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Westjet medical requirements

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Westjet medical requirements

Old 18th Apr 2008, 19:10
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Westjet medical requirements

I was surprised when I have logged onto Westjet website after couple of years and find out that they have copied Air Canada regarding the "extra" medical they require for you to pass and join them as a pilot.
Very brave from them considering the fact that they are kind off low cost (but Canadian way) and that they;despite the fact that you can not join them as F/O with less than 2500TT, still have guts to slide in their own medical requirements. Copycat thing for sure, but AC can afford it, but can Westjet get away with it?
Being Canadian and seeing both sides of the world Europe and Canada for example, at least guys here in UK have a chance to get a job flying one day in the realistic measurements apart from Canada where you still have to have 800TT to fly a Cessna 185 on floats, personaly insult of intelligence to any pilot,not mentioning the "extra" medical which consists of what???
Anyone?
Thanks
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Old 18th Apr 2008, 19:47
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Any airline having medical requirements which exceed the minimum requirements should be applauded.
I'm a class one medical holder, my AME (a senior hospital consultant) offers extra tests at minimum cost and not so long ago one of these tests picked up the start of something which could have had serious long term consequences on my health. Fortunately I was able (with the considerable assistance of the medical profession) to do something about it and it's no longer a problem.

I know that technically, you're only "fit on the day" of your medical, but there's much to be said for going beyond the minimum requirements, for your own interests if nothing else.
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Old 18th Apr 2008, 22:29
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Yes I must agree with Niknak, those medical exams are a minimum, I rather lose my medical or not be allowed to fly for a certain time, but be able to cure myself and keep passengers and collegues out of troubles.

How many pilots are keeping their little secrets from medical examiners?
hoping it will never be found out? or having complaissant examiners, "yes you landed the plane yesterday, I am sure you can do it tomorrow"?.

Pilots still die or are ill or do not perform well (and I think the latest is the most important the first two are rare occurences) on the flightck because of unfitness or medical condition...

So having higher standarts does not mean you will be never ill, but certainly can reduce the amount of occurences where having a medical condition will prevent you from being 100% on the flightdeck.
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Old 18th Apr 2008, 22:49
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As a customer of either Air Canada or Westjet, I would be happy that they go beyond the minimum in medical testing for their pilots. As mentioned already, unless someone has something to hide, it may even be of benefit to the individual to have a more thorough medical exam.

And yes, both of Canada's main airlines can well afford to spend a little extra... a good investment towards safety
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Old 21st Apr 2008, 00:16
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I was surprised when I have logged onto Westjet website after couple of years and find out that they have copied Air Canada regarding the "extra" medical they require for you to pass and join them as a pilot.
Very brave from them considering the fact that they are kind off low cost (but Canadian way) and that they;despite the fact that you can not join them as F/O with less than 2500TT, still have guts to slide in their own medical requirements. Copycat thing for sure, but AC can afford it, but can Westjet get away with it?
Being Canadian and seeing both sides of the world Europe and Canada for example, at least guys here in UK have a chance to get a job flying one day in the realistic measurements apart from Canada where you still have to have 800TT to fly a Cessna 185 on floats, personaly insult of intelligence to any pilot,not mentioning the "extra" medical which consists of what???
Anyone?
Thanks

Oh alright.....so it's ok to buy your type rating & fly 737 with 250tt????

I don't want to attack the european way of doings things....but here in Canada, we train airline pilots through experience & not trough simulators/classrooms.
Many young guys go north of 60 & learn to fly in harsh conditons. After 1500-2000 hrs, they go fly Dash 8 commuter work...then maybe the airlines.

2500TT is the mins at WJ, but most newhires have around 3000hrs. WestJet is a good company that pays very well!
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Old 21st Apr 2008, 01:25
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As a [driver] of [Canadian highways], I would be happy that [licensing offices] go beyond the minimum in medical testing for their [drivers]. As mentioned already, unless someone has something to hide, it may even be of benefit to the individual to have a more thorough medical exam.
So that only medically perfect specimens, who pass their daily highway medical exams with flying colours, are allowed behind the wheel. Easily affordable to taxpayers, practical to implement on a daily basis, and a demonstrable benefit to all of us on the roads.

Right. We could apply this to SLF too, to ensure smooth and event-free travel :-) .
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 18:56
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flaps2billion,

I personally know few guys who got jobs with cca 300TT flying A320, but that is in EU not in Canada. But the point here was; "When it is so hard already to get a job in Canada being a F/O on a turbine or for that matter on really anything that moves and flies; the companies have topped it up with their own req's but not because of themselves, mostly to do with the insurance companies". Not a surprise.
And how come that Canadian companies have such a tremendous ethics towards being doubly healthy instead of being doubly a pilot?
Minimums are set with reasons.
When you see one of the companies in EU such as ;Ryanair, easyjet,Air Berlin, etc...being involved in a serious accident when a F/O had only 300TT or more let me know. So far,no go.And they are there way longer than Westjet.
I believe any 300TT on the stick as F/O with JAA ATPL frozen is better than any ex-Canadian CFI with 1500TT with a blimy IATRA test...

Sorry, been there and know some.
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 19:10
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Thumbs up

Westjet mins have come down in half ( from 5000 hrs to 2500 hrs)
A serious company should indeed insist on a serious medical.
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Old 23rd Apr 2008, 23:08
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I believe any 300TT on the stick as F/O with JAA ATPL frozen is better than any ex-Canadian CFI with 1500TT with a blimy IATRA test...
No freakin way! I am sorry but you don't build stick & rudder skills flying A320. Management skills yes, but real flying skills is different.

Any beaver, Otter, Totter, north of 60 pilot with 1000TT can outfly one of these 300hours wonders any day.
Northern Canada is one of the most difficult places to fly in the world. I am more then sure that one of the wonders would crap their pants if they were put in my shoes when I was a kid.

Remember that Canadian pilots have a very good reputation for being skilled pilots, across the world.


Yes.....a 300 hour wonder can handle a jet in normal situation. But if there is one thing I learned over the years, is that experience is everything & when **** hits the fan, the wonders have no business being in the cockpit! I fly Dash8 & have had some wonders with me. I just thought that they weren't mature enough.
What about the LH co-pilot that almost planted the aircraft in hamburg??

Remember that very few instructors move up to the airlines...they have to fly king air or Pa-31s before going up. This Gives them important two crew experience!


So what is a better system....the one the hires 300TT co-pilots or the one that hires 3000TT co-pilots with 1500ME Turbine and two crew experience????
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Old 24th Apr 2008, 07:58
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Sorry but... wings level to 1500'AGL on departure then A/P engaged until 500' AGL on approach, and again wings level until landing, a jet pilot does not make... be it a Boeing or Airbus, and regarless of the hours.

Acutal hands on experience without A/P is true learned experience that can be tansferred to any aircraft you fly... again be it a Boeing or Airbus.

Regarding company requirements???? its the company's right to require medical requirements to a higher standard than that of country's requirement.
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Old 24th Apr 2008, 21:30
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flaps,

Just for your info, the pilot who flew that A320 was one of the senior LH captains, got the news from a friend who flies with them...
Above all,let's not go off tracks here since I was just wondering on howcome some airlines are so "worried" about pilot's health, where in deed they just get a discount with the insurance company If they do that. No hole in the system (of making money) will be barred. That's why I am against it.
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Old 24th Apr 2008, 21:58
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Westjet are none too clear what the extra medical requires. However, it is very unlikely that they have dreamed up new tests to identify diseases missed on a 'standard' medical. The medical industry is investing literally millions into trying to develop such tests and they dont exist - PET scans for example may identify the risk of future cardiac disease but if we were to ground everyone with calcium deposits the industry would fold.

Far more likely is the scenario that they are setting tigher limits on known diseases such as hypertension. Many of the CURRENT limits are dubious in terms of scientific predictability and certainly err on the side of caution, so if we are totally objective the conslusion must be that there is no increased safety, no extra information for the pilot but merely more pilots being grounded or refused employment.

If any of you are worried about 'missed' pathology, go and see a doctor. Dont rely on a medical and dont support a system that denies people employment otherwise other employers may roll it out.
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Old 25th Apr 2008, 21:58
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Well Skydrol.....it was you that opened the box.

I read in a German newspaper that it was a young 24 year female co-pilot who attempted the landing. Later the Captain took over....is this correct?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...539373,00.html
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Old 26th Apr 2008, 05:54
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Flaps

You can believe a newspaper If you wish so...
If you are a pilot yourself, you would know that Ops of most airlines (especially LH) would most likely require that in case of extreme landing conditions the more experienced pilot does the landing....anyways,enough about LH this thread was meant to talk about Westjet If I'm correct, since I have opened this box...
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Old 27th Apr 2008, 20:28
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most newhires at WJ have over 4500-5000 hrs with ME turb command and / or jet time.
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Old 29th Apr 2008, 23:32
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I agree with the medical requirement issue...every airline has it's own requirements, and where does it say that this can only be limited to flying experience? If they want more strict medical tests...they can have them, (after all, it's their airline therefore their rules...if you don't like the medical tests, don't go for the job...simple).

About the hours and experience issue...a funny one that is! I am a Canadian pilot flying in Europe and I have to agree with Skydrol Leak. I also began my career in the bush in Canada, flown floats, etc. got my "thousands of hours", and now fly a large aircraft in Europe. A lot of my F/O's have WELL under 1500 hrs. TT, some even 250 TT, and they fly incredibly well. (Yes, hand-fly as well). The argument regarding "autopilot on at 1500 AGL...off at 500" etc. perhaps applies to some, but certainly not all. Our machines have a basic wing-leveller used during cruise, otherwise it's all hand flying, with analog instrumentation. We fly a 53-ton 4-engine turboprop from the 1950's...fly raw-data approaches to minima into busy european hubs...these pilots are incredibly proficient. I agree that hours are valuable and experience is important, but it doesn't make you a better pilot. I've flown with many 10,000 hr guys who fly much worse than some 1,000 hr guys...I think we all have.
Having completed both, European training is far more difficult and intense than any training in Canada. I would never suggest that European pilots are better than Canadian, but I believe it's wrong to claim that Canadian pilots are better just because of their hours and their "north of 60" experience...trust me, a Canadian guy would get just as flustered flying into London Heathrow during peak hours as a European guy would flying in northern Canada. It's just about what you're used to...and these guys are good at what they do, I see it every day.
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Old 1st May 2008, 23:57
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About the hours and experience issue...a funny one that is! I am a Canadian pilot flying in Europe and I have to agree with Skydrol Leak. I also began my career in the bush in Canada, flown floats, etc. got my "thousands of hours", and now fly a large aircraft in Europe. A lot of my F/O's have WELL under 1500 hrs. TT, some even 250 TT, and they fly incredibly well. (Yes, hand-fly as well). The argument regarding "autopilot on at 1500 AGL...off at 500" etc. perhaps applies to some, but certainly not all. Our machines have a basic wing-leveller used during cruise, otherwise it's all hand flying, with analog instrumentation. We fly a 53-ton 4-engine turboprop from the 1950's...fly raw-data approaches to minima into busy european hubs...these pilots are incredibly proficient. I agree that hours are valuable and experience is important, but it doesn't make you a better pilot. I've flown with many 10,000 hr guys who fly much worse than some 1,000 hr guys...I think we all have.
Having completed both, European training is far more difficult and intense than any training in Canada. I would never suggest that European pilots are better than Canadian, but I believe it's wrong to claim that Canadian pilots are better just because of their hours and their "north of 60" experience...trust me, a Canadian guy would get just as flustered flying into London Heathrow during peak hours as a European guy would flying in northern Canada. It's just about what you're used to...and these guys are good at what they do, I see it every day.
What about when **** hits the fan? Judgement? Decision making? Your telling me that the 250TT wonders are an exceptions?

Remember guys that these machines are not perfect. They run perfectly most of the time, but what about that special moment where the Captain is knocked out & something is wrong with the airplane......200 hour wonder to the rescue?

Hand skills is just a part of being a pilot........decision making is priceless! Simulators don't teach it!
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Old 25th Jul 2008, 04:18
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Please, don't be a typical Canuck...

Cheers,
Skydrol
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Old 19th Aug 2008, 22:52
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First off as for the thread question: The TC medical is very basic and if WJ wants to insure there pilots are in top shape good on them. I hardly think that just because they are "low cost" they can't afford an extra 100 bucks for a pilot there about to spend tens of thousands on in training and put in trust of there million dollar aircraft not to mention countless lives of passengers.

A few companies I have worked for required there own medical and was more than pee on a stick and how much do you drink like TC. "Is that a week or a day?"
They took the urine sample and a blood sample and sent it off to a third party lab for testing. And sent the results to my doctor and a disclosure to the company's Doctor who would keep anything confidential unless it would effect the safe operation of the Aircraft.

As for the side debate here, I think if you train a person to do one thing such as fly an Aircraft such as 737 from day one you would be very proficient at it and its systems. Here in Canada Having done the bush flying and worked my way up to a Boeing I would argue that some Canadian pilot are more rounded in there flying experiance than someone trained for a specific type. I can recal taking a few Jet jocks from Germany into some places in the Yukon where they **** there pants and repeatly said "Where is the Runway" "Are you sure about this" When I told them ive done this for 2500 hours at the time, they couldn't understand why I wasnt Captain at AC on an Airbus, they had about 2000 between them only ever flown one type.

I have no doubt I could have trained them to fly in there after a while but in Bad weather "VFR" at 100 ft or less might take a bit of work to teach down in dirty bush flying. Not to mention rolling drums and doing "elementary Maintenance" and god forbid when I pulled the wobble pump out to get gas out of a drum. I don't think they would do it for the money or lack of money I was making at the time

But they sure enjoyed the real flying and being able to circle a moose and take pictures of bears and not have anyone on the radio telling us where to go.
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