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Old 02-08-2012, 07:52 AM   #21  
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We've had several different time lines for recurrent over the years. Many years ago it was once per year, 12mo. cycle plus or minus 1mo. from your 'base month'. Then (due to a UAL 747 takeoff incident I'm told) it was changed to once every 6mo. for the international categories, now we are at 2 days of consecutive sims, every 9mo. for everyone, domestic and international.

Who runs your flight training dept? Is he/she a former line pilot, with a seniority number, who still goes out and flys line trips?

Ours always has been a former line pilot, usually a guy who has worked his way up the ladder through the training dept. as a sim instructor and a line check airman. I've never felt like we were being shorted any simulator training, maybe that's why. But if there was a bean counter in charge, a -non-pilot, I would bet we'd be getting the absolute minimum in training, no doubt. It's always about money with them.
Yeah, I remember the UA-744 “incident” … it was a long-haul out of SFO, headed “down under,” with the FO flying. Just after takeoff (but the term, “just after,” isn’t fully explained) there was a problem with the #3 engine. Not much information was available specifically but it’s thought that the engine experienced a compressor stall, and apparently the FO shut it down. (OK – insert opinion here - there have been engine compressor stalls that have been quite dramatic and some so dramatic that they warranted shutting down the engine, but, as a routine procedure? … come on!..) maybe that would have been warranted, but … none-the-less, instead of maintaining coordinated flight by using those terribly-difficult-to-use, and dangerous-to-use, flight controls on the floor – called rudder pedals – when the airplane yawed to the right (with Numbers 1, 2, and 4 at TO power and number 3 gone, that’s what the airplane is supposed to do) the FO deftly applied left down aileron to correct. (!) Yeah, my thoughts exactly! Stuck the roll control spoilers into the breeze (just as that flight control application is supposed to do…), the airplane slowed, both in airspeed and climb capability (just as you would expect – given those circumstances), the stick shaker started (just as that airplane system is supposed to do…), horns were apparently blaring (just as those airplane systems are supposed to do…) – you’ve seen it all, I’m sure – resulting in just barely clearing the San Bruno ridge (with a bit over 100 feet of air between the aluminum and the rocks – less than ½ a wing-span). So, who’s at fault for this demonstration of aviation prowess? Of course … it’s the fault of that dastardly piece of hydraulically powered junk passing itself off as an airplane – the simulator! You see, this was a long-haul FO who, by nature of the route structure, wasn’t getting his 3 takeoffs and landings every 90 days, so he completed that requirement in the simulator. The fact that he apparently shut down an engine that just may have coughed a bit and (it is thought) could have, may have, caught up with itself, then cross-controlled that beautiful lady, caused her to almost loose her complexion, and very likely caused the remainder of the flight deck occupants (the PIC and both of the relief crew members) to have to change their shorts, goes essentially to the back burner. Of course we can’t blame the FO – and we certainly can’t blame the company’s training program, as they operate under AQP – so, what’s left? That inanimate structure we all visit regularly, the friggin’ simulator! So, the correction is to send ALL pilots into the simulator more frequently. Makes perfect sense to some; but I truly believe those "some" prefer their Jack Black mixed with Diet Coke and a marshmallow! ................ OK. Sorry. Got carried away.

We’ve had a mix of training folks – but management is still management – and they call the shots. That’s why I’m working so hard (a good share of it on my own time) to make sure we have all the facts. To me, having an AQP program is a blank check for some to trod all over meaningful training for the most part … granted there are some aspects that sound good until you read what they actually allow. When you read, “structured training for each airline’s own operation…” it sounds like something anyone could accept. But what it means is that the training objectives (i.e., piloting standards of performance) can be altered to suit whatever is desired. Some tasks can be substituted for having accomplished “other” tasks that were not accomplished. As an example, I give you those airlines that had been authorized to train on Windshear and never have their crews see Stalls or Approaches to Stall. That one still escapes me! Because Line Oriented training takes a lot of time to accomplish just a few tasks, the time that IS available becomes more critical. Solution? Do less … but don’t describe it that way. Describe it as designating some tasks as “routine” and therefore you should not have to address those tasks during training (…ever again…). Besides, the effect of accomplishing those tasks can be seen during Line Checks given to the Captain. More training time is allocated by doing less, making the Line Oriented approach to training more “do-able” … and … of course, it sounds better to say the training is done in a “realistic, line environment.” Anyone ever play football? Remember blocking practice? Remember training on “hand-offs?” Over and over and over, again! How long would it have taken those players to get their foot work down right if the only time they practiced it was during a real “game-like” scrimmage. Sure, there is a time to “see” that stuff during a “game setting” – so it is with piloting … but learning the basics, reviewing the basics, polishing the basics, is not, and in my view, cannot be, adequately done in a “line environment.” Using that football analogy … I see pilot recurrent training much like “spring” and “pre-season” practice is to football. No one thinks that the star full back forgot how to take a hand-off or forgot how to block. But, there he is, every spring, and every preseason, working on footwork, eye-hand coordination, over and over and over, again. I wonder why? Could it be to sharpen the edge? … to polish familiar feelings? … to examine what he could do better or more easily?

I have an idea! Let’s propose that an AQP program be introduced into professional football. It could be called Advanced Quality Plays. We all know that blocking an on-coming opposing player, trying to get to your team’s ball carrier, is very much like fending off the block of an opposing player trying to keep you from getting to the other team’s ball carrier – we’ll be able to train offense and defense at the same time – look at the time that will be saved! We can also easily see that running to the side lines while keeping your body facing the end-zone, is done exactly the same way when moving to the right AND to the left … one entire direction eliminated … saving even more time. Also, this business of differentiating between the “tackle” and the “guard” positions is much ado about little. Both positions are on the line of scrimmage, both start from the 3-point stance, and both attempt to get into the opposing teams backfield - more savings by training offense and defense simultaneously! More streamlining! More valuable time saved! And, to top it off, ALL of the training would be conducted in “simulated games!” What better way to get prepared to play an actual game?

OK ... Sorry ... AGAIN! Drat ... it seems the issues sometimes "get a life of their own."

Last edited by BTDTB4; 02-08-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:37 AM   #22  
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I agree...so what's the solution you would like to see?

All that training takes time and to a bean coutner, Time = Money.

So...where does the FAA draw the line between spending enough time to train, vs. spending too much money?

I have noticed a degredation in my own flying skills ever since I left domestic, getting two landings a day, four days in a row, 3-4 trips a month, vs. flying International, getting one landing a month, maybe. Oviously I'm doing a lot less hand flying and a whole lot more sitting and sleeping.

Flying is a learned skill just like Football, Golf or Tennis, or racing catamarans (my drug of choice). The more you practice, the better you get, no doubt. 1 landing a month isn't enough to keep me happy with my skill level, so I get my butt out of the house and fly a taildragger often, just so I can remember how to use the rudder!

Like my highschool football coach used to tell us; "What you do in Practice, you WILL DO IN THE GAME, so Practice like it's THE GAME!" I guess that's why I ask for extra V1 cuts when it's my 'turn in the box'.

Last edited by Timbo; 02-08-2012 at 08:57 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #23  
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Yeah, I remember the UA-744 “incident” … it was a long-haul out of SFO, headed “down under,” with the FO flying. Just after takeoff (but the term, “just after,” isn’t fully explained) there was a problem with the #3 engine. Not much information was available specifically but it’s thought that the engine experienced a compressor stall, and apparently the FO shut it down. (OK – insert opinion here - there have been engine compressor stalls that have been quite dramatic and some so dramatic that they warranted shutting down the engine, but, as a routine procedure? … come on!..) maybe that would have been warranted, but … none-the-less, instead of maintaining coordinated flight by using those terribly-difficult-to-use, and dangerous-to-use, flight controls on the floor – called rudder pedals – when the airplane yawed to the right (with Numbers 1, 2, and 4 at TO power and number 3 gone, that’s what the airplane is supposed to do) the FO deftly applied left down aileron to correct. (!) Yeah, my thoughts exactly! Stuck the roll control spoilers into the breeze (just as that flight control application is supposed to do…), the airplane slowed, both in airspeed and climb capability (just as you would expect – given those circumstances), the stick shaker started (just as that airplane system is supposed to do…), horns were apparently blaring (just as those airplane systems are supposed to do…) – you’ve seen it all, I’m sure – resulting in just barely clearing the San Bruno ridge (with a bit over 100 feet of air between the aluminum and the rocks – less than ½ a wing-span). So, who’s at fault for this demonstration of aviation prowess? Of course … it’s the fault of that dastardly piece of hydraulically powered junk passing itself off as an airplane – the simulator! You see, this was a long-haul FO who, by nature of the route structure, wasn’t getting his 3 takeoffs and landings every 90 days, so he completed that requirement in the simulator. The fact that he apparently shut down an engine that just may have coughed a bit and (it is thought) could have, may have, caught up with itself, then cross-controlled that beautiful lady, caused her to almost loose her complexion, and very likely caused the remainder of the flight deck occupants (the PIC and both of the relief crew members) to have to change their shorts, goes essentially to the back burner. Of course we can’t blame the FO – and we certainly can’t blame the company’s training program, as they operate under AQP – so, what’s left? That inanimate structure we all visit regularly, the friggin’ simulator! So, the correction is to send ALL pilots into the simulator more frequently. Makes perfect sense to some; but I truly believe those "some" prefer their Jack Black mixed with Diet Coke and a marshmallow! ................ OK. Sorry. Got carried away.

We’ve had a mix of training folks – but management is still management – and they call the shots. That’s why I’m working so hard (a good share of it on my own time) to make sure we have all the facts. To me, having an AQP program is a blank check for some to trod all over meaningful training for the most part … granted there are some aspects that sound good until you read what they actually allow. When you read, “structured training for each airline’s own operation…” it sounds like something anyone could accept. But what it means is that the training objectives (i.e., piloting standards of performance) can be altered to suit whatever is desired. Some tasks can be substituted for having accomplished “other” tasks that were not accomplished. As an example, I give you those airlines that had been authorized to train on Windshear and never have their crews see Stalls or Approaches to Stall. That one still escapes me! Because Line Oriented training takes a lot of time to accomplish just a few tasks, the time that IS available becomes more critical. Solution? Do less … but don’t describe it that way. Describe it as designating some tasks as “routine” and therefore you should not have to address those tasks during training (…ever again…). Besides, the effect of accomplishing those tasks can be seen during Line Checks given to the Captain. More training time is allocated by doing less, making the Line Oriented approach to training more “do-able” … and … of course, it sounds better to say the training is done in a “realistic, line environment.” Anyone ever play football? Remember blocking practice? Remember training on “hand-offs?” Over and over and over, again! How long would it have taken those players to get their foot work down right if the only time they practiced it was during a real “game-like” scrimmage. Sure, there is a time to “see” that stuff during a “game setting” – so it is with piloting … but learning the basics, reviewing the basics, polishing the basics, is not, and in my view, cannot be, adequately done in a “line environment.” Using that football analogy … I see pilot recurrent training much like “spring” and “pre-season” practice is to football. No one thinks that the star full back forgot how to take a hand-off or forgot how to block. But, there he is, every spring, and every preseason, working on footwork, eye-hand coordination, over and over and over, again. I wonder why? Could it be to sharpen the edge? … to polish familiar feelings? … to examine what he could do better or more easily?

I have an idea! Let’s propose that an AQP program be introduced into professional football. It could be called Advanced Quality Plays. We all know that blocking an on-coming opposing player, trying to get to your team’s ball carrier, is very much like fending off the block of an opposing player trying to keep you from getting to the other team’s ball carrier – we’ll be able to train offense and defense at the same time – look at the time that will be saved! We can also easily see that running to the side lines while keeping your body facing the end-zone, is done exactly the same way when moving to the right AND to the left … one entire direction eliminated … saving even more time. Also, this business of differentiating between the “tackle” and the “guard” positions is much ado about little. Both positions are on the line of scrimmage, both start from the 3-point stance, and both attempt to get into the opposing teams backfield - more savings by training offense and defense simultaneously! More streamlining! More valuable time saved! And, to top it off, ALL of the training would be conducted in “simulated games!” What better way to get prepared to play an actual game?

OK ... Sorry ... AGAIN! Drat ... it seems the issues sometimes "get a life of their own."
Where do you work? If you're that distrustful of what your management might do given the "blank check" of an AQP program then it may be time to move on to greener pastures. If they're that intent on cutting corners, you probably already have a training department problem AND they probably won't be able to get their AQP program approved anyway.

I admire you trying to gather information in an effort to promote safety, but it seems you had come to your conclusion prior to coming on this thread. You have heard several pilots give their impression of the AQP way of training/checking and it's been all positive. Your time may be better spent focusing attention on what's wrong within your own training department, rather than condemning simulators and AQP.

Training is a tradeoff. Would it be better for every pilot to have "practice" (to run with your football theme) prior to every trip? Sure! How about a thorough oral every time they sign in for a trip? Why not? I'll tell you why . . . there are only so many training hours to be allocated per pilot and still have the airline's human resources (that's really all we are) be efficient and productive. Again, it's a tradeoff of time invested vs cost vs risk. It probably would be safer for pilots to drill constantly until they dream of V1 cuts and Approaches to Stall in the Landing Configuration, but it's not a viable option.

Sooooo, we make the best of the situation and try to maximize our bang for the buck/limited time available. AQP is a compromise. The FAA has allowed certain airlines that follow the program to emphasize certain hot items that others do not. We have a very well-developed data collection system that identifies operational threats that ARE happening on a routine basis in the real world. Some of these threats may eventually lead to an accident/incident if not corrected through our training program. As the operation evolves, some of these will go away and new threats will appear. Our environment is dynamic and AQP allows us to target our training as real operational threats dictate.

To me, it makes perfect sense to target these issues that ARE occurring on the line. These events are actually happening and need to be fixed. Do we need to know how to recover from a stall, or appropriately apply rudder pressure after a V1 cut? Absolutely, but there aren't enough hours in the training plan to do everything every time. Eventually, you have to choose what's going to get the biggest return for the time invested.

Not sure I can say it any clearer than that, but mark me down as a fan of AQP. Hope that helps clarify where we're coming from.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #24  
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I agree...so what's the solution you would like to see?

All that training takes time and to a bean coutner, Time = Money.

So...where does the FAA draw the line between spending enough time to train, vs. spending too much money?

I have noticed a degredation in my own flying skills ever since I left domestic, getting two landings a day, four days in a row, 3-4 trips a month, vs. flying International, getting one landing a month, maybe. Oviously I'm doing a lot less hand flying and a whole lot more sitting and sleeping.

Flying is a learned skill just like Football, Golf or Tennis, or racing catamarans (my drug of choice). The more you practice, the better you get, no doubt. 1 landing a month isn't enough to keep me happy with my skill level, so I get my butt out of the house and fly a taildragger often, just so I can remember how to use the rudder!

Like my highschool football coach used to tell us; "What you do in Practice, you WILL DO IN THE GAME, so Practice like it's THE GAME!" I guess that's why I ask for extra V1 cuts when it's my 'turn in the box'.
Well, the answer to your first question (what would I like to see) is simple – but it’s hard to achieve. That answer is “a system that works.” Your second question (where does FAA draw the line between enough time and too much money) is an even easier one to answer. They should require only what is necessary. The tricky part is determining what is “necessary” and what is “nice to have.” This is the part where I get amused (well … amused is perhaps not the right word – perhaps dismayed … or disillusioned may be better descriptors), anyway, what is emotionally elevating (describe it as you may) when I see some of the discussions centering on the merits and demerits of traditional vs. AQP training emanating from the hallowed halls in Washington (and, yes, I have stopped there as well, seeking information and advice – well … it couldn’t hurt, right?). The “traditionalists” in the FAA decry the costs of an AQP program, and the “AQPers” toss back that it’s an optional program that no one is forced into doing – and then they add “besides, AQP pilots are better trained, more competent, and therefore safer than their traditionally trained counter parts because they each exceed the minimum standards set by the traditional regulations.” So, here we have the FAA – at least a good portion of it – saying that they know how to provide better trained pilots, more competent pilots, safer pilots … but they’ve decided to not require everyone to do the same thing – and the reason is because they … what? … they feel that AQP costs too much money to require everyone to participate? … they believe that AQP pilots are not sufficiently safer to justify the additional costs for everyone? … So, what then? Either such a statement is true or it is not.

From what I’ve read from the responses posted here, all of the “value” that folks believe is due to an AQP program is exactly the same stuff that is available in the current rules and will be available under the new rules that are being written. The FAA should make decisions based on safety and competency issues. Period. Either something is or should be included in pilot training because it is necessary that it be included. Is there any doubt that when an airline opts to do something that it is not required to do there is something more involved in the decision than competency and safety. I don’t want to be the bearer of consistently critical comments about those in whose industry I am employed, but, as they say, “facts is facts.” The concept of having management of those airlines voluntarily participate in AQP when to do so costs more than what can be justified for smaller airlines and the only return is a more competent pilot, frankly, borders on unbelievability … and may actually tip-toe across that boundary. From what I can gather, initially if an airline agreed to participate in AQP for one airplane in that company’s fleet of airplanes – the FAA would grant that entire airline an approval to participate in the “single visit exemption” – allowing all flight crew members to return for recurrent training every 12 months instead of the regulatory-required every 6 months for Captains and every 12 months for First Officers and Flight Engineers. For an airline with several different types of airplanes – one could get AQP approved for the smallest, and reap the benefits of having everyone immediately under the single visit process. Of course this only saves a lot of money when you have a lot of Captains at the airline. The more Captains, the larger the savings because the less numbers of people the airline has to bring in for recurrent training at the 6-month point.

Additionally, the inverse of those situations is true as well … the smaller the number of Captains, the less advantageous it was to go the single visit route. However, for those first in line for AQP approvals, from what I’m told and what I’ve seen, not only was this a savings, but a savings to more than substantially offset the requirements to hire a staff of the few data specialists that seemed to be the sticking point with some of the PhDs on staff at the FAA. Anyone can see who the AQP participants were at the start – and they weren’t the smaller operators. Once the program was underway, new and different methods of “savings” were developed. Under the “name your own proficiency objectives” program the airline was granted the authority to define its own terminal proficiency objectives for each task. These objectives replaced the regulatory requirements, and once approved, the airline was allowed to add to, delete from, or simply alter those newly established requirements. Following that came the “identify the routine tasks” program. Here, the airline developed a list of tasks that were identified as “routine” and therefore not required to be conducted during recurrent training – and the justification was that when a check airman was aboard a line flight conducting the regulatory required line check for the captain that CA could verify the satisfactory accomplishment of all those “routine” tasks for everyone. Now it seems that the interest lies in being authorized to use Flight Training Devices (FTD) instead of Full Flight Simulators (FFS) for some (and in some cases All) of required evaluation of pilots – the difference? FTDs are cheaper – they’re good – for what they were intended, but they aren’t fully representative of the airplane – where the FFS is a lot closer – for several reasons that I could point out – but you all probably know most of those reasons.

As the folks responding to this thread have indicated, pilots are getting trained – and trained on issues that are important to them – whether AQP or not. The AQP approach to training is not very, if any, different from what was used in “pre-AQP” training programs. In fact, you have said that you also did stall recoverys and a deep stall over water at night after unreliable airspeed, in effect, both the Colgan and A/F scenarios, minus the airframe icing.” I’ve talked with pilots at non-AQP airlines who say they’ve done the same thing. So, it isn’t AQP that’s allowing that – its diligent training program managers doing what is required of them in accordance with the existing rules. As long as the training is just like what used to be done, and its done in a simulation device that was designed, built, and tested to be able to support those tasks – fine. But, the trend under AQP is away from all of that. The tricky part is getting everyone to believe that its just as good – or even better – than in doing it the “old fashioned way.” What I’m saying is that sometimes, perhaps not all the time, but certainly some of the time, the old fashioned way really IS the best way.

I do thank you for the conversation and the information. Please keep it coming.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:07 AM   #25  
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I think it boils down to spending our training capital (time) in the most effective way, which it seems is the target of your inquiry on here. Neither way is wrong, I just think AQP provides the airline the ability to go above and beyond the standard to address their unique operational threats. Your concern seems to be the airline using AQP to avoid doing certain required maneuvers, and I have found, at least at Northwest and Delta, that it was the exact opposite.

In response to your comment, above, I made a phone call to an acquaintance of mine ... a former Delta instructor. I just got off the phone with him this morning and in his view, the thought that the Delta AQP was “the exact opposite of avoiding doing certain required maneuvers” is most assuredly NOT true. His specific example was that Delta was one of the airlines that was conducting recoveries from windshear INSTEAD of conducting recoveries from stall or approaches to stall during recurrent training – as allowed under AQP. That particular circumstance is apparently no longer the practice at Delta, but it apparently played a significant part in this acquaintance’s leaving their employment. Please understand, my intent is NOT to impugn the integrity or the reputation of any US airline – particularly one that has the public reputation that Delta has ... but the facts are hard to deny. Regardless of the airline, when given the opportunity to do something that will save money and is judged to be legal by the Feds – in fact, may be encouraged by the Feds – it would hard for any airline to “stay the course.” According to this friend of mine, the relationship that the Delta instructors had (and I guess still have) with the local FAA office was/is pretty good. That FAA office had apparently worked diligently with the appropriate personnel at the airline – but, in addition, some of the individual inspectors worked even harder with individual instructors at the airline to bring certain issues to light. No, my friend would not get specific, but Delta apparently no longer substitutes windshear training for recoveries from approach to stall training (and, it looks like that will be replaced in the rule by recoveries from stall...). He didn’t say, but reading between the lines, I would suspect that there may still be persons involved who might get caught in any reaction that might still be possible if some things were made public – and it’s not worth that kind of concern.

I had often mused that it would be nice to be able to have an open “round-table” discussion (a la Charlie Rose) where everyone would be honest in voicing their opinions and offering their suggestions ... but ... it seems that on-line forums, such as this one, are going to be the closest thing we get to having such a capability. I really hope it continues.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #26  
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:00 PM   #27  
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8 hours of ground school = 3 hours of instruction (according to Delta study but I'm inclined to believe it).
3 hours of CD/DVD instruction = 3 hours of instruction and you have quality control and a rewind button.

As to AQP?
I'm used to low vis takeoff, intercept a course fly out to an area, break off do all three stalls to the shaker and recover, steep turns (be ready for an engine failure during it), return for ILS and land. V1 cut on takeoff, return for non precision approach to a go around in the flare, return for ILS approach and land. Engine back takeoff into windshear and recover, return for no flap no G/S no VASI approach. Add in the easter eggs at will and at least an MEL and a hung or hot start. One time I was told no slewing and as always ATP mins.

That's normal, not a problem and even understandable. The Delta program is easier by far, systematic and well, get's the job done with no fluff you'll forget anyways because you never use it. I mean it's odd I no longer have to no the number of rivets required to hold the windshield on or have to diagram every system from a blank sheet of paper but I guess that doesn't do anything for you.

They like to say your knowledge should be an inch deep and 10' wide, about the width of the cockpit and the depth of a button push. Everything else will be at your fingertips (in 12 manuals), or you can call or just divert. But fly the airplane. That's the focus now- flying. Not useless maintenance for pilots.

I've grown to accept it.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #28  
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”... fly the airplane. That's the focus now- flying. Not useless maintenance for pilots. I've grown to accept it.


We’ve been getting farther and farther away from requiring a pilot to be able to disassemble and reassemble their airplane in the manner required of an Army infantryman to disassemble and reassemble his/her M-4/M-16, and simply saying I agree with you falls way short of how much I agree with your statement of what today’s focus should be ... “fly the airplane.”

I continually try to keep a balanced understanding of what role the Feds, the airlines, the pilots, the mechanics, and the unions play in today’s aviation environments. My suspicion is that if each of those organizations were to be completely honest (in my view, a key word in this discussion) with all of the issues that each brings to the table – there would be little disagreement among those folks. What’s more, I’m not at all sure that the resulting aviation environment would be something we would want, and certainly we wouldn’t feel good about subjecting our lives in it, if any of these organizations were no longer invited to “the table,” or if any one at that table tried to gain “the upper hand” or the “default” leadership role. I don’t want to get into who has the most knowledge or the best view or any of that. Either these folks belong at the table or they don’t. If they belong – whatever they bring – one thing or a hundred things – is something that is necessary. If it is necessary – it’s necessary. We also have to recognize that each of those organizations has a constituency to whom they are each responsible – to some degree. Personally, I believe that if everyone’s actions while at the table, and while doing what was agreed at the table, maintains the honest approach I described above, the constituency issues should not be a problem.

The challenge is what to do – and I think it’s a challenge because I know there are training programs out there now that run the gamut of content and standards. We think that the ones we know and are familiar with actually work – at least until something happens. You know what they say about hind-sight. What would we have said about Colgan’s training programs or about the training at Air France if we were to have had such a discussion in June of 2008? We know that as long as humans are involved, there is the likelihood of human error. That is a given and will likely be “a given” as long as there are humans. That is why your statement of the focus on which pilots should be riveted – i.e., fly the airplane – being as “on-point” as it is, should be the end-point goal of whatever is decided to do. We must determine how we can best provide those folks with the knowledge and skills they need to have to do that job the way ALL would have it done. That certainly implies “training” of some sort, and would have to include the content and the frequency of such training. Then we need to determine if there should be one set of standards that should apply to the various companies who decide to participate in this industry – or if we should find some way to allow each one to create and use their own standards. As this is a profit oriented business, and because whatever “standards” are agreed to will result in some level of cost – if those standards are altered, the costs are very likely to be altered as well. With that, I’ll revisit the goal ... determine first, if there should be one set of standards, and second, determine what standards should exist. IF it is determined that one standard should exist, I would submit two things – first, it would have to be a “neutral” body at that “table” that maintains (i.e., evaluates, approves, etc.) this single standard, AND second, an AQP approach simply won’t do.

Well, my fresh Mai Tai has arrived (sans umbrella, thank you very much). Vacations on Key Biscayne DO have their valuable moments!

Last edited by BTDTB4; 02-10-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:42 PM   #29  
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We’ve been getting farther and farther away from requiring a pilot to be able to disassemble and reassemble their airplane in the manner required of an Army infantryman to disassemble and reassemble his/her M-4/M-16, and simply saying I agree with you falls way short of how much I agree with your statement of what today’s focus should be ... “fly the airplane.”

I continually...
I'll say this as a comparison purposes, me and my regional buddies in my new hire Delta class were looking at the syllabus excited over how many training sessions were built into it. It's a lot. I think my new hire at the regional was 4+1 in the sim and 2+1 in the airplane. It may have been 5+1 but not any more than that for sure, 4 seems right.

I don't think they're saving money. Don't quote me but going from instructor based systems and orals to computer based ones saved I want to say 60-75% and that's including 4 to 8 sessions in a FTD and 9 in a level D sim. The added bonus is every pilot has seen the exact same material whereas before it was instructor and check airman dependent.

There are some things I'd love to suggest about training, but not here and they wouldn't further your cause anyways. More internal stuff and in the grand scheme of things inconsequential.

As to the FAA, I think it's a big deal personally to a POI to have an incident free operation. If there are FAA people here who'd like to chime in it'd be appreciated. I can say for sure I never like seeing the FAA because you never know who you'll get but if you think about the Colgan crash, to me, all fingers point to FAA oversight.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #30  
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I'll say this as a comparison purposes, me and my regional buddies n my new hire Delta class were looking at the syllabus excited over how many training sessions bere built into it. It's a lot. I think my new hire at the regional was 4+1 in the sim and 2+1 in the airplane. It may have been 5+1 but not any more than that for sure, 4 seems right. I don't think they're saving money. Don't quote me but going from instructor based systems and orals to computer based ones saved I want to say 60-75% and that's including 4 to 8 sesssions in a FTD and 9 in a level D sim. The added bonus is every pilot has seen the exact same material wheras before it was instructor and check airman dependent.


Well, let’s look at the training you were excited about. I am presuming that when you say you received “4+1 in the sim” and “2+1 in the airplane” you mean 4 simulator training periods and 1 check period in the simulator, followed by 2 training periods followed by a check period in the airplane. I’ll also presume that the simulator training periods were scheduled for 4 hours – splitting the time between the two occupants and the check ride was over as soon as the tasks were all completed – and I’d guess that the check portion took each pilot about 1:20 to complete. I’ll also presume that the airplane time was somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes for each pilot, for both of the training stints as well as for the check. Am I close?

If I am, what we have is the following:
4 X 2 hours at the simulator controls for training: = 8.0 hours training in the simulator.
1 X 1.3 hours at the simulator controls for the check: = 1.3 hours check in the simulator.
2 X 0:30 at the airplane controls for training: = 1.0 hour training in the airplane.
1 X 0:30 at the airplane controls for your check: = 0.5 hours check in the airplane.

For a grand total: = 10.8 hours

Also, let’s look at a typical traditional training program using a Level D simulator (or Level C with appropriate experience). This example uses 11 simulator training periods, 1 period for the check, and 1 period for the LOFT.
11 X 2 hours at the simulator controls for training: = 22.0 hours training in the simulator.
1 X 1.3 hours at the simulator controls for the check: = 1.3 hours check in the simulator.
1 X 2 hours at the simulator controls for the LOFT: = 2.0 hours LOFT in the simulator.

For a grand total: = 25.3 hours

And, let’s also look at a typical AQP training program, almost all of which also use Level D (or, again, Level C with appropriate experience). This example uses either a full flight simulator with motion and visual systems OFF, or a training device for a period devoted to a “systems procedures validation” at the conclusion of the ground school courses. This period is not included in the simulator/FTD calculations.
This particular approach uses 4 simulator training periods, a simulator period for a “maneuvers validation,” or “MV,” and 4 additional simulator training periods. These training periods are followed by a LOFT session. The last period is conducted for the “type rating” or “proficiency” check ride, and is called the Line Oriented Evaluation, or LOE, and is conducted in “real time” between actual departure and arrival airports depicted in the simulator.

4 X 2.0 hours at the simulator controls for training: = 8.0 hours training in the simulator.
1 X 2.0 hours at the simulator controls for “MV:” = 2.0 hours of MV in the simulator.
4 X 2.0 hours at the simulator controls for training: = 8.0 hours training in the simulator.
1 X 2.0 hours at the simulator controls for LOFT: = 2.0 hours training in the simiualtor.
1 X 2.0 hours at the simulator controls for LOE: = 2.0 hours LOE in the simulator.

For a grand total: = 22.0 hours

Not saving money? Hmmm.
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