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Fledgling Pilots
Kirt's Cogitations™ #147

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   Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
   Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.

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Fledgling Pilots

The next time you fly on a U.S. commercial airliner, consider this. Due to the decade-long drawdown on the military, airlines are employing far fewer captains with military flight training and in their place using fast-tracked civilian flight school graduates. In some cases, regional jets are being flown by pilots with only a few hundred hours logged. In 1992, Delta Airlines had 97% military and 3% civilian trained pilots. In 2001 the ratio was 60/40. By 2007 it is expected to be 30% military to 70% civilian. In the view of one veteran flyer, "That doesn't mean the civil pilot is substandard - it just places them far behind the learning curve. Put a civil-trained commuter pilot in a third-tier carrier with a quick upgrade to captain, and you have a very empty suit."

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