Contraversial thoughts on the current aviation and flight training situation by Anony Mouse:
With the COVID19 pandemic raging along the collateral damage to the USA is enormous, not to mention that the flying industry has taken a big hit. Not only have air carriers suffered, but also flight training where instructors that would have been in the airlines have been stalled and their positions suspended. As a consequence, this has caused a severe bottleneck in the progression of pilots moving up through the ranks.
To make matters worse the 1500 hr requirement in order to fly for an airline is excessive at best and one could suppose it's another testament to the failure of a badly thought out congressional debarkle which has hurt the flying industry in the United States severely.
While thousands of civilian student pilots and low time commercial pilots pay through the nose building up their 1500 flight hours in the United States, other countries allow Commercial Pilots with 250hrs to fly as first officers on Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s etc. Coupled with this completely unbalanced global state of affairs, the United States has demonstrated another very serious problem which is having an additional impact on the already rediculous 1500hr requirement and that is to train as a private, then commercial and then finally an airline transport pilot where one is unable to get a Federal Student Loan for any flight training.
There are numerous universities which offer bachelor degrees in aviation science etc. but the flying portion is extra and not covered by Financial Aid. What a disgrace this system is! Not only does one have to fork out between $40K to $70K for a 4 year bachelor degree but an additional $70K to $90K for the flight training on top of this.
Financial institutions have caught on to this injustice and now offer "private loans" accompanied by equally unjust interest rates, as they milk everyone connected to the student and they even force a co-signer into the misery so that when the student defaults, and they will, the co-signer must start paying it back almost immediately. Now these type of loans do not make any sense because as a flight student one would already be studying and flying in order to get the rediculous 1500 hrs.
One of the only ways to build flight time is to become a flight instructor and it's certainly not for the money because they are economically raped at every turn by greedy business owners looking to make a fast buck off of their hard earned flight qualifications.
Most pilots know that flight schools charge between $55 and $100 per hour for an instructor, and then they pay the poor soul $16 to $25 per hour, which is exploitation at its best considering the minimum wage rates at the moment.
How then is all this injustice sustainable?
Why aren't lobbiests trying to recind the 1500hr minimum and if that rediculous requirement has been entrenched beyond amendment, then why aren't lobbiests changing the definition of flight training as academic education to include the physical training in academic degrees and then have it covered by Federal Financial Aid?
Is there a solution to any of these issues including the economic rape of flight and ground instructors?
The Act that broke the camel's back:
SEC. 217. AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT CERTIFICATION. (a) RULEMAKING PROCEEDING.—The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall conduct a rulemaking proceeding to amend part 61
of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, to modify requirements for the issuance of an airline transport pilot certificate. (b) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS.—To be qualified to receive an airline transport pilot certificate pursuant to subsection (a), an individual shall— (1) have sufficient flight hours, as determined by the Administrator, to enable a pilot to function effectively in an air carrier operational environment;
and (2) have received flight training, academic training, or operational experience that will prepare a pilot, at a minimum, to— (A) function effectively in a multipilot environment; (B) function effectively in adverse weather conditions, including icing conditions; (C) function effectively during high altitude operations; (D) adhere to the highest professional standards; and (E) function effectively in an air carrier operational environment.
49 USC 44701 note. Applicability. Effective date. Regulations. Notice. VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:33 Aug 24, 2010 Jkt 089139 PO 00216 Frm 00021 Fmt 6580 Sfmt 6581 E:\PUBLAW\PUBL216.111 APPS06 PsN: PUBL216 dkrause on GSDDPC29PROD with PUBLIC LAWS 124 STAT. 2368 PUBLIC LAW 111–216—AUG. 1, 2010 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—H.R. 5900: CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 156 (2010): July 29, considered and passed House. July 30, considered and passed Senate. Æ (c) FLIGHT HOURS.— (1) NUMBERS OF FLIGHT HOURS.—The total flight hours required by the Administrator under subsection (b) (1) shall be at least 1,500 flight hours. (2) FLIGHT HOURS IN DIFFICULT OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS.— The total flight hours required by the Administrator under subsection (b)(1)
shall include sufficient flight hours, as determined by the Administrator, in difficult operational conditions that may be encountered by an air
carrier to enable a pilot to operate safely in such conditions. (d) CREDIT TOWARD FLIGHT HOURS.—The Administrator may allow specific academic training courses, beyond those required under subsection (b)
(2), to be credited toward the total flight hours required under subsection (c). The Administrator may allow such credit based on a determination by
the Administrator that allowing a pilot to take specific academic training courses will enhance safety more than requiring the pilot to fully comply
with the flight hours requirement. (e) RECOMMENDATIONS OF EXPERT PANEL.—In conducting the rulemaking proceeding under this section, the Administrator shall review and
consider the assessment and recommendations of the expert panel to review part 121 and part 135 training hours established by section 209(b) of
this Act. (f) DEADLINE.—Not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue a final rule under