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RiverAux
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« on: January 15, 2007, 08:11:49 PM »

It is pretty clear from various safety reports (AOPA Safety Foundation) that pilot time in a particular type of aircraft has a significant bearing on accident rates.  Most accidents occur when the pilot has less than 200 hours PIC time in the type of plane in which the accident occurred. 

While there are a few parts of CAP's aviation program where time-in-type is taken into consideration as a general rule it isn't.  For example, to become a qualified SAR/DR Pilot you just need 200 hours PIC time with at least 50 hours of it being cross country time. 

So, we have a situation where we can (and do) get commercial jet pilots with thousands of hours of time coming into CAP with almost no experience in C-172 or C182s and if they can pass a form 5 in them, they can fairly quickly become mission pilots. 

Should we institute a requirement that CAP mission pilots have a certain minimum amount of time in 172s or 182s?  If so, should that go along with a requirement that the time have been obtained relatively recently (in last 5 years) to account for those who may not have flown small planes in 20-30 years?  The AOPA Safety Foundation recommends at least 30 hours time-in-type for volunteer pilots.  Is that enough?  Should it be more?

Thoughts?
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Eclipse
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 08:36:13 PM »

Exactly how many CAP aircraft accidents involved low-time pilots as PIC?

Last year? 

Last 5 years?

Where I see the issue is arrogant pilots who forgo checklists and/ or common sense.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 09:01:03 PM »

Overall low-time pilots aren't really the issue I was bringing up.  I'm talking about people who may have thousands of flight hours but very little time in the planes we fly. 

I actually suspect that the low-time pilots probably have done most of their flying in CAP-type planes and might have more time-in-type than the retired jet jockeys.   
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 09:51:19 PM »

There is something to be said about, for example, airline pilots with thousands of hours in jets suddenly flying the Skyhawk.  I knew one once who had actually forgotten how to read a sectional chart... he kept trying to call a tower at a magenta-colored airport.

The flight environment of airliners is completely different from the low-and-slow crowd. 

But since everybody started out is Skyhawks or Cherokees or similar airplanes, I don't see a real big issue about returning to them.  Not enough of a problem to require 200 hours time in type.  Maybe just some extra flying with another pilot who is familiar with the environment and the aircraft.  I don't even think it has to be an instructor.

There was a CAP pilot in Ohio who was rated in gliders, but hadn't flown a glider in something like 12 years.  Our CFIG was busy with cadets, so I went up with him.  (I was current in gliders then).  I was officially the PIC, but he could also log the time as PIC as sole manipulator of the controls.  We made about 5 flights, until he got his confidence back.

That's really all that I think is necessary. 
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Another former CAP officer
bosshawk
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 11:42:44 PM »

i would suggest that the key to answering this question lies not in the time in type, but in the Form 5 Check Pilot and the Form 91 Mission Check Pilot.  I am one of the latter and I recently flew with a pilot who had no 206 time, but lots of 182 time.  He flew better than standards after only about one hour in the 206: to be honest, I suggested that he get a couple more hours in the beast and then take his Form 5.  He did and passed it with flying colors(HUH???) Seriously, setting hard and fast rules really doesn't help much: being sensible goes much further.  That said, one of the scariest rides I ever had in my 47 years of flying was with an airline pilot who was looking at buying my 172.  He flared about 50 feet in the air when attempting a landing.  We had a little discussion about that.
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Paul M. Reed
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aveighter
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 11:53:06 PM »

Col. Reed is exactly right. 

I had the opportunity to watch a C-141 pilot re-learn to fly the 172 in a mission profile environment.  Whole different ball game.  But thats what the check pilot is there for doing a form 5 and 91.  System has all the required elements and doesn't need a fix.

Professionalizing the people is the challenge but that is true always and everywhere.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 12:39:50 AM »

I don't think its just a matter of being able to pass a check ride.  Heck, people solo with 10 or so hours of PIC time and get their license with not a lot more than that.  I'm fairly confident that all our pilots can perform the basics in our planes.   

If you look at the 2006 Nall report you'll find that time-in-type seems to be a more important factor in accidents than total stick time.  About 35% of accidents happen to pilots with less than 500 hours PIC time.  But, 43% of accidents happen to pilots with less than 100 hours of time in the type of aircraft involved in the accident and about 75% with less than 500 time-in-type. 

The AOPA is gathering additional data in this area to account for some related factors. 
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RiverAux
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2007, 12:41:54 AM »

Speaking of check rides....have any of you gone into WMIRS and looked at the check ride analysis reports?  It looks like the percentage failing check rides is extremely small (about 1 or 2% if I remember correctly).  I'm not sure if this is a good thing because all our pilots are so good or whether it might mean that our check rides are too easy.  After all, how many tests are there out there where 98%+ of the people pass them? 
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aveighter
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2007, 12:55:04 AM »

But that is the point.  A Form 5 check ride and most certainly a Form 91 should be something more than a standard check ride at the local plane rental.  If its not, fix that, don't worry about statistics.

If there are unsafe pilots flying missions it is a function of an inadequate check pilot  program that lets them through in the first place.

Again, Col. Reed (a pilot his-own-self) speaks with insight on the matter and is correct.
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smj58501
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2007, 04:43:14 PM »

http://level2.cap.gov/documents/2006_National_Board_Safety_Update.ppt

Check out the link posted above.... it provides some good trend analysis on our accident history (especially in the areas of hours, age, and CAP Professional Development).
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Sean M. Johnson
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lordmonar
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2007, 06:59:39 PM »

Speaking of check rides....have any of you gone into WMIRS and looked at the check ride analysis reports?  It looks like the percentage failing check rides is extremely small (about 1 or 2% if I remember correctly).  I'm not sure if this is a good thing because all our pilots are so good or whether it might mean that our check rides are too easy.  After all, how many tests are there out there where 98%+ of the people pass them? 

When you match that up with our accident rate...you have to conclude that we are doing a good job of insuring that our pilots are safe.  And that is our bottom line.  Accident rates.....if we had only a 2% failure rate on our CAPF 5 checks AND a high accident rate, then I would be worried that the system was failing.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2007, 10:32:25 PM »

Actually that presentation may support my argument.  If in fact over 85% of our accidents involve pilots with >300 hours PIC time there must be something going on.  Why are these experienced pilots having accidents more often than other GA pilots in their experience bracket?  Could it be that most of their flying time is in other models and that their time in CAP-type aircraft is extremely limited? 

It looks like our long-term accident rate has more or less leveled off at between 2-5/100K hours where it has stayed (with various small ups and downs) for the last 15 years. 

I really wish we had those accident rates based on time-in-type rather than total time.  If we were to find that time-in-type wasn't a significant factor in CAP accidents, I'll change my tune.  But, based on general GA trends I think it is something to think about.
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smj58501
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2007, 11:41:05 PM »

I don't know if the presentation does or doesn't support your argument. There is a trend relating to hours that spikes in two places, but.... There is also a trend tied to age, and one tied to CAP Professional Development. How do we address those factors?

The only way we would be able to make decisions based in facts is to have NHQ track accidents-by-type so we have some type of hard data (maybe you want to suggest that as they capture data for the FY 2007 report). Even if this info shows such a trend, and we decide we need to initiate some type of intervention, would we want to be so specific that time in Cessna's ONLY counts, or do we consider time in other SEL aircraft (including low winged ones)?

I bring this up not to start an argument, but to get the awareness generated on future worms that may spring out of the can that gets opened. We can't be afraid to open the can if there indeed is the causal relationship you hypothosize below, but if there isn't one, our interventions may lead us away from the true problem.
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Sean M. Johnson
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lordmonar
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2007, 12:08:08 AM »

Actually that presentation may support my argument.  If in fact over 85% of our accidents involve pilots with >300 hours PIC time there must be something going on. 
Maybe what is going on....is that over 85% of our missions are being flown by people with >300 hours. 

You have to be careful with raw numbers like that.  You can expect your largest population to have the largest raw number of accidents.  What we need to see is the accident rate of this population...that is the number hours flown by the various hours groups vs. the number of accidents.  So if we see that if those with more than 300 hours flew at least 85% of the flying hours...we will see that their accident rate may not be any higher than the lower flight hours.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2007, 01:40:27 AM »

Oh, I understand the limitations of the data and like I said, the AOPA report says they are going to look at some of these facts. 
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RiverAux
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2007, 03:43:38 AM »

Proving yet again that I've got too much time on my hands I went delving into the NTSB database for 2003 accidents and incidents involving Cessna 182s to see what the actual data shows.

There were 37 cases, 26 of which (70%) involved pilots with over 500 hours total PIC.  For these 35% of cases had pilots with less than 200 hours time in make.  So, even pilots that have passed the 500 hour "danger point" seem to carry higher risk when they don't have a lot of experience in the make they are flying.   

For the 30% of cases involving pilots with less than 500 hours total PIC, 64% of cases had less than 100 hours time in type, 9% had 101-200 hours time in type, and 27% had 201-500 hours time in type.   This seems to reflect the standard risks involved with low-time pilots. 

To me this data says that time-in-type could be an important enough factor that we may want to consider it.  If we could cut our accidents by as much as a third by not giving Mission Pilot status to someone until they have 200 hours time-in-type that is something worth thinking about.

Obviously we would want to look at CAP data and expand the analysis of GA accidents to include the 172, but I'm satisfied that there is something to my point.   
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bosshawk
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2007, 12:34:52 AM »

Folks: my old gray head hasn' t much time nor tolerance for statistics, so I will stay out of that argument.  I have flown enough years and hours and been in CAP long enough to believe that a huge percentage of GA crashes(they usually aren't accidents) occur due to bad judgement.  Unfortunately, statistics don't count judgement.  I know of two fatal crashes in CAP 182s: I knew all five people involved and had flown with the two pilots.  In both cases, the crashes occured because of lousy decision making.  I believe,that in both cases, a Check Pilot could not and would not have failed the pilot on a 91.  That said, they both died because they made bad choices.
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Paul M. Reed
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lordmonar
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2007, 12:41:52 AM »

Not being a pilot but being a safety monitor many times...I know that you have to be very careful with your statistics. 

And bad judgment is always a bugger.  No matter how much training, how well you QC your training, monitory your people.  Once they are in the air on their own, it is their judgment that rules the day.

A minor problem plus questionable judgment equals a fatal accident.

So....do we need more time in type or better CAPF 5 rides?  Maybe.  By the basic number I have seen in the breifing...I don't think so.  A 2.5 accident rate seems pretty good to me.  Our trends shows us that we are getting better at what we are doing.  That says to me that we are doing it right.

We will never be 100% safe.  Murphy will always make a bad judgment call into an accident.  We have to weight the possible benefit of more controls verses the costs to operations.

This is why we hire safety experts.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2007, 01:28:16 AM »

I don't think our numbers are getting all that much better.  The presentation previously posted showed that for the last 10 years our numbers have been bouncing around between about 2.5-7/100K flight hours with no consistent trend.  Between 1972 and 1994 the accident rate fell steeply, but it seems as if we've reached a sort of plateau at a level slightly lower than the GA accident rate.     
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lordmonar
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2007, 06:09:21 AM »

And again...I got to say if our safety trends are less then the general populace then we are doing pretty good.  We must be doing something right.

Sometimes River...you just got to leave well enough alone. :)
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2007, 12:24:42 AM »

Quote
you just got to leave well enough alone.

Ahh, the new motto of the CAP safety program.....

Frankly, although CAP flies an awful lot of hours the difference between being below the GA rate and above it is only 1 fatal accident per year.  I bet if someone did the time to actually do some actual statistical tests there is a good chance there actually isn't any real difference between our rate and GA even if ours is slightly lower based on the raw numbers. 
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lordmonar
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2007, 12:46:13 AM »

Even so.

The question is are we doing enough?

Again I am not a flier...but in my squadron at least we take safety seriously.  The CAPF 5 rides are done and pilots get their proficiency flights.  And safety and leadership is not afraid to talk to pilots who are showing lack of judgement or questionale judgement.

Beyond that what else can you do?

If it really is a time in type issue...then let's see some numbers and see what can be done.

Is is really a "problem" not a big enough one that I would want to divert NHQ's attention from issues that really need to be fixed.

I don't really know one way or the other.  I don't have the trend numbers.  One trend they did see in the last safety briefing is that most of the accidents were by pilots who only had level I training.  They pushed to the squadrons that maybe that might be a problem.  Although that may also be a non related problem. 
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2007, 12:51:54 AM »

The presentation posted earlier had a slide on that issue.  I thought it was interesting as well.  Hard to see it as a direct relationship though since the senior member levels have nothing to do with flying. 

However, if we assume that those with only Level 1 are more likely to be newer members then you might say that the CAP "safety culture" might not have had time to sink in with them.  However, I would want to see bars added on the graph showing overall CAP pilot senior member levels.  For example, maybe most accidents involve Level 1 pilots because most of our pilots have only completed Level 1.  Need some more data to assess this aspect. 
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lordmonar
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« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2007, 02:11:00 AM »

The presentation posted earlier had a slide on that issue.  I thought it was interesting as well.  Hard to see it as a direct relationship though since the senior member levels have nothing to do with flying. 

However, if we assume that those with only Level 1 are more likely to be newer members then you might say that the CAP "safety culture" might not have had time to sink in with them.  However, I would want to see bars added on the graph showing overall CAP pilot senior member levels.  For example, maybe most accidents involve Level 1 pilots because most of our pilots have only completed Level 1.  Need some more data to assess this aspect. 

However...the assumption that just because a pilot only has level 1 is new...may be an erroneous assumpt....as is the assumption that "the CAP safety culture" is any better than the rest of the worlds.

I'm not arguing with you...I am just discussing the pit falls of safety analysis via statistics.  They may may point out safety issues....but you have to be very careful that you are not chasing ghosts in the data.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2007, 04:03:35 AM »

That is why I said, "if we assume".... I can't think of any logical reason they would look at senior member levels except as some sort of substitute for time in CAP.  Would be simpler to look in CAPWATCH and see how long they've been in.  Its actually a bad assumption (which they made) since at least according to an old Wing database I've got that shows that over 40% of LV1 members have been in more than 6 years. 
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RiverAux
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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2007, 04:43:31 PM »

So, I just started a topic and then realized I had more or less brought up the same issue last winter.  Since we've gained a lot of new members since then, anyone want to comment on my proposal that we take time-in-type into account in our mission pilot qualifications?
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SoCalCAPOfficer
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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2007, 08:53:34 PM »

Who is going to pay for the extra hours you would like to see for time in type?
I know CAP isnt going to pay for it.   So you are asking the member to pay $80-$90 an hour for an extra 300 or so hours before they can become a mission pilot.
Thats $24,000.00 minimum.   Now what new member is going to come into CAP and stay when they have maybe a 100 hours at best and you say they need another 300 hours in type to be a mission pilot and by the way its only going to cost you about $25,000.00 and two to three years time if you fly a lot.

If it isnt broke, dont try and fix it.  We have a good safety record which has been put in place over many years of experience in flying.
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Daniel L. Hough, Maj, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2007, 09:20:04 PM »

So another vote for the "leave well enough alone" safety strategy. 

The facts are not conclusive on this issue and I am very interested in seeing what the Nall Foundation finally comes up with and I'm not proposing any specific program changes right now. 

But, are you saying that even if they come up with absolute proof that accident rates are significantly higher among those with low time-in-type that CAP shouldn't even consider doing anything about it? 

As mentioned earlier, there has been very little real change in CAP's safety record for some time, so if we want to make it better (which we all should), we shouldn't just close our minds and accept that we're going to have a few fatal accidents every year no matter what. 
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SoCalCAPOfficer
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2007, 09:53:51 PM »

RiverAux, I appreciate what you are trying do do here.   However, that being said you still didn't answer where the money is going to come from for all these extra hours.   There are many things in life that could be made safer, however you always have to look at the cost to benefits ratio.   Its like the environmental movement, of course things can be made better, but at what cost?  Do we sacrifice our economy for a fly or a rat?  Sometimes we do, but does it make good sense?

Do not get me wrong, I am not equating our members lives to that of flies and rats.   However, the world can never be made completely safe no matter how much money is thrown at it.   Asking for higher hours in type is asking for money. There is a point where the negative out weighs the good.
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Daniel L. Hough, Maj, CAP
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RiverAux
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2007, 11:28:55 PM »

I didn't put out any specific numbers for a minimum time-in-type standard that I might recommend.  Given that the jury is still out on how big a factor this is in accidents, it is a bit premature. 

However, since you insist, if I had to make a decision based on what is available now, I would probably be a little conservative and want something like 25 hours of time-in-type within the 1 or 2 years previous to a mission pilot application.  This wouldn't be anything more than a nod towards addressing the issue but then again, we don't have firm data yet.

Lets say that at some point we do find out that accident rates are significantly higher for pilots with less than some given amount of time-in-type (say 100 hours).  If the data is there, I wouldn't have a problem making that a requirement to become a mission pilot. 

Who would pay?  As with most CAP pilots, they themselves would pay for the majority of their flying time prior to becoming a CAP mission pilot.  Might it keep some people out?  Most definetely.  But, if we've got firm safety stats to back up such a reg, I don't mind. 

Now, I don't know how typical this is, but I rarely see any low-time (less than 200 hours) pilots come into CAP who ever work their way up to mission pilot status.  There seems to be 2 main groups -- those that come into CAP with 200+ hours and generally become mission pilots within a reasonable period of time, and those with less than 200 hours who mostly serve as Observers and occassional Transport Pilot duties.  But only about 1 out of 5 of the low-timers ever become mission pilots. 

Now, I don't think we would lose very many high-time pilots who join the program if we had a 25-hour time-in-type requirement.  That would not take very long for an active pilot to meet, either on their own dime or doing transport pilot work.  Now, if the numbers supported, and we instigated something like 100 hours time in type, that probably would make a difference.  Hard to say how much since as far as I know, we don't have any numbers in CAP right now on how much time in type our pilots have.  That would have to be analyzed as part of the regulation setting process to see what the potential impact would be. 
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SoCalCAPOfficer
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2007, 12:35:27 AM »

RiverAux  25 hours time in type is reasonable.  To transition to the 182 we used to require 10 hours and 25 landings in the 182.  Now we require either a High Performance Endorsement or completing the CAP Transition Course requirements which are higher than just 25 landings.   While the present system is adequate,  if the statistics supported it,  25 hours in type would not be an unreasonable request.
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Daniel L. Hough, Maj, CAP
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MidwaySix
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« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2007, 02:06:56 AM »

Sorry...

25 hours? I don't buy it. The statistcs don't support it.

I may be talking out of school, but...

Low time pilots can have a better safety record than high time pilots in CAP. The trending that I've been seeing shows that the guys bending firewalls are not young guys w/ light logbooks.

The generalizations that I can make from the acident statistics specific to CAP are:

1. Having a CFI onboard significantly increases the chance of having an incident.
2. Folks screw the pooch on landing.
3. Age. (sorry guys, but when's the last time you read about a guy <50, broking a CAP airplane?)

Time in type is not the problem. The new standard in 60-1 is adequate... (and far higher than minimums you'll find in GA operations.)

A reg here will not save us. But regular training, and currency in the airplane just might.

- M6
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RiverAux
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« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2007, 02:44:41 AM »

Midway, which group of CAP statistics are you using?

The 2006 safety briefing cited earlier says that the age group responsible for the most mishaps was 51-60 (30%) which was twice as high as the percentage for pilots over 70.  Unfortunately, they didn't match that with a slide showing how much flying was done by pilots in different age groups (I'm sure CAP doesn't even have this data--but maybe it should). 

From the same dataset, the largest share of mishaps are caused by pilots with less than 300 hours.  The group responsbile for the next highest percentage of mishaps is those with over 3000 hours.  But, again they didn't get all the stats necessary to tell whether that is a significant fact or not. 
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MidwaySix
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« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2007, 03:08:18 AM »

More guys in that age group are flying.

There aren't all that many guys (in comparison) flying north of 70.

What I'd like to see is incidents per 1000 hours flown, broken down by age range.

That being said, there are always execptions to the rule. I fly with guys who are older, but they still got the skillz. I have plenty to learn from them.

Some even use terms like "sh*t hot" in regular conversation. (totally a bonus)

-M6
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RiverAux
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2007, 05:57:22 AM »

I agree that the presentation given in 2006 actually raised more questions than it answered in this whole area.  However, it would take a pretty big effort to really gather the data needed to analyze accidents by time-in-type or age since that isn't something currently tracked.  Basically you would need to get detailed histories on several thousand CAP pilots and then track how much time they spend flying CAP plane by type.  Even then you would need several years of data to have a big enough sample size of accidents/mishaps to have it mean much.  While the data might be useful, I'm not sure the manpower it would take to gather it could be found.  Probably will need to wait on the detailed report on time-in-type from the Air Safety Foundation and work from there. 
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aveighter
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« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2007, 12:23:09 AM »

There is a big bunch of folks out there that crunch numbers for a living (and a profit) to avoid crunching airplanes and they do a pretty good job of it.  They drive the pilot qualification standards, for the most part, in civil aviation.

Its the aviation insurance industry, perhaps you've heard of it.  Now, can we pick another non-issue to pontificate about? 

I know, how about all the pilots with no GTM experience get together and lecture the ground pounders about something.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2007, 01:41:37 AM »

And the number crunchers at AOPA Air Safety Foundation have identified this as an issue worth more study and I think they have more than a little credibility on the subject.  I didn't make it up. 
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