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FAA Denies Request to Remove 1,500 Hour Minimum For Pilots

Earlier this year, Republic Airways (a regional carrier for American, Delta, and United Airlines) filed a petition with the FAA for an exemption to the ‘1,500 hour rule’ that required all airline pilots to have flown a minimum of 1,500 hours before being eligible to occupy a seat in an airliner. Today, the FAA denied that petition. ( More...

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patrick baker 3
it is far too much for there to be student-airline pilots in airline cockpits. As airliners are rushed to more and more automation, the airlines seek to have less flying hours for each co-pilot candidate. I prefer pilots with more hours to start with-how about 2,500, so that might give them the understanding to look over the panel, look outside the cockpit, maneuver the aircraft around ,all the time knowing what they are looking and and what they are doing. Even with instrument ratings, each candidate ought to demonstrate the ability to hand-fly down to decision height, then properly land the aircraft. More than once......
wx1996 3
A thought around this issue. Am I off in left field or does this make sense?

Root Issue: The FAA has not defined a training and proficiency standard that meets the needs of the industry.

You need a bus driver for a high-performance bus not just an old school bus.

Rule: The driver must have 1500 hours of driving experience to drive the bus.

Future gets their drivers license, then spends 1,500 hours driving a old used Nissan vista up and down the same interstate every day to build hours. The reach 1,500 hours and magically they will be a save Big Performance Bus Driver!

What about all the bad habits they learned in the slow old vista that must be broken when they try to drive the bus.

The Republic approach:

The US Military has fully trained and qualified pilots after 300-400 hours. Republic and the other airlines created a training program that applied to flying their aircraft, not an old beat-up Cessna 172. They have a very high standard program that creates related proficiency. Not memorizing the same cheap routine of building hours flying the cheapest aircraft they can rent, Cessna 172.

The FAA standard for 1,500 hours was a union ploy to force regional airlines to have to pay more for pilots, wrapped in a public safety scare campaign.

The Union should work with the FAA and Airlines to define a training and proficiency standard. Everyone acknowledges that military pilot training is a much better and higher standard. This proves it is possible to have a good safe Co-pilot is a lot less than 1,500 hours.

Then for seasoning and on-boarding add a minimum flightdeck minimum crew standard. New co-pilots are only placed with seasoned Captains or Instructors for their first 200-500 hours. Even becoming an instructor in an old slow Cessna does little to prepare you for the world of the Passenger Jet.

You cannot learn to drive a bus by driving a car. Same goes for ATP rated pilots. They need time in real passenger aircraft not Cessna 172’s trying to build hours. As they are first hired, they are there for backup Captain. Today we have junior pilots learning bad habits in old slow aircraft building 1,500 hours. They are NOT experienced on the fast performant passenger aircraft. They do not think at the speed of the passenger aircraft. They can only learn this after they are hired or if they are lucky enough to be one of the few that fly private jets, cargo, or overseas airlines.
david fairchild 3
so they want to allow student pilots to fly airlines?? Glad the FAA is being smart about this!
Giteen 1
Republic and other regional airlines are absolutely NOT advocating for student pilots to fly passengers. Their request to reduce the experience requirements for new-hire pilots still requires FAA certification as a commercial pilot. The 1500 flight-hour experience requirement is in addition to commercial certification. The big reason this is an issue is because it is usually up to the applicant to pay for the flight experience out of pocket at a rate of hundreds of dollars per flight hour. This substantially raises the financial barrier to entry for flying professionally when you now need to pay for 1500 hours, hence a pilot shortage.
patrick baker 1
i labeled the low time airline pilot candidates to be "students" , even when that is not perfectly true. They are students in that they are inexperienced and unable to demonstrate all the skills needed to be a line pilot with any airline.


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