The FAA has issued a final rule that raises to 1,500 the minimum flight hours required by first officers for U.S. air carriers flying under Part 121 regulations, up from the current 250 hours. The new rules stem from a Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Air 3407, a Bombardier Q400, in Buffalo, NY. The rule also requires that first officers hold an ATP certificate and a type rating in the aircraft being flown.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Phillips 66’s Young Eagles Rebate program, which aids pilots who volunteer their time, aircraft and money to introduce youngsters to flight. Starting in 1994, Phillips 66 Aviation has provided a $1-per-gallon fuel rebate to help offset the cost of qualified Young Eagle flights through its nearly 900-strong FBO network, and since its inception has been used by approximately 5,000 pilots.
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 board created the report amid significant debate claiming low-time airline first officers are less competent than those with more flight time.
As of August 1, first officers for U.S. Part 121 air carriers will need to have logged at least 1,500 hours as well as meeting other requirements. The new regulations, however, do not address the quality of the logged time, and cargo operator Ameriflight has petitioned the FAA to allow pilots to log more time when flying as second-in-command (SIC) in Part 135 cargo operations where just one pilot is required. The petition was filed in February but just recently went live for public comment.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects its new first officer qualification rule for commercial pilots that require, with certain exceptions, 1,500 hours of flight time and an air transport pilot certificate to appear in the government’s Federal Register on Monday.
The management of American Airlines merger partner US Airways has advised American Eagle pilot leaders that it will not place an order for 76-seat regional jets for Eagle or any other regional airline that hasn’t formulated a plan to “trend toward” the cost structure introduced at wholly owned Delta Air Lines subsidiary Pinnacle Airlines, the head of the American Eagle Air Line Pilots Association unit told membership
Aircare Crews Staffing, based in Olympia, Wash., announced during the 2013 NBAA Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference that it now rewards its contracted pilots and flight attendants with free annual Aircare FACTS emergency procedures training. The program is designed to offset the annual cost of training often paid by freelance pilots and flight attendants who work regularly for Aircare Crews Staffing.
Mitre’s Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development is recruiting pilots to help evaluate proposed changes to instrument approach standards. Selected applicants–who will be paid up to $250 for their time–must have had a flight review within the past two years and be current instrument-rated pilots with glass-cockpit experience. Interested applicants should contact Anna Christine Yilmaz at (317) 459-5947 or via e-mail at email@example.com for additional information.
Rock-and-roll musician Bruce Dickinson (lead singer of Iron Maiden), who is also an airline pilot, was at the Paris Air Show this week, fired up with the news that he has won a £5 million investment in Cardiff Aviation, his Wales, UK-based aviation services company. Dickinson said that this would help the firm have a “much wider impact across the entire South Wales aerospace industry.”
The Air Line Pilots Association praised members of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 5 for passing an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill that continues funding the union-supported Federal Flight Deck Officer program (FFDO). The FFDO allows properly trained and certified airline pilots to carry handguns in the cockpit for protection against armed intruders. The amendment, which will return $12.5 million to the program’s $25 million annual budget, is revenue-neutral and has broad bipartisan support.