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Worldwide pilot experience too low?

Old 8th Jul 2019, 20:49
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Racing to the bottom.

When margins are high, a company can afford to be kind to its employees. Think of nap stations at
Google and free lunches at Facebook.

Airlines suffer from about the lowest margins in any industry. Once an SLF has decided on the class
he can afford, it is simply a matter of finding the lowest fare. Since he knows travel by air is a
horrible experience, he certainly will not want to overpay for it. (Only a handful of airlines have
a reputation that warrants a slight premium, but some of them seem to be working hard to lose
it.) In any event, fierce competition leads inexorably to the so-called race to the
bottom.

But one has to take care what motives one ascribes to airline management. Contrary to popular
belief, managers are not hatchet-wielding robots. They have kids and lives, and go on their
vacations by air. They were not born with an innate compulsion to cut costs.

It is almost certainly the case that your typical airline manager (and senior executive, too) would
like to increase training time for pilots. So why don't they just do it? The most important issue
for management is not the absolute cost of an input into their system, but the relative cost of that
input, "relative" meaning compared to their competitors. The race is not so much to the "bottom",
but to the level set out in the "rules". No manager could possibly progress in his company if he
incurred costs greater than the rules permit. If competing airlines do not have to do more than the
rules require, why should we?

Blaming the airlines is not a solution for inadequate training. The solution is to change the
rules. Surprising as it might seem, companies often don't complain (very hard, anyway) about a change in the rules, just as long as it affects their competitors equally.

Something similar is happening right now at the ICAO meetings in Montreal. Regulators from around
the world are trying to reach a consensus on minimum experience for flight crew. At present, the
only yardstick is total time. The huge benefit of using that yardstick is that it is so easy to
measure. The regulators are looking hard for a better yardstick, that takes into account the
"quality" of the hours, or the conditions under which they were earned, and so on. If the regulators
succeed, their consensus will become the new rule/bottom towards which all airlines will gravitate.

Setting new rules is a political issue, whether the rules apply at the national level or the
international level.

YYZjim

PS. A poster in a related forum described how Boeing fired a group of senior engineers, telling them
their skills weren't needed any longer because the business of making airplanes had become a mature
business. Mature businesses control their costs with care, and also race down to the rules/bottom.
In fact, that pretty much sums up the basic problem with the MAX. Boeing designed it to meet the
rules, and not one little bit more. In my opinion, Boeing is wrong to think their business is mature.
Their airplanes may produce a commodity -- air travel -- but the airplanes themselves are not a
commodity.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 20:54
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Banana Joe View Post
MPL is still something new, I wouldn't be surprised the first batch of MPL holders are reaching the requirements at the moment.
I think I heard something similar about 2 years ago... Nope; sorry - it was 11 years ago!
"The MPL is a superb system for becoming an aviator"
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 21:33
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post
A CV with 1500 hrs in Cessna in Europe will be considered a joke and go straight to the trash bin. Most of pilots with that much of irrelevant experience would struggle to adopt and live up to the airline requirements, same goes for the fast jet pilots. Not what many would like to hear but true.
What a load of crock. Several of my esteemed colleagues and friends had around that number of hours when they got their jobs. No problems adjusting and living up, they are all excellent pilots. In aviation, absolutely NO experience is irrelevant, be it gliders, helicopters, light twins and whatnot. No experience at all, on the other hand, is where it gets interesting. The most dangerous time in a pilot’s career is when he or she has 3-800 hours or thereabouts, because you think you’re starting to get on top of things, but really, you have a very limited idea of what’s going on.

Myself, I had around 1200 hours when I got my job on the 737. Around 500 hours instructing in 172s, a couple of hundred instructing in Cubs and Tiger Moths, and the rest larking about in the Cub, Moth and various other ancient aerial contraptions. Would not have gone without that experience for any amount of money. That includes partial power loss due to a stuck valve, fuel leak, nearly spinning in from low altitude due to miscommunication wih a student, and so on. One day, some tiny part of it just might stand me in good steed when Murphy comes to visit. Oh, and nobody has yet complained about me not adapting or living up
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 22:39
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ph-sbe View Post
To qualify for an ATP, one needs:



So yeah, 1500 hours of a C150 won't make you qualified for an ATP.
CMIIAW/AFAIK you can do a ASEL ATP ride in FAA land. If that is still the case, (and I didn't see complex aircraft is required) you can get an ATP with 1400TT C150 + 100 Frasca.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 23:34
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tomuchwork View Post
...I have seen very experienced pilots being "crappy", on the other hand I had some excellent guys with only 300 hours. It all depends on the individual. Flying is not something someone can "learn"(even some P2F schools are trying to sell exactly this) - no, you need to have it in you(have it "in your ass" if you want). That is why modern aviation is in my eyes very unsafe - everyone tries, many fail, still a lot who are not supposed to make it into airliner cockpits...

...Experience nowadays is replaced with VERY strong SOP's. The problem is - SOP cannot cover all possible problems one may experience in aviation.
The result of a high demand to fill the empty seats in the front combined with flight schools where maximum profit is more important than quality.
In my opinion, it’s not the worldwide pilot experience which is too low, it’s the worldwide quality which is too low. Cadets, FOs, captains, training quality, ...
The length of training and it’s quality is reduced to the bare minimum required to save costs.

I've done 2 full type ratings for the same type in the last 12 years and the second time, it consisted of about half of the sim sessions from the first type rating (different company). The other half of the sim sessions were replaced by a procedure trainer which looked like Microsoft Flight Simulator with touchscreens, focusing on procedures and automation. The first type rating had only 3 sessions in a procedure trainer and all the rest was in a FFS. That must have been too expensive for my current company, where I can see a strong dependence on procedures and automation to compensate for the lower level of experience and training.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 23:54
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Beyond a certain point, hours are a poor proxy for measuring quality and experience. Some pilots stop learning at 100 hours, and some never stop learning. Trying to figure out which is which probably requires more effort than most hiring departments wish to give.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 23:55
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Intruder View Post
AFAIK, still no REAL path to Captain form the MPL...
My airline started the MPL in around 2011, first few guys are getting their commands on the A320 now.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 03:22
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cappt View Post


Who are the lucky souls who get fly with them when they're at 300/100?
The resumes of the recent accidents seem to indicate the FO's started flying 737's with very low time.

News reports have the Ethiopian FO with 361 hrs TT and 207 hrs in the 737. That meant he started flying the 737 with 154 hrs TT. From wikipedia "The first officer, Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur, 25, was a recent graduate from the airline's academy with 361 flight hours logged, including 207 hours on the Boeing 737."
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 03:29
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=tomuchwork;10513247]Controversial discussion.
. This was even more complicated when soley based on conventional navigation, nowadays everybody flies the magenta line, so buhu. AFAIK departures in the US are mainly flown on (radar)headings(correct me if this is not the case anymore). If someone is not able to fly a complex SID in raw data it is barely legit to call them "best pilots"(which might apply for 90% of modern pilots to be honest). [QUOTE}

The majority are radar vectors. But it's not uncommon to fly RNP or SIDs that have turns, climbs, and restrictions on them in the U.S. LGA, DCA, LAX, DFW, ATL, all have non radar vector departures. Those are some of the busiest U.S. airports. Add in S. America, Europe, or Asia flying and having to fly SIDs or RNP departures is something U.S. line pilots see often enough.

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Old 9th Jul 2019, 09:34
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Snoop

Originally Posted by cappt View Post


Who are the lucky souls who get fly with them when they're at 300/100?
I am one of those "lucky souls". Some of these low hour pilots are brilliant, they seem to be on top on their game and you wouldn't know how inexperienced they are unless you asked. At the same time there are a few which you might want to give a boarding pass for 1A as they don't have a clue! The worst part is some airlines in Europe regularly promote first officers with 3000 hours, which is 3-3.5 years experience, then fly with a first officer with 300 hours. Although that is very low experience, from what I've seen its the long term first officers that you have to be careful of, there's usually a reason they are still in the right hand seat!
Unfortunately most airlines do not train to competency now days, they train to certification. As long as they have the legal paperwork they don't care.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 17:06
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Better airplanes don’t make better pilots. No amount of training can make up for the experience you don’t get when nothing goes wrong, or the lack of essential cool when it does.Some people should not be pilots, just as some should not be policemen or politicians, and in an industry that can no longer pick and choose, technology has to prevail sooner rather than later. The airplanes, in spite of the current MCAS problem, keep improving, as the quality and quantity of pilots falls behind. We have not hit a homer since the Hudson, and that may have been the last inning of a bygone era. Strange as it may seem, the day you can’t tell a good pilot from a mediocre one is the day the airplane goes solo.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 18:18
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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MPL Flight Managers?

I have followed the various threads concerning pilot competence with interest, although I'm just a low time non transport pilot used to be. It's my impression that many jurisdictions are now qualifying first officers with MPL training and that the MPL is based mostly on procedures and simulator time, with as little as 30-40 hours in a primary trainer cockpit. I guess this fits in with the new class of transport category aircraft that are highly automated; however, I wonder if such training gives the student any "feel" for an aircraft and its very delicate balancing act called "flight". I've been searching the internet for information on the MPL and encountered this on the AviationKnowledge website:

"Highlights of MPL"

"The Multi-Crew Pilot License programme can produce co-pilot in 240 hours, of which 210 hours is in simulators.
This training programme can be completed in 45 weeks as compared to 18 months to 2 years in the current existing system.
Introduced in late 2006, Multi-Crew Pilot License, has been driven to success by the cost and speed effectiveness."

I also found this rather interesting quote on the Patria website:

"In MPL training actual flight hours will be complemented with high quality simulation training in the A320 cockpit environment. Flying has become more and more flight management and MPL addresses directly to these issues."

Are we now training up a generation of "flight managers" whose skill set is comprised primarily of button pushing, knob twisting and occasional lever displacement?

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 20:43
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I think it is very important to make a distinction here between technical knowledge and that fuzzy thing that is sometimes called “airmanship.” Given the right person, I don’t think that it would be that hard to make a low time pilot reasonably proficient in the relatively narrow set of tasks that are required for a particular aircraft type and a particular operation. As long as everything goes according to script and the problems fits within whatever has been anticipated and covered in the manual then they’ll probably do fine when crewed with an experienced Captain. I see two potential problems. When that Captain himself has issues (these guys are out there), then the low-time FO may not know enough to know the Captain is having issues. He may just think the guy has a few quirks and doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up. I think some of this may have come into play with the Ethiopian crash. Next, flying doesn’t always go according to the script, and when you get off script it may not be obvious what the answer is. It has been said that good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. In the old days, a newish pilot would go out and excercise just enough bad judgement to hopefully gain some valuable experience and would do so in something that wasn’t carrying 100+ passengers. What I’m saying is no matter how well you know the aircraft, procedures, or regulations, there is always an element of knowledge that simply comes from doing the job for a number of years.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 21:48
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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You are right on. (Rarife #11). I can identify only one group that benefits from the 1500 hour rule in the US and that is the senior pilots at ALPA who are adept at lobbying Congress (that passed the law concerned). I assume they wanted to make themselves more valuable (and get more money as a result) by tightening up the supply. I hope they did not mean it to go this far but it has and the damage is far-reaching and extensive. As usual, the supply of pilots will be cyclic and because the rise in demand has been meteoric, the drop will also be such. As so many smaller companies go bankrupt there will suddenly be no jobs.

It might be a good time to enter the field, but if so, better be quick!
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 01:27
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post
A CV with 1500 hrs in Cessna in Europe will be considered a joke and go straight to the trash bin. Most of pilots with that much of irrelevant experience would struggle to adopt and live up to the airline requirements, same goes for the fast jet pilots. Not what many would like to hear but true.
that 1500 hour pilot may very well have a lot of " raw" experience not garnered by the zero-to-hero pilots of airlines today....
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 01:31
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingStone View Post
MPL holder can after achieving 1500hrs, including 500hr PICUS (which can be done during line flying by captain signing the logbook) proceed to their ATPL skill test in the sim. If they pass, they've got exactly the same licence as any other ATPL holder, just that it is restricted to multi-pilot operations, unless further single-pilot training is done.

The article should be named "American pilots are the best".

Hours add to experience, yes. But 700hr pilot with 500hr on type will generally be better than 1501hr pilot with 1h on type.

I wouldn't bet on that, the "modern" euro-style of zero-to-hero has put lots of pilots in flight decks that can read checklists and do memory items...their ability to physically wrestle an errant aircraft, or sort their way through a problem that was not of a part of their curriculum is another matter...AF 442 classic example
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 02:19
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ironbutt57 View Post
I wouldn't bet on that, the "modern" euro-style of zero-to-hero has put lots of pilots in flight decks that can read checklists and do memory items...their ability to physically wrestle an errant aircraft, or sort their way through a problem that was not of a part of their curriculum is another matter...AF 442 classic example
Absolutely agree
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 03:30
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Then you have a recently graduated Cessna 172 trained cadet now in the right hand seat of a twin jet transport nervously saying to his captain "I don't like flying in cloud" as they fly through cirrus. And to think he is second in command of a big jet transport. If the captain has an "event" and keels over, it doesn't take much imagination to guess what happens to the aircraft.

Fortunately statistics are kind to them both.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 04:09
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ironbutt57 View Post
I wouldn't bet on that, the "modern" euro-style of zero-to-hero has put lots of pilots in flight decks that can read checklists and do memory items...their ability to physically wrestle an errant aircraft, or sort their way through a problem that was not of a part of their curriculum is another matter...AF 442 classic example
I think you mean AF447, but wasn’t it two American pilots with previous light aircraft “real flying experience” who did the exact same thing on Colgan 3407....?
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 06:30
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Originally Posted by dr dre View Post


I think you mean AF447, but wasn’t it two American pilots with previous light aircraft “real flying experience” who did the exact same thing on Colgan 3407....?
So from memory, CMIIAW, the captain had between 3K and 5K experience yes. More importantly however, he had failed pretty much every check ride available, failed upgrade, lied about those failures to get hired at Colgan, and continued to fail there. Should never have been in the cockpit of an airline. The FO really didn't help, but I feel it was mostly this PIC who caused the crash. Just because you have kept a 172 aloft for a few thousand hours doesn't guarantee you are airline material. Selection, preferably early in the training should be strict. One of the reasons IMNSHO the military is successful is not just their training but the failure rate before and during training: if you are not good enough you will not get your wings. Hiring everyone with 1500+ hours is just as [email protected] as hiring everyone with €200K.
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