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Open Letter to Senator Xenophon

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Open Letter to Senator Xenophon

Old 17th Sep 2010, 01:14
  #1 (permalink)  
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Exclamation Open Letter to Senator Xenophon

From: (insert name)

To: [email protected]


Senator Xenophon,

I am very pleased that you have taken issue with pilot training standards in this country.

I am very concerned that the Australian Airline Industry will be putting passenger lives in danger if it continues with plans to place Cadet Trainees newly qualified as basic Commercial Pilots into the First Officer seats on commercial airline services.

Sound aviation safety practices are taken for granted in Australia. I fear that we will be heading for a Colgan Air-like accident in this country if Airline Management insists on placing under-experienced pilots in the control seats of large jet airliners.

The US Congress has recently mandated the following minimums for airline pilots before they may operate as crewmembers on a commercial airline:

Minimum Licence Level Air Transport Pilot Licence
Minimum Flight Experience 1500 Hours
Minimum Age 23 years

I fully support this strengthening of safety standards in the US and request your support to ensure the same sweeping safety reforms are made to similarly protect the travelling public here in Australia.

I would greatly appreciate your attendance at the next Aviation Industry meeting in Melbourne on 27 September in order to assist with public recognition of this safety-critical issue.

Lives may be lost if the Government and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority does not recognise that the duty of care for public safety in Australia demands an airline pilot with more than 200 hours of flight experience.

Thanks for all your hard work and continuing support for aviation-related safety-critical issues.

Sincerely,

(insert name)

Last edited by Popgun; 17th Sep 2010 at 06:59. Reason: made industry-inclusive
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 01:19
  #2 (permalink)  
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Exclamation

All,

I just emailed this to Senator Xenophon.

May I suggest everyone passionate about this issue do the same by copying and pasting and then sending their own copy to the Senator's office.

Feel free to add some personal information about yourself and your history if you desire. Remember, however, stick to the facts, keep calm and without emotion and don't get distracted from the primary target - Safety.

This battle must be fought on the grounds of SAFETY. Any other focus is a distraction that risks losing PUBLIC SUPPORT...critical if we are to get legislative change.

Mods: Any chance you could 'sticky' this up top. In more than 10 years of membership on PPRuNe this is the first issue that has me wanting to get up on my soapbox.

Cheers,

PG

Last edited by Popgun; 17th Sep 2010 at 07:10. Reason: Safety focus only / Public Support Critical / Recommendation to personalise if desired...
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 01:35
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Smile

Popgun,

May I suggest you not single out any one airline for special treatment. This is an Australian airline industry-wide problem, IMO. Otherwise it looks like you have an axe to grind against Jetstar.

We're happy to sticky an appropriate letter for you, but it must address the whole industry. That will gain the greatest effect

Regards.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 02:24
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Popgun,Great idea, I agree with Tid'that this needs to be aimed at the industry as a whole. This is the version I will be sending to Senator Xenophon....GordonSenator Xenophon,I am very pleased that you have taken issue with pilot training standards in this country. I am very concerned that the airline industry will be putting passenger lives in danger if they continue with their plan to replace experienced pilots with recently qualified Commercial Pilot Cadet Trainees for the role of First Officers on airline service.Sound aviation safety practices are taken for granted in Australia. I fear that if the practice of placing under-qualified and/or under-experienced trainees in the control seats of large jet airliners, the industry exposes the public to an accident similar to that see in the United States last year. I am sure you are aware that following that accident, the FAA revised that practice and raised the experience requirements for pilots in order to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.I would greatly appreciate your attendance at the next AIPA meeting in Melbourne in order to assist with public recognition of this safety-critical issue. Lives may be lost if CASA does not recognise that public safety in Australia demands an airline pilot with more than 200 hours of flight experience.Thanks for all your hard work and support.(insert name)
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 04:06
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My two bobs worth

Dear Senator Xenophon,

I am a professional pilot and have flown for twenty years, presently as Captain of Boeing 737 with an Australian RPT Operator. I have flown throughout Papua New Guinea, Europe and Australia/Pacific region.
I agree with your views on the lowering of experience levels. Whilst the low cost carrier model has undoubtedly caused a lowering of wage levels it is not solely responsible for the lowering of experience levels nor a lowering of acceptable standards.
The responsibility of enforcing minimum standards for commercial pilots lies with CASA. Unfortunately I fear any increase in expected standards will only come about as a corollary of an accident/ Royal Commission.
My great concern is that those operators lower down the food chain (predominantly turboprop operators) will be forced through pilot attrition to the major players (large well established airlines) to reduce their minimum requirements to levels which will satisfy the regulatory authorities but nevertheless pose an increased risk to the traveling public.
I thank you for bringing this to the attention of the Parliament and hope that you can achieve change in order to preserve the publics right of safe travel.

Yours sincerely
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 04:20
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Great idea but I personally think each of us have a different story to tell. Put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and tell the man of your experience. How you've seen it through your eyes. Its not a petition its an education of people that don't understand the complexities and realities of our profession.

Greenslopes, I'm concerned about turboprop operators also but the reality is that this will now reach the likes of your operation. You are going to have the young 200 hour impoverished foreign FO sitting next to you in the not too distant future.

All okay in CAVOK but gee experience chimes in when the shit hits the fan. The people that say all you need is training obviously haven't seen things go wrong before in multicrew land. Its an overly simplistic view full of biases. It takes a long time to make a good effo and it takes decades to make a good Captain. There are alot of things that build a safe pilot and one of them is good training

You need training AND experience AND attitude AND...the list goes on.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 04:36
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Just sent mine through!
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 06:03
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Victim of a bored god

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"...if Jetstar insists on placing under-qualified, under-experienced trainees ..."
May I suggest you delete the "under qualified ... trainees" part. It suggests the airline is not complying with Civil Aviation requirements, and they are not trainees, they are commercial pilots.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 06:21
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This is getting a little messy, why has this not been raised when QF started their cadetship? What about the cadets in the right seat of DHC-8's? There was no issue when this was introduced, why is it a problem now??

It is becoming a little too JQ phobic!
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 06:33
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Standby by for Revision 1

OK, I hear you all. Thanks for the input and advice. Standby for a more industry-generic version.

PG
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 07:02
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Revision 1 posted...

OK, I've just reworked it to remove anything emotive or company-specific and to make the language inclusive of the entire industry.

Mods: Better? OK to sticky?

Cheers,

PG
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 07:43
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You need individual letters with personal experiences in the industry its not a petition. They need to hear what goes on behind the facade.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 07:54
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Thanks Mr Hat,

I agree...thats why I edited to suggest guys add their own personal touches...

In the absence of personal editing, however, due to either lack of time, shaky penmanship or plain laziness, the letter sent, as is, is still better than remaining silent or sending nothing.

Lets hope we see some cohesion from the pointy end of our industry.

Cheers,

PG
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 09:41
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This is it popgun. Now or never. This will determine if we all end up in the middle east one day..
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Old 18th Sep 2010, 05:03
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Exclamation Mods: Sticky Please

Mods,

Please sticky if you are happy with the amendments.

Cheers,

PG
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Old 18th Sep 2010, 09:06
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Fortunate that Senator Nick Xenophon has taken up the cudgel for this issue. It could have been Rob Goatshit instead!
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 06:24
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Yes, this is nicely surprising...I can't remember the last time an Aussie politician picked up a safety-related issue and ran with it...
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 06:41
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He's not your average politician. Lets not forget his work on the jump seat. His words to me were profound. It was the first time someone stood up and said "hang on this doesn't make sense" or words to that effect:


Found at:

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au:80/parlIn...lication%2Fpdf
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 12:51
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Dear Pilots of Aus,
The erosion of training standards and employee standards is happening industry wide. I think it is important for you to note that there is an increasing problem in engineering that is similar to this. we must unite the persons of aircraft operations !

that is all, and good luck.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 13:58
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This is getting a little messy, why has this not been raised when QF started their cadetship
QF cadets do not operate as F/Os for Take off, approach and landing for some years.
This is about nothing other than cutting costs and driving conditions down, last I checked there were plenty of experienced pilots in Australia unlike other countries around the world that have cadet programmes.
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