FAA proposes new rule in aftermath of Colgan Air 3407 accident

Posted on 16. Jun, 2009 by in Featured

I was set to write an editorial on the FAA’s lack of response to the Colgan Air incident after reading yesterdays USA Today editorial and response. However; today I was pleasantly surprised to see that new rules are being proposed which will undoubtedly save lives. It doesn’t take a aviation safety expert to know fatigued crews are impacting the industry. It is a start but still doesn’t address the primary reason the commuter industries safety is slipping. That reason Sully pointed to clearly in his address to Congress and the Press; “The best and brightest do not want to do the job anymore.”

Training, experience and drawing top notch people are the key to safety in this profession. Certainly flying top notch crews into fatigue can over ride all the above, and today’s decision addresses that. The cause of a lack of top notch crews does not. Simply put, earning a college degree and spending 6 figures on licensing required just to have the bare bones minimum requirements, and then be rewarded with 20K a year job makes it an easy decision. In the past the Major airlines held the draw and made it worth the pain. That is no longer true.

On Yahoo 3 days ago I saw an article on pay; I clicked on it and was devastated to realize that a dog walker in St. Louis makes more than an International First Officer flying hundreds of people across the ocean. A dog walker!

I am still concerned that pending rules will try to put the onus on Aviators. One rumor is 24 hours in domicile prior to a flight. How can that be feasible on 20K a year in New York or Los Angeles? Impossible; and all it will cause is the crews trying to survive to go under the radar. Instead of an hour flight (in the back) prior to their 3 or 4 day, 6 legs a day trip; they will drive 4 or 5 or even 8 hours. They will not have a choice other than quitting. As always it is about the money. Fewer and fewer are signing up at flight schools; standards will have to be lowered or pay raised. That is a one for one correlation.

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