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Are Regionals Safe?

 
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  #1  
Old Jan 1, 2010, 10:15 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Are Regionals Safe...?

Here is an interesting article which addresses some of the safety issues involved in the extreme cost cutting culture in US based airlines. The warning signs are there... lets hope someone acts on them and re-regulates before too many people are killed..

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...jZ2kB54&pos=10
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  #2  
Old Jan 1, 2010, 10:41 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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The issues raised are already regulated but were ignored. The 1.3 million dollar fine will be reduced to peanuts and they'll be told not to do it again. What needs to happen is the regulators need to get some teeth. Make an example of one of the carriers and stick to it. 1.3 million is nothing. They'll run to mama (their parent company) and it'll be paid and won't affect anything. They need suspend an operating license or somehow get in the business of regulating the senior managment's salary based on performance. Now that would be some regulation I could get behind!!
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
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  #3  
Old Jan 1, 2010, 1:38 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Some of the most dangerous practices are not sufficiently regulated... for example, the excessively low salaries mean that many pilots are working second jobs. This drives a coach and horses through the regulations which require pilots to be fully rested and ready for duty. The issue of Gulfstream trainee's effectively paying for the privilege of being a first officer is utterly inappropriate and very dangerous. This is part of the race to the bottom and needs far more aggressive regulation and enforcement.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 2:31 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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All well and good. So you are proposing regulations on minimum pay for pilots? I'm all for it. Let's take it a step further and then regulate the pay for senior management, as I suggested too.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:31 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Let the market set the wages, but provide certain safeguards. First, make it illegal for commercial pilots to "pay" through training fees for the First Officer seat. Second require all airlines to require 1,500 hrs as a super-numery prior to the pilot being released to operate commerical aircraft. Third, include all the hours pilots work in their duty hours, regardless if they are flying or not. This will prevent pilots from taking second jobs and will push up wages.

On the ripping off of the companies by senior management, this is a matter for the shareholders and airlines should be treated no differently. However, we need tougher financial regulation anyway, so this should be addressed this way.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 7:37 AM
justme justme is offline
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Originally Posted by jim
for example, the excessively low salaries mean that many pilots are working second jobs. This drives a coach and horses through the regulations which require pilots to be fully rested and ready for duty.
I am all for regulating minimum salaries for pilots. It is pivotal to acquiring and retaining quality pilots. But, while I am flying, I could care less how much they are being paid, as long as they are well trained and qualified. That brings me to my next point. I think it is equally (if not more) important that the ground crews be held to higher (educational, training, competence) standard as well. After all, if they do something wrong or load the airplane wrong, the pilot, not matter how many flight hours or how much training they have, may not even be able to get off the runway and into the air. Thoughts or comments anyone?
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 9:33 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I can not think of any industry in which job specific "minimum wages" are set, so there is little or no chance of any government regulation of that issue. However, for safety critical jobs, there is no reason why the government cannot order that all worked hours be computed and maximum's set. Pilot fatigue is a proven factor in a number of accidents and may well be a factor in the recent accident in Buffolo.

I am not sure that some of the ground handling jobs reach the safety critical level of pilots, (although aircraft engineers might be one which does). The educational standard of the existing employees suggest that it can't be that safety critical, because many of the ground employees are frankly stupid and lack any common sense.

I would argue that the FAA should regulate the total hours that a pilot, ATC controller and aircraft engineer can work in a given week. This would prevent "moonlighting" and would significantly reduce the pool of people available to work. The market would the push up wages.

It is a bizarre anomoly that in many countries and states, pilots can work longer total hours and longer continuous hours than a truck driver!
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 12:54 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Here is another link which explains exactly how security should be handled. Sadly, the stupid people who currently work in the TSA are incapable of this...

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/ar...-little-bother
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 5:58 AM
justme justme is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs
I am not sure that some of the ground handling jobs reach the safety critical level of pilots, (although aircraft engineers might be one which does).
I completely disagree. When a flight's weight and balance is planned, a plan is produced and given to the ramp crew. The plan, if followed, will guarantee a safe load of cargo and bags that is within the manufacturer, airline, and FAA's guidelines. IF that load plan is not followed, there is the very real possibility that the pilot, no matter how skilled, could not even get the airplane in the air, maintain level flight, land with out damage, etc. I do not disagree that the pilots are a huge piece of the safety puzzle, but if the ground crew mucks something up, the puzzle falls apart.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 8:47 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I don't disagree that there are things which luggage handlers or dispatchers must do, for example, which are safety critical and which if not done correctly could impact on safety. However, this could apply to very many things.. it does not in of itself justify government intervention and rule making. The Captain is ultimately responsible for the weight/balance issues on the aircraft and carries the burden of checking the loads sheets etc.

My analogy is with a hospital porter. If a porter takes a patient to the wrong place and they cannot be located, the patient may die. It does not mean the porter is as safety critical as a doctor.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 9:39 PM
justme justme is offline
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Originally Posted by jim
The captain is ultimately responsible for the weight/balance issues on the aircraft
Not quite so fast. The crew of the a/c has no clue what is happening with the weight and balance until they are told by someone else. And even then, they don't know what is where, ie how many bags, how much freight, and so on. They get a printout (or display on ACARS screen) that tells them how many pounds (total of all cargo) are where and what their AI/CG is. No responsibility falls on the captain for the w/b of the airplane. They don't even do any math relating to the w/b. There are people who sit in front of computers all day and calculate MTOW, zero fuel weights, max structural landing weight, etc. so that the pilot and f/o don't have to. I know what you're thinking, the captain is ultimately responsible because he has to approve them before take-off. Problem with that logic is, he's not the one that did the calculations and actually loaded the cargo. If an accident were to occur that entailed the FAA, DOT, or NTSB investigating, I can guarantee that the first person they are going to talk to after the captain (assuming he is still alive) is the person who's name is on the load manifest. That is the person they will hold responsible for the w/b of the airplane, not the captain.

Just a side note, not all of these arguments hold true for the regional jets. The f/o does in fact usually do some math to figure out the AI/CG, but even then, they are going on information provided to them by someone else who actually did the work. Discrepancies, even small ones, have the potential to bring an airplane down.
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