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FAA proposes to strengthen airline pilot training

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FAA proposes to strengthen airline pilot training

Old 11th May 2011, 21:09
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FAA proposes to strengthen airline pilot training

FAA proposes to strengthen airline pilot training

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Federal aviation officials proposed the most wide-ranging overhaul of air crew training in decades Wednesday, more than two years after a crash in western New York that was attributed to pilot error.

The Federal Aviation Administration proposal would require airlines to train pilots, flight attendants and flight dispatchers together in real life scenarios in more advanced flight simulators. That includes simulator training for pilots on how to recover from full stall in flight.

The proposal also would require remedial training for pilots with performance deficiencies such as failing a proficiency test or check, or unsatisfactory performance during flight training or a simulator course.

"The difference is that rather than just have a pilot execute a ... skill in isolation, the new training will require a more realistic and coordinated effort by the crew as if they were on a real flight," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt told reporters. "It will be a lot more lifelike."

Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed after experiencing an aerodynamic stall — a loss of lift brought on by too little speed — during a landing approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in February 2009. The stall caused the plane to plummet to the ground, killing all 49 people aboard and a man in a house below.

The National Transportation Safety Board later determined the flight's pilots failed to monitor the plane's airspeed and thus were surprised when a safety system known as a "stick shaker" activated, alerting them to the impending stall. The captain responded by pulling back on the plane's steering mechanism when the correct action that pilots are trained to take is to push forward to pick up speed.

The plane immediately went into a full stall, triggering the activation of another safety system known as a "stick pusher" because it points a plane's nose downward to pick up speed. The captain again pulled back hard when the proper response would have been to push forward.

Safety investigators estimated that even after the stick pusher had activated, the captain still had seconds to save the flight if he had taken the correct action.

The accident is considered especially noteworthy by aviation experts because of the wide array of systemic safety concerns revealed during the crash investigation, including several involving pilot training. For example, the stick pusher had been described to the captain in classroom training, but it wasn't included in simulator training. The final seconds before the crash may have been that the first time he'd experienced its activation.

The captain had failed at least five key tests of piloting skills during his career, but was allowed to retake each test. Despite his record, the captain wasn't singled out for any remedial or special training by Colgan Air, the regional carrier that operated the flight for Continental Airlines. Colgan said it was unaware of two of the test failures, which occurred prior to the captain's hiring.

FAA proposed updating pilot training requirements a month before the accident. Officials have spent the last two years reshaping the previous plan to reflect issues raised by the Flight 3407 investigation and to meet the requirements of a law passed by Congress in response to the accident.

FAA has "stepped up to the plate big time here," said victims' families spokesman Scott Maurer, whose daughter, Lorin, was killed in the crash. "We're pleased as a family group with the progress these folks have been making."
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Old 12th May 2011, 00:43
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more realistic flight simulators?

One of the great tragedies is the development of the combined windshear recovery and stall recovery....I should say approach to stall, impending stall, incipient stall.

Instead of pushing forward on the yoke, you are encouraged to pull back while adding power to minimize the loss of altitude...as this is like the windshear recovery, it actually hurts your ability to recovery from a full stall.

NUTS!!!!

Stall? Push forward until unstalled.

and if you are too close to the ground, you would probably have died anyway.

dear randy babbit, you are not impressing me!
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Old 12th May 2011, 08:30
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Instead of blaming the P2F cancer, they are pointing the finger at training! Well try to avoid to sell to rich kids TRs and 500h of line experience (experience my axx).
We all know the consequences ...

We need to reset the airlines business and restart from the get-go with different motivations.
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Old 12th May 2011, 10:16
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The usual response: Punishing all flightcrew because one bad apple failed to understand instructions during training (or was a faker).
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Old 12th May 2011, 10:54
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Sounds like LOFT or is this a new concept to the FAA? Just asking.
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:15
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chksix

How does this punish flightcrew?

Airlines have to give us more/better training.

Win win
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:23
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I have heard it all before. The airline training system will never have significant changes. Each operator trumpets how good their own training is and the local regulator nods wisely saying "YAY" we are a good regulator and see how good our airline audits are. Another major airline boasts it does extra special hot off the press unusual attitude recovery training.

Others including the military have been doing that for decades, so nothing new there.

So much depends on the skill and knowledge of the individual flight simulator instructor in any airline or training provider. If he/she is muzzled by the system then simulator recurrency or training becomes the same old regulator box ticking exercise with relieved pilots saying `Thank Christ that's finished for the next three months`

ICAO conferences are held, hugely expensive flight safety symposiums trundled out in Europe and SE Asia, cocktails are quaffed at these places and big wheels attend to network and meet up with old mates from other airlines.

But let's face it. Nothing tangible happens except everyone has a marvellous time with grand power point presentations made by top management pilots and manufacturers. Glossy brochures in resplendant graphic design colour schemes are handed around and later quietly disposed of in some operators tech library never again to see the light of day.
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Old 12th May 2011, 12:06
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Max reheat

What does LOFTstabd for? Lack of F@&¥ing Training?
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Old 12th May 2011, 12:17
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Introduce a limit in the number of hours you are allowed to train before being chopped if not good enough.

Might be difficult to enforce but there's bound to be a way. Seems silly that in a safety orientated business if you have the money you can throw as much time as you need into it until you are good enough... good enough is not, 'good enough'.

Military academies around the world have systems whereby each course in the training pipeline has a set number of hours. There is some flex for students who show improvement but if you don't make the grade you are out on your ear.

Give anyone enough time and they will manage to scrape a pass...

Smith

LOFT - Line Orientated Flight Training
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Old 12th May 2011, 13:03
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you are encouraged to pull back while adding power to minimize the loss of altitude...
Not in any airline I have flown with. Maybe its a yank thing.
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Old 12th May 2011, 13:23
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How does this punish flightcrew?

Airlines have to give us more/better training.

Win win
Unfortunately isn't always a win win ... depends on the airlines and in some cases it'll be lose lose (especially when the airline is not performing good)!
  1. In any economic down turn allowing to raise the standards will automatically imply the possibility to sand pilots home for stupid reasons.
  2. More training doesn't signify higher quality of pilots ... an the military are master in that! (if you don't meet the minimum standard in a certain time you are out!)
  3. There is no selection process in the civilian sector ... if you have money to afford an ATP and a line training on a Boeing or Airbus then you are a pilot! Self-sponsor TR are probably good for the TRTO wallet but really bad for the pilot market. And on the long run also the TRTO will not have their revenue ...
  4. The P2F is probably good for the airline, because the RHS seat pays the LHS seat pay-check, but safety is inevitably reduced. The moment you loose a plane with 150 POB, the day after you are out of business.
  5. The box is pretty much the same ... once you've learned the tips & tricks ... you might change the airport but other then that ... every three months the same old dance!
  6. Multiple contemporary emergency aren't realistic so not to be consider ...
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Old 12th May 2011, 14:33
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1. It also allows you to get rid of cr@p pilots.
2. No, but more training certainly won't make them worse, and most will get better.
3. If standards were higher, less dross would get through in the first place
4. I think higher standards will reduce P2F, because it will be too expensive for the duffers to continue failing trips
5. You can always make sims better, and no practice emergency is silly, they all increase capacity, knowledge, skills, comfort with the aircraft
6. For things that are not realistic, they happen surprisingly often....
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Old 12th May 2011, 15:16
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quote: Stall? Push forward until unstalled.


If it's a tail stall then you need to pull back. I hear you can get those in icing conditions.
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Old 12th May 2011, 15:25
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Rogered, I would sugest you read "Nose High, it will fly" by Boeing, belive me it works! Standard actions in shear conditions, not to be confused with stall recovery, but if this needs explaining to any pilot then maybe they are in the wrong seat!
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Old 12th May 2011, 15:43
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Originally Posted by ATPMBA
quote: Stall? Push forward until unstalled.

If it's a tail stall then you need to pull back. I hear you can get those in icing conditions.
Tail stall has been, to all intents and purposes, designed out by regulation for years. I would be shocked if there are any current, Part 25 or equivalent, aircraft which are susceptible to tailplane stall, even in icing conditions.
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Old 12th May 2011, 15:46
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Originally Posted by chksix
The usual response: Punishing all flightcrew because one bad apple failed to understand instructions during training (or was a faker).
More than one, sadly. The PTS for recovery from stall warning has bred a dangerous tendency for crews to prioritise minimizing altitude loss over recovering control of the aircraft. (I'm trying to be generous here, and assume there is some reason for the behaviour that's been seen; the alternative is that the crews concerned simply had no idea what to do in a stall.) Regardless, it seems clear that knowledge of stall recovery principles is weak amongst a large enough proportion of crews to be a threat.
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Old 12th May 2011, 16:34
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MFS,I totally concur with your two points above. You have indeed been generous in describing some operator’s attitude to training, which also IMHO, applied to some regulators.

Superficially, the new policy could be interpreted as ‘blame and train’, particularly as the FAA appears not to acknowledge many associated / underlying regulatory issues.
Pilots require appropriate training, but this must be built on a sound knowledge base and has to be continuously expanded in operations.

I agree with the calls for more LOFT, which I interpret as the need to develop skills in using basic knowledge; the application of basic flying principles. Previously this was the ‘experience’ gained in lengthy apprenticeships, but with increasing commercial pressures we do not have the luxury of time (training or flying experience), and many individuals now have different social expectations – instant gratification and advancement in the profession.
Thus the problem is how to gain (teach) experience; how to apply the essential knowledge of aviating.
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Old 12th May 2011, 17:02
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1. It also allows you to get rid of cr@p pilots.
2. No, but more training certainly won't make them worse, and most will get better.
3. If standards were higher, less dross would get through in the first place
4. I think higher standards will reduce P2F, because it will be too expensive for the duffers to continue failing trips
5. You can always make sims better, and no practice emergency is silly, they all increase capacity, knowledge, skills, comfort with the aircraft
6. For things that are not realistic, they happen surprisingly often....
  1. yes the company will also get rid of the pilots that are not really incline to brown nose the CEO!
  2. Absolutely, but more training increase the cost of a company that is already striving to safe money in the training department!
  3. correct and with the additional benefit of saving even more money in the training department!
  4. Yes I agree with you!
  5. Although modeling and simulation cost a lot, we hope geeks are making the sim software and hardware better, more realistic and more realistic emergency ... but a lot depends on how you use the sim and what kind of restriction you have in building scenarios. You need to set a standard scenario that every pilot in your company have to pass with a certain minimum performance! Union can always use the discrimination card.
  6. yes training is very important and as far as i recall recurrent sim used to be longer. But a dude one day said that considering modern airlines incident/accident statistics and the infallibility of new flying machine, the chances of getting involved in a simultaneous sequence of emergencies was highly improbable ... so LPC shorter (wrong from a pilot prospective, but money saver).
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Old 12th May 2011, 17:57
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rogerg

Seven stroke is correct. At horn, even shaker, the Colgan pilot of the line is taught to maintain pull on stick (pressure, not travel), and add power to fly through the warnings without loss of altitude +/- 50 feet, I think. Trust nothing the FAA says until you see it in the FARS and watch if it is enforced a couple times, just sayin'

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Old 12th May 2011, 19:39
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Will the new "realistic" training include
1. Company Bullying
2. Lack of proper rest
3. Poor wages
4. Base Changes at short notice
5. redundancy threat

yadda yadda yadda

These issues also need to be addressed...
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