The Air Line Pilots Association praised members of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 5 for passing an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill that continues funding the union-supported Federal Flight Deck Officer program (FFDO). The FFDO allows properly trained and certified airline pilots to carry handguns in the cockpit for protection against armed intruders. The amendment, which will return $12.5 million to the program’s $25 million annual budget, is revenue-neutral and has broad bipartisan support.
An airline pilot studying for a Ph.D. wonders why otherwise competent pilots fail checkrides. “Although many quantitative studies have looked at what pilots do wrong, researchers have not previously sought pilot input on why pilots actually make those mistakes,” said Capt. Gary Boettcher. Pilot volunteers for Boettcher’s survey must have repeated a recurrent training simulator proficiency checkride, hold a current FAA medical certificate, be currently qualified and in an active flying bid status.
The French union of airline pilots, SNPL France ALPA, is now defending two pilots who were in the cockpit of a Falcon 50 involved in a major drug bust in the Dominican Republic. Bruno Odos and Pascal Fauret, jailed in Higüey for 77 days and counting, are “collateral damage,” the union said in a statement released today.
Paris Air Show organizers have redoubled the event’s emphasis on recruiting new talent to the aerospace sector. “We [the industry] need to invest a lot in young people if we are to be ready for increasing production rates in the coming years,” said SIAE chairman and CEO Emeric d’Arcimoles.
Basic manual and cognitive flying skills decline because of a lack of practice actually flying the aircraft, according to 80 percent of 151 respondents to a European Aviation Safety Agency survey about cockpit automation. That same number also believe pilots’ feel for the airplane can deteriorate significantly when they don’t hand fly the aircraft often enough.
As the August 2013 date for implementation of the new ATP safety requirement for all Part 121 pilots nears, the FlightSafety Academy announced a new program to help less experienced commercial pilots reach the 1,500-hour mark required to apply for the certificate. Called the Flight Instructor Candidate Opportunity initiative, the program will allow pilots to gain experience as a CFI that counts toward the ATP requirement while earning advanced aircraft ratings at no cost.
In an exclusive podcast, film star and pilot John Travolta told AIN how he’s been helping Bombardier’s flight test pilots to develop the new Challenger 350 jet. Plus how Hollywood high-fliers turn to him for advice on how to get into private aviation.
A new survey by the University of North Dakota Aviation Department suggests that young people are being turned off by the prospect of a career as an airline pilot. Just under one third of the 205 student respondents (32 percent) said they are now reconsidering their plans to become an airline pilot. A further 8 percent said that they have already abandoned this career path.
Regional Airline Association chairman Dan Garton today expressed relief that a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Congress was able to reverse the furloughs of air traffic controllers triggered by federal budget cuts. But he complained that America’s regional carriers had faced a disproportionate burden from the effects of sequestration on the country’s air traffic management system.
An old French proverb reminds us “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” For international flight departments, planning a trip outside the U.S. means focusing on many of the same topics crews consider for a flight inside the U.S.: weather, navigation, customs and immigration, air traffic contro