Aviation

Ab Initio Pilot Training in America

By Camilo on December 20, 2015 0 Comments

JetBlue has requested authorization to launch an ab initio pilot training program in the United States. I’ve written about ab initio training before (see here, here and here.) The main difference between this proposal and the European practice is that JetBlue will send their candidates out to fly at a smaller airline until they get … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings, Pilot Trustworthiness

Lufthansa Ab Initio Training Part II

By Camilo on May 19, 2015 0 Comments

In this blog post I discussed the amazingly low attrition rate of Lufthansa’s ab initio (from the beginning) pilot training program. Today, something a little different: the change that has ensued in the actual flying portion of pilot training. In 2006, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) created a new qualification, the Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL). … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings, Pilot Trustworthiness

Lufthansa Ab Initio Training, Part I

By Camilo on May 19, 2015 0 Comments

Here’s a presentation by Lufthansa to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on their ab initio (from the beginning) pilot training syllabus. Some thoughts on this: Slide 6 depicts the Lufthansa pilot selection process. What is striking about this graphic is the 95-98% success rate in step 3, “pilot school,” (aka flight school.) This is … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings

Germanwings Successfully Down the Memory Hole?

By Camilo on April 22, 2015 0 Comments

The Germanwings mishap/murder investigation has gone very quiet lately. Major media focused on aircraft design, interviews of past girlfriends, speculation into mental illness, pilot training, and self-disclosure protocols for pilot medical qualifications. Nobody addressed the real issue: pilot trustworthiness. In what we in the U.S. call “general aviation” (GA), pilot suicides are rare, but not … Continue Reading

Aviation, Pilot Trustworthiness

More Pilot Stories

By Camilo on April 20, 2015 0 Comments

A common question between pilots in an airliner, especially on day 1 of a trip with someone new, is “Where did you start?” We all want to know the past experiences of the pilot next to us. If his (see note below) background is civilian, usually he followed this path: desire to fly/leave current job; … Continue Reading

Aviation, Pilot Trustworthiness

Pilot Stories

By Camilo on April 9, 2015 0 Comments

I’ll start with the conclusion: the civilian path to flying an airliner is analogous to the path to practicing medicine as a doctor: years of expensive schools followed by years of low pay and very hard work. At the end of each process, you have a professional with mad career buy-in. He’s earned it. Let’s … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings, Pilot Trustworthiness

Sucking Up a Seat Cushion

By Camilo on April 6, 2015 0 Comments

This is gross, but pilots have a saying: “sucking up a seat cushion.” It means that things have gotten tense in the cockpit because of some emergency, enemy action or the lack of some aviation essential (runway, altitude, airspeed or fuel). You can imagine a pilot tensing up – all over – under such circumstances, … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings

PBS Aviation Spot Delivers

By Camilo on April 5, 2015 0 Comments

Judy Woodruff interviews two men for this spot: Warren Silberman, MD, a former Manager of Aerospace Medical Certification for the FAA now in private practice, and William Hurt Sledge, MD, professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, who has screened pilots for the US Air Force and airlines for years. It is worth … Continue Reading