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Old 02-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #5  
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Joined APC: Feb 2008
Position: SLC ERB
Posts: 467

Originally Posted by BTDTB4 View Post

My question then becomes … what happened to the concept of everyone having to meet the same standards? A standard set of regulatory requirements not only should ensure that the minimum knowledge and proficiency has been achieved by everyone involved, it should prevent anyone from being granted a “more streamlined path” to achieve what they have described as "proficiency." And, if we re-define that “end point” for everyone, we effectively allow everyone to follow a different "path," allow everyone to achieve their own individual goals, and effectively eliminate any "regulatory standard." Is this a good thing?

I’m not trying to be “picky” and I’m certainly not trying to get any airline management into some kind of trouble … but I AM curious as to what is so good about doing things differently from everyone else. So ... I ask ... what should be trained and checked that will help ensure a safe operation?
You're missing part of the picture here. Like you said, there are two basic ways that crew are trained/checked at 121 carriers - the standard 121 program covered in appendicies E,F, and H - and AQP. The structure of these programs can be quite different, but to suggest that one (or both) does not have set standards for training and checking is not correct. And neither is the suggestion that the requirements of an AQP program are made up by a bunch of psychologists to meet FAA buzz words.

You seem to be critical of the AQP program specifically - have you been through an AQP training program? There is a sim day during the typical AQP training and recurrent programs called the MV, or maneuvers validation. During the MV, all of the normal check ride type events are evaluated and must be preformed for the same set of standards as you would find in the more "traditional" check ride. The big difference is that if a maneuver does not meet standards, that it can retrained until it does.

A little extra background here - there is much more to 121 training/checking than the afford mentioned FAR references. First of all, there's the ATP PTS, which sets the basic STANDARDS that are applied to all checking events including the "validations" conducted in an AQP program. In addition to the PTS, there is a document called the Flight Standardization Board report, or FSB. The FSB is aircraft specific and is created during the aircraft certification process. The FSB outlines all of the specific training/checking that must be completed by pilots who will operate that equipment. For example, if during certification, it is found that maybe zero flap landings can be tricky, then the FSB might contain a requirement that all pilots of that type be trained and checked on zero flap landings. And guess what, if you fly that plane (even if it for a company for a company that has an AQP program), you will be performing zero flap landings, and they must be preformed to standards.

The great benefit of the AQP program has already been mentioned by others - that is, the ability to integrate focused training for problems that are occurring out on the line. In this way, AQP fits right in with other programs such as ASAP, FOQA, LOSA, and others.
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