Archive for the Hangar Talk Category

R-ATP Regulation to Reality

Robert Chapin
2014-09-05T19:34:28+00:00

The newly-promulgated FAR 61.160 went into effect last week.  Already, I am seeing positive changes in the aviation industry.  Hiring is on a rapid up-swing, and rumors are starting to circulate about a liberal interpretation of the new first officer qualifications and certification rules.

While discussing the potential for a pilot shortage last year, I didn’t yet mention the combined effects of existing trends and the looming 1,500-hour minimum experience level for new first officers.  What was happening at the time, and slowly becoming problematic, was that the regional airlines were increasing their own hiring qualifications.  Those hiring policies were becoming restrictive faster than the country was producing ATP-qualified pilots.  Remember, before the Airline Safety Act of 2010 there was no requirement for regional airlines to hire ATP certified first officers.  But the Act required by August 1, 2013 that “all flight crewmembers have obtained an airline transport pilot certificate.”  The Act also required the FAA to issue its Final Rule on this by an August 1, 2012 deadline, which it failed to do.  This left airlines in the awkward position of hiring only those pilots who could obtain an ATP before the 2013 deadline.  Hiring slowed to near zero because there was a shortage of entry-level pilots who could accumulate 1,500 hours of flight experience.

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4 Aug 2013

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Deciding Not to Land

Robert Chapin
2013-07-25T15:41:56+00:00

In response to the recent Air Safety Institute blog about the Asiana crash at San Francisco, I am addressing the point of developing basic “stabilized approach” skills and how they are used in flight training.

Bruce Landsberg wrote:

I absolutely agree that students will be working it all the way down and that is part of their learning what “good” is but there’s that judgment thing on teaching when an approach has become unsalvageable. Not so good to allow them to “attempt to save it” when the risk is rising rapidly.

Given that a light single-engine airplane needs to make turns and configuration changes below 1,000 feet above ground to complete a traffic pattern, at what point does one decide to not even attempt the flare and landing?  Do I need to make that decision at a fixed height such as 500 feet?  Do I need to meet specific criteria such as stable airspeed, stable descent angle, and stable configuration?

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25 Jul 2013

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