I am still trying after all this time trying to wrap my head around this whole 1500 hour rule. I am well aware of how it came to be a reality, however I have yet to understand the actual theory behind it. Maybe I am looking at it the wrong way and correct me if I am wrong in my observations. The FAA is saying that it is perfectly acceptable for an individual with not more than a few hundred hours of flight experience and a CFI rating to go up in the air with an untrained student and instruct them on how to fly an aircraft. However that same instructor is not qualified to fly with an experienced Captain as part of a 2 person cabin. That just doesn’t add up to me, this rule seems like it is more politically motivated than safety oriented.
The claim is that pilots are more experienced due to the 1500 hours of TT. I am looking at the said experience that is being gained during this 1500 hours and am trying to wrap my brain around it. Flying around in a 172 in your local traffic pattern for 1,500 hours doesn’t make you “experienced.” A pilot that has 500 total hours, of which 250 is in multi crew turbine operations, has significantly more experience than a pilot with 1,500 total hours, all of which are in a 172.
My local flying crew would argue that these extra hours build your stick and rudder skills and build more confidence. I can’t speak for airlines I am not familiar with but most require the crew to use the autopilot shortly after takeoff during the climb out and remain engaged until just prior to landing. The operators say that this is for efficiency and safety.
Don’t get me wrong I am big on safety, checklists, procedure, etc. I just don’t see how adding all these raw TT hours directly contributes to experience and safety. I also think that in service training needs to be addressed as well, it seems that during in service training sessions only the big stuff is ever practiced, engine outs, sudden decompressions, loss of hydraulics, etc. How about every now and then we go back to basics and say hey, you stalled the airplane, recover.