Statistics compiled by Aviation Information Resources (AIR) of Atlanta show a decrease in pilots hired by fractional providers from a peak of 1,363 in 2000 to 1,038 in 2001 to 997 last year, a drop in hiring of 27 percent over the three-year period. But the fractionals didn’t fare as poorly as other airline segments tracked by AIR. For example, the major airlines hired 4,779 pilots in 2000, 3,318 in 2001 and only 549 last year.
Gulfstream IIB, Santo Domingo, Venezuela, Oct. 7, 2007–The GII struck a tree on approach to Santo Domingo-Mayor Buenaventura Vivas Airport near Santo Domingo. It then hit the ground and caught fire. The airplane was destroyed, and both pilots were killed. The Venezuelan government is investigating.
• Failure of the pilots of two light piston twins to see and avoid each other in VMC caused a midair collision that killed 11 people aboard both airplanes, concluded the NTSB in its final report of the Aug. 9, 2000 accident. The collision, which occurred over Burlington Township, N.J., involved a Patuxent Airways Piper Navajo Chieftain and a Hortman Aviation Services Piper Seminole.
According to aviation career specialist AIR Inc., six fractional operators this year hired 447 pilots through April. Frax companies hired a total of 1,038 pilots last year, putting this year’s numbers on track for a better outlook. According to AIR Inc., no fractional pilots are on furlough, but 4,515 major airline pilots and 2,451 “national” airline pilots are.
To help prevent “identity theft,” the FAA is urging pilots who hold an airman certificate that uses their Social Security number (SSN) as their certificate number to change it to a unique number.
“The DOT would rather let an F-16 shoot down a hijacked airplane than let pilots carry guns in the cockpit,” was The Wall Street Journal’s response to Transportation Security Administration director John Magaw’s declaration “that I will not authorize firearms in the cockpit.” His decision overrides the wishes of airline pilots, who have been campaigning since September 11 to be allowed to carry guns as a barrier of last resort against terroris
Members of the Air Line Pilots Association will be asked their views on the Age 60 mandatory retirement rule for airline pilots. The union, which has historically opposed any effort to raise the retirement age, is now worried that the current financial crisis in the airline industry could cut pilots’ career earnings. ALPA pilots are concerned they might have to work in other professions or as pilots outside the U.S.
The Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 1108, which represents pilots for fractional provider Flight Options, claimed last month that some pilots were fired for their inability to receive Canpass authorization. According to the union, Flight Options management recently fired or otherwise forced out about half a dozen pilots over what
it said amounted to simple traffic violations.
Operation Safe Pilot, an 18-month federal probe into “the misuse of Social Security numbers by pilots,” ended last month with the indictment of 40 pilots–some with commercial or ATP certificates–on fraud charges. During the investigation of 40,000 FAA-licensed pilots in northern California, federal agents identified numerous pilots with current medicals who were receiving disability benefit payments.
The Air Line Pilots Association, the union that represents most of the nation’s airline pilots, has endorsed Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for President.