Opinion Leaders


Liability: The Price We Pay

Liability concerns are a major expense and motivator for many industries. That’s why Superman costumes come with warnings that “the cape does not enable the wearer to fly”, Zippo cautions the user not to ignite the lighter in your face, and irons are sold with tags advising against ironing clothes while they’re being worn. But for general aviation, this sort of thing is dragging the lot of us down as surely as a cement block tossed into the murky waters of the East River. Read more →

For decades, Japan Airlines ran an ab initio flight school in Napa, CA using Beech Bonanzas

The Ab Initio Flaw

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? Read more →

Gulfstream G550 simulator

We Don’t Train For That

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. Read more →