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Letter from Congressman to Buddy Casey CJC

suupah

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13 May 2009


Mr. Casey,

Like most of America, I was disturbed to read the recent reports from the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation into the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air. As a pilot and frequent flier, I find it irresponsible – bordering on negligent – that Colgan Air management found it acceptable to put an air crew in charge of passengers' lives with insufficient training to control the aircraft to which they were assigned under the conditions that existed at the time.

As a licensed commercial air carrier, your company has a statutory and moral responsibility to ensure the safety of your passengers. However, based on NTSB reports and public statements by Colgan officials, I am left to assume that your company is not conducting sufficient efforts to investigate the backgrounds and qualifications of your pilots; is requiring only the minimum training and safety requirements spelled out by the Federal Aviation Administration; and is making little to no effort to ensure that pilots have sufficient rest prior to taking control of your aircraft. While your company's guidelines may meet the letter of the law, they clearly do not satisfy the spirit of these regulations or the reasonable expectations your customers have that Colgan Air will make every effort to ensure their safety.

As a pilot with 13 years experience, I found the articles damning in reporting that the pilot was untrained on the aircraft's stall warning recovery procedures for the onboard systems, and that the pilot and co pilot likely did not have sufficient rest before being given control of the plane by your company. Even worse was the anemic defense issued by Colgan Air that, "[a] stick pusher demonstration in an aircraft simulator is not required by the FAA and was not part of the training syllabus." Even the most basic pilot training – from Cessnas to bombers – includes basic training to correct a stall. It is becoming clear that the 50 deaths that occurred that night in February were not only tragic, but likely avoidable.

Despite your company's obvious efforts to deflect all blame to the air crew, the evidence outlined in the press reports thus far indicates that Colgan Air also deserves a significant amount of scrutiny regarding company policies and practices. Therefore, I request your immediate response to the following questions:

1) Do Colgan Air's minimum flight requirements for air crew exceed FAA guidelines, or simply meet them? Do you still find those regulations to be sufficient?

2) What are Colgan Air's minimum training and qualifying requirements for pilots on their respective aircraft?

3) Given the passive attitude expressed by your company in investigating the background of new pilots, is Colgan Air considering implementing more stringent background checks in the future?

4) In light of the information revealed by the NTSB thus far, is Colgan Air planning to review and update its minimum flight requirements for pilots?

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,


John Boccieri

Member of Congress


Cc: John Erwin "Jeb" Barrett, Director, Flight Standards

Darrell Mitchell, Director, Crew Training

Daryl LaClair, Director, Safety
 

suupah

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Colgan far exceeds many of the FAA minimums of flight time and training.

atp mins 1500tt colgan 2200 on the sf and 3000 on the q. The q even requires 1000 pic time. That is more inline with a mainline carrier.
 

Axel

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Must be an election year. No, that was last year.
 

samballs

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d bags, that was a good letter, what do you think Colgan is doing a good job?
 

suupah

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d bags, that was a good letter, what do you think Colgan is doing a good job?

i'm not saying that but they will be able to satisfactorily answer these questions. could have probably asked tougher questions
 

samballs

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The questions are nothing, a lawyer will always have a good answer. The lashing he gives them shows he gets it.
 

Bako Cap

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Change the laws Congressman. It is your job to make sure that the "spirit" of the law is well written.

What a jackass
 

Rez O. Lewshun

Save the Profession
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
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Phone rings....

Phil (Trenary)... Its Buddy.... lookie here... I got this letter from a pilot congressman.... Is Nikki around?




I bet the Colgans are glad PCL is in charge....
 

labbats

Zulu who?
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Send your letter to the FAA instead of the company following their rules.
 

samballs

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Send your letter to the FAA instead of the company following their rules.
well, he probably knows better, the FAA doesn't do anything that might upset airline management. The FAA should just be lumped in with financial management, they do nothing and still get paid.
 

jonjuan

Honey Ryder
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Feb 26, 2004
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Wonder if CAL management was CC'd. Why again did you switch regional partners? Could it be you wanted to save a few dollars? Isn't it true that expressjet has among the best pilot contract with the best work rules in the regional industry? Ooopsss......
 

samballs

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Wonder if CAL management was CC'd. Why again did you switch regional partners? Could it be you wanted to save a few dollars? Isn't it true that expressjet has among the best pilot contract with the best work rules in the regional industry? Ooopsss......
Pay is not the problem, XJT has hired very low time pilots before
 

FO 4 Life

2 Mai Tai minimum
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Aug 5, 2003
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Wonder if CAL management was CC'd. Why again did you switch regional partners? Could it be you wanted to save a few dollars? Isn't it true that expressjet has among the best pilot contract with the best work rules in the regional industry? Ooopsss......


Express Jet used to have 6 month upgrades and PFT. Just because they happen to be better now doesn't mean it was or will be that way.

Eagle got their -145 cabin trainer from Express dumping it during training, but at least no one was onboard.
 
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