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Rusty pilots admit they are making mistakes because of a lack of flying timeAirline pilots are making mistakes because they have become rusty because of the lack of flying time during the coronavirus pandemic. Dozens of pilots have told NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System that they have made errors since getting back into the cockpit. On one occasion a pilot forgot to disengage the parking brake when pulling away from the gate. (www.yahoo.com) More...
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Interesting. Delta seems to be keeping some of their wide body pilots current as they are using 767-400 to RSW from Detroit and MSP. Those are normally single aisle equipment.
Rough landings I can deal with, forgetting a checklist item not so much?
it happens more than you would think
The airlines are in a very difficult situation. When they cut back flying and retire fleet types it creates a domino affect that has a major impact on their pilots. When an airline decides to retire say all of their 767s and 757s, all the pilots that flew those aircraft need to bid and train on another fleet type. When an early retirement package is offered sometimes hundreds of senior pilots take it, opening seats on wide bodies that fly internationally. So a senior 737 captain might bid to a 777 and start flying to India instead of Indiana. It’s pretty common on international trips for the Captain to make only 1 or 2 landings per trip. With cut backs in flying they may only get one trip a month and to remain current they only need to make 3 landings every 90 days. Cut backs have a snowballing affect that involves every fleet type and every seat. I think its a tribute to the pilots,of all the airlines, that have kept the system as safe as it has been.
Skipping a checklist is not a "mistake". It is hazardous risk-taking with potentially catastrophic consequences. Northwest Flight 255, with a combined 29,000 hours in the cockpit, still haunts me.
When I learned to fly I would sometimes go weeks between flights. My instructor drilled into me the use of checklists ... always. It's a good habit to get into, even for a seasoned pilot who may have just flown two legs. I would take my Piper to two or three different airports and follow the checklist religiously every segment of every flight.