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FAA Faces Criticism Over Commuter Plane Safety

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Facing escalating congressional criticism, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it ordered immediate inspections of pilot-training programs at smaller carriers.” Now, “as part of stepped-up oversight efforts, the agency and the Department of Transportation…set a safety meeting of major carriers, regional airlines, labor and aviation-industry groups for Monday.” Also, “commuter airlines plan to launch their own call for wide-ranging new safety measures.” After the plane crash near Buffalo, New York, “the government and the regional industry, which transports one in four U.S. passengers, have come under fire.” As a result, “Randy Babbitt, the FAA administrator, said, his goal ‘is to make sure that the entire industry-from large commercial carriers to smaller, regional operators-is meeting our safety standard.'”

ABC World News (6/9, story 10, 0:20, Gibson) reported, “Federal safety officials today announced they’re immediately stepping up inspections of pilot training programs at the nation’s regional airlines. The FAA is doing it because of February’s Colgan Air crash near Buffalo that killed 50 people. The investigation has revealed critical pilot errors and inexperience.”

The New York Times reports that J. Randolph Babbitt, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said, “The reality is, when you’re hiring a pilot at a major carrier, you’re probably going to get somebody who walks through the door with 5,000 hours.” He added, “When you’re hiring a pilot at a regional, you’re going to get somebody with considerably less time.”

Pilot in Flight 1549 had more experience than pilots in Buffalo crash. The CBS Evening News (6/9, lead story, 3:10, Couric) reported that the veteran pilot in the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 said that he believed his experience had helped him remain calm and avoid fatalities. In contrast, “the pilots in this deadly Colgan Air crash in Buffalo in February had significantly less experience, and the captain had failed five flight tests, leading the FAA today to order its inspectors to immediately focus on training programs at regional airlines like Colgan.”

Airlines to replace Pitot tubes, NTSB to look into growing bird threats. NBC Nightly News (6/9, story 3, 3:20, Williams) reported, “Air France today insisted no plane will fly until at least two of its air speed Pitot tubes are replaced. US Airways and Delta say they are also replacing the tubes.” In addition, “developments in the investigation into the bird strike that forced US Airways Flight 1549 to make a water landing on the Hudson River last January in New York.” Now the “NTSB is looking at the best way to reduce the growing bird threat.”

ABC World News (6/9, story 2, 2:25, Gibson) reported, “Here in the US, Delta, US Airways, and United are rushing to replace their sensors, and reminding pilots how to safely compensate if the sensors fail. Maintain speed, keep the plane level, figure out what’s wrong.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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