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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Breaking News!

3 day's until the wedding... and counting down. So far... everything is going smoothly at the Petitt household. But that's not the breaking news. Breaking news is the new Airline legislation.

The big question among the next generation pilots is: How will they build their flight hours?
The big question I have is: Will this new legislation help increase airline safety?

To read the full article click on: Breaking News

Reported by WNY's Congressional Reps. Higgins, Lee and Slaughter, the key provisions of the legislation include: 

* Pilot Qualifications: Requires airline pilots to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate (1,500 minimum flight hours required; current minimum is 250 flight hours). Requires the FAA to raise the minimum requirements for the ATP certificate. Requires pilot training for effective performance in: an air carrier operational environment; adverse weather conditions, including icing; high altitude operations; and a multi-pilot crew. Enables the FAA to consider allowing certain academic training hours that may increase the level of safety above the minimum requirements to be counted towards the 1,500-hour ATP certificate requirement.

* Implementation of National Transportation Safety Board Recommendations: Requires FAA to ensure that pilots are trained on stall recovery, upset recovery, and that airlines provide remedial training to pilots who need it.

* Pilot Records Database: Creates a Pilot Records Database to provide airlines with fast, electronic access to a pilot’s comprehensive record. Information in the database will include: pilot licenses, aircraft ratings, check rides, notices of disapproval, other flight proficiency tests, and State motor vehicle driving records.

* Fatigue: Flight and Duty Time Rule -- Directs the FAA to update and implement new pilot flight and duty time rules within one year to more adequately track scientific research in the field of fatigue.

* Fatigue Risk Management Systems -- Requires air carriers, within 90 days, to create fatigue risk management systems approved by FAA to proactively mitigate pilot fatigue.

* Commuting Study -- Studies the impact of pilot commuting on fatigue and provides preliminary results to the FAA to be considered as part of the flight and duty time rulemaking.

* ASAP and FOQA: Directs the FAA to develop and implement a plan to facilitate the establishment of an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and a Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) program by all commercial airlines and their unions.

* Report: Requires FAA to reports on which airlines are using the programs or if they are using something comparable that achieves similar safety goals; how FAA will expand the use of the programs; and how FAA is using data from the programs as safety analysis and oversight tools for aviation safety inspectors.

* Truth in Advertising: Mandates that Internet websites that sell airline tickets disclose to the purchaser on the first page of the website the air carrier that operates each segment of the flight.

Let me know what you think...your voice will be heard!

Have a Great Day!



  1. Karlene,

    When I was a 135 Check Airman I worked with a lot of pilots with 500 - 1200 hours of experience. Only a few of them were ready for professional flying, and most of those were graduates of aviation college programs like North Dakota's. The rest had neither the knowledge nor the experience to fly commercially.

    One example: I was giving a pilot an IFR check, and I had to fail him because he went well past the limitation on the procedure turn distance. His reply: "There's a LIMITATION?" This kind of thing was not unusual.

    Some of the regional carriers have strong training programs and high hiring standards; these people wouldn't get hired, and if they did they would either straighten up quickly or be let go. But not all carriers were this careful.

    The reason we get stuck with regulations is that there are always a few who value the dollar more than a job well-done. My company was pretty good, and frankly the FAA left us alone because they knew we policed ourselves well. But it was well-known that other companies were cutting too many corners, especially with training, and of course the FAA chased them.

  2. Hi Jim, Thank you for your comment! Amazing that your student was surprised there were limitations. Was he a product of his training environment, or his lack of respect for the system? Was this due to the quality of his instruction... or just too much information and overload... or he only could know what he was taught?

    I am glad your company has held to higher standards.

    The problem I have with regulations on 'hours' is the fact that people differ in their abilities. Maybe we need to regulate the checking and hiring processes more to confirm that they will only hire pilots with ability.

    I'm thinking that as the commuters lower their wages, fewer people with experience and abilities will take those jobs. You get what you pay for.

    If they regulate hours, how will pilots gain experience? What do you think the answer is?

  3. Interesting topic given the conversation we had a couple of days ago. I think there's some great content for us here.

    I wonder how this restriction will apply to the MCPL (or Multi Crew Pilot Licence) that is specifically designed to facilitate the rapid progression into an airliner or regional carrier directly from the training environment? The rest of the world seems to be applying specific and scientific research into determining the most effective methods of *training* rather than relying on, so it seems, almost exclusively on hours (in isolation) that, as we know, can mean very little (depending on the type and/or quality of flying).

    I can see why your Government would want to be seen to be doing something that appears (to the uninitiated) to be a postive move - despite the fact it'll likely have no positive effect.

    So much can be said. I don't know where to start...

  4. Marty, You couldn't have said it better. Unfortunately our government with airline safety is very reactive. They wait until after there's an accident and then fix the problem. But, in this case... is the problem really low time pilots? Or is the time issue the scape goat? I think this would be an excellent topic. And, maybe we could get someone involved in this legislation to discuss the issue with us.
    Thanks for your comment!

  5. I'm thinking happy thoughts for the wedding to go splendidly! I hope the weather is perfect for you!

  6. Dear Karlene-san,
    At first Congratulations about your daughter's wedding:D

    I think before becoming airline pilot,I have to improve my flying skill. I have never flown by myself and I have no knowledge about flying though,I want to learn for sure and experience many to deliver passengers:) But i wonder I have no money to log more than 1500 hours:S I hope there is something like scholarship system:)

  7. Jun, there is a way to do it. You have and another young pilot have inspired me. More to come.

  8. Thanks Karlene san.
    I know if I want to know about Pilot life,the best way is to know pilot and read pilot's life blog:D

    that is why I am happy to know pilot like you and people who want to achieve their goal:)

    thanks again


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