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US Pilot-Training Rule Faces Revisions Amid Congressional Debate

On 18 July, the ongoing debate in the US Congress about the 1,500-hour pilot-training rule witnessed a fresh twist. Senator Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic head of the Senate aviation subcommittee, suggested that budding airline pilots should have substantial hours of experience in specific aircraft categories and under certain flying conditions. ( More...

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Phil Caron 23
Both pilots of the Colgate crash in Buffalo had well in excess of 1500 hours which prompted Congress to pass the 1500 hours requirement as a knee jerk reaction. Hours had nothing to do with the accident, fatigue and the requirement in training that their aircraft maintain altitude when recovering from a stall. Politicians should do their homework. Senator Duckworth was a chopper pilot which is more complex than fixed wing aircraft and riskier to operate, she should not use her combat training to apply to airline's right seat access.
Dan Boss 3
Actually that crash was a direct result of the FAA mandated training at the time. Nothing to do with total time, or fatigue. and the FAA training guidelines for stall recovery were quietly changed after that so as not to bring attention to the real cause being asinine rules by FAA idiots. (The Big Lie: Colgan 3407)

Dan Gryder shows the evidence of the pre Colgan 3407 flight training vs after on stall recovery. The captain pulled back when the stick shaker activated as he pushed throttles forward. Because his training said you cannot loose more than 100 feet in a stall recovery. So to pass check rides this is what you did. After this accident, the rules changed and the stall recovery was to push nose over and increase speed, and decrease AoA, irrespective of how much altitude you loose.

That and the FO retracting flaps in the stall, are what caused this, not fatigue or number of hours flown.

The FAA kept quiet about the dumb law for 1500 hours that passed as a result, again because they were in fact culpable for the accident and did not want to make waves and bring attention to their malfeasance.
John Prukop -1
Youse guys keep forgetting the valuable target who was onboard Colgan 3407: Beverly Eckert, who refused the 9/11 Hush Money. Better go review U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's eerily similar plane crash in . This will give you a running start:

Wellstone, you may remember, VOTED NO to GWB's IRAQ war in the Middle East. It was VP Dick Cheney who threatened Senator Wellstone, "Go along with the program, if you know what's good for you and Minnesota. And stop sticking you nose into 9/11."

Here's the evidentiary documentary, "Wellstone: They Killed Him" and shows how the FBI sanitized the crash site two-miles away from the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport, about 175 miles north of Minneapolis... 8-hours BEFORE the NTSB arrived:
sparkie624 2
I remember that well... Used to work for Pinnacle. The Parent company that purchased Colgan
paul trubits 1
The FO had 774 hours in type
Phil Caron 10
Hours in type is not what Congress was concerned about, 1500 hours total time was their decision. She had if I'm not mistaken close to 1800 hours and the captain had over 3000 hours if I remember correctly. Proper training should be the focus, for European pilots, the minimum is 250 hours and they are just as safe in their airline operations as FO's when trained by the airlines.
ua1kbrad 2
250-hours? They are button pushers--not pilots.
Harold Gilbert 6
The FO raised the flaps uncommanded during the stall, read the last part of the transcript.
Phil Caron 8
I'm aware that she messed up big time raising the flaps and thereby putting the aircraft in a deep stall and doomed everyone by her actions. She suffered from a cold and lack of sleep after travelling across the country. Her captain got some sleep in the crew lounge but not enough to be in good condition to make the flight. I think both of them should have taken themselves off duty as they were not fit to fly by any standards. The number of hours they had did not make a difference since they were unfit to perform their duties, a fact that Congress conveniently ignored.
Steven Koeppel 1
If you had seen NASA Tailplane Icing Video you may realize why she raised flaps stalling the aircraft !
joe johnson 22
Jacob van Zanten had 11700 hours total time on March 27, 1977. 1545 hours in type on the 747, and was KLM's Chief Instructor pilot...for the B747. Experience and Professionalism are two different things.
"Experience and Professionalism are two different things."

This. Right here.
Highflyer1950 14
Interesting dilemma? For decades flight schools haven turned out pilots by the hundreds who became instructors themselves, logged many hours of students trying to kill them and then the airlines pilfered the best from these schools. Flight school owners bitched because every few years the airlines came along and hired away their employee’s. That is no more the case, so now the airlines are forced to train their own pilots at great expense and the many, many flight schools have closed due to cost of training. Except the el cheapo flight academies that promise right seat employment at the super low time of 250 hours, then the accidents caught up with reality. Airlines want pilots…..train them yourselves and pay them while training. Those that may not be successful may just be better suited to the many other areas of aviation. Gate agents, baggage handlers, dispatch etc.
E. Page 8
Requiring 1500 hours just to get in the cockpit of an airliner is wrong. To be a captain, yes, it's good to have more experience but even then 1500 hours is overkill. Sen. Duckworth should know that. How many hours experience did she have when she began flying her operational missions? Probably less than 300; that's 300, not 3,000. I was a Navy pilot who flew large airliner-sized airplanes. Our new pilots in the fleet arrived with about 300 hours including 50-60 hours experience in the large airplane. The new pilots gradually worked their way up to being an aircraft commander (captain) in about a year to a year and a half as they gained more experience and training as copilots. The low experience factor is even more pronounced for those pilots flying jets; they received about the same amount of flight time and instruction in their type airplanes. The big difference is that those pilots typically flew single-pilot airplanes; there wasn't a copilot system to speak of, and they flew some very demanding airplanes and missions with only a few hundred hours total instruction and experience. The Navy trusted us with some very expensive hardware and responsibilities. The main difference between civilian and military flying was the intensity of instruction. There were no awards for just participating; if students flew poorly during training, they were rejected. The few that made it through training but still weren't adequate for the task were dismissed later.
Calen Chrzan 4
What Se. Duckworth is proposing though with good intentions would cost more and discourage prospective pilots from becoming commercial aviators and would just make the pilot shortage worse. Some kind of combination of the 1500hrs and an Airline Apprenticeship Program might work here as it does for this airline in the UK.
These Democrat lawmakers always introduce laws with good intentions in mind, but in the long run
it turns out to be a disaster.
Greg S 7
Letting families of plane-crash victims hold sway over aviation legislation was always a mistake. Instead, go with the data. What is so special about 1500 hours? More experience is definitely better, but I suspect pairing a less experienced FO with an experienced and exemplary captain is vastly better than the same potential FO racking up random hours of who-knows-what quality. Also, to go the other way a little bit, don't discount the economic factor in the airline's calculations. Supply and demand considerations mean that increasing the pool of available pilots puts downward pressure on their salaries, saving money for airlines.
Jay Cee 7
Agreed. A lower minimum for first officers is appropriate. A higher minimum for Captains would be fine.
John Prukop 0
You should've been at Mesa Airlines/United Express in the early 1990's! First Officers were getting a NICKEL AN AIR MILE. Put that in your calculator and take along your Ruck Sack... with some airline peanuts for lunch! LOL.
Jay Cee 2
Pay attention to the topic, not the one in your head. We are discussing minimum hours to get the job, not minimum wage. I agree that very low pay is a serious problem for pilots climbing the ladder to fly for Commercial airlines. Since that also prevents quality candidates from pursuing the profession, it is a real problem for everyone.
John Prukop -1
Maybe when you get your Commercial or an ATP, you can tell me whatever you want. But as a Private Pilot, your diatribe on this or that is like so much noise from the Peannut Gallery. You're not in a position to make judgment calls on the profession.
Jay Cee 1
You need a checkup from the neck up at your next FAA Medical Exam. What airline do you fly for now? The rest of us will want to avoid it.
ko25701 7
Here we go making new pilots endentured servants to the airline training schools. While it sounds good, it makes it impossible to afford to become an ATP without a contractual commitment in exchange for training hours. We should be hiring the best skilled pilots, not simply an arbitrary number of hours.
rick SCOTT -4
Putting low time pilots in an airliner is a risk that nobody wants to take, except low time pilots. Welcome to the world of pilots in their 50’s and 60’s where getting with an airline was a lucky shot. If you don’t like the fact that you can’t get to a 737 at 1500 hours, find another line of work.
Jay Cee 5
entry level pilots are making practically minimum wage. Your ignorant proposal will prevent talented people from entering the profession. When the planes start crashing due to poor pilots, attitudes like yours will be the reason.
Steve Taylor 4
Funny how the Europeans only need 250 hours, and we don't exactly see them dropping from the sky.
jhakunti 1
They also don't have nearly as many diversity and poc flying like in the USA so the 1500hr rule is to stave off the imbalance caused by schools like AVIATE.
mcrossbow24 5
Does Duckworth have any insight into how a prospective pilot will accumulate 375 hours in the desired type? Does she believe any airline will permit either real or virtual time on their equipment?
Billy Koskie 2
Why don't they look at how Luftansa hires and trains new pilots?
The CTP is what I have a problem with. It’s a joke and a money grift. I earned an ATP single engine in 2010, went to add multi privileges in 2017 (with over 4,000 hours) and was forced to retake my written - in order to do so, cough up $4k for CTP and take a week off work unpaid. BS. All this 121 airline crap to captain a citation turbojet 135.

I appealed to the FAA only to get a “No” and your “training, experience, and ERAU Aviation Degree don’t meet the rule.” Even though I showed them I met the rule multiple times over.
Jay Cee 6
Longstanding 1500-hour rule? That rule was implemented in 2013! Ten years ago. The damage it has caused was at first masked by raising the retirement age to 65. Post COVID19's early-retirement incentives, the real pipeline problems are coming to the surface. Tammy Duckworth is too stupid to for words to describe.
The age 65 was 6 years prior.
Jay Cee 1
Thank you for the correction, but that change still helped mask the impact of the 1500 rule when implemented.
Ichiro Sugioka 3
Senator Duckworth has the experience to know the value of actually flying in different conditions that you can't get from a simulator.
Steve Taylor 1
How many real airline grade simulators have you flown?
Here we go.....a sitting U.S. Senator with NO airline experience dictating new rules for prospective
airline pilots. What's wrong with this picture?
Steve Taylor 2
In fairness, she is at least a pilot.
John Prukop 0
SHe's NOT a "pilot" in the general sense; only a rotorwing type... and more than likely NO fixed wing experience whatsoever. There's a particular acquired finesse flying a fixe wing airplane that's absent in the world of rotorheads.
John Prukop 0
Why isn't there an 'edit' function on here? I DO know how to spell, but sometimes the keyboard can't keep up with the thought process and it's easy to make grammatical errors.
jhakunti 1
Well at least they're rethinking this 1500hr rule. It's quite excessive and is needlessly exacerbating the pilot issue. It takes experience to gain experience, so if they would allow pilots to get experience they would make better pilots. Also what ever happened to the sim evaluation? If they used that to hire new pilots they could easily filter out those pilots who aren't ready to take on the advanced training.
Randall Bursk 1
FAA/ICAO, Airlines, Military, etc. Great job with safety over aviation history. Always gotten better. AI Deep Learning will add to more efficient training in the future. Salary is dependent on economy, up and down. Do it for the love of flying. Good flights.
Always elected dipsh!#$ that know NOTHING about ANYTHING, passing laws & making rules on subjects they know NOTHING about! Amazing when you think about it. Welcome to the 21st century!
Seems to me correct
Brian Carr 1
WHY is everyone so upset about this standard? An American that works 40 hours a week works 2,080 hours a year. As a professional safety manager, every job I apply for requires 5 - 10 years experience. 10 years is over 20,000 hours.

You guys are whining about putting someone with less than a years worth of man hours behind the yoke of aircraft carrying carrying our loved ones. Shit up and do the work. I don’t care if you rack up your 1500 hours in a year or two years. The longer it takes you, the LESS experienced you are.

1500 hours is the equivalent of about 38 weeks of experience. As a private pilot I say no thanks, my family’s life is in your hands.
strickerje 3
The difference is gaining flying experience costs the pilot ~$200 per hours vs. the example employee who's getting paid while gaining experience. No one is flying 40 hours a week on their own dime.
Brian Carr 1
That’s what paid CFI jobs are for. Go to Savannah Aviation, they are constantly pumping pilots into the industry. I had 4 CFI’s in less than a year there because they got their hours so quickly.

500 hours is laughable. I wouldn’t hire someone with 500 hours of experience to drive my car.
linbb -5
Why are they doing it those people have no idea what is or is not needed they will stick there nose into an area they shouldn't be in.
Larry Toler 2
Unlike many, I agree with you on that. I have flown with pilots who were former US Army helicopter pilots. Even they say it's a difference between apples to oranges. My experience in the USAF as an Air Transportation Specialist was pretty close to what I did as a flight attendant in the commercial world.
Alan Zelt 3
Tammy Duckworth was a combat helicopter pilot.
Ren Babcock 1
Great, that qualifies here to know everything going on in a commercial airline cockpit.
srobak 6
As much as I don't like Ducky - No, it does not qualify her to know everything about it, but it does put her many miles ahead of almost anyone else in the legislature.
Ren Babcock 0
Nooge -1
victorbravo77 -1
3000 hrs if you haven't ticked all the boxes in every category. I'm happier with the 15000-hour guy/gal up front.
David Rice -1
Many universities have programs that allow their students to get jobs with the regionals as FOs at 1000 hours total time. My nephew and his whole class (2018)…they went straight from the university to the regionals as a FO @ 1000 hrs total time. Happens all the time via major universities.


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