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Reducing the Airline Hour Req

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Lucas (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 14 May 22, 14:26Post
Republic Airways has asked the FAA to lower the hour requirement for pilots. It went up after the Colgan crash.

I think that 1500 is probably too high, and that Republic has some good points. My cousin is a captain and says that the main difference is now they get high-time people who should never be in a cockpit flying, and that's about it.

Anyone have any insight?
DXing 15 May 22, 13:14Post
I agree. There has to be a happy medium between 40 hours and 1500. I will say this, when I worked in the industry there was always talk that just prior to the Colgan crash the pendulum was swinging the other way and people with not enough time or experience were getting hired. Thankfully the vast majority of them washed out. The Colgan crash was a combination of several human factors as well as job working conditions. Thinking that placing a 1500 minimum on pilots would be the cure all was just lazy thinking. It's probably placed more of a strain on a system that was already facing a manpower shortage than was necessary.

As an example, in WW2 it would take anywhere from 140 to 160 flying hours to train someone who had no flying experience to a rating in a B17 in the Army Air Corp. I actually think flying those would have been as difficult as a modern-day jet as virtually nothing was automated and there wasn't a bitchn Betty or stick shaker to point out your basic failures.
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ShyFlyer (Founding Member) 16 May 22, 00:59Post
Lucas wrote:Republic Airways has asked the FAA to lower the hour requirement for pilots. It went up after the Colgan crash.


I always thought it was typical bureaucratic response especially considering that both pilots in that crash had more than 1500hrs.

The industry is very much in love with the concept of "well, we've always done it this way!" and for good reason. Aviation is extremely unforgiving and if something works, it's best left alone...to a point.

I think the whole training pipeline needs to be refreshed, which is what Republic appears to be doing. I question their motives, though, as airlines, especially regionals, have historically been reluctant to increase quality of life unless forced by Unions. We don't have a shortage of qualified pilots, we have a shortage of pilots willing to work (or stick around) for the compensation being offered.

That said, the current building block method of training (PPL -> INST -> COMM -> ME -> CFI) needs to be rethought, perhaps combining the training. At one time in the past, it was suggested that the PPL and INST training be combined into one rating, but it went nowhere.

For folks intending a career out of this, going through all the steps in between PPL and COMM adds expense. During my PPL training, many of my CFIs held me to COMM standards and we even practiced some COMM maneuvers.
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