A lot of people get the jitters when flying, and I am almost certain that their fears are going to get worse once they learn about the lack of safety knowledge that Canadian pilots have.
The importance of proper safety knowledge cannot be stressed enough. As a pilot, you're responsible for the lives of hundreds of people at once. And you're also flying a super expensive aircraft. All of that points towards the fact that you should know what you're doing.
Apparently, there are some pretty significant issues when it comes to safety knowledge in Canada, and we are the ones paying the price for it.
There has been a spike in the number of incidents and accidents in the last year. In 2017, there were 94 incidents involving commercial aircraft operators, while the year before there were only 63. The five-year average is 79, so this is a clear indicator that things are getting worse.
So basically, twice a year pilots have to take what is called a "pilot proficiency test". The sketchy part of the whole thing is that Transport Canada doesn't have enough inspectors to handle all the testing. For the last 25 years, they've been using "check pilots".
Now what that really is, is pilots hired by airlines like Westjet and Air Canada who administer the tests. The issue is that they usually already work for the airline. So, they're basically testing their buddies.
From 2005 to 2016, the failure rates from Transport Canada inspectors were 3.96%; however, the failure rates of "check pilots" were only 1.85%. So, I don't want to point any fingers, but it kind of seems like they aren't as harsh with their buddies.
This test tackles everything from their basic knowledge of the plane to their ability to react to a malfunction in the engine. They have to know how to react to circumstances beyond their control like weather and how to keep the plane at a steady and constant speed.
That seems like pretty basic stuff for a pilot, no? I personally would want the fail rate to be 0%. It's not like Canada isn't trying though. They're not a bunch of shmucks who don't care about your safety.
While all the statistics I just mentioned may be true, Transport Canada contacted us to ensure us that they are taking the proper safety precautions necessary and that no one should feel unsafe while flying.
Canada's aviation safety record is actually internationally recognized. According to the International Civil Aviation Organizational Universal Safety Oversight Unit Program (wow that's a mouthful), Canada is 95.28% effective in implementation official requirements. That's actually the top 5 in the world.
You can check out this website for more information regarding their safety practices.
They've assured us that the pilots doing the security checks are only the most experienced and qualified workers, and they are indeed given extra training. They've been doing this for 25 years, so they are confident in these practices.
Having "Check pilots" is a thing in other places as well: the U.S uses "Check Airmen" and Europe uses "Type Rating Evaluators". So, we are not alone in this. We just need to make sure that flying is as safe as possible, which I'm sure is their top priority.