August 10, 2009

Continental Flight 3407

Well, it has been a while since I have blogged. Mostly due to my new daughter, but here is my take on this contreversial crash. I know that the official investigation is not complete and everybody has an opinion. I just wanted to voice my opinion as an airline pilot. Here are my impressions.

1) FATIGUE: This was a perfect storm of fatigue. Two pilots both VERY tired flew into bad weather at night(worst flight conditions) and just were behind the airplane. The plane was flying them not the other way around. I know the families of the FO have been defending here, but I am EXHAUSTED after 16 hours of work on a full nights sleep, this she didn't have. So don't tell me they weren't tired.

2) PILOT TRAINING: This is SOOOO over stated. EVERY pilot fails exams. In fact the FAA judges its effectiveness by pilot failure rates. They never even said what tests he failed. Private pilot? I mean if we didn't fly pilots who have failed tests we wouldn't have any pilots.

3) PILOT PAY: This is WAY understated. If you don't think pilot pay has anything to do with this, well your an airline exec or naive. The FO had to have a second job the year before just to pay bills. Having just had a child who stays up all night sometime I had to go to work the next day. My wife has to work to help pay our bills. So if you want rested pilots then pay them so they CAN be rested. You want professionalisim, start paying a professional way (not $20,000 a year)

Just, my $.02, I pray for all those who lost their family members that day, including the crew. I am just sad because I know that as long as pay and rest rules stay the same this WILL happen again. Its only a matter of time before more die. Its just sad the FAA doesn't really care because they are too much in the lap of the airlines.

Truckers - 10 hours max day
Train Engineers - 12 hours max day
Pilots - 16 hours max day

Sleep on that.

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Richmond, Virginia, United States