Pilots with more flight hours in their logbooks do not necessarily make better aviators, according to a July 17 report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). The bureau created the report amid significant debate claiming low-time airline first officers are less competent than those with more flight time.
The study looked at three Australian airlines as well as how pilots gained their experience. Some pilots joined the airline with experience logged in a variety of aircraft before employment, while airline cadets had logged fewer flying hours during the rigorous training program that launched their careers.
“The overall performance of cadets and low-hour pilots matched that of their direct-entry and higher-hour peers,” said the ATSB. “The differences between the low- and high-hour pilots in ‘meeting’ and ‘exceeding’ the standard across all metrics were variable within airlines and inconsistent across all three airlines. This suggests that the differences between the groups are not…an area of concern for industry.”