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Multicrew pilot licence numbers grow as it approaches proof of concept

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Multicrew pilot licence numbers grow as it approaches proof of concept

Old 21st Nov 2012, 10:46
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Abinitio programs are a normal way into the flightdeck of major european carriers for the last 60 years. In most of those programs multicrew concepts were tought from day one. The MPL is just a new name for a reality that has been with us those last 60 years, with varying amount of hours in real aircraft and simulators as they became more sophisticated. For example Lufty has around 5500 pilots, at least 4500 of those went through their own abinitio program, something they did since they restarted their flight ops after the war (which was initially with WW2 trained pilots of course, usual training duration 20 to 25 hours). The last four years or so they ran only the MPL program.

Im with a competitor of Lufty and we started our own MPL program a bit earlier and have flown with those MPL students for the last five years. No problem at all with them, in fact they have usually a much better system knowledge and pretty much the same handling quality as traditionally trained pilots. During their MPL they do the normal JAR FCL PPL SEL and do train a few hours on multi engine piston planes, so they are allowed to fly solo as much as they want to (and their pocket money allows). However they do receive around a 100 hours full flight sim plus around 150 hours FNPT training before they even start their type rating and with that receive a lot more airline specific training in jets before they even come on the line, the training is finished after their type rating and around 150 hours linetraining.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 12:14
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Biased opinion.

Denti, as you are a provider of the Muppet Pilots Licence, it is not surprising that you extol its virtues, although rather one sidedly.

MPL is not a new name for the previously known ab initio schemes.

MPL is a cheap and nasty way of getting cheap labour into the right hand seat.

Read the AOPA article from December 2010.

Last edited by FERetd; 21st Nov 2012 at 12:57. Reason: Editorial
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 12:25
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Denti

The first objective of an airline managed training program is the quality of the pilot and the airline will endeavor to do this on a cost effective basis. There are very few airlines that have been left with sufficient resources to operate such programs.

The first objective of an independent, commercial flight school must be profit. It will deliver a quality inversely proportional to its profit motive. In my experience it is always less than military or airline managed training and, in my opinion, that`s as true of basic flight training providers as it is of TRTOs.

I think the mistake you`re making is holding up a desperately small sample of pilots (LH and other direct airline managed ab-initio programs) and assuming that those standards are representative of other training schemes.

I think your other mistake is not recognizing that, regardless of the cadet scheme, technological, operational and systemic improvements are likely to be masking weak handling skills that need fixing.

By definition, MPL cannot deliver equivalent handling skills. How can it? The presumption would have to be that handling stops improving after a certain number of hours and that the additional hours of other licenses (or gained by experience) are unnecessary.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 14:01
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@FERetd, i wonder what stake a General Aviation organisation like AOPA has in professional airline training? Anyway, a real MPL program isn't cheap, quite the contrary it does cost a lot more than the traditional unsupervised 250h wonder boy school of questionable quality. Our program costs the applicant 60k, the airline has to pay another 60 to 80k to cover the rest of the costs. And no, in the beginning i was very much against it myself, but the results do speak for themselves.

@Globalstream, indeed, there is a huge difference between a commercial school and an airline run program. However the MPL was not designed for commercial schools without a very close airline partnership. In my part of europe there is no independent MPL program for exactly that reason, as the requirements of airline partnership are so strong that only airline run programs can exist here. As i said, our MPLs do get their full MPL only after they finished their linetraining, only from that point on could they apply to other airlines, before that they are locked to the sponsoring airline. And of course airlines can afford to do an extremely thorough entry selection and only take the best suited applicants, we had around 1000 applicants per seat available on the program and could therefore be extremely picky.

There are more and more airline run training programs, not so much in the west of course as many airlines do have financial problems to begin with, however BA might be a point in case against that trend with their future pilot program which is nothing else but an airline run abinitio program, although the risk is squarely on the shoulder of the applicant. But considering that all middle east carriers have their own program, most asian carriers either run their program or will start with it in the near future, or have access to students from a state run program, the number of abinitio pilots in airliner seats is growing quite fast.

I was surprised myself when our experience based training showed a distinct lack of manual handling skills of many (but not all) traditionally trained pilots including quite a large number of our ex military guys. Apparently those skills erode very fast when pilots become lazy enough not to use them anymore on the line and rather let "george" do his thing. Our MPL students in general (yes, there are exceptions) were not worse off and in many cases better, however they are just starting their carreer and still enthusiastic about manual flight, as manual flight is actively encouraged in my company many of those MPL guys and gals used that to fly manually a lot and increase their handling skills.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 14:34
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Denti, such airline run programs have a very tough selection process, with only the most able candidates securing a place. Your comments fail to consider other avenues, whereby cadets self-fund their MPL course.

In the past such self-funded schemes only recruited the best candidates through arrangements with a variety of UK Airlines; this scheme guaranteed permanent employment after an initial 6 month probationary period. This agreement was funded by the HSBC providing un-secured loans which were paid back through a salary deduction with the airline over a number of years. This enabled any candidate, whatever his background, an opportunity to become an airline pilot, the sole selection criteria being ability.

Once my airline stopped offering permanent contracts to these entrants, HSBC stopped providing un-secured financing. Since that point I have witnessed a decline in the standard of these Cadets.

The current situation is now self-selecting based on the availability of money (self-funded); these candidates do not necessarily possess the ability or aptitude to the extent that they are still learning to fly when they arrive on these larger A/C types, rather than applying a learnt skill.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 15:01
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Impartial?

Denti, quote:- "@FERetd, i wonder what stake a General Aviation organisation like AOPA has in professional airline training?"

Answer:- Probably none, which makes their opinion rather more credible than yours.

What other "qualification" will let someone sit in the LH or RH seat of an airliner with 10 hours of solo time? You need a minimum of 10 hours solo for a PPL!

Read the article!!
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 15:44
  #47 (permalink)  
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Cpt Hook, I do not mean to keep picking you out, just that you raise particually interesting comments!

Your comments fail to consider other avenues, whereby cadets self-fund their MPL course.
All MPL courses must have an airline partner in order to complete phase 4 of the training. Therefore the airlines get involved with the pre-selection. Any MPL without an airline partner upfront is I believe committing fraud (at least within EASA?).

The current situation is now self-selecting based on the availability of money (self-funded)
Well by offering a MPL scheme, and therefore a "secure" job, you are actually opening up the industry to people who otherwise could not afford, or were not prepared to take the finicial risk.

Your arguement that people should have experience is valid, but who can afford to just hours bash? Only the well off, which is exacterly what you are worried about! I can believe that you may well have noticed a drop recently with new FO's, but at least the MPL scheme (and fATPL tagged schemes,eg BA) gives the most able a chance of joining the industry and re-raising standards, no?

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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 04:58
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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TarasB,
Somebody committing fraud does not invalidate the concept of the MPL.
After all, there have been no shortage of frauds with old fashioned pilot training, over the years.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 05:12
  #49 (permalink)  
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Your arguement that people should have experience is valid, but who can afford
to just hours bash? Only the well off
Not really V2, how do you think the industry managed before the days of P2F and MPL? We got our licences and then went off and got a job flying light twins, often overseas, until we had enough hours for an airline to even look at us, others took the Intructing route. Don't know if they still do it but QANTAS had the right idea, after cadet training go off to get 1500 hours on light stuff as PIC then back to the airline.

As far as I can see all the MPL will produce are inexperienced systems operators who will become experienced systems operators and eventually competent co pilots, just that, not potential captains.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 06:40
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Not really V2, how do you think the industry managed before the days of P2F and MPL? We got our licences and then went off and got a job flying light twins, often overseas, until we had enough hours for an airline to even look at us, others took the Intructing route.
And people used to think the world was flat. What was the best system in the past does not mean it is best for today. Times have changed.

1. Private GA has become remarkably more expensive, stopping many from hours bashing as I have remarked before.
2. Commercial GA is increasingly hard to come across. Yes there is some abroad, which provides excellent handling opportunities, and I would love to do it. But some may question the practices that occurs, the mentality that builds and also the difficulty in converting them to multicrew +multi systems flying. Depends on the individual I guess. But even so, is there enough to go round?
3. Instructing you often get no more than 15ph, maybe 20 if you are lucky, exluding the ground briefing times. This is not enough to even repay the interest on the loans. Yes in the past you may just get a second job until you get your 1500 hours, but in the current eco climate, this becomes unfeasible. Secondly if you are worried about pilots with 10-100 hours lacking handling skills, what makes you sure they are gonna be competant instructors. Double standards no?
4. In the past, maybe when some of you guys were training, the RAF/military was double, 3, maybe even 4 times as big? This provided a massive pool of high trained and skilled individuals, with many hours, to move onto the commercial ladder. Many of these individual's (like myself) could not afford to become commercial pilots without the RAF's "help". We all know that now, this stream of pilots is drickling dry. Commercial flying's thirst for pilot has stayed about the same, arguably even grown. Where are these extra pilots going to come from if not the military?
5. As Flybe, BA, BACF, Monarch, Aer Lingus, etc offer more schemes, less people will be prepared to take the self sponsored route. Why would you? No longer will people feel it is nessessary to pay for a type rating, go to RyanAir, and then leave for a traditional charachter asap. As self sponsored's dry up (or their quality declines as "the best" are on schemes), hopefully this will force RyanAir/Easy to up their games, and improve their T+C's once again. One can only hope!

Last edited by V_2; 22nd Nov 2012 at 06:47.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 07:22
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Firstly, Globalstream, I have instructed my lawyers to issue proceeding against you for unlawfully posting my portrait photograph online. I use that particular pic for job applications and fear you may have dented my chances by distributing it willy-nilly.

V_2

1. Absolutely. Only a rich person, or person living in a caravan eating baked beans for every meal, can afford sufficient regular GA flying to build hours.
2. I agree with this. Considering the growth of commercial aviation at the airline level and the death of aviation at the local level, the very few opportunities to gain experience on air taxis etc are almost insignificant compared with needs of the airlines.
3. Instructing is worthwhile and good instructors make good pilots, but I know of many instructors who are in dead end jobs. Sitting in the right seat of a Cessna gaining hours as PiC despite rarely touching the controls does not make you a good pilot, but more importantly it does not make you attractive to employers. It might have done fifteen to twenty years ago, but now? Empirical evidence suggests no.
5. Those within the industry at the higher levels were not faced with the options that greet the new joiners. If there was a genuine option of self improving by going the light aircraft route I suspect many would take it. The reality is that there is not.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 08:22
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Originally Posted by tee emm
What a strange logic and it is probably good that your trusting passengers wre not aware the most junior pilot is flying the approach on one engine. Otherwise there would be a riot on your hands.
1. it is called monitored approach, risks, benefits, terms of use and limitations are supposed to be very well understood by the companies using it.

2. passengers don't know and don't care about juniorness of flightcrew unless prompted by the journos versed in sensationalism, "working" on the story about dangers of inexperienced crew between stories of latest possible outbreak of some new disease (which never materializes) and analysis of exact weight of some B movie star's breast implants, based on "before" and "after" photos.

3. flightdeck is not democracy, idea of flightdeck ops is doing what really needs to be done, not what someone thinks should be done. Threat and error management refers.

Originally Posted by Tee Emm
But seriously - what is it with this new fangled warm and fuzzy approach where the approached must be "shared" between the two pilots.
Nothing, that approach must be shared is spectacularly funny misunderstanding.

Originally Posted by Piltdown Man
Secondly, and this is where the 1,500 hour pilot has an edge, they are often very immature and lack people skills
Unfortunately, I haven't observed improvement of maturity and interpersonal skills commensurate with hours logged. Methinks psycheval before training even starts does have some merit.

Originally Posted by Globalstream
it is irrefutable logic that all things being equal, that same individual should be improving with every hour.
It is not irrefutable logic; it is so wrong that it was occasionally demonstrated to be lethal! Only individuals striving to learn improve with time, there are others who just drone along with minimum effort needed to pass the checks. They are usually the loudest supporters of experience=quality fallacy. Have a go at accidents report to see a bunch of 10 000+ greybeards making mistakes that are often mistakenly referred to as beginner's.

Originally Posted by Globalstream
If you question the value of experience then ask yourself why the cold world of insurance demands demands hours well in excess of regulated hours for certain operations.
Because where it is required (GA ops), there is no structured training and checking as there is in airlines so basic equation in the wonderful world of GA is houred+alive=competent. That's why there are no increased premiums for airlines when less than 200hr TT folks fly passengers as they are 1. properly certified by their respective authorities 2. not featuring prominently in accident or incident statistics.

Originally Posted by Centaurus
I see people scorning experience as irrelevent to airline piloting.
The most important experience in flying is that of other pilots! Learn from other's mistakes, you will not have the time to perform them all personally or luck to do them a lot before bereaving your dependents.

Originally Posted by Centaurus
The attitude seems to be as long as the cadet (or MPL graduate) can say the right phraseology, twiddle the right knobs on the autopilot and type at 80 words a minute into the CDU he is automatically the Right Stuff.
Misinformed exaggeration and misinterpretation of posts here. Properly trained MPL graduate is not lacking either manual or cognitive skills to fly an airliner and operate its systems. It's just s/he doesn't have 100 hours of solo cross-country stopwatch, compass and map navigation.

Originally Posted by Centaurus
And that, PPRuNe readers, is the difference between an MPL trained cadet and an experienced pilot...
No. This is story told on anonymous forum without any verifiable reference attached to it. In developed world, such a serious breach of safety would result in AAIB or its equivalent taking note.

Originally Posted by sapco2
Airline flying is a satisfying career.
Folks who think it of it primarily as career are usually the least competent pilots and sooner they move to upper management, better for the rest of us. It's a hard work that passion for flying makes more endurable, even enjoyable.

Originally Posted by sapco2
So my humble advice to all LEPs (for what it's worth) is be confident but never arrogant!
My distinctly unhumble advice is be competent, I don't give a Q400 about your arrogance unless you use it to support something untrue.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
I am pretty sure however, that all the pilots here defending the MPL system, and with it the dilution of training and skill in todays pilots, will eventually be in the left seat in a few years.
Thank you for your good wishes.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
It seems that aviation is so simple, that such things do not apply.
They do apply, it is just some outsiders are unable to perceive it.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
No wonder we start to read accident reports that leave us in astonishment.
My astonishment (and considerable amusement) is that despite accident reports clearly stating flightcrew experience, which is verys seldom low, everyone still bashes low houred pilots but then I have already offered an explanation on it.

Originally Posted by Gretchenfrage
But frankly, this MPL system has crossed a red line
On some PPRuNers scale. Effect on the real world: poor to nil.

Originally Posted by Huck
The issue is simple: a certain percentage of pilots shouldn't be in this business.

Some of them are weeded out in the beginning.

Some of them make it farther into the profession before failing and getting booted out.

At 250 hours, you haven't had time to be properly evaluated.

Sim time doesn't cut it - we all know pilots who can shine it on in the sim, and are worthless on the line.
Exactly! It is not as if the airlines have to cope with substandard pilots, no matter of their training background. Bad MPL pilot can be booted out at OPC.

Originally Posted by SLF in AZ
If just one graduate from a "Betty's Flying Club" had been on 447 flight deck it would have been a non-event IMO.
That IMO is based on the ignorance of the fact that the pilot whose actions doomed the flight, the right hand seated one, was a glider pilot.

Now what?

Originally Posted by FERetd
For those of you ( if any) who extol the virtues of the MPL, you might want to read the article written in "General Aviation" (the AOPA magazine) dated December 2010.
The article is titled "First UK MPL holders reach the flight deck"
Thank you, it gave me a good laugh. Article represents view of two groups who have their skin much in the game; light GA operators bound to lose a lot of rent-out hours if MPL becomes the norm and first generation of MPL graduates struggling to be accepted int the world looking suspiciously at novelties. What ensues is idiocylimpics, as both sides attempt to spew as much bravo-sierra about MPL as possible in limited space.

Originally Posted by P-T-Gamekeeper
dealing with non-normal situations, which aren't covered by the QRH or Ops Manual.
What was that which made you deal with them successfully the first time they occurred?

Originally Posted by bubbers44
This MPL experiment will end in tears - waiting for the first major accident with one of them in the crew!
...and meanwhile ignoring all the others accidents that happen to experienced crews because they don't fit our preconceived notions.

Originally Posted by FERetd
MPL is a cheap and nasty way of getting cheap labour into the right hand seat.
So, should we abolish all the bank transfer fees because some Nigerian fellas are scamming people using it?

Originally Posted by Globalstream
The first objective of an independent, commercial flight school must be profit. It will deliver a quality inversely proportional to its profit motive.
That's why the developed world has independent inspectors performing certification.
Originally Posted by capt Hook
Your comments fail to consider other avenues, whereby cadets self-fund their MPL course.
Unlike some other comments pronouncing every MPL program to be inadequate because of some unscrupulous FTO owners in countries with less than effective control of their aviation sector?

Originally Posted by parabellum
Not really V2, how do you think the industry managed before the days of P2F and MPL? We got our licences and then went off and got a job flying light twins, often overseas, until we had enough hours for an airline to even look at us, others took the Intructing route. Don't know if they still do it but QANTAS had the right idea, after cadet training go off to get 1500 hours on light stuff as PIC then back to the airline.
The world does not end outside Autralia, USA or Canada. There are many countries that just don't have GA or military aviation large enough to produce pilots for their airlines' needs so they had to find other ways of filling the seats. Unfortunately for some, they rather went for cadet schemes or recently for MPL than importing large number of Aussies, Gringos or Cannucks.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 18:43
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Clandestino - I was lucky enough to be trained by an organisation that didn't just give the bare minimum legal training, so I gained plenty of training in these situations within the training environment.

When on the line, I also enjoyed way beyond the minimum training events, both ground, sim and aircraft based.

I also flew within an environment that encouraged airmanship, problem solving, and thinking outside the box.

By the time I was an airline P2, I had plenty of real world experience to fall back on.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 19:43
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A dose of the verbals - again!

Clandeastino, a minute extract from your lengthy post "
Quote:
Originally Posted by FERetd
MPL is a cheap and nasty way of getting cheap labour into the right hand seat.
"So, should we abolish all the bank transfer fees because some Nigerian fellas are scamming people using it?"

Nowhere have I mentioned any scam and nowhere have I mentioned any Nigerian fellows, although they might be able to get you a good deal on a MPL.

Sadly, now that you have hijacked this thread, as you have done to others, it is time for me to move on.

As for your comments about the AOPA article being "bravo sierra", I should perhaps give your remarks some credability.

After all, you should know, you are full of it and always have been.

I do not know if you have actually read the article. It was well written and neither supported or opposed the MPL. Both sides of opinion were well represented and the reader was free to make up his own mind.

For me, any "qualification" that permits a "pilot" to occupy an operating seat in an airliner, with only 10 hours solo time is seriously flawed.

Last edited by FERetd; 22nd Nov 2012 at 20:19.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 07:48
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For me, any "qualification" that permits a "pilot" to occupy an operating seat in an airliner, with only 10 hours solo time is seriously flawed.
FERetd, could not agree more!
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 04:34
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Do Captains demand a pay override for giving Operating Experience to either Cadets or MPL pilots?

If want me to play instructor, pay me. Other than that, I'm OK with the basic concept.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 05:54
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Clearly from what you say about company SOP's your company doesn't trust you to fly a single engine approach but does permit you to do the actual touch down. What a strange logic and it is probably good that your trusting passengers wre not aware the most junior pilot is flying the approach on one engine. Otherwise there would be a riot on your hands.
No, Tee Emm, is doesn't clearly say anything of the sort Funnily enough, not all captains feel it is necessary, nor sensible, to be the steely-eyed hero who battles his crippled machine through adversity and saves the day....all the while ignoring the resource sitting next to him. The job of the captain is to manage the situation to achieve a safe outcome, not use the situation to try and grandstand how all his hours flying GA around the GAFA have given him an amazing ability to hand-fly in a non-normal situation. Far better to use the guy next to you, as he flies the aircraft through the autopilot and monitor his progress, all the while dealing with the other things a captain should: passengers, ATC, Company etc. I know I have the ability to do all those things but it is not effective use of all the resources I have to hand and, as I said previously, I always have the veto if I don't like something Bloggs is doing. As for the passengers being scared by the FO flying, why should they be? We're talking about someone, who is qualified to do so, operating the aircraft using SOPs while being checked by the other pilot. In your mind it's okay if he's an FO who's done 1500 hours of circuits in a C152 but not if he's come through as a cadet. To ensure the 'most junior pilot' is not allowed to fly the machine that means the captain is always going to have to fly it and it's that that makes no sense, not your ill-conceived opinion of the way a very large and successful British airline chooses to do it's business.

This MPL experiment will end in tears - waiting for the first major accident with one of them in the crew!

Flying basic aircraft solo over a hundred hours or so teaches you something - SURVIVAL!
Firefly Bob,

That has to be one of the most crass statements made in this thread. You're waiting for an accident to happen with an MPL pilot as part of the crew just so you can say 'I told you so' What about all the other accidents that have happened where non-MPL crew were involved? Just look at the most recent incidents and tot up how many thousands of hours the FOs had.

As for your suggestion that >100 hours of solo flight in a basic aircraft teaches you survival, I think you should try looking inward and not tarring others with the strange brush of logic with which you paint. I had a very healthy survival instinct before I ever stepped into an aircraft and that didn't change after 100 hours or 10000. Yes, we gain experience and that helps us to assist in the diagnosis of non-normal events but, let's face it, the vast majority of those are already pre-dealt with, thanks to the likes of Boeing and Airbus and those are well within the remit of a cadet that has been properly trained.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 09:17
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I think there is something to be said for gaining 100 hours of solo time before joining the airlines and potentially flying solo with 150 passengers depending on your survival instincts.

Those who only fly modern airliners with auto-everything, with the occasional hand flying under a colleague's supervision, will have forgotten the latent terror in the backs of the minds of those for whom safe flying in 3 dimensions required constant attention and physical action.

Those for whom their flight training comprised primarily the sim and 10 hours solo, might never have known that feeling. And I think it does matter.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 23:46
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But some may question the practices that occurs, the mentality that builds and also the difficulty in converting them to multicrew +multi systems flying. Depends on the individual I guess. But even so, is there enough to go round?
That mind-set has been going around for decades and is a myth. Recently a young CPL with 1800 hours plus and nearly all of it low level below 500 ft in a twin flying solo on survey work in the desert, completed a 737 type rating. Part of that training was as PNF to his crash-mate also doing the type rating.
Both quickly learned the duties of a first officer and their instrument and manual flying was top class. There was no "mentality" problems whatever that is supposed to mean. In other words whether or not the jet transport candidate has flown fighters, crop dusters, seaplanes or instructing, they all have to undergo the same basic type rating course on a jet simulator.

And as part of that course they automatically absorb normal multi-crew techniques. This includes briefings on the Human Factors aspects of the strong possibility in their career of crewing with a pedantic legend-in-his-own-mind, up himself captain. They are told the chances of that happening occasionally in their career is 75 percent for. In any case, any half decent airline will thoroughly brief new candidates what is expected of them as part of the Induction process.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 20:30
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@fireflybob

This MPL experiment will end in tears - waiting for the first major accident with one of them in the crew!
Does the fact you're still waiting not tell you something?
Flying basic aircraft solo over a hundred hours or so teaches you something - SURVIVAL!
And yet quite a few people with that experience have nevertheless flown perfectly good aircraft into the ground (or sea.) It's not immediately clear therefore what the first MPL pilot making the same mistakes until now reserved for Biggles is going to prove.



Your rightful indignation would probably be better reserved for the first major accident involving no crew whatsoever: Biggles should probably be more concerned about automation than MPLs...
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