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"Pilots Press FAA for Age 60 Waiver"



Monday, April 2, 2007 

Pilots Press FAA for Age 60 Waiver 
By MARC LEVY
The Associated Press


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Three airline pilots have asked an appeals court to
let them keep flying past the mandatory retirement age of 60, a limit
federal regulators plan to raise to 65. 

The pilots said in a petition to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia that they don't want to wait for the Federal Aviation
Administration to complete the process of raising the limit. 

Plaintiffs Joseph G. LoVecchio, of Lancaster; Lewis J. Tetlow, of Bedford,
N.H., who turned 60 on Monday; and Richard C. Morgan of Charlottesville,
Va., argue it is unreasonable to deny their petition for a waiver to a rule
that is likely to be wiped out anyway. Tetford turned 60 on Monday. 

"I'll probably have to look for a flying job, but at age 60, it's always
hard to do that," Morgan said Monday. "It's very daunting and the market is
actually flooded with other airline pilots." 

The pilots, who fly for Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, asked the court in
their motion, filed Thursday, to order the FAA to act on their waiver
requests before April 30. The pilots said FAA officials told them they would
not act on waivers "piecemeal" while the rule revision is being considered. 

An FAA spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment
Monday. 

With airlines slashing pensions and in need of qualified pilots, pressure
has mounted to rewrite the age limit, which has been in place since 1960.
Critics say that flight safety must come first, and that the impact of
raising the age limit is not fully understood. 

Pilots' unions have split on what the limit should be. 

On Jan. 30, the FAA's administrator, Marion Blakey, proposed allowing pilots
to fly until 65, as long as at least one member of the flight crew is under
60. However, Blakey at the time said it would take up to two years for the
rule to take effect. 

The FAA's proposal mirrored a rule adopted two months earlier by the
International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations group. Since the
international standard changed, foreign pilots have been able to fly in the
United States up to age 65, as long as they're accompanied by a co-pilot
under 60 and undergo medical testing every six months.

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