View Full Version : No Jet Job without 1500Hrs - Coming Soon?

22nd Jul 2010, 20:31

From another forum:

U.S. pilots would need at least 1,500 hours of flight experience to get a job in an airline cockpit, six times the current minimum requirement, under a House-Senate agreement disclosed by a passenger advocacy group.

The agreement, part of broader aviation legislation being negotiated in Congress, was outlined by Senator Jay Rockefeller to relatives of victims in a fatal crash near Buffalo, New York, last year, according to Scott Maurer, whose daughter was killed in the accident, and who attended todayís meeting in Washington.

That is correct. To be an airline new-hire in the future, you will need 1500 hours total time. That is to be a new FO and sit in the right seat.

What this means internationally, is that a LOT less US pilots will be available to fly overseas, which will increase the demand for non-US pilots.

When I last read the rules that Congress was talking about, there will be a 2 or 3 year delay after the bill is signed, before it comes into effect, so the airlines/training organizations will have some time to adjust, so it won't affect us right away.

Will it lead to foreign pilots flying in the US. I doubt it, but this DOES increase the chance of that happening!

Good news for pilots!


22nd Jul 2010, 20:45
What happens when, assuming that this is true, the European press starts baying that pilots in the EU can start their careers with up to SIX times less experience than their US counterparts...?

22nd Jul 2010, 20:57
Actually, it is almost 8 times the current minima in the US now, as if you attend a Part 141 flight school (like Embry-Riddle, for example) you can get your FAA Commercial-MEL with as few as 188 total hours.

If you are a brand-new commercial pilot, as many US Regional Airline new-hires were, in the past few years, you first commercial flight could be in the right seat of a close-to 100 seat jet, with a TRI in the left seat.

Not very nice!

22nd Jul 2010, 21:01
I 100% agree with it, personally think all airline pilots should have a minimum 1500TT and at least 500hour as instructor before been let loose on air transport.

22nd Jul 2010, 21:07
Looks like there may be one last chance for this profession.

22nd Jul 2010, 21:16
Regulations always have unintended consequences. For this one, expect a decrease in the quality of flight instruction as the "instructor" ranks would be even more overwhelmed with time builders who have no genuine interest in teaching, crowding out due to low wages the good teachers who actually want to instruct for a living.

22nd Jul 2010, 21:33
and gals

I have a friend who does testing for Delta pilots. They are hiring out the ram-air turbine. Heads up.


22nd Jul 2010, 21:40
I'm not sure what ''hiring out the ram air turbines" means...(maybe like hiring out the Ass?)

anway, one thing to watch out for is more P51 time. I would have changed the requirement for an f/o position to : must hold an ATPMEL.

good luck guys.

22nd Jul 2010, 21:41
I thought the FO on the "fatal crash near Buffalo" had 2200 hours TT?

Why has there been so much pressure based on this incident to introduce legislation which would not have prevented the incident? Or have i missed something?

...I'm not asking about the rights and wrongs of the legislation, I'm asking why the Buffalo crash has any relevance (assuming the FO had over 1500hrs)?

22nd Jul 2010, 21:54

DAL IS hiring as many as they can put through training. On the other hand, my buddy told me that DAL is a horrible airline, and I should look elsewhere, just like you hear from EK and QR guys (as well as CX guys).

Many US guys WANTED an ATP, and let their Congressmen know....sounds like 1500 ONLY, and NOT the ATP.

Colgan Crash: Both the Capt and FO were hired with less than 1500 hours, and it was the Capt's 2nd job...both of his he was hired with less than 1500 hours...with a barrier like this, either one of them, or both, may not have entered or made it through to the 1500 time mark to begin with.
what the Colgan crash REALLY did was open the public (and the Congress') eyes to the sorry shape of aviation in the US...guys were getting hired with less than 200 hours, and even WITHOUT a Commercial License, to fly in the right seat of a high performance jet. By hiring such low-experienced pilots, the US airlines could save a lot of money by paying crap/introductory wages to introductory pilots.


22nd Jul 2010, 22:03
@<hidden> atpcliff

By hiring such low-experienced pilots, the US airlines could save a lot of money by paying crap/introductory wages to introductory pilots.

Exactly. That's precisely the point. Now, how strong is the U.S. Airlines lobby in Congress ? Raising the entry-bareer to 1'500 hours would also mean raising the expenses for the airlines. It's surely safety relevant, but how far do shareholders care, as long as nothing really bad happens ? :sad:

22nd Jul 2010, 22:07
From what I understand, the airline lobby lost on this one. They were trying to prevent the Senate and House from agreeing...House said 1500 hours, and Senate 800 hours...now they both agree on 1500, so it is a lock.

The only problem is that this is only part of a larger bill, authorizing the budget for the FAA, so potentially the whole thing could get quashed, but it doesn't sound like that will happen...sounds like all of Congress is commited to getting the bill passed.

22nd Jul 2010, 22:37
Correct me if i am wrong but, there is not a chance of a non-US resident pilot working for a US carrier? In fact, a "green card" is not enough as far as i know.

You are wrong.

22nd Jul 2010, 22:41
It wasn't so very long ago that a new pilot wouldn't get looked at with less that 1500 hours unless they were ex military.

The old route of PPL, CPL and then general aviation/air taxi, building useful hours as PIC on light twins etc., would appear to be coming back.

The only 250 hour pilots on an airliner flight deck were second officers coming from a cadet programme. Only a personal view but I believe that gaining 1500 hours out there in general aviation is pure gold.

G-SPOTs Lost
22nd Jul 2010, 22:41
Interesting developments in the house of Congress/Senate in the US, its looking that within 3 years you would need a minimum of 1500Hrs to fly commercial air transport operations in the USA.

Being as the USA have the slackest rules for licensing with many ICAO differences filed, the fact that they are recognising the fact that cadets in Turbopops and Regional Jets never mind 737's/Airbi is not a good idea has possible major implications for the EASA region and EU FLight training.

Is instructing going to become a noble profession again?


I personally think that if this does happen, it will reintroduce stability and improve terms and conditions - lost when the 700hr CAA CPL was lost - bring back the BCPL!

tarjet fixated
22nd Jul 2010, 22:43
In fact, a "green card" is not enough as far as i know.

It's enough, just like a permanent work permit in the EU.

From the Delta website:

Current passport or other travel documents enabling the bearer to freely exit and re-enter the U.S. (multiple reentry status) and be legally eligible to work in the U.S. (possess proper working documents)

22nd Jul 2010, 23:12

The low-time 121 airline pilots were coming from all over. The US does no have any "cadet-type" programs like much of the rest of the world does. Guys would go to their local airport, get their hours with the local instructor, and then go to a "regional" airline, often starting out in jets.

They were so desperate (2008 timeframe) that they were hiring guys with less than 200 total hours and other guys without their Commercial License (PPL only at the time of hiring).


22nd Jul 2010, 23:25
Is the U.S. Military actively seeking applicants for flight training? That used to be the major entry point for airline pilots. Sure it takes five years, but you're getting paid a decent wage and getting some excellent experience. After my first operational tour following flight training I had 2,000 hours, a bunch of actual instrument time, and experience in non-domestic regions of the world. Does anyone here know if that is a viable route nowadays?

22nd Jul 2010, 23:37
Don't worry - easyjet will just sell a 1300hr package with no passengers on board.

Either that or Ryanair will redefine the meaning of "hour".

22nd Jul 2010, 23:39
v6g: what makes that funny is that there is a slight truth in it. Oh, the horror! :}

chimbu warrior
22nd Jul 2010, 23:42
To me 1500 hours does not seem an unreasonable minimum for someone to be occupying the RH seat of an airliner.

Any "airliner" today is going to have

turbine power
the ability to operate in icing conditions
the ability to operate in a high-traffic environment
the trust of at least 40 passengers who bought a ticket on an "airline" because they believe it infers a certain minimum standard of safety.

Throughout a pilot's career, he/she is going to periodically face situations that require a combination of skill and experience to achieve a successful outcome. Lots of this stuff just can't be taught; it comes only from learning in the real world.

Having experienced training in the US, I can only suggest that over the past 20 years the standards have declined under pressure from costs (those same bean-counters who forced down wages).

There still remain many, many opportunities in the US for pilots to acquire the 1500 hours necessary to make it to the right seat of a jet, or turboprop. Remember that when the regional industry began in the US (not that long ago), those carriers were operating simpler (by comparison) aircraft such as piston twins, carrying fewer passengers over shorter distances.

As for this opening the gates for non-US pilots, don't hold your breath. There are thousands of US pilots working overseas who would love to return home.

22nd Jul 2010, 23:46
The military IS one career path, and they are hiring. HOWEVER, things are changing, like always on Earth.

This year's crop of new pilots at the US Air Force: Over 50% are starting in RPVs (Remotely Piloted Vehicles), so they probably won't be qualified to fly for the airlines anytime soon.

Big Pistons Forever
23rd Jul 2010, 00:00
I think this is very much a good news story.

Requiring 1500 hrs will very significantly reduce the pool of available new hires for the regionals. If will mean you will have to work your way up through instructing air taxi, cargo flying etc. A lot of the wannabe's who just want to buy there way into the right seat are going to get discouraged which means the folks left are going to have to be pretty dedicated. Fewer pilots with the minimum experience level is going to force the regional airlines to start paying liveable wages.

Finally and best of all, the P2F scumbags operators like Gulfstream and Eagle jet are going to be put out of business :ok:

23rd Jul 2010, 01:02
I think the seasoning process these days must take a step backwards to the days of being a flight instructor, doing bank checks or other crummy 135 stuff. I didn't get on with a major till I had over 5000 real, hard hours. Very little of it on autopilot!(less than 100 hours).

If you have 200 hours, get on a plane with an autopilot and use it most of the time, by the time you have 2200 hours, you might only have 400-500 real hand flown hours...maybe less since you are only getting half of the legs.

The learning times...like Lindbergh alluded to...teaching someone else to fly teaches YOU to fly better.

23rd Jul 2010, 01:26
Similar thread elsewhere on PPRuNe just started as well, including link..

It's been announced that this is in the pipeline while ago.
I wouldn't call it 'instructing becoming noble again'.
I'd call it bottlenecking of wannabe jet pilots. Just like getting into the cockpit of a turbine helicopter in any pro outfit, getting hours up through instructing in R22/S300 (with maybe mustering in Australia, IR(H) owners in North Sea as co-joe etc exceptions) is pretty much the only way.

I can't see this happening in Europe. Some Americans may be more prone to paying for 'line training' soon, but it'd definitely cause recruitment problems in boom times and plenty headache to fresh CPL holders stateside.
At least if air taxi/freight etc isn't considered to be in the 'comm air transport', that'd help.

I agree that it'd definitely help T&Cs

23rd Jul 2010, 01:50
This ruling is good news to aviation safety. I have flown with pilots as a new 737 captain that made us a single pilot airliner. We made it through the night but it isn't right. Anybody who gets into the right seat of a jet airliner should be qualified to fly it himself. What happens if the captain is incapacitated? Our airline hired only qualified pilots but this one slipped through because he knew a chief pilot that slid him through with his push. 1500 hrs isn't a lot of time but it is better than 250.

I agree an ATP should also be required for the P51 guys that show time they didn't really fly. Not being able to pass the ATP would show possible fraud.

23rd Jul 2010, 02:07
I went through this list of really fun jobs to be an airline pilot.

Supercub cropduster in Minnesota, instructor for years in California, more instructing other places, charter flying in D18's, Cessnas, Pipers, etc, Jet charter, Corporate Falcon and Jetstar flying, then the big break, Airline flying. It took three airlines and retirement. I loved every minute of it.

galaxy flyer
23rd Jul 2010, 02:40

You are quite right about the US Mil--RPV's are becoming a significant part of military aviation. A friend's son graduated UPT about a year ago and was ecstatic to get a King Air; presently in the 'Stan.

The best deal, if one can get in, is still the AF Reserve or Guard. Guys and gals I sent to UPT 5-10 years ago, now have 2,500-4,000 hours in C-5s; are in command or instructors with all of that time overseas and now with "glass" cockpit. Not sure how many are going to the airlines, though, the pay as a flying captain is very competitive. One is a AA B-767 F/O making considerably more on AD as a Lt Colonel than at the 'line. Another Reserve baby done good.


Tee Emm
23rd Jul 2010, 02:52
The only 250 hour pilots on an airliner flight deck were second officers coming from a cadet programme. Only a personal view but I believe that gaining 1500 hours out there in general aviation is pure gold.Agree 100 percent. I think the argument put forward by those who favour the cadet scheme is that after (say) several thousand hours in the RH seat, the pilot would have gained considerable exposure to the various frights and weather related events that normally occur over that time and on that aircraft type. Then when command training follows he will have the necessary handling skills to be a captain. Let's face the truth - most of today's airline flying environment is on automatic pilot and even experienced captains are constrained from keeping up manual raw data handling by Operations department edicts. That is the way of the future and it will not change.
Automatic pilot flying does not need the handling skills of yesteryear, and the thought that pilots are now managers rather than aviators is not far wrong.

40 years ago in Australia at least, 170 hour commercial pilots with nothing but Tiger Moths and a variable pitch fixed undercarriage single Wackett trainer were getting jobs in the RH seat of DC3's - and no previous multi-engine time and no instrument rating, either. By ten years they had commands on DC3 and DC4 and later F28's.

The danger area is in the first year or so in the RH seat of an A320 or 737 if the captain becomes incapacitated and the inexperienced F/O is on his own. It takes one bird strike through the captain's window to lay him low and then the odds of the new copilot all alone pulling off a safe arrival go down significantly.

The travelling public are entitled to think that they are in the safe hands of two experienced pilots up front. After all, what is the original point of having two crew? The answer is in case one pilot goes unserviceable. That is not always so nowadays. I can see why the USA authorities have upped the flying experience requirements for first officers to meet that expectation. It would certainly make me happier as a pax down the back in cattle class!

23rd Jul 2010, 02:54

I enlisted in the army during the RIF of the middle 1970's...just wondering what an aircraft commander of a plane the size of a C17 would make in the air force...I'm guessing he would be a major or a captain or so.

just wondering...airline flying ain't what it use to be

23rd Jul 2010, 03:00
Cliffy, who was hiring pilots without a COMM? I know Eagle was down to 250 hours with a MEL but they wanted a COMM. And I don't count being at places like Gulfstream as "hired" since the money went the other way.

23rd Jul 2010, 08:06
Mesa and Pinnacle were the two I specifically heard about...

23rd Jul 2010, 08:35
There still remain many, many opportunities in the US for pilots to acquire the 1500 hours necessary to make it to the right seat of a jet, or turboprop. Remember that when the regional industry began in the US (not that long ago), those carriers were operating simpler (by comparison) aircraft such as piston twins, carrying fewer passengers over shorter distances.

Here's the rub - in Europe there just isn't the volume of GA opportunity that you have in the US.

This doesn't mean I don't disagree with tightening up on pure P2F etc.

However, our politicians are famed for making rushed and ill-advised decisions (such as closing down euro airspace with E15) so it will be interesting to see what happens over here.

23rd Jul 2010, 09:07
Europe won't go to the 1500 hour limit anytime soon. Quite the contrary, MPL is there to stay. And remember, most of the major airlines in europe allways hired very low time cadets from their own schools, so it is something with a history of 50 years or more now.

Training departments nowadays love the MPL students as they know aircraft systems and automatic flight modes quite well and have no problems with the typerating syllabus, not really a wonder when they have sat up to 100 hours in the simulator before beginning the type rating. Line captains disagree there somewhat, but not as much as expected.

23rd Jul 2010, 09:32
Personally I think they have missed the point with the issue they choose to do a public show to the public.

The issue they should really deal with is the FTL's and commuting. The skipper in the buffalo was sleeping in crew rooms and from what I could tell had not been in a bed for 36 hours before the flight.

23rd Jul 2010, 13:52
Training departments nowadays love the MPL students as they know aircraft systems and automatic flight modes quite well and have no problems with the type rating syllabus, not really a wonder when they have sat up to 100 hours in the simulator before beginning the type rating. Line captains disagree there somewhat, but not as much as expected.

Maybe so, but 1500 hours out there flying in command of a light twin, making all your own decisions, getting really, really scared, getting through it, gaining confirmation that, yes, you can fly, cannot possibly be replaced by an MPL, they may know the systems but can they really fly?

23rd Jul 2010, 14:40
It looks like the balance between stick and rudders skills vs automation has shifted way too far towards the latter. This new FAA rule (pending) is, as I understand it, only for passenger carrying airlines. Not for cargo operations. There will also be requirements within these 1500hrs as to what kind of flying you have done, or another way of putting it; the quality of your hours. Staying in the pattern vs mountain flying wintertime, or such. All these little things which make the young pilot hone his/her skills, and get some experience to go with the flightbag. Once the airlines start hiring again, and it seems like they are about to do so, they will be forced to hire experienced pilots (1500hrs or more), which preferrably should be from regionals and part 135. Which will mean openings for, say, instructors to move to regionals and part 135 operators. Meaning openings for instructors for those fresh out of the blocks. You do your time and make the grade, and don`t bump the line or stab each other in the back by way of cash. :D

Europe, as someone mentioned, is going the opposite direction. The MPL seems here to stay, and EASA legislators are turning their backs to what the FAA is doing and why. Add to this their same response to the evermore liberate flight time "limitations" and studies regarding these. It seems obvious to me that the holes in the Swiss cheese model are lining up nicely for an accident. Then, and only then, will something be changed for the better. Maybe. But as long as people aren`t willing to pay more than a bus ticket for their airfare, and are oblivious to why airfare is dirt cheap, then nothing will be done. Media doesn`t seem to care, let alone spotlight the problem. :oh::yuk:

23rd Jul 2010, 16:59
I agree with them increasing the hours before going onto a passenger carrying airline however, pilots will try to get there hours up as quickly as they can if that means becoming an instructor so be it but if they don`t want to be an instructor the student is going to suffer.
I think if they are going to go ahead with this then surely something will have to be done towards the Instructors? Up the limit for the Instructor course too?

23rd Jul 2010, 19:27
I`ll agree with you, but only to a point. If your only motivation for instructing is to get hours quickly and move on, then you are not being a good instructor to your students. If, however, you grow on the experience of teaching someone something they have never tried before, and succeed at doing so, then you will in one or several ways grow as an experienced pilot. Yes, you can learn a lot by studying the books and manuals, but theory must be put into practice to get the most out of it.
So let`s say you get your CFI/CFII with about 250 hours total time. You get a job instructing and do your time up to at least 1500 hours. Meaning, unless you`re a very nervous person who never goes far from the pattern or training area, you should have learned and experienced a lot. One of those things is how to interact with a fellow pilot in a cockpit.
If you`re not willing to do your time and go through the ranks in the first place, then flying (other than private) is not for you. It`s not glamourous. It takes a lot of time and patience to make it. Need some luck and to know some people. The hours are terrible. The pay is questionable, at best. Most likely there will be a bit of commuting to say the least. No social life except maybe at nightstops. Have friends at home? They won`t bother calling you after awhile because you`re either away, or trying to get some sleep in a desperate attempt to regain something that appears to be consciousness. Girlfriend? Not for long. Kids? Maybe see them every other xmas, or at graduation. Living out of a suitcase, waking up at a different hotel every morning not really knowing where you are without looking at the hotel info. And for all this, you probably will have to get another job to makes ends meet because you still have bills and loans to pay, while the flying public demand ever cheaper airfare. :{:yuk::ugh::ouch:
But perhaps, this new legislation might bring and end to your needing another job.

23rd Jul 2010, 19:56
they may know the systems but can they really fly?

According to most captains they are pretty damn good hand flying raw data or visual approaches. Interaction in a multi-crew cockpit is of course not really a problem since they did nothing but that since day 1 of their flight training. No idea how they do once they are on their own.

Anyway, there is a requirement of getting at least 1500 hours before they can get a license that is not restricted to the company for which they train, seems there is a certain amount of experience required after all, both supervision and checking requirements are more thorough as well.

23rd Jul 2010, 20:13
250 hour pilot good at hand flying raw data approaches in a jet? Ten years of Command, have yet to see it happen.

25th Jul 2010, 17:20
The Buffalo case just proved the opposite.

How many of the pilots with over 1500 TT in GA only are ready for the scenario desribed in the NASA video on the t-stall? Most of the GA a/c are not even allowed into known icing condition.

If you read on this forum the thread on Buffalo crash you would see that even highly experienced pilots sometimes never heard about t-stalls. The NASA test pilots and scientist, based on their research made recommendation at the end of the video saying: if yoke is shaking (as opposed the whole airframe) and the yoke is pushed forward by itself, after flaps are down, then you have to reduce your speed and pull up, then up the flaps... Those are the NASA test pilots who fly it 'real'.

30th Jul 2010, 19:41

House AND Senate BOTH passed the bill this week, and Obama to sign it VERY soon. The details were just released, and there IS a 3 year waiting period before the 1500 hour min goes into effect. NO grandfathering, so if airlines hire low-time guys close to the 3 year point, they are done at the 3 year point untill they have 1500 hours...will be forced to stop flying for their carrier.

The new Crew Rest/Duty/Flight rules will be in force within one year of the bill's signing, and will apply to all FAA pilots.

The bill also said that an ATP will be required for Part 121 (Delta, Mesa, etc.) pilots, not JUST 1500 hours. The ATP will also incorporate more training into the requirements to be elligible for the ATP license.


1st Aug 2010, 09:40
does it mean US airlines have to hire now before it' s too late?.
once the guys with +1500 hours are hired, the will have only the 200hours pilots available.

If they can not give the hours to them, they will be force to leave and the airlines will have to look for 1500+ pilot who are already hired or waiting in a pool.

this may accelerate the hiring process, we are maybe facing a +1500h pilot shortage very soon in 1 or 2 years.

1st Aug 2010, 15:34
Airlines probably gonna keep the introductory wages of today's low hour pilots, and "introduce" them to the 1500hour + new hired pilots, of the new era!

Hey same price, more experience...

It's the Law!

1st Aug 2010, 16:13

This will DEFINITELY be a challenge for the existing US pilot training/hiring systems....shortage looks VERY probable, and will take some MAJOR adjustments in the US system to fix the problem...this will be hitting right when the over 65 pilots are retiring en-masse.


1st Aug 2010, 16:22
if regional airline can not fly their plane, major will take the lines.
this will increase the price of flight tickets....

maybe it' s soon the end of regional lines in the States,like 15-20 years ago.
the end of the LCC. even SouthWest may have some problems.

big d1
1st Aug 2010, 16:34
A quick look at Southwest website says they will only look at you if you have over 2500h TT or 1500h turbine total so I don't think they will be to worried about this new rule. Its the regionalís which will worry, especially if the majors expand and regional guys start jumping ship.

4th Aug 2010, 20:50
When I flight Instructed, I got really good at watching my students like a hawk to make sure they maintained airspeed, heading, altitude so that i never got violated by them. If you don't experience flying everday with someone that wants to kill you or get you violated than you have really missed something. This experiece could have prevented the Buffalo accident with the fo making a simple "check airspeed" call.

The 250 hour wonder pilot has never experienced anyone trying to violate or kill them.

7th Aug 2010, 17:14
The only people upset about the 1500 hr rule are going to the be chief pilots used to hiring right seat marsh mellows..

Seriously there is no pilot shortage...the airlines can cull from a huge pile of 10,000 hour pilots if they want to...but they can't control these guys, they know better...

Guaranteed if the airlines were held to 6000 hours or above....Flex, over gross flight, deferred maintenance items ect would all go bye bye....

They know this, so they keep hiring kids too scared to say anything...

8th Aug 2010, 11:26
The only ones who are going to shout down this move are:

The low houred pilots who now have to find the extra hours from somewhere and will complain about how unfair it all is and its about time us 'oldies' retired and gave them a go.

The beancounters who will now have to pay the correct renumeration for the responsibilites and skills required for the job. Not pay pilots less than restaurant dishwashers because they can get away with it and anyway the pilots should be grateful for having such a privilidged job.

The passengers as they will have to start paying the price for tickets that enables the airlines to put those experienced, qualified and professional pilots in the front looking after their safety and lives. How low does a ticket price have to go before someone asks 'how cheap can they make this'.

Personally, from someone who spent years blundering around in helicopters before getting into the airlines, I think it can't be implemented too soon.

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1