b777a340fan
Topic Author
Posts: 675
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Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:40 am

I am not sure if this thread should go under "Civil Aviation" or "Travel", so feel free to move it if it's not in the right section.

I recently traveled to JFK-BCN on DY and couldn't help but notice how young the captain was. He couldn't be more than late 30s. Now I don't want to create an age battle, but I've never seen a captain manning a 787 that is younger than late 40s/early 50s. I had the same observation for a most LCCs, which begs the question....are the pilots adequately trained? I know that there's a huge shortage of pilots around the world...could the safety of passengers be compromised with the hiring of inadequately trained pilots?
 
fessor
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:53 am

Age doesn't matter its all about the training and the experience. A young pilot is as good as an old one
 
B777Driver
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:05 am

You were talking about age but your question is about training.
It’s not related , you may relate experience to age ...
 
Flow2706
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:39 am

Being old does not necessarily mean that you are experienced. If you get your first airline job when you are 21 (not so uncommon in Europe, in the US probably most new FOs are older due to the 1500h requirement) you can have more than 5000 hours when you are 26, if flying maximum hours each year (which is not so uncommon nowadays either). However I have flown with many first officers who were in their 40s and they just had 2000 hours of experience or so as they had different careers before etc. Age and experience do not necessarily make a good captain - a lack of proper attitude/bad CRM is sometimes seen in rather old and highly experienced captains as well not only in ‚new‘ captains.
I upgraded when I was 28 (just a few months before my 29th birthday). Now I am 30 and I have around 800 hours as a captain on the A320 and I feel quite comfortable in that role.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:41 am

Generally speaking, the upgrade process is much slower when you work for established major carriers. Their growth is slower and pilots tend to stay there until retirement as the wages and conditions of service are usually the best in the market. In this cases, it's not unusual to have to wait 10+ years to get your command, and even more to end up on the left seat of a widebody jet.

Progression can be much faster in airlines with large turnovers or relatively new carriers still enjoying fast growth, as was the case with DY until recently. EK and the other ME carriers, with their fast turnover rate, can have you on the left seat of a widebody within a few years only as well.

Bear in mind that while major carriers used to hire already experienced pilots who had spent a portion of their lives gathering experience in smaller outfits, they are now happy to hire straight out of flight school, many even sponsoring their own cadetship programs. Even after having to wait 10-15 years, that's still command well before your 40s.

Conversely, it is a also an increasingly less rewarding job for a similar position and level of responsibility as it used to be. The industry has managed to cheapen the profession and avoid a global pilot shortage by lowering the experience requirements.

And if I may end with a rant:
Don't do it, kids. It's a profession with dwindling returns and increasing workload, despite the high investment and risks, cheapened by globalisation (yes, you are now competing against cheaper pilots from india and the Philippines, no offense to them) and which is bound to be a target of automation within the next few decades. Good jobs with relative stability and good terms are fewer and fewer. An airline pilot nowadays is not much more than a glorified bus driver.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:12 am

Someone in his late thirties could have been flying for over twenty years.
I have seen 22 year olds fly F-16’s. Nothing to worry about, if you ask me.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:21 pm

The OP's question gets to the questions:

1. How much training/hours in a type is enough?

2. How much time in all types is enough?

You can look at crashes over the last two decades and find cases where pilots flew aircraft that were flying just fine into the ground (or the ocean). (See Colgan Air/CO Express 3407 at BUF, WN 345 at LGA in 2013, Asiana 214 at SFO, to start.) The Colgan flight caused the FAA to demand more experience before flying passengers. Many here have argued that the revised requirements are too high. Look at crash rates in less developed countries and median pilot experience.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:39 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
I have seen 22 year olds fly F-16’s. Nothing to worry about, if you ask me.


Good point. Most combat pilots start out in their 20s. During WWII, you had really young pilots too, including as captains on multi-crew bombers. Post-WWII aviation was spearheaded by youngsters.

Francoflier wrote:
(yes, you are now competing against cheaper pilots from india and the Philippines, no offense to them) and which is bound to be a target of automation within the next few decades.


Where exactly are Philippine and Indian pilots competing for jobs outside of their home continents?

I would also point out that automation is going to put everyone at risk, not just pilots. Your average office or factory worker is way easier to automate than a pilot.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:49 pm

There is not a 'huge shortage' of pilots. There is a shortage of pilots willing to work for $30,000 a year after spending $150,000 of their own money on training costs.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
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Aesma
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:50 pm

I think these big jets doing long flights are actually the easiest to fly, so the young pilots should fly those, and the experienced pilots the short haul flights !
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
johns624
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:52 pm

Another thing, left seat vs. right seat doesn't always equate to more experience in-type. As an example, with Delta getting rid of their MDs, many relatively senior captains who stayed with the MD due to work schedule have enough seniority to be captains on A320s/B737s. Their FO can have many more hours in-type, maybe overall and maybe in recent times. There are many fine technical pilots who remain as FOs because they don't want the responsibility of being captain or have a really good schedule and don't want to go down to the bottom of the seniority list.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:05 pm

I don't think this is a significant issue assuming the pilot has been properly trained and evaluated. I know several legacy carriers that had 25 year olds in the left seat of the 727 and 707 in the late sixties. If you happened to be lucky enough to be hired in the 1963/64 time frame your star rose very quickly, and if you were up to the challenge it was tremendous career right up to the time they went BK.

I would encourage anyone who aspires to an airline pilot job to go for it and ignore the naysayers.
 
Flow2706
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:22 pm

Aesma wrote:
I think these big jets doing long flights are actually the easiest to fly, so the young pilots should fly those, and the experienced pilots the short haul flights !

I don’t think a big jet is easier to fly than a small one - it’s more or less the same. Flyingwise, an A320 is not easier or harder to fly than an A380. Turboprops are a bit different as they spend more time in the weather (even the Q400 is limited to FL250 unless additional oxygen masks are installed), are more suspectable to icing and may also have flying characteristics that may be a bit more challenging. However the main reason why it’s best to start your career flying short or medium flights is that you spend a lower percentage of the flight in the cruise and get more takeoff/landings. It’s very important to become confident to fly in all kind of conditions that may be encountered (low visibility, crosswinds, thunderstorm activity in the vicinity). This process is a lot fast if flying short flights.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:44 pm

Longhaul/widebody jets, are relatively easy to fly, but...

- you get approx 1 landing a month, and are usually knackered after 8+hrs flight. They are no place to learn to fly, or gain experience. You can only capitalize on what you have learned before

- every decision, or error on the part of captain (eg. an unwarranted turn-back, diversion etc.) cost waay more money than on a narrow body, let alone an accident with 300+ people on board

- there are many more strategic considerations flying longhaul routes, than when eg. buzzing around Europe in an ERJ or 737

Bottom line, wide bodies are no place for youngsters. I’d.say at least 10-15 years of narrow body experience is required to make a fully fledged pilot, ready to be a captain on a widebody.

I’m not talking about flying skills here. I’m sure an average 25 y/o Q400 pilot could fly loops around any widebody captain, just due to the sheer amount of sectors they do every month. However, to fly big jets it takes maturity and experience... It’s a job for older guys
"Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis - and I still have my hands on the wheel…"
 
Magnolia
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:45 pm

Captain Yusupov, despite his age of 41, made it from entering flight school to captain to crash landing a plane in a cornfield in 8 years.
 
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InnsbruckFlyer
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Re: Age Disparity in Pilots Around the World?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Magnolia wrote:
Captain Yusupov, despite his age of 41, made it from entering flight school to captain to crash landing a plane in a cornfield in 8 years.


And only had 3,000 hours total....

Last flown aircraft: DH8D OE-LGO < A320 HA-LWC < A320 HA-LWV < A320 SX-DVT < A320 SX-DVK < B733 LZ-BVU < E190 LZ-SOF < A320 D-AIUQ < DH8D OE-LGJ < A321 D-AIRN < A319 LZ-FBB < DH8D OE-LGO < B772 OE-LPC < A346 D-AIHX

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