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FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

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FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

Old 29th Feb 2012, 08:00
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you might be interested in reading this:

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Old 29th Feb 2012, 12:01
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The new rules are to take effect in 2013, notwithstanding the 60 comment period. Remember, the US is an election, possible new president, new administration, new congress, and new senate away from the new rules taking effect.

Can you say the word Lobbyists?
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 17:17
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Thank God the FAA do support GA - without it the industry would be dead.

With a smaller military and fewer experienced pilots coming through the commuter airlines face a hard road ahead.

PT6: "Flying 3000 hours around the pattern is not the same as flying for a 135 company, or indeed a properly conducted cadet program."

At least the 3000h GA pilot would be able to land the aircraft! Sadly the current cadet route in europe is failing to give students enough hands on flying and this will only get worse with the new MPL which has around 70h actual flying and the rest in simulators (which are great for proceedures and SOP learning but aerodynamically very limited).

Thus far, apart from quite a few tail scrapes (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources...JZ%2012-08.pdf ,) strict SOPs, advanced aircraft and capable captains have held the system together.

Lufthansa and the 1980s BA cadet system were fine but the airlines are no longer willing to fund advanced training over the pond - in fact many now sell the front RHS without offering employment after so called "Line Training" / Pay to Fly.

Some concerned pilots are now going into print:

Letter to BALPA

CHIRP: 1/2012: "I find the present bunch of junior First Officers very keen
and motivated but sadly woefully undertrained. They
have been taught to master the Flight Management
System but not taught the basics of flying or landing the
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 17:34
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The kind of cadets I'm talking about are of the Lufthansa variety. Lufthansa group being a company that does still fully fund cadet pilot training.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 20:24
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Looks like part 135 guys will get the shaft, as no 121 street captain options will be available to them if they need 1000 hours in what I am assuming is 121 operations.
135.243 requires an ATP for turbojet ops or planes with 10 pax seats or more or if it is a commuter operation under 119. But there aren't many street captains in the US except for start ups and they usually look for pilots with time in type which they most likely got at another 121 carrier.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 20:27
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Well, in todays reality lufthansa cadets have to pay back 60k€ once they start working on a lufthansa flightdeck. It is not free, however the pay and repayment schedule is very comfortable. By the way, initial basic training aircraft is a beech bonanza, advanced training is done on cessna CJ1s.

Thorough training is a key and something succesfull cadet programs do. However, do not confuse it with pay to fly programs where some might get trained and then put on the line simply because they paid up, wether they are able or not to do it right. The above linked accident is sadly something that came out of exactly that mindset.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 20:56
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The point is with the US system it's representative of expertise whereas with the Euro system it's more representative of experience gained with your hand held the whole way there.
Well, mine was a long time ago. Brit CPL, then Senior Commercial, then ALTP. (yep) So let me protest a bit, and paint a picture at the same time.

1962 ish. No hand-holding. DC3 FO. Viscount, 1-11, back to DC3 for first command. All based on being able to fly the aircraft . . . really fly it. Some of the routes were more than a tad demanding, and at first, done 24/7 with no weather radar. Got some serious thrashings in CBs then.

The exams took 3 days. Middle aged invigilators saying things like, 'Pens down, gentlemen, please.' Then about another three days on Performance A, First type rating, radio license etc., etc.

It was all SELF FUNDED - the initial IR costing circa six weeks wages a go. I have to say, the CPL written was a wake-up call for a young chap that had left school at 14 with no exams passed whatsoever.

circa 1985, for my American ATP I checked in Flight Training?? Testing?? inc. in San Antonio, I think it was. A man called Randy (his name was cast into his belt buckle) sat with his boots up on his desk. Somewhere from under his huge hat came a voice telling me I had six hours.

I took one, and wondered what the heck I'd missed. I rechecked the paper and wrote a long screed about why a performance question was wrong. It turned out to be the only question I got 'wrong.' Total time, one hour - thirty minutes.

The flight test was done in a 172 as the 727 operation had folded and the Seneca I was due to fly the next day got spread down a runway.

I don't think there is comparison, the Brit exams had given a Cambridge physics graduate a tough time. 'nothing that hard, but so much of it.' was how he described it. The American ones were a method of checking for a reasonable level of ability to BEGIN learning the science of aviation.

I've no issues with the American way, heck, I spent a week learning how to swing a compass in the UK, and I only ever did this once in the next 40 years.

It sounds like the Euro exams are very modernized. Just as well, really.

But as for the flying. Well, no one now is going to get a modern airliner with a skipper that's been through WWII. Some of those empty sectors were . . . educational. Airlines can't afford today's costs, there is no possibility of funding real flying training . . . unless of course, the cost is carried on the broad shoulders of the relevant nation.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 23:38
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Thumbs down This generation does have it easier!

The flight time for getting on with a regional is ridiculous! I paid my dues and to get on with a regional at the time, I had to have 2500 TT, 1000ME, and at least some time at a 135 operation. Now these kids are coming out of Embry-Riddle feeling entitled and cocky with the full expectation of walking into a RJ job at a regional with 250+ hours. As many of the previous posts state, you can't short experience and those 250 hour pilots jumping in to the right seat of an RJ are deer staring into headlights flying into PHL at night during bad weather. I know, I've had them over there in the right seat when I was at a regional. They can't multi-task worth a darn. In fact, you have to spoon feed them for what they can handle and you have to take on the extra slack.

I'm also a little irked also by this new proposal giving breaks to the aviation degree programs at colleges and universities. Really, those guys are better pilots than other pilots that came through good 141 schools? In fact, I taught at a 141 school where the local university sent their students for flight training! They graduate with their hot shot commercial license with an instrument rating and they think they are ready to fly lead for the Thunderbirds! Paaleeeease! Those degrees are pretty worthless and with the dynamics of this industry, they would be better served by getting a real degree in something other than aviation. At least they might be able to fall back on that real degree instead of slinging burgers when they get furloughed the first time. At the major I fly at, I've had some of those folks as interns and I've seen the cockiness first hand. These guys need to pay some dues and really appreciate what this industry is all about (while gaining valuable experience in the meantime!).

I can buy the military exemption since the fighter guys have short sorties and the military has excellent and tough training requirements.

So, there you have it...1500 hour minimum is not outside reason but it needs to be quality time as well! I would say that this whole thing is a massive knee-jerk in reacting to the outcry from the Colgan crash. Once again, our ridiculous politicians jump on to an emotional issue and legislate to gain positive notoriety where none was needed given the safety record of this industry. Amazing feat by the great regional captains we have out there covering for the rookies with very low time!
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 00:49
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We should not be hiring underqualified junior pilots so the new rule will prevent that. Good for the FAA, bad for Embry Riddle.
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 13:42
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Great: if you have flown 1500 hours in a crappy old Cessna and get one of those get a CPL in a week courses Commercial Pilot Training - Accelerated Commercial Pilot License - Flight Training Course (ASEL) you are such a good Aviator! That will make our industry soo much safer!

What will the lawmakers come up with next: it is better to get a crappy medic who has put on 1500 bandaids then a properly trained Doctor because although he was trained better but only admitted 250 bandaids... Clearly it is quantity that counts and not quality in the land of the blind LOL

Ohh and while we at it: Don't bother to look at impossible workschedules, salaries at regionals that push pilots in bunkhouses, lack of oversight by the FAA, cheap training by the regional airlines and all the other reasons that where at the core of the ColganAir crash! Those things don't make for great soundbites in Congress so go for the easy mistake instead...

Rant over
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 15:26
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@No RYR, Unless said pilots are a total dunce, a 1500hr pilot is going to have some more experience than a 250hr pilot who has spent half those hours with an instructor and 75% of the PIC time messing about practicing Steep Turns and Forced landings.

1500hrs is a lot to get. Unless the parents are fantastically wealthy, a pilot of that many hours must have had a job somewhere in GA.
Took me 2yrs to get 1300hrs while working 6 days a week.
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 18:19
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The problem in your example is that you're assuming the pilot mills provide "quality training".
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 18:40
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The "mills"are IMHO 10 times better than the US "get any hour anywhere" approach as long as airlines are involved in the training. The whole point I am making is just that: it should focus on quality not politically mandated quantity!
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 19:07
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After the usual senseless drivel about how much better UK CAA trained pilots are compared to FAA trained pilots, we're finally getting to the point :

...they would be better served by getting a real degree in something other than aviation.
1. With the job market what it is at the moment, what would be a good way to stimulate wannabe pilots to get a real degree in a field that gives them a reasonable chance of a daytime job that transcends flipping burgers ?

2. What is wrong / unsafe about the current system (i.e. allowing for a low hour CPL in the right hand seat to build hours and experience) ? Is there statistical evidence on incidents or operational reports that support such a change ?

3. My first flight instructor was one of those aviators who got his ATPL after 1500 hours in a variety of singles, some of it instructing, most of it self flying, funded through his daytime engineering job. Earlier, he had his CPL through one of those accelerated courses (not the one advertised). He since paid for his own 737 type rating. With his judgement, skill and experience, I frankly see no reason why he would not qualify as a good FO on an airliner (not that he'd ever want that - he instructs as a hobby and is making 4 times the salary of a first officer while never leaving the ground).

4. What would the curriculum of a young aviation enthusiast that wanted become an airline pilot look like post the proposed FAA regulation ? Would it still be doable ? Or would you actually need to develop a two-track career ?
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 19:10
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That is where we differ greatly, I'd put more trust in a GA pilot than I would in the average mill pilot. For one, their decision making/financial skills must be pretty weak to go spend +$50,000 when the same licenses, ratings and training can be received for $20,000 tops in the "get any hour anywhere".
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 23:03
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Being not financially supported I paid by the hour working at a gas station and a steel mill later to get my initial ratings. Then working as a flight instructor and charter pilot getting my ME and ATP and a few corporate jet type ratings. A couple years then flying corporate in a 4 engine Jetstar was lucky enough to get my first airline job with a small company flying 737s. Most of this time was PIC but when I got my airline job I was lucky to get hired with 5500 hrs and 1500 jet, most PIC because the competition was fierce.

My pay was 700 per month on probation for one year which went to 19 months do to a furlough but I was happy. The largest airline in the US then bought us and I retired with a good sum.

I guess that is why I am not sympathetic to the pilot mill guys who now will have to pay some dues as I did not being able to have Daddy put them in the right seat of an airliner with 250 hrs.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 04:22
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I don't see any problem with pilots building time flying FAR Part 135 on-demand stuff. It builds character and good know-how because at most 135 operators the pilot has to do everything themselves. Also flying to random airports with little or no notice keeps you proficient at reading charts, adhering to procedures, and maintaining superior situational awareness.

However I don't think flying as an instructor creates quality pilots. I've found in many cases CFIs that are hired at my company struggle a great deal more during training than pilots coming from other backgrounds. Our check airmen and I have theorized about this and think it could be because as a CFI or CFII the instructor isn't building any actual instrument time. This coupled with the over-familiarity many instructors have with their home base, their lack of actual "stick" time, and the fact that training is usually conducted in fair weather makes for weak skills.

I think flight instructing is a good stepping stone into the 135 world, but from an airline perspective I think there should be a step between instructing and flying for a scheduled carrier.

That's just my two cents, though.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 14:43
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The "mills"are IMHO 10 times better than the US "get any hour anywhere"
approach as long as airlines are involved in the training...
You are entitled to your opinion.

But in my opinion, having worked in training, flight standards and a Chief Pilot's office, you are wrong. You find good pilots from all backgrounds, but to make one with an arrogant sense of entitlement, poor motivation and laziness -- that takes a pilot puppy mill.

Someone who has built 1500 hours clearly wants to be in aviation and has probably learned a few things along the way, both about aviation and life. They will have a degree of maturity and won't need a silver spoonectomy.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 18:40
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I'm sitting out here in Africa where there is a total plague of 250 hour CPL and above pilots fresh out of flight school. With the right contacts etc they move straight from a Baron/152 to co-pilot or cadet in the local regional airline. All of these guys are nice and have the basic right intentions but they're in a system which is more concerned with churning out certificates than any practical handling capability or knowledge. We're a disaster waiting to happen.

If the FAA wants to avoid taking the same path as we are, all kudos to them. If I'm sitting at the back of a "Heavy" anything into marginal conditions, I REALLY want to know that BOTH crew have more experience than I do, are both capable of making key decisions, and actually know what they're doing. If that means a basic standard of 1500 hours, that's the least I am comfortable with.

Cadets are at best a short cut method to getting the rating, or getting the requisite number of crew. Give it whatever name you like, insist on as much training gimmicks or checklists or whatever, at crunch time there is nothing like real experience. It might not be PC to bring this up, but would Air France have had a different result over the Atlantic with crew with more real experience.

Another point to consider - what other profession in the world takes a newly qualified individual with little experience and puts them in charge of training the next generation of individuals. Never understood that. For example I ended up being trained as a CPL by someone who had less hours than I did as a PPL!! Imagine a doctor with not even the experience of a first stitching case being put in charge of training someone who plans to conduct brain surgery..... Somethings seriously back to front.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 22:01
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Read the above reports and tell me most people don't think they have to earn their RH seat. 1500 hrs make them earn it and make them safer pilots. No 250 hr pilot is really safe, he is just licensed. How would you like to get heart surgery from somebody just out of Med school? I wouldn't.

My first ATP student in the Citation Jet had no clue I had never trained anyone before. I waited until he passed to tell him, you were my first.
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