11 Responses

  1. Charles Kennedy
    Charles Kennedy at |

    I don’t get why the US brought in the rule about minimum hours, 2,000h is it? after the Colgan crash in Buffalo, when the pilots weren’t low time. Ryanair hire guys with 180h total time and have an incredible safety record

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      It is 1,500 hours and, yes, it is stupid. Particularly in that it was implemented in response to an event wholly unrelated.

      Usually such actions are driven by someone who expects to make money on the move. In this case I cannot figure out who that is.

    2. Francesco Porta
      Francesco Porta at |

      The whole category of pilots: it made the shortage more acute, sonafter decaces of layovers and low wages, finally it’s time for a pay risee.

  2. Jimmy
    Jimmy at |

    LAX-MFR has actually been a Q400 and that route will be missed. American just started a once daily LAX-MFR this summer. Hopefully they will up that to twice a day to make up for the cut Alaska Horizon flight.

  3. Chris Luth
    Chris Luth at |

    I don’t mind the idea that the guys in charge of my life for the direction of the flight should be very experienced and qualified. But clearly the current system does not provide enough of a reward for people to take on the high costs to prepare themselves for jobs under these rules. My question is: what will it take to make it worth prospective pilots’ whiles to begin a career in commercial aviation, and what effect will that have on the fares that we as passengers pay?

    Last time I sat down and crunched the numbers, paying regional pilots mainline payscales would only add something like $9 per passenger for a typical regional flight. No idea if that’s even remotely ballpark, though

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      Does the 1,500 hour rule make the pilots more qualified than under the old rules? I don’t believe it changes the safety quotient at all. And one reason I’m comfortable saying that is because many other countries are just as safe in commercial air transport without it.

      Would giving the pilots a raise help? Absolutely. But it is still hard to work off $100k+ in training debt plus deal with the relatively crappy work conditions of the first few years in the job.

      I’m not sure what the answer is. And reality is there are probably many answers that must all work together. But I do know that what we’re doing now is not getting us any closer to a viable solution. We’re in big trouble.

    2. Chris Luth
      Chris Luth at |

      The mainline pilots who post in the UA Pilot Q&A thread, as well as friends of mine who work as ATC controllers, seem to take the position that the foreign carriers are indeed less safe due to their lack of experience (and, in some cases, operational cultures). I don’t know whether they are correct, but they know a heck of a lot more than I do about that topic, so I’ve defaulted to trusting their take.

      Surely the market will do something, though. Supply is being cut. If demand outstrips supply, the market will react and fill the demand. The question is, how will that happen, and is there anything the carriers (or, yes, the regulators) can do to make that process smoother?

    3. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      Those same pilots are certainly not disinterested parties in that discussion. Especially when it comes to shitting on newer foreign carriers trying to operate in US markets. And, again, the 1500 rule came from the Colgan crash where both were well over that number. It doesn’t add up.

      I agree the market is going to have to correct for this eventually. I do not see it being a smooth correction.

  4. aireye onu
    aireye onu at |

    I present the following information for the purposes of educating my fellow aviation enthusiasts and for bloggers that don’t do their technical homework. The 1500 hr. rule is not arbitrary. It has been around for 40+ years in the form of pilot aircraft “TYPE” certification requirements and for requirements of the airman “ATP” (see FAR PART 61: Airman Certification and Training), Airline Transport Pilot certification. These are two completely different requirements. It gets a bit confusing for the non-airman but you do not have to be an airline pilot to hold an ATP. You can fly only a Cessna 172 and earn an ATP. Conversely, you could be an airline pilot, flying an aircraft that doesn’t require a type rating, without a TYPE certification, simply a “commercial” pilot certificate. What the FAA did was (IMHO) cut off the loophole that allowed airlines that fly “passengers for hire” (a key liability point) on aircraft that did not require a TYPE rating, to hire pilots with less than the minimum hours required for an ATP airman certification. It also cut off the common practice of hiring one rated “captain” with a few thousand hours for an aircraft that required a TYPE rating and a copilot with 300 hours. That was very common practice on shoestring budgets. Is this clear as mud? What non pilots have to understand is that the number of hours you have does not define the quality of pilot skills. There is a huge difference between “qualified” and “competent”. Would this rule have saved the 50 souls on the Colgan flight? Arguably, maybe. The policy folks took the investigation of an accident that probably (what do I know, I wasn’t there) shouldn’t have happened and came up with a solution that should work…maybe.

  5. Alastair Majury
    Alastair Majury at |

    Thanks for sharing this news, and for the other commenters such as aireye onu and others for sharing their knowledge. Regards, Alastair Majury

  6. Scott Butcher
    Scott Butcher at |

    It is unfortunate ,but this airline career is a dying breed.There is not a decent pay rate to make this a good career anymore.