U.S. FAA to increase flight time needed for co-pilots

July 10 Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:11pm EDT

July 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday said it plans to increase the number of flight hours required for co-pilots on U.S. passenger and cargo airlines to boost safety.

Under the change, first officers or co-pilots will be required to have 1,500 hours of flight time to hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, up from 250 hours that were required under previous standards, the agency said in a statement.

The agency said the new regulations stemmed in part from the February 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 347 in upstate New York that killed 49 people on board and one person on the ground.

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Comments (3)
ScoutingBear wrote:
And when is enough time, enough?

Jul 10, 2013 1:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
uncleal wrote:
The article is incorrect. 1500 hours were always required for an Arline Transport Pilot certificate. 250 hours are required for a commercial pilots license which a F/O or Co-pilot is required to hold as well as an instrument flying certificate; 190 hours if graduating from an approved FAA training school

Jul 11, 2013 8:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sstearns2 wrote:
What is really needed is minimum pay for pilots. Pilot pay has been slashed in the last 10 years and the percentage of pilots lingering at the bottom end to the pay range has greatly increased. The cost of flight training to reach even the minimum qualifications for a regional airline has skyrocketed.

First year pay at most regional airlines is about $25,000/year and $30-50,000 year after the first year. It is typical currently for a co-pilot to have to wait 6-7 years or more before given the chance to upgrade to captain.

Flight training costs $50,000-$70,000 and 12-18 months of full time study to just get the licenses and then another 18-24 months of some kind of very low paying flying job (flight instructor, banner towing, parachute jump pilot, etc) to get the 1500 hours to become qualified to even apply for a job at a regional airline.

I worked as a professional pilot for 5 years before I made more than $35,000 per year and I advanced more quickly than average. I started my career as a professional pilot 14 years ago and my average yearly pay has been about $65,000 per year and I have been much more fortunate than average. It is common for pilots to qualify for food stamps for the first 3-4 years of their career.

The reality is that it does not make any sense to become a professional pilot today. The training is very expensive and the pay is poor for a long time and there is no guarentee of advancement. Also if your airline goes under then you go back to first year pay at the next airline and start all over again.

What we need to do is to change the system so pilots can get a reasonalbe return on their training investment and have some stability in their lives.

$50,000 per year should be the federal minimum pay for an Airline Pilot.

Jul 16, 2013 3:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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