Taxonomy Tag Cloud

Minimum Hours
Votes
Open
Hi All,

     This will probably start a heated debate, but here it goes. Should a pilot of any rating (ATP, COMM, PP, REC, LSA) be required by the FAA to fly PIC a minimum number of hours each year? Is a private pilot who only flies locally a few hours a year to maintain passenger/insurance currency as safe and proficient to fly as a private pilot who puts in 200+ hours a year? 
     Interested to hear thoughts on this. 
2 Replies
Votes
Point 1: I'll bet she's a lot happier and engaged and supportive of GA than a pilot who's grounded because she doesn't have the time and/or money to maintain some arbitrary minimum limit like 200 hours.

Point 2: It depends on the type of flying she does, and the type of flying the 200+ hour pilot is doing. Risk management - or lack of it - can more than offset the proficiency gains you get from boring holes in the sky for a couple hundred hours. In fact, if you look at the accident stats by type of pilot certificate, you'll see that reduced risk management tends to more than offset increased experience, which is consistent with the view that low-time pilots are safer pilots, not because they're more skilled but because they're more cautious.

Point 3: Takeoffs and landings are a much better measure of proficiency than flight hours. Just saying.
Votes
1188 Posts
Dan Heller:
Should a pilot of any rating (ATP, COMM, PP, REC, LSA) be required by the FAA to fly PIC a minimum number of hours each year?
That's philosophy, and I'm not going there.
Dan Heller:
Is a private pilot who only flies locally a few hours a year to maintain passenger/insurance currency as safe and proficient to fly as a private pilot who puts in 200+ hours a year? 
 

Probably not.  However, the FAA leaves it to us as theoretically responsible adults to make that decision ourselves.

FWIW, I remember the howl of protest which went up when the FAA introduced the flight review requirement about 1975, including the original plan which would have required annual reviews for those PP's with less than 400 hours (a provision which didn't make it to the final rule).  I do note that those flying more complex/higher performance aircraft are required by their insurers to have annual recurrent/refresher training, but that's not regulatory even if I think it's a good idea.