Dayton airport pilot shortage grounds planes

If we could get more trained, safe pilots into the cockpit, PSA alone could get dozens of planes back into the air today. That means more planes on DAY, more flights on DAY, and more destinations for Dayton businesses.

In 1959, the FAA required pilots to retire at 60, and in 2007 raised the mandatory retirement age to 65. The FAA’s current age rule of 65 is not based on pilot training, safety or pilot performance. If a pilot is 65 years and 1 day old, that doesn’t mean they are a bad pilot. Additionally, new pilots must undergo 1,500 hours of flight training, which costs about $200,000, to gain access to the jet’s cockpit. To gain training time, many pilots fly single-engine aircraft such as crop dusters. I’m not a pilot, but I can tell you that a single-engine plane is not the same as a regional commuter plane with two jet engines, 75 passengers and modern aviation technology. The FAA needs to come out of the dark ages and change the rules to allow these pilots to meet their demands using modern technology and simulators that simulate real-world aircraft and environments. By the way, at a cost of $200,000, we have a real-world equity problem that keeps thousands of students out of pilot training.

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