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Aviation safety: back to reality for pilots

In 2010, there were approximately 460,000 pilots in the world. In fifteen years, it will take more than double. How to cope with the demand without sacrificing

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Aviation safety: back to reality for pilots

In 2010, there were approximately 460,000 pilots in the world. In fifteen years, it will take more than double. How to cope with the demand without sacrificing the quality of the training?

will there be a pilot in the plane ? The issue is more serious. Indeed, if in the past few years, the airlines benefit from the high number of drivers in europe and the u.s. in search of a place in a cockpit, to impose terms of compensation, this ultralibéralisme is not necessarily good news for the safety of air transport. In fact, some of those applicants are ready to everything, even to pay to fly. These professionals are in great economic precariousness, often have no other solutions to maintain their skills, but also to have a chance, ultimately, to repay the loans contracted to finance their training.

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In the short term, this situation, which can make the happiness of some low-cost carriers, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, poses a problem to the major aerospace manufacturers. As to Airbus predicts that the fleet serving the region will increase by 70% in the twenty years to come. More globally, Boeing estimates that, by 2033, to the scale of the planet, it will be necessary to train 533 000 new pilots line.

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By 2033, more than half of them will work for these companies from Asia-Pacific and Africa for which the training is not a priority. Because, if companies in the Gulf have invested in training centres ultra-modern world where they can shape, to the standards of the anglo-saxons, of the armies of the co-pilots to become commanders of edge of tomorrow, the low-cost airlines Asia-Pacific simply select any of the HP drivers, in search of an experience before a career evolution. A parameter that the manufacturers take into account investing in training centres closer to their new customers. Last summer, Airbus announced its decision to set up two centers in Mexico, and is also gearing up for a location in Manila, the Philippines.

Back to the seafarers the direction of the air

The international regulation requires a minimum of 250 hours of flight into a course which lasts on average two years to train a pilot. The vast majority of these hours can be made on board of flight simulators whose accuracy increases as the progress of the student pilot. For cost reasons, but also to reduce the processing time, the temptation to simulate more than flying, and most importantly, moving beyond the regulatory minimum is great.

However, the simulation, as realistic as it is, has its limits. The upsurge in the number of air accidents due to loss of control in cruise (one-third of the causes of crashes) speaks to the professionals in the air transport. To avoid that the crew, faced with an unusual situation, does not respond appropriately to the moment where it disconnects the auto-pilot to take the controls, the ICAO recommends that you restore the basic pilot. Not only in the curriculum, initial, but in the course of the training, recurring which are subject to pilots throughout their career.

The idea is to get the professional to install the controls of a light aircraft, aerobatic and place in conditions that are atypical (flights to big slope, acceleration, stalls, starts, spin...). It appears, indeed, an urgent need to give back to drivers the direction of the air, to teach them to feel the movements of their device and reconnect to their environment.

The air transport is undoubtedly entered a transitional period. And the explosion of the traffic in Asia-Pacific and in the Gulf serves only to accelerate the transformation. For decades, the training was felt to have managed the transition between the time when the flying of the aircraft and the current era where we manage the flights. Probably because most line pilots were still from aero-clubs and occupying their leisure time to browse on light aircraft or gliders to keep their contact with the reality.

today, the new generation of drivers do not come to aviation, flying clubs, but by the game console. And it does not steal any more for her pleasure, or so she virtually. The captain of the Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines was lost forever in the Indian ocean had his own flight simulator in his living room. The vocational training must adapt to this reality. And the sooner the better.

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