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Pilot Talk, "Airlines resist move to relieve tired pilots"

Stephen,   I don't know if I understand or not. Has the Senate approved
enough funding to keep the 18 cities in the EAS program they had looked at
taking out ?

John O'Neal
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <pilot@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 2:47 AM
Subject: CAA: Pilot Talk, "Airlines resist move to relieve tired pilots"

> Monday, July 16, 2001
> Comment
> Airlines resist move to relieve tired pilots
> USA Today
> The frightening problem is much debated in the airline industry, little
> known outside: Tired pilots are often at the controls of huge passenger
> jets, and some even fall asleep on the job.
> Worse, the chance of fatigue has escalated in the past 2 years, as
> unprecedented flight delays push more pilots' workdays far beyond the
> maximum 16 hours envisioned by federal rules.
> But the airline industry is resisting federal efforts to ensure pilots are
> adequately rested. Last week the Air Transport Association (ATA), the
> industry's lobbying arm, threatened court action to delay the Federal
> Aviation Administration's stricter interpretation of pilot-rest rules,
> insisting that they will cost unspecified millions and worsen delays.
> Some cost impact seems likely, though it's far from clear whether it would
> be significant. That is among the many uncomfortable results of the
> gridlock in the skies and a compelling reason to work faster to solve the
> causes of flight delay. But it's no excuse for allowing tired pilots to
> planes and compromise safety  especially when evidence of serious safety
> concerns is mounting.
> With pilot fatigue linked to crashes of two commercial airliners and a
> plane since 1993, the National Transportation Safety Board, which
> investigates accidents, has been calling on the FAA to issue new rules on
> duty and rest time for 6 years. The board is now investigating fatigue as
> possible cause of a 1999 American Airlines crash in Little Rock that
> 11 including the pilot.
> Research confirms the risks posed by tired pilots: Reports by pilots to
> National Aeronautics and Space Administration showed that 21% of pilot
> errors were fatigue-related and tended to occur during critical descent
> landing phases.
> And pilots are tired. In a 1999 survey at one major airline, hundreds of
> pilots reported incidents of drifting involuntarily to sleep while in the
> cockpit; more than 15% said their "fatigue compromised safety."
> Yet airlines continue to exploit a loophole in the pilot rest rules issued
> in 1985  pushing beyond an already long, 16-hour workday limit. For
> the airlines have interpreted the limit as a maximum for scheduled time on
> duty. Additional time caused by air traffic control or weather delays
> counted. As delays have mounted, so have hours on the job.
> Prodded by an American Airlines pilot concerned about excessive work
> the FAA finally moved to close the loophole and limit the actual hours
> pilots work. Under the new interpretation, pilots can't fly if takeoff
> delays would push them over their 16-hour workday limit.
> Instead of adjusting to the change, the industry is grasping for excuses.
> The ATA argues, for instance, that pilots are adding to flight fatigue by
> living far from their operating bases and commuting hours to get to work.
> But if a pilot comes to work tired, he is breaking other FAA rules and
> should be reported. In fact, if this is a frequent problem, airlines
> resolve it by negotiating limits on where pilots can live  not by pushing
> for weaker safety rules.
> The FAA has given the airlines until November to comply with the rule.
> Instead of wasting time with court challenges, the airlines should put
> rested pilots in their cockpits and heed their No. 1 duty: getting
> passengers to their destinations safely.
> Fatigue can be deadly
> The "number of accidents due to fatigue is difficult to determine and
> to be underestimated," according to the National Transportation Safety
> Board. Recent examples linked to pilot fatigue:
>    June 1999: An American Airlines MD-82 landing in Little Rock skids off
> the runway ramming light polls; 11 people die.
>    August 1997: Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 crashes on landing at Guam,
> killing 228.
>    August 1993: American International Airways DC-8 crashes into a hill on
> landing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All three crewmembers were injured.
> Source: National Transportation Safety Board; USA TODAY research
> *****************************************
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