The Regional Airline Association (RAA) softens talking points as US Senate focuses on safety of industry

Posted on 22. May, 2009 by in Featured

RAA President Roger Cohen has softened the talking points and is taking a more conciliatory “healing” approach to the Colgan Air 3407 incident, as evidenced by his quote below:

“The advanced technology of our airplanes and systems has evolved to such a high point, become so sophisticated and incredibly reliable, that perhaps everyone, from flight crews to line managers to the CEOs themselves, have become too reliant on them, that we’re not keeping our heads in the game at all times,” he admitted.

A point I made in a past article. While on the surface it appears that the association has taken a more safety conscious step, than just blaming the crew, another quote:

Cohen said board members believe safety is a shared responsibility and will be reaching out immediately “to expand their dialogue with FAA, NTSB, network carriers, safety experts and our labor groups to identify airline industry best practices that are fundamental to the absolute gold standard of safety culture.”

The skeptic in me says it is more related to the announced Congressional hearings (June 10) and recent FAA action against a regional carrier. And in the end Mr. Cohen lays the blame squarely at the feet of the crew:

“We need to consider the psychological factors. Why do highly trained professionals fail to follow their training and experience when faced with unusual situations?”

Here are a couple of factors to consider.
1. Under-paid crews (which get you).
2. Under-trained crews.
3. Under-experienced crews.
4. Over scheduled crews.

If I were the RAA that’s where I’d start, because in a letter to the Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Aviation Sub-committee Bryan Dorgan asked the FAA to look at those factors and more. And BTW, the Regional that was fined (1.3 million), was fined in part, for violating FAA mandated crew maximums (daily and weekly hour limits) and crew rest minimums.

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