Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Multi-crew Pilots Licence (formerly: South African Airway's plan to get co-pilots)

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Multi-crew Pilots Licence (formerly: South African Airway's plan to get co-pilots)

Old 8th Nov 2006, 12:37
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The Heart of Darkness
Posts: 186
The purpose of the MCL is purely to better fit the training to the task, not to shortcut the current, old-fashioned and deeply flawed (from an airline perspective) training system.

It's that "shortcut" that bothers some of us. Airline recruitment has evolved over the last 60 years and borrows some of its techniques from the military..I'ts designed not only to educate but to stream candidates who have the right qualities... nobody would say that Psychometric testing made someone a better pilot...but it can eliminate those who are wrong for the demands of the cockpit.. the european system of ground exams works in a similar way.. those who don't have the required academic abilities OR the required work ethic will not make it.. ultimately you get the best people for the job. The time to find out you've got the wrong candidate is in the classroom not when the lights are glowing red and the warning horns are blasting at 02:00 on a difficult approach into a difficult airport, that's when P1 needs all the help he /she can get. Self improvers have generally had some difficult situations to deal with along the way... a sort of Darwin approach to professional flying.. generally, those are the one I like to have sitting next to me. The proposed MCL seems only to serve the airlines in keeping costs down and getting people quickly into the right hand seat ... something they're having to do in a hurry due to their lack of foresight and investment over the last ten years...
Where SAA are concerned, their motives are even more suspect..
poorwanderingwun is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2006, 13:42
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Southwest Suffolk UK
Posts: 4,924
The 'self-improver' route has been effectively replaced in UK - though I like your Darwinian analagy! Many, many (we are talking hundreds, currently) new pilots every year are recruited into jet airliner flight decks in UK with around 200 hours. The training they got in that 200 hours is the best adaptation of an outdated system that the FTOs can make, but it is still outdated and rather less well matched to its demands than it might be. The proponents of the MCL recognise this, and recognise the fact that, increasingly, airline pilots will be recruited directly from FTOs. In many larger airlines (though not in UK), those FTOs will be part of the company's own structure.

You mention the military; their training has evolved in much the same way as the MCL seeks to do. Less time is spent learning generic, light-aircraft handling techniques and far more on techniques and procedures appropriate to the operational tasks the student will be asked to carry out. As an airline captain, I have little interest in how well the guy in my RHS can fly a Seneca or C152. I want to know that he knows the Airbus!

The MCL is, as I've said earlier, a work in progress. There appears (I'm not involved other than as an interested observer) to be a great deal of work going on to ensure that the final product meets the needs of the airlines that choose to use it. The indications are, incidentally, that it will be costlier than the current training system. There are many disagreements about how the MCL should be shaped, but there is general agreement that the old system is no longer appropriate in the more formalised and direct process of going from wannabe to 737 copilot.

For those who wish to, or whose national industry demands it, the old system will apparently remain available. the MCL would clearly be inappropriate for someone who intends to fly air taxis, or do bush flying, crop spraying or any one of the myriad of non-airline ways of earning a living in an aeroplane.
scroggs is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2006, 14:41
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: East Molesey, Surrey, UK
Posts: 101
What Alteon's doing on MPL

This is why more and more airlines will do this, like it or not...
shortfinals is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2006, 23:08
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Correr es mi destino por no llevar papel
Posts: 1,413
Many, many (we are talking hundreds, currently) new pilots every year are recruited into jet airliner flight decks in UK with around 200 hours.
Recruited indeed, but not allowed to fly with pax untill completing at least 40 more hours on full flight sim and a couple of circuits on real thing.

MPL will produce pilots better suited to airline environment than today's system - integrated or self-improving alike. Also it will introduce more CRM into training - needed improvment it is. Possible misuse of trainning system to achieve some political goals will not be made easier with MPL, current cadetships schemes are as open (or closed) to corruption as MPL will be. So where's the catch?

Altheon says that entire MPL process will take 13 months.That is for:
a) general theory - JAA insists on 750 hours in classroom
b) some flying on GA aircraft is still required - seems like 70 hrs will be enough
c) company indoc, sops, etc
d) type specific ground school
e) some FFS "flying", perhaps 100 hrs will suffice

Let's boldly assume c) and d) can be crammed into just 80 hrs of instruction, that gives our potential trainee 1000hrs of training to amuse him/herself with. Oh, and I've forgot flight preparations, briefing and debriefings. I can't see this being realistic unless there's "slight" reduction of a).

When we mention military, you don't go bombing current enemy in your goverment's tornado 13 months after entering the barracks for the first time.

There appears (...) to be a great deal of work going on to ensure that the final product meets the needs of the airlines that choose to use it.
I really, but really, don't doubt it.
Clandestino is offline  
Old 9th Nov 2006, 11:54
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: edge of reality
Posts: 787
A few years back I was based for a short while in Malta and frequently found myself at the hold watching approaches being made by young pilots being trained by (I think ) Lufthansa. The young men and women being trained in those aircraft had been selected following a very tough selection process that filters the qualities that are most desirable in an airline pilot. They’re highly motivated, have above average intelligence, and have shown that they have the mental and co-ordination skills required to deal with multiple functions under stress….and without bursting into tears. During the many stages of the selection process, and their basic flying training, they have seen many of their fellow candidates chopped from the course. By the time they are seen training on an actual airliner they have spent a minimum of two years gaining their private pilots licences on small aircraft, their instrument ratings, their Airline Transport Pilots Licences with all the attendant exams followed by many hours of training in CRM. Having survived all that to the satisfaction of Lufthansa, they have then spent many hours in a simulator that is in almost all aspects exactly the same as the aircraft they will be flying for the company. By the time they get to sit in the cockpit of the actual aircraft they are as primed and ready as Lufthansa can make them, for all intents and purposes they can fly the aeroplane. Now sit down alongside the runway and watch them practise their first approaches.

When it comes to the real thing it will never be quite the same. It is I suppose partly psychological, as good as the simulators are..and they are superb.… the trainee knows that it is after all an exercise, if the aircraft is not lined up exactly right or if the descent profile is becoming unstable the instructor can simply put everything on hold while the student thinks about where it’s going wrong. This is never an option in the aeroplane. I’ve watched those training aircraft making the approach, skewing around and climbing and descending while the poor tyro is sweating it out in the cockpit wondering why it’s all going pear shaped...
What puzzles me is;
1) just which bits of all that training are now considered worthless ?
2) (Ignoring the bean-counters and SAA's questionable motives)... Who is happy about reducing the training requirements for new pilots ?..Is it the passengers ? ..I doubt it...

Scroggs speaks intelligently about streamlining the new generation of pilots and I'm quite prepared to go along with it ... Provided that the overall abilities of the new pilots remain the same. As for the CAA / FAA's of various countries.. they are far from being fool-proof... they have been shown in the past to be subject to pressure from airlines through an old boy network and that includes the UK CAA... And they have shown in the past how thoroughly arrogant they can be when a post accident investigation leads to criticism by the NTSB / AIB of their acceptance of limited/inadequate training (eg. transferring from basic to glass cockpits )... they have on more than one occasion simply responded with a comment along the lines of : The CAA does not accept the findings of the Board.

Has there been any input at all from a group representing pilots when designing these new training syllabuses ?
MungoP is offline  
Old 9th Nov 2006, 21:38
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: scandinavia
Posts: 33
Of course airliners perfer to hire pilots with experience, but there is simply not enought experience for all to go around. Politicans in several european country's have effectivly killed the GA marked.

The question is what is better between:

a pilot with 1000h flying sightsing on sunny days, around the same airport and along the same route


a pilot with 200h, including a typerating, who is allready geard up to recive all the new aspects of working in a real airliner?

snuble is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2006, 01:29
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The Heart of Darkness
Posts: 186
"Of course airliners prefer to hire pilots with experience, but there is simply not enough experience for all to go around. Politicans in several european country's have effectivly killed the GA marked."

Sorry Snuble...just not the case.... There are thousands of hugely capable pilots out there with hard won very real experience of hard-time IFR night ops, flying cheques around the States, flying night-freight all over the world, sitting around for hours waiting for some corporate dude to finish a meeting... but they won't work for the peanuts that a 200 hr wanabee will work for.... and that's why we see zero-experience kids in the cockpit... the people down the back deserve better.... and so does the P1 who has to shoulder the extra load when things start to unravel.
poorwanderingwun is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2006, 14:18
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: London
Posts: 9
A history lesson.

This assumption that affirmative action/positive discrimination is necessarily a bad thing has to be addressed. A quick look at the population of South Africa: 79.5% Black, 11.4% Asian and Coloured and 9.2% White. The flight deck crew of SAA meanwhile is at least 80% white. The reason for this grossly disproportionate representation of white people on the flight deck is not, as some posters seem to think, because black people lack the intelligence or the wherewithal to become airline pilots nor that white people have displayed greater determination and tenacity in attaining airline positions. No, the reason is the legacy of apartheid and 40 odd years of racist legislation that meant that black people were denied access to a decent education and hence jobs. Without intervention, this grossly disproportionate distribution of opportunity could continue for a number of generations. Affirmative action in SA is just a way of speeding up the process of restoring social justice.

To comment, as some have, that the introduction of the MPL as a tool of affirmative action is bound to compromise safety is just plain racist. Do you really believe that a black populace that outnumbers the white by more than eight to one will be unable to produce the required number of suitable candidates? Any shortfall in suitable candidates at this time is a legacy of the poor education offered to black people during the apartheid era and will in the near future become a thing of the past.

As for the white South African pilots who have been whining on this forum about "reverse racism", what utter tosh. When SAA's flight decks properly represent the ethnic spread of the country, if you are then denied access to jobs, then and only then will you have earned the right to complain of being victims of racism. What you are now calling racism is the undoing of the racism of the past. I honestly feel sorry for you but unfortunately for you history has placed you in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don't blame this government. Blame the one before that gave you a misplaced optimism.

Interesting to note that alot of this debate was provoked by an article in an English language SA newspaper which, as Scroggs has pointed out, was highly inaccurate. I spent 14 years in SA up to '89 and in that time I learned that 90% of the SA English and Afrikaans language media could not be trusted to report a simple story like this one without twisting it to serve their right wing political agenda. Plus ca change . . .

As regards the merits of the MPL itself, others here have stated good cases for and against. But don't tarnish the good reputation of SAA. Tell me what well run, competitive airline wouldn't be looking into the relative merits of a whole new training philosophy proposed by ICAO?
Maltese Falcon is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2006, 01:14
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The Heart of Darkness
Posts: 186
Rant away as you feel M Falcon but the fact remains tht SA ARE having difficulty recruiting 'acceptable' new F/o's. Feedback is that selection panels accustomed to being faced with highly motivated and well prepared candidates now all too often finding themselves with applicants who are anything but well prepared and have an attitude that simply turning up for an interview will gain them a place in the right hand seat.

Most of us would accept your philosophy regarding the numbers and accept that in the future the balance will be redressed... but we're talking about a number of years while the education system produces sufficient candidates that have not only the necessary educational standards but all too important motivation that is also required...

It is a recognised and accepted fact that the people sitting at the front of an aircraft do have to be highly motivated.. a slip-shod approach to the task that might be (and often is) acceptable in an office has no place on the flight-deck. Personally I don't give a damn who is sitting at the front of the aircraft as long as they have the right qualifications and experience, and a compelling wish to get the job done properly.
poorwanderingwun is offline  
Old 12th Nov 2006, 12:00
  #110 (permalink)  

Plastic PPRuNer
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 1,890
Originally Posted by poorwanderingwun View Post
.....selection panels accustomed to being faced with highly motivated and well prepared candidates now all too often finding themselves with applicants who are anything but well prepared and have an attitude that simply turning up for an interview will gain them a place in the right hand seat.
It's very much a question of attitude. Quite apart from the fact that relatively few have the academic requirements, a significant number of "previously disadvantaged" just seem to have no idea quite how hard you have to work or how much you have to forego when you embark on a higher technical training.

This is not to say that they're not capable of getting there, but the erroneous idea of privilege has to be unlearned before we can progress further. The people in these jobs before worked long and hard to get there. Just because you were "disadvantaged" before does NOT mean that you can just walk into a job, get a nice suite and a seccy and an expense account and a car straightaway.

I think that dropping standards to get people in is a rather dangerous approach.

University applications for "hard" subjects is way down and Deans are scrabbling for students. "Soft" subjects and business are crammed because chaps know that the course is short and a job with a firm desperate to fulfil it's quotas is assured.

We also have an almost catastrophic shortage of skilled artisans now, as many have emigrated and few are willing to embark on a poorly paid apprenticeship.

At this stage in our development a degree of affirmative action is a necessary evil. But we must be careful not to nurture a generation of disaffected white/indian/coloured kids - they already scoff at job ads - "No point applying, they're only looking for blacks".

These are difficult problems

But we'll get there
Mac the Knife is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2006, 00:03
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: London
Posts: 85
I have dipped in and out of this thread (and many others) and I am beginning to wonder if the dumbing down started long ago.
Surely only the most intelligent, communicative and resilient students could graduate from any of these cut down courses with a fully-rounded and tested jetpilot / navigator skillset?
I graduated nearly 30 years ago with a medium strength degree from a top university. It was Physics and in those days that meant a pretty serious Maths component too. The Physics course was actually a soft option compared to the Aeronautics Dept. next door where the dropout rate was quite high each year. Those 'dropouts' simply came along the road and swelled the top ranks of the second and third year Physics course!

I haven't a clue how few people actually start or finish an Aeronautics degree course now, because even Physics is seen as a 'hard' subject! Is it actually the maths that people now find hard? As the decades have passed I have sometimes been amazed at how many people I have come across in quite senior jobs don't seem to have a good enough grasp of maths to run a sweetshop let alone understand a balance sheet or a machine.

I think the truth is, the successful 'doers' in any business no longer try to really understand raw theory or need to. Instead they become adept at following patterns that lead to the usual answers down a well trod path to common profit-making scenarios. Much of it is 'quick and dirty' too.

"Multiple choice" exam questions have evolved in the last thirty years to become the only type of written theory question that an ATPL student answers. Are they just 'quick and dirty'? I know there have been reams and reams written about the pros and cons, but the mere existence of such exams I think encourages quite large numbers of students with quite ordinary abilities to take them and eventually secure a pass. I've always been a bit of a nerd and passed exams routinely, both the old style and the generally easier, peasier multiple choice, but I have been astonished at how fast I have forgotten most of the ATPL theory I supposedly learned and passed exams in. As I wasn't a borderline student, I have a feeling that many people would forget it faster than me too! So what was the point of that bit of the road to a right hand seat?

Maybe much of it just doesn't matter with modern aircraft systems? Or maybe I have it all wrong and because I didn't have to work hard to pass the ATPL theory, I perhaps didn't learn/absorb as much as those less(?) fortunate who slaved for more than 6 months and had to make heavy life-changing commitments to see the task through. Maybe this is the angle that the JAA seek to cover with the minimum 750 classroom hours requirement. That would be fine if the standard of teaching was universally excellent. But it isn't is it? Personally, in some subjects I felt I learned rather more from self-study than from attending class but that shouldn't ever be the case ideally, should it?

Sometimes the 'structured learning' caused as much confusion and conflicting opinion in class as reigns in some of the more technical threads on PPRuNe!
The thread about converting from Boeing to Airbus is interesting in this regard. I gleaned that the Airbus is designed so the pilot doesn't make so many mistakes, has less chance of confusion, or if he does get confused, then he is overriden by the system with a safer option. Someone else implied that the big difference between Boeing and Airbus is that the Boeing is still a (hairy) machine whilst the Airbus is a big shiney (FO) computer. Both are good at what they can be made to do, but both need pilots. Question is whether the same kind of pilot is needed? Probably not really. Which is no doubt where the type-rating and company SOPs and line training comes in which is very system and operation specific. In the other thread Viscount Sussex says (of a move to Airbus) "Get to learn how to use ECAM. If after using ECAM you still have time, look at the QRH and if you still have time dig out the FCOM 3. Listen to those good guys that have been on it for some time. Be methodical and disciplined with it." Sounds a bit like getting MCSE certified! Someone else in another thread says you even have "Windows" type software glitches on these things!

In short, I just don't believe that many of the actual or proposed integrated or shortened or reformed training regimes produce the world's most intelligent, wise and resourceful aviation problem solvers and practitioners.
Useful people yes, but all-round pilots/navigators/systems managers?...nah

In many cases, the skills taught, examined and tested are probably much akin to those procedures / beans-in-a-row needed to succeed in some narrow 2D cult computer game in multiplayer mode. As I read it, in an Airbus you rarely have to press "Play Again" if you make a control input that might surely crash a Boeing! ...the game will probably just continue just as if you are the ace of the base you appeared to be when you did the same thing yesterday!

But maybe if you have been taught to play a limited level of one good traditional hairy game particularly well, say the right hand seat component of a 744 operation, then actually that's quite a reasonable thing to assimilate quite quickly and to practice without upset, well so long as your captain and mentor remains alive, kicking and perfection personified in the left hand seat?

Pilots of all descriptions will always go on to learn from their own experience eventually building thousands of hours of observations that could never be taught in a classroom or even a modern simulator, but as an industry group, did not the real dumbing down of airline pilots begin some years ago?
late developer is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2006, 12:29
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 725
Originally Posted by late developer View Post
I think the truth is, the successful 'doers' in any business no longer try to really understand raw theory or need to. Instead they become adept at following patterns that lead to the usual answers down a well trod path to common profit-making scenarios. Much of it is 'quick and dirty' too.
If that is why people are successful, then bleating that higher academics are required is a somewhat false argument. It is an age-old moan of highly-intelligent people that those of lesser intelligence are unfairly more successful, but this reflects the reality that success requires other soft skills such as management, leadership, practicality etc that pure academics do not give.

I realise that is an aside from the thread, but that translates back to the flight deck through having people with management skills and flying skills, but who do not require some areas of deep technical knowledge of the engineering, which help nobody, even in a dire emergency.

Going back to the academics - consider the school and university jocks, who passed, but were not intelligent. Looking ahead, some of those become highly-successful (others are of course not), while intelligent students are also split between those who are successful or not. Successful people realise that they do not need to know all the detail - they organise those who do, and reap the rewards of a successful delivery to market.

Some intelligent people on the other hand never discover those other skills - for example those who never go beyond the lowly-paid research lab roles etc.

In relation to this thread, it is bogus to suggest allowing only the best candidates to succeed is racist. Any other policy is potentially dangerous in this environment. While racist white minority rule produced the current SAA demographics, the way to fix it is to ensure that all apply and choose the best candidates regardless of colour. If the demographic endures, it is not racist to suggest that safety should not be compromised through recruitment policies.

It is however racist to deny the education to all that will allow them to put themselves in a position to apply, should they wish to do so.
Lucifer is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2006, 19:07
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: southeast
Posts: 418
I'll post again since my first was removed.............

I am in no way PC and would be reluctant to support positive descrimination, but I find myself sympathetic to the points Maltese Falcon makes.

It brings to mind that film 'The Tuskegee Airmen' which is based on a true story of US coloured gents overcoming extreme racial prejudice and bigotry to pass out as USAAF fighter pilots. They were very successful in their bomber escort missions operating out of Italy - the fact that they were an all black Fighter Group caused quite a stir!!!!!!!!!!!!
sidtheesexist is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2006, 10:08
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Front right seat
Posts: 274
Here is IFALPA's position on this story. This is from an IFALPA doc and has not been changed. It is the view of the group representing most of the worlds airline pilots.

IFALPA Position Statement: Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL)
The new Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL), if applied correctly, could produce a highly qualified new hire first officer for the airlines. However, applied incorrectly in response to cost or time pressures to respond to the current pilot shortage, it could have a detrimental impact on flight safety. Improper application could also erode current, proven training standards.
IFALPA has yet to be convinced that the new MPL scheme will provide sufficient guarantees for safeguarding the highest safety and training quality standards currently in place. Any downgrading of these standards cannot and must not be accepted in an industry that has the goal of maintaining a continuous improvement of safety standards in the face of ever growing challenges.
Only a well-devised MPL scheme that is gradually introduced into common use, coupled with an effective Advisory Board system with a clearly defined charter that assists in implementation of any MPL scheme, will overcome the challenges posed by the new MPL concept. IFALPA will continue to contribute ideas and expertise to assist in obtaining appropriate solutions to any MPL implementation issues, but will only give its support when we are convinced that MPL will assure a greater safety margin for passengers, crew and the general public.
1. MPL Background The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Amendment 167 to Annex 1 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and supporting Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Training (PANS-TRG) will establish a new flight crew licence called the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), which is due to come into effect on 23 November 2006. This new grade of certificate is the result of work by ICAO’s Flight Crew Licensing and Training Panel (FCLTP). Individual countries will incorporate the MPL into their individual licensing structure as they find necessary. Upon completion of the MPL training program, the candidate will be licensed to act as a first officer in commercial air carrier operations, and will possess an instrument rating for multi-crew operations and an aircraft type rating.
The ICAO amendment for the MPL allows for the development of an alternative pilot training program over those found in traditional licensing methodologies. The goal of MPL training is to train candidates with no prior aircraft flight experience to be competent flight crew members in today’s commercial aviation environment. The MPL training program uses a competency-based approach in lieu of the "required hours" approach utilised in traditional training methodologies. In addition to training a candidate in basic flying skills, MPL training maximizes the use of two-pilot airplanes, simulators, and flight training devices to train candidates for airline entry proficiency on turbine powered aircraft, and establish a foundation in crew concepts such as Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Threat and Error Management (TEM).
The minimum experience that an MPL holder will be required to have is 240 hours total time, which may be obtained in either an aircraft or a simulator. Particulars of the elements of
instruction are contained in the ICAO Procedures for Air Navigation - Training (PANS TRNG) document, which will become effective coincidentally with the applicability of the Annex 1 Standard. It was agreed that MPL training would be competency-based and conducted in a multi-crew operational environment. The PANS-Training Document states: The ICAO Standards for the MPL specify the minimum number of actual and simulated flight hours (240). However, they do not specify the breakdown between actual and simulated flight hours and thus allow part of the training curriculum that was traditionally conducted on an aeroplane to be done on flight simulation training devices.
The strength of the MPL licensing process allows an airline to provide multi-crew/multi-engine training in a structured environment that is tailored to commercial airline operations versus having student pilots accumulate flight hours that are often flown unsupervised in a single-engine/single pilot airplane. MPL training will also expose ab-initio pilots to CRM and TEM much earlier in their flight training. Most members of the ICAO FCLTP, the body that defined the MPL licensing requirements, agreed that a properly developed MPL training syllabus would require more flight hours and cost more than current traditional ab-initio programs. Such a program has the potential to produce in a shorter amount of time pilots who are better qualified to operate safely in commercial operations.
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) recognizes that the training required for a candidate to be issued an MPL may have potential benefits when developed and implemented properly, and with adequate regulator oversight. IFALPA recognizes that carefully chosen MPL candidates will complete a focused training program that incorporates the significant training concepts developed under traditional training methodologies during the past 30 years. These established concepts, in addition to new and innovative technologies, may be integrated into a carefully constructed and supervised programme that will be able to efficiently train competent flight crew members in commercial air operations through an expedited training program with minimal actual aircraft experience.
However, IFALPA believes that a data-driven approach is necessary to ensure that MPL candidates will meet or exceed the standards currently required in traditional training methodologies. The MPL concept must be demonstrated and proven using quantifiable metrics before a candidate in this program is permitted to perform flight deck duties in commercial air transport operations.
2. IFALPA’s Concerns
PANS-TRNG document not complete
The MPL pilot must be able to consistently demonstrate satisfactory aeronautical skills and cognitive skill sets to the established level of proficiency required for actual air carrier operations. In that regard, it is significant to note that the industry has not yet defined the appropriate flight training devices required to measure proficiency for aeronautical tasks and cognitive skill sets. Presently, ICAO has tasked the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) to identify the appropriate flight training device for each component of the instruction, validation and checking envisioned by PANS-TRNG. The results of the RAeS work will ultimately be incorporated into PANS TRNG as guidance for the construction of an MPL syllabus.
Unfortunately, this guidance will not be available for the first efforts undertaken to produce MPL holders. This means that the burden of making certain that MPL holders reach the required level of proficiency will fall on the individuals administering progress checks during the training cycle and by the official conducting the actual "rating ride" which results in the issuance of the licence.

Reduction in actual flying hours
The MPL licence allows a reduction in actual flying hours during training, conceivably towards zero in the distant future when more advanced simulators and training devices are developed. To ensure that safety will not be compromised in any manner, any such reduction from the current ICAO minimum hours required in an actual aircraft for a traditional commercial license (140 hours for an approved training program) has to take place in a carefully monitored and controlled manner, with emphasis placed on avoiding sudden and substantial reductions in actual flight time. This step-by-step approach is outlined in Chapter 3, Appendix C of the PANS-TRNG document and is entitled "Guidelines for the Implementation of the MPL." IFALPA proposes that the incremental substitution of simulated hours for actual aircraft hours follow the guidelines stated in paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 of Appendix C.
IFALPA notes with concern that a number of recent accidents were contributed to, by loss of control or a lack of handling abilities. IFALPA strongly believes that maintaining a high number of actual flying hours will ensure that current quality standards are maintained, whereas offering the possibility of drastically cutting real flying hours would represent a significant downgrade in the quality of training and would be a degradation to aviation safety. The actual flight hours ultimately required is still unknown and must be determined by a rational measuring procedure.
Lack of proper analysis and scientific basis
The MPL philosophy is un-proven and is therefore a significant departure from existing pilot instruction methodologies. No proper analysis of the new rules has yet been undertaken nor is there any scientific basis upon which to rely to conclude that the new MPL philosophy is a sound procedure that meets the current level of safety provided by traditional training methods.
Flight Training Organisations (FTO) are mandated to focus on Human Factors, CRM, teamwork and TEM, as required by the MPL, and will therefore be faced with new standards for experience, knowledge and quality. It is unclear how FTOs will deal with this challenge, since it is most likely that the most experienced flight trainers can be expected to be hired by airlines. In addition, page 55 of the ICAO Amendment 167 to Annex 1 states: "3.2 When a Licensing Authority approves a training programme for a multi-crew pilot licence, the approved training organization shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Licensing Authority that the training provides a level of competency in multi-crew operations at least equal to that met by holders of a commercial pilot licence, instrument rating and type rating for an aeroplane certificated for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots." It is questionable if the FTO’s have the expertise or scientific evidence required to demonstrate that they meet this standard at the current time and will be able to "preserve and improve upon existing flight safety levels" as required by the ANC in Amendment 167.
Regulators must be required to perform strict quality control of FTOs and their MPL programmes. In many cases it is questionable whether or not the National Authorities will have sufficient experience and/or capacity for developing competency-based flight training programs and will possess the ability to provide quality assurance of the new MPL program. Before a State can implement an MPL program the State has to define what its assessment system is going to be and how it is going to use this system to ensure that MPL pilots have met each of the competency requirements.
Airlines that hire MPL candidates must be required to properly train these new recruits, focusing on airmanship, judgement, decision-making and aircraft handling. This training will cost money, and given the current financial difficulties of many operators and increasingly fierce industry competition, it is difficult to understand how some airlines will be able to
finance such a programme. Under these circumstances implementation of an MPL program could very well result in a reduced level of experience and safety.
Scientific Evidence and experience on the use of flight simulation to replace actual aircraft flying in the early phase of airline pilot training has to date been limited, and is thus an unproven concept. In addition, the Royal Aeronautical Society’s International Working Group on simulators has just started the process to identify the appropriate flight training device for each component of the instruction, validation and checking envisioned by the PANS TRNG document. Until such time that the RAeS has completed its work, IFALPA firmly believes that extreme caution has to be exercised when replacing actual airplane flying experience with simulated flying hours as a means for teaching aircraft handling and airmanship skills.
ICAO will attempt to monitor the development of the MPL program. Regulatory authorities are required to collect individual progress assessments, rating ride reports and recurrent checks and to forward these to ICAO for analysis by the Flight Crew Licensing and Training Panel (FCLTP) of the Air Navigation Commission (ANC). It is unclear how ICAO will define standardized assessment criteria as well as a data collection format for the different states. It is also unclear who will collect the data and how it will be analyzed to ensure safety is not compromised.

3. IFALPA’s Proposals MPL Advisory Board
IFALPA proposes the creation of a national MPL Advisory Board in any State where the MPL program will be introduced. The MPL Advisory Board’s aim would be to effectively monitor the implementation process of an MPL Training program and to also effectively evaluate the results of the MPL training.
The MPL Advisory Board must include pilot representatives from the State implementing an MPL programme. The Advisory Board should also involve professionals from relevant parts of the industry, including training and education experts and members from safety organizations. The Advisory Board should provide expertise, assessments and valuable advice on all proposed new MPL programs prior to their approval by the National Authorities. It should also assist these Authorities in their evaluation of the training programme to ensure that the MPL program produces at least an equivalent level of safety and professionalism as any current schemes that are in effect.
In addition to involvement in the implementation phase the Advisory Board must continue to monitor the quality assurance and oversight of all MPL programs within their State, as well as the progression of MPL pilots as their careers progress. The Advisory Board should remain active until such time that sufficient data and experience exists which accurately demonstrates that MPL programs can produce pilots at a level of safety and professionalism equivalent to the traditional ATPL. At a minimum, the national MPL Advisory Board should remain until ICAO completes its MPL review in the FCLTP Panel and any recommended changes are implemented and validated.
ICAO Guidelines for the Implementation of the MPL
IFALPA strongly encourages States to follow the intent and guidance of Chapter 3, Appendix C of the PANS-TRG document. These guidelines offer a cautious step-by-step approach to replacing actual aircraft flight training hours with simulator hours. During the FCLTP proceedings a survey of current ab-initio training programs showed an average flight time of approximately 230 actual aircraft flight hours. The intent of section 2.2 and 2.3 of Chapter 3,
Appendix C, was to not allow the first MPL courses to reduce the actual flight hours much below this average (or the hours required in the ATO’s current ab-initio program) until such time that replacement of some actual aircraft flying hours with simulator hours could be scientifically validated. In other words, what was agreed to by the ICAO FCLTP was for the first MPL courses to conduct most of the training in actual airplanes, except where it made more sense to use simulators (i.e., TEM, CRM, in-flight emergencies). Once the MPL concept was proven safe, and better simulators and other training devices were developed, some of the airplane flying could be replaced by these and other training devices in an incremental process with proper validation. The substitution of simulated hours for actual airplane hours was intended to be a gradual process.

Link between the Flight Training Organisations and Operators to Be Maintained
Only a Flight Training Organisation contractually linked to an airline should receive approval to issue an MPL. Unless this requirement is met, supervision, control, and feedback of the training cannot be assured because the direct link between the airline and the training is not maintained. A requirement of the MPL is to train to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). This requires the training to be airline specific, and therefore MPL instructors must be familiar with the airline’s SOP’s through personal observation.

Evaluation of the MPL
An evaluation of the MPL pilot would verify that he or she has acquired the necessary airmanship, judgment and technical skills. This evaluation could be demonstrated at the pilot's first re-current check by using exercises involving hand flying skills, such as: windshear encounter in direct law, gusty cross wind landings onto a wet runway, loss of all generators requiring flying with basic instrumentation and flying a descent profile without FMS. Since both pilots in modern two pilot aeroplanes can become quickly task-saturated while handling an emergency during an approach in marginal weather, MPL pilots can be given scenarios requiring them to hand-fly the airplane and make decisions independent of the Captain.

Adequate monitoring by the FCLTP:
To maintain current levels of safety, ICAO should monitor the implementation of MPL training schemes to ensure they follow the intent and guidance of Amendment 167 to Annex 1 and the PANS-TRG document. IFALPA intends to make certain that ICAO monitors the implementation of MPL courses, collects the assessment information required from each State that issues MPL licenses, that it does in fact review the entire concept at the fourth anniversary of the applicability of the Standard and that it approves, amends or rejects the concept as indicated by actual field results.
divinehover is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2006, 09:01
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dubai
Posts: 31
Yip, flew with some of the "traditional" cadets from SAA and found most of them utterly useless as a f/o - at the best of times! With the new simulator wonders, SAA is taking another step backwards.

Strange how silent the 4 bar drivers are on this forum. Brain washed, tired or convinced by management?

Hope Comair and the others won't follow the "National" carrier route!
777SandMan is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2006, 16:39
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: East Sussex
Age: 82
Posts: 252
I think IFALPA has produced a well thought out treatise on the MPL debate.However, it seems that no airline in Europe is prepared to dip their toes in the water. Not even Lufthansa now! The greatest take-up is likely to be from Chindian airlines where expansion has created an unbelievable demographic gap. For them cost is not the issue; it is time. They need the pilots now. The attraction is 13 months from pavement to flight deck.

I have spent a fair proportion of my flying career in the pilot training sphere (both civil and military) so I can claim some credibility for the following opinion: No human being has the capacity to learn and assimilate the knowledge and skills required to safely operate as an F/O of a complex aircraft in 13 months without any provision for time to consolidate. It is totally unreallistic. But never fear that is what they will do with the competency based element of the issue being massaged to enable it to happen. Based on past experience can we put our hands on our hearts and say it will not occur? Furthermore what guarantee is there that the states in question will not put put pressure on those whose jobs it will be, under the terms of the MPL, to monitor results? I hope I am wrong because I can see the positive side of the MPL, but I fear the worst.
pontifex is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2006, 20:55
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 21
I am all for change and progress when it is beneficial and produces a better quality product. But this is all about one thing and that is $$$$$$$. They will be able to spit pilots out like a sausage factory!

Throughout my flying career the one thing from day one that was always stressed upon me was airmanship. An art only acquired through experience. How can this be achieved with an MPL???? Yes a C172 or PA34 bear no resemblance to a 737 but they are vital as they teach you many valuable skills that no sim trainer could. E.g situations with ATC, other aircraft, spacial awareness, weather....all of which comes under airmanship. When has being in IMC in a sim ever really felt the same in real life, never, because you know if it all goes wrong the guy behind hits the stop button, you step outside, have a nice cup of tea and debrief.

This is a disaster waiting to happen , and will destroy CRM as the only guy that will be able to offer a decision based on experience (and frequently that is what determines it) is the Capt. This whole concept is insulting but hey what a great way to solve a pilot shortage!
western bronco is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2006, 06:42
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Floating around the planet
Posts: 383
I have flown with 500 hours cops and I am frequently by myself....Imagine with these guys...

The worst is waiting to hapen, but no worries about that...Tha Captain willl be guilty....
A-3TWENTY is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2006, 14:17
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 40

I am confused.
Let me get this right.
We are going to take ZERO hour human beings. Start with training them to fly a small aeroplane, to the point of a PPL. Then we give them a twin conversion. Then we give them a night rating. We then train them in a classroom with respect to what? A commercial licence? We make them sit the commercial licence exams? (South Africa) Then we tell them; you now do all your further training in a A320 simulator. (Oops, sorry, I forgot:a 340 simulator. Remember, they will NEVER be alone with the captain in a two crew environment.......There will ALWAYS be a SF/O present)
Now they have +- 270 TOTAL hours. Mmmm.
Now here's the catch. Please someone kick me against the head, HARD!
WAKEUP!! We don't want people who have on their own: Done the PPL, night rating, multi rating, written the commercial exams and passed them, written the ATPL exams and passed them, all on their own, now have +- 250 -300 total time on REAL aeroplanes, but are still either instructing in the circuit, dropping parachutists, flying in the swamps...etc etc BECAUSE:?????????
Oh sorry again, I remember: These candidates DON"T EXIST!! There are NO PILOTS out there!
We don't want these guys, to then make them MPL's because??????????????
Please help me understand the difficult nuances of company politics and business politics that say we need zero hour candidates of our choice?????
Champagne Lover is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2006, 19:48
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Europe
Age: 44
Posts: 238

I am myself a product of an integrated course, although later i did instruct for a couple of years, then flew as F/O in a bizzjet and finally now getting rated to work for a regional operator with mixed fleet jets and TP's.

When i first got in to a jet cockpit as F/O it was damned hard and very different to what i had flown before, but i found that my background and experience helped me quite a lot to cope and adapt to it.

I had over 1000 hours piston time at the time (not much compared to US standards, fair amount if we think of europe in terms of experience level when getting to fly heavier iron), as most pointed out this hours are not on modern equiped aircraft, but you really need to go trough it for several reasons, among others:

-Develop decision making (you would not with MPL, as you are always under the "shell", you never will fly on your own.

- basic skills are lost very quickly, and to be fair , 60 hours is nothing, at this level, when you begin flying, after a few months you'll forget most of the basics, you need the hours to make sure your mind retains the skills for good, if you know what i mean.

I have to say that the experience you get flying instructing, doing aerial work, or freight in a light twin et etc,do make you a better and more prepared pilot.

The guy of the example,that did not make it any good after 2000 hours on GA, wouldn't make it any better through the MPL scheeme.

I agree there are improvements and lots of changes to be done in Pilot training schemes we have now in order to get better and more flexible and suitable F/O's, but this whole MPL thing seems suicidal to me and to most pilots i talked to, and i am sorry if that bothers to some, but about flying the thing, the ones to ask are THE PILOTS.
LEVC is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.