Comment 7 November 2006: Give this licence a chance

London
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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There is more to the multi-crew pilot licence training system than meets the eye.

It looks like a fast-track way to move from zero flight time to the right-hand seat of a commercial jet or fully crewed turboprop.

Speed is good for nations such as China and India where there is a severe pilot shortage, and the concept looks a good one - but will it deliver? We won't know until the first licence holder has been working on the line for a year or more. Monitoring is essential to validate this new concept and refine the training syllabi. Maybe the system, from an airline viewpoint, will be superior. Let's keep an open mind.

Meanwhile, pilots with traditional training may struggle with the idea of a competent, licensed Boeing 737 first officer who has yet to fly a first solo, and whose licence does not allow him/her to fly a Cessna 150 solo without additional training.

The new multi-crew pilot licence holder should have the knowledge of a pilot with a frozen airline transport pilot's licence, but will not have not been trained to pass the instrument-rating and general-handling test flying solo. The theory is that the skills of the "one-arm paper-hanger" are abilities a new first officer has to unlearn.

But for a cadet who has passed rigorous selection tests, and who has an individual promise of airline employment provided that he/she jumps through all the competency hoops, maybe this is the fast-track system of the future.

See Air Transport P14