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Worldwide pilot experience too low?

Old 10th Jul 2019, 08:36
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Look at the big 3 low cost in Europe, all fly with low hour pilots and they have some of the best safety records in the world. Clearly it's working in Europe because if it didn't there would be many more incidents

What it comes down to is training of the airline for their pilots and the attitude and skills of the pilot and how the pilot applies those skills and knowledge to their day by day duties.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 09:35
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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It’s true proper training is more important than hours. But the fact that European carriers have a good safety record is also probably due to the fact that you have it fairly easy in term of weather, very good ATC/facility compare to Asia/Africa for example.

Last edited by pineteam; 10th Jul 2019 at 10:01. Reason: Rephrase.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 10:43
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Why are you referencing Africa if the buzz here is exactly about US vs Europe? How does Jet Blue record compares to Easy and Southwest to Ryanair? Can anyone demonstrate how 1500 rule have helped US airlines compared to their European counterparts who ALL using low time first officers?
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 10:48
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry I thought the buzz was more about 1500hr vs 200hr. xD
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 11:25
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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It is but the same time it is really about US vs EU, who cares about others?
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 11:34
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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While every continent has its own specifics, I wouldn't say Europe is the easiest place to fly. Weather can be extreme on both ends of the temperature scale, whereas one hardly ever sees icy in Africa I imagine. As for the ATC, there are many places in Africa (and not only SA) that would be considered world class compared to the excellent service we see in Spain.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 12:01
  #47 (permalink)  
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It’s true proper training is more important than hours.
For my considerable experience as both a student and a trainer in airplanes, I have noticed that a new pilot's receptiveness to learning is like a sponge, but backward. If you pour water (the training) over a brand new sponge (the student's brain), a lot of it rolls off, rather than being absorbed. As the student becomes more familiar with simply being airborne, the sounds, the tasks, and unusual attitudes and events, they can absorb at retain more training and experience. I have found that the pilot with a few hundred hours of experience in a 150, or otherwise simple, poorly equipped airplane, has opened up their learning sponge considerably, and is ready to learn more, and understand how, and when to apply it. I trained a 7000 hour airline pilot in his new taildragger. As he slid the plane all over the runway as I took over to avert a groundloop, he was obviously overwhelmed. New type, with no idea what to expect, so he did not absorb what was happening. It was only when I turned around to backtrack, and showed him the S shaped skid marks he had left, that he began to get it - his sponge opened up to receive more learning. It would have been too late in real time, but when he was able to catch up, he could absorb more - then, he began to be ready to learn tailwheel. That was his fifth hour flying tailwheel with me, he had to have the bad experience to understand what he was learning. Happily, aside from a bit of spent rubber, it was otherwise safe.

A very new pilot trained in a DA-20 will have mastered more of the plane and its capabilities in its intended operating environment in 100 hours, than that same very new pilot put directly into a DA-42. After the first 100 hours in either type, the pilot of the DA-20 will be safer in the DA-20, than the DA-42 pilot would be in the DA-42, simply because the DA-20 is simple, as its operating environment, and flying it will afford the new pilot the opportunity for settling into the environment before complicating it. With that 100 hours in a simple type, they'll be much more ready for the DA-42, because they can devote much more of their learning attention to differences, not still building basics - their learning sponge is more receptive to holding more knowledge, rather than that knowledge overflowing the sponge.

Learning piloting is very much a stepping stone process. Yes, you can take a direct entry MPL candidate and have them right seat in a jet in a 100 hours, but it is certain that their personal learning sponge has not yet opened up. There are things that they still need to learn. Maybe they learn them quickly enough, on rare occasions, we read that a skill was not as well developed as we hope.

Yeah, the 1500 hour 172 pilot is over qualified in a light single, and if they have the slightest aptitude toward piloting, their personal learning sponge is really ready to absorb lots more. They will need more type and operating environment training, but the basics of piloting will be solidly ingrained in them, and will be "unconscious competence" for their piloting skills for the rest of their career. The 300 hour MPL right seat jet pilot may have achieved "conscious competence" but they have yet to achieve "unconscious competence", and worse, right seat in a jet flying scheduled routes is a slow way to learn, compared to other piloting environments - I hear they use autopilots and autothrottles a lot!

A pilot with 1000+ hours in whatever simple plane is easier to validate for higher training, and will likely accomplish it sooner, because that experience has given them a sound, maybe even excess, basis for learning, their personal learning sponge is open to learn more.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 12:23
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Clearly it's working in Europe because if it didn't there would be many more incidents
The full ATC radar coverage and GPS availability, put together with superb sophistication of todays automatic pilots, makes the flying environment much safer for the low hour airline co-pilot. It is only when the rare moment where the chips are down that it would be nice to have someone with good experience in the RH seat .
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 16:40
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Training is good, and necessary of course. Not everyone will respond the same way; some will really try to understand the training and store it in their brain as well as be able to pull that knowledge out when required. unfortunately, many pay only a superficial attention and do not retain much of that training. I see that as common nowadays with multi choice tests, all the student wants is to pass the test, not to learn the subject. However that is not restricted to newbies.

However experience is at least as important as training, in my own opinion it is much more important indeed essential. Even if the person knows nothing about what goes on in the electronics bay or hydraulic system, he will see what happens when he moves that switch or lever and build on that experience. Experience makes the difference between a trained and a competent pilot. Which one would you like to have sitting up front when you go on a flight, especially if the conditions are tough?

When all the flight crews are inexperienced (that will happen when the current crop of senior pilots retire at age 65 and is happening as we speak), how do the newbies get their experience? Who is going to mentor them, help them understand what they are seeing and how to handle the things that are not in the books? Picture the last two 737MAX accidents, and how different those would have turned out if the pilots had had experience of trim problems, either in the sim or in an airplane? And we, as pilots, are remarkably inventive when it comes time to find things to screw up.

Sure experience in a C172 is good, but it is not a replacement for the experience of a couple of thousand hours flying as crew in a B777, handling problems, learning when to start slowing down for the approach, how to handle an ATC delay on descent, how to save fuel when on a long flight and been held down due to traffic, how to cajole a better clearance, how to recognizer and fly severe turbulence or penetrate a thunderstorm without radar or any one of thousands of situations that are not covered in training.

Lets face it; the pilot you want to see up front has grey hair, a few lines on his face and a scruffy appearance. He (or she in some circumstances) will have experience. He cannot get that from a book, or a computer. He got it by doing the job. If he was a real pilot he would have been passing on what he knew to his copilot, giving that guy landings, approaches, some difficult decisions to make, and helping him/her to be ready to take over when it was time to give it up.

But now we have a huge hole in experience. The guys at the top are only (seemingly) interested in maximizing their income in their last few years before being forced to retire, and the ones coming up are so junior they do not understand what could be passed on to them, being solely interested in taking advantage of the opportunity to get something for free and without any effort on their part. They don't understand the importance of what they are seeing and lack the experience to pay attention. It frightens me to think that when the baton is passed, the commanders of those magic ships of the air will be so ignorant and unready, and mostly totally unaware that they are not ready because they did not get the chance to learn from those who could have taught them.

Without skill and experience we will become just the same as what we see now in those countries that have the money to buy airplanes and airlines but do not have the experienced pilots to fly them.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 17:13
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Of all the clap trap that’s been written on this site, this is by far and away the most outrageous bit of literary faeces I’ve ever seen. To claim that those coming through the ranks now are “taking advantage”, that they “want something for free and without any effort” is so disingenuous it shouldn’t really warrant a reply.

Those coming through the ranks now are going about it the only way they see possible, and paying a great deal for it. They are a product of corporate greed from the generation that went before them - those that claim to be the last remaining sky gods. Coincidentally, ​​​​​​these sky gods are also the ones who willingly volunteer anecdotes of drunken nights downroute followed immediately by a long slog across the Atlantic on oxygen to sober up.

European airlines have been successfully taking 250hr wonder pilots and putting them in jets for decades. Not just locos, but legacy carriers too. Most of the current senior training standards captains at the big British airline were such cadets, now flying intercontinental to the very places some have described as more difficult than Europe.

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Old 10th Jul 2019, 18:58
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Well, MOSTLY successfuly.
...Except for the ones that died...
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 19:20
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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A single engine instructor who spent the last 3 years flying traffic patterns and cross country at 100 knots VFR flying should be at an advantage theoretically but I don't think there will be much of a difference if you put them both through a type rating and line training on a 737 or 320 I would expect them to be at about the same level having gone through the exact same training. So what really matters is training and getting that exposure to Jet and line flying. Just my opinion
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 19:51
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by 421dog View Post


Well, MOSTLY successfuly.
...Except for the ones that died...
Exactly, sounds very realistic
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 20:31
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Really.
Hoping people realize that time spent in an airplane in “peril” with valuable freight, but non-humans in the back, and a very real human pilot in the front, who is not dead, and who has no interest in assuming that status, and who spends his flight time learning to be “less close to being dead” preliminaralliy by manageing systems which want to slide out of line clandestinely while said pilot is listening to Art Bell, and playing fingerpaints with the St Elmo’s fire on the plexiglass, (biggest prepositional phrase I’ve ever attempted), is infinitely superior to anything somebody comes up with in a sim.

A pilot gets dead over the wilds of northern somewhere, does himself and his $150k C402 in, and there are a few packages that need to be accounted for.

He does that for 1500 hrs, doesn’t get dead, passes his ATP ride, and I think he’s ready for a right seat.

not really a simulator or part 142 program that’s gonna get you there...

Last edited by 421dog; 10th Jul 2019 at 21:14.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 21:52
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Experience is the knowledge or mastery of a subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it, generally referring to know-how rather than know-what; i.e. on-the-job learning opposed to book, class, learning.

Experience relates specific activity; aviation, flying, particularly context. That which a person is expected to be exposed to and how to react. This depends on role, task, and situation; and that any future need is a judgement - a forecast of the level of interaction in role, task, and situation.
Flying hours alone do not constitute experience, it’s the content of those hours and retention of that knowledge and skill, and transference of these across types and operations which are important. Also, a mindset never to stop learning.

The opening views in the thread is blatant hindsight bias. Similarly discussion of individual accidents, which can only conclude that the level of experience, or its application was insufficient for that particular situation.
Focus on individuals is again in hindsight, fundamental attribution error, unwarranted blame.

These views should not be used as a basis of training and levels of experience; pilots rarely encounter the same accident, situations do not repeat exactly. Thus the greater need is for experience in judging different situations, the unusual, not trained for events, and have flexibly in acting. Modern experience is more associated with agility of thought, awareness, opposed to physical skills.

Current levels of experience differ from previous; the issue is not that future operations will require same level, content, or quality, but that the combined crew experience should be sufficient for the situations crew’s are expected to manage.
Forecasting future challenges is difficult, Generic experience and skills could help. However it may be easier to limit the extreme situations that crews could encounter, with technical and operational improvements; and not to expect too much from the human contribution in an increasingly complex world.

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Old 10th Jul 2019, 22:29
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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I don't understand what all the discussion (quality/quantity of experience, sim time etc.) is about since in the VERY near future, there will be no need for pilots at all in transport category aircraft. The technology already exists, but the biggest hurdle to implementation is SLF acceptance. Well, there might be a computer tech located somewhere on the aircraft to trouble shoot various systems glitches who will be able to set things right with just a few clicks of a mouse or the pushing of a few buttons. There will be no windows provided for the tech since there would be no need for him/her to interact with the physical world. Can you imagine that, controlling a large transport category aircraft by just manipulating a few buttons and knobs and not looking out the window? Oh wait ....

Cheers, I think,
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 00:35
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Busdriver01 View Post



Of all the clap trap that’s been written on this site, this is by far and away the most outrageous bit of literary faeces I’ve ever seen. To claim that those coming through the ranks now are “taking advantage”, that they “want something for free and without any effort” is so disingenuous it shouldn’t really warrant a reply.

Those coming through the ranks now are going about it the only way they see possible, and paying a great deal for it. They are a product of corporate greed from the generation that went before them - those that claim to be the last remaining sky gods. Coincidentally, ​​​​​​these sky gods are also the ones who willingly volunteer anecdotes of drunken nights downroute followed immediately by a long slog across the Atlantic on oxygen to sober up.

European airlines have been successfully taking 250hr wonder pilots and putting them in jets for decades. Not just locos, but legacy carriers too. Most of the current senior training standards captains at the big British airline were such cadets, now flying intercontinental to the very places some have described as more difficult than Europe.

I see it. I live it. I train these guys and I see their progression. I know what the airlines are offering and paying for their services. The experience level has dropped precipitously. Youngsters are getting command years before they would have before the shortage happened. Some of my students of just a few years back are now captains on jets carrying 80 to 150 passengers and there is no way they know as much as their counterparts of years past. And their attitude is what I say in many cases. I get calls from 500 hour pilots with brand new certificates who only want to know what I will pay them to come and show me how good they are. Qualifications? Forget about it. Yes there are many great candidates out there and they will do well, I know because I employ some of them, but most want instant gratification and are not prepared to wait or work for it. Good for them if they get that dream job but not so good for the industry if the accident rates go too high as a result. I get the airline safety reviews every day and I can see a trend. Can't you?
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 01:01
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Truly, I drive or fly myself whenever it’s feasible. I have zero faith in the average CRJ driver, which is about all we have around here.
The best pilot I know, (USAF ex-f-16, 15 and U-2 ) flies professionally for a big US company with a penchant for 737s, and vociferiously doesn’t consider what he does for a living “flying”. He says company SOP adds nothing to his ability to meet a “generic challenge”, should such arise, and that flying his private planes as well as the warbirds he has access to are what keeps him sharp.

Last edited by 421dog; 11th Jul 2019 at 06:43.
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Old 12th Jul 2019, 11:27
  #59 (permalink)  
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Safety of an operation is dependent on multiple variables, of which crew competency is a factor. Routinely airlines will operate with a zero experience pilot in line training, with or without a safety pilot dependent on the local rules. That is not going to change, at least in this universe, people start at the beginning and add experience.

Mitigation of the risks of low experience or assumed limited competency comes from increased oversight, more restrictive operational limits, and adding good equipment and hopefully some balance of limited experience with pilots that have a modicum of experience but more importantly competency. Irrespective of how well or inadequate the original training and experience was, the majority of the operational learning will occur on line, where there is experiential reinforcement of hopefully remembered concepts and rules.

For basic flying required to fly a hi capacity RPT aircraft in a mature airline, you can consider the basics that exist out of the military training program, and remove the tactical stuff in the most part. Out of a 230-250 hr flight training program, around 150 hrs of that is related to "flight training", the rest is focused towards military centric stuff, formation, low flying, aerobatics, and initial weapons training, which add to the total competency, but are focused outside of the most basic civil task. Out of 150 hrs, the first 20 odd hours are gaining basic flight skills, getting around in a semblance of order from TO to LDG. The rest is related to learning instrument flying skills, navigation, and becoming comfortable in night operations. We are accepting of a minuscule amount of time in learning to fly multi engine aircraft, and in all honesty, for the most part that time is wasted, the concepts and skills of ME are pretty basic. As an industry since inception we have accepted new pilots being turned around immediately to train new pilots, was ever thus. In the main, these instructors do a creditable job, but it is inherently a lousy concept, but it is what we have always accepted as a norm. The use of simulators has the potential to be a better way of learning, and also it may result in considerable lack of confidence in the student, which can come back and bite. Incorporating basic flight training to beyond solo, simulator, and some advanced flying to give confidence would be a reasonable way to get a pilot into a program with multi crew and oversight that can manage the low experience. That is pretty close to the concept of the MPL.

Centaurus' concern of the new low experience pilot sitting solo in the front end as the old guy, like Centaurus and me have croaked defines the basic level of competency that needs to be assured to have the low time pilot sit in the aircraft without any other assistance.

I believe we need training that speaks more to the actual task the pilot will undertake, appropriate level of supervision, and associated operational limitations that maintain safety of operation. That is more or less the same issue that has existed since 1903, WWI, WW2, 10,000 day war, etc... the only difference is that we continue to improve the training tools that exist, but as always, effective utilisation of the tools lags technology as the rules move at glacial speed. Personally, I would not take issue to competent instructors teaching the majority of sim training in FBT (for nav and procedures including IF), and using FFS for limited tasks related to pattern work, unusual attitudes and similar tasks. Decision making, CRM etc, and much NNCL training is suited to PTT/FBT. For the aircraft flying itself, fly one of the modern LSA's, they outperform most "complex" aircraft and are cost effective, or stay with a 150, or better yet, put the J3 back into production. For advanced flying, strap on an S2A/C or similar. For twin training, it is a part of the FFS, and would give more rational training safer than we do today in a PA30/34 and similar.

There is not a lack of skills or training, there is a lack of imagination and effective resource use.
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Old 12th Jul 2019, 12:47
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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While all the above are good points, commercial aviation continues to be safer than just about any form of transportation. The cynic in me says there is an "acceptable" hull loss rate, and as long as fatalities remain below a certain level there will not be much motivation to make any changes that will cost a lot of money in terms of pilot hiring or training.
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