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Mesa Airlines Introduces Unique "Pay-As-You-Go" Pilot Training Scheme

PHOENIX —Mesa Airlines, a U.S. regional airline based in Phoenix, unveiled its Independent Pilot Development program on October 9, a unique "pay-as-you-go" pilot training initiative. ( More...

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Juan Jimenez 12
This is an absurd piece of news. Pilot training has always been pay-as-you-go, and 1500 hours in a featherweight LSA hardly prepares anyone for a seat on a 737. This should be company-sponsored and paid-for, with a combination of light aircraft and twin time, plus a 737 type rating and plenty of SIM time, and a contractual agreement to work for the company for X amount of time.
SkyAware123 1
IT doesn't say you will qualify for a 737 after doing these hours w Mesa.... does it?
Jim Allen 7
The first thing that came to mind reading this was a memory of the 9/11 hijackers that didn’t need to know how to land. Sorry…I can see it being useful but that’s the first thing that came to mind.

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Bandrunner 2
Stop drinking the water. Just stop taking the pills. Please stop breathing.
Brian De Jong 1
He’s not saying it was aliens…but it was aliens!😂😂 We all know you can’t fix stupid, and now we know you can’t fix Qanon insanity either.

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Stefan Sobol 6
The bigger question should be "How does 1500 hours of putting around the pattern in a LSA actually improve the skills of a pilot to fly modern transport category aircraft in today's airline environment?"

Yes, some experience will improve a pilot's plane handling skills up to a point. But there is a large case of diminishing returns as the hours build.

Now, if you could get 1500 hours of experience in a 737 or A320 for $60/hour, you'd being doing something that is directly transferrable.
Bill Overdue -1
Pfft you sound like a guy that was born with a Curtiss C-46 Commando yoke in his hand! Lighten up a little. Despite the lack of any news, at least they seem to be ok with their gender?
sparkie624 3
A quite interesting and novel idea, however, I am not sure that a/c will offer the experiences of really learning and experiences that other a/c will offer. I hope it works out for them.
Highflyer1950 4
I agree a novel idea. I might add that given the intensity of the training, a consideration be given to, after attaining the basic commercial licence each candidate be enrolled in the Flight Instructor course. Progression to a teaching syllabus and subsequent instructor job would have a pretty good positive effect on rounding out the experience level. Also a quicker way to building the required flight time for an ATP. Addition of a twin engine instrument program would complement the idea. Now to find the required personnel/students with enough money & interest to pull it off?
Dare kola 2
Some experience will improve handling skills in contrôl speed events in motion
Patrick Quaine 2
I have no sympathy for Mesa since they directly contributed to today’s shortage. They were among the first regionals to start the pay for training scheme 20-25 years ago. For those unfamiliar: if you had the minimum time required by the FAA they would hire you if you paid them $10,000 for company training then your salary would be 15-18,000 per year after training. At the same time the major airlines started farming out large numbers of flights to the RJ equipped regional airlines thus ensuring a low paying career for the foreseeable future. Eventually a lot of young people dropped out of aviation when they realized that the future didn’t look promising.
They should just relax the visa requirements for canadian pilots.

Thousands would gladly emigrate for american wages and working conditions. Problem solved.
Brent Kennedy 3
That would probably also solve the issue of pay in Canada overnight as well.

Air Canada and Westjet would lose so many pilots, and their recruitment pool would dry up extremely quickly.
Well maybe American pilots could work in Canada until they would accumulate the 1500 hours to qualify for the big jobs in the USA. It might work for each county’s pilot problems
John Prukop -3
The trouble is, you'd be working in an ALMOST Communistic environment of the likes of Justin Treadue CASTRO. That's right, his Mama was pretty free and messed around a LOT with other heads of State. Justin was an accident. And HE's one of Klasu Schwab's favorites - and getting away with HELL in Canada. Canadians are really under the thumb of Trudeau Fascism.
Bill Overdue -2
That sounds like "relaxing" the border because USA doesn't have enough hotel workers? Oh wait, we dont have 52,000,000 hotel rooms!
Phil Nolden 3
I haven't flown on an airline since I retired in 2004 with some 12,000 hours, and have no intention of ever doing so again. The kids these days just don't have the background and training that used to be the norm at most airlines.
Bill Overdue 1
... add mechanics, ATCs, baggage handlers, ticket counter personnel, floor sweepers. Some join an airline to become a baggage handler suicide statistic!
Brian De Jong 1
Another orensteinian scammy, gimmicky, attempt to repackage the same pay as you go that pilot training has always been. But now we added “unique” to the beginning of the sentence, so it’s a paradigm shift! Just say FO to JO.
Bill Overdue 1
Wow... not unlike the current President, we pay but he doesn't go? The isn't news! It isn't even news worthy! Besides a few freeloaders, most all pilots, including me... have paid their own way! Try harder, Mr Newsman!
Jim Scherrer 1
It's great to see Mesa trying to help young pilots move into ATP jobs. In the meantime, the FAA should add a cognitive test every six months for those > 65, raise the mandatory retirement age to 75 , limit flight hours, and allow >65 to fly the right seat. Problem solved. Older pilots likely will focus on maintaining their mental and physical health to keep the AME Class 1's happy and themselves flying. Most won't have the distraction of tying to "make it" in life. Experienced pilots can keep working and young regional pilots still have the upward mobility to the majors. I believe 15 countries don't age restrict ATP pilots.
I think that is a fine idea to keep qualified people showing newbies what the flying is all about. I flew Army for 12 years then went out to be a 707 Fit engineer. 2 years later I move up to co-pilot 707 and flew with 30 year pilots. Always learning..When my turn came it was comfortable moving up and do what I learned beyond the early years.
Bill Overdue -1
It's my understanding, illegal aliens will soon be eligible for PPL and Commercial Pilot! Ain't it grand?
John Prukop -2
It's a NATIONAL DISGRACE that we have this pool of experienced Airline Transport Pilots who've been turned out to pasture because of some arbitrary and capricious number, determined by some bean counter white coat in a lofty PhD office. There are MANY pilots over the arbitrary number of '65' that are in better physical and mental condition than some of the younger whipper snappers - especially those younger pilots who either volunteered or were coerced into taking deleterious jabs and boosters - making them a walking medical emergency. And even FAA has encouraged this. Trust the GOV? Not so.
Bill Overdue 2
Yes it was, is, and will forever be...a national disgrace!
John Prukop 0
Is Mesa Air still paying its pilots a Nickel per Nautical Mile?


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