The number of pilots hired from January through May by the six major fractional operators (559 pilots) is outpacing hiring by the major airlines (302) and regional jet operators (402), according to statistics compiled by AIR Inc. of Atlanta. Only hiring by national airlines (649) surpassed fractionals (total hired in all categories was 2,509). AIR also reported that 7,257 of 94,571 active airline pilots are on furlough in the U.S.
The two U.S. pilots–Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino–involved in a fatal midair between an ExcelAire Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 above the Amazon jungle in September 2006 will be allowed to testify in a criminal trial from the U.S.
French-based executive air charter operator THS has filed a lawsuit against NetJets Europe for “dissimulated labor.” THS alleges that NetJets has hired pilots under foreign contracts, thus evading French taxes and social contributions. Therefore, the company claims it is at a disadvantage and pilots do not have the social security they should have. THS asserts that some 100 pilots are affected.
The pilot of a Cape Air Cessna 402 lost consciousness during a scheduled flight from Martha’s Vineyard to Hyannis, Mass., on February 8, forcing a Cape Air security trainer on board to take the controls and make a gear-up landing in Provincetown, Mass. The pilot, Ronald Crews, 50, roughly 10 months ago voluntarily removed himself from duty just as he prepared to take off on another flight from Martha’s Vineyard.
Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino–the two U.S. pilots of an ExcelAire Legacy 600 that collided with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over Brazil’s Amazon jungle in September 2006, killing all 154 aboard the airliner–will now be allowed to testify in a criminal trial from the U.S.
Manchester, N.H.-based Alpha Flying last month announced a new pilot schedule: seven days on, seven days off. Slated to take effect next month, the new arrangement will improve pilots’ quality of life by introducing more flexibility into their schedules, the company said. The current schedule is six days on and four days off. Alpha Flying operates 30 Pilatus PC-12s with 96 pilots.
More than two years after the FAA completed its latest evaluation of the relatively high accident rate of the Mitsubishi MU-2 twin turboprop, the agency issued a special FAR (SFAR 108) that makes MU-2 training mandatory for all pilots who want to fly the airplane. The action marks only the second time that the FAA has issued special training regulations for type-specific pilot training in aircraft that don’t require a type rating.
Pilots often wonder what happens if they sign a contract to repay training costs when accepting a flying job that involves expensive simulator training but quit before the contract has expired. Conventional wisdom is that such contracts are not enforceable and the hiring company eventually drops the issue. That was not the case for Allen Miller, who accepted a job with Bombardier Aerospace’s Flexjet fractional operation in July 2000.
The meteoric development of India’s airline industry continues unabated as Air India extends its nonstop network to all corners of the globe with Boeing’s longest-range airliner. On February 8, Air India placed its fourth 777-200LR on a new direct route between Delhi and New York JFK Airport, and expected the imminent arrival of airplane No. 5 as we approached the start of this year’s Singapore show.
The age-60 rule for U.S. commercial pilots has been changed to age 65, which will allow the U.S. to be consistent with most of the aviation world. It will also help, in the short term, to mitigate the manpower problems facing commercial aviation. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy solution for the shortfall of certified maintenance personnel, as many of them already work past age 65.