Senate hearing re Regional airlines

suupah

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Posts
1,779
Total Time
859
ATW Daily News

document.writeln(AAMB5);​
Colgan rebuts overscheduling allegations; Senate plans June hearings

Friday May 15, 2009 var era_rc = { ERADomain: 'atwonline.firstlightera.com' };
Colgan Air attempted to push back against allegations that the pilots of the Q400 that crashed Feb. 12 near Buffalo did not get adequate rest prior to the flight because of possible overscheduling, and the US Senate announced it will hold hearings next month to examine "stunning" issues raised by National Transportation Safety Board hearings on the accident.
At the hearings this week, it was revealed that First Officer Rebecca Shaw had been up for nearly 36 hr. prior to taking the right seat of the doomed aircraft after commuting all night from her home in Seattle, while Capt. Marvin Renslow had commuted to Newark from Tampa on Feb. 9 to begin a two-day trip on Feb. 10 (ATWOnline, May 14). According to NTSB, neither Shaw nor Renslow had accommodations other than the crew room at EWR.
"We want to emphasize that if there was a fatigue issue with [the pilots], it was not due to their work schedule," Colgan said in a statement issued yesterday. "Colgan's flight crew schedule provided rest periods for each of them that were far in excess of FAA requirements."
Renslow was off duty for 22 consecutive hours before the flight and Shaw had been off for three days. "The way they manage their rest time is their own business," Colgan VP-Flight Operations Harry Mitchel told board members. "We hire professionals. They should show up fresh and ready to fly that aircraft."
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate aviation operations, safety and security subcommittee, said his panel will hold hearings next month on "gaps in the existing airline safety system." He added, "The disclosures [relating to the Colgan crash] about crew rest, compensation, training and many other issues demonstrate the urgent need for Congress and the FAA to take actions to make certain the same standards exist for

both commuter airlines and the major carriers."
 

Andy Neill

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,293
Total Time
6200
...the urgent need for Congress and the FAA to take actions to make certain the same standards exist for both commuter airlines and the major carriers.
What regulatory standards exist for majors that do not exist for the regionals?
 

PilotGeek

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Posts
6
Total Time
5000
...the urgent need for Congress and the FAA to take actions to make certain the same standards exist for both commuter airlines and the major carriers.
What regulatory standards exist for majors that do not exist for the regionals?
the difference isn't regulatory, but something is different. For the last 3 airliners that crashed resulting in fatalities, 2 things were true:
1) they were Regional airlines (Pinnacle, Comair and now Colgan)
2) there was no reason for the crash but simple pilot incompetence taking the plane out of its performance envelope.

I will be very surprised if the end result isn't some new regulations regarding Regional Airlines pilot recruiting and training.
 

doh

Jump seat shrink
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Posts
4,017
Total Time
48 yrs
...the urgent need for Congress and the FAA to take actions to make certain the same standards exist for both commuter airlines and the major carriers.
What regulatory standards exist for majors that do not exist for the regionals?

There are many different contractual standards at the majors that don't exist at the regionals. There are no regulatory standards that are different. It is way too much to hope for that congress will update the regulatory standards to close the duty time gap that exists between the regs and the major airline contracts.
 

rustypigeon

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Posts
98
Total Time
9700
So give me a proposed regulation that would fix this....
Require an ATP for both PIC and SIC in a transport catagory aircraft. That will push the payscale up too. I doubt it will happen, but it will solve a couple of issues, and it is certainly a reasonable requirement.
 

sweptback

Guess that wasn't solid
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Posts
1,876
Total Time
.
Require an ATP for both PIC and SIC in a transport catagory aircraft. That will push the payscale up too. I doubt it will happen, but it will solve a couple of issues, and it is certainly a reasonable requirement.
How would that fix anything? Instead of instructing 200-300 hours before getting the regional job, the applicant would just instruct a couple years more to get 1500, then take the checkride. A instructor busting his balls could probably do it in a year.

That applicant still hasn't seen high performance aircraft, icing, class B airport ops, or anything that would be helpful to his future career. But he has an ATP, so that must make him competent.
 

BoilerUP

Citation style...
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Posts
5,311
Total Time
1500+
Require an ATP for both PIC and SIC in a transport catagory aircraft. That will push the payscale up too. I doubt it will happen, but it will solve a couple of issues, and it is certainly a reasonable requirement.
While I don't think its necessarily a bad thing to propose all airline pilots have an ATP...having "Airline Transport Pilot" on your certificate won't prevent a crew from performing a Stupid Pilot Trick and mishandling an aircraft like what happened in this case, nor will it necessarily mean new airline pilots are any more experienced (especially if part 135 minimums remain at 1200 hours).
 

Whataburger

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Posts
2,961
Total Time
40teen
I like the ATP idea. It's a tough line to draw. You have this situation, and you have situations like the two old and "experienced" dudes driving the corporate jet into the ground approaching Houston a couple of years ago. Mistakes will NEVER be taken out of the cockpit regardless of age or experience.
 

rustypigeon

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Posts
98
Total Time
9700
Requiring an ATP will keep the < 1500 hour pilots out of the cockpit. Not every ATP is a competent pilot, but raising the bar to 1500 hours is reasonable and needs to be done.

How much experience can a 250 hour pilot have anyway? Do you guys actually think raising the bar to 1500 is a bad thing? I would love to hear your logic on that one.
 

PBRstreetgang

Registered Abuser
Joined
Mar 4, 2002
Posts
3,241
Total Time
Total
How would that fix anything? Instead of instructing 200-300 hours before getting the regional job, the applicant would just instruct a couple years more to get 1500, then take the checkride. A instructor busting his balls could probably do it in a year.

That applicant still hasn't seen high performance aircraft, icing, class B airport ops, or anything that would be helpful to his future career. But he has an ATP, so that must make him competent.
It would eliminate or severely hamper the "puppy mill" pilot training companies. This business has gone from hiring the most qualified pilot to hiring the best FICO score. "If you can and will, sign on the bottom line we will make you an airline pilot" vs "We only hire the best and brightest" I am sorry, I have flown with a few guys who have no business in the cockpit of anything larger than a 152 and I cringe when I think I may have to fly in the back of the plane when they are in the front.
Good luck we are all gonna need it!
PBR
 

PilotGeek

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Posts
6
Total Time
5000
So give me a proposed regulation that would fix this....
They are politicians. Their new rules may not fix anything, but they feel the compelling need to do something, like in the Jessica Dubroff aftermath.

It will probably be along the lines of min number of hours experience, more training requirements and increased crew rest requirements.
 

Jet_Dreamer

Living The Dream??
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Posts
291
Total Time
enough
Requiring an ATP will keep the < 1500 hour pilots out of the cockpit. Not every ATP is a competent pilot, but raising the bar to 1500 hours is reasonable and needs to be done.

How much experience can a 250 hour pilot have anyway? Do you guys actually think raising the bar to 1500 is a bad thing? I would love to hear your logic on that one.
the public wants safety improved now. two atp pilots up front will give them that. sounds like a sound improvement to me.

only problem with that is where are they going to find the atp pilots, let alone get them for 20k a year to sit in the right seat.
 

rustypigeon

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Posts
98
Total Time
9700
only problem with that is where are they going to find the atp pilots, let alone get them for 20k a year to sit in the right seat.
Supply and demand. Less qualified pilots = higher pay. You start paying guys 60k their first year and I bet you won't have trouble filling the right seat with a qualified pilot.
 

Skywest Pylot

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Posts
338
Total Time
7000+
only problem with that is where are they going to find the atp pilots, let alone get them for 20k a year to sit in the right seat.
Supply and demand. Less qualified pilots = higher pay. You start paying guys 60k their first year and I bet you won't have trouble filling the right seat with a qualified pilot.
I would say average regional Captain should be making $100k/year and First Officer $60k/year. We've got plenty of guys/gals on the street that could fill the seats if an ATP was required but you gotta pay them a liveable wage.
 

BoilerUP

Citation style...
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Posts
5,311
Total Time
1500+
Supply and demand. Less qualified pilots = higher pay. You start paying guys 60k their first year and I bet you won't have trouble filling the right seat with a qualified pilot.
Yeah, a regional airline with first year pay higher than NetJets with their 2500tt minimums ain't going to happen any time soon.

A much more reasonable (and likely) figure would be the $35-40k ballpark, but even still I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen.
 

Andy Neill

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,293
Total Time
6200
Require an ATP for both PIC and SIC in a transport catagory aircraft. That will push the payscale up too. I doubt it will happen, but it will solve a couple of issues, and it is certainly a reasonable requirement.
I think that is a very reasonable idea and one which would raise the average experience level at the regionals.

Of course, it would not have prevented this accident, though. The CA was an ATP and the FO certainly had enough time to be an ATP when she was hired at Colgan. Still, I can appreciate how this would move toward reducing the liklihood of this happening again.
 

rustypigeon

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Posts
98
Total Time
9700
Yeah, a regional airline with first year pay higher than NetJets with their 2500tt minimums ain't going to happen any time soon.

A much more reasonable (and likely) figure would be the $35-40k ballpark, but even still I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen.
I'm not going to hold my breath either. I honestly don't think the FAA is going to do anything about it. But raising the bar needs to be done. I would love to see day when a regional had no choice but to pay a decent wage to keep their front seats filled.
 

habubuaza

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
355
Total Time
>1
Foreign Carriers for decades have used 300 hour pilots in the right seat of their heavy jets who have gone on to have stellar careers without as much as a scratch, so obviously it's not just time, or holding an ATP.
 
Top