Where the Real Blame Lies...

scotts

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I posted this as a response to another Buffalo crash thread, but decided to start my own thread with it...

If you want to focus on where the blame for this accident originates, all you need to do is look at the RFP process for regional airline flying and the low standards the FAA imposes on all airlines for their training program.

The "major" airlines put out flying to bid on. The various regionals bid for this flying knowing that the lowest bidder who can actually produce the flying will get the award. For the winning regional airline to survive financially, they have to structure the company in a way that will allow some small profit for the owners/shareholders. One of the ways any airline will do that is to create the least cost training program that the FAA will approve. This leads to a myriad of issues with inadequate training of inexperienced new-hires and upgrade candidates. The FAA signs off on the program after examining it, thus giving some measure of defense to the company when the worst happens.

What we have is a broken system enabled by a government agency at odds with itself. The FAA is charged with promoting aviation, commercial and otherwise. If it increases the standards that must be complied with by all airlines in their training program, they see that as suffocating the very thing they are charged with promoting.

The only way this deadly situation is going to change is if Congress forces them to. Even if you hear rhetoric emanating from congressional hearings, don't believe anything is going to change until you read the new standards that the FAA enacts as a result of pressure from Congress.
 

Andy Neill

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But isn't a bare bones commercial (private, soloing) pilot supposed to manage airspeed and power?

The captain didn't help things when he pulled back on the yoke and the FO didn't help when she raised the flaps before the stall warning went away.
 

scotts

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But isn't a bare bones commercial (private, soloing) pilot supposed to manage airspeed and power?

The captain didn't help things when he pulled back on the yoke and the FO didn't help when she raised the flaps before the stall warning went away.
Andy, you may have missed the point of my post. Maybe I wasn't specific enough. I am trying to bring to light a deeper discussion of causal factors for this crash.

Believe me, I get that this crash was possibly a result of poor airmanship and/or lack of professionalism. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings of the pilots in this case, perhaps a discussion of the possible root causes would be beneficial.
 

Andy Neill

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I caught the point. If your suggestions were implemented, would it have changed the outcome? Pilots of an international airline didn't manage power and airspeed in Amsterdam and people died.
 

Amish RakeFight

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The issues you speak of have ALWAYS plagued the commuter operations. The quality of pilot HAS changed over the last few years. THAT is the real problem. No one wants to climb the rungs any more.
 

scotts

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I caught the point. If your suggestions were implemented, would it have changed the outcome? Pilots of an international airline didn't manage power and airspeed in Amsterdam and people died.
Well, I didn't make any specific suggestions for our FAA standards.

Is it your view that the current standards are adequate? Do you believe that there is no benefit to increasing the standards? Do you believe that under the current requirements, that our regional airlines (not just Skywest) have adequate training programs? Do you think that they will voluntarily avoid 500 hour pilots when the industry improves and hiring begins? Do you think that they will voluntarily add to their training programs to address the gaps allowed by their FAA approved program?
 

scotts

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The issues you speak of have ALWAYS plagued the commuter operations. The quality of pilot HAS changed over the last few years. THAT is the real problem. No one wants to climb the rungs any more.
If these problems have ALWAYS plagued commuter operations, perhaps it is time to change something...

Why has the quality of the reqional airline pilot applicant changed? Perhaps the airlines are simply taking advantage of what they are allowed to do...
 

Andy Neill

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Is it your view that the current standards are adequate? Do you believe that there is no benefit to increasing the standards? Do you believe that under the current requirements, that our regional airlines (not just Skywest) have adequate training programs? Do you think that they will voluntarily avoid 500 hour pilots when the industry improves and hiring begins? Do you think that they will voluntarily add to their training programs to address the gaps allowed by their FAA approved program?
It is my position that these pilots met all the standards as far as time goes that might reasonably be imposed. They weren't overwhelmed with the complexity of the systems. They weren't flying in weather down to minimums. They simply failed to fly above the stall speed and that is a skill that a soloing pilot should have.

Any tightening of hiring standards will diminish the probability of an accident with the root cause in inexperience. I don't think this is the poster child for that kind of accident. What standards would you impose that would have prevented this accident?

I have no doubt that every airline checks for speed management on approach. I have no doubt these pilots were trained in that and checked on it. What training would you add that would have prevented this accident?

I believe the airlines will hire the best pilots available to them at the time. To do otherwise is not in their best interests.
 

Nolife

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Don't know if changing the FAA mandate will change what seems to have been a momentary lack of airmanship. This type of occurance has happened in the past and unfortunately will continue to happen as long as humans are involved.

The majority of regional pilots, captains and fo's, are capable airman and the training programs are adequate. There is no excuse however for multiple failures of an airman at any level. Colgan will learn this the hard way through severe financial penalties.
 

Speedtape

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The best outcome for this, at least for me, is take something away from it that may help me be a better pilot and be better in my job. That does not primarily include fixing blame, although that cannot be totally ignored. My 2 cents, let's learn from the outcome and know that even when trying to do our best, mistakes can still happen. I wish I could honestly say that I had never made a mistake, but then would you really believe me?
 

Slick

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.... inadequate training of inexperienced new-hires....

Training is one thing. Experience is something completely different. Be careful to not entwine the two. You can't teach experience.

You need 1200 hours before you can fly canceled checks in a C-172, (part 135 PIC), but you can hop into the right seat of a CRJ900 with only 250 hours of "experience", having never been in actual IMC, above 3,000' MSL, or faster than 140 kts. Is that bazaar? Is that wrong?
 

BoilerUP

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Andy Neill said:
The captain didn't help things when he pulled back on the yoke and the FO didn't help when she raised the flaps before the stall warning went away.
Which, interestingly enough, is the exact procedure one would use in the event of a tailplane stall.

Can't say I was real comfortable flying the CRJ knowing there was no anti-icing on the tail..."its designed aerodynamically not to need it" isn't really comforting when flying over the Great Lakes or in the northeast in the middle of a winter storm.
 

Slick

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....Colgan will learn this the hard way through severe financial penalties.

Sorry to be contrary, but,......I don't think they will. Neither will (___insert your least favorite sub-standard regional airline here___).
 

Paul R. Smith

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But isn't a bare bones commercial (private, soloing) pilot supposed to manage airspeed and power?

The captain didn't help things when he pulled back on the yoke and the FO didn't help when she raised the flaps before the stall warning went away.
I have to agree.

We are getting down to bare bones basic flying fundamentals. Every Airline has a special procedure for flying each aircraft but lets face it. Flying an airliner is flying a big airplane. Push forward the houses get bigger. Airspeed awareness would have been clutch!!!
 

Papa Woody

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...a couple years ago, as a newly-minted 5,000 hr Captain, I took off into clouds, and my F/O screams "YEEEE-HAW!"

I was like "what the f#@&!"

He said "I've never been in actual IMC before."

Since then, I treat EVERY flight as a single-pilot operation until I get to know a bit more about who I'm paired up with....
 

HalinTexas

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New FAA rule: All new hires at P121 operations shall have an ATP-MEL upon commencement of training.
 

EdAtTheAirport

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You need 1200 hours before you can fly canceled checks in a C-172, (part 135 PIC), but you can hop into the right seat of a CRJ900 with only 250 hours of "experience", having never been in actual IMC, above 3,000' MSL, or faster than 140 kts. Is that bazaar? Is that wrong?
Great point! I think the time from 250 hrs to 1200 hrs is the time to pay your dues. It should not be done in the right seat of a CRJ with airline livery, and paying passengers.

I bet this will never enter the discussion in Congress.
 

anon

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Where did the Captain train in FL? Was he at Gulfstream?
 

SEVEN

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New FAA rule: All new hires at P121 operations shall have an ATP-MEL upon commencement of training.
That would mean that all First Officers would require 1500 total time. They would then be qualified to fly the airplane. The regionals cannont afford qualified FO's. They want to staff the right seat with the least amount of money. That's why you see 19 year old kids with 14 hours of Multi and 255 hours total time.
 

JettBoii

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An emphasis will now be made on stall recovery in the initial, RPC, RLOFT and RGT.
Thats it.
 
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