The intent of the First Officer Qualification (FOQ) ruling was to improve the quality of first officers flying for Part 121 carriers. In order to test this, a study was completed at a regional carrier to compare pilots hired prior to the FOQ ruling with those hired after the FOQ ruling. The study compared 232 pilots hired from 2005–2008 with 184 pilots hired from August 2013–November 2014. The pilots’ date of hire as compared to the date the FOQ ruling went into effect defined the input (Source) variable. Initial training defined the output (Success) variables. The airline name and all identifying information were removed from the data set. The pilots were compared in three areas: total flight hours, training completion and extra training events. The results of the study show that, while pilots hired after the FOQ ruling had a significantly higher number of total flight hours, that group was more likely to need additional training and less likely to successfully complete training than those who were hired prior to FOQ. The study shows that there may have been some unintended consequences of the FOQ ruling and that more extensive research is needed to confirm that these results are representative of regional carriers across the industry.
Shane, Nancy R.
"The Impact of the First Officer Qualification Ruling: Pilot Performance in Initial Training,"
Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.7771/2159-6670.1118