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TWA772LR
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:59 am

After working for and around pilots, I can assure you for every bad pilot there's 100 good ones. And for every "special" pilot, there's about 5 good ones. ;)
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:00 am

AABusDrvr wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

Any halfway decent flight school is going to have ongoing training and evaluations for their CFIs. An airline has the incentive to rush some zero hour cadet into the right seat of an airliner. I'd love to see one of them handle a complex approach on their own. As one of our resident 737 pilots stated, they are nothing more than a systems manager. It's hard to argue that the current arrangement in the US doesn't work really well. A pilot should only apply for an airline position once they have mastered the prerequisites of the PPL, Instrument, and Commercial ratings.


PPL, IR and CPL are prerequisites for starting at any airline, if not for applying. Handling a complex approach on your own is part of sim training. Ab initio cadets are not "rushed" into the right seat. They have to do the work like everyone else. Just in a rather more time-compressed fashion. The pace is often brutal, and they work very hard. They are held to very high standards and every exam, flight or sim is an opportunity to wash out.

From zero to "checked to line", cadets typically spend 18-24 months. In context, that's about the same time that it takes to go from zero to an operational squadron in a fighter jet. But unlike ab initio cadets, no one questions that process. You could argue that the military can accept a higher level of risk, but I don't buy it. Military jets and the training to fly them are too expensive for that sort of calculus.

The current US arrangement works fine. As do arrangements in other countries. Accident and incident rates at LH, BA, CX, SQ and EZ, all of which have ab initio programs, are not higher than at AA or UA. These are hardly fly-by-night airlines operating under dodgy regulatory oversight. The US arrangement and the ab initio arrangement are two different ways to get to the essentially same result.

The fundamental difference is that ab initio cadets are trained for airline operations from day one, while in the US you can get an ATP without flying anything but single-engine pistons. The EASA CPL theory consists of fourteen papers and takes at least 6 months of full-time study to pass. And unlike the single US CPL exam which you can prep for in a couple of days, the syllabus heavily emphasizes turbine aircraft and commercial operations.


Anecdotal again, but I have colleagues who were 5000-hour light piston instructors and they did not find the initial conversion any easier than the 250-hour cadets. Apart from manual handling, their skills didn't transfer that much. The guys who had an easier time tended to have either multi-crew turbine or fast jet experience.


johns624 wrote:
Keeping themselves and 150 other people alive isn't an incentive?


The point being that studying above and beyond the point where you know you will surely pass will neither get you more pay more nor advance your career faster. That being said, the "pass" standard is quite high, and indeed very much sufficient for the task of keeping us and the pax alive.


There are some good ab initio programs, that have proven themselves over time, but now we have the MPL scheme. I believe that a cadet program needs to be run by the host airline, where they can control the selection, and elimination process, like the the military programs. When things are done by for profit schools, I don't believe the standards will always be upheld, lest a school become known for a high failure rate, and lose business.


Agreed. Maybe run by the airline directly is not necessary, but at least rather rigidly overseen by the airline.

Certainly there are "pilot mills" at every level.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:54 am

timh4000 wrote:
an 18 wheel kenworth truck with 12 or whatever gears it has.

10, 13, or 18.
Captain Kevin
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:00 am

Anybody can stay alive in a Cessna for 1500 hours. Those things are easier than riding a bicycle.


The accident statistics would disagree with you. The 150 can just barely kill you.

GF
 
BA777FO
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:28 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

That is frightening to read. An airliner is no place for on the job training. The FO should be every bit as capable as the captain. What happens if the captain dies or becomes incapacitated?


And how do you propose to give airline pilots experience and training without getting near an actual airliner then? An no, 1500 hours of farting about in a Cessna does not give you those qualifications.

BTW, single pilot scenarios are a fixed part of the curriculum for an EASA type rating course. Pretty sure it was even a requirement for the final check-ride in the sim - I certainly did it. In any case, handling an airliner single-pilot is way easier than the piston-twin which I flew single pilot during my flight training.


Starlionblue wrote:
"Step down a level" is enshrined in the very first section of the Airbus Flight Crew Techniques Manual.
- If the automation is not doing what you intend, go from managed modes to selected modes.
- If selected modes are not doing what you intend either, disengage and fly manually.


IMHO, this is a major issue today. I've seen way too many airlines that encourage or even force the opposite. The Irish CAA seems to be the worst in this regard.


Flight instructing is not "farting around". Teaching your skill to others is one of the best ways to improve on it. I'd rather someone go through all of the different ratings and work up hours instructing. At least we know they were competent enough to keep themselves alive for 1500 hours. The wonder boy ab initio training programs with a 200 hour FO on the 737 just doesn't sit well with me. And I'm not saying what I think matters to anyone. But a 200 hour FO is going to be completely subservient. And years of crew resource management research and education has taught us that is exactly what you don't want. Both pilots need to be assertive and ready to recognize a dangerous situation. A 200 hour FO will never challenge or try to correct a captain that has put the plane in danger.


As one of those "200 hour wonder boy ab initio" types I couldn't disagree with you more. Alright, I had ~250 hours before my first trip in the right seat of a 737 but during those courses you'll get at least double that in the sim, I went through a 737 type conversion and passed an LPC (Licence Proficiency Check) just as we do every 6 months. We were taught to be assertive, we could recognise when things weren't right and CRM and intervention, and the levels and effectiveness of intervention, were taught thoroughly throughout the entire multi crew training phase. In fact, the MCC/JOC and the US equivilent of the ATP-CTP, a fundamental part is working as a crew and flattening that seniority gradient.

I felt more prepared with my extra exposure to multi-crew environments and training geared towards airline operatioms from the start than the people who had been teaching VFR nav exercices in a single engine piston.
 
BA777FO
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:33 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
A pilot should only apply for an airline position once they have mastered the prerequisites of the PPL, Instrument, and Commercial ratings.


Just to add, when I did my integrated course that's exactly what we did. I had my CPL/IR and passed all 14 of my ATPL written exams. We're not put inyo that right seat without demonstrating a high level of competence in the scenarios you raise.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:41 am

BA777FO wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
A pilot should only apply for an airline position once they have mastered the prerequisites of the PPL, Instrument, and Commercial ratings.


Just to add, when I did my integrated course that's exactly what we did. I had my CPL/IR and passed all 14 of my ATPL written exams. We're not put inyo that right seat without demonstrating a high level of competence in the scenarios you raise.


Well I'm glad to hear that. That EasyJet documentary that I posted in another thread was highly alarming to watch. The captain took control away from the FO on landing when they were seconds from touching down. You don't do that in the US. If there is a problem you go around. I was taught that on my first flight lesson. Don't try and salvage a bad landing attempt. We saw exactly what goes wrong when you do such a stupid thing from the Southwest crash landing at LGA a few years ago. That captain was rightfully fired. Hopefully the FO was sent back to training. He should have insisted that they go around instead of allowing her to grab the controls.
 
Flow2706
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:37 am

kalvado wrote:
Flow2706 wrote:
I think a good pilot has to be at least average (or above average) in many disciplines. First, speaking from the mindset point of view, a good pilot is always aiming to become better. The moment you stop learning is the day you should retire. Probably the most important thing is CRM. If you are not able to work as a crew, the best manual flying skills won't matter a dime. Speaking from the skills point of view, the ability to fly manual is certainly an important part. In my opinion every pilot should have the skills to handle the aircraft manually in all flight phases (obviously, this does not mean that he should do this on every flight as it neither legal, i.e. in RVSM airspace, nor desirable from the workload perspective, but the ability should be there). Some pilots are either lazy or in a way a bit worried about flying manually (especially new pilots, but also 'old' guys who allowed their skills to detoriate). Management and Decision making skills are also an important part of the skill set of a pilot. Pilots that are good in all those areas usually have a good situational awareness and are able to handle almost everything that's thrown at them.
An other observation I have made is that the 'worst' pilots are usually not the brand new guys, but people who have been in the business for very long and have become bitter and show a lack of motivation (often seen in 'old' FOs with a lot of hours, that never got the chance to move to the left seat). New pilots are usually eager to learn and while they lack experience they really focus on what they are doing and often have new ideas.

News flash: Half of pilots are worse than average. Half of doctors (lawers, chiefs, police officers, drivers.... ) are worse than average as well.
Pilots are probably the profession with the least incentive to become better as seniority is the only way up the ladder in many cases.

Well the incentive is not to loose your job. People fail line checks and sim checks and are usually given the chance to try again but in many airlines they will loose their job if they fail too often. Also we have FDM now, so if regularly do something dumb on the line you can expect some phone calls as well...seniority based careers are still common but many companies are starting to change to other concepts. Loads of companies (especially smaller companies where you not just ‚another number in the system‘) upgrade first officers based on feedback received from captains/training captains. And even if the system is seniority based people will not get the upgrade without proving that they are ready for it. In major companies the upgrade is a continuous process not a momentary event. Pilots are often trained to become captains eventually starting when they join the company.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:01 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
A pilot should only apply for an airline position once they have mastered the prerequisites of the PPL, Instrument, and Commercial ratings.


Just to add, when I did my integrated course that's exactly what we did. I had my CPL/IR and passed all 14 of my ATPL written exams. We're not put inyo that right seat without demonstrating a high level of competence in the scenarios you raise.


Well I'm glad to hear that. That EasyJet documentary that I posted in another thread was highly alarming to watch. The captain took control away from the FO on landing when they were seconds from touching down. You don't do that in the US. If there is a problem you go around. I was taught that on my first flight lesson. Don't try and salvage a bad landing attempt. We saw exactly what goes wrong when you do such a stupid thing from the Southwest crash landing at LGA a few years ago. That captain was rightfully fired. Hopefully the FO was sent back to training. He should have insisted that they go around instead of allowing her to grab the controls.


The event during the EasyJet documentary was during base training. No pax aboard. Very much a training event. But it could just as well have happened during line flying under supervision. There was no danger. The captain just took over. It happens during training. Everyone in the footage was very relaxed about the whole thing, except perhaps the trainee, which is understandable.

It was probably a reasonably good approach, with a few issues at the end. No biggie for the captain to fix. Situations which are near insurmountable for a rookie can be a piece of cake for a base training captain.

By the way I don't see how any of this validates that the US system is better than ab initio training.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
BA777FO
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:00 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
That EasyJet documentary that I posted in another thread was highly alarming to watch. The captain took control away from the FO on landing when they were seconds from touching down. You don't do that in the US. If there is a problem you go around. I was taught that on my first flight lesson. Don't try and salvage a bad landing attempt. We saw exactly what goes wrong when you do such a stupid thing from the Southwest crash landing at LGA a few years ago. That captain was rightfully fired. Hopefully the FO was sent back to training. He should have insisted that they go around instead of allowing her to grab the controls.


That was base training - no passengers onboard. All new cadets go through that and you're not released on to the line until you can demonstrate, I think it's 5, proficient landings. The captain is base training qualified - it goes beyond just TRI/TRE - these are top of the training tree. Control would have been taken above DA and would have been about demonstrating the corrections required to comply with the safe landing/stable approach criteria.

There's more to that video, edited for dramatic effect, than you seem to realise.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:55 pm

BA777FO wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
That EasyJet documentary that I posted in another thread was highly alarming to watch. The captain took control away from the FO on landing when they were seconds from touching down. You don't do that in the US. If there is a problem you go around. I was taught that on my first flight lesson. Don't try and salvage a bad landing attempt. We saw exactly what goes wrong when you do such a stupid thing from the Southwest crash landing at LGA a few years ago. That captain was rightfully fired. Hopefully the FO was sent back to training. He should have insisted that they go around instead of allowing her to grab the controls.


That was base training - no passengers onboard. All new cadets go through that and you're not released on to the line until you can demonstrate, I think it's 5, proficient landings. The captain is base training qualified - it goes beyond just TRI/TRE - these are top of the training tree. Control would have been taken above DA and would have been about demonstrating the corrections required to comply with the safe landing/stable approach criteria.

There's more to that video, edited for dramatic effect, than you seem to realise.


There most certainly were passengers. You can see them.

https://youtu.be/sd4hSipKPh0
 
BA777FO
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:05 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
That EasyJet documentary that I posted in another thread was highly alarming to watch. The captain took control away from the FO on landing when they were seconds from touching down. You don't do that in the US. If there is a problem you go around. I was taught that on my first flight lesson. Don't try and salvage a bad landing attempt. We saw exactly what goes wrong when you do such a stupid thing from the Southwest crash landing at LGA a few years ago. That captain was rightfully fired. Hopefully the FO was sent back to training. He should have insisted that they go around instead of allowing her to grab the controls.


That was base training - no passengers onboard. All new cadets go through that and you're not released on to the line until you can demonstrate, I think it's 5, proficient landings. The captain is base training qualified - it goes beyond just TRI/TRE - these are top of the training tree. Control would have been taken above DA and would have been about demonstrating the corrections required to comply with the safe landing/stable approach criteria.

There's more to that video, edited for dramatic effect, than you seem to realise.


There most certainly were passengers. You can see them.

https://youtu.be/sd4hSipKPh0


I see what you mean now. It's difficult for us to tell as we weren't on the flight deck - but a trainer needs to give enough latitude to the trainee. From the looks of it, there was nothing inherently unsafe about the approach, it was just right of the centreline. Obviously we want every landing on the centreline but in a training scenario, 18R at AMS is a 60m/200ft wide runway, so landing a bit right of centreline isn't like doing it at LCY. The airspeed and attitude would have been okay, otherwise a go around would have been called earlier.

The Southwest incident you mentioned, although I'm not overly familiar with it, would have had issues with both airspeed and attitude, something that easyJet approach didn't have problems with. A training captain will be highly trained and experienced to be able to judge that.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:51 am

VSMUT wrote:
Anybody can stay alive in a Cessna for 1500 hours. Those things are easier than riding a bicycle.

Gusty, crosswind landings excepted. :lol:
 
VSMUT
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:02 am

WPvsMW wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Anybody can stay alive in a Cessna for 1500 hours. Those things are easier than riding a bicycle.

Gusty, crosswind landings excepted. :lol:


I've done just shy of 20 knots crosswind in the 172. Not exactly much, but not something to be sneezed at either. The PA-28 is much better though.
 
kalvado
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:36 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Anybody can stay alive in a Cessna for 1500 hours. Those things are easier than riding a bicycle.

during 10 days between 9/16 and 9/25, 4 people died in Cessna crashes in US. Only the fittest survive to see the jet rating!
 
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Faro
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:17 pm

This thread reminded me of one of Pihero’s old posts from 2006, which starts Like this:

https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=751999&p=10833549#p10833549

Two scenarios :
1/- You're on final approach, VMC, passing 1000 ft on your modern jetliner. then a fire alarm comes on on you #1 engine, followed by the engine failure.
What do you do ?

2/-Cat 3B autoland . Passing 500ft, stabilised on the ILS, you have a GPS failure.
What do you do ?
I'll be interested to know whether you'd have a discrepancy between your doctrine and your common sense and/or airmanship.


Just to say that standardised pilot training will never be able to cover all possible abnormal scenarios...a very demanding profession...


Faro
The chalice not my son
 
AABusDrvr
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:51 pm

A question for anyone familiar with the cadet, or MPL programs. It's my understanding that for some number of hours, there needs to be a second, qualified fo in the jumpseat as a "safety pilot" of sorts. Are they just regular line fo's? Or do they get any additional training? Would that be something they would bid for, or do they just assign a reserve to that position? And how are they paid? Any additional pay for the hassle?

Just curious,
Thanks.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilots, good, bad, how well trained

Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:46 pm

AFAIK once the MPL cadet has been checked to line, he/she is fully qualified so this would not be needed. But I suppose jurisdictions vary.

Regarding safety pilot duties in general, this would be a regular line FO (captains can do it as well, of course), and no, there is no additional training. They're just there in case something happens and they need to take over the right seat. Pay is the same as if they operate the sector(s) in the right seat. Most guys don't really feel it is a hassle. Just another day on the job, just a few feet farther aft.

Safety pilot can be rostered or a reserve call, like any other duty. I don't think you can speficially request safety pilot duty at my airline.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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