Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Maximum Pilot Age?

 


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Jan 15, 2013, 6:05 AM
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Maximum Pilot Age? Can't Post

Things are kicking off relatively spectacularly in the UK at the moment following some rule changes the BPA has introduced relating to the maximum age a pilot may be when flying jumpers.

I'm far from an expert on the rules (new or old) but so far as I recall I'll summarise them as roughly being:

Old rule - required class 2 medical and once over 70 years old required approval every 2 years from the BPA's safety and training committee.

New - 65 is now the upper limit. Consideration for extending upper limit to 70 years old for those holding class 1 medical. No one over 70 may fly jumpers in any circumstances. Procedures will be brought in by the BPA to monitor pilot age and medical requirements.

So far as I'm aware, these age limits are not CAA rules but rather they are specific to the BPA. Outside of sport parachuting, pilots of these ages would otherwise be able to continue flying commercial operations, (I'm not sure what, if any, age limits are provided for by the CAA).

There are big arguments at the moment over certain procedural aspects relating to how this rule change was adopted. It is not my intention to see those arguments re-hashed here - that's an entirely separate argument over the BPA's own internal rules and procedures.

All I was looking for here is input on whether there should be a max age limit for pilots flying jumpers, if so what and why, and perhaps input on what happens elsewhere in the world.


babz  (C 107663)

Jan 15, 2013, 6:42 AM
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

There are posts on UKS with various expert statements, but I expect these to be rather one sided.

I think the real question is should the governing body for parachuting be getting so heavily involved in the pilot regs. Does flying a jump plane differ from a normal aircraft on pleasure flights and how is this impacting the health of the pilot?

I'm not a fan of arbitrary age rules, as ultimately there are guys out there in their 70s who are fitter than some guys in their 20's.

Personally, I work in IT not aviation medicine so my view is pretty pointless but I am interested in what those who know say..


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Jan 15, 2013, 7:43 AM
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO, if you qualify for a Class II Medical in the US, I think you should be able to fly jumpers. And, as long as you hold a valid Commercial Certificate and Class II medical, there is no FAA limitation on a pilot over 70 years of age flying jumpers. I have a part-time pilot that flew my C-182 with jumpers last summer. He has in excess of 30,000 flight hours.


ChrisD  (No License)

Jan 15, 2013, 9:33 AM
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

Frown

This issue in the states is a time bomb. Just ask Bob Hoover.

I am not surprized that this issue started in the UK, what with your mandatory retirement of all motor car opeerators and such? Wink

On the other hand the flying public, not based on any real science, here in the usa , has dictated mandatory exile of all ATP's, (Flying for a commeercial carrier, like Delta, etc) basically when you hit 60. Now I know that the age I just stated isn't the actual age, but in the bis,...it might as well be! (For all practicible purposes.)

The military basically dumps you at 30, yes there are plenty of exceptions,...by that's my point!

In a real and just world this should be an individual, case by case issue! It isn't.

C


Hey airtwardo, your awsome! generally when I post something it is a loaded question, or an answere with lot's to think about! The well publizized incident because it made it to some tv show...Frontline? or was it 60 min? Anyways it left the FAA with a lot of egg on it's face, so I have to be very carefull how I respond to some things...anyways so how is or are less than 500 inspectors who's job is not to enforce regulations in a climate because of "Homeland security," now that there is so much confusion between the FAA, DOT, HS, and the NTSB and for laughs throw in all of the great help local and State authorities provide by: "Helping." Not all incidents get reported, in fact a shitload of stuff never makes it to the : http://www.asias.faa.gov/portal/page/portal/asias_pages/asias_home/ and this is only one of about 40 .GOV sites that exsist... The point being a shitload of crash's never get reported,...think insurance, So do you reccomend taking away tickets at some age??? Or without comment, how do we find the Bob Hoovers, in the world, that is if in fact Bob was deserving of that close exam that he received???

Anyways glad you said it! SmileSmileSmile
C


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Jan 15, 2013, 10:36 AM)


theplummeter  (C License)

Jan 15, 2013, 9:57 AM
Post #5 of 17 (2429 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Frown

This issue in the states is a time bomb. Just ask Bob Hoover.

I am not surprized that this issue started in the UK, what with your mandatory retirement of all motor car opeerators and such? Wink

On the other hand the flying public, not based on any real science, here in the usa , has dictated mandatory exile of all ATP's, (Flying for a commeercial carrier, like Delta, etc) basically when you hit 60. Now I know that the age I just stated isn't the actual age, but in the bis,...it might as well be! (For all practicible purposes.)

The military basically dumps you at 30, yes there are plenty of exceptions,...by that's my point!

In a real and just world this should be an individual, case by case issue! It isn't.

C

I couldn't agree more. I take checkrides from a guy in his seventies who has had two bouts with Cancer and is still sharper than I am in my mid thirties. I also work with a guy in his sixties who I want dead so long as he's not in the cockpit when it happens.

Case by case would be nice.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 15, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Re: [ChrisD] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
This issue in the states is a time bomb. Just ask Bob Hoover.

In reply to:

Not really a point you would want to argue...I've known Mr. Hoover through participation in airshows for 30 years.
He always calls me 'Gordo' because he can't remember 'Twardo' Sly

When all that came down, he really shouldn't have been flying 'solo'.

I spent the better part of a day with Bob back then trying to find his car...he completely forgot where he'd left it, what kind it was, or when he'd seen it last.

Very confused & disoriented...

I saw him walking down a set of railroad tracks in 105 degree heat when I pulled over and ran out to help him...he was scheduled to fly the show that day and was complaining about having to have a 'safety pilot' with him during the performance. Unimpressed


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 15, 2013, 1:50 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

When all that came down, he really shouldn't have been flying 'solo'.

Well, that's worth a whole other thread. That sort of stuff sure wasn't what was being published in the EAA's magazine when they championed his cause way back when. In any case, one still has to distinguish between temporary and permanent impairment, and between due process and emergency FAA action. A lot of detail to argue.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 15, 2013, 3:19 PM
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Re: [pchapman] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

When all that came down, he really shouldn't have been flying 'solo'.

Well, that's worth a whole other thread. That sort of stuff sure wasn't what was being published in the EAA's magazine when they championed his cause way back when. In any case, one still has to distinguish between temporary and permanent impairment, and between due process and emergency FAA action. A lot of detail to argue.

Hey I signed the petition too...everybody in the industry did, if nothing else out of respect.

~but deep down 'most' of us saw the writing on the wall.


chutem  (A 45827)

Jan 15, 2013, 3:26 PM
Post #9 of 17 (2299 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

" The well publizized incident because it made it to some tv show...Frontline? or was it 60 min? Anyways it left the FAA with a lot of egg on it's face, so I have to be very carefull how I respond to some things..."






Do you work for the FAA? If so in what capacity? This is the second time I've read you making it sound like you do without saying so. In the other thread you were talking of the danger of operating at near max gross. and it seemed most thought this was ludicris.


ChrisD  (No License)

Jan 15, 2013, 4:16 PM
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Re: [chutem] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
" The well publizized incident because it made it to some tv show...Frontline? or was it 60 min? Anyways it left the FAA with a lot of egg on it's face, so I have to be very carefull how I respond to some things..."






Do you work for the FAA? If so in what capacity? This is the second time I've read you making it sound like you do without saying so. In the other thread you were talking of the danger of operating at near max gross. and it seemed most thought this was ludicris.


Smile
I am retired. I don't intentionally get into this type of discussion, because it isn't germane to the topic at hand. Nor should it be. I have however learned the futility of discussion of "common practices" that many hold dearly because they see it every day. The issue of what an aircraft can carry Vs. safety are two separate issues; this is just one of many unsafe practices that I point out when I can, this issue is solely financially motivated. The more time anyone wish's to spend on these issues, the issues themselves become apparent and the questions answer themselves...unfortunately however the time investment is enormous and the issues complex. Regarding the 182, on average, it's responsible for 7 skydiving related fatalities annually over a 20 year average. In 99 percent of these incidents the aircraft has been near or clearly outside of the published envelope.

The next sentence is usually: "please provide me with the statistics to substantiate your claim," not my job to provide anyone with statistics that as a rule they don't understand! Problem with statistics is that they never provide a complete picture, they only point in a direction that can set policy and highlight area's that need attention. Statistics are very problematic in that many and far too many incidents never get reported! World Wide the 182 is a very safe aircraft, depending upon your perspective, while also being a very dangerous one as well, again depending upon your peerspective. Most time there is an aircraft incident,...many want to attribute the cause to: "pilot error." The problem is that when so many incidents have the same script, so to speak, this is evidence of a system wide issue, a systemic problem! But humans being what they are want to blame individuals. This is what we call the "Fundamental Attribution Error," and it is what is responsible for the prevailing attitude that is generally money driven, which also makes a complete understanding of the complexities for most individuals difficult to understand. Everyone wants’ the simple answer, even if it isn’t the correct answer. The aircraft meanwhile doesn’t care about the correctness of the situation, it fly’s or it doesn’t. The real problem is that the vast majority of pilots have NEVER practiced stalls at or near gross. The mechanics of setting up the aircraft to do this have inherent issues. The script however doesn’t care and aircraft go down again and again, year after year, and the pilots if they survive all say the same thing: “I never thought it would react that fast…,” the public and others blame the pilot, and given time this same incident happens again elsewhere… it’s a vicious circle, one that I have heard over and over again for the last 30 years. That’s what’s “Ludicrous.”

C

Ludicrous was also putting a "safety" pilot with Bob Hoover...there is no way doing what Hoover did that close to the ground, that a safety pilot could have made any difference anyways! All that the FAA did that day was impose their will and endanger the safety pilot, or did they trust Hoover???


chutem  (A 45827)

Jan 15, 2013, 4:44 PM
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Re: [ChrisD] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, you are retired. Are you a retired FAA employee? If so in what capacity?

I am very interested as I fly small planes and as everyone who does knows it doesn't take much to be near max gross. Full fuel and three puts you there in many 4 place small aircraft.

Why would the FAA approve this stc?
http://www.182stc.com/
150-160lbs gross weight increase with nothing but paperwork.

If you would prefer this can go back to the other thread.

In your opinion would it be safer to have less fuel reserves to fly at a lower weight? Do more small planes go down running out of fuel or flying near max gross?


chutem  (A 45827)

Jan 15, 2013, 4:53 PM
Post #12 of 17 (2262 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

It sounds like simple logic that 99% of 182 skydiving accidents are at near or outside the envelope as probably near that percentage of 182 skydiving ops in general fit that scenario.


kallend  (D 23151)

Jan 16, 2013, 8:13 AM
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
So the BPA is trying to move from just the "Ban Parachuting Association" to the "Ban Piloting Association" too.

I hope the USPA never goes that way.


fcajump  (D 15598)

Jan 16, 2013, 8:34 AM
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Re: [fencebuster] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
IMO, if you qualify for a Class II Medical in the US, I think you should be able to fly jumpers. And, as long as you hold a valid Commercial Certificate and Class II medical, there is no FAA limitation on a pilot over 70 years of age flying jumpers. I have a part-time pilot that flew my C-182 with jumpers last summer. He has in excess of 30,000 flight hours.

I know a pilot that is in better shape than many skydivers. Been flying an airshow act for 40 years in a Cub (light plane, no passenger, slow speeds). When he went to renew his class II medical, they delayed it for 6months while he went through a battery of additional exams (all of which proved his good health) then demanded that he get a notorized letter from his AME that guarenteed that nothing would happen while he was at the controls.

The ONLY difference between that year and the prior... he turned 80.

So, it may not be in writing, but there is a defacto age limit in place. Unsure

JW


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Jan 16, 2013, 12:50 PM
Post #15 of 17 (2095 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
IMO, if you qualify for a Class II Medical in the US, I think you should be able to fly jumpers. And, as long as you hold a valid Commercial Certificate and Class II medical, there is no FAA limitation on a pilot over 70 years of age flying jumpers. I have a part-time pilot that flew my C-182 with jumpers last summer. He has in excess of 30,000 flight hours.

I know a pilot that is in better shape than many skydivers. Been flying an airshow act for 40 years in a Cub (light plane, no passenger, slow speeds). When he went to renew his class II medical, they delayed it for 6months while he went through a battery of additional exams (all of which proved his good health) then demanded that he get a notorized letter from his AME that guarenteed that nothing would happen while he was at the controls.

The ONLY difference between that year and the prior... he turned 80.

So, it may not be in writing, but there is a defacto age limit in place. Unsure

JW

An old jump pilot by the name of "Ernie" comes to mind??? Some, in the upper midwest, will know what I'm talking about. Tongue


jumpinjackflsh  (B 27757)

Jan 17, 2013, 1:43 PM
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Re: [ChrisD] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

+1

Well delivered sir!

I'd like to add to those "systemic" issues that we also permeate the other side with the same syndrome!

Aka, the most popular thing in this country is to blame Corporate American Greed for our woes when the reality is, we, our brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, etc... ARE CORPORATE AMERICA!

We do the same in every facet of life though after eons of doing so we do from time to time learn our lessons. Blaming the USPA for their actions or future possible actions is hilarious considering no more than 10% of the membership even voted recently!

Blame the other guy, the USPA, the FAA, etc... and sometimes? You may be right. However, don't forget, there are people working in all these different positions of service that are there to make a difference, contribute and be successful in their endeavors.

Unfortunately, at every level, WE create the bureaucracy through our actions, period. Those systemic issues you speak of, never come to light because, it's so much easier to blame the pilot and move on to the next case...

In essence, from Wall Street to rural America, we prove every day our instinct for survival and behavior often drive decisions that later, sometimes immediately, prove ludicrous.

Well played, very well played


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Jan 31, 2013, 7:48 PM
Post #17 of 17 (1674 views)
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Re: [kallend] Maximum Pilot Age? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So the BPA is trying to move from just the "Ban Parachuting Association" to the "Ban Piloting Association" too.

I hope the USPA never goes that way.
This was my first thought as well. Why in hell would they want to cut the CAA's grass on this issue?



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