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I've recently booked a flight out to Orlando in 2011 which will be my first flight for 3 years, so I'm getting a little apprehensive. When we booked, we were told that Thomson should have got their new Dreamliners by then so we might be lucky and get the new plane. At first I was quite excited but then a little apprehensive. I now know delivery's been put back, but it did prompt me to think: how do pilots get the experience they need to fly new aircraft?
As an avid viewer of "Aircrash Investigation" (I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. Weirdly it helped me: I know more about planes and it's really sunk in that these really are incredibly rare freak accidents!!! Perhaps I'm the weird one, so I certainly don't recommend it to other fearful flyers!) they always seem to bring up the importance of the experience of the pilots in a type of jet, but how can pilots get that if the plane's new? One flight is going to be a pilot's very first time flying passengers. So what rules are in place to make sure the crew are properly experienced?