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FAA panel proposes that airline co-pilot standards be raised

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FAA panel proposes that airline co-pilot standards be raised

Old 4th Oct 2010, 19:00
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doubledolphin

there are other places in the world besides the UK.

FO's in domestic USA service don't need a type rating (past);. Only on some international flights.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 09:26
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Exclamation

The airline industry really needs to move from such outdate, prescriptive regulation based training to more effective competence based training.

Who really believes that the FAA can devise an effective pilot training programme?
Are you suggesting that European training is better than US training? I have flown for both a US and UK operator and seen deficiencies on both sides!

The type rating is nothing more than ink on your license. One still has to pass the required tests to be certified to sit in the right seat.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 12:27
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The type rating is nothing more than ink on your license. One still has to pass the required tests to be certified to sit in the right seat.
But do you have to in the USA?
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 14:22
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Yes. In the USA the First Officer undergoes the same training program as a Captain. When I did my initial ATR training as an FO on the ATR for my USA airline I did the same ground school and simulator training as the captain that I was paired with for training. The only difference was that I did all flying from the right seat and the captain did all flying from the left. In the USA the FO has a SIC type rating and the captain holds a PIC type rating and once the FO upgrades to captain they are given a PIC type rating. I have flown professionally in the USA, Europe, and now in Asia. The FO training in the USA was no less stringent than in Europe, and much more difficult and to a much higher standard than in Asia.
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 08:21
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Advantage in Europe is that all JAR23(FAR23) JAR25(FAR25) aircraft require a type rating for both crew members. Plus some single pilot aircraft defined by authorities.

It simply makes life easier as you know what training the other guy got before sitting in his seat. Additionally a type rating requires a skill test defining a certain level of training. To get a type rating for multi-pilot aircraft the minimum requirement is CPL/IR with multi engine rating (MEP) and completed initial CRM and MCC (Multi Crew Cooperation) course including SIM sessions.

Sounds familiar to the FAR's? Just a much clearer version to say: Hey guys - want to fly a multipilot aircraft - take a TR - period.

Maybe the solution as some pointed out cautiously is as most of the time somewhere in the middle. Both systems work - both have their flaws - both have advantages.
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 09:58
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Grrr Re: US Airlines

Advantage in Europe is that all JAR23(FAR23) JAR25(FAR25) aircraft require a type rating for both crew members. Plus some single pilot aircraft defined by authorities.
What exactly is the advantage? Are you suggesting that the US (regional) carriers put their first officer right into the airplane after they get their picture taken? You obviously do not know anything about airline training in the US. It does vary from carrier to carrier, but to suggest that a EU co-pilot is a better trained and capable pilot just because he holds a type rating (which is nothing more but a paperwork exercise) is more than just being ignorant. I was actually quite shocked that the carrier I flew for in the UK has no recurring oral examinations (regarding memory items, a/c systems etc.). The UK/JAA LOFT-type checkride was a walk in the park compared to the recurring checkride I had to go through in the US. Plus, my US carrier demanded certain hand flying maneuvers (circling) which is/was a big no-no at the UK carrier.

It simply makes life easier as you know what training the other guy got before sitting in his seat. Additionally a type rating requires a skill test defining a certain level of training. To get a type rating for multi-pilot aircraft the minimum requirement is CPL/IR with multi engine rating (MEP) and completed initial CRM and MCC (Multi Crew Cooperation) course including SIM sessions.
In the days before SIC rating, all 121 co-pilots had (and still have) to pass a (121.439 I believe) checkride, which is the equivalent of your mighty skill test. MCC and CRM are also required by the FAA for part 121. And it is also practiced in the sim usually on a LOFT session. As previously mentioned, the training course outline varies from carrier to carrier but it has to be approved by the FAA.

The highly-praised type-rating is therefore nothing more than paperwork and ink on your license. F/O's in the US go through the same type of training. Please people stop making comments about the FAA certification/training if you don't know anything about it.

Come to think of it, some EU F/O's have type ratings but not even 1500 hours yet. From an hour requirement's/legal view they couldn't even fly PIC/P1 with a PIC/P1 TR.

Difference between EU and US in co-pilot training? A piece of paper with ink. And there are also good and bad apples on both sides.

Last edited by Squawk7777; 6th Oct 2010 at 10:33.
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 14:59
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Cool Australian Senate Inquiry

For Centaurus - opportunity knocks (and automation dependency will get a mention!)



THE SENATE
SENATE RURAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT
REFERENCES COMMITTEE


6 October 2010


Mr 4Dogs

Via email:



Dear Mr 4Dogs


Inquiry into pilot training and airline safety

I am writing to advise you that on 30 September 2010, the Senate referred the following matter to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 17 November 2010.

(a) pilot experience requirements and the consequence of any reduction in flight hour requirements on safety;
(b) the United States of America's Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, which requires a minimum of 1500 flight hours before a pilot is able to operate on regular public transport services and whether a similar mandatory requirement should be applied in Australia;
(c) current industry practices to recruit pilots, including pay-for-training schemes and the impact such schemes may have on safety;
(d) retention of experienced pilots;
(e) type rating and recurrent training for pilots;
(f) the capacity of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to appropriately oversee and update safety regulations given the ongoing and rapid development of new technologies and skills shortages in the aviation sector;
(g) the need to provide legislative immunity to pilots and other flight crew who report on safety matters and whether the United States and European approaches would be appropriate in the Australian aviation environment;
(h) reporting of incidents to aviation authorities by pilots, crew and operators and the handling of those reports by the authorities, including the following incidents:
(i) the Jetstar incident at Melbourne airport on 21 June 2007, and
(ii) the Tiger Airways incident, en route from Mackay to Melbourne, on 18 May 2009;
(i) how reporting processes can be strengthened to improve safety and related training, including consideration of the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment (Incident Reports) Bill 2010; and
(j) any other related matters.

The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is 28 October 2010.

The committee invites you or your organisation to make a submission addressing all or some of the issues identified in the bill.

The committee encourages the lodgement of submissions in electronic form. Submissions can be lodged via the Senate online submission system at https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions, by email to [email protected] or by post to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Please note that submissions become committee documents and are only made public after a formal decision by the committee. Persons making submissions must not release them without the committee's prior approval. Submissions are covered by parliamentary privilege but the unauthorised release of them is not.

Please ensure that any submissions or attachments you wish to remain confidential are clearly marked as such. A covering letter, clearly outlining the specific reasons for requesting confidentiality, should also be attached to the submission. Please contact the Secretariat if you require further advice on any issues with regard to confidentiality.

In the event that the committee determines to hold public hearings for the inquiry, the committee's website will be updated to provide advice on dates and locations.

For further information about the inquiry see Parliament of Australia: Senate: Committees: Rural Affairs and Transport Committee: Pilot training and airline safety or phone 02 6277 3511.

Yours sincerely,



Jeanette Radcliffe
Committee Secretary
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 16:41
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Exclamation

Interesting!

the United States of America's Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, which requires a minimum of 1500 flight hours before a pilot is able to operate on regular public transport services and whether a similar mandatory requirement should be applied in Australia;
Not quite correct, the 1500 flight hour requirement can be bypassed by graduating from a special course. The question lingering in the US now is what it will compromise of and what schools will offer it, whether it will be 141 schools or a ERAU, UND etc. exclusive.
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 03:52
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Hopefully the facts will come out in the Inquiry

Sqwark,

she's an Inquiry, mate, not an NPRM

hopefully they'll get someone from the US who knows whats going on to set the record straight. nothing may come of it, but a few current issues should see the light of day
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 04:49
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What the FAA should really do:

The focus of improving safety should not be on the individual pilot. Instead, the Operator (airline) should be required to be "Fair Players".

Independent evaluation of flight crews during simulator sessions.

Independent monitoring of flight operations by modern methods...real time streaming of video/audio from cockpit, etc.

Alcohol/drug testing just prior to flight (non invasive).

Insured compensation packages/severence packages, retirement packages for flight crews and other safety critical workers (mechanics etc).

4 sim evaluations/training sessions spaced 90 days apart per year.

"Ghost Riders", cockpit crewmembers that do not identify themselves as ''check'' airman to evaluate crews.
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 12:46
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For Centaurus - opportunity knocks (and automation dependency will get a mention!)
A question of put up - or shut up. Thinks..never could shut up!!
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 13:06
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Originally Posted by scrubba
Sqwark,
she's an Inquiry, mate, not an NPRM
hopefully they'll get someone from the US who knows whats going on to set the record straight. nothing may come of it, but a few current issues should see the light of day.
Well, not being well versed in the vernacular I’m not sure what is meant by being “an Inquiry.”

I can tell you that the references made in earlier posts are very likely referring to what is known as House Rule (HR) 5900. This particular “Act,” (an “Act” is the official title of the kind of legislative function that this particular document represents) was appended to a document that was voted on and signed into law by the US President that officially extended the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which was originally created to improve airports and airline safety, “and for other purposes.” In short, since the funding and expenditure authority was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, the attached Act is now also a law in the US. It is a relatively short document divided into 2 “Titles.” Title 1 is “Airport and Airway Extension,” and Title 2 is “Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement.”

Here is the content list for Title 2: (The discussion regarding the number of hours and what will satisfy those number of hours is clearly described in paragraph “(d),” below.)
Sec. 201. Definitions.
Sec. 202. Secretary of Transportation responses to safety recommendations.
Sec. 203. FAA pilot records database.
Sec. 204. FAA Task Force on Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training.
Sec. 205. Aviation safety inspectors and operational research analysts.
Sec. 206. Flight crewmember mentoring, professional development, and leadership.
Sec. 207. Flight crewmember pairing and crew resource management techniques.
Sec. 208. Implementation of NTSB flight crewmember training recommendations.
Sec. 209. FAA rulemaking on training programs.
Sec. 210. Disclosure of air carriers operating flights for tickets sold for air transportation.
Sec. 211. Safety inspections of regional air carriers.
Sec. 212. Pilot fatigue.
Sec. 213. Voluntary safety programs.
Sec. 214. ASAP and FOQA implementation plan.
Sec. 215. Safety management systems.
Sec. 216. Flight crewmember screening and qualifications.
Sec. 217. Airline transport pilot certification.

And here is the language of Section 217: (The discussion regarding the number of hours and what will satisfy those number of hours is clearly described in paragraph “(d),” below.)

(a) Rulemaking Proceeding- The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall conduct a rulemaking proceeding to amend part 61 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, to modify requirements for the issuance of an airline transport pilot certificate.

(b) Minimum Requirements- To be qualified to receive an airline transport pilot certificate pursuant to subsection (a), an individual shall--
(1) have sufficient flight hours, as determined by the Administrator, to enable a pilot to function effectively in an air carrier operational environment; and
(2) have received flight training, academic training, or operational experience that will prepare a pilot, at a minimum, to--
(A) function effectively in a multipilot environment;
(B) function effectively in adverse weather conditions, including icing conditions;
(C) function effectively during high altitude operations;
(D) adhere to the highest professional standards; and
(E) function effectively in an air carrier operational environment.

(c) Flight Hours-
(1) NUMBERS OF FLIGHT HOURS- The total flight hours required by the Administrator under subsection (b)(1) shall be at least 1,500 flight hours.
(2) FLIGHT HOURS IN DIFFICULT OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS- The total flight hours required by the Administrator under subsection (b)(1) shall include sufficient flight hours, as determined by the Administrator, in difficult operational conditions that may be encountered by an air carrier to enable a pilot to operate safely in such conditions.

(d) Credit Toward Flight Hours- The Administrator may allow specific academic training courses, beyond those required under subsection (b)(2), to be credited toward the total flight hours required under subsection (c). The Administrator may allow such credit based on a determination by the Administrator that allowing a pilot to take specific academic training courses will enhance safety more than requiring the pilot to fully comply with the flight hours requirement.

(e) Recommendations of Expert Panel- In conducting the rulemaking proceeding under this section, the Administrator shall review and consider the assessment and recommendations of the expert panel to review part 121 and part 135 training hours established by section 209(b) of this Act.

(f) Deadline- Not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue a final rule under subsection (a).
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 18:38
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Question

(d) Credit Toward Flight Hours- The Administrator may allow specific academic training courses, beyond those required under subsection (b)(2), to be credited toward the total flight hours required under subsection (c). The Administrator may allow such credit based on a determination by the Administrator that allowing a pilot to take specific academic training courses will enhance safety more than requiring the pilot to fully comply with the flight hours requirement.
This is the part that I will follow with great interest. Will it be "you can sit right seat of a jet for $100,000" type of a deal?

Thanks for posting.
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 18:51
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Pilots Could Learn from Doctors

The problem with the piloting profession is we are too nice. We should be drumming people out - especially earlier on. Doctors do this as do lawyers.

Air forces do this as do respectable (read: NOT FOR PROFIT) aviation colleges. Involuntary dropping...sorry kid, but you just don't have what it takes not to kill yourself and others.

Unfortunately we let the my daddy has 100k to pay for my aviation training types rule and profit centers and greedy airlines let them get away with it. Modern aviation has so many checks and balances that we can get away with it for the most part till the Chinese put another one in the side of a hill somewhere.

1500 hrs in the US is right on, and the US should now be pressuring ICAO countries to do the same...that will be safer for aviation, and better for the piloting profession than stupid things like line up and wait phraseolgy.
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 19:03
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Dumb things in aviation.

1. A co pilot ( or cow pilot as he was called at first) should be a fully qualified pilot, ACTING as second in command. In other words, he should have passed all the tests to be captain. Yet it isn't that way yet.

2. Calling USAIRWAYS flights "CACTUS" on the radio is pretty damn stupid.

3. Line up and wait instead of Position and Hold...take 4 words to do the job of 3...really efficient. And in japan it will sound like: Rine up and wait. Instead of Position and Hord.
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 23:55
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Originally Posted by Squawk7777
This is the part that I will follow with great interest. Will it be "you can sit right seat of a jet for $100,000" type of a deal?
Thanks for posting.
I guess I've been living under a basket - I've seen the references for "PTF" - and have been told it stands for "pay to fly." Now I see your question regarding whether or not the new FAA requirement might become a "you can sit right seat of a jet for $100,000" kind of a deal.

Am I to understand that there are places where someone can operate as a required crew member without having completed the required training courses simply by paying someone a hefty sum of money? Or are we describing someone who has otherwise completed all the relevant training programs, passed all the relevant checks, and is now "competing" for a job on the basis of the size of his wallet (or rather, what's in his wallet)?

The requirement as I read this section of the new rule in the US is that there may be more than one way to achieve the prerequisite number of hours (i.e., 1500 hours) through appropriately approved training programs - which have yet to be described, by the way. I would suspect there might be a number of hours of ground traininng - a number of hours in a flight training device - a number of hours in a simulator - and a number of hours (perhaps) in the actual airplane. If that totals 1500 hours - you've completed that aspect of the law. However and again, the exact requirements have not been developed yet (at least as far as I know) - and as of now there are no requirements regarding what organizations will be able to offer this kind of training - and if any of it (more than likely at least some of it) will have to be provided by the airline for which the person will be operating as a pilot. I would suspect this kind of program will take on at least some (perhaps all of) the aspects of the ICAO-developed MPL programs.

As far as I am aware, in the US there are no "PTF" operations.
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 05:06
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Hi!

PFT (Pay For Training):
The US has it. You pay for your licenses and training, and pay to sit in the right seat. It is NOT very common, at all. I have found that MANY CAA places do this.

Current US Situation:
You need a Commercial to be an FO. You can have less than 200 hours and get a Commercial, and can be hired by an airline without a Commercial, as long as you have the experience requirements and written test done, so you can get your Commercial when you pass your SIC simulator checkride.

The PIC needs an ATP, which also requires 1500 total time, plus a bunch of other requirements, including passing the written test.

Proposed US Situation:
ALL -121 (airline) pilots will need an ATP. Currently, you need 1500 hours to qualify for the ATP, but a number of additional training items will also be added to qualify for the written/flight-test for the ATP. A lot of posters here are concentrating on the 1500 hours, but passing all the ATP licensing requirements is more important than the hours. If you just have 1500 hours, you will NOT be able to fly an airliner.

Note: Type ratings for the PIC are only required on aircraft above 12,500 lbs. For the small Piper/Cessna-type aicraft, no type rating is required.

Differences from JAA/CAA:
There is NO cruise-captain rating, and no frozen ATPL in the US. You either have an FO type, or a PIC Type. The change will require EVERY First Officer (for a -121 airline) to hold a ATP (similar to an full ATPL).

The CAA license I was most familiar with had 2 Type Ratings: Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 was PIC, Group 2 SIC. That is quite similar to the current US situation.

On the training differences: The main current differences are the 14 theory exams, vs. one for the FAA ATP, and a difficult Sim/Flight test required by the FAA to get an ATP.

I am training now, and our situation it is not uncommon in US training. After losing our second engine, they tell us the weather is CAVOK, and we are cleared to manuever at any altitude and direction, and land on any runway...just let ATC know what we plan to do.

They turn off the electronic glideslopes and visual glideslopes, and tell us the radar is out (or that the airport we just took off from is closed, and to go somewhere else). We have to figure out which runway (and/or airport) we want based on the reported winds, fly our own pattern, and do the visual. Our authrottles don't work, but we can use our autopilot if we desire, and we can get some internal glidepath references if we set up our boxes properly.

Some of us shut off the autopilot and just use a visual glidepath and 3:1 ratio based on our distance from the airport (which is relatively easy to set up and present on our screens).

PS-Forgot the current FAA Oral Exam that is required for both PIC/SIC in the US. Weight and Balance charts, performance charts, checklists items, limitations, and systems questions, such as: How many/what kind of fire extinguishers are on the aircraft/where are they? When does that light come on? What does this switch do? What are the 9 modes that the outflow valves can be in? If you see a "Flap Drive" message, what does it mean, and what will you have to do?
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 05:29
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Yes, you may have been living under a rock. Gulfstream Airlines in Florida, Alpine Air in Utah spring to mind just to name two. Look in the back of any American GA magazine and you'll find ads for them. If the current NPRM passes I don't think it will be possible for the PTFs to continue as it will just take far too long for their schemes to work. AirRabbit you seem to be fighting this really hard, what's your solution or do you think there is a problem at all ?
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 11:36
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Arrow

I guess I've been living under a basket - I've seen the references for "PTF" - and have been told it stands for "pay to fly." Now I see your question regarding whether or not the new FAA requirement might become a "you can sit right seat of a jet for $100,000" kind of a deal.

Am I to understand that there are places where someone can operate as a required crew member without having completed the required training courses simply by paying someone a hefty sum of money? Or are we describing someone who has otherwise completed all the relevant training programs, passed all the relevant checks, and is now "competing" for a job on the basis of the size of his wallet (or rather, what's in his wallet)?

The requirement as I read this section of the new rule in the US is that there may be more than one way to achieve the prerequisite number of hours (i.e., 1500 hours) through appropriately approved training programs - which have yet to be described, by the way. I would suspect there might be a number of hours of ground traininng - a number of hours in a flight training device - a number of hours in a simulator - and a number of hours (perhaps) in the actual airplane. If that totals 1500 hours - you've completed that aspect of the law. However and again, the exact requirements have not been developed yet (at least as far as I know) - and as of now there are no requirements regarding what organizations will be able to offer this kind of training - and if any of it (more than likely at least some of it) will have to be provided by the airline for which the person will be operating as a pilot. I would suspect this kind of program will take on at least some (perhaps all of) the aspects of the ICAO-developed MPL programs.

As far as I am aware, in the US there are no "PTF" operations.
No, you need to have your certificates but some "places" want to convince you that buying a type and experience will make you more "attractive" for you first real job.

I was referring to the yet-to-be-designed training courses that can waive the 1500 hour requirement. With lots of cash you can shortcut one career step, instead of building experience by "time building". I hope those new training courses are not going to be some ERAU, UND etc. copy. We had a lot of problems with new hires at my US regional. Basically, they wanted to tell us what to do.

I am not sure if the "approved training scheme" and "non-approved training" scheme still exists in the UK. I had looked at the differences and the financial difference versus flight time training difference was horrendous. But is there a significant difference in quality?

To bring this discussion to a point the question is: Can you replace experience with training? Can you train common sense? Some, but not all. I am still not convinced by ab-initio and MPL training done by some EU operators.

I honestly don't think that the (regional) airline training in the US is bad (At Trans States our washout rate was pretty high). Some operators spoon-feed their new-hires more than others. Some 250 hour pilots are better than others, and some learn/adapt quicker than others.

I'd personally have a CFI as a co-pilot then some low-time "wonder" kid from ERAU, Purdue or UND.
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 14:43
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Originally Posted by atpcliff
PFT (Pay For Training):
The US has it. You pay for your licenses and training, and pay to sit in the right seat.
I thought that the reference was PTF – meaning “pay to fly.” I also understand the PFT reference, meaning pay for training. I also understand that this PFT philosophy is alive and well in the US. It has been for decades – at least – I had to pay for the training I was to receive in order to be considered for the first flying job I applied for after getting out of the military in the early 1970s. But I’m not aware of any airline in the US that requires someone to pay for the opportunity to serve as an SIC on that airline.

However, even if there are organizations operating this way, I DO know a way to avoid having to go through that particular channel – whether its limited to training or includes the right seat service … its called WALK AWAY! If I told you that I had a really cool 1953 Ford Pickup Truck, with only minor damage to right front fender, but I would sell it to you for $100,000 – would you go take out a mortgage on your house to buy my truck? Then if I told you that you had to pay me $1.50 for each mile you drove that truck, would you agree? If you did either of those things – would that be my fault? If you did either of those things, what kind of “expletive” would you utter the next time you caught your reflection in the bathroom mirror? If you did either of those things – would you be risking your life? If you did either of those things to fly an airplane – would you hope you would have the opportunity to catch your reflection in the bathroom mirror one more time so that you could choose a more significant “expletive?”

Originally Posted by Airspeedintervention
Yes, you may have been living under a rock. Gulfstream Airlines in Florida, Alpine Air in Utah spring to mind just to name two. Look in the back of any American GA magazine and you'll find ads for them. If the current NPRM passes I don't think it will be possible for the PTFs to continue as it will just take far too long for their schemes to work. AirRabbit you seem to be fighting this really hard, what's your solution or do you think there is a problem at all ?
Sorry – I didn’t think I was fighting anything. I’m trying to understand the criticisms of the industry I keep reading about and the seeming acceptance of the idea that merely increasing the flight-time requirements for pilot applicants will immediately solve the lack-of-experience problems that many believe are the singular cause for much of the recent consternation realized in the aviation industry.

I’ve been in this business for a good long time; and have seen it and practiced it from just about all the angles possible. If I had it my way – the training that a pilot would receive would allow him/her to become familiar with the way his/her airplane performs and handles throughout the normal operating envelope – AND – that pilot would have had enough opportunity to see, feel, hear, and respond with the airplane at (and at times, outside) the edge of that operating envelope such that he/she would be able to return that airplane to a safe flight condition. In my book this means obtaining an education about aerodynamics and how airflow impacts an airplane – particularly the lifting surfaces – and how that airflow can be modified to be able to maneuver the airplane through the tasks that pilots must master. I am fully aware that someone cannot graduate from high school or college – having studied government or history or math – and show up on the door step of an airline – with the “for hire” add in his/her hand – complete 120 hours of ground school and 10 simulator periods – and from there be expected to be able to function as a competent SIC for an airline. Nor do I think that this scenario can be modified to an acceptable level by inserting in that string of events, a stop at the local FBO to get a private pilot certificate. So, how about getting the CFI certificate so that you can “make money” while you’re flying … to build time? (yes, I’ve been THERE as well) Under the previous rules, that amount of time had to be 250 hours – to qualify to serve as an airline SIC. I have always believed that it is the quality of the training ANY pilot applicant has received (throughout his/her career) and the kind of experience the pilot has – not merely the number in the logbook. And – dare I say it – does anyone ever bother to check the logbook entries against airplane maintenance logs or any other cross check capability? Has anyone ever heard of “P51” time (“P” as in “Parker” T-Ball Jotter … a ball point pen)? Whatever your answers, now, with these new rules in place, that amount of time may require someone to log at least 1,500 hours.

Do I think there is a problem? Of course I do. But we probably are not going to agree on the identification of that problem. I am of the opinion that the US airline pilot population is going to undergo a dramatic change beginning in approximately 2 to 3 years. What is the nature of that change? Retirement. A pilot cannot fly for an airline after age 65; it used to be age 60, but now its 65. Starting about 2012/2013, and for the following 10 years, airline pilots are going to be reaching that “magic” age like water flowing over Niagara Falls. Specific estimates vary but most agree that during that period fully one-HALF of the airline pilots in the US will retire. As there are currently about 120,000 airline pilots in the US, that means 60,000 airline pilots will retire during that period … and, unless the industry is going to contract to that degree, those 60,000 pilots will have to be replaced in that same time frame – 10 years. Do the math – 60,000 pilots in 10 years (or 120 months) means, on average, the airlines in the US will have to hire 500 pilots a month – each month for 10 years.

How is that going to affect, or be affected by, the new requirement to have 1,500 hours logged prior to being interviewed at an airline? Are we going to make the Parker T-Ball Jotter an instrument of “infamy?”

My preference for a "solution" would be to institute an MEL-Like training program authorization that airlines could choose as a way to bring brand new pilots into the fold - oversee their training from the first day through the last day, when they begin to fly in the right seat of the airline's aircraft. The US military as been using a similar process for several decades - and it seems to work very satisfactorily for them. Sure - there are issues involving applicant screening and the overall cost. But, do we just throw up our hands and say "that's too difficult?" I certainly hope not. There are reasonalbe alternatives and viable strategies for each of these obstacles that, in my opinion, merit further review and consideration.

Last edited by AirRabbit; 8th Oct 2010 at 17:33.
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