Australia has become one of the first countries to give a green light to a multi-crew pilot licence category that depends heavily on simulators to train co-pilots.
Rules and training requirements enabling the MPL are already in effect follow a two-year trial in which Boeing training arm Alteon trained six Chinese students using the technique.
The six pioneers were cadets from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. They underwent the program at Alteon’s Brisbane campus. China probably needs this system more than any other country. It is going to experience a desperate demand for trained pilots.
The six Chinese cadets completed primary flight training on a single-engine aircraft before moving on to a jet-type rating and going back to China for further training.
The license is endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation but has attracted criticism from Australia pilots because of its reliance on simulator technology rather than hands-on flying.
The training concentrates on specific skills needed to operate in an airline environment, with emphasis on areas such as crew resource management, critical thinking and risk management.
It shifts the emphasis from accumulating flying hours to cockpit competency. The key aspect is crew resource management. In an emergency duties are split around the cockpit so that the pilot in command is no longer God trying to do everything at once. Instead it is truly a team effort.
The Australian Federation of Air Pilots industrial officer Lawrie Cox said the system was still far from perfect. All of which can be predicted. In Australia, pilots see themselves as God, but with flying skills. And Australian pilots are seriously worried that if the system is accepted in China it could spread around the world.
Source: The Australian