Title

The Pilot Shortage – From Student Pilots to the ATPs

Presenter Email

clarkj@erau.edu

Location

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 E/F

Start Date

3-3-2020 2:15 PM

End Date

3-3-2020 3:30 PM

Submission Type

Presentation

Topic Area

Pilot Supply

Keywords

pilot shortage, aviation education, aviation advisement

Abstract

Aviation is now facing an incredible pilot shortage, a shortage greater than anticipated in the past. Young pilots learned of the upcoming pilot shortage when told the World War II pilots were retiring, followed by the Korean aviators, then the jet jockeys of Vietnam. Somehow, those shortages never seemed to happen.

Today, it is a different story. According to statistics maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of active pilots dropped from more than 800,000 in 1980 to just over 633,000 in 2018. Over the course of those years, the numbers steadily declined with an occasional uptick over the period.

Many have speculated as to the decline of pilot numbers. For the most part, investigation of those numbers concerned the airlines. However, the problem is deeper. To understand the situation, industry leaders must look at the source of this pilot shortage, not just the end consequence of fewer airline pilots.

Our youth today are not entering aviation as in the past. Are teachers and guidance counselors in our schools giving students credit for their intelligence? Are we in the aviation industry helping them to discover the exciting world of travel and flight? Or have they decided, through their personal research, that the admission ticket is priced too high to enter the field?

This paper/presentation will explore these and other questions regarding the future of the number of pilots – from student pilot numbers to those who fly simply for pleasure, though the number of airline transport pilots “working the job.”

Comments

Presented during Concurrent Session 8B: Pilot Supply

Presenter Biography

Joe Clark, a native of Tampa, Florida, is a former Naval Aviator with 9,000 total flight hours including 500 in the A-7E Corsair II and 750 in the A-4 Skyhawk. During his naval service, he also logged 88 carrier landings. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1977, worked for a year as a journalist, and then started flying professionally a year later. Clark logged 3,000 hours as a flight instructor and Part 135 charter pilot before enlisting in the Navy in June 1981. In October, he earned his commission as an ensign. After earning his wings at Naval Air Station Meridian, MS in March of 1983, his first assignment took him to Fleet Composite Squadron TEN in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he flew the A-4 Skyhawk. Upon completion of that tour, he began A-7E transition training at NAS Cecil, FL. After transition training, he joined a west coast Corsair II squadron based at NAS Lemoore, California. After leaving military service in 1990, he joined Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as a flight instructor. In 1998, he became Assistant Professor of Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle.

View Joe Clark’s Bio Page

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Mar 3rd, 2:15 PM Mar 3rd, 3:30 PM

The Pilot Shortage – From Student Pilots to the ATPs

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 E/F

Aviation is now facing an incredible pilot shortage, a shortage greater than anticipated in the past. Young pilots learned of the upcoming pilot shortage when told the World War II pilots were retiring, followed by the Korean aviators, then the jet jockeys of Vietnam. Somehow, those shortages never seemed to happen.

Today, it is a different story. According to statistics maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of active pilots dropped from more than 800,000 in 1980 to just over 633,000 in 2018. Over the course of those years, the numbers steadily declined with an occasional uptick over the period.

Many have speculated as to the decline of pilot numbers. For the most part, investigation of those numbers concerned the airlines. However, the problem is deeper. To understand the situation, industry leaders must look at the source of this pilot shortage, not just the end consequence of fewer airline pilots.

Our youth today are not entering aviation as in the past. Are teachers and guidance counselors in our schools giving students credit for their intelligence? Are we in the aviation industry helping them to discover the exciting world of travel and flight? Or have they decided, through their personal research, that the admission ticket is priced too high to enter the field?

This paper/presentation will explore these and other questions regarding the future of the number of pilots – from student pilot numbers to those who fly simply for pleasure, though the number of airline transport pilots “working the job.”