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How to get into an airliner RHS with almost no experience of flying yourself

Ibra wrote:

I think we are done with the days where airline pilots teach PPL or IR on weekends Or play with vintage tailwheels/gliders toys to fill up their spare weekend time !

The best high performance and vintage planes in the US are still very often owned and flown by airline pilots or retired airline pilots… they have the time to fuss with them and also the money to buy and restore them in the first place, especially if like some of them you are also drawing a military pension.

An AA pilot friend and compulsive airplane buyer/restorer took a sweetheart retirement deal in February, just before the big airline slowdown and is now being paid base hours to not fly for two years. A couple of months later and they would have just furloughed him forever. He’s now spending his time doing an avionics upgrade on his ‘63 Bonanza, putting the final touches on yet another Luscombe ground-up restoration, and giving FAA check-rides (he’s a DPE). Good work if you can get it

Using unskilled pilots to carry people is silly regardless, an idea that will find its own reward when the first major accident is blamed on the MPL practice. The larger airline pilot problem in my view is keeping skilled and intelligent pilots interested in automated bus driving, waiting for the urgent need for their skill that will come only occasionally. Another (very experienced) friend and neighbor of mine flies corporate Gulfstreams etc mainly because it’s more interesting, despite all his flights being domestic US these days. I can see it coming that more good pilots will aim for high level corporate flying as their career goal if the airline mass transit system wants ‘pilots’ instead.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 03 Sep 19:40

The larger airline pilot problem in my view is keeping skilled and intelligent pilots interested in automated bus driving, waiting for the urgent need for their skill that will come only occasionally.

Affirm! Automation is nice, but it’s not exactly helping piloting skills. Could be easily tackled with real training (not the bureaucratic box ticking exercises crammed into the end of a sim session). I can already hear the bean counters sigh.

ATPL / IFR Instructor
Europe

Was / is not Lufthansa one of the very few, possibly the only (at least outside the US), airline encouraging hand flying?

I wonder how this would have panned out in Europe: https://www.euroga.org/forums/flying/11784-las-vegas-international-mccarran-uncontrolled-due-to-covid#post_242501

Last Edited by 172driver at 03 Sep 23:32

To me, the bigger problem regarding piloting skills and currency is not so much that it isn’t practiced in the sim, but that it is often either directly or indirectly prohibited/frowned upon by airline management. In my previous airline, when I first joined, manual flying was not uncommon. Then there were quite a few conditions added ‘appropriate’ times to do it, some reasonable, some not so. Then raw data flying was discouraged, then it was prohibited. When pilots were found to be doing it anyway by setting bugs in the wrong place to move the flight directors out of the way then that was prohibited too. The pilot’s wanted to do it, management didn’t want them to do it.

In my current airline, it is neither strongly encouraged nor discouraged, the wording is along the lines of ‘acceptable when conditions permit’. The problem is that the airline has a bit of a history of jumping the gun to appoint blame when something went wrong. They have got a lot better, but bad impressions make a heavy print on the memory, so most line Captains discourage it, even though the eager FO might want to. That then follows through to when that eager FO becomes a Captain, and follows the same mindset.

In the first example, the pilots and airline need to find a happy balance without it becoming a war on who can prohibit the most things and who can find loopholes. In the second example, it will take a major and convincing reboot of mindset, not just lip service to ‘just culture’.

United Kingdom

172driver wrote:

I wonder how this would have panned out in Europe: https://www.euroga.org/forums/flying/11784-las-vegas-international-mccarran-uncontrolled-due-to-covid#post_242501

My guess is that the national CAA would have closed the airport. As for how it could have worked, who knows…?

One practical obstacle is that there is (AFAIU) in most European countries no official procedure to get a clearance on the ground except from TWR/AFIS.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

The whole MPL-story is unfortunately not really working against the prejudice, that Airline-Pilots these days are much more “button pushers” than actual aviators …

Germany

@pirho
Thank you, good post.

ATPL / IFR Instructor
Europe

Seems cheap to me given that one does not even monitize a PPL+SEP privileges to fly a C152 out of his MPL paper !
Obviously, they could charge as much as the cost for one to get modular ATPL – 1£ and it still a good “business deal”

https://airlinegeeks.com/2020/09/25/major-european-flight-school-charging-students-81-000-to-convert-licences/

Last Edited by Ibra at 28 Sep 09:42
ESSEX, United Kingdom

@lbra most MPLs are finding they can still secure their type rating as part of the original programme and then going into the holding pool. The days when your MPL was airline specific and the airline welched, fortunately seem to be over.

Also a significant chunk of Phase 1 MPL is eligible towards an integrated course, so good faith schools are facilitating transfer without material penalties – the main additional cost on the transfer to an integrated ATPL, is the student now has to, typically for Boeing/Airbus, pay for the type rating.

This poor customer service is perhaps specific to only one school.

Oxford (EGTK)

RobertL18C wrote:

The days when your MPL was airline specific and the airline welched, fortunately seem to be over.

I had the impression it was an all-in bet on one airline, still MPL is a huge one way risky investment compared to modular or integrated ATPL

ESSEX, United Kingdom
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