QUOTE(Piltdown Man @ Nov 16 2008, 01:53 AM)
It depends on what you mean by "heavy". I regularly fly the F70/100 (MTOW 44,450Kgs) with colleagues who have less than 300 hours total time. Both in the sim. and on the real thing they can fly well within the required limits and many are walking encyclopedias on the aircraft. Most also enjoy (like me) stick and ruddering with no automatics. However, they are surprised by weather every now and again and have loads to learn about people and actual operations, which is why they sit where they do.
As for Spanair - let's wait and see.
I should have been more clear in my "soap box" serie. I have nothing against pilots with 300 hrs, if they have been trained properly. That is a big IF! With capital letters. Let me clear this out.
As some of you might already know, I have been sideline 3 times this year for economic reasons (read fired, let go, the company is moving in a different direction and you are not invited to this party), from companies which could not manage themselves to profitability. I made the math and it was more than possible.
Consequently, I went back to school to transform my FAA into JAA, so I am now at home, with my 14 little manuals trying to cram all of this useless material in order to pass tests, and acquire a title which I have held for 12 years already in another ICAO state. That title is: "professional PYLUT".
Untill recently I was afforded the opportunity to go back to Africa, and fly the central sub region, I found a flock of so called frozen european atpls logging their precious JAR 25 time, so that they could go back to europe and get a real job according to them (nevermind the fact that we were zooming around in a 24tons, 50 seat jet, it wasn't a real job). In a previous life I use to train those very same people to FAA standards so they could get pro licenses back in the state, and let me tell you, the standards I saw coming from those guys were "scary" at best.
I will say that 5% of them were of the aviator class, meaning they had the right stuff, they were born with the necessary skills to rewrite aerodynamic theories and bring meaningfull contribution, but the rest (that's 95%) were ....
The thing that stands out most from my experiences with those folks is as follows:
-They were bombarded with a massive amount of theory in training, which was not only useless for their daily flying routine, but also galvanized them into thinking that they were know part of an elite which no longer needed any sort of advising.
-They almost all had a serious lack of "stick and rudder", not understanding basic aero concepts of how to flare an airplane, how to properly control a stalled airframe, let's not talk about rudder use with a propeller aeroplane (heck they all studied to fly jets, props are for model airplanes according to them).
-They ALL lacked the knowledge that would be usefull to them, as in this massive 14 serie of tests, they never got to really understand VMC, what affects it, and how can they influence it, as an example.
My African stint afforded me the opportunity to go and be with those guys 24 hours a day, and I really got to see the disaster. They are no doubt well educated, but they lack the education that counts. They pretty much all learned to sprint before even being able to walk without falling. I had no problem flying with them, except that I would just pray that our flight would not require any out of the ordinary thinking, as this would quickly transform us into a one pilot operation. I would not even dream of finding out what an emmergency would mean. I am all for on the job training, but I have said it before, a transport category aircraft IS NOT a classroom platform, I expect people in those seats to have enough basic skills and decision making.
Am I being unreasonable? YES! Am I being too pasionate in this monologue? YES! Can a 300hrs pilot out fly me? YES!
Heck, the military does it all the time. The military takes people right out of the street and puts them at the helm of some serious high speed metal. BUT they don't do it the JAA way, they actually teach those guys to fly, one major difference is that they spend a lot of time inverted. What's the difference you ask, how is flying upside down making it better? Stick and rudder, they actually get to understand how to FLY an airplane, they get to become aviators, not just pilots in spiffy looking uniforms who push buttons in a well rehearsed manner at the right timing. Those military folks were thaught to take concepts and apply them, taught to think outside the realm of a flight manual, to understand what the airplane can and cannot do.
I have had a few threads spitting on the JAA training since I joined this website a few years ago, I did so because I am the one which kept having to correct all of the mistakes that I saw from the students that came over to me from Europe and could not land an airplane properly to pass a private pilot standard (which is ICAO standard, by the way), while their JAA ticket read COM/IR/ME/ATPL theory passed! Well, you don't say!!!! Is Mc Donald's handing out that happy meal special again? My paroles were justified back then!
Today, because of economic and personnal reasons, I am doing this JAA stuff, and let me tell you, now that I am in the system, I understand why it is flawed. Now that I have those theory books in front of me, I understand why the standards are so low. It is not because the books are bad, it is not because the information in it is false, it is because out the 25% of critical information that those pilots would need to become aviators is drowned in mindless, useless, redundant, unecessary material that they will never, ever use.....EVER! I can't blame them, if I was a beginning student, I don't think I could filter out the junk either. Additionally, the flight training is similar to the theory: "mimic what you saw, no need to understand why you are doing it". And this is how I saw pilots insisting on doing a QRH, when we clearly needed to just get the airplane on the ground. It is universal knowledge that the QRH has every possible answer to our flying problems....not!!!
Going back to Spanair. We need to wait for the final report, because otherwise we are all pissing in the wind. Yet there is this one thing about airplanes over 6000lbs being required to show positive climb rates during single engine operations (and that is with max gross, high ambient temp, low density, with critical engine out, CG in the most unfavorable rearward position, gear and flaps in the most unfavorable position, etc...). All of this to say, that airplanes of that category do not fall out of the sky...unless you don't know which rudder to push, and which direction to bank your machine to increase resistance to single engine roll.
Spanair reeks of VMC roll, and as to the reason why; reread my post: meaningfull training!