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Why is the ATP written such a Joke?

timeless

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If you explained the ATP written to a CPA, Lawyer, Engineer or Doctor they would be appalled. Those fields actually take knowledge testing seriously when licensing individuals. Their tests require months of studying to have any chance at success. Some people still can't pass after multiple attempts. That means that the tests are doing their job by eliminating people that aren't and never will be qualified.

The fact that any pilot can attend a two day course and pass the ATP written with a 90% or better proves the test is not effective. At best it tests literacy and memorization. Why doesn't the FAA take knowledge testing seriously? Why are the questions made available? Is there any other way stupid people could be prevented from becoming commercial pilots? It seems that once they are licensed someone will hire them. They are usually easy to get along with and great people, but you can tell that they are in over their heads and no amount of experience will make them competent.
 

avbug

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The entire ATP is that way, not just the knowledge test. It was not always so.

Formerly, just having the signoff to take the written test was significant, as it represented a personal FAA audit of the logbook, and was a validation of experience.

Pilot certification isn't on the same par with many other professional certifications. A flight instructor certificate, for example, is really more akin to a ski instructor qualification than a professional certification. The ATP is little more than a rehashed instrument rating...same thing, with a few more questions and a little tighter tolerance...that's it.

Note that there's no difference between the ATP practical standards or test than that required for a type rating..
 

AC560

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The fact that any pilot can attend a two day course and pass the ATP written with a 90% or better proves the test is not effective.

Even better is that you can toss anyone who isn't even a pilot a set of Gleim books and they can be doing IPC's in a sim as an IGI in a afternoon if they have half an ability to memorize information.

The barrier to entry for flying is far lower then it should be, if ALPA and other unions were smart they woud be lobbying Congress to pressure the FAA to raise requirements. This would of course have a two fold effect of making pilots more qualified and thinning the herd to raise pay. The issue isn't that airlines are hiring 250hr pilots into the right seat of the CRJ, the issue is the FAA lets them do it. My opinion anyways.
 

avbug

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Consider the assignment. An airline is a position where you can put a 300 hour pilot. There are plenty of jobs out there that won't permit that, for a number of reasons. With respect to pilot demand, the airline position an entry level position, especially at the regional level. It doesn't take a 16,000 hour pilot to do the job.

Then again consider the experience level of a fighter pilot joining his first assignment after UPT.

Hours of themselves don't mean a lot, don't equate to experience, and aren't really a deciding factor in the qualification of the pilot.
 

AC560

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Hours of themselves don't mean a lot, don't equate to experience, and aren't really a deciding factor in the qualification of the pilot.

I would agree with this to a point and my use of hours is just for a common frame of reference. I still believe that barriers for entry to being a commerical pilot and CFI are far lower then they should be (especially where it comes to CFI).
 

Tired Soul

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Pilot certification isn't on the same par with many other professional certifications. A flight instructor certificate, for example, is really more akin to a ski instructor qualification than a professional certification
Excuse me?

Name another occupation where you are required to maintain standard and proficiency and you are eligible for suspension and revocation at the drop of a hat?

As a CFI you are actually a "vocational teacher" according to the government.

Do you think that passing a written test and a checkride gives you the right and the opportunity to fly something big and shiny?
The right yes, but have you ever heard of 135 checkrides? You are constantly evaluated in that position.
Try airlines too while you're at it.

The ATP is what it is because it doesn't need to be more.
Aviation is also a self regulating industry unlike medicine or lawyering....which means idiots and incompetents are not tolerated for too long.
 

avbug

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Aviation is also a self regulating industry unlike medicine or lawyering....which means idiots and incompetents are not tolerated for too long.

Au contraire. They're tolerated far too long. I personally know a 747 crew which recently stalled a 747-400 on departure.

I watched the live interview several years of an airline captain who had just experienced a loss of control following an encounter with tailplane ice and an upset...who loudly whined on national television that his flight instruments provided him no useful information...and his subsequent explaination clearly showed that his instrumentation was working fine. He simply lost control of the aircraft and was unable to interpret what he saw.

I once watched a pilot feather all the engines on the airplane simultaneously. He was new in the business...only been flying continuously since WWII...but perhaps he hadn't been tolerated long enough to be winnowed out by the system. You never know.

I knew a chief pilot for a corporate department who elected to shut down an engine in flight and make a single engine approach to a mountain valley airstrip because the speed brake was inoperative. His idea was that less residual thrust coming over the fence to this short, narrow airstrip would enable him to stop sooner. He wrecked the aircraft.

I knew another pilot, fairly new with only 20 years flying corporate turbojet equipment, who elected to disregard NOTAMS and landed through barricades, men, and equipment on a closed runway, because he *had* to get the organ he was transporting, to the destination. The organ courier, on the other hand, realized the closure meant a certain diversion to a nearby airfield, and was already waiting over there for the precious cargo. Adding insult to injury, a flight standards district office was located on the field where the incident occured. Again, perhaps he just hadn't been in the business long enough to be weeded out.

I've seen it it many facets of the business. I watched a flight instructor once spray down a fuel truck with 100LL avgas, while dancing oddly and screaming and yelling. I approached to ask what he had in mind, and he told me there was a bee somewhere near the truck and he was tryin to kill it with the hose, by spraying gasoline on it in flight.

I was recently asked, while crewing on a large four engine turbojet transport airplane, if I'd like to see a barrel roll in cruise flight...at FL390. I declined. The individual was a captain for an international 121 operation.

The list goes on longer than you care to listen, and I can assure you, the industry does very little to winnow them out, especially in certain sectors.

Name another occupation where you are required to maintain standard and proficiency and you are eligible for suspension and revocation at the drop of a hat?

Law enforcement. Public education. Aircraft maintenance. Scuba instruction. Ski instruction. Skydiving. Firefighting. Yada, yada, yada.

What has maintaining proficiency to do with the price of tea in China?

What has revocation or suspension to do with it either, for that matter?
 

Goose Egg

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If you explained the ATP written to a CPA, Lawyer, Engineer or Doctor they would be appalled. Those fields actually take knowledge testing seriously when licensing individuals. Their tests require months of studying to have any chance at success. Some people still can't pass after multiple attempts. That means that the tests are doing their job by eliminating people that aren't and never will be qualified.

I don't want to sound like I'm disagreeing with your main point (because I'm totally not), but I have in my posession the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering, not Flight Engineer) Exam study guide. It's actually very similar to the ATP written test in terms of format (not content.) I can't speak for the CPA, Bar Exam, or medical boards. I understand the CPA comes in several parts. My dad has taken (and passed) it. I don't think that he has any desire to take it again. :)

Is there any other way stupid people could be prevented from becoming commercial pilots?

That is awesome! I love that, and I may have to use it in my signature line. Unfortunately, I think the answer to the question is "no," and we've seen this proven over and over again.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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This thread simply shows that the burden is on the individual to assure him/herself the professionalism required to do the job....

I thought we reject gov't interfrence in our lives and champion the individual who forges ahead on his own accord with successful results....

When one considers the latitude and onus a pilot has to make the job as little or great as s/he wants, one can see the extremes the profession can be....

But that is what defines a Professional: one that does not have to be policed, counseled or monitored. One that functions by a code crafted and formulated by his peers. Not the gov't or company.

Are we professionals because the gov't ensures we are by creating a "difficult" written test? (Europe and the "rest of the World")

Or are we professionals because we took the self initiative, motivation, discipline, skill and dedication to the public, our customers, our employers and yes our country to be the best United States Pilots that our Nation and World deserve?

I choose the latter.
 

Goose Egg

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Or are we professionals because we took the self initiative, motivation, discipline, skill and dedication to the public, our customers, our employers and yes our country to be the best United States Pilots that our Nation and World deserve?

I choose the latter.

I agreed with everything in your post until "yes our country..." I work really hard to be a professional, but I wouldn't consider it a patriotic duty. Moral duty, yes, but patriotic? Nope. You can save that ALPA propoganda crap for the Regionals forum. I came here to get away from it.

-Goose
 

7574EVER

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I agreed with everything in your post until "yes our country..." I work really hard to be a professional, but I wouldn't consider it a patriotic duty. Moral duty, yes, but patriotic? Nope. You can save that ALPA propoganda crap for the Regionals forum. I came here to get away from it.

-Goose

I think what he meant was that our professionalism and safety record represent the safety record of the US's air transportation system. You couldn't pay me enough to get onto a burnt out old 727 of "no name airlines" in an African third world country.

Some rampers salute after pushback...and in return I'll give a quick salute back; however, I won't be been heard on the CVR reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the same time.
 

Goose Egg

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I think what he meant was that our professionalism and safety record represent the safety record of the US's air transportation system.

Ok, I can see see what you mean by that. My concern is that if the "safety record" is a point of national pride, which Rez seems to think it is, it becomes a separate entity than actually keeping the public safe. Superiority of the safety record becomes paramount to actual safety. That ain't right. My thought is that it's impossible to be safety conscious and self-congratulatory at the same time.

Anyway, forgive me for being so stubborn and hard-headed. I have tendency to do that from time to time.

Some rampers salute after pushback...and in return I'll give a quick salute back; however, I won't be been heard on the CVR reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the same time.

Wow, if I saluted to a ramper, it would elicit either a grin or a blank stare, but definitely not a salute in return. But then again, I fly a turboprop, so things probably work a little differently. ;)

-Goose
 

7574EVER

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Wow, if I saluted to a ramper, it would elicit either a grin or a blank stare, but definitely not a salute in return. But then again, I fly a turboprop, so things probably work a little differently. ;)

-Goose

haha well I've never been the first to salute. If they do...I'll return it. Who know. Maybe what I think is a salute is just them flashing a gang sign. You never know at some airports....
 

flyer172r

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Are we professionals because the gov't ensures we are by creating a "difficult" written test? (Europe and the "rest of the World")

Or are we professionals because we took the self initiative, motivation, discipline, skill and dedication to the public, our customers, our employers and yes our country to be the best United States Pilots that our Nation and World deserve?

I choose the latter.

I agree with what you're getting at, but then what do we do about the pilots who choose neither?
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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I agree with what you're getting at, but then what do we do about the pilots who choose neither?

People usually conform the the environment and culture they work and live.


Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
-Lombardi



Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or another. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not.”
-Adams

"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." -Adams

 

timeless

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I don't want to sound like I'm disagreeing with your main point (because I'm totally not), but I have in my posession the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering, not Flight Engineer) Exam study guide. It's actually very similar to the ATP written test in terms of format (not content.) I can't speak for the CPA, Bar Exam, or medical boards. I understand the CPA comes in several parts. My dad has taken (and passed) it. I don't think that he has any desire to take it again. :)



That is awesome! I love that, and I may have to use it in my signature line. Unfortunately, I think the answer to the question is "no," and we've seen this proven over and over again.

It was actually the PE (professional engineer) and FE (fundamentals of engineering) Exams that made me realize that the ATP is a joke. Most of my family are engineers and they thought it was funny when I scheduled the ATP for friday and started studying on wednesday. I haven't taken the FE or the PE, but the study materials looked much more difficult than the ATP. The FE and PE questions and answers are also not published which seems to be a good idea when administering a test.

Good luck on the FE.
 

avbug

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You're still in error to call the test a joke. However, in comparison to other locations, such as Europe, obtaining any pilot certificate in the US is a very simple endeavor.

Are you complaining that you got through your ATP so easily?
 

NuGuy

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You're still in error to call the test a joke. However, in comparison to other locations, such as Europe, obtaining any pilot certificate in the US is a very simple endeavor.

Are you complaining that you got through your ATP so easily?

Heyas Avbug,

If I were king, I would swap around the part 135 mins for cargo with that of the CFI certificate.

250 hours to fly boxes, where the only person in jepoardy is the pilot.

1200 to teach another person, and hold his life in your hands, doesn't seem unreasonable.

Of course, I'll get flammed because I was a beneficiary of the system as it exists now, but change has to start somewhere.

I would endorse a more complex ATP academic requirement.

Nu
 
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