Flying peacefully involves not thinking too much.
If you spend time thinking you’re inside a massive metal tube 36,000 feet in the air, you won’t sit back and relax.
If you spend any time thinking about whether the plane is properly maintained, you won’t be at peace.
And if you wonder where the pilots were the night before, your nerves may be shaking.
You board the plane and you trust that everything will be fine.
However, the current concern is that there are not enough pilots. Every commercial airline is looking for more, but their training takes time and most of those trainee pilots need to complete 1,500 hours of flying time.
Currently Republic Airways petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to be exempted from that amount. Half.
You may not be familiar with Republic, but it is responsible for regional flights under the umbrella of United, Delta, and America Airlines.
So when you book a flight with one of those airlines, you might actually be on a Republic plane.
Republic now wants permission to reduce the hours prospective first officers need, through its own Limited Air Transport Pilot Certificate program. This, it claimswill “provide the benefits and rigorous curriculum and structure of military training.”
The Republic is largely based on the idea of promoting diversity. Specifically, it said it would allow people without the financial or educational qualifications to become pilots under the current system.
However, I feel that some customers may be psychologically apprehensive. If you know that your pilot is only getting half the hours previously claimed, anxiety is inevitable.
Republicans countered that their new training program “will not have a negative impact on safety and will provide a higher level of safety.”
However, you may wonder, why 1,500 hours has become the norm. Does it sound like 10,000 mythical steps to staying healthy?
It was introduced in 2013, as a response to a 2009 plane crash of regional airline Colgan Air. The captain was accused of failing to show an appropriate response and an investigation followed suggests that his training may not have been enough. 50 people died in the accident.
Before this regulation, the criteria for becoming a first officer consisted only of having a commercial pilot’s license. That only requires 250 hours in the sky.
Currently, many pilots aspire to obtain degrees from commercial flight schools. Many people become flight instructors to accumulate their hours. Others fly dust planes and planes pull attractive banners behind them.
Republic thinks their training will be more strenuous and more suitable for flying commercial aircraft.
Other countries don’t have the same strict rules as the United States. In Europe, for example, commercial pilots can expect to fly as little as 200 hours.
But the heart of the matter is that, during the pandemic, airlines have offered many older pilots early retirement. 4,400 trips, which allows airlines to take government money. Now, as the business grows, they don’t have pilots and pilot trainers to fly the growing number of flights.
And where do the major airlines hire their pilots? Why, a lot of them come from regional airlines.
Many insiders find it unlikely that the FAA will accept the Republican petition. Flight safety once again became a controversial topic after two Boeing 737 Max planes crashed in 2018 and 2019.
However, if Republic is somehow successful, some passengers are sure to express deep concern. Then again, many people expressed deep concern about Max before it aired again.
These days, I suspect that many people don’t even think about it when they’re on the Max. They are too busy thinking about whether or not they will reach their destination on time.