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Is this a dying breed of Airman / Pilot for airlines?

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Is this a dying breed of Airman / Pilot for airlines?

Old 14th Dec 2010, 13:16
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Is this a dying breed of Airman / Pilot for airlines?

Pasted here instead of the the CRM topic area or QF32 Engine Failure thread as it is the question I'm asking:

"Is this a dying breed of Airman / Pilot for airlines?"

REFER: EXCLUSIVE - Qantas QF32 flight from the cockpit | Aerospace Insight | The Royal Aeronautical Society

Airlines seem to seek the lowest common denominator do get by and pay the lowest possible salaries, and pilots are lining in up in endless queues to accept them. Attributes like "experience" and "credentials" are viewed more as [cost] liabilities than valued assets to airlines. Look at CX but for one example. An airline regarded once as a true great airline racing to cut salaries, T & C's for profiteering. Pilots with the experience are not welcomed: shunned for cadet entry scheme where previous T & C's are completely removed.

Interview questions used to be along the lines of "How did you accrue your hours? What lessons did you learn? Tell me about Vmca / Vmcg (piston vs twin jet).... How does the IRS work (then strap down gyros, etc...) Nowadays they include: "What do your parents think of you becoming a pilot?" (refer CX Wannabes forum).

LCC chasing the dreams for school kids for RHS positions on A320's, RJ's, 737's, etc.... so when the proverbial hits the fan and the crew needs to draw on all expertise, but where is it? At best cut in half (worst case). I do not blame the kids, they know no better other than what they are NOT taught.

It scares me that a pilot with 1500 hrs TT is deemed "experienced".

The more I read about Sulley & Skiles on the Hudson, 757 engine failure (YouTube - 757 airplane bird strike (engine failure)), and this QF near disaster (and it was) the more I fear for the future.

Airmanship and CRM dying? Just look at the standards of RT nowadays.

Last edited by TopTup; 12th Jan 2011 at 03:17.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 13:37
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TopTup

Good points well made.

In addition to the myth that 1500 hours, today's CRM skills & R/T discipline deems experienced, I would also add a lack of maturity.

I was inbound to base within the UK FIR one afternoon last summer when a frantic helicopter pilot was trying to relay details of his impending REAL forced landing to D&D on 121.5 MHz, when he was met with various accents, English & Foreign, filling the frequency with 'Guard!' 'You're on Guard', 'Uhh-Err! Wrong Button' & comments showing a distinct lack of understanding, maturity &, IMHO endangering safety.

Airmanship & Professionalism are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Are they just plainly not being taught or are they being actively discouraged?

It seems we have reached the age were you can indeed get a licence in a breakfast cereal box!
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 13:55
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About 20 years ago, while based in Boston, I had the mispleasure of speaking with an aeronautics professor at MIT (massachusetts institutue of technology). He occupied the boeing chair in aeronautics. In other words, great academic credentials.

He explained to me that the airliners of the near future wouldn't require skilled pilots and that someone with 250 hours could easily handle the command duties of planes the size of 747s.

Of course I argued, citing the example we all use. What happens when all the nice electronic gadgets quit or some other failure occurs.

he just cited the numbers on such failures and pronounced them acceptable.

I do hope that the modern pilot takes it upon himself to become an excellent ''old style'' pilot while working with the modern technology. He may never need the excellence, but it is a nice reserve.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:05
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That's not what you questioned, at all. You proposed allowing passengers to pick and choose what flight they get on based on a close examination of the pilot experience by hours. I replied directly to you in that thread, and asked you a few questions that I know you can't answer.

You propose to do things as a passenger that expert check airmen can't even do in the hiring process. Poster after poster showed the folly in your comments, which were ridiculous at best, and merited the response you received.

Insofar as pilot experience and airmanship goes, I've never heard anyone asked what their "parents thought" about them being a pilot. Perhaps for kids entering a cadet program. I've never heard that asked of a serious pilot candidate. Let's get real, here.

During interviews, prompts such as "Tell me about a time in your career when you handled an in-flight emergency," or "How do you handle a conflict in the cockpit, and give me an example," are common. Questions such as "Does your mommy and daddy know you're here right now?" are not.

Most definitely we have moved into an age with increased automation, increased information for situational awareness, increased navigation capability and accuracy, and much more realistic training are available. The shortfall of that is without question an element of erosion in raw pilot flying skills, and very possibly airmanship. The proposals you made in the locked thread, however, were ridiculous, and you received answers accordingly.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:13
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The proposals that i made were so as to reverse the trend of lowering the experience of pilots.
I have seen no other proposals to do that but merely a heap of hokum saying that a trained inexperienced pilot is as better than a trained pilot who has been 'tainted' by GA.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:25
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Quite the opposite

It seems we have reached the age were you can indeed get a licence in a breakfast cereal box!
Quite the opposite, I dare to say. When has it been more expensive, at the same time more uncertain to start taking flying lessons, even reaching for an ATPL scheme, left alone a jet rating?!
I fly a lot with low-hour-cadets at our slightly orange tinted LCC, and I am surprised, how good they are. Most of these twentysomething-year-old guys are absolutely airline standard (and that is quite high, referring to the CAA...). They have good technical knowledge, good CRM, excellent hand-flying skills, just limited experience.
You must be a real risk-taker, going for the airline industry these days. More and more entry-level airlines are disappearing. If you are lucky, you jump straight on a jet somewhere in Europe, or like a friend of mine, chase around the world on cheap contracts.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:38
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Jabiman

You're writing B*llocks! Why should anybody be 'tainted' by GA??

I came through the GA route & I learnt a hell of a lot by scaring myself f*rtless in my early hours. Experience like how NOT to fly past a CB. Experience like what EXACTLY is the effect of landing distance required when immediately landing after a heavy rain shower. Experience like how clear,exact & precise R/T dicipline has to be when flying into a busy, major international gateway & into a quiet non-English speaking backwater airfield. It was the closest that Aviation has to serving an apprenticeship - Single Crew Multi Engine IFR is very demanding work & when you share your space moving on to 2 Crew Ops you have a solid, hard earned bed rock of experience to draw upon. The type of experience YOU CAN'T get off a chalk board or computer screen.

I'm a fairly experienced pilot but you can tell which F/O's are from the Self Improver route & which aren't. The Self Improver's WANT to be God's Gift to Aviation whereas the ones from approved schools THINK they are!! 3 or 4 times I've had to subtly 'override' or 'correct' a poor decision made by a colleague concerning weather avoidance, autobrake settings, actual ATC routings & levels vis a vis planned & blindly followed 'dreams'. Every time its the 200hr self worshipping 'Genius' that tut's at my suggestions & insights.

It WILL end in an accident if allowed to continue unchecked.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:42
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I fully agree with what you say and that is the argument i was making on the other thread.
But if you have a look at it you will see:
1) Experienced captains saying they would rather have a rookie cadet FO rather than an experienced FO who had been through the GA route.
2) SLF saying that it did not make any difference to them.

I was happy to continue arguing the point but it got locked by an unsympathetic moderator.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:49
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Gents....sorry for the thread you are discussing being closed, but please try to keep this one on target.

SNS3Guppy:
You have directly ridiculed a point I raised, and I gave a reference from where I drew my comment from: the CX Wannabe's Forum. You denied a FACT without researching it first. So, allow me to indulge the disbelievers: (as frustrating as it is to do the research to prove what I knew, hence the reference!)

QUOTE: (!!)
"Hi, a quick run-down of my flight experience:

At the time of my application I held a CPL, just got a grade 3 instructor rating, and had just began training for a MECIR. My total hours were 300 of which about 15 hours were from a one day per week part time job as an instructor.

I was a little nervous about my interviews as well, it's quite normal and I'm sure they know that. The staff did their best to make me feel comfortable. After my interview I wrote down as many of the questions I could remember. Here are some of the questions I was asked in my stage one 45 min interview:

Human Resource Questions:

1) Describe yourself
2) Do I play any team sports?
3) Why change careers?
4) What do I do in my spare time?
5) What did I like about Hong Kong? (I told them I'd been there before)
6) What did I do in Hong Kong?
7) What do I know about the cadet program?
8) What do I know about the SO?
9) Do I know what the living conditions are like in Hong Kong?
10) Why work part-time as an instructor?
11) What do my parents think of me being here at the interview?
12) What did my parents think when I decided to become a pilot?

Questions from Captain XXX:

1) What do I know about Cathay Pacific?
2) What fleet does Cathay Pacific operate?
3) Explain dutch roll?
4) How many nm in 1 deg of lat?
5) Explain how lift is generated?
6) Explain induced drag?
7) Explain how flaps work?

In my stage one interview I also did the multiple choice test based on the job knowledge information booklet - easy as. The reasoning test which I didn't know at the time is based on Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices. You can look this up on Wikipedia. It is basically a sequence of pictures and you have to choose the correct one from a possible 8 choices. It's easy to start with but gets hard quickly. I had no way of studying for this as I hadn't heard of this book until I found it on this forum by accident - after my interview of course!

I didn't have to give a presentation in any of the interviews. People may be referring to the group presentation from Stage 2. In stage 2 you work with a group to solve a problem, then one person needs to present the groups findings to the interviewing staff who will then ask questions to the group such as how we came to our conclusion.

Hope you find this helpful"
.

Refer: http://www.pprune.org/fragrant-harbo...ml#post5591779

Also:
"They basically want to see that you have an interest in moving to Hong Kong.

They ask the basics about the place like whats the population, main religion etc.

Know your aircaft that you are currently flying very well, for example whats the tire pressures, engine types, speed etc.

Most important thing to remember is to be yourself. Don't be cocky or arrogant. Give short answers as this will leave room for the interviewer to ask why after your answers. Don't leave any doubt in your answers either. If you get a questions wrong or don't know the answer don't stress, just simply say you don't know the answer.

Make your CV very presentable, have all your copies with and dress in a suit as this shows you are serious about the interview.

Best of luck and remember competition is stiff!!!"
(refer: http://www.pprune.org/fragrant-harbo...gramme-20.html)

This thread is about the diminishing standards or professionalism and airmanship. So please, when you state "Let's get real" then please argue from an informed position where FACT not (wishful) opinion is employed....

Lastly, note the Qf SECOND Officer's experience: 8000 hrs. In far, far too many airlines from what I have seen nowadays, hours like that without a commuter jet command would deem this pilot a failure. At QF he is still deemed an asset.

The AI FO in the Mangalore tragedy had just over 3600 hrs TT if my memory serves me correct and up for command as he was "highly experienced" (but not experienced or trained enough to take over control having his go around calls ignored).

So, the point still stands: are airline standards diminishing? In my opinion, YES. This is from my witnessed accounts and the trend of increasing incident rates at airlines like SIN (refer Airline accident ratings), anecdotal studies show where younger, less experienced pilots are fast tracked into LHS / RHS without the previously had experience (that was needed to be respectfully & professionally paid for: reference is personal knowledge of internal SIN Safety Dept info, sorry can't give the source).

So, let's not keep confusing SAFETY with LUCK.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 14:52
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Jabiman

I AM an EXPERIENCED CAPTAIN & I would rather have an EXPERIENCED G/A origin F/O than a CADET!!!

Can I spell it out ANY easier than that?

The ONLY people who love CADET pilots are the beancounters & FTO's that gobble up CADETS hard earned/inherited cash.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 15:08
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Unfortunately I am only a novice but where were you guys when i was being hammered on the other thread by this particular captain:

Unfortunately GA experience is utterly irrelevant when you're sitting in an airliner, it's a completely different type of operation.

Would you rather have a GA pilot with ten thousand of hours of irrelevant experience (but using your criteria 'experienced') and two hundred hours of relevant experience flying you around or a thousand hour airline pilot who has received quality training, has been subject to several simulator checks, ongoing assesments and gaining relevant experience for the job at hand?

Perfecting the art of wanging a puddle jumper around VFR is NOT relevant to operating an airliner in controlled airspace in one of the most highly regulated industries in the world.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 15:12
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I AM an EXPERIENCED CAPTAIN & I would rather have an EXPERIENCED G/A origin F/O than a CADET!!!
If only my dear old friend E. could read this. The guy was 32 when he finished his training. Did a lot of time as instructor and GA pilot on whatever would fly and pay. Was rejected by the Dutch airlines because too old, he didn't do the cadet scheme in Eelde, ... and eventually he gave up. Family, no solid prospect, ... The airlines and especially those idiots in HR convinced him that if you're not a cadet, you can't fly. He's got an office job now. This is the reality with lots of GA guys out there....
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 15:33
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I was happy to continue arguing the point but it got locked by an unsympathetic moderator.
No it was locked because you talked utter rubbish, and continue to do so.

This will all be deleted soon, but until then...

As a British Airways 747 Training Captain, I have trained and watched all sorts of pilots from all sorts of backgrounds. One of the best I have ever checked was from the GA Self improver route, and some of the most mediocre have been ex RAF. The very best I ever checked was ex RAF Harrier Pilot. The very worst an ex Hamble Cadet.

You cannot make generalisations at all about ability and background. To do so is demonstrably idiotic. It is like saying all Swedes are blond, or all Frenchman smell of garlic.

In the UK, every pilot has to pass his checks. If he passes he is good enough.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 15:51
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I got a job with an airline with only 1500 hours. It did include 200 odd deck landings so maybe that helped.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:01
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I think to answer the question of the title of this thread is, would your FO if he lost one generator and all automation during an actual instrument approach be comfortable continuing the approach manually? If the answer is no, he doesn't belong there. There are plenty of qualified pilots that can.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:05
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You cannot make generalisations at all about ability and background. To do so is demonstrably idiotic. It is like saying all Swedes are blond, or all Frenchman smell of garlic.

Ok, what about this. An airline needs to hire a FO, they have two applicants:
1) Someone who has just completed an integrated course and has no flying experience but has also done a TR and is willing to pay the airline for line training.
2) Someone who has a few thousand hours in GA and has also just completed a TR but who wants a wage better than he was getting in GA.

I know which one the bean counters will choose, so who is demonstrably idiotic now?
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:11
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would your FO if he lost one generator and all automation during an actual instrument approach be comfortable continuing the approach manually? If the answer is no, he doesn't belong there. There are plenty of qualified pilots that can.
If there are ANY "qualified" airline pilots who could NOT continue the approach on raw data, then they should lose their "qualifications"! Such a situation should be a non-event!
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:34
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To agree with L337,

It is not the starting point that matters but the path that is taken thereafter. The training and self discipline (all right old fashioned idea) and willingness to learn that individuals have.

I have come across, taught and checked good pilots from all backgrounds. Ditto bad ones.

We all bring something to the party however we enter this profession, the role of the good Capt is to use the strengths of his crew. As to preferring a cadet, or ex GA, or ex military I hope I look at the individual and how to make his contribution as relevent as possible.

To be controversial what really worries me are airlines that only recruit pilots from 1 type of background.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:36
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Top Up,

YES!

Also, I propose airlines quit advertising for pilot positions, rather for "conductor" positions!


Your question is not easily answered, Top Up......

Everybody "wants" experience. Nobody, however, wants to "give" it to you. So, what to do?
Is someone, who started as a cadet, or as a 200 hour wonder not experienced after 5000, or 10000 hours in an RJ or 73, or bus?
I tend to think so, to a certain extent. Meaning, surely (that's right-I just called you shirley!), he/she has after a while seen crappy weather, equipment failures, etc.

On the other hand, and this is my strong belief, that person is lacking basic airmanship, ie. handling.

You can see this in the sims, and what newbees do, and how they react to certain situations/tasks. Right away you can see who's learned to fly, and who's just a system operator!

I have to agree with what L337 says about GA's....that's how you learn to fly....and the ones that didn't learn, well, they're no more!

In the end, I can say with a sense of certainty, that airmanship is dying, and fast.
I'm just glad that I had the chance to learn to fly-real flying, single pilot freight. And that sort of flying is becoming less and less, too. Partly because of market forces, partly because of improvements in technology.

Another great way of "learning to fly", is doing a stint as a (basic) flight instructor. There's no better lesson than someone else trying to see how close they can bring you to death, lol.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 16:51
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jabiman (and others)

I think you will find company culture / policy, and regulator oversight, a better judge of relative safety i.e. you do not need to see the individual crews' experience - which anyway is a small sample / rather subjective. Instead look at the record of an airline / nationality, which to an extent some areas do anyway (the EU "banned" list).

If you do wish to persist in measuring safety by hours, I presume you would rather a 5000+hr F/O to a 500hr one? I might suggest that rather than a straight "yes", a better question might be "if (s)he has 5000+hrs, why are they an F/O"? There are plenty of good reasons - an employer might have a slow promotion process (typical in the 'majors'), the individual might have had a fair degree of bad luck, or just personal circumstances changing employers or whatever. But there are also some specific reasons which might mean your criteria is flawed...

NoD
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