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FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

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FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

Old 28th Feb 2012, 09:03
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Potential progress on the new FAA experience requirements

WASHINGTON– The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today proposed to substantially raise the qualification requirements for first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines.

Consistent with a mandate in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, the proposed rule would require first officers – also known as co-pilots – to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, requiring 1,500 hours of pilot flight time. Currently, first officers are required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time. The proposal also would require first officers to have an aircraft type rating, which involves additional training and testing specific to the airplanes they fly.

“Safety in all modes of transportation is our number-one priority,” said Secretary LaHood. “This proposed rule reflects our commitment to the safety of the traveling public by making sure our pilots are the most qualified and best trained in the world.”

“Our pilots need to have the right training and the right qualifications so they can be prepared to handle any situation they encounter in the cockpit,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta. “I believe this proposed rule will ensure our nation’s pilots have the necessary skills and experience.”

Other highlights of the proposed rule include:
A requirement for a pilot to have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in air carrier operations that require an ATP prior to serving as a captain for a U.S. airline.

Enhanced training requirements for an ATP certificate, including 50 hours of multi-engine flight experience and completion of a new FAA-approved training program.

An allowance for pilots with fewer than 1,500 hours of flight time, but who have an aviation degree or military pilot experience, to obtain a “restricted privileges” ATP certificate. These pilots could serve only as a first officer, not as a captain. Former military pilots with 750 hours of flight time would be able to apply for an ATP certificate with restricted privileges. Graduates of a four-year baccalaureate aviation degree program would be able to obtain an ATP with 1,000 hours of flight time, only if they also obtained a commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating from a pilot school affiliated with the university or college.

The proposal addresses recommendations from an Aviation Rulemaking Committee, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the FAA’s Call to Action to improve airline safety.

The proposed rule can be viewed at: http://archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/ The public may comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication on February 29.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 11:28
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Trash du Blanc
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Say it with me now....

"We just can't find enough americans to do these jobs...."
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 11:36
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Pony up the bucks... then they'll come out of the wood work.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 15:16
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Exactly, the experience will not come free. Nor should it.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 17:48
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Exclamation FAA seeks to raise Airline Pilot Standards

Aviation Today :: FAA Proposes to Raise Airline Pilot Qualification Standards
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 18:03
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Good start.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 19:02
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Is it possible to obtain an FAA ATP without flying in multi- pilot aeroplanes, apart from the required type rating? Out of general interest?

Last edited by Da-20 monkey; 28th Feb 2012 at 19:13.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 19:20
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Yes you can get an FAA ATP flying nothing bigger than a piper cub basically.

Not like its European counterpart that actually puts the "Airline" in Airline Transport Pilot (with the required 500 hours MPA)
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 19:34
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But then again someone can spend their entire career needing an ATP to fly a 6 seat single engine aircraft in the US. It's not just a gimmick.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 19:43
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Interesting. Would this change the US employment market significantly? Perhaps higher starting salaries for new FO's at the regionals?

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Old 28th Feb 2012, 19:44
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At the moment the US licensing system is not geared up to train airline pilots.

It is setup towards GA, leaving the rest of the training to the airlines.

Unfortunately, the airlines have not been filling the gap of knowledge from licence holder and maybe flight instructor to airline pilot.

I think it would be better to set upto two routes to the airlines in the US.

Cadet pilot via an approved airline specific training program.

Or x amount of hours from a 135 type carrier.

Flying 3000 hours around the pattern is not the same as flying for a 135 company, or indeed a properly conducted cadet program.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 00:25
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Just to be pedantic the FAA does not issue pilot 'licences' it issues 'certificates'.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 00:36
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When I got hired in 1979 everybody in my class was overqualified. We all had over 5,000 hrs and 1,000 jet experience. The US has never had a problem hiring qualified airline pilots.

I think if airlines paid a reasonable rate they could still get qualified pilots but they want the cheap labor from Embry Riddle with no time. They get what they pay for. Eventually these pilots will be qualified as they gain experience but initially they aren't. The passengers during this learning process are put at risk so the company can save money.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 01:25
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I am with you one this one, Bubbers.

It may feel great for any young pilot to be offered a fast position on a big jet with little experience, but in the end, with all the best training, you still can't buy experience. It's just like the saying goes with money, you can't buy taste.

As for flying around a pattern for 3000 hours is for sure different than a 135 company, I wonder how many pilot are insane enough to wander a bit further away than the traffic pattern! It might bring something else though: airmanship and decision making: being alone on airwork (crop spraying, site seeing, carrying news paper at night, etc) is not qualifying as 135 Ops, yet bring valuable experience that no training facility or program can sell to you.

As mentioned, it's in part to blame on the cost cutting from the airlines, to recruit with less experience and pay less, to try to show the passengers and the authorities they can replace 1200h flight time with 20 hours in a simulator and a solid ground course... does this look logical to anyone?

And it has nothing to do with being jealous of the next generation having it easier, but it still takes time and experience to appreciate some things.. just look at the Ferrari of a certain teenage singer!

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 01:35
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Cadet programs are . There is nothing like being alone in a baron at night in icing conditions to build time. Or flight instructing instruments. Making decisions on your own. Evaluating a problem choosing a course of action and correcting it. I know because I've seen it. Cadets have no PIC until they upgrade and they spend the first 1000 hours of there careers flabbergasted, lost and feeling bad about themselves because they go from a 172 to a 777. All a cadet program does is save the company money. They get a guy that can do the job at min standard and pay him . Not acceptable. In my opinion that's the same as hiring a guy with 250 hours and paying him less that 20k a year flying a 50 ton jet. 1500 hours is enough to be in the right seat of a airliner depending on his/her experience. At 1500 hours I had a lot to learn as I still do now with twice that. The problem the US faces is the money. It's all about the money. It will take a while to have it's effect but eventually there will be no pilot training because it's not worth it to spend 5 years building time to get where they want to be. Flight schools will not be able to post direct entry into an airline. Which will reduced it's attractiveness. Which in turn will force the regional airlines to pay more.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 01:40
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The key word here is a "Properly-Conducted" cadet training program. In the never-ending tilt towards cost cutting at all costs, that is a very unlikely scenario. I don't think the airlines in the US will ever go that route as it is much too expensive for their tastes.

I have flown with some 200-hour wonders having gone through their airline's cadet program, and while they know all of the procedures backwards and forwards, they really are clueless when it comes to flying the airplane.

Give me someone who has 1000 hours of instructing under their belt over someone who has the bare minimum of sim/line training any day.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 02:17
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Yes you can get an FAA ATP flying nothing bigger than a piper cub basically
Bull Cr**, to use an Americanism. You can get a single engine ATP in the states, but is is not going to be in a "piper cub". More like a PC-12.

In the United States the ATP serves as the graduate degree for professional instrument flying. Be it in a scheduled airline, a corporate job or charter. And there is nothing wrong with that. Europe should wish that its aviation industry was a vibrant.

Good airmanship, judgment and instrument skills can be found in people from a range of backgrounds. And the best airlines try to employ all of them. Anyone surrounded by like minded clones is professionally stunted, and I feel pity for them.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 03:08
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You most certainly can get a ATP, single engine land, in a Piper Cub (heck, get your single engine sea while you're at it!), as long as it has the equipment required by the ATP Practical Test Standards for performing the prescribed area's of operation. Those are conviently available for easy reading, at the FAA.GOV website. You don't need a "complex" airplane, as is required for the Commercial Pilot Certificate, and the aircraft doesn't even have to be certified for actual IFR flight (practical tests are usually performed, as a matter of policy, in VFR conditions)

You can earn your ATP -Rotorcraft Helicopter in a Robinson R-22, if you so desire. Sadly, you can no longer get an ATP - Rotorcraft Gyroplane...that would have been a hoot.

In that vien, understand that each grade of certificate (sport, recreational, private, commercial, ATP) was held to a certain level of performance, and that performance was carried over from one grade to the next. If you showed competence in complex aircraft during a practical test for your commercial, single engine land, there was no need to demonstrate it on another practical test.

The ATP is nothing more than another rung on the ladder....another grade of ticket. We don't really view airline ops as the end all, be all as it seems to be in the rest of the world, so smaller equipment works just fine.

Remember, on FAA certs, there are grades (Sport, Recreational, Private, Commerical, ATP), Categories (Airplane, Rotorcraft, Glider, Lighter-than-Air, Powered Lift) and classes (single engine, multi engine, land, sea, helicopter, gyroplane, etc).

Instrument Ratings are applicable to airplanes, helicopters and powered lift. That will be noted on the certificate.

Type ratings only as required. If you do an ATP ride, however, you are generally awarded that type rating, if such a type requires it, since the checkrides are identical.

They can be combined in a pretty much unlimited manner on any one certificate, although not all categories and classes exist for each grade. And remember, they never US pilot certificates never expire, but you can go non-current, which is an easy fix.

Flight Instructor certificates follow the same format, although some classes are combined. For instance, a Flight Instructor certificate may have Airplane Single Engine, which covers both land and sea (you obviously have to have a SES on your pilot certificate). CFI tickets DO expire every two years if not renewed, which is mostly painless process.

There also other types of certificates...Ground Instructor, Flight Engineer, Flight Navigator, Mechanic, etc. They all look identical, except for what's printed on them. Pilot certificates have a blue DOT seal on them, while all the others are black, and if you have a good pass rate, you can qualify for a "gold seal" on your instructor certificate.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 07:10
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From the article:
ther highlights of the proposed rule include a requirement for a pilot to have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in air carrier operations that require an ATP prior to serving as a captain for a U.S. airline; enhanced training requirements for an ATP certificate, including 50 hours of multi-engine flight experience and completion of a new FAA-approved training program;
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.
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 07:28
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He**, you can even get your ATP in a simulator.

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.
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