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FSA article: a MATTER of DEGREE

Old 9th Jul 2010, 02:47
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FSA article: a MATTER of DEGREE

Firstly, I have no issue per-se with any flying training establishment & I'm sure that there are universities that are turning out a quality product, but this article would have to be the most poorly written, one sided load of rubbish ever produced by FSA; The likes of which is normally the domain of mainstream media.


Would you go to a dentist who had learned the art of pulling teeth by working in the outback or perhaps in Papua New Guinea? Professor
Patrick Murray doesn't think so...
Err...well YES Professor Patrick Murray, I bloody well would. Especially if it means that said dentist has experienced every kind of tooth problem first hand, as opposed to having read about it from the comfort of a first world capital city. And as a pilot who has flown in both I find the implication reprehensible.

The article goes on to make many more assertions about graduates being trained to airline standards, being considered "better pilots", and my favourite, that an aviation degree...
will help particularly when going for command...
. (Bollocks)

An aviation degree is but one of several paths to a licence. The fact is that you can't be taught experience & virtually every Aviation Degree graduate goes to GA to learn their craft alongside their non degree brethren.

Be very, very wary of anyone involved in ab-initio training making assertions that they will train you to an "airline standard" ie. that you will walk from the flying school straight into the welcoming arms of an airline, or that honing ones craft in the "outback" or PNG is a bad thing or somehow redundant.


joe crazyhorse.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 02:52
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copy of letter i sent off to the editor

Dear Sir/Madam,



I am writing to express my feelings about the article on University Degrees in the latest Flight Safety Magazine. Firstly I would like to “declare my hand”. I own a medium sized flying school with 20 aircraft, 20 instructors and approximately 200 students. We have no affiliation with any University. I felt that your magazine has strayed away from safety related matters and more towards interest based journalism. After reading the article it would appear to me that a payment was made to CASA for this content, although there was no mention of it being an advertising feature. It was very one sided, and did not present the argument from “the other side of the fence”. As the purpose of this industry funded magazine is to promote safety, I could find no factual statistics indicating the increased contribution to safety of the University Trained Pilot. Your article will have a negligible effect on my business; however I was surprised to read such obvious marketing in a magazine that previously held credibility. I respectfully request the opportunity to present the other side of the argument containing some factual statistics. If indeed a payment was made then I am offering to equal that payment for an equal amount of space dedicated to industry based training. I am not indicating that I feel one approach to Flight Training is necessarily better than the other and I appreciate that they both have their merits. Perhaps such articles could be reserved for the traditional magazines and you could put your efforts and our money into serious contributions to flight safety. Very disappointing to see the downward spiral in the quality of this magazine continue.



Yours Sincerely



Glen Buckley

Last edited by glenb; 9th Jul 2010 at 13:05.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 02:55
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reply from the editor

Dear Glen



Firstly, thank you for your email. It demonstrates that the magazine is doing its job when it promotes discussion about the best way to promote aviation safety.



There was no payment made to CASA for this content. As a general rule, we do not run advertorial, because we do not wish to compromise our editorial independence, but if we did, it would be very clearly branded as advertorial.



Training, and the quality of such training, ensuring that the pilots of the future are fit-for-task in a rapidly-changing aviation environment, is, we believe, a safety issue, and therefore an appropriate subject for Flight Safety. The article was simply the first of a series on training, and we will be looking at other options and training issues (such as glass cockpits/workload/English language) in coming articles.



To that end, we are more than happy to interview you/Melbourne Flight Training about your training philosophy/focus as part of that ongoing series.



Thank you again for your email - and your evident passion, which we share, for aviation safety,



Margo
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 03:01
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The FSA article on having a degree via a Uni Flight Training program can only be viewed as one thing, a FREE ADVERTISMENT.

As for the opening preamble about an outback Dentist ........... what does that have to do with flight training?

The whole article (Free Advert) is totally geared to producing an airline driver.
There are other flying positions and requirements here in Australia in case Mr Murray had not noticed.

My experience with some so called Uni trained pilots is that they simply do not have a lot of experience and that shows in the air and on the ground.

As for the topic of degrees amd what they are taught at the Uni Flight School a lot of that is actually covered in the normal CASA flight training requirements.

The article leaves a lot to be desired. One sided, inaccurate and not real coverage of who foots the total bill for a Uni trained pilot.

Are we to only have pilots who are flying on Daddy's cheque book and no real concept of what a self-funded trainee is all about.
Give me the latter as a pilot anyday.

R16
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 03:10
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Awesome runway 16,

Just a few points,

My experience with some so called Uni trained pilots is that they simply do not have a lot of experience and that shows in the air and on the ground.
Because it's only the Uni trained guys right? The guys trained 'the ole fashuned way' never do that stuff...

As for the topic of degrees amd what they are taught at the Uni Flight School a lot of that is actually covered in the normal CASA flight training requirements.
In order to make that assertion, you would have to have attended and completed the very degree programs that you appear to be denigrating.

The article leaves a lot to be desired. One sided, inaccurate and not real coverage of who foots the total bill for a Uni trained pilot.

Are we to only have pilots who are flying on Daddy's cheque book and no real concept of what a self-funded trainee is all about.
Give me the latter as a pilot anyday.
Wow, just WOW! So anyone who did a degree and flying must have had their parents pay for their flying? Do you normally specialize in gross, inaccurate and stupid generalisations?

GLEN,

At least they replied. I would take them up on the offer to be interviewed and tell your side of the story.

j3
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 04:26
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glenb,

Maybe you should take FSA up on their offer of being interviewed and start with the scenario of a garbage collector teaching medicine at university, surely that is a parallel to the good professor pretending to be able to comment on the aviation training industry.

What would some self appointed know it all with a degree in who knows what, really know about pilots experience in the bush v the class room?
I live in the NT and I get sick and tired of these accademics who after having read a book about our indigenous population believe they have all the answers and simply come up here and screw the place up, now they are influencing aviation, god help us.

The deciding factor as far as I am concerned is the individuals passion for the job, that will determine the amount of effort put in, their ability to learn and one of the major factors, who teaches them.

Last edited by RENURPP; 9th Jul 2010 at 05:12.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 04:49
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The professor seems to have the commonly held view that PNG flying is a place of last resort - the place you go when you can't get work anywhere else.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Last edited by psycho joe; 9th Jul 2010 at 05:01.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 05:04
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University study and the award of Degrees is about academic endeavor and in all cases of technologic/science courses there is a post Degree Award period of "indenture" practical leading up to the final ability to practise one's craft.

This is true for Medicine, dentistry, all forms of Engineering, Law,Chemistry and so on.

To expect any new graduate to be competent in the manipulative skills be it flying an aircraft or pulling teeth is a big ask.

The real difference a University Graduate should have is the discipline of learning and the ability to objectively question in a balanced way so that real rigour is used in the decision making process.

long term the Graduate will be better equipped to continuously adapt to life long learning.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 05:14
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Joker,

Thats all fine in theory, however it doesn't seem to translate into reality in the real world, or at least not the world I see every day.

I guess it boils down to - you don't learn everthing from books.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 05:45
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RENURPP,

You certainly seem to be acting your age (8). You also seem to hate Universities going by these comments:

good professor pretending to be able to comment on the aviation training industry.
I think you'll find he can comment.

What would some self appointed know it all with a degree in who knows what, really know about pilots experience in the bush v the class room?
I live in the NT and I get sick and tired of these accademics who after having read a book about our indigenous population believe they have all the answers and simply come up here and screw the place up, now they are influencing aviation, god help us.
It's 'academic' by the way. I do agree with your statement about Indigenous Australians, but that once again has nothing to do with aviation.

I guess it boils down to - you don't learn everthing from books.
Must've been hard learning all that CPL theory by rote.

And just for the record, all of you who seem to think this Professor is not qualified to comment about the industry are either showing gross ignorance or are talking out your behinds.

Ex Cathay 747 checkie, CASA Delegate and ATO, one of the founding members of LOSA, current/former committee member of GAPAN, RAPAC. In addition to this, also formerly a senior executive of CASA. There is also quite a bit I have missed.

But maybe you guys a right, he wouldn't know a thing about the industry would he?

j3

Last edited by j3pipercub; 9th Jul 2010 at 05:57.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 05:51
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This thread wasn't intended to be about uni bashing nor about the merits thereof.

It is however entirely inappropriate for an industry regulator to be showing preference to an individual business or training stream, assuming that all training companies follow the regulators syllabus. Some rather silly (IMO) claims were made in the article. By printing these claims without verification or contradiction from a variety of sources, CASA has by omission presented these claims as fact.

At the very least FSA should have interviewed some non uni flying school operators as well as airline recruiters. If not some "outback" & PNG operators.

I would suggest that airline recruitment would be less about where an applicant trained & more about experience, trainability, & personality befitting the existing workplace culture etc.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 05:56
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psycho,

If you read the response that Glen received from the editor, it is an ongoing series. I think it would be fantastic to hear from the different types of training. It may seem like a paid presentation so to speak, the credibility lies in the next few FS magazines. If they do indeed continue the series with the same amount of pages, then there is the integrity.

j3
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 05:57
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Having trained both in a university and 'club' flying school, the difference between the two (airline standard flying training) is really very minor and is a bit of a glitzy word. At the end of the day, I got great and average training at both, the difference being the quality of the instructor and our interaction.

At the end of the day, it's the instructor who makes the most difference in my opinion and I have been lucky enough to have some great ones!
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 06:09
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j3 nothing in the article about a series.

Editors response sounds like placating white noise.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 06:48
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$10 says that Psycho Joe and Renurpp don't have a degree in anything.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 07:11
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$10 says that Psycho Joe and Renurpp don't have a degree in anything.
Well, you certainly never hear the degree-holders bashing the usefulness of a degree or the merits of university, do you? Funny, that.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 07:18
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Well from where I sit, Psycho Joe has got the right attitude, and I'd be happy to fly with him/her any day. Thanks also for pointing out the commonly held misconception that all PNG pilots are desperados. They certainly are not.

I applaud glenb for taking the time to write to CASA regarding this heavily biased article. As is obvious by their reply, some in the office of the regulator have no idea what happens out in the real world. If this is a "serious safety issue", then they have completely lost the plot.

As has previously been stated, this thread, and gleb's letter to CASA is not about the merits of degree programs; it is about the appropriateness of CASA publishing an article that lacks balance, and has no relevance to flight safety.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 08:07
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I have no degree, and know nothing of the article that fostered this thread.

Part of my employment contract when I first started instructing at the Space Base in Cessnock in '86 was to read and be examined on a book about flight instruction.

The book's name has long been forgotten but it was written by a couple of academics from Newcastle University, who were associated with Jim Spark. The basic premise of the book was that to be an effective instructor, one had to be able to communicate, in a common language with the student.

Given that the book had a significant emphasis on communication, I was some what nonplussed when in the final chapter I had to get a dictionary out, to determine what a word starting in X meant.

In the end, I figured that the authors had completely missed their own message, when they used a high-faluting word starting with X, instead of HAND.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 08:22
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also formerly a senior executive of CASA
What a coincidence - his organisation gets a write-up in a magazine that's distributed to every Aussie pilot. Not bad free advertising if you can get it!

Still, it should hopefully be transparently obvious to any slightly informed reader that learning about flying in the unforgiving PNG environment is something to be respected, rather than clumsily denigrated as per the pissweak sub-headline quoted above.
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Old 9th Jul 2010, 08:47
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"A school leaver who wants to be a pilot is around 18 years of age, and while there are some mature 18 year olds, maturity tends to come with time. One way of doing that at the moment is to give someone a commercial pilot's license and get them to go out and mature in an environment such as PNG or the bush. Alternatively you can mature them in a more controlled environment. One of those has traditionally been the military, who do it extremely well - university is becoming another pathway."

Really?! From my observations, uni life is traditionally way more about doing as much socialisation as possible and minimal work. Calculating how many questions you can get wrong in order to 'pass.' Figuring out who got the most drunk on the weekend and waltzing from one party to the next while trying to get as many chicks as possible. Really good maturing going on there!

Not suggesting that all uni students are useless party animals who don't work hard mind you. But to suggest that it is somehow superior to 'real life' and real world experience is going to take some real work to convince me.

Oh, and by the way, you won't find any 18 year old, fresh out of flight school kids in PNG...
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