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Senate Hearing on Regional Pilots

difete

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Just saw the C-SPAN on the whole hearing. Very interesting stuff. They are going to be looking at changes in the regs so that airlines will have access to the primary checkrides records for a pilot candidate in interviews.

They are reaming the FAA for not implementing, or for dragging their feet on implementing more than 500 NTSB recommendations.

The senate committee is asking all departments of transportation officials on things like:

1) Pilot compensation related to safety. (Examples were mentioned as concerning salaries being too low for pilot's to afford hotel or crashpad rentals to commute a day earlier and have proper rest.)

2) NTSB recommendations to FAA related to the different levels of fatigue comparing a major airline pilot flying 2 to 3 long legs, compared to same flight time/duty time of a regional pilot flying 5 to 8 legs.

3) Training records accesibility, requiring airlines to have full access to FAA training records. As of to date an airline can ask a pilot to disclose the records by signing a waiver to his privacy. The only records the airline can obtain were only those provided by previous employers.

4) Concern of the FAA inspectors being "too friendly" with the airlines assigned to.

5) Airline training department record keeping, and renewal of standards for testing and failing airline ground and flight checks.

6) The impact of outsourcing maintenance, and the limited ability of the FAA to oversee the outsourced maintenance facilities. (Example was quoted of an A320 flown empty to El Salvador for maintenance, and then flow back to USA empty for return to service. Can the FAA oversee a maintenance facility oversees?)

7) The FAA chairman complained of his predecessor asking for more money from the Feds to better equip the FAA to manage all these changes, and being retaliated upon by being fired by the last administration.

The chairman and all senators were increasingly alarmed because of all the details on the COLGAN CVR. They read over and over the CVR, quoting both pilots, and saying that: the pilots stated their disbelief of being hired so inexperienced, expressed concern about their current inexperence on their current flying conditions, and concern about their pay, and rest.

I think something good might come out of this, and hope things do change to the improvement of our safety, and QOL. That unfortunate accident of COLGAN might be the start of a new change for all airline pilots.

It is the first time I have heard a CVR so reveiling of our current state in these economic times as emerging regional pilots. The FAA administrator even confessed to not having the related experience as being a regional pilot, and knowing what it is like to work as one. He said he came from the military, where major airlines picked them with good salaries, because majors knew these ex military guys had options getting into much higher paying jobs with their qualifications, so airlines had to lure them with better compensation.

The conclusion seems to be that the FAA is going to gather with everyone (NTSB, Airline reps, FAA field inspectors, safety institutions, etc...) and come with viable changes and solutions to the current trend. I think he said they will meet next monday.

Also the Senate will convene again with reps. from all airlines next week to question them about the current situation. Looks interesting. I never watch C-SPAN, but this discussion was a good one. I just want to share with you all, and if you have the time to watch it, I recommend it.

Other than that, fly safe.

(grammar and spelling were not checked. Any comments expressed about other carriers... example: MESA, do not expresively represent the view of the poster of this thread;). All opinions about me, will be ignored)
 

ImbracableCrunk

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Anyone know if this hearing is available online?
 

Headfake14

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thanks for posting that...I'll watch it later.

It is unfortunate that this Colgan crew has become a bit of an escape goat...but perhaps necessary. I rememeber several conversations during my ASA days with my FOs...one day someone is going to "auger one in" because both pilots had less total experience than most of us had inside the outter marker. So now we've had two...the Pinnacle RJ, and the Q400.

I remember 4day trips on the ATR...legs were...7, 6, 6, 7...not always getting long rest on the layovers.

I will say ASA has one of the best training programs I've ever gone through. In my opinion.
 

Headfake14

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Oh jeez....coffee still kicking in, plus distractions from the dogs and kids...no school.

SCAPEGOAT was term I was looking for.
 

GRAAB HIRBOUBI

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I agree that I am troubled that these hearings are using an awfully wide brush.

My problem is that at my airline, no one could confuse our relationship with FAA as "Friendly". Nor is our training sub-standard. We have ASAP, we will have AQP. Most of our maintenance is in house. We have a new pilot mentoring program. We are doing it right. That doesn't mean things can't get better.

Pay is an issue. Flight/duty times need to be changed.

The government is all concerned about us now but during bankruptcy they had no problem giving the company the muscle to cut our and other companies pay/pension/work rules.

I don't think anyone outside the pilots were concerned about safety during that ordeal. And I can't think of a time I was more dangerous than during those years. Yet we had no accidents.

Another issue I have is the failures. In 30 years of flying I have gathered a few pinks. Had 2 (8 years apart) because the FBO provided aircraft that were unsuitable for the checkride and we had to discontinue, had one because of oral questions I was asked out of a maintenance manual that the company didn't provide. And the last because an FO missed something during a maneuver I was doing above ATP standards. Without the context of a pink, failures mean nothing.

Did the Dash Captain fail 8 check rides getting the Type? Were they all in 121 or 91. I instructed for a big pilot mill in Florida where examiners failed people just to keep their stats straight.

No pilot is immune to stupid pilot tricks. For mainline to be shown above such occurrences is false. Taking off without flaps, landing in a thunderstorm with the chief pilot in the Captains seat, messing up go arounds,...

The truly sad part of this circus is that no one will care in the end, unless ticket price go up.
 
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Vne

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Its all about the money and managements desire to NOT spend any! PERIOD.

If the FED's were truly interested it only takes a re-write of the Duty and rest regulations and the pilot unions to demand trip and duty rigs. How about 12 on 12 off NO reduced NO Compensatory.....12 hours duty and bingo you turn into a pumpkin.and go to the hotel or home....

It cost a company nothing to have a crew sitting around several hours so they can fly that last trip out for a short RON . Really how many of you think a 8 to 10 hour layover is the exception and not the rule.

It has been the same for the last 25 years and until the FEDs get serious and stop dancing to RAA and ATA tune it will NOT change.....rant over
 

pilotyip

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More time away?

Its all about the money and managements desire to NOT spend any! PERIOD.

If the FED's were truly interested it only takes a re-write of the Duty and rest regulations and the pilot unions to demand trip and duty rigs. How about 12 on 12 off NO reduced NO Compensatory.....12 hours duty and bingo you turn into a pumpkin.and go to the hotel or home....

It cost a company nothing to have a crew sitting around several hours so they can fly that last trip out for a short RON . Really how many of you think a 8 to 10 hour layover is the exception and not the rule.

It has been the same for the last 25 years and until the FEDs get serious and stop dancing to RAA and ATA tune it will NOT change.....rant over

I found that panels lack of knowledge of the industry amazing. Babbit was almost talking at Kindergarten level to get point across. One Senator wanted the airlines to fire anyone who failed a check ride. Babbitt came back and said that would force check airman to pass people in order to save their careers, unlike today where a pilot who fails is giving training in that area and rechecked. Or you could increase the FAA by a factor of 10 and have the FAA do all the checks. BTW Not to flame here but there are unintended consequences to for every fix. Are you willing to spend more time on the road in rest? Fewer days off at home for the same number of flight hours, or the same number of days at home and fewer flight hours.
 

Vne

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BTW Not to flame here but there are unintended consequences to for every fix. Are you willing to spend more time on the road in rest? Fewer days off at home for the same number of flight hours, or the same number of days at home and fewer flight hours.

Yes, I would....as I'm sure my union will negotiate the appropriate trip/duty rigs that still give me the equal pay check and the QOL that one has now.
Why do concede that pilots and not management would "eat" the cost of these new regulations?
Why are pilots so quick to reach into their pockets to solve a management problem?
 

DiverDriver

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Lautenberg is all over the place! He wants to end our careers without considering that the person giving the checkride could be wrong or that the training leading to the checkride is inadequate. He said the flight into the Hudson was a United flight. And he said Sullenberger's name wrong. Wow.
 

Captain Morgan

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Yeah, this worries me. Tell me we have reps there to make sure that these brain farts in the Senate understand what's really happening and to remind them of the implications that will result from certain changes they think are so perfect and necessary. I pinked my oral for my CFI. It's the only pink I've ever had. I'm not perfect. There were a few times that I probably should've pinked but I was able to redeem myself with a retrain (121). Sometimes the simulator breaks, sometimes the timing at which the checkairman says, "deer on the runway!" is not perfect. Whatever happens that people have no control over, I hope pilots careers aren't ended because of this crap.
 

DiverDriver

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Babitt says airlines should follow Cargo Carriers and buy commuting crew members hotel rooms to be rested before starting trips!
 

Beetle007

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The ironony is that people with less experience are less likely to have had a blemish on their training record.

Take a pilot with 10,000 hours and worked at 5 airlines compared to a pilot with 300 hours and no airline experience. Which pilot is more likely to have had a blemish on their training record?
 

DC8Driver

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Yes, I would....as I'm sure my union will negotiate the appropriate trip/duty rigs that still give me the equal pay check and the QOL that one has now.
Why do concede that pilots and not management would "eat" the cost of these new regulations?
Why are pilots so quick to reach into their pockets to solve a management problem?


Sure, why not work less for the same money?

The airlines are going broke now, why not speed things up?

It's the airlines fault you live in SEA and commute to LGA. "I'm tired". No Sh^t Sherlock. Commuting sucks. Why do it?
 

samballs

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Sure, why not work less for the same money?

The airlines are going broke now, why not speed things up?

It's the airlines fault you live in SEA and commute to LGA. "I'm tired". No Sh^t Sherlock. Commuting sucks. Why do it?
I've been forced into 4 bases in 5 years, should I move to each one. I own a house have a kid and wife. Really should I move everytime I get displaced. You're smart like a senator
 

Vne

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You're smart like a senator

Now thats funny....
Look Airlines have been squeezing money from generous pilot scheduling for years.....pay back is hell

The reason Regional airlines have more failures is not necessarily experience. Frankly its money.
Training is a cost and majors are willing to spend more then regionals because contracts regulate training and failures more at that level then a regional where its failures are looked upon not as a programs deficiency but rather an individuals failure and more times then not the individual is shown the door rather then scheduling more training.
 

79%N1

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Before companies pay you for a hotel when you commute, they will prohibit commuting. They may call the bluff of any pilot that says they will quit first. Do the math. Say you are a Regional Captain making $77k+ a year. Are you going to quit that job? Where else are you going to work, now, for that money - at least in this industry. (And for those that say I can get another job in a snap and replace that income, not so, at least for 90% of the folks out there)

So, a company may say you have 6 months to move to base, or they will let you go. With all Regionals being forced to downsize, this could be a way to trim extra pilots.

Not saying this is what I endorse, but it is more likely than the company plopping down $50/night for hundreds of commuters! Never happen!
 
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