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It is our task to build and operate the airways system of the country. At present we have a 33,000-mile network, complete with radio ranges, beacons, emergency landing fields and, above all, a complicated trafficcontrol system to prevent collisions. About 7,500 employees work in this division of C. A. A.-over two-thirds of our staff.
In addition, we direct the expenditure of Federal funds for civil airport construction and use the powers granted to us to supervise other civil airport construction throughout the country. Some $200,000,000 has been appropriated by Congress in 1942-43 for this purpose and we have a staff of 200 in our Airports Division.
“Enforcement of Safety Regulations” is the name of our third division. Its function is to see that the standards set by the Civil Aeronautics Board for aircraft and airmen are lived up to. Some 900 employees are in this group. Most of them are highly trained technicians who analyze the engineering data, supervise the construction, and flight-test the prototype—that is, the first original airplane-of every civil aircraft produced in the United States from the tiny thousand-pound Piper Cub to the huge 86,000-pound Boeing clipper.
Those original flight tests are an extremely complicated affair from the engine and pilot standpoint and often require many months to carry on. Upon their being performed efficiently depend the safety of the people who ride those airplanes later, and I think it is to the credit of this division that no aircraft type has been put in service that has developed any serious defect later. This reflects the very careful testing that is given.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BOREN. You said that sometimes several months elapsed between the beginning and completion of these tests? Would that have the effect of retarding production ?
Mr. BURDEN. No; it does not have the effect of retarding production.
Mr. BOREN. What would you say might be the average flight-test period?
Mr. BURDEN. It would depend upon the size of the airplane and the difficulties encountered. I would say for a transport airplane of thirty or forty thousand pounds, probably between 2 and 6 months, sometimes less. There is a good deal of variation.
Mr. BOREN. And this, of course, refers only to the completed new type ?
Mr. BURDEN. That is right, and only to the first airplane. You see, the production line on other airplanes of the same type goes right along while the flight test of the prototype is taking place, so that it does not retard the production for that period. The later production airplanes are given very short routine flight tests also by C. A. A.
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection, is 2 to 6 months required by the Board or by the manufacturer?
Mr. BURDEN. The period required for the test is not a fixed one. It depends on the physical time necessary for the airplane to complete the tests. We have certain tests which we believe should be carried out, which if the airplane is absolutely perfect, could be run
through in a very short time. If the airplane has certain things that must be corrected, it takes longer, and the length of time necessarily depends on the number of defects you run into, rather than any set requirement by the Board or by the Administration.
The CHAIRMAN. In that process of inspection, are your technicians in contact with the manufacturer while he is conducting his performance test?
Mr. BURDEN. Yes; we follow the airplane from the moment it is conceived. We check the original drawing. We check it in the course of construction to see that the methods of construction are satisfactory, and when the first example is completed, we test it in actual flight to be sure that it operates in the way that it should. So, it is a cooperative project from the beginning. It is a matter of policing in which we come in and question what has been done after it has been done. It is a joint effort.
This Safety Regulation Division also tests each aspirant for a pilot's certificate, both as to physical and flying qualifications, and super the maintenance and operating standards of all air lines, domestic and foreign. Most important, it decides how much of the responsibility for maintaining these standards can be delegated. And, that is a very important point. As this industry grows larger and larger it will be absolutely impossible to have the Government inspect every little thing that is done and we must delegate some of the responsibility for doing the job right to the people who are doing it. We already have gone a long way in that direction with very satisfactory results.
Finally the Civilian Pilot Training program-now the C. A. A. War Training Service-makes use of an additional 700 employees. This remarkable program was initiated as part of the Administration's duties in promoting civil aviation. It required the standardization of flying practices and constant supervision over some 600 privately owned flying schools whose facilities, together with those of about the same number of colleges, have been developed into a highly effective pilot-training organization. These schools all existed. They were, however, teaching according to different methods. They were supervised sufficiently to be sure that their instructors were up to the high standard necessary, and their airplanes properly maintained.
However, many of them were not in sound financial condition, because their business was just what they could pick up. The Government put the whole privately owned flight school industry on a souná basis when in 1939 it decided to finance the training of pilots. The C. A. A. program instituted at that time made is possible for young men and women in college and some without college training to take flying at Government expense. The C. A. A. taking the responsibility for supervising the activities of the flight schools to be sure that a high standard of instruction was maintained.
The program converted what had been, by and large, a financially unsound industry into a very useful adjunct to our national defense. So, it has been a very satisfactory situation.
Mr. HOLMES. Mr. Chairman-
Mr. HOLMES. Approximately how many pilots have you actually trained under this pilot-training program since we passed the legislation ? Mr. BURDEN. Approximately 75,000, prior to December 7. Mr. HOLMES. Actually completed the training?
Mr. BURDEN. Actually completed the training; yes. Different pilots received different amounts of training. Some took only an elementary course of 35 hours; others took an elementary and a secondary, and a few took all our 5 courses. Graduates of all 5 courses have approximately 160 hours flying time.
Mr. HARRIS. Did you say December 7, 1941 ?
Mr. BURDEN. I could not give you that accurately. We have trained approximately 2,600 girls.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that 75,000 men, or 75,000 separate divisions, or 75,000 courses; that is, would that be 75,000 individuals some of whom have taken one and some more courses?
Mr. BURDEN. 75,000 men and women. The number of courses given was much higher. We have 5 courses, elementary, secondary, cross-country, instructor, and the Link instrument course, which you might compare to the 4 years of ordinary college course. Some people just become freshmen, others go right straight through and graduate and become postgraduates, so to speak, taking all 5.
The CHAIRMAN. That is conducted on a contract basis! Mr. BURDEN. Done entirely on a contract basis, with existing civilian schools, as I described. All we do is to supervise the program and see that it is carried out safely and uniformly.
The CHAIRMAN. About what are the necessities for students in those courses?
Mr. BURDEN. Well, the elementary course is 35 hours and costs about $20 an hour. That would be about $500 or $600. I will have figures prepared for you to show the total cost for each separate
(The table is as follows:)
The total cost of carrying a trainee through the elementary, secondary, and cross-country courses, to the completion of the latter course, would be $3,246.30.
The total cost of carrying a trainee through the first four courses; i. e., elementary, secondary, cross-country, and Link instrument, would be $3,982.80. Total cost of carrying a trainee through the five courses, prescribed for graduates of the secondary instructor course; i. e., elementary, secondary, cross-country, Link instrument, and secondary instructor courses, would be $4,937.30.
Mr. REECE. Are you familiar with the girls' attitude in connection with this training?
Mr. BURDEN. They have done extremely well. I have just completed a tour of our schools which are now training men for the Army, as I will explain further along in my testimony. We have now about 30 or 40 girl instructors who are actually training men on active duty in the Army and Navy and doing a perfectly splendid job of it.
It is our hope in the new training program which is being established, which I will tell you something more about in a few minutes, to train a substantial number of women for instruction purposes. In the elementary courses they do a very good job of teaching, excellent.
Mr. REECE. How many of those 75,000 men that you have trained have actually gone into the service!
Mr. BURDEN. We don't have exact figures on that. However, it is very high. A sample poll taken before Pearl Harbor showed that 40 percent were in the services at that time. The proportion is, of course, higher now. Since July 1942 we have been training only men enlisted in Army or Navy.
Mr. ÅALL. Along that line, when they entered the service, after taking this training, are they considered flyers, or do they have to take the basic Army or Navy training all over again?
Mr. BURDEN. In most cases we do not turn out completed flyers but merely start men on their flying careers through a simple elementary course. In the case of Navy, almost every man who goes into naval flying now takes our elementary course, which is a 35-hour course. The Navy credits him with a substantial amount of flying time on the basis of this C. A. A. experience. The exact amount depends upon the results of a proficiency test given by Navy upon his entrance into the Navy school.
This credit is important, but just as important is the fact that our graduates have been taught the elements of flying at low cost in cheap planes. Moreover, men who know actually how to fly before they get into a high-pressure naval school, under military discipline, are much less likely to flunk out than men who go in with no previous flight experience.
In the Navy, for example, the last group of cadets who had not had C. P. T. training experienced a 20-percent wash-out rate by the time their class was graduated. In other words, out of a thousand, 200 flunked out, whereas of our graduates only 4 percent washed out. The reason is that a man who knows how to fly is less upset by military discipline and high-pressure study, which he has to get when he goes into a military school.
Mr. HALL. These students while in this course get no pay?
Mr. BURDEN. The Navy now puts all its men in an active-duty status and they are getting paid.
Mr. HALL. When they take this C. P. T. course ?
Mr. Hall. When they are not enlisted in the Army or Navy Reserve, do they get paid as students while taking this course?
Mr. BURDEN. No. But all our students are now Reservists.
Mr. BURDEN. We are doing two jobs in training for the Army, which I can outline to you now. One is the training of several thousand men suitable for instructors or transport pilots. Those are men whom we recruited ourselves and were then enlisted in the Army in the active Reserve prior to the President's ban on enlistment. Those men are not being paid by the Army or by us.
The Army has just asked us to do an additional training job of very considerable magnitude, which will involve giving practically all of the present backlog of Army cadets—that is, men enlisted in the Army and now waiting around for flying training-a course of about 10 or 12 hours in light airplanes. These men will come to active duty and will be paid by the Army.
So only a small proportion of the total number of students to be trained in the next year will not receive pay from Army or Navy.
Mr. Hall. In view of the fact now you are really performing services for the Army or the Navy, have you given any consideration to the question as to whether they should all be paid ?
Mr. BURDEN. We have been working with the Army and with Bureau of the Budget on the question of compensation for these men, and particularly compensation for their travel. Of course, they get their subsistence, as you know. They do not have to pay that. We have been discussing with the Army the possibility of finding some method to pay them, but the Army does not want to put them on an active-duty status at this particular point because they do not want to provide supervision for them.
Mr. HALL. Unless they are in either service, they cannot get any insurance protection, can they?
Mr. BURDEN. I am not positive about that.
Mr. Hall. The Government does not give them any insurance. So that while they are being trained to go into the Navy or the Army they are taking all of the chances that go into flying and they have not got the protection of that insurance that the Army or the Navy men have.
Mr. BURDEN. Well, that I would have to check up on and give you a definite answer. I believe that they have some insurance.
Mr. BULWINKLE. Let me ask the witness this question: $45 for the elementary training included $10 for insurance, did it not?' That was included in the bill when it was passed, was it not?
Mr. BURDEN. Not $10 a hour.
Mr. HALL. But not like, as I understand, the Army and the Navy men who can get a $10,000 policy, I think. Can a student in your schools do that?
Mr. BURDEN. I will get the answer to that and insert it in the record. Our men on active duty are covered by the regular insurance for Army and Navy flyers. This is a $10,000 accident and dismemberment policy. Our men on inactive duty are covered by C. P. T. insurance which amounts to $3,000 accident and dismemberment and further medical and sickness coverage.