China’s great need for airline pilots is well documented, not least by Boeing, which last year estimated that the country’s fast-expanding air transport industry will need some 77,400 pilots through 2032 (plus 93,900 mechanics). According to the airframer, that represents around 40 percent of the overall requirement across the Asia Pacific region over the same period.
Pilot licensing and certification
Piper Aircraft delivered the 550th Meridian turboprop single yesterday to a Swedish customer, Håkan Svensson, the CEO of Öckerö-based Aston Harald. This also marked the first new Meridian to enter service in Sweden. Svensson, who is pursuing his pilot license, plans to use the aircraft in his maritime and transportation consultancy business. The Meridian will be operated by a professional pilot until he achieves sufficient ratings and experience to fly as pilot-in-command in European airspace.
Pilots planning for a career that requires certification to airline transport pilot (ATP) standards will need to set aside thousands of dollars to pay for additional training mandated by new FAR 61.156. The training is required before the candidate can take the ATP written and practical tests (beginning August 1 next year), and the portion that will cost the most is 10 hours of simulator training, including at least six hours in a full-flight simulator (FFS) meeting Level C standards and replicating a multiengine turbine-powered airplane weighing at least 40,000 pounds.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects its new first officer qualification rule for commercial pilots that require, with certain exceptions, 1,500 hours of flight time and an air transport pilot certificate to appear in the government’s Federal Register on Monday.
August 2 is the implementation date for the new Part 121 regulation that requires all cockpit crewmembers to hold a Part 61-issued ATP certificate. That also means those airmen must have a first-class medical certificate if they intend to exercise the privileges of that ATP certificate. The FAA emphasizes that P.L. 111-216 does not include any grandfathering provisions for current flight-crew members who currently hold commercial pilot certificates.
Questions about the legality of the Learjet flight that cost Latin singer Jenni Rivera and six others their lives when it crashed December 9 began almost as quickly as the accident investigation itself. The 1969 Learjet 25–registered in the U.S. to Las Vegas-based Starwood Management as N345MC–crashed in a mountainous region 70 miles south of Monterrey, Mexico.
A reader recently took me to task for writing that the FAA is reinterpreting Part 135 regulations, in a story about the FAA’s belief that contract charter instructors and check airmen apparently are not complying with the rules.
A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report stated that the FAA and DHS databases did not interact as expected when vetting flight training students.
There is only a little time left to comment on a petition for exemption from the third-class medical requirement for pilots flying recreationally. The exemption petition was submitted to the FAA by the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the comment period closes on July 2. As of June 25, there were more than 3,300 comments, but the more comments received, the more the FAA might pay attention.
There were 28 comments about the training clarification notice in the docket, some from aviation associations and many from key large charter/management companies and training provider CAE.
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