797 Pilot Training

We look at pilot training with guest Jason Miller from The Finer Points. In the news, more pilot downsizing, new DOT rules for canceled and significantly delayed flights, the FAA reauthorization bill, a general aviation flyover of the nation’s capital, and airport vs. tornado.

Guest

Jason Miller hearshot

Jason Miller is a CFII with over 20 years of aviation experience who has given nearly 10,000 hours of instruction. He is a member of the FAA Safety Team, an instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, and the FAA named him the Western Pacific CFI of the Year for 2009 and 2016.

To help pilots improve their flying, Jason created The Finer Points aviation podcast in 2005. His pilot training resources have grown to include a YouTube channel, a CFI Club, a ground school app, and the Airplane Camp experience.

The Finer Points logo.

Jason has long believed in raising the bar on pilot training. The concept behind The Finer Points is packaging training excellence and developing the tools and products for pilots that fill the gaps in pilot training.

The CFI Club was created as a place where instructors can interact and continuously improve their skills. The 3-day Airplane Camp events are held for pilots several times a year and include lectures, food, and survival skills.

Jason’s Ground School flight training app for private and instrument ratings is a complete flight training system built from experience.

Aviation News

Southwest to Trim Workforce by 2,000, Offer Voluntary Time Off Programs as Boeing Delivery Delays Hit Finances

Following a 1st quarter 2024 net loss of $231, Southwest Airlines is undertaking several cost-cutting measures.  By year-end 2024, the airline plans to have 2,000 fewer employees. Southwest will slow hiring and offer voluntary time off programs. Also, Southwest is leaving four “underperforming markets:” Bellingham International Airport, Cozumel International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and Syracuse Hancock International Airport. The airline originally planned to take delivery of 85 737MAX jets in 2024, but was revised downward to 46 airplanes, and again to 20 aircraft.

Cargo airline Amerijet warns of pilot furloughs amid downsizing

Since losing contracts with the U.S. Postal Service and others, Amerijet International plans to furlough some of its 272 pilots soon. How many pilots are furloughed depends on how many pilots accept the company’s offer of fewer working hours. In 2023 the pilot union negotiated a minimum of 74 paid hours, regardless of the number of hours flown.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Final Rule Requiring Automatic Refunds of Airline Tickets and Ancillary Service Fees

The Department of Transportation announced its final rule for airlines. Airlines must give passengers full cash refunds for canceled and significantly delayed flights if the passenger doesn’t accept alternative transportation or travel credits. Passengers who file a mishandled baggage report will be entitled to a refund of their checked bag fee if it is not delivered within 12 hours of their domestic flight arriving at the gate, or 15-30 hours of their international flight arriving at the gate, depending on the length of the flight. Passengers will be entitled to a refund for the fee they paid for an extra service — such as Wi-Fi, seat selection, or inflight entertainment — if an airline fails to provide this service.

The final rule improves the passenger experience by requiring refunds to be:

  • Automatic: Airlines must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request them or jump through hoops. 
  • Prompt: Airlines and ticket agents must issue refunds within seven business days of refunds becoming due for credit card purchases and 20 calendar days for other payment methods.
  • Cash or original form of payment: Airlines and ticket agents must provide refunds in cash or whatever original payment method the individual used to make the purchase, such as credit card or airline miles. Airlines may not substitute vouchers, travel credits, or other forms of compensation unless the passenger affirmatively chooses to accept alternative compensation.  
  • Full amount: Airlines and ticket agents must provide full refunds of the ticket purchase price, minus the value of any portion of transportation already used. The refunds must include all government-imposed taxes and fees and airline-imposed fees, regardless of whether the taxes or fees are refundable to airlines.

Here’s what flyers should know about the bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill

Draft legislation from House and Senate committees:

  • Would codify into law the Department of Transportation rules on refunds when an airline cancels or significantly delays flights.
  • Travel credits issued by airlines in place of refunds would be valid for at least five years.
  • Commercial aircraft cockpit voice recorders would record for 25 hours.
  • The FAA would be required to hire more air traffic controllers.
  • Additional runway technology requirements.
  • Expanded legal protections for ground-based employees.

General Aviation Flyover Of D.C. Set For May 11

On May 11, 2024, about 60 GA aircraft will fly over Washington, D.C.  The General Aviation DC Flyover commemorates the first proclamation of National Aviation Day in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the creation of AOPA 85 years ago. The aircraft will follow the Potomac River to downtown Washington, fly over the National Mall, and head down Independence Ave.

The flight will be visible from the mall area and live-streamed on AOPA’s YouTube channel. Commentary by AOPA Live anchor Tom Haines and aviation journalist Miles O’Brien starts at 11:45 EDT.

See: Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area; Technical Amendment

Prohibited Area 56 (P-56) surrounds the White House, the National Mall, and the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C. The only aircraft allowed to fly in that area are specially authorized flights that are in direct support of the U.S. Secret Service, the Office of the President, or one of several government agencies with missions that require air support within P-56. These prohibited areas have been in effect for about 50 years.

Nebraska Airport Raked by Tornado

The Eppley Airfield general aviation area was severely damaged by an EF3 tornado, which produces winds of 135 to 165 mph. Four hangars containing about 32 aircraft were destroyed.

Mentioned

Life is just a Breeze at PWM

Apple Vision Pro on the subway

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

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