Lufthansa trains many of its pilots in Arizona, in Beech Bonanza aircraft (a high-performance single-engine, piston-powered airplane). I suspect many of Lubitz's hours were in this kind of aircraft. I doubt he had more than 300 hours of jet time.
As a side note: I have a couple hundred hours of PIC time in an ex-Lufthansa Bonanza that my father bought years ago. It's a great plane. It's no Airbus, though.
|A Lufthansa Bonanza in Arizona.|
In the U.S., an Airline Transport Rating requires 1500 hours of flight time. With a fresh ATP license, most pilots are unable to find work at a major carrier. If they do, it's in a commuter-airline cockpit. Many fresh ATPs (in the U.S.) are overjoyed to find work with a cargo carrier. No one expects to get a "front office" job with a major airline with less than 2500 hours.
I guess they do things differently in Europe.
The Germanwings "accident" would have been much less likely 30 years ago for the simple reason that back then, most cockpits had three-person crews. Since that time, cockpit ergonomics have improved to the point where it is feasible (not to mention economical) to have a two-person crew. But now the question is: Do we want that, really?
Many questions will come out of the Germanwings disaster. Let's hope many good answers will follow.
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