Size Matters

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Size Matters

Postby Madmax » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:19 pm

It is not the size of the airplane that makes is less safe it is the size of the pilot’s experience.

In the last Podcast I listened to, the boys were discussing which airplane is safer respective to size etc.

Based on that conversation and specifics you were dead on…. a piper cub should be safer than a C-5.

BUT that is not what really matters.

When you have airlines running the gambit from small turbo prop operators in the northern rockies/ in the Midwest and great lakes or bigger ones that are owned by publically held multi million dollar companies that fly under the flag of any number of major airlines, and these companies hire relatively, low time FOs, and of course the experience is not there.

And as unpopular as it may seem, Mommie and Daddy in the back want to see some white-haired doddering old dude upfront. (and not a woman I am sad to say, …..well that is the flannel wearin’ redneck that doesn’t want that)

While my experience with the regionals is only through some folks that I know in that aspect of the industry, I can tell you that few of them can say they are happy with the quality of

1. the hiring process,
2. the pilot cadre,
3. the training
4. the salary.
5. The management (but you get that everywhere)

This may sound like I am anti aviation, and I really am not, But we often see folks who are all goo-goo eyed about flying big iron someday, and they are willing to bypass the realities that will get the seat in the pointy end. One of the realities is that flying professionally is a blue collar job. It is in the service industry. And equipment aside, not all that different than driving a cab or a bus.

But the thongs of people are inline to learn. (one would think)

Take a look at the Florida Based Mega flight schools.
A quick google

“- Offering airline pilot careers – not just flight lessons.”


“will take you from your First Flight to the Right Seat of an Airline in Ten Months. Your fast track to a career as an Airline Pilot.”


Are you fucking kidding me?!!! You can’t even get your cosmetologist license in ten months.

If I knew the FO on my flight had been flying ten months, I’d be heading to the door.

And you think I am overreacting. Then propose this to EVERY SINGLE AIRLINE.

Require them to tell in their pre-boarding announcement how long the crew has been flying.

And see how many seats are left empty. If 10 months is fine, then what could they be hiding from, post it advertise it, there is nothing to worry about..
Sum Ergo Cogito —


Dave Higdon
Posts: 808
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:02 pm

Re: Size Matters

Postby Dave Higdon » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:30 pm

Max, Max, Max ;) -- tell us how you really, really feel, will ya?

Don't mean to make light of your comments...can't -- they're too on-point...but being one regularly getting the "Geez, don't sugar-coat it Dave...tell us how you really feel" line from one of the Two Jays :mrgreen: ...well, couldn't resist.

But Max, you're on point in so many areas...judgment makes the how do we learn judgment? By screwing up, scaring ourselves and surviving to be smarter the next time -- it's what makes flying PIC a lifetime-learning commitment...and does, to me, point out the weakness in the accelerated flying programs. You can get really savvy at Regs and the FARs, pretty damned competent and manipulating the controls -- and have precious little exposure to the real-world stress of changing, unpredicted weather, repeated clearance changes from ATC and the need to make a new decision because the last decision won't work in the current circumstances...

Still, given the choice between a deadstick landing in a J-3, Skyhawk and Cherokee or, conversely, a 747, A330 or MD11, give me the one with the lowest landing speed and least kinetic energy and, thus, the shortest ground slide at the end...few things sound more painful than being at the front end of 500,000 pounds touching down at 160 knots -- not that touching down, deadstick, at the front end of 1,320 pounds and 35 knots is my idea of a good time.

But in 1,600 hours of ultralight flying and 1,600 hours of hang gliding, my confidence in my deadstick capabilities (in stuff weighing under a couple of thousand pounds, at least) is pretty good...'course, there's all those on-the-ground variables -- trees, posts, utility poles and lines, cliffs, rivers and lakes...

Nonetheless, physics is physics...and figure my chances of walking away get better as the bird gets lighter and slower...

As for young pilots, well...was on a leg outta ICT back in December, sitting with a buddy who flies left seat in 767s, and we both commented on the high-school-yearbook faces of our two flight crew...<sigh> just ain't the job it used to be, eh?

Good stuff, Max...good stuff...


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