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Problem: Not Enough Pilots. Solution: Fewer Flying Hours?

November 30, 2007 | Posted in: Pilots,Travel Safety

I can’t say I’m with the International Transport Association (ITA) on this one; according to this article from the Wall St. Journal, the ITA (which represents major airlines worldwide) says there is a “looming crisis” because of a lack of pilots.

Okay, fair enough.

What I’m not crazy about, is their solution to this crisis. Maybe you’ll find it troublesome, too.

The ITA’s president says, it’s time to “rethink pilot training” programs and urged adoption of new standards of training, training designed to speed up the process.

What they’re talking about, apparently, is emphasizing such things as simulator training, and reducing requirements for actual flying hours.

The article goes on to note that, “faster, simulator-oriented training programs are controversial in the U.S”– I’ll bet.

Oh, and then there’s this little nugget at the end:

“world-wide accident rate is more than four times higher than the rolling annual average rate for U.S. carriers.”

Now, I realize not all those accidents outside the U.S. can be attributed to “pilot error”; certainly weather and the condition of the planes play a part.

That said, I like knowing that U.S. pilots (and many others around the world) have many, many hours of real flying under their belts, before they get into the cockpit of the plane I’m traveling in — let’s not skimp on having the best and most trained pilots … please …

3 Responses to “Problem: Not Enough Pilots. Solution: Fewer Flying Hours?”

  1. Wilson says:

    Drop the CRJ/ATRs and go back to larger aircraft. If you replace three R/T with just one R/T this will reduce the congestion at many airports and also reduce cancellations due to weather which impacts the smaller A/C.

  2. Gary Stevens says:

    Are you ready to either reduce the number cities served by commercial aviation or increase ticket prices significantly? Those are your basic choices. The option to reduce employee compensation has been used to the point that it is the main reason for the issue of pilot shortages. Nobody is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and almost a decade of their life to qualify for a job that now pays less than McDonalds managers, and carries the responsibility for dozens to hundreds of lives in an increasingly dangerous environment. We are approaching the Perfect Storm in commercial aviation–obsolete ATC equipment, retiring experienced ATC controllers and pilots, increasing traffic, and incompetent TSA security. I’m a retired airline pilot with free flight privileges and I have taken one flight in the last two years. I drive–I recommend you do the same.

  3. clyde says:

    Planes need to be downsized, not consolidated into freighter size 747s. If you paid any attention to airline trends and plane orders, you would know by now that airlines are planning on phasing out 747s and the A380 will be a flop in terms of sales. Downsizing planes reduces empty seats, makes plane piloting simpler, and gives more jobs to pilots while getting rid of the premium price on operating such large planes.

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