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April 24th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Safety rule could create pilot shortage

CNN's Lizzie O'Leary reports on a proposal to raise minimum level of pilot experience.

Filed under: Air travel • Lizzie O'Leary
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. DanielSon

    This is simply another "feel good" law – the same exact thing as the automotive CAFE standards... They were designed to DECREASE fuel usage, but only did the opposite. The CAFE standards are responsible for the creation of the SUV and minivan... Many of which have been exempted from fuel economy regulations and/or gas guzzler tax. The only thing this harmed was already more efficient "passenger cars" by killing off the 7 to 9 place station wagon (which was more efficient, and safer due to lower center of gravity.)

    Talk about the law of unintended consequences.. Knee jerk crap doesn't work.

    May 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  2. DanielSon

    Lear Driver, that's all fine and good, but the reality is most people can't afford to live on a flight instructor/banner tower salary for 3 years to build 1500 hours. It would be totally different if they made what they SHOULD – 35 – 50k is a good entry level point.. Regional pilots SHOULD also start out at 50k a year at MINIMUM. They don't, of course.. Instructors are lucky to clear 20 grand a year, as are first and second year Regional FO's. So if they want to pay people 20 grand to fly passengers, then they (cheap customers OR airlines) don't deserve "safe" 1500 hour pilots. They deserve bare minimum wet ink CPL's. When this problem is addressed, then I will agree with the 1500 hour rule. Until then – who is paying? All this would do is ensure that rich kids are the only ones that can become pilots – and rich kids usually don't take their jobs too seriously because they simply don't have to. You decide what is safer. A rich kid that doesn't care, or a 500 hr guy who does nothing but study his/her ass off while instructing?

    May 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Lear Driver

      Daniel Son, everybody pays their dues. I had to flight instruct for 2 years, then fly cargo and charter for another 2 years. The experence was invaluable. I have had small time pilots fly with me, and it seems along with having a huge responsibility of being safe, and doing my job, I also have to teach these young pilots. In a small part, that is my job but not a huge part. And about the 50k/yr beginner, “are you kidding me!” There are two types of pilots; one that does it for passion and the other does it for money. Who do you think is a better pilot? Nobody makes 6 figure income out of medical school.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
      • DanielSon

        I don't subscribe to that whole "pay your dues" nonsense. The fact is they need people to fly planes so the airlines can keep making money, and so people and things can get moved around the world at a fast speed. As far as I'm concerned, paying 50k+ for college and 60K+ for flight training on top of that is ALL the "dues" that one should ever have to pay. In fact, even this is too much. Why should people have to PAY anything to qualify for a job? Medical residents make 55k as RESIDENTS. They also make half a million dollars per year a few years later. Apples to oranges my friend. I agree that people should instruct / fly smaller planes without putting alot of people at risk to qualify, but only if these jobs also paid them like human beings also, and not like slaves. If a McDonald's worker that paid 0 for any DUES or TRAINING (they actually GET PAID for training) can make more than a Flight Instructor and/or a Regional Airline pilot, then that, my friend, is totally completely back asswards and wrong. For that fact alone, the 1500 hour rule is crap. Also it misses the point. BOTH OF THE COLGAN PILOTS THAT CRASHED (WHICH CREATED THIS WHOLE KNEE JERK RESPONSE) HAD WELL OVER 1500 HOURS. It simply defies logic.

        May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
      • Lear Driver

        Daniel Son, The comment that you left "Why should people have to PAY anything to qualify for a job?" just shows me that you are part of the "Give me" generation. You are probably early to mid twenties, live with parents, and telling the world the that "you owe me" just because I am alive. People earn positions, they just are not given out. Hard work honesty and dedication will take you anywhere you want to go my friend.

        May 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Josh S.

      I graduate high school this year, aviation is my passion, i work so hard to pay for one flight lesson at a time and now i have to get to 1500hrs! How is a kid like me suppose to pay for training, 50-80k for about 250hrs are you kidding me, then you still have to build more flight time to make only 20k a year, not even that. I intend to go to Kansas State to do their pilot program but with the great cost it makes me sad that i can't follow my dream. Might do A&P, they can survive a lot better.

      May 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  3. Safety with Quality and Oversight

    Sending these quality pilots back to simply fly single-engine banner-pulling
    planes just to gain hours is not quality training nor quality oversight! It's senseless! The
    regionals and commercial airlines should be able to bring them into their
    training program upon graduating from the top- notch flight schools and
    colleges. If not -sending these pilots back to simply just gain basic flying
    hours in single engine and prop planes would be equivalent to sending a
    graduated resident surgeon to a doctors office versus a hospital to gain
    required hours. Senseless and not training for quality real life experience.
    The public wants safety first and this is how you put safety first by quality training and oversight.

    April 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  4. Lear Driver

    When I was a 1000 hr pilot, I knew very little, and consider myself slightly dangerous for the lack of knowledge and the lack of experence. As myself, Capt. Sully and all experenced pilots will say; "time and years of experence is key to safety" If I were hiring pilots, I would not even look at any applicant that has under 1500 hrs. An aircraft is not a car where you can just pull over when something goes wrong.

    April 25, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  5. Adam

    The airlines want cheap AND good experience such as military background and accredited aviation universities such as Purdue University, Embry Riddle, and University of North Dakota. I am very familiar with Purdue's aviation program and I can assure you that they program is top notch. Purdue trains their students in a VLJ (very light jet) simulator and actual aircraft. Students don't just learn how to fly the aircraft, they learn about the systems, aerodynamics, and limitations of the aircraft. Students in their senior year learn the CRJ-700 systems and fly a CRJ-700 simulator in different controlled scenarios. The airline industry has always paid new pilots lower salaries and students going into accredited aviation universities know this going into the programs. Making students from these universities fly around in small single engine aircraft after graduation will allow this strong education and understand of "big" aircraft systems to dissipate and have to start all over again.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  6. Jim Thomas

    I agree as the airlines want cheap and not good experience such as AirForce pilots.They take our money to fly and that is all.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

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