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RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:07 pm
by FlyPNS1
Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 49):
Just not a magic number seemingly pulled out of the air by the geniuses on Capitol Hill

So then what should the number be? I've heard lots of people complain that 1,500 is arbitrary, but no one seems to have a better number. Isn't any number arbitrary? Is 250 any better than 249?

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:21 pm
by lightsaber
Quoting planemaker (Reply 44):
You have a BIG extended family... and talented, too.

   And we're still breeding!  
Quoting planemaker (Reply 44):
I agree with the "practice makes perfect" logic... it applies to everything - from golf swings to hoops shots. What I don't agree with is relating the professions.

Fair enough. What matters is how one gets the experience. But like surgeons, we're now sending our talent oversees to gain experience (e.g., Lion Air was notorious for copilots paying to gain hours).

Quoting planemaker (Reply 48):
I ended up looking up the city on the web and I honestly fail to see why tax payers should subsidize the city. They are about a 2.5 hr drive from Denver (or just over 1 hr to Cheyenne). Plus, as the 7th most obese city in the country they are probably weight limited on many flights.

I fail to see why many of the subsidies make any sense, excluding airports that serve military installations. Obesity just means the airlines should charge self loading cargo by the pound.     
Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 49):
By meeting the experience requirements, is one immune from error in surgery for the rest of their career?

No, but the statistical change of a bad eye surgeon making it past 400 operations (of one type, beyond the initial surgeon training) is very low. Unfortunately, to have a fair benchmark, there must be hours. I read quite a bit of history and found that during WW2, there was a direct correlation with flight hours and piloting skills up to 600 hours. In that scenario, by putting pilots into the high horsepower aircraft later (and aircraft increased in difficulty to fly as the war progressed, that is the nature of 'high performance aircraft'). Post war, the performance of every Air Force was compared and there was found to be less variation in performance due to the syllabus of the flight training program than the flight hours. Note: All Air Forces did more classroom time than flight time, so the assumption is there is a classroom component getting that 600 hours.

But how does one get the experience? I find 1,500 hours for the pilot/captain quite reasonable and I wouldn't propose lowering that a minute. But I also believe 1,500 hours for the copilot is wasteful and serves no purpose. I would lower the threshold to 600 hours for those with a degree and 1,000 hours for those without.

But none of this would have prevented the crash that the hour rule was inspired by...    Some fine tuning seems wise. What they did is too much.

Lightsaber

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:22 pm
by DeltaRules
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 50):
So then what should the number be? I've heard lots of people complain that 1,500 is arbitrary, but no one seems to have a better number. Isn't any number arbitrary? Is 250 any better than 249?

I like this logic:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
But how does one get the experience? I find 1,500 hours for the pilot/captain quite reasonable and I wouldn't propose lowering that a minute. But I also believe 1,500 hours for the copilot is wasteful and serves no purpose. I would lower the threshold to 600 hours for those with a degree and 1,000 hours for those without.

Cut it to 500-750, with some fluctuation based upon demand. The student completes their private, instrument, commercial single and multi, and then goes to "pay their dues" as an instructor or taking a banner towing/cargo/135/aerial photography, etc. job. If one gets to 500 and wants more time as an instructor, so be it. (My first instrument instructor enjoyed her job so much that she was considering making an extended career out of it.) I've talked to a number of people who feel 1,200 hours (after training ends) of touch-and-goes, stalls, and steep turns is a joke.

The government's degree flight time credit means well, but is a bit of a joke, too. As I understand it, you have to go to the school AND complete at least instrument and commercial training there. So, for somebody like me, who did ERAU-Worldwide and flew at a local FBO to get private and instrument (as so many people used to think was acceptable), it's still 1,500. It was literally "Here, here's a bone, now shut up and go along with our rule" to universities.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:05 am
by silentbob
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 50):
So then what should the number be? I've heard lots of people complain that 1,500 is arbitrary, but no one seems to have a better number. Isn't any number arbitrary? Is 250 any better than 249?

Congress addressed the issue in the incorrect way. First of all, this was in response to the Colgan crash and both of those pilots more than met the new minimums. Much like the OZ crash in SFO, the issue was with a captain that was new to the type. Personally, I think they should have required more time in type before you can serve as a captain whenever possible. Obviously, that isn't always possible in every case, something else would need to be done in those situations. Perhaps significantly increased minimum training time.

I don't think the minimum for FOs should have been increased above 500, possibly with a 2500 minimum to upgrade to the left seat in addition to a significant minimum time in type before upgrading to the left seat. Something like 50-100 hours as a first officer.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:55 am
by futureualpilot
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
I would lower the threshold to 600 hours for those with a degree and 1,000 hours for those without.

How are these numbers any less arbitrary? I've flown with university grads who have no business flying the general public around and FBO guys with no degree that were excellent sticks and even better decision makers. The carve out for universities has zero to do with the quality of the individual and everything to do with them being able to draw students in.

Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 52):
I've talked to a number of people who feel 1,200 hours (after training ends) of touch-and-goes, stalls, and steep turns is a joke.

That is their fault. I taught for a couple thousand hours and I learned from start to finish. Hours are what you make of them. Those that whine about having to fill the time are not using the time as wisely as they could.

Quoting silentbob (Reply 53):
Personally, I think they should have required more time in type before you can serve as a captain whenever possible.

Literally thousands of pilots have upgraded into an aircraft they have previously never flown without issue.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:46 pm
by planemaker
Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 54):
How are these numbers any less arbitrary? I've flown with university grads who have no business flying the general public around and FBO guys with no degree that were excellent sticks and even better decision makers. The carve out for universities has zero to do with the quality of the individual and everything to do with them being able to draw students in.

Not many people talk about the "raw" qualities of a pilot... as though they are all at the same level when, in reality, there is a wide range. You can have marvelous stick skills but poor decision making skills... and vice versa, for example, and everything in between.

As the old refrain goes, 99.9% of flying is "boring holes" through the skies. IMHO, there should be an disproportionate skew of hours towards training (and testing) for emergencies and decision making skills under pressure rather than accumulating hours and hours of x-country flying.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:47 pm
by norcal
Quoting silentbob (Reply 53):
Congress addressed the issue in the incorrect way. First of all, this was in response to the Colgan crash and both of those pilots more than met the new minimums. Much like the OZ crash in SFO, the issue was with a captain that was new to the type.

The issue isn't whether they had the hours at the time of the crash but that they were low time when originally hired. Part 121 isn't the place to learn basic flying skills. You are supposed to come in having all of that knowledge and the old 250 hour minimums simply weren't cutting it. The Asiana crash is a perfect example of this. Those guys had thousands and thousands of hours in jets BUT they were low time new hires. They never properly learned how to shoot a visual approach. Asiana wants to blame that on the auto-throttles in the 777, but that wasn't the cause. It was the pilots lack of basic airmanship and shooting a visual approach while doing a simple instrument scan. Any pilot worth his salt should be able to accomplish a visual approach with nothing more then a window and an airspeed indicator.

I've seen suggested on here that low time pilots can just be paired with high time Captains. That isn't the solution either because the Captain has a lot of responsibility over the course of the flight and one of them shouldn't be baby-sitting or instructing the FO in basic airmanship. Those skills must be well established by the time pilots hit the line. An airline is not a flight school and I don't think passengers want it to be.

What Captains can teach their FOs is some airline related decision making skills. However a lot of these skills can be learned flight instructing or doing single pilot operations.

Having worked in cockpits for awhile I think it is scary how much over reliance (and a push by manufacturers and the armchair experts for it) on automation. They are simply tools, but more and more they are used as crutches. What happens when all those fancy avionics break or don't work as advertised or do something the crew doesn't expect (e.g. Asiana)? Then you are dead in the water with a crew that doesn't know what to do and doesn't have the basic airmanship skills to fall back on.


The solution to the "shortage" is really simple. Raise pay, and it doesn't have to be raised to a level that will bankrupt airlines. Doubling starting pay would add next to nothing to the cost of an airline ticket. You are talking about going from $20-$25 per flight hour to $40-50 per flight hour. Now spread that extra $20-25 across 50-76 passengers for a typical 2 hour regional flight. Yeah that's going to totally bankrupt the airlines!  

Regional carriers could even add a contract service length of several years in order to recoup their investment.


What will significantly hurt regional airlines is the last minute rush to drive down wages as far as possible. The current path is going to cause the entire regional system to collapse and that will hurt passengers and airlines alike in the form of reduced service, higher ticket prices, and less feed for flights.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:54 pm
by DiamondFlyer
Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
Regional carriers could even add a contract service length of several years in order to recoup their investment.

Yes, because training contracts are exactly what need to happen (sarcasm). Training contracts are a sign of a crappy place to work and the company knows it. They put the contract in place to force people to stay at a miserable place.

-DiamondFlyer

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:27 pm
by norcal
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 57):
Yes, because training contracts are exactly what need to happen (sarcasm). Training contracts are a sign of a crappy place to work and the company knows it. They put the contract in place to force people to stay at a miserable place.

Training contracts already exist for the signing bonuses. 2 years would likely have to be given at most regionals before upgrade is possible anyways.

What should really happen is a mainline seniority number (not a flow or a preferential interview) is given to the pilot the day they start at a regional. The first regional to get this will have no problem staffing their ranks.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:36 pm
by lightsaber
Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 52):
Cut it to 500-750, with some fluctuation based upon demand.

I would have a difference on classroom time. Since you're proposing my low hours +/- 150, I seems we are otherwise agreed.

Quoting DeltaRules (Reply 52):
The government's degree flight time credit means well, but is a bit of a joke, too. As I understand it, you have to go to the school AND complete at least instrument and commercial training there. So, for somebody like me, who did ERAU-Worldwide and flew at a local FBO to get private and instrument (as so many people used to think was acceptable), it's still 1,500

I didn't know that. I do not think where the flight training happens matters. But the classroom time definitely makes for a better pilot. That was proven by the airforces that cut pilot classroom time (before cutting flight time) in WW2. There were examples of both and those that had the same flight hours performed worse if they had their classroom theory cut.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 54):
How are these numbers any less arbitrary?

1. The 600 is based on classroom and flying statistics from WW2 pilots. If you have better numbers, I'll use them.
2. I've found theory important. My current doesn't place as much value on schooling as my prior employer which means correcting processes often doesn't happen. Some things are only learned in a classroom prior to job hire when the student is 'more motivated' to learn.

Quoting silentbob (Reply 53):
Congress addressed the issue in the incorrect way. First of all, this was in response to the Colgan crash and both of those pilots more than met the new minimums.

   But some of what they did I agree with. e.g., more stick and rudder before carrying passengers. For when flying with a cabin full of people, there isn't any room to deviate which means one isn't learning certain skills.

Again, I would like 600 hours of flight time with a degree or 1,000 hours of flight time (no degree). I strongly believe the classroom time covering theory that leads to the degree is of high value. In particular when going to next generation aircraft (e.g., BWBs).

Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
Doubling starting pay would add next to nothing to the cost of an airline ticket.

What size aircraft? The regional jets aren't going to have trouble filling seats (or at least haven't felt the pain yet). It will be great lakes and other fliers of smaller aircraft were the ticket price would have to reflect immediately the pay increase.

Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
Having worked in cockpits for awhile I think it is scary how much over reliance (and a push by manufacturers and the armchair experts for it) on automation.

The technology is pushed by multi-billion dollar lawsuits. Think of how much Software Boeing must update because of the OZ crash at SFO.

Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
Regional carriers could even add a contract service length of several years in order to recoup their investment.

Is this allowed under the Railway labor Act? I believe that would qualify as a 'clawback' and clawbacks are only allowed for bonus pay related to performance metrics in a given 12 month period where the performance targets were found not to be met after the bonus was paid. What you propose is greater than 12 months. Now, it would be perfectly legal to put a 24 month clawback on a signing bonus (signing bonus comes under different rules, but 24 months is the limit). It is pretty much impossible to inforce a clawback after 24 months on anyone but an 'high compensated officer of the company,' and even then it would be impossible to dock the base pay and instead on bonus pay may be clawed back. Otherwise, the pilot is a free person to pursue their next employer within reasonable notice times (14 days or prior two weeks pay may be clawbacked and some industries allow for 30 days, but I do not know the NRLA rules for this).

The NRWLA prohibits an employee taking on debt to the company for training (broke the 'company store' policies, a good thing). Is is that the governing labor law? Either way, there is no 'paying back the employer' by keeping the pilot around.

Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
An airline is not a flight school and I don't think passengers want it to be.

Agreed, but 1,500 hours (or 1,000 with school) is too much.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 55):
IMHO, there should be an disproportionate skew of hours towards training (and testing) for emergencies and decision making skills under pressure rather than accumulating hours and hours of x-country flying.

Agreed. I propose increasing the required simulator time per year for *all* pilots. For in some people those skills age quickly.


Lightsaber

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:45 pm
by silentbob
Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
The issue isn't whether they had the hours at the time of the crash but that they were low time when originally hired. Part 121 isn't the place to learn basic flying skills. You are supposed to come in having all of that knowledge and the old 250 hour minimums simply weren't cutting it.

I have flown with a lot of 250 hour guys that had excellent basic flying skills. In fact, the vast majority of them were better with basic flying skills than the guys that have been with us ten years or more. The FAA has cited the reliance upon automation for reducing those skills on guys over the course of their careers as an issue. Those basic flying skills appear to degrade over time when not used regularly.

Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
The solution to the "shortage" is really simple. Raise pay, and it doesn't have to be raised to a level that will bankrupt airlines. Doubling starting pay would add next to nothing to the cost of an airline ticket.

Raising the pay doesn't address the excessive debt that most pilot candidates face. Limiting pilot opportunities to those with wealthy families is not in the best interest of the flying public.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:13 pm
by planemaker
Quoting norcal (Reply 56):
Having worked in cockpits for awhile I think it is scary how much over reliance (and a push by manufacturers and the armchair experts for it) on automation. They are simply tools, but more and more they are used as crutches.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 59):
The technology is pushed by multi-billion dollar lawsuits. Think of how much Software Boeing must update because of the OZ crash at SFO.

We are in a technological valley because of legacy systems but by 2020 we will be very much beyond them. "Avionics" will be much more than "simply tools"... "avionics" will "know". Watch this video: IBM Watson: The Rise Of Cognitive Computing

Lightsaber, you might get a chuckle out of this since you have a few doctors in your clan... with Deep Blue having defeated Kasporov, and Watson winning Jeopardy!, IBM has set as their next challenge for Watson to pass the MLE.  

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:29 pm
by norcal
Quoting silentbob (Reply 60):
I have flown with a lot of 250 hour guys that had excellent basic flying skills. In fact, the vast majority of them were better with basic flying skills than the guys that have been with us ten years or more

Not my experience, I've seen a lot of very sketchy cross wind landings, constantly behind the plane, wanting to fly questionably close to thunderstorms, forgetting factors like wet or contaminated runways. etc.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 61):
We are in a technological valley because of legacy systems but by 2020 we will be very much beyond them. "Avionics" will be much more than "simply tools"... "avionics" will "know". Watch this video

Computers still malfunction and the more complicated they become the more complicated the failures are and the harder it is to get out of them. Some of the "legacy" systems were the easiest and quickest things to fix. I'm not saying it won't happen someday, I just think 6 years is very optimistic for the type of avionics and computing power in aircraft you are talking about.

There are a ton of unknown, unknowns not to mention costs.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:41 pm
by planemaker
Quoting norcal (Reply 62):
I'm not saying it won't happen someday, I just think 6 years is very optimistic for the type of avionics and computing power in aircraft you are talking about.

Watson is already proof that 6 years is actually being very conservative.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:47 pm
by Mir
Quoting vio (Reply 17):
I think the law is there to improve safety

Well, I'm doubtful that it'll do that.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 21):
And flying an airliner is increasingly "pretty much the same thing".

Not in the least.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 57):
Yes, because training contracts are exactly what need to happen (sarcasm). Training contracts are a sign of a crappy place to work and the company knows it. They put the contract in place to force people to stay at a miserable place.

Not necessarily. A lot of good corporate jobs have a training contract of a year or so in order to give some protection for their investment. The European carriers that do ab-initio training have training contracts for the same reason. Hell, the military basically has a training contract, and nobody sees a problem with that. Nothing wrong with a training contract attached to a good job with a good salary. The problem comes when the training contract is attached to a job with a bad salary. Republic reportedly has a training contract, and they're still paying out peanuts. That's a problem.

-Mir

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:51 pm
by futureualpilot
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 59):
What size aircraft? The regional jets aren't going to have trouble filling seats (or at least haven't felt the pain yet). It will be great lakes and other fliers of smaller aircraft were the ticket price would have to reflect immediately the pay increase.

They already are. Classes at more than one regional airline are showing up with no-shows and several companies are back to offering several thousand dollars in signing bonuses.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 59):
Is this allowed under the Railway labor Act?

Companies have tried to pursue pilots who left within the specified time frame but to my knowledge none have successfully recouped the money. As far as the legality under the RLA I'm not certain, I would be interested to find out as well.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 59):
Agreed, but 1,500 hours (or 1,000 with school) is too much.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 59):
1. The 600 is based on classroom and flying statistics from WW2 pilots. If you have better numbers, I'll use them.

Your best argument is offering up data over half a century old against people who do this for a living? I'm not buying that one. My data is based on the fact that the Colgan crash, and crashes before it at the regional level occurred with pilots who were hired with low time at the controls. I understand that correlation is not necessarily causation but there is certainly a link here.

Quoting silentbob (Reply 60):
Raising the pay doesn't address the excessive debt that most pilot candidates face. Limiting pilot opportunities to those with wealthy families is not in the best interest of the flying public.

This has zero effect on the cost of training. You don't have to go pay for all 1500hrs of flying, if you get your commercial and/or CFI you are marketable and have opened up opportunities to make money and build flying time. Raising pay at the regional level will attract more candidates and allow those candidates to help pay off some of the debt they incurred while training, however.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:07 pm
by planemaker
Quoting Mir (Reply 64):
Not in the least.

It is indeed increasingly "pretty much the same thing".

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:11 pm
by Mir
Quoting planemaker (Reply 66):
It is indeed increasingly "pretty much the same thing".

Again, no it isn't. I used to play Flight Simulator a lot, I fly now, and I can tell you that the two are very different, even when things aren't going wrong.

-Mir

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:32 pm
by planemaker
Quoting Mir (Reply 67):
Again, no it isn't. I used to play Flight Simulator a lot, I fly now, and I can tell you that the two are very different, even when things aren't going wrong.

Yes, you may have use to fly Flight Simulator. What is now available, especially from X-Plane, is indeed increasingly similar. More importantly, as aircraft automation continues to increase the distinction between the two will increasingly blur.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:46 pm
by Mir
Quoting planemaker (Reply 68):
Yes, you may have use to fly Flight Simulator. What is now available, especially from X-Plane, is indeed increasingly similar.

Funny, because I used X-Plane as well, and it's just not as good of a training tool as Flight Simulator. Yes, the flight models are better, but that's irrelevant because the flight model is one of the least valuable parts of a desktop simulator when it comes to the actual flight experience. I don't care how good your flight model is, you cannot have the sensation of actually flying an airplane without either being in that airplane or using a full-motion simulator with proper control loading, visuals, etc.

The real benefit of a desktop simulator is in avionics training, instrument procedures training, and in simulating the general flight environment (scenery, traffic, weather, etc.), and Flight Simulator is worlds better than X-Plane for all of those tasks.

-Mir

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
by lightsaber
Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 65):
They already are. Classes at more than one regional airline are showing up with no-shows and several companies are back to offering several thousand dollars in signing bonuses.

But is it effecting flight schedule? We've been in a down economy for so long we've forgotten 'no shows' are a normal part of the business. What fraction of the pilots? A few thousand in hiring bonus isn't much *and* subject to clawback for 24 months too. Have the pilots broken $50k/year in their first year? If not, its just a small adjustment. Everything I've read about the regionals is that they are returning to their 'normal' pilot market.

My *entire* time I've been on a.net there has been an impending pilot shortage. I'm still waiting for it to happen. This is supposed to be an 'acute' shortage. With all the majors looking to cut the quantity of RJ pilots due to the upgauging to 86 seats, I think they'll have no trouble weathering the storm.

It will be tiny airlines like Great Lakes that have the issues (which is already happening).

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 65):
Companies have tried to pursue pilots who left within the specified time frame but to my knowledge none have successfully recouped the money. As far as the legality under the RLA I'm not certain, I would be interested to find out as well.

The rules on clawbacks are specific to protect workers. It has to be a bonus to recoup the money.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 65):
Your best argument is offering up data over half a century old against people who do this for a living? I'm not buying that one.

It takes numbers to have statistics. If you have better numbers, we'll talk. People who do this for a living have a natural bias. The same is true in my industry. Hence why six-sigma, if done right, improves a company tremendously. I've seen next gen ATC, things will get better.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 68):
What is now available, especially from X-Plane, is indeed increasingly similar.

   I'm amazed with what can be done with X-plane. It is now possible, with the right weather and other models, so simulate an aircraft's real flying performance almost perfectly. (assuming one has the right models for control surface separation and such). For the heavy UAVs, which are harder to fly than a fighter if the computer fails (there is a 'radio controlled mode'), the UAV pilots cannot tell if they're flying a simulation or the real aircraft! In any weather! As you note, with increasing automation, the difference will be very blurred.

Lightsaber

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:53 pm
by planemaker
Quoting Mir (Reply 69):
Funny, because I used X-Plane as well, and it's just not as good of a training tool as Flight Simulator.

Yes, again, you use to use. X-Plane is FAA certified to be able to used as a flight simulator... MS Flight never was, nor could.

The important and obvious point is...

Quoting planemaker (Reply 68):
More importantly, as aircraft automation continues to increase the distinction between the two will increasingly blur.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:09 pm
by lightsaber
I decided to troll a pilot forum to see how tight the pilot supply is right now. The answer was plenty of unemployed pilots.  
When the 'pay to fly' copilot programs go away, we'll know we have a shortage.

What I found interesting is the supposidly 'short of pilots' airline Great Lakes was listed as not hiring. What am I missing?



This recent link still have 4,000 unemployed pilots in India, but if you count pilots working desk jobs, I believe the 6,000 is still current. I found older links with 8,000 unemployed in Europe. Is that correct or out of date?
http://articles.economictimes.indiat...d-pilots-commercial-pilot-licences

The Baltic Academy (LH's academy) trains 2,000 pilots per year.
Dubai is training 1,300 per year
http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/11/the-...lobal-pilot-shortage/#.UoUpCBqkq0g

I live next to a flight training center and the pilots are complaining about the lack of jobs, not the surplus of available offers.

Out of curiosity, how many US pilots work in India? I've heard numbers around a thousand, but is that accurate? There are thousands of US pilots out there who would love to return to a US flying job. There jobs will take years to fill with the European, Indian, and other shortages.

Lightsaber

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:24 pm
by Mir
Quoting planemaker (Reply 71):
X-Plane is FAA certified to be able to used as a flight simulator...

But the time spent doing so doesn't count in any meaningful way. Which is what my point about drones was - there's no comparison between sitting at a desk flying a drone and sitting at a desk flying a simulator. There's some value procedures-wise in it, but when it comes to the actual skill of being able to fly an airplane (something that has clearly been deteriorating among pilots), it really is completely different.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 71):
The important and obvious point is...

Quoting planemaker (Reply 68):
More importantly, as aircraft automation continues to increase the distinction between the two will increasingly blur.

If recent accidents have taught us anything, it's that we need less reliance on automation, not more.

-Mir

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:49 pm
by planemaker
Quoting Mir (Reply 73):
But the time spent doing so doesn't count in any meaningful way.

It does indeed. In fact, it is harder to "fly" a Piper Cub than a 787... simply because on the 787 you can go from take-off to landing without having to touch the controls whereas on the Piper Cub there (typically) are no buttons you can push to do the flying. You don't "need" stick and rudder skills to actually fly modern transports (and recently a grandmother showed that even without experience you can still land a light twin in an emergency).  
Quoting Mir (Reply 73):
If recent accidents have taught us anything, it's that we need less reliance on automation, not more.

What is has taught us is that we are in the "technology valley" that I mentioned previously... and also that humans are prone to mistakes even if they have 1,000's of hours of experience. Automation is obviously only going to increase dramatically to the point that every aircraft will have an "Aviation Watson."

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:20 pm
by silentbob
Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 65):
You don't have to go pay for all 1500hrs of flying, if you get your commercial and/or CFI you are marketable and have opened up opportunities to make money and build flying time.

Those "opportunities" are not nearly as plentiful as some people claim.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 72):
I live next to a flight training center and the pilots are complaining about the lack of jobs, not the surplus of available offers.

How many of those guys meet all the requirements for a job at a regional? I know of several regionals that are offering bonuses for sending pilots their way and I could use the cash.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:35 am
by Mir
Quoting planemaker (Reply 74):
In fact, it is harder to "fly" a Piper Cub than a 787

It is certainly not. There are simple and forgivable aerodynamics and simple systems. The 787 has complex systems and the aerodynamics of a high-performance large airliner - not necessarily unforgiving, but not as forgiving as the Cub's. That's a whole lot more to keep track of, a much wider range of energy states to be aware of and manage, and whole lot more contingencies to be prepared for. And a whole lot more automation to manage. All that amounts to bigger demands on your situational awareness, above and beyond the actual task of manipulating the controls.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 74):
You don't "need" stick and rudder skills to actually fly modern transports

Oh yes you do. Because automation screws up. I had an autopilot try to stall the airplane on me once for no reason whatsoever. I've had autopilots decide they're not interested in working anymore and hand the plane back to me, also for no reason. And there are turns to be made and altitudes to level off at, and timing means those have to be done before I can figure out why the autopilot decided to malfunction, correct the problem, and reconnect the autopilot.

Until you can fly a normal flight from takeoff to touchdown without using the autopilot, you're not truly qualified to fly an airplane. Because you might actually have to do that. And that's true whether it's a Cub or a 787. And you don't get to that level of proficiency without good stick and rudder skills.

-Mir

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:30 am
by planemaker
Quoting Mir (Reply 76):
It is certainly not.

It certainly is because modern transports can take off and land without having to touch the controls... you simply can't do that with a Cub.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:18 pm
by lightsaber
Quoting planemaker (Reply 77):
It certainly is because modern transports can take off and land without having to touch the controls... you simply can't do that with a Cub.

And thanks to the testing being done for UAV tankers and UAV transports in commercial airspace, much more will happen in the future. But there is some time there.

Quoting Mir (Reply 76):
Oh yes you do. Because automation screws up.

I served a decade in flight test. What is being proven now is *far* superior to the 1980s level technology in service. Recall the 777 flies on Intel 486 processors with Motorola 60040s as back-up and some ancient AMD Risk processor as the third level. Those airplanes are so slow.

Now, the most comon next processor is the PowerPC 74XX family. Come on! Those are circa 2000 chips! But the last 'high power' chips designed for a low cooling environment. Thanks to smart phones, we now have new high performance chips below 5W. The plane has to fly if cabin pressure is lost, so that means large passive heat sinks that aren't very effective due to the low ambient pressure. But now that we have 2.3GHz octacores... we can do something.

And I know of a business jet being so equipped. The plane will have a pilot at the pilot and copilot's seat, but will fly in US airspace as if it was flying on its own. IIRC, its a converted HAWKER; converted to full autonomous control for the UCAS program but now 'released' for other duties. This is but an upgrade of the cameras and computer systems.

No human pilot an match the camera vision of the latest Curtis Wright cameras. And Northrop has the software for the other stuff... For one will have 360 degree vision in visual and then a 2nd set of cameras in IR (but not 360 degree) and a third set in UV (again, only select directions). Each connected to their own computers that each have dedicated backup power supplies. The idea is to have a system that wouldn't ever have that E-135 head on collision. *Ever!* Pilots simply cannot see out as far as the computers nor process as much information.

Plus the computers have the added layer of plugging into 'the net' and can know the destination, current location/vector/altitude, and intended flight path of every aircraft that is broadcasting in their airspace and have dedicated processors seeking out potential conflicts and resolving them. (Its too much information for a human.)

And yes, we used to joke we worked on Skynet. Why do you ask?  
Quoting Mir (Reply 76):
It is certainly not.

I'm with Planemaker on this one. If you tug out a 787 to the runway, its pretty much ready to fly itself to the destination. Once that plane has proven itself, there will be far less 'busywork' to manage. And that plane, IIRC, is only on PowerPC 74XX processors at reduced clock rates (to be uber conservative).

The public isn't ready to fly without pilots. But we're at the point the computer should be the copilot. But I'm talking in the *next* generation of aircraft. Pilots just do not see in 3 spectrum and aren't capable of processing the level of information anyway.

Lightsaber

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:21 pm
by Mir
Quoting planemaker (Reply 77):
It certainly is because modern transports can take off and land without having to touch the controls... you simply can't do that with a Cub.

Which is irrelevant, because the measure of how easy an airplane is to fly is (or at least should be) made without the aid of autoflight.

-Mir

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:39 pm
by planemaker
Quoting Mir (Reply 79):
Which is irrelevant

It isn't irrelevant at all. The point of this conversation is not at all about the skills to manually fly an airplane but is about what I posted way back in Post #21: And flying an airliner is increasingly "pretty much the same thing".

As Lightsaber has pointed out (and many complaining pilots in pilot forums about their airline's SOP's that inhibit hand flying, plus the Flight Safety Foundation comments) modern airliners can be, and increasingly are, flown without touching the controls... which is increasingly "pretty much the same thing". Furthermore, as Lightsaber posted in detail, and as I referenced as the "technological valley", the avionics processors in airliners compared to what is available in the latest COTS gear is pretty funny especially when compared to the gear for the cognitive abilities of Watson. And since Watson was unveiled on Jeopardy! it has gone from single user to 1,000's user plus being 240% faster and a fraction of the size. In 2014 it will millions of users and in the cloud. In less than 6 years everyone will be able to access "Watson" via their cell phones (watch? electronic tattoo?) and there will be an "Aviation Watson" that for all intents and purposes would obsolete the second pilot.

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:10 pm
by lightsaber
Quoting planemaker (Reply 80):
Furthermore, as Lightsaber posted in detail, and as I referenced as the "technological valley", the avionics processors in airliners compared to what is available in the latest COTS gear is pretty funny especially when compared to the gear for the cognitive abilities of Watson.

   I must emphasize, what is COTS today is a joke.

And I'm only talking about what is known in the public domain that makes the solution obvious.  
Quoting planemaker (Reply 80):
electronic tattoo?

I so want. But will they have a camera option?

Then again, once Google glass is out of beta, I will buy a set.    Anyone with kids knows they need a camera that doesn't require hands.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 80):
there will be an "Aviation Watson" that for all intents and purposes would obsolete the second pilot.

   And there will probably be staffed FAA centers to assist (once the transition to GPS navigation completes) as the copilot. A plane sends out flight parameters out of spec, the FAA over-rides. Camera shows the pilot unconscious (where the copilot would be likely to be also)? The plane would land autonomously anyway... The FAA could send a request to take control and if the pilot doesn't veto (say 1 minute time), then a pilot in a remote center lands. I've seen UAVs landed this way (a second center with more information takes control for flight safety reasons). I've also seen a UAV landing prevented this way! (visual observer at the runway noted a defective flap deployment and took control).

Once you've seen autonomous flight and all the layers of safety, you realize how much human flight needs the backup. I still want a pilot. But I'm ok with one pilot *today* with autonomous software being the backup. Not Watson per se... But a computer. But I would want a set of FAA (or airline operated) centers as a 3rd level of backup.

Seriously, after doing UAVs, who builds with only 2 levels of backup?!? (Pilot and copilot) That is the riskiest part of flight today.

Ligthsaber

RE: New Pilot Laws And The Shortage, Govt Actions?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:11 am
by planemaker
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
A plane sends out flight parameters out of spec, the FAA over-rides.

The interesting thing is that there will be several "gates" and "notifications" to the crew and the airline ops center before the flight parameters are out of spec.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
Camera shows the pilot unconscious (where the copilot would be likely to be also)?

Again, the pilot(s) and the ops center would know that they are on their way to unconsciousness.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
The plane would land autonomously anyway...

Yup.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
The FAA could send a request to take control and if the pilot doesn't veto (say 1 minute time), then a pilot in a remote center lands.

As you may know, that is part of NextGen.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
But I'm ok with one pilot *today* with autonomous software being the backup.

Me too.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
Not Watson per se... But a computer.

Watson is a "computer" but what truly sets it apart is the cognitive software. In 2014 IBM will roll out a dialogue Watson.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 81):
But I would want a set of FAA (or airline operated) centers as a 3rd level of backup.

It will be interesting how things roll out. Sensor tech and analytics are advancing so rapidly that there will eventually be no "surprises."