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Month: April 2019

The strict rules of what pilots can and can’t do in the cockpit

Air travel has revolutionized the world. It has made the planet much smaller and allows us to travel anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours. However, keeping a plane that can weigh up to 500 tons in the air is not a simple endeavour.

To make sure that we are all kept safe when flying, it is critical that there are strict rules in place to ensure that pilots follow best practice and get themselves and their passengers to their destination in one piece. In this article, we will look at some of the things that pilots have to do and the strict rules that they have to follow.

Development of rules for pilots

When commercial aviation began to take off in the nineteen twenties, there were very few rules controlling the actions of airlines or the pilots who were flying.

However, as travelling by plane became more prevalent a number of regulations were introduced to ensure that passengers and crew were kept safe. The first significant move to do this began when the Department of Commerce in the US was given the ability in 1926 to regulate commercial flights, and this was further consolidated across the globe with the agreement of the Convention on International Civil Aviation which came into effect in 1947.

This move was essential to allow consistent rules for pilots flying across the planet and set down standards for an international flight. Since then we have seen a number of strict rules and regulations which are enforced on all commercial international flights across the world.

This video gives you an insight into the rules for pilots in the cockpit when flying and Airbus aircraft

Critical and non-critical phases

The cockpit of an airplane is one of the most strictly regulated places you can be. Rules for pilots differ during different phases of flight. Flights are separated into two distinct phases. Critical phases are times when the pilots need to be personally in control of the plane. These include taxiing, takeoff, landing and when the aircraft is flying lower than 10,000 feet. Non-critical phases are points where the plane is under control of the autopilot and the rules for pilots in the cockpit at this time are less onerous.

During Critical phases, the pilot is prohibited by law from doing anything which is not required to operate the plane safely. The must give their full attention to flying the plane and can be reprimanded or even charges if they deviate from this.

However, during non-critical phases when the plane is on auto-pilot, cockpit crew are given much more leeway on how they spend their time. Surprisingly, when not flying the plane, most airlines allow pilots to read newspapers, flick through procedures or flight manuals or even maybe take a little time to do some online assignment writing around flight subject, for some extra cash of course. This last one is of course very tongue in cheek, but it does demonstrate the leeway that pilots have during non-critical phases of flight.

Rest and recuperation

Pilots are legally required to rest after 8 hours of flying in the US, and the co-pilot will take over monitoring the flight while the pilot has a nap. The pilot can then get some rest and wake bright and ready to take over control again. They can even leave the cockpit to rest while the other cockpit crew take over their responsibilities.

Watch what you eat

There are specific rules about what cockpit crews are allowed to eat when flying. The pilot and co-pilot are required to eat different meals which are prepared separately in case one of the meals has become contaminated. This helps to ensure that there is someone who can land the plane even if the other cockpit crew are incapacitated.

As you can see, there are some stringent rules for pilots in the cockpit, especially during critical phases. However, there is also some leeway given to the pilots and co-pilots during non-critical phases. This allows pilots to be focused when they need to be while at the same time being able to relax a little when the autopilot is in control of the aircraft.

Reasons Why Most Of Student Pilots Drop Out Of Training

Majority of people don’t believe they have what it takes to fly at the start of the flight training. They are scared about whether they will make it or not or whether they will struggle a lot when it comes to fly. When considering the decision to start flying students at first start to doubt themselves.

But after enrolling to this program they get to understand how things work, and they start cooping with no or minimal challenges. By overcoming the fears, they develop confidence in that they are capable of flying.
Below are the reasons why most student pilots drop out of training

Lack of adequate funds

Lack of adequate funds is one of the reasons why students drop out of pilot training before the completion of this course. Flying isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of financial support, and at the same time, it needs proper financial planning and some students do have big budgets they survive on the strict ones.

As the student can underestimate the time required to obtain a pilot license, it is just the same to underestimate the amount of money that will be required during the training period. Some are unaware of other additional costs upfront, while others may take longer training periods than they had initially expected others experience some life experiences in that they have to to take some steps back from flights as a result of financial problems. The students may resume later when they get the finances required to proceed with training.

Presence of bad instructor

If students are not getting well with their tutor or instructor is one of the major reasons why students are unable to complete the training program. Despite the aviation industry maintaining standards for instructors who are well certified, sometimes it happens that the student and the instructor are not getting along well.

Sometimes it becomes hard for an instructor to guide a particular student. There are times when both the students and instructors tend to clash with personalities. Some students develop a belief that the only way to success is to just switch the instructors, but at times it seems easier than done. Students who lack the courage to speak up and ask for a new instructor will have a frustrating experience and may end up dropping out of school completely.

The most important thing to understand is that these problems are not related to students wisdom or their learning ability, which is often the anxiety the new students experience when they decide to take flight training. These challenges are not so difficult to overcome if you are well prepared, having an open mind and going by it.

Lack of enough time

Flight training demands a lot of time as well as energy, and often students begin this flight program without having enough time to commit to flying. This causes the instructors to cancel lessons or to go for a longer period with no flights taking place. Students also unpreparedness during the flight times and this will derail the progress.

Devoting time to this training is also one of the key factors in this profession. The students drop out of schools when they realize they don’t have time to devote to flight training efforts. These students then prefer to get back to schools after a lengthy break.

Flying as a hobby? Realistic ways to approach it

Generally, a hobby will give relaxation, pleasure and enjoyment. A hobby may consist of activities, arts, sports, collectors and so on. Usually will be done during leisure time and not for working. However, in this advanced world, some hobbies can earn handsome pay. Flying as a hobby is an activity that not many of us would consider. It is one of the extreme activities that some others would do it for pleasure.

Who can fly?

Not everyone can fly a plane. You will need to take a flying license for it. Having said, there will be a minimum requirement which is to pass a medical exam. Learning to fly is open to as young as 11 years old which will be determined by their heights too whereby must be reachable to all controls for the aircraft. So for an adult, age should not be a problem. You will just have to:
● Pass the medical exam
● Tall enough to reach all controls
● Get a flying license

Money matters

Well, this is certainly not going to be a cheap hobby. Let’s face it, this is involving risk and life, not just a hobby. Thus we shouldn’t be looking for the cheapest lesson. The right way would be searching for the quality and reputable instructor or flight school. So that you will be properly trained at the highest standard.

Learning purpose

There will be different training for the different purpose of being a pilot. So you will have to decide why would you want to learn to fly. There will several categories that you need to decide:
● For airlines or chartered
● This would be as a professional job.
● Business purpose
● People with multiple locations to fly for business owners or for personal location.
● The training will be long distance and aircraft used will be at a higher performance.
● Some will be training to fly at different weathers.
● For fun
○ For those who fly locally and also partly as a hobby and for fun.

Regardless, your purpose must be known by flying instructor. This definitely will be a game changer for your training and the course fees. Thus there will be different licensing issued based on your training:

● Sport pilot license
● Private pilot license
● Recreational pilot license

Next step

Start do your homework to find the right place to get your license. Some may offer a course that allows you to get your license in 45 hours instead of 75 hours and it comes with at higher fees definitely. Regardless of how tempting to get it done as soon as possible, remain focus to find the certified and quality instructor or flying school.

There are certain criteria that you should look at when searching for a flying school. Such as the FAA standard and approval, certified instructors, accommodate to your schedule and many more.

Lets fly

Many others do enjoy flying. In fact, you can upgrade your license along the way. By upgrading may allow you to fly longer or even cross country, and some can take a course to fly a different type of aeroplanes. It is not just an expensive hobby, you can even make money too.

Perhaps even covers all the courses fee that you paid for. A passion that does not go to waste after all. All the efforts will be worthwhile. A great hobby that will increase your adrenaline.

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