The House of Rapp

The Ab Initio Flaw

Posted by in Opinion Leaders

Thus far, airline ab initio programs haven’t been a major part of the landscape here in the U.S. because our aviation sector is fairly robust. We are blessed with flying jobs which build the experience, skill, and time necessary for larger, more complex aircraft. But it might become an attractive option for airlines because the cost of learning to fly has risen dramatically over the past decade while the benefits (read: money) remain too low for too long. Airlines can cure the shortage by training pilots from zero hours… but at what cost?

We Don’t Train For That

Posted by in Opinion Leaders

Corporate & charter flying is already pretty safe, but I believe we can do even better. Perhaps instead of focusing primarily engine failures, we ought to look at the things that are causing accidents for a particular aircraft type and add them to a database of training scenarios which can be enacted in the simulator without prior notice. In other words, more teaching and less testing.

Trust Us — We’re Professionals

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Safety

The FAA has seen fit to ban all personal electronic devices from the airline cockpit, as well as strongly recommend a similar prohibition for Part 135 and 91K operators. As one who flies a fair number of overnight, long-haul flights, I think this is a bad idea and one which will hurt rather than help flight safety.

The Hacked Airplane

Posted by in Opinion Leaders, Technology

For better or worse, the relentless march of technology means we’re more connected than ever, in more places than ever. For the most part that’s good. We benefit from improving communication, situational awareness, and reduced pilot workload in the cockpit. But there’s a dark side to digital connectivity, and in an era of internet-connected refrigerators, toilets, and a/c systems, I predict it’s only a matter of time before we start to see it in our airborne lives.

The Contract Pilot

Posted by in Gulfstream, Opinion Leaders

As much as one may love flying, it can be a tough career choice. Many pilots struggle through the food chain only to end up discouraged, if not downright hating their job. We’re all aware of the reasons: low pay, long days, little respect, too much time away from home, difficult working conditions, commuting, regulatory hassles, bankruptcies, furloughs, and ruinously expensive training. Quite a list, isn’t it?

On the other hand, life is often what we make of it. From bush flying to firefighting, there are many different gigs out there for those willing to take Frost’s road-less-traveled. For the past three years, for example, I’ve been flying as a “contract pilot” and truly enjoy it.