Flight Training is a popular career choice that keeps fluctuating in scope due to the position of the economy, and is today viewed to have better prospects due to an apparent brightening up of the outlook. The career of a pilot is that of a highly trained professional who are involved in flying airplanes and helicopters which carry out many tasks. Most of the pilots are airline pilots, copilots or flight engineers and they are mostly involved in the transportation of people and cargo, but a small section of roughly 1 in 5 pilots who have commercial licenses are involved in unusual tasks like the dusting of crops, spreading seeds in the process of reforestation, testing aircraft, undertaking special flights for passengers and cargoes to unusual destinations, overseeing large scale firefighting efforts, chasing criminals, supervising traffic, and in the rescue and evacuation of severely injured individuals.
The profession suffered deeply due to the events of September 11, 2001, and the entire industry was severely depressed. The major airlines had to reschedule their flights, layoff pilots and some airlines even declared bankruptcy. The only exceptions to this situation were the regional and low-fare airlines where the growth continued as usual. In the changed situation the expectations are that job opportunities will continue to be better with the regional airlines and the low-fare carriers, as they still have a higher rate of growth than the major airlines. Even the opportunities are expected to grow with the cargo airlines as the transport of cargo is also expected to improve as there are now many security requirements for transporting cargo in passenger flights. (Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers; U.S. Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The events of 9/11 shocked all Americans and it was not the first time such an incident happened. The locality concerned faces death about four to eight times a year, and these also included events like the crash of USAir Flight 427 in which all 132 passengers and crew members were killed. (Crisis Response and 9-11: What We Have Learned) Yet, the crash of 9/1 was taken very strongly due to the terrorist implication and there was a congressional panel investigating into the reasons for the events of 9/11. As late as July, 2003, and in spite of the failures of the CIA and FBI being pointed out by the panel, the aviation security consultants still blame the Federal Aviation Administration.
The blame is being put on FAA, and the reason for the blame is simple, and that is the total responsibility of flights within the United States lies on the head of FAA. The cause of the accidents is deemed to be the fact that there was not enough security, and the in cabin security was very lax. The blame on FAA was that it had repeatedly bent over to please the market forces. There is a record that there were more than 30 instances where the passengers had forced their way into the cabin during the 24 months prior to 9/11. There was an earlier rule which allowed the passengers to be armed, and this had been allowed by FAA, but this rule was withdrawn by FAA just two months before the events of 9/11 happened. The agency was on the defensive, and mentioned that during the total existence of the law, there was not a single instance were the pilots had carried arms, and the law had itself become in fructuous.
The earlier position was different and the pilots had to carry arms so that they could stop any hijacking of the U.S. mail, and this was the law. Originally the organization was created in the 1920s so that the commercial airlines could develop, and this led to the creation of the FAA in 1958 so that the airlines could be regulated. In spite of all the blame, the FAA has refused to accept any fault of the events of 9/11. The head of the FAA has gone on record to say that they would not have permitted the pilots to carry firearms even before 9/11 despite the event. (FAA most responsible for 9-11?)
Yet changes are taking place in the aviation world, and the airlines are on their own taking measures for passenger safety. This has already been done by JetBlue in one particular manner. On its side, the FAA is trying to introduce certain changes in the procedure for the training of pilots. The amendment is in the area of flight simulation devices required by the institutes that train pilots. This will also establish a compulsory oversight of all the operators in this area. Along with this, there is a proposal for compulsory quality assurance program for the flight simulation devices so that they could get continued operational approval. The airline pilot organizations obviously do not like this as this is going to increase their cost of operations as also the complexity due tot the proposed changes in the flight simulation devices that used for pilot training, pilot evaluations as also for giving the trainees the required hours of experience. (FAA proposes complex and costly flight simulator regulations)
Naturally this will cause an overall increase in the cost that is incurred for general aviation flight training and improvement of proficiency, and is not expected by the schools to lead to any additional safety. The general aviation flight schools have been using a set of flight simulation devices so that the flight training and proficiency under the existing rules of FAA can be achieved. The trained pilots also meet the advisory circular guidance that is circulated by the FAA without any known safety problems. In general it is known that these flight simulation devices try to give the general aviation pilots training about important procedures and training in proficiency, and these constitute a safe environment. Totally they improve safety. These systems also help in reducing the noise that would otherwise be produced, air pollution and air traffic congestion that would be produced, and also saves a lot of petroleum products. (FAA proposes complex and costly flight simulator regulations)
The available simulators are of many types and the operations are similar to single engine planes, multi-engine piston aircraft, light turboprops and light jet aircraft. The increase in costs due to the proposed change would cause trouble to a lot of schools for pilots, and these are also the schools which produce these types of pilots. Ultimately, these schools would stop the use of such simulators, and that in the end would end the use of simulators by the training industry as the effective and proper tool. The type of simulators referred here are both the presently used Flight simulation Devices regulated under FAR Part 121 (airline type operations) and the other types of Flight Simulation Devices that are not regulated by instructions and in spite of that are still used by a lot of the general aviation pilot schools. (FAA proposes complex and costly flight simulator regulations)
An important point to note here is that the change in the rule does make any change to the use of aviation training devices that are based on a personal computer, monitor and simulated cockpit controls, and end up with the effect of an instrument flight. The new program for quality assurance compels pilot schools and the training centers to accept certain types of flight simulation devices and their maintenance; ensure regular and repeated inspections of the devices, maintain them to a proper level, accept operating procedures, maintain records and ensure reporting. All these procedures have to be approved by the FAA's National Simulator Program Office. The quality assurance program also desires the complete development of total comprehensive procedures which are designed to find out and rectify any deficiency that is found out by both internal and external audits. (FAA proposes complex and costly flight simulator regulations)
All-inclusive manuals which fully describe the procedures that are to be followed also have to be developed. There is severe opposition to this from AOPA as it believes these changes are not required as there have not been any safety problems due to the existing flight simulation devices. On top of this, the calculations by AOPA show that the change in the rules will prove to be a very high cost for the schools which train pilots for general aviation. The costs according FAA will be $1.9 million for a 10-year period due to the proposed changes overall. Of the overall costs, more than $1.3 million will have to be met by the pilot schools and the training centers.
Even these costs may be an understatement according to the AOPA, as they may not have been able to appreciate the full cost impacts, and the FAA has not identified all of the operators of these schools who will be affected by this measure, as they are now including general aviation pilot schools. AOPA also does not believe that these costs will help the society benefit from any serious safety benefits.…