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Use of low time pilots slammed

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Use of low time pilots slammed

Old 7th May 2011, 12:43
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Just remember "safety first" (unless it means we have to pay for experience). Lets not fool ourselves into thinking that these schemes were introduced as a favour to help new pilots jump a few steps on their career ladder, they are here for airlines to save money and they do this by cutting back experience levels, and turn their backs on the nightmare personal circumstances that many of these cadets have walked into.
Very well said!

As said - in many areas of the world, small GA is simply not able to supply the amount of airline pilots required, and everyone has to start somewhere.

What is needed is stronger legislation to make sure the guy in the left seat has sufficient experience - a better minimum hour requirement for command, and for command of a jet aircraft to be a licence issue rather than a company-decided job description.
Great, so now we are suggesting to slow the progression of experienced pilots to the left seat as we feel the need to allow every 200hr wonder into the right seat of a big shiny jet, because they most certainly deserve it. "Barking up the wrong tree". Open your eyes dude, you are the blind leading the blind! I sure hope you are not in a position to offer advice directly to aspiring pilots or airlines.

Last edited by justagigolo77; 7th May 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 7th May 2011, 12:50
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I'm certainly not advocating the system as it stands. The QUALITY of the training that new people receive is the key, not hours and hours of experience where the pilot is expected to "teach himself". People need to be trained, shown how to do things and situations EXPLAINED. Its all so well and good Captains saying "He/she couldnt do this, didnt know how to do that on the line" etc etc. Well how about showing them? If you do not consider that to be part of your job then i'm afraid that you have been part of the problem and not part of the solution. It also starkly illustrates how out of date and anachronistic the basic CPL & IR training is, and how "basic" the type courses are in order to minimize cost. I started flying a jet with relatively low tt, but i had an understanding captain who viewed it as part of his job to impart practical knowledge and skills to me. Nowadays i do the same for those who are new. Its the master/apprentice thing, it works far better than the "learn from your own mistakes" dogma. Flying is not some sort of "black art" although i suspect many experienced pilots like to portray it that way because it makes them look good. Yes, experience is important but it is experience on type, in a particular flying environment that is most valuable, not experience just for the sake of it. Simply accumulating hours is not the answer, proper, thorough, ongoing, training is, and on the line in real world conditions the captain is often too lazy to provide it.
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Old 7th May 2011, 13:04
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p.s if you think 200hr first officers are a worry, i've come across pilots with thousands of hours who cant do the job properly. They're the ones i really worry about!
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Old 7th May 2011, 13:04
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Time on type of a 320/737 is really more important than having FLYING skills? In 200hrs flying a 320/737, how much will a 250hr superhero hand fly the airplane? In the vicinity of a major airport? If said 250hr pilot had a stick shaker close to ground in IMC and icing conditions would you feel comfortable of the outcome? This is the type of experience you can ONLY get by living it and honing your skills in a progressive manner!

p.s if you think 200hr first officers are a worry, i've come across pilots with thousands of hours who cant do the job properly. They're the ones i really worry about!
Former "Cadets" no doubt...in a vicious circle! Do it right from the start!
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Old 7th May 2011, 13:19
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Justagigolo,
No. one was an ex RAF fast jet pilot. Another was an ex instructor with 2000 hrs on light aircraft. Go figure.....

Also, the real skill in aviation is not getting out of dangerous situations, its not getting into them in the first place.
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Old 7th May 2011, 13:36
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Comparing pilots to doctors should be done correctly. Straight out of med school do they go into the operating room with a brain tumor patient? I highly doubt it. They go do the small and simple jobs of injecting anesthetic and putting stitches in. That is much like GA while the brain surgeon should be your ATPL pilot with 2500+ hours.
Haha - that's a nice joke. Comparing Airline flying to brain surgery.
You will be in for a surprise and your beliefs will be shattered when you find out that many 10.000+ hour captain doesn't have the first clue what they are doing.

This industry is rottening with increased automation - all in the name of safety. Airbus first (and Boeing following along) prefer that you don't touch the controls, look at their respective training material. Like a doctor watching watching a computer doing the operation.

The advice for the future passengers? Pray the automatics works or take the train. At least, that's what I do every time I have to proceed, pray (and I feel especially relieved when I see it's an Airbus being the most automated).

Personally, I refuse to go along and the day there is a restriction on me handflying I will first find another job, then another branch (business jets perhaps?) and in the end another career.
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Old 7th May 2011, 13:45
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Didn't read your posts before replying PJ, but spot on.

"engage the autopilot! autopilot! autop.." End of recording.
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Old 7th May 2011, 14:06
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Also, the real skill in aviation is not getting out of dangerous situations, its not getting into them in the first place.
This is the statement of a true idealist, but the realist in me says that some situations cannot be avoided and will a 250hr pilot know which ones can and cannot be avoided, and how to get out of them? For example, you folks get fog or freezing rain in London once in a while correct? So how many cadets will have the opportunity to hand fly a landing at Heathrow in fog or freezing rain as an F/O? Fast forward a few years and said cadet is now upgraded to captain, same rules apply in that the F/O is not going to be flying that approach, so now what? Still feel safe? Realist says, not me!!
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Old 7th May 2011, 14:20
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justagigolo, children of the magenta line?
Unfortunately look what happens when children listens to Eminem or other crap. Suddenly it's mainstream and the parents too.

Skill is something that needs to be maintained. Unfortunately there are a lot of pilots with thousands of hours that have become "parents of the magenta line children". Maybe even some of those who knew the jazz before.

The most dangerous one is the one that lost his basic skills and yet haven't learnt the computer yet. What's it doing now (what I am I doing now..
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Old 7th May 2011, 14:28
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Justagigolo,

I've never said that basic manual flying skills are not important, of course they are, but theres a lot more to it than that. To be proficient at operating an airliner, or bizjet for that matter, you have to operate an airliner or bizjet and you need to be trained properly to do it. (SOP's, automation, manual flying, emergencies, bad weather....whatever). IF there is a proper robust and ongoing culture of training then a 250hr pilot will cope. I'm not saying the present training framework and style is good enough, but if you think the ONLY safe route to flying an airliner or any high performance aircraft is to serve "time" on piston GA machines then i'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree on that point.
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Old 7th May 2011, 14:41
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Emphasis on line training is focused on automatics and virtually zero on manual flying. The little amount of manual handling new hires receive is limited to the simulator.

Over and over I see the new generation of automatons stumped when the automatics are slow to respond, or not following the programmed inputs. Meanwhile, the airplane digresses from the flight path while the copilot attempts to correct the automation anomaly with more automation inputs.

Pervasive aversion, or fear, of disconnecting the automatics and hand flying the airplane to re-establish control of attitude and correct flight path.
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Old 7th May 2011, 14:56
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Macdo

For many years BEA/ BA recruited Hamble/ Oxford/Perth trained cadet pilots who joined the 737/757/767A320 fleets with 250 odd hours on shorthaul routes.
Proper initial supervision and rostered with experienced Capts for six months ,no problems.
It's the TRAINING that counts not the hours. The 1500hour FAA new limit is meaningless without good inital selection and tuition.
And, from my many years experience in BA, for the ''what if the Capt dies/engine out/ IFR to limits approach brigade'', they would still cope!!

ExSp33db1rd

I did most of my time on BOAC/BA Long haul and in the situation you describe you would have had an experienced F/O along as well, what was he doing!?. I dont recognise the caliber of your S/O with the people I flew with, and 250 hour cadets were not rostered on a two pilot 707/VC10, only on three crew sectors.
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Old 7th May 2011, 15:29
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Comments above re. ' all will be well if 200hr f/o rostered with experienced Capt.'.
All will be better, thats it.
A fairly recent 'incident' (AAIB report available) proved that Capt. (TRE) was unable to intervene and save the day when cadet failed to flare in AIRBUS FBW aircraft. Went to the sim to re-create the scenario and nobody that tried could intervene in time due to the inability of the system to cope with dual inputs.
On older types it would be OK.
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Old 7th May 2011, 15:43
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You can teach most people to fly a 320/737 or similar when they have just passed out of a 200 hr CPL course. To date, the majority 200 hour pilots that I've flown with are pretty (very) reasonable pilots but are often, not surprisingly, poor operators. That only really comes with experience. So if I were to kick the bucket in flight, they would safely land somewhere but might choose an airport without a towbar and still park in a push back stand. Although inconvenient to the company it would be safe. Quite legitimately they could put command time in their logbook but most importantly, the flight would have a "safe" conclusion.

To me what is really worrying are the terms and conditions of these 200 hour guys. How are they living? Are they sleeping in tents or the back of their cars? Do they have second jobs to help with their loan repayments? These are things that should really worry the SLF. Because the guy to turns up unfit for work, he is a danger to everyone around. And even worse are the morals of their senior colleagues who allow this to happen. They are the real scumbags! And I've seen it myself. I've personally experienced the senior guys, in return for an additional increments, voting for 2nd and 3rd rate terms for their junior colleagues.
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Old 7th May 2011, 16:12
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CESSNAPETE
For many years BEA/ BA recruited Hamble/ Oxford/Perth trained cadet pilots who joined the 737/757/767A320 fleets with 250 odd hours on shorthaul routes.
Proper initial supervision and rostered with experienced Capts for six months ,no problems.
It's the TRAINING that counts not the hours. The 1500hour FAA new limit is meaningless without good inital selection and tuition.
And, from my many years experience in BA, for the ''what if the Capt dies/engine out/ IFR to limits approach brigade'', they would still cope!!


How right and wrong you are!

Hamble trained around 10% of the numbers the forces were training in the 60s - but one needed much higher education qualifications.

Then they chopped 33% to get an even higher standard! (although the last CFI denies that).

Britain's worst aviation disaster killed 118, my best friend was in the RHS.

Our training was so bad that many captains tried to off load us but were blackmailed to take us along - often as long as we didn't touch anything.

If we were allowed to attempt to land the beast then it was only at Heathrow with another pair of hands fighting us.

Experienced captains! yes certainly had experience on Lancs but some couldn't fly the Trident themselves.

One of the management instructors did most of his Tristar conversion with the auto pilot plugged in.

Wasn't the only total loss with experienced Captain and inexperienced FO.

The salaries were such that it took 6 years to get the same dough as the rest of the industry was paying after one year.

My parents fortunately subsidized me for my time at Hamble and for the next four years.

I also restored cars on the side whilst others became gardeners/builders/car dealers and one bought and sold clocks!.

Still we didn't need to sell our bodies as some others in the company did!

So no change there in 40 years then! ( not BA but the industry!)
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Old 7th May 2011, 16:40
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There's nothing wrong with an 150/200hr f/o. And there's always someone with experience in the left had seat.

The whole low pay/pay to fly scheme is at fault. It should be banned.
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Old 7th May 2011, 17:01
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The whole industry has changed in 30 short years.There are no aviators left,just sytemoperators with a big mortgage,thousands of automated hours,no union,and no integrity.Companies like CTC and airlines like easyjet/ryanair thrive nicely on it.Many factors are involved;deregulation, low-cost,fuel prices,CRM,advanced automated cockpits,pilots with civilian over military backgrounds etc.Pilots used to come almost exclusively from the military where training is always excellent and honor and integrity valued.You wont be able to push a military guy around in the same way that you can with a 22 year old kid out of college.
Clearly 200 hours is insufficient to operate as a competent co-pilot but keep telling yourself that theyre very keen and quick-learners and you'll start to believe that everything is okay.Just keep the automatics engaged and pray they work.You used to start at the bottom and work your way up.The "I paid 50k,I want it now" generation is running the asylum and the passengers are probably oblivious so why not?Anyhow,maybe you only need 200 hours to fly an Airbus.I heard they fly by themselves.
I wouldnt be a pilot again today if they paid me a small fortune.
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Old 7th May 2011, 17:01
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Let's look further ahead; but first a little sideways. As has been said a well trained 200hr cadet can do a satisfactory job of line flying a B737. I've checked them on LST and flown with them on the line. Excellent trained monkeys. The SOP's are so solid & rigid that a blind trained monkey, if following them, will do a satisfactiry job; assuming a 'nothing goes untoward type of day'.
This trained monkey factory then churns out 3000hr captains, who then teach (perhaps) more new cadet monkeys in their daily line flying. The on the job learning curve of which many speak is very diluted. Thus it is not surprising to hear of some astonishing actions by said 3000hr captains from said trained monkey factory. They first think what the book says they should do, if the scenario is written down, pause for thought because they can't quite remember it too accurately, and thus what should have been done sooner rather than later happens a few moments later, should the ensueing confusion about what the book says have been resolved. Airmanship is not their first instinct. Thus some days they are very reactive not proactive. It is this that concerns me; less then 4000hrs total in the flightdeck, with sometimes the slightly short sighted leading the blind. The art of multi tasking, processing a multitude of snipets of info and then acting in good timely manner is not as strong a trait as it was. One cause is the increased reliability of the equipment, another might be the rigid SOP's. LNAV & VNAV, auto-throttle etc have made it a much more relaxing job than before, but the alert airman is still necessary. Sadly I wonder if they are being produced any more to the level required.
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:23
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blind pew

Glad I joined BOAC, all we heard about BEA was true then!!!
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Old 7th May 2011, 20:07
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Low hour cadets are OK if they are a need because of lack of experienced pilots and/or the airline has a size that allows it to properly train young pilots and shape them according to their ideal of a pilot, and if they are considered as an important asset of the airline, the future captains which the airline will put in charge of millions of dollars in equipment filled with passengers.

Low hour cadets are not OK if they are hired instead of the experienced ones available in the market because it is cheaper and there are plenty of desperate low houred pilots to get a job no matter how ****ty the T&Cs are, and for this airline pilots are an annoyance and a cost which is just like any other equipment installed in the airplane.

There should be some kind of regulation that restricts the way line training is carried out, and when can be carried out. Some limit to the percentage of low houred cadets that can be rostered during a given period, for instance.
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