Aviation_Cockpit Airlines sell a commodity and buy from monopolies, i.e., the airports that provide landing rights. So it isn’t surprising they have such a tough time making money. Now they have another problem: There aren’t enough pilots and co-pilots willing to work for the low pay offered by regional carriers.

Airlines call this a “shortage” and blame a recent rule from the Federal Aviation Administration that mandates co-pilots have at least 1,500 hours of flying experience, up from 250. At the margin, the rule does reduce the number of people qualified to serve as a first officer on a plane, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage.

Read the complete story at Bloomberg News.

Aviation_Cockpit WASHINGTON – Prodded by the families of people killed in a regional airline crash, federal officials issued an extensive overhaul of training requirements for pilots Tuesday.

One of the most important changes requires airlines to provide better training on how to prevent and recover from an aerodynamic stall, in which a plane slows to the point that it loses lift. That was what happened to Continental Express Flight 3407, which crashed on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in western New York on Feb. 12, 2009, killing all 49 people aboard and a man on the ground.

Read the complete story at the Associated Press.

Aviation_Cockpit WASHINGTON – The crash landing of a South Korean airliner in San Francisco has revived concerns that airline pilots get so little opportunity these days to fly without the aid of sophisticated automation that their stick-and-rudder skills are eroding.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, is a long way from reaching a conclusion as to its probable cause. While the focus of their investigation could still shift, information released by the board thus far appears to point to pilot error.

Read the complete story at the Associated Press.