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CVR Bill in Congress. NOT GOOD !!

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CVR Bill in Congress. NOT GOOD !!

Old 11-20-2009, 07:46 AM
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Default CVR Bill in Congress. NOT GOOD !!

Bill Seeks to Allow Airlines Access to Cockpit Conversations:


Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, plans to introduce a bill that would break a taboo in the airline industry: allowing airlines to use information from cockpit voice recorders in cases against pilots they want to discipline or fire.

Current labor contracts effectively bar major U.S. carriers from relying on information gathered from cockpit-recorders, or, in some cases, flight-data recorders to punish pilots or monitor their performance during trips. But the proposed legislation seeks to overturn those longstanding restrictions in both areas, which is already riling pilot union leaders.

The move also shines a spotlight on privacy and other complex legal questions surrounding the use of such information by airlines to make personnel decisions.

Today, cockpit voice recorder data doesn't become public or lead to actions against pilots unless there is an accident or serious incident investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board. Allowing airlines to use the information for their own personnel decisions would significantly open up an area that currently is considered to be an almost private sanctum for accident investigators.

Called the "Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act," the bill drafted by the Sen. DeMint envisions downloading voice or flight-data recorders "to discipline or discharge a pilot . . . for actions that endanger the safety or well being of passengers." The bill also proposes using previously sacrosanct recordings of cockpit conversations "to evaluate or monitor the judgment or performance of an individual pilot."

Sen. DeMint has not yet formally introduced his legislation and it is unclear what type of support it might find in Congress. The legislation is bound to face stiff resistance from both pilot unions -- and potentially the FAA and the NTSB. One of their principal objections is that the bill could put a chill on the current system of voluntary reporting of safety lapses by pilots. Currently, pilots are encouraged to file anonymous reports on safety problems that arise in the course of duty. Allowing airlines to review cockpit recordings could make pilots more reticent to report shortcomings because they might worry that they would be exposed to disciplinary action from their employer.

However, the bill comes in the wake of several commercial-aircraft accidents and incidents, including the bizarre October flight of a Northwest Airlines jet that lost contact with air-traffic controllers for more than an hour and overflew its destination. The pilots, whose licenses were revoked after the slip-up, told investigators they were engrossed in conversation about revised crew-scheduling procedures and became distracted by turning on and using their personal laptops on the flight deck.

That has created new impetus for stricter pilot oversight measures. There have been two attempts on Capitol Hill in recent weeks to draft legislation supporting installation of video recorders in cockpits. Pilot union officials successfully lobbied and managed to head off those efforts. The Air Line Pilots Association or ALPA, which is the largest pilot union in North America, is gearing up to quietly try to kill the DeMint bill before it is introduced, according to people familiar with the matter.

The escalating controversy focuses on how pilot professionalism conflicts with recent examples of distraction and lax safety standards in the cockpit. Randy Babbitt, the head of the FAA, has spoken out strongly on the need to enhance pilot performance and raise the safety bar by having larger airlines and veteran pilots mentor less experienced pilots at the smaller commuter partners.

But so far, the FAA chief has opposed drastic moves such as stripping cockpit recorders of the confidentiality they have enjoyed for decades. Currently, flight-data recorders are routinely screened for unusual occurrences, but the analysis is done privately inside each airline and the results generally don't become public.

John Prater, president of ALPA, has previously said media pressure shouldn't "lead our industry in a direction that is detrimental to the goal of accident and incident prevention."

Earlier this week. Mr. Prater put out a statement urging Congress to avoid "drafting legislation that simply reacts to events already under investigation."
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:55 AM
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Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act.... Think about that for a moment folks. This coming from a US congressman. Wow.. the arrogance of our government is staggering
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:56 AM
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2 things:

First, the passage of this bill is completely unavoidable, therefore ALPA, led by Prater, should throw its full weight and support behind the bill for immediate passage, that way ALPA can have a voice on how it's implemented.

Second, I propose a companion bill, the "Senator Professionalism Assurance Act" be submitted side by side with the bill concerning pilots. In it, Senators will be subject to continuous voice recording at all times while they are at work, and those recordings should be downloaded to discipline or discharge a senator . . . for actions that endanger the safety or well being of the citizens of the United States.

Further, these recordings of Senators at work will be downloaded for the broader purpose of evaluating or monitoring the judgment or performance of an individual Senator.

I am sure Senator DeMint will have no problem submitting BOTH bills for passage concurrently.

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Old 11-20-2009, 07:57 AM
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Which party does he represent?
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:03 AM
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Republican from South Carolina.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by The Duke
Which party does he represent?
Deleted...didn't respond quick enough
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tsquare
Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act.... Think about that for a moment folks. This coming from a US congressman. Wow.. the arrogance of our government is staggering
And a Conservative Republican! Imagine that!

Go Rebels!!!)
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:08 AM
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Didn't they pull the CVR on the NW flight and it had already looped itself?
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tsquare
Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act.... Think about that for a moment folks. This coming from a US congressman. Wow.. the arrogance of our government is staggering
Maybe we could make put CVR Recorders in each Congress Member's Office for periodic use and review by the the FBI. We could call it the Congressional Politician Professionalism Assurance Act.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MoonShot
Didn't they pull the CVR on the NW flight and it had already looped itself?
Yes but it's a relatively old CVR. Some of the newer solid-state digital models can go for 12 hours I believe. No doubt the airlines will find no trouble finding money to buy the latest CVRs if they're looking for cost savings by getting rid of some older, crankier pilots.
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