is very expensive but not in the US, Aus or NZ where it is much cheaper. They simply will not be able to compete. Personally I think the whole idea is laughable. A bit like ICAO to come out with such a stupid and ill thought out proposal. :*

compressor stall
29th Dec 2003, 15:26
Tubby One

Could you please post a link to the relevant section of the website. The initial call (and intent of the post) was to get more information on the proposal and to become informed. It is the first I (and many others?) have heard of it.


30th Dec 2003, 05:12
I haven't heard of a more idiotic idea in long time. Where's command experience come from for these multi-crew trainees?

TAY 611
1st Jan 2004, 06:37
flew with a bunch of 150-200 hour (CAP 509 i think it was) f/o's a few years ago in the UK..Scary stuff indeed though I do know that quite a few eventually got to command.

1st Jan 2004, 08:30
A little lateral thinking here. If a wannabe shows up with a record of a couple of thousand hours of VA experience (Virtual Airline on internet) and nows the '400 sim backwards, which a lot do. Rocks up for a sim flight and aces it because of prior experience with a kick-ass PC. (After all it IS a sim-ride) Then he is let loose to manage the FMS in the real thing:uhoh:

Interesting times. After watching cable over the last couple of months and seeing doco's on remote mounted cockpits, hardwired flight control systems to avoid designated TFRs in the states. Systems to positiveley avoid CFIT regardless whatever pilot input or not. Totally autonomous weapon platforms (i.e. no ground control) Plus the current/old technology of fly-by-wire ready made for autonomous computer control....

Technology is pretty amazing. We do not know what will happen in the next decade. Who knows, maybe the best experience an ATPL ( if there will be such a thing in the future!)should have is being able to type at better than 80 a minute...Interesting times indeed:(


tubby one
1st Jan 2004, 10:12
for those who are interested this is the ICAO annex 1 site.
the Lufthansa site is a bit to braod to give a direct link - suggest you use google to go there and then have a look around, it takes bit to fully determine how they are training - but if you put it all together (for lufthansa itself ) they are using a model very similar to the one which started this thread.


A point to consider is that the proposed model is for "Airline Training"; that is airlines training for their requirments and to their procedures etc, yes much of the training will probably be done under contract by existing (or new providers) but it will have a negible effect on the rest of the training world or indeed the rest of the pilot community. We will simply see Cathay, BA Lufthansa and the like making changes to their existing cadet programs - the numbers are unlikely to change (if they can't find them now the change in training is not going to make selection any easier, just a little different). so they will still need to resource from the "unwashed/unblessed", just as for example Cathay does now through their direct entry S/O program.
In addition, despite the hype, the chances of training being soley by Sim in the foreseeable future is extremely remote - there will however be an increase in the use of Sims at the early end of the process not at the high cost end. So the ranting regards the high cost of Sims being a significant factor are just that although the ever increasing capability of Sims and the greater number of ZFT's being approved will see a steady change in the whole dynamic.

In short don't panic the sky is not falling the strange feeling you are experiencing is generally refered to as Progress!!!!:ok:

Chris Higgins
3rd Jan 2004, 11:47
Alright, so this cookie-cutter comes out of "airline pilot" school to get furloughed, or his airline goes broke. Then what? No licence?

What happens if the airline expands rapidly? Who gets to upgrade, on what, and with what experience level.

What about the experiences they have had at United where, among other examples, an International Relief Officer who was designated an actual take-off nearly destroyed himself, the aircraft and all souls on board, following a simple compressor stall of the number 3 engine.

It's a lot like a mutual fund, "past performance does not guarantee a future performance". Yeah, well, too bad. The more successful past performance I can see in a logbook of anything bigger than a hang glider, tells me s/he knows how to fly.

Simple as that!:ok:

3rd Jan 2004, 15:18
Talked over coffee to ex GA pilot now flying with Dragonair. He was completely surprised at the highly competent standard of the local "ex cadet" first officers flying the A330's - some with as little as 500 hours. Seems that lots of Chieftain and Cessna 210 hours doesn't translate into equivalent jet transport competency where automatics and general button pushing skills is considered more important than raw data manual skills. Never thought I would see the day when airmanship and steely eyed rat cunning would be surpassed by automatic monkey skills. Fact of life nowadays. And it works, too.

bitter balance
3rd Jan 2004, 15:59
Wash your mouth out Hudson - everyone knows you need at least 4000 hours single Cessna in the NT (a good 1000 before you touch a C210) before you can be a real pilot. :rolleyes:

Chris Higgins
3rd Jan 2004, 21:02
My son could be taught to fly an A-330, and I'm sure he'd do quite well at it! A box of Doritos in front of a Playstation 2, I'm sure he could lead any nation into war with a bunch of UAVs hooked up too. That's not the point.

Cathay had a problem with gearboxes on those A-330s not long ago that nearly led to a double engine flame-out on one of their aircraft. Rolls Royce and Cathay both agreed to suspend all flights until it was sorted out. That's not all...the captain who went against company advice and diverted, rather than continue to destination was met with some disturbing news after landing. The other engine had chewed its gearbox too and was just about to fail.

What does your "Pavlovian School of Aeronautics" pilot do in similar circumstances. I know, I've seen them. They recite some stupid memo they read about in groundschool about losing an engine and the statistical chance of a second failure, and they continue on, because, that's what the bean counters want.

I was a co-pilot, not that long ago (1995) when all this bull-shit production-line pilot training started. I was flying in the right seat of a Jetstream 41 when we had a computer failure of the right engine. The engine works fine without the computer on, you just lose Automatic Performance Reserve, Auto Relight, Automatic Exceedance Protections and prop synch. This dumb ass wanted to shut the friggin' engine down. We turned off the computer and it ran fine, all with the inflight concurrence of a maintenance control that was patched through ARINC.

If this sort of crap is allowed to continue and go on the way it is, somebody is going to kill a lot of people in the process. The Americans are now only just realising this. Many regional airlines are recruiting off-the-street captains with prior experience.

Theory always gets lost in the translation to practice, it always has! Society has changed so much too. I flew with First Officers in JFK that had never had to change a spark plug in a lawn mower or wash dishes. The result was an aircraft that was deiced with water on a freezing night because no glycol had been added. It looked like a glazed donut and the FO didn't notice on the preflight.

That's why, especially now, you need experience on the flight deck, the more the better.

thinking pilot
4th Jan 2004, 06:25
Well said Chris Higgins

As I have said previously, it is only the inexperienced that believe experience is not neccessary.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
4th Jan 2004, 08:19
Chris, as usual, is quite correct.

Most people can be taught to operate the machine, but a flight is a WHOLE lot more than just operating the machine.

Unfortunately, pilots who go straight into flying in an airline environment are tailored to that environment. When something foreign enters that environment, something that they have never seen in a sim or on the line, they are generally less well equipped to deal successfully with an 'unusual' situation than say, a pilot who has more extensive and varied experience, especially in SPIFR where decision making and command judgement are singularly executed without anyone else to 'hold their hand'.

I am quite sure that there are many professionally minded and skilled pilots who were cadets etc. The point I make is not about attitude or ability. It is the simple and undeniable fact that there is a distinct lack of experience - maybe not a lack of experienec, but shall we say 'holes'in their experience - and when the shite hits the fan - most pilots would draw upon their experience to extracate their aircraft, passengers and themselves from a serious situation. What do these guys draw upon?

The fact that modern equipment is so good and so reliable, masks the dangers of the 'holes' in these pilots' experience.

Every now and again, the mask comes off for example, (look at the A320 in Dubai).

Having said that, I don't think you need 1000hrs to get into a 210!

4th Jan 2004, 08:25
You can look at this as part of the state of the world as it is, and is becoming.

Cheaper. Automated. Consumable. Expendable.

The ARTISAN is a fast fading concept. These days, you don't build things to last. If they break, they get replaced, not fixed. Things are manufactured with the assistance of computers and productions lines to make them 'economically viable'.

Pilots are becoming part of this process.

How many pax would really be comfortable knowing that one of their operating crew has only 500 hours and a few months ago was just out of school?

4th Jan 2004, 17:45
Col, I guess you meant the A320 in Bahrain.

It all comes down to theory vs practice, we all get to the point in our sim training where we can fly the thing on rails - then we go to the aircraft and start all over again, combining the knowledge we learned in the sim with that of our past experience, if any.

I've seen sim techies fly the thing beautifully but I wouldn't let them near an aircraft! Two different worlds. To someone behind a desk the world is all theory, unfortunately these are the decision makers (not referring here to management pilots).

bitter balance
4th Jan 2004, 18:19
This is not in defence of the ICAO proposal (which seems pretty whacky we'd all agree) but in response to the standard cadet 'wisdoms' being spun here. Why do most pilots in Mac Job's books have remarkably high experience levels. Its not unusual to read about pilots with >15000 hours experience or combined crews with >30,000 hours experience. We recently saw a 13000 hour plus RFDS pilot (who met all the definitions of experience as spouted here) involved in a CFIT in Mt Gambier. How could these pilots have accidents? Should we assume from this that experienced pilots are dangerous? Or perhaps we should assume that there are thousands of contributing factors to accidents/incidents, not just pilot experience levels.

How do RAAF transport & maritime pilots get commands? Is their RH seat experience worthless? Do they only start gaining experience when they get to the LH seat? As a tax payer I am outraged that we let pilots fly in C130Js and AP-3Cs without 4000 hours single engine time in the NT :rolleyes:

6th Jan 2004, 20:25
Of course,it would work for lufthansa and was predicted in
the 1960 s film the magnificent men in their flying machines
when gert frobe had to suddenly learn how to fly a plane
just as all german officers do,by the book of instructions!