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How Covid Vaccine Mandates And Regulatory Red Tape Created A Critical Airline Pilot Shortage
The Federalist ^
| JOHN R. LOTT, JR.
Posted on 07/13/2022 10:21:30 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Noticed that your flights are frequently canceled or delayed? You can thank government mandates and Obama-era training policies.
More than 1,400 U.S. flights were canceled and over 17,000 were delayed over the July 4th holiday weekend, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. And in recent years, airlines including American, Delta, and United have ended or cut back service to large numbers of small and midsize cities across the country.
We are facing a massive pilot shortage and air travel is only going to get worse and it’s thanks to these three coalescing events: regulatory changes by Obama when he was president, vaccine mandates, and a large number of pilots who were forced to retire as airlines scrambled to stay afloat during the pandemic.
The mandatory retirement age for pilots is 65. It isn’t surprising that there would be a one size fits all arbitrary regulation on the age limit for pilots in a heavily regulated industry like flying. Many pilots received their training during the Vietnam war, and over the last decade, that bulge in pilots retired. Others were incentivized by early retirement packages airlines offered during the Covid collapse in travel demand (all while the airlines received $50 billion in taxpayer-funded pandemic relief money).
Some pilots also point to airline vaccine mandates as making it difficult to fill positions. There are other smaller problems, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still requiring 10-day mandatory quarantine for pilots even though the CDC only recommends 5-days.
Yet, it is now much more difficult than it used to be to recruit new pilots. While people are discussing the large number of retirements and the vaccine mandate, the other regulatory changes are preventing the system from adjusting. When Obama took office, pilots needed 250 hours of flight experience to be licensed to fly U.S. passenger and cargo airplanes. But in 2010, Obama signed a six-fold increase into law — increasing the requisite number of hours to 1,500.
This regulation even required an additional 750 hours for pilots who received military training. It came at a time when Vietnam War-trained pilots were retiring in droves, creating a critical shortage of pilots.
These were massive changes, but the Democrats had the massive House and Senate majorities to enact them. The impetus for the new rule was the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York, in February 2009. All 49 passengers and crew members were killed. Although commercial airplane crashes are exceedingly rare, the accident provoked cries for more safety regulations.
Had the 1,500-hour rule been in place in February 2009, Flight 3407 still would have crashed. Pilot Marvin Renslow had 3,379 hours of flight experience. Co-pilot Rebecca Lynne Shaw had over 2,200 hours, including 772 hours spent flying the type of plane that crashed.
Incompetence, not lack of training, was the real problem with the Colgan Air crash. When a stall warning went off in the cockpit, Captain Renslow raised the plane’s nose, which is the opposite of what pilots are trained to do. Renslow had failed five “check ride” proficiency tests conducted in cockpits or simulators.
One safety expert at the National Transportation Safety Board observed, “It does raise a flag when you see five.” Renslow apparently didn’t tell Colgan Air about the three check rides that he had failed before being hired, and the FAA does not make such failures public.
Those three failures probably would have kept Renslow from being hired. After he failed two more tests, Colgan had to have known that Renslow was one of their weaker pilots. But Renslow enjoyed the powerful protection of the pilots’ union. Nothing was done to curb the union’s power.
The costs of the new training requirements are massive, and prospective pilots generally have to foot the bill themselves. The first 250 hours are supervised by a flight instructor and cost about $200 per hour. The next 1,250 hours of training don’t require an instructor, but they still cost at least $150 per hour in a single-engine plane. The total cost, then, for single-engine training is about $237,500. The cost of training in a multi-engine aircraft is higher still. There’s no limit yet on how much someone can train in a single week, but it normally takes a couple of years to get the required hours.
How flight students are supposed to finance this additional training is anyone’s guess. Airlines are reluctant to train pilots, since they may leave for another airline after getting their hours. But some airlines have no other choice.
The Obama administration also imposed strict limits on the number of hours that licensed pilots can fly (in any 365-day period, they can’t fly more than an average of 2.7 hours per day), making it still more difficult to find pilots for the tens of thousands of flights that are made each day. It doesn’t help that thousands of Baby Boomer pilots are starting to reach the mandatory retirement age of sixty-five.
Roger Cohen, president of the Regional Airline Association, warned: “Absent a game-changing shift in the supply of trained aviation professionals, particularly pilots, communities even larger than Wichita — and certainly those smaller — are in jeopardy of losing some, if not all, of their scheduled flights. This could cut off communities from today’s global economy, where airline service is as important as an Internet connection.”
Who are the obvious beneficiaries of these new training requirements? Licensed airline pilots. Salaries will rise as airlines compete with each other for a small number of pilots. The regulation was meant to please a union, but it came at the expense of all American air travelers. Flights would be cheaper and more abundant, especially for smaller markets, if not for the 2010 rule.
People are suggesting obvious solutions to the pilot shortages. Some recommend removing the vaccine mandate, and others suggest more flexibility for older pilots rather than a strict age rule. One possibility for older pilots is to have a competency test. But at this point, we have to seriously consider returning the training requirements to what they were just twelve years ago.
While people are stranded at airports and directing their anger at flight attendants and staff, their anger should really be directed elsewhere.
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: covid; mandate; pilotshortage; vaccine; wuhanflu
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[[How Covid Vaccine Mandates And Regulatory Red Tape Created A Critical Airline Pilot Shortage]]
Same way it created doctor and healthcare worker shortage, cop shortage, firefighter shortage, Dentist shortage etc etc etc Tremendous damage was done by these mandates
posted on 07/13/2022 10:31:04 AM PDT
posted on 07/13/2022 10:36:11 AM PDT
(Alinsky, you magnificent Bastard, I read your book!)
There goes Lott again, bringing facts to a discussion. Facts are racist. All issues can be reduced to whether you are a loving, caring, compassionate person, who believes in equity and social justice; or, whether you’re a part of the white, capitalistic, neo-Nazi patriarchy. Raising standards for pilots has no impact on the supply of pilots, just like disarming law-abiding citizens doesn’t embolden criminals, just like creating gobs of new money has no impact on inflation, and just like opening the border doesn’t invite a wave of illegal aliens.
Simple solution; use an age index of 120, i.e., if Captain is 60, Copilot cannot be over 60. If Captain is 50, Copilot can be 70, if Captain is 70, Copilot cannot be over 50. This would put thousands of pilots back in the Cockpit. Safety is not an issue and great experience is retained.
posted on 07/13/2022 10:48:35 AM PDT
They should follow it up how Fed.gov killed the passenger rail industry with increased regulation and Fed.gov control.
posted on 07/13/2022 10:50:17 AM PDT
Others were incentivized by early retirement packages airlines offered during the Covid collapse in travel demand (all while the airlines received $50 billion in taxpayer-funded pandemic relief money).<<<
Old Uncle Sugar must have one hell of a good job....He throws billions and trillions around like it was confetti.... /s
posted on 07/13/2022 10:52:35 AM PDT
(The MSM is now the 4th Branch of Government.....)
posted on 07/13/2022 10:58:47 AM PDT
The pilot shortage has been building for decades. That’s the reason the mandatory retirement age was raised from 60 to 65 in 2007. The real problem is that it’s become way too expensive for the average young person to get a pilot’s license on his or her own. So far fewer people are learning to fly. When I got my license in the 70s, I was paying $22 an hour. $14 for the airplane and $8 for the instructor. And that was the wet rate (meaning fuel included). And I learned in a Citabria, which cost $1 an hour more than the usual Cessna 150. Today the wet rate plus an instructor can easily reach $165 to $200 an hour. Not to mention, today’s kids would rather play video games or protest some imagined grievance. So a lot fewer people in the pilot pool today.
posted on 07/13/2022 11:01:16 AM PDT
(In time of peace, prepare for war.)
The most urgent shortage is about to rear it’s ugly head: World Famine is very shortly to make it’s debut.
posted on 07/13/2022 11:16:01 AM PDT
(As a retired Texas public school teacher, I highly recommend private school. Written in 2015.)
Plus, who wants to be a commercial pilot when that means you are the public face of “woke” airlines that spit in the face of their customers constantly?
Lott’s writing is “spot on.” My son, “Ace” is a newly promoted 747 pilot. I had a long breakfast conversation with him this morning. Lott describes exactly what is happening.
The government is at the same time incompetent and evil according to his testimony. You aren’t going to like the solution to all of the problems!
An example of the shortages is durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education and health services have a labor shortage—these industries have more unfilled job openings than unemployed workers with experience in their respective industry.
Even if every unemployed person with experience in the durable goods manufacturing industry were employed, the industry would only fill 65% of the vacant jobs. After losing roughly 1.4 million jobs at the onset of the pandemic. Since then, the industry has struggled to hire entry and skilled workers alike. So they can’t get anyone, now, at all.
Since before the pandemic, we have more than two million fewer Americans participating in the labor force today compared to February of 2020. And according to a assessment run by Monster.com the SHRM report indicated that health care, social assistance and manufacturing have the highest levels of recruiting difficulty.
And what the administration fails to see, is that their regulation has been contributory to the losses. Thanks to actions like pushing to defund the cops. A 2021 survey from the Police Executive Research Forum showed a 45% increase in retirements, and nearly 20% spike in resignations, over the previous year.
Many other fields are down as we speak to include:
Nurses, doctors and specialists
Scientists and mathematicians
Skilled trades, like electricians, carpenters, machinists, mechanics , welders and plumbers
IT computer specialists
health, telecommunications and environmental technicians
Transportation, such as drivers
Construction and extraction workers in mining
counselors, therapists and social workers
And this is a short list.
The jobs are there, they just aren’t worth money, benefits and home working desires, or have little future like the mining or law enforcement industries. And on a personal note, you may see the military on the list before too long as they will get to the point between shrinking retirement pay based upon inflation and by being undercut by congress, removing benefits, cutting out lifetime promises like health care, and leaving to go into a labor priced failure of the economy on jobs they can handle successfully due to lack of training. Their country they are trying to come back to ran away and hid.
i think too a lot of folks are seeing people just really soak the system, seeing states reward thieves by not going after them anymore- etc- and it is discouraging them- because they work so hard while criminals don’t hardly work and yet get away with their crimes- stores are closing left and right because they can’t keep up with the thefts and danger to their employees-
[[And on a personal note, you may see the military on the list before too long as they will get to the point between shrinking retirement pay based upon inflation and by being undercut by congress, removing benefits, cutting out lifetime promises like health care, and leaving to go into a labor priced failure of the economy on jobs they can handle successfully due to lack of training. Their country they are trying to come back to ran away and hid.]]
Very true- Sad state of affairs- The country is in a bad bad place-
posted on 07/13/2022 11:32:10 AM PDT
posted on 07/13/2022 11:34:34 AM PDT
When a stall warning went off in the cockpit, Captain Renslow raised the plane’s nose, which is the opposite of what pilots are trained to do. Renslow had failed five “check ride” proficiency tests conducted in cockpits or simulators.
Wow. The most basic of incompetent, and in this case fatal, moves. Pushing the nose down to gain speed from a stall warning should be hammered in thru training to the point of being instinctive.
To: Flick Lives
lick Lives wrote: “Wow. The most basic of incompetent, and in this case fatal, moves. Pushing the nose down to gain speed from a stall warning should be hammered in thru training to the point of being instinctive.”
I suspect the vast majority of non-pilots would know to push the nose down.
posted on 07/13/2022 11:53:31 AM PDT
(most pick the expert who says the things they agree with.)
Here’s a great YouTube video from a current airline pilot, Mentour, that explains a lot of what is going on with the industry. Some of the shortage is going to be made up by US airlines hiring pilots from foreign airlines and retraining them up to their standards.
Several airlines are recruiting pilots from high school and training them in their own academy. They are also recruiting more women as airline pilots since they are often better at communication and team skills than men. Most of what today’s airline pilots do is manage and monitor flight director controlled systems. Being able to follow checklists everytime and communicate without getting one’s ego in the way is also a critical skill.
To: Dave Wright
Hmmm.....is one of the few requirements is just that they’re “vax”d?
All of these foreign pilots and high schoolers will have to be, just like the pilots who’ve quit/died/etc. have/had to be, right?
(And, no, I did not watch the vid, yet. Thanks for posting it, though.)
posted on 07/13/2022 11:57:05 AM PDT
by Jane Long
(What we were told was a “conspiracy theory” in 2020 is now fact. 🙏🏻 Ps 33:12)
Although healthcare folks in general are 98% compliant altogether, my field isn’t. Many early retirements prior to the mandate, n I can’t leave my job to get a better one unless I comply with their mandate. Religious exemption.
Reading Gulag Archipelago right now. Frightening how much freedom we have lost.
posted on 07/13/2022 11:57:07 AM PDT
(Ephesians 6... who you are really at war with. )
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