Implications of Current Federal Aviation Regulatory Policies Governing Low Time Commercial Pilots who Transition to Single Pilot/IFR Environments
The purpose of this study was to investigate the need to change FAA policy governing commercial pilot training and experience by soliciting the expertise from chief pilots and directors of flight operations who were members of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). A descriptive survey questionnaire was specifically developed for this study to investigate attitudes and beliefs about the adequacy of a commercial pilot new hire's previous flight experience. The study found that a substantial number of aviation professionals believe that a new hire's previous pilot-in-command (PIC) experience in a single-pilot environment is inadequate. Major concerns include inadequate previous experience as PIC in a single pilot environment flying high performance multi-engine aircraft, inadequate instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) experience, substandard IMC experience at night, inadequate mountainous experience, and inadequate flight experience in hazardous conditions (icing conditions, slippery runways, etc.). Quality of flight time and experience were addressed as it related to commercial pilots. Recommendations were made to change existing FAA policies for new hire commercial pilots who transition to single pilot, multi-engine charter operations without any prior experience.