Jl4671 gum-???

Old Jan 16, 21, 5:36 pm
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Jl4671 gum-???

Every morning, I have been seeing this flight overhead. A JAL plane, though I thought they suspended NRT-GUM. Seems like it takes off then flies around in circles!

Anyone know why or what 4xxx flights are?


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Old Jan 17, 21, 3:49 pm
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The plane flew down from Haneda on the 13th of January, and have been doing circles over Guam 2-3 per day since. They are performing touch and go, training approach to the airport. So I am guessing that they are keeping pilots' certificates current, but why they would not do that in Japan would be a good question.



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Old Jan 17, 21, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by GUM_elite View Post
Every morning, I have been seeing this flight overhead. A JAL plane, though I thought they suspended NRT-GUM. Seems like it takes off then flies around in circles!

Anyone know why or what 4xxx flights are?
It is student pilot training flights which is a part of JAL's in-house pilot training program.

Little background. In Japan there are primary two ways to become a commercial airline pilot. One is to obtain a pilot's license by enlisting in Japan Self Defence Forces (get paid as an enlisted service men), and another is to apply and get accepted into Civil Aviation College (2 years program run by the government, has to pay tuition out of pocket). General aviation is so small in Japan compare with Western Europe or the U.S. that private pilot was never siginificant recruting soure for commercial airline pilots in Japan. Self Defence Forces and Civil Aviation College alone do not supply enough pilots to meet the demand of commerical airline in Japan. Both ANA and JAL have in-house pilot training program that ANA and JAL hire people with no pilot license (zero flying experience), provide training in-house and use as a source to meet demand for their pilots.

JAL used to have a training facility at Napa, California, U.S.A. for in-house pilot training program which was opened in 1971. However, in 2010 when JAL filed for a reoriganization plan in the bankrupcy court the in-house pilot training program was terminated in JAL. 2014 JAL has restarted in-house pilot training program and hired people with zero flying experience to go through a pilot training in-house.

The in-house pilot training, upon hiring employees are first assgined to various sections of JAL to learn overall structure and system of the company. Then trainees will go through three months of in-class pilot introductory training at Tokyo. Then trainees go to Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A and undergo 8 months of single engine aircraft traiing at FFZ (Falcon FIeld) then undergo 6 months of small jet aircraft training at IWA (Phoenix-Mesa Gateway). Then trainees return to Japan and start 737 simulator training (ground training) at Tokyo.

After those were completed, trainees will go to Guam and undergo actual 737 flight training at GUM. The flight you have observed is the part of the training flights being conducted at GUM. After the training at GUM trainees will undergo 6 months of OJT (on the job training) on the actual commercial revenue flights on 737. After these trainings have been completed then the trainees receive an official position as a second officer on 737-800 at JAL.
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Old Jan 17, 21, 9:11 pm
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Interesting explanation AlwaysAisle. That explains why I see so many really young FOs on 737 flights, seems like not so much on widebodies.
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