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Use of low time pilots slammed

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Use of low time pilots slammed

Old 18th May 2011, 12:51
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Were 2 FO's at the controls and if so why did Capt plan his rest that way(airmanship)?
I guess you do not fly augmented LR. Today's rostering is so tight, the fatigue level so high, that you need to pre-plan your rest by arriving fully rested or maybe a little tired. Any change to the given rest pattern needs to be coordinated before the flight with the concerned crew.
Sounds stupid? Well, that's what it is in my company at least. We have a rest plan for your entire time off that pretty much tells you when to sleep, what to eat, drink and when to pee, all written down in the OMA!!!!!!
So try changing in flight and you're already on the hook for a breach of SOP. (you can just never win ...)

As to low timers. It is not the 200h FOs that are worrying. In most legacy companies who used ab initio pilots, thelatter earned their degree on short haul equippment and routes for some years, then upgraded.
Today the system puts them directly on long haul, more sophisticated aircraft and routes.

That does not work well.

Apart from the more complex aviation part on bigger equippment, the variation of the environment is exponential. For the rookie to get to know all the tricks it takes way longer.

That's not good.


In most companies today, the manpower and rostering is so tight, that there is no longer the possibility to roster an experienced guy with a rookie. I sometimes get two FOs, one just checked out and the other with 500h on type and neither of them has ever been to this place, flown this route. Now I have to get some rest during the 12 hours, don't I? Guess where the OMA has provided my rest in its sublime wisdom? You guessed right, over the Himalayas .....
(don't smartass me about 'then change your rest' or 'then tell the company to give you an expert FO' or other logical consequences: been there, done that, got bashed)


You can put low hours pilots in some cockpits, but not where some companies do it nowadays. The time frame, environment and equippment has to be adequate to learn about airmanship.

In aviation we should never skip steps.
But that is the main occupation of modern management.

Last edited by pool; 18th May 2011 at 15:38.
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Old 18th May 2011, 16:10
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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What Company is this that tells you as a Capt. how you conduct a particular flight en route?
In my Company the LR rest periods (B744) were left for the crew to organise on the day according to their wishes and experience. Taking into account of course any overriding FTL requirements on that particular sector.
Seems a bit heavy handed for management to dictate your in- flight decisions !!
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Old 19th May 2011, 15:24
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I would imagine that the majors do that so new hires are paired with more experienced captains. Anyone can fly and aircraft when all systems are go. In fact the aircraft is flying you. Just sit and enjoy the ride. What time and experience brings to the cockpit is decision making ability. That comes with time. Being included in many over ones career. Good decisions and bad. Learn from both. I just hope one of those new 200 hour guys or gals does not have a skipper down for the count at night, in weather and heading to somewhere like Wellington on a gusty night.
Again, no one here is assuming to know anything about the AF situation. Lets stick to the topic.

Last edited by gadpilot; 19th May 2011 at 18:33.
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Old 19th May 2011, 23:37
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Good thread.

A question for those old enough to have seen it happening. At what time did pilot recruitment start to shift towards favoring low hour cadets.
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Old 20th May 2011, 02:08
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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At what time did pilot recruitment start to shift towards favoring low hour cadets
The time when bean counters & marketing wiz kids took control of airlines & introduced us to the new mantra - Cost reduction is everything! They then linked their renumeration to cost cutting & the death spiral was entered.

Cost cutting is trashing the industry all over the world as the powers that be have cut all the fat away & are now well into the muscle.
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Old 20th May 2011, 03:56
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In many legacy carriers the ab initio programs used 200 to 300h cadets on equipment like 737, DC-9 for a long time already. However they had a thorough training program in house that took the cadets from scratch to the right seat. It took around 18 months minimum. The company philosophy was taught right from the beginning which made everyone talk the same language with the same sop.

That was safe.

The problems started when some of that training was outsourced, due to higher output demand, or when the new perverted breed of managers started the deadly cost cutting in training, as mentioned above.
Suddenly slightly different sops creeped in and the cheaper FBOs hired less experienced instructors, and the downward spiral started.

That's unsafe.

It is mainly at this point when the fakers appeared (see other thread). The low quality training companies didn't check thoroughly, they only wanted the lump sum for a paper and the less they had to fly, the cheaper for everybody. It went so far, that in India a gal got her license from a school without hangar and aircraft ...... (it belonged to Daddy, a regulator!!!!)

I would suggest that you can still put low timers in the right hand seat. The regulation should however demand, that they are trained IN HOUSE with a rigorously supervised syllabus.

Applicants from outside will still be needed, they pose a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
First it's all about training quality and somewhat compatible sops. They would require a thorough and supervised company screening and transition course.
Second it's even more about logged hours honesty. If you would sum up the logged hours on props and jets in India and similarly unsupervised regions, these countries would have needed to triple their aircraft parks.

I admit that it will be a huge challenge to clean up that Augias stable. The main pressure must come from the press and passenger associations, as the airlines, manufacturers and regulators have very little interest to dig deeper into their pockets, or to pull back their greedy hands.
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Old 20th May 2011, 10:38
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Were 2 FO's at the controls and if so why did Capt plan his rest that way(airmanship)
Not sure why you're dragging the AF accident into a "low hours" thread but FWIW one of the P2's had 3000 hours plus, the other 6000 plus.

If you really do want to go onto the subject of who takes crew rest and when , I'd certainly bear the route forecast in mind when timing breaks but unless there was a forecast of extremely exceptional conditions I'd certainly expect the co-pilots I fly with ( all 1000 hours ++) to be capable of transiting the ITCZ without difficulty.
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Old 20th May 2011, 15:36
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Low Time Pilots

Why not tell the PM that she has low time RAAF pilots flying her around the world? These guys, mostly under 30 with less than 1000 total time.......they don't see it as a problem. Why should anyone else?
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Old 21st May 2011, 16:28
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Attack Fighter 2.
The RAAF is not bound by ACAA regulations as far as I know. Would you compare private insurance to the National Health scheme . You're comparing apples to oranges. We are discussing Air Transport Ops.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 05:05
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Angry How superficial do you want to get?

Attack Fighter 2,

If you replicate the RAAF selection process, the training system, the squadron training and checking arrangements and the level of supervision, pilot categorisation and formal risk management for every flight, then the risk associated with low hour pilots are mitigated as low as reasonably practical.

No airline could or would accept the cost of doing business that way - and that is the problem!

Stay Alive,
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Old 22nd May 2011, 10:25
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Attack fighter sounds like he is a stooge for one of the training organizations. His burst is very similar to the arguments they are making to the Australian senate. Once people wake up to the terms and conditions on offer they are unlikely to attract a high level of entrant. Then we come to the quality and depth of training that is provided.

As an aside the junior guys on VIP jets were trained to a very high standard of manual flying skill first with automation being taught later.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 17:22
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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The Authorities set the criteria for undertaking a Type Rating, there is no requirement to be high hours and training experience shows that actually low hours pilots perform better in the type rating than high time pilots perhaps with embedded procedures they find difficult to shake off. Off course, in the actual MCC environment the previous experience can make line training a smoother process as many day to day things have been seen before.
When BA had the cadet process and you stood 1/600 chance of getting in, I don't recall all the nonsense being spouted then, surely some of this is frustration from experienced guys that cannot find work or are being hoop jumped by the low timers. The basic fact is all pilots start as low timers and it is much safer to learn in a disciplined MCC environment that flapping around in a C150, straying into controlled airspace and generally being a pain in the arse. The question of airlines properly supervising low timers and ensuring a compatible cockpit gradient is another matter, and without doubt, some of the Indian companies seem to be allowing inexperienced guys to effectively single crew while some jurasic Captain snores his way around Asia.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 19:06
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As one who was a cadet pilot with 250 hours in 1971 on the Boeing 707, one major difference between now and then is that you often had 4 or 5 crewmembers on the flightdeck - Captain, Senior First Officer (who also had a Flight Nav Licence), Flight Engineer and the new Second Officer.

As SO in the first 2 years or so you spent quite a lot of time observing the operation being flown by the two very experienced pilots and the FE and assisting with such tasks as getting the met and jumping in the L/RHS when the a/c was in the cruise especially across the oceans and/or when the Capt or SFO or even FE were taking a break.

Also in those days you had a restricted take off/landing card which was progressively derestricted as you gained more experience and underwent more landing training.

You were mentored by very experienced pilots/engineers and learned much in the process and observed, most of the time, how the operation was professionally run.

Now we give the new pilot a quick MCC course and he is thrown in the RHS on the line and expected to cope with a whole myriad of challenges. In the circumstances, given the environment we now operate in with increased traffic densities, some punishing schedules, the burden of huge bank loans, and the erosion of Ts and Cs I think most of them do a mighty fine job!
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Old 23rd May 2011, 02:55
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Smile Low time pilots

Well I did not realise my post would create so much heat.....in reply to BombsGone I take offence to the suggestion that I am somebodys stooge. I am a retired Airline Captain with 20000 hrs flight time. Re the RAAF situation....I saw a lot of them come across to the Airline I was with.....I did not see any stand out aces amongst them. They all must have gone to the opposition.....why is it that some pilots can only justify there attitude by scare mongering....eg the comment about going into Wellington on a dark night......You fly the aircraft through the sky to a 45 metre wide chunk of concrete...where it is is irrelavent. Just about every situation (not all) is covered by a checklist. Co-pilots have to demonstrate competency in simulators many times a year....how many Commercial jets have we lost in this country??........How many have the RAAF lost??.....The difference between RAAF and Airlines is that RAAF pilots crash planes and kill pilots.....take the B707 case as an example.....I am not here for an argument.....just stating things as I see them. CASA is the safety Regulatory body.......do they see a problem?? Have a nice day everone....
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Old 23rd May 2011, 11:32
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Attack Fighter 2, you use a military sounding handle for your first post, and then attack the military with your second? Your conduct in two posts hardly engenders respect. You may not be any ones stooge but it still sounds like you have a vested interest.

The 707 was not the RAAF's finest hour by any stretch, it was at its heart caused by a loss of experience to the airlines. The RAAF also had a relatively high accident rate through to the late 90's, operations were far more aggressive than required and not always in a smart way. The continued and rapid loss of experienced captains to the airlines did not help. Australian commercial airlines on the other hand have an excellent safety record anchored around a high standard of entrant and high experience levels. Whilst the RAAF has lifted its game significantly in the last 15 years, and safety stats back me up here, commercial aviation appears to be headed in the opposite direction.

As for CASA, I have seen very dodgy practices in commercial aviation that CASA turns a blind eye to. To quote a CASA official "we are not a safety organisation, we are a regulator".
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Old 23rd May 2011, 12:42
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Here we go again...........same whinge from the disgruntled masses who feel like they should get $500K a year to work three months a year flying an automated jet!

Some reality -
- The airlines are happy with the arrangements
- The cadets or trainees are obviously happy with the arrangements, let them worry about the training costs and bonds in any case.
- The regulators on both sides of the tasman are happy with the arrangements
-Passengers really could not care about who is up front or what they get paid as long as they get a cheap fare when they want it.
- It's totally legal and it will continue to happen
- It's called running a business and surviving competition
- It has not been proven to be such a high risk that it has stopped and despite your juvenile claims that "all management are penny pinchers" airlines do employ some pretty clever risk managers and human factors analysts to make these decisions when they place the lives of a few hundred people at risk. It's not all based on money guys - the flying game has changed, you just dont want to hear it!
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Old 23rd May 2011, 12:54
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Victor two, honestly I agree with the position that if its safe and cost effective it should be legal. I don't however share your faith in the risk managers or the regulator. There are aspect to the Jetstar scheme in particular that are concerning, as others have articulated.

Are you the same person as Attack fighter 2? Just asking as you seem to have a similar tone.
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Old 24th May 2011, 00:48
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Smile

Attack Fighter 2 here once more. I am certainly not Victor two, however I concur with his sentiments. I had six years in the RAAF before going to Airlines and I can tell you I would rather have a 25 yo with all his reflexes and quick mind in charge than a 55 yo who all he has done in his life is fly from one ILS to another with both auto pilots engaged......As a check captain I observed that the younger co-pilots performed a lot better than older pilots in command.........If you sit in the back seat of a simulator for some time you will see this time and time again. You can teach monkeys to fly. It is the only profession where joe public can go fly an aeroplane on weekends....I can't practice dentistry or medicine on weekends. Airline flying is easy... dull and boring, but easy. Try single pilot IFR in a muli-engine turboprop.....now thats a challenge. I recall flying one time with a new co-pilot.....he flew the first leg.......the aircraft was on rails all the way.....later I asked what experience he had.........he informed me that this was the first flight since being checked to line........I was blown away.....I have flown with new cadets and in the main they are absolutely brilliant.....these are the same age group guys that fly the PM around. When she visits the flight deck I don't think she would be too concerned to see these young switched on guys taking her around the world.......happy flying...
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Old 24th May 2011, 00:58
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In reply to GadPilot......If you find flying into Wellington in dark gusty conditions dual auto pilots engaged difficult, then I think you are in the wrong business. Take a look at the Cairns 33 LOC approaches.....
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Old 24th May 2011, 01:46
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Attack Fighter 2, sorry having read your posts I don't believe you were ever in the military and are miss representing yourself. I don't disagree with all your sentiments but I'll call a spade a spade when I see one.

Feel free to PM me your course number and a few details and I'll withdraw this assertion.
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