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FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

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FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

Old 3rd Mar 2012, 21:30
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Just curious why the negative view towards U.S. pilots in the rest of the world. According to IATA, North America beats out Europe, North Asia, Africa , South America, Central America, Caribbean and Asia-Pacific in terms of safety ratings (based on hull losses). Historically the United States has the largest, busiest, and safest aviation system in the world. Yet the rest of the world berates and degrades U.S. licensed/trained pilots as inferior to colleagues in the rest of the world.

I am studying for the JAA/EASA ATPL written exams right now. Yes they are very extensive and there is a lot of material. But the VAST majority of the stuff I am studying is totally unrelated to anything I have used in nearly two decades of professional flying, and over a decade of airline flying.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 21:42
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FAA licences

Something I have often pondered
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 22:17
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How would you like to get heart surgery from somebody just out of Med school? I wouldn't.
Happens all the time, under the supervision of a consultant surgeon.

Which is not dissimilar to a first officer flying under the supervision of a .........
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 04:38
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Exactly right. Go to a "teaching hospital," which typically are the most revered such institutions--Sloan-Kettering, Cornell Medical, Boston Women's, etc.--and you will be operated on by a team of excellent students overseen by an excellent surgeon.

But ask me about my Sloan-Kettering prostatectomy 15 years ago and I will explain how my sex life was ended by a well-meaning student's "oops..."
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 05:05
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Please don't be silly. Nobody is every operated by "somebody just out of Med school". A year or so after graduation as a general intern and then starting post-graduate training as a specialist. After that it'll be another two/three years of training/assisting before they're operating under supervision. Nobody operates "on their own" until they are board certified as a specialist.

The training is long and thorough - and in the old days (just like for you guys) it was much longer.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 05:12
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There is a lot of inappropriate arrogance about the higher level of academics required for the written exams in the JAA system.


Point is, it's irrelevant and provides no advantage in the real world. The Pilots of AF447 had JAA licences, where did that get them ?


I always find it ironic that, with the emphasis on 'Performance A' in this system there are so many accidents and incidents with misloading and / or incorrect computation of take off weights, v speeds and power settings by these same crews.

Last edited by stilton; 4th Mar 2012 at 09:57.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 06:38
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Hi there

Good point
Didn't have time to read the proposal.
Could it be that a type rating is valid only for the airline you are flying for?
At least they realised time has come to consider pilots as souls keepers and not costy figure.
I always have fight for pilot consideration and strict selection during all training and recruitment process just because this is a very special job that needs very special and highly qualified people.
The need for pilots is such that the prices are going to raise to the moon to get the most qualified and only rich airlines gonna survive.
This could have been avoided if managers politicians manufacturers and technocrats would have also been good professionals...
Time has come
Panic mode ON for recruitment teams
And that's only the beginning...
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 08:15
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Please don't be silly. Nobody is every operated by "somebody just out of Med school". A year or so after graduation as a general intern and then starting post-graduate training as a specialist. After that it'll be another two/three years of training/assisting before they're operating under supervision. Nobody operates "on their own" until they are board certified as a specialist.

The training is long and thorough - and in the old days (just like for you guys) it was much longer.

You're absolutely right of course, perhaps I over-simplified my point. However, at some point the surgeon is going to stick a sharp pointy object into a live human heart for the very first time. If it goes to **** you can bet your bottom dollar that the supervising consultant isn't going to stand there and watch whilst you use your 'harder/longer' training.

Similarly, there is going to be a first time that a pilot sits in the RHS in an airliner. Once again, if it all goes wrong it doesn't matter if you've got 10,000 hours - you're unfamiliar with the system and chances are you're not going to be the one that rectifies the problem.

Making pilots gain 1500 hours before such a task doesn't ensure good pilots, it just means they have 1500 hours. Perhaps you could argue it shows their determination, but it doesn't particularly give an insight into their quality. I work with plenty of people who have 40+ years experience and I'd swap some of them for staff 6 months out of uni in a heartbeat.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 15:49
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Exclamation experience and training matters

No "perhaps" in it olde bean!

One person on an operating table with 100s of staff available nearby who can assist a well trained doctor is quite different to 200+ people relying on an inexperienced pilot when the experienced one has died or become capacity saturated by an unexpected in flight senario.

Again how that co-pilot was trained and his/her own experience will determine the outcome. Sadly current airline training is woefully below current medical training in terms of over reliance on automation, poor selection (more about money and multiple guess questions in EU), and lack of mentoring by senior instructors/airline staff, degraded Ts&Cs and now lower fatigue protection through EASA FTL rule changes.

Forecasts 2012: Safety & security - Our expects place their bets on what to expect in 2012

" there has been a loss of pilot exposure to *anything other than pre-packaged flight planning, followed by automated flight on the line. In unusual *circumstances - non-standard or not automated - a lack of pilot resilience has led to fatal loss of control (LOC) accidents, making LOC the biggest killer category this century - taking over from controlled flight into terrain in the last."

FAA system is looking better than EASA for both FTLs and airline pilot starter experience levels - 1500h is still a licence to learn and it needs defining in term of quality. But too many autopilot jet jockeys seem quick to criticise Flight Instructional hours - even though those Instructors are the very people who first taught and trusted them to fly an aircraft solo! Those (QFI/CFI/FI) skills were foundational for the future learning of these critics on heavier, sometimes faster machines !

Last edited by greenedgejet; 4th Mar 2012 at 16:03.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 22:13
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Didn't take long for this to turn into a d!ck measuring contest between Europeans and Yanks / cadets vs GA pilots etc.

The real question is not who's better, it's will it or will it not raise the standard such that it will stop the predations of these airlines that are making kids pay for "line training" schemes and / or paying their FO's sub minimum wages.

If yes, then surely that's something we can all agree on, and hopefully we can all work together to pressure the authorities in Europe to adopt it also, and try to make it a worldwide minimum standard sooner rather than later.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 00:50
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Gentlemen, you got it all wrong. The FAA rule making regarding the 1500 hour qualification requirements is a kneejerk reaction pushed by ALPA to reduce the supply of pilots in the USA, hence driving up the pilot pay.

There is nothing wrong with that but you have to stick to the true reasons why. As Airline training in the USA under FAR 121 FAA supervise all operators the same. The assign POI is now limited to max two years with one operator, is does not matter if you fly for Delta or a small regional airline, the operation surveillance is identical.

The actual training is also identical, it does not matter if you fly an RJ or a B777 and the training requirements are absolutely the same. There are some few exceptions.

The majority of airlines in USA are now under the AQP program Ops Spec A34, Southwest Airlines refuse to participate due to cost, AQP is slightly more expensive that old fashion training. I take a 200 hour FO any day if he have received proper training, if he/she completed and AQP course with an airlines he is 1000 time better that a 1500 CFI. What is a 1500 CFI nothing more than 1 hour of traffic patterns 1500 times.

The airplanes we fly today is very electronic, and you manage the flight deck, 20 some years ago when I started you actually had now how to fly. (Just kidding, well almost) This is all about supply and demand, the world pilot pool is shrinking, and there will be a huge demand for pilots in the future, not in the USA but everywhere else, India, China etc. The airlines will lobby for lower requirements once the supply dries up.

So in the end it all comes down to training: and there is nothing and No Airlines in the world that can beat the FAR 121 training in the USA. I base that on my background, I have 20 years of Airline training background, all over the world, I have trained pilots in an airline environment in Middle East, China Russia, all over Europe and South America. This has nothing to do with the intelligence of the actual pilot it is strictly based on the cultural differences; the thought process is just different. A Chinese pilot is not taught critical thinking the way an American etc.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 03:50
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Apples and Oranges

Peter,

For a bloke that is apparently as smart and widely experienced as you advertise yourself to be, why would you persist in such a ridiculaous comparison:

I take a 200 hour FO any day if he have received proper training, if he/she completed and AQP course with an airlines he is 1000 time better that a 1500 CFI.
Is anyone proposing that the "1500 CFI" would jump in the right seat with no training at all? Yet you insist on comparing him/her with a person who has "completed and AQP course with an airlines (sic)".

We are talking about prerequisite experience at the entry point to airline training.

Notwithstanding personality and related suitability issues, would I rather have a candidate who has been trained in a rigorous integrated course or a person who has been essentially self-taught? I'll take the former.

Would I rather have a candidate who has been trained in a rigorous integrated course and has been out in the real world for 1500 hours or one who did the same course but has no other experience? I'll take the former.

What I really want is a candidate who has been trained in a rigorous integrated course and has been out in the real world for 3-4000 hours, who has flown in several different classes of operations and who has flown in pistons, turboprops and may be even a light jet, all with reputable operators who have provided solid training, good safety cultures and performance-based supervision.

Can we all just start comparing apples to apples in these debates, please?
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 09:35
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Just as a point of perspective.

Why do the Airlines want to hire the inexperienced and the 'integrated'? Why don't the airlines want to train their own 'Aircraft Managers' anymore? After all the aircraft and the Airlines safety record are critical business assets to any airline. Ask the CEO of a blacklisted airline how many premium bookings they get and it won't be many!

Simply put it is cost. Newbies cost less to keep, they have paid for their own training and it is only beholden on the Airline to train them to the minimum required for legal operation, i.e. LPC/OPC. The day to day line experience can be pulled along by experienced Captains, until the day comes that the experienced Captain suffers a problem and isn't there any more!

The whole cutting of the training has resulted from immense pressure on airlines to cut costs in a harsh, over capacity operating market. Why are airlines, $ for mile, the cheapest form of public transport in the world (notwithstanding Ming How the cheapest rickshaw driver in Bangkok but I believe he is a private enterprise)?

Perhaps when the passengers realise that they have a direct fiscal input into ensuring that those in the front, with whom they have entrusted their lives, are entitled to fair renumeration for their skill set then maybe Airlines will have the finances to invest properly in those who fly their aircraft.

While we continue to plumb the depths of cost cutting to provide 'Joe Bloggs' with a seat cost less than the fuel cost we will never see proper, considered, investment in pilot training. We will, generally, be the buffer that smooths out the fuel price spikes.

Personally I believe an Airline funded Cadet system, based upon pilot selection which considers skill and suitability, run internally either at airline cost or bonded, is a far better system of ensuring suitable entrants to the cockpit. Having 250 hours or 1500 hours is irrelevant if the basic skill set is not there or the applicant is someone who you can sit in a locked box for 12 hours with. I've seen military pilots with 3000+ hours who couldn't transfer their skill sets to civilian aviation and 250 hour Cadets who's willingness to learn and natural ability made them a fantastic asset in the cockpit. Obviously the inverse applies as well.

Correct selection based on personality and ability is the key, not the ability to pay. When they are in the job, allow them such a wage as to be able to live in a condition which is condusive to reporting for work adequately rested and refreshed. Allow a roster which does not induce fatigue due to over work or the demand for overtime in order to pay the bills.

This won't happen until the ticket prices reach sustainable levels.

All IMHO of course!

A109, S61N, UH-1D, MBB105, EC135, A319/320/321, B777

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Old 5th Mar 2012, 11:13
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Stilton:

Point is, it's irrelevant and provides no advantage in the real world. The Pilots of AF447 had JAA licences, where did that get them ?

The 2 pilots on commands have been hired at 200 hours, cadet scheme or the like.
After their CPL they had nothing else but Airbus experience (so no manual, no stall experience, even in the sim).

The FAA is 100% right.

Coming right at 200 hours in an airliner will make you miss all the basic training you'd get as an instructor, then charter/GA... pilot.

The Calgan 3407 crash was a wake up call for the FAA.
I hope the AF 447 could wake up the JAA.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 12:48
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4 Dogs,

You have a good point and I agree, the 2nd point that I faild to bring up is attitude, I have heard and seen numerous 1500 hr CFI's comenting on the their level of experience and with an attitude of they earned and pay thier dues vs the 200 hour guy.

I like training that is my forte, nothing beats good training, regardless of background and flight hours.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 13:03
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KAG,

The 2 pilots on commands have been hired at 200 hours, cadet scheme or the like.

It is not a scheme, it is about supply and demand, and cost.


After their CPL they had nothing else but Airbus experience (so no manual, no stall experience, even in the sim). This is a result of poor training, have you flown with a french guy latley?

The FAA is 100% right. Wrong, This was pushed through by the pilot union, decrease supply and increase pay.

Coming right at 200 hours in an airliner will make you miss all the basic training you'd get as an instructor, then charter/GA... pilot. So your point is to take the least expereinced pilot and make him an Instructor so he can learn? is that not an OXMORON

The Calgan 3407 crash was a wake up call for the FAA.

The Colgan crash was a result of screewed up work rules and duty time requirements in USA, However the airline lobbied from not adressing that issue due to cost and settled on increase the F/O requirements. If you look at the total picture and the outcome of the decision; In the long run you will eliminate competition and upstart airlines, the supply of pilot will be so low that the 1500 guy will be hired at all major airlines, there will be very few of them. Pilot pay will increase, that is a good thing.

FAA faild to adress the dutytime and work rules,
2nd Colgan is very well politically connected in the USA, and not an AQP airline.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 13:07
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Wirbelsturm,

Ask the CEO of a blacklisted airline how many premium bookings they get and it won't be many!

What is a black listed airline? and were can I get a hold of the list?
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 13:15
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Here you go:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/doc/list_en.pdf

Enjoy.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 15:29
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@KAG as usual, not very much to the point, right?

Of course all AF guys had other flying experience than just airbus after 200 hours of cadet school, read the report. In fact only the two copilots were cadets, the captain never was.

And surprisingly both colgan air pilots had more than 1500 hours. The first officer actually had pretty much the profile you demand, close to 1500 hours upon being hired by colgan, worked as an instructor, and then she just helps crashing a fit to fly airplane by selecting a different flap setting without command during a stall recovery, great GA training right at work.

All in all a very, well, light touch on reality in your post there. By the way, could you give us a complete list of qualifications that are absolutely necessary for airline flying that one aquires during those years as instructor, charter and GA pilot?
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 15:59
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Exclamation

Peteroja:

You clearly have some insight into FAA/US flying but have missed the point regards what is happening in Europe who have far more experience than USA when it comes to hiring low houred pilots straight into RHS of an A320 after under 250h.

Suggest you read PPRUNE threads about the approved cadet schemes, Flexi Crew working conditions and Pay to Fly passengers (to get line hours on type) all of which have happened on UK airlines over the past 3 years.

Removing politics and heresay about the accidents mentioned will clarify the real causes:

Colgan: Stall/Spin accident - FTLs/Fatigue whilst contributory were not outside FAA legal rest minimums. The Q400 was not unflyable due to icing. It was pilot induced error and poor training with little experience - the Captain had failed previous flight tests and had low hours (around 600 total) on joining the airline The FO had 6 h of Instrument flying (all in nice conditions), no ice experience (all her previous flying was in dry Western USA), she did not monitor the aircrafts attitude or speed on approach and actually worsened the stall by retracting flaps (undemanded) whilst the captain was increasing angle of attack with aft control column and adding power (both actions made stall worse).

"The airplanes we fly today is very electronic, and you manage the flight deck, 20 some years ago when I started you actually had now how to fly. (Just kidding, well almost)"


Yes and no. This is rather out of date thinking in the light of so many recent accidents. Automation 20 years ago was hailed as the best thing since sliced bread. Pilots were told it could fly much better than they could.

Airbus Test pilots actually said Line pilots needed more training to understand the systems and Airbus logic. However, Airbus sales departments sold the aircraft as easier to fly with so many protections that airlines could cut the cost of pilot type ratings. The result was less training and more reliance on automation.

It is now recognised that pilots need to be more than FMS managers. They need to be able to fly again. For the past 11 years, Loss of Control is the biggest killer in Western Jet Airliner accidents.

This is why the European model of approved flight training/low houred cadet model is being questioned. 10 years ago it was CRM and SOPs and so the MPL was promoted in line with your statement about being autopilot managers, but the accidents are showing how under experienced pilots are even with 3000h Boeing/Airbus time because many don't know how to recover from an automation induced stall.

I hope the FAA don't adopt MPL in the USA as it currently stands. 70h actual flying and less solo time than a Private Pilot's Certificate means an over reliance on Simulators that are not aerodynamically close to real aircraft and lower student confidence in their raw data flying ability.

Sure there is a place for approved/cadet type schemes as long as there is full mentoring by airlines and real hands on flying, including upset recovery technique that should be practiced annually (for experienced Line pilots as well).

Lufthansa's cadet scheme works because they front up the costs and it includes flying a Citation long before flying the heavier aircraft on the line. The schools that sell MPL are very variable in what they offer self sponsored students.

It's not about bashing cadets - its' about challenging the schools and airlines who don't teach them enough. It should not be about bashing Flying Instructors either - after all who on earth taught you to fly? Who instilled in you a sense of airmanship? Who sent you first solo?

I would prefer to send my family up with the person who has given Quality flight instruction. I seriously doubt the CFI with 1500h would have spent it just doing pattern work - but at least such a person could land an aircraft!

Good CFI's have taken responsibility by sending their students solo, operated for over a year in Class C airspace, and (in the EU at least) operated in all weathers, taught how to recover from stalls and spins, practiced engine out forced landings, flapless approaches, short and soft field landings and navigated both night and day and in IFR even if that was mostly in a C172 than the current MPL any day!
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