(Originally posted Aug 1, 2015 on as /archives/10506)
Here’s a video about becoming the fastest woman on Earth
I dig land speed record videos.
What’s with the fighter-pilot-oxygen-mask?
Is it for cooling (not oxygen) like on a racing helmet?
Pilots use oxygen to fly unpressurized planes at high altitudes. Why do that? If there’s a stronger tailwind up there, then they can save time and fuel. I read a story about a check-delivery-pilot that did this, but became oxygen-deprived by mistake. Most military flying requires oxygen masks too.
A commercial pilot is not what many people think it is.
(The rest of this post is USA-centric.)
The people that fly for the airlines, need an Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL). The ATPL requires 750 to 1500 hours (depending on your training) of flying. The people that we usually call “commercial pilots”, are actually ATPs. The commercial pilots license is different.
Where will our future pilots come from?
That check-delivery-story reminded me of my concerns about where the USA will get its future pilots.
How does a pilot get 750 to 1500 hours of experience, which is just one of the requirements for the ATPL?
- Delivering our checking-acount-checks from bank-to-bank at night. The “Check 21 Act” of 2003, made it legal to send scans of checks. So no more “flying checks”. Two-billion dollars of flights (per year?) are now gone: “poof”.
- Fly as an airline co-pilot, but now they also need an ATPL (as-of July 15, 2013).
- As a flight instructor
- Corporate aviation
- Plane rental, but that’s expensive; 1500 hours costs $112,500 to $600,000. (at $75 to $400 per hour for small non-turbine planes).
- The military
Without check deliveries, and non-ATP co-pilots, where will get enough pilots with enough hours? I have no idea, but it will become a problem without some future change.
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