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NTSB pushes to include cargo in new rest.....

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NTSB pushes to include cargo in new rest.....

Old 12-23-2011, 05:00 AM
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Default NTSB pushes to include cargo in new rest.....

NTSB chief laments omission of cargo planes in FAA pilot fatigue rules - The Hill's Transportation Report

NTSB chief laments omission of cargo planes in FAA pilot fatigue rules
By Keith Laing - 12/21/11 02:32 PM ET
National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said Wednesday that she liked the Federal Aviation Administration's new scheduling rules for avoiding fatigue among commercial airline pilots, but she wished the rules applied to cargo flights as well.

Hersman said in statement that the new FAA rules were "a huge improvement over the status quo for large passenger-carrying operations."

But she quickly added "a tired pilot is a tired pilot, whether there are 10 paying customers on board or 100, whether the payload is passengers or pallets."

"We are extremely disappointed that the new rule is limited to Part 121 carriers," she said.

Hersman said the NTSB has been recommending that transportation officials address pilot fatigue since 1990.

"Over the first century of powered flight, countless accidents trace pilot fatigue as a contributing factor," she said. "As the FAA said in its draft, 'Fatigue threatens aviation safety because it increases the risk of pilot error that could lead to an accident.' This is particularly a concern for crews that fly 'on the back side of the clock.' "

Still, Hersman, who has recently made news with a recommendation of her own that all cellphone use in cars be outlawed, said she was "pleased" with the FAA's announcement.

"Secretary LaHood and former FAA Administrator [Randy] Babbitt have worked for years to shepherd this contentious rule through the process," she said. "We applaud the leadership of DOT and FAA for bringing it across the finish line."

Under the new rules, pilots would be required to get at least 10 hours of off-duty time between flight schedules, which transportation officials said would give them at least the opportunity to get eight hours of sleep before they get to the cockpit.

Pilots would also be limited to no more than nine hours of "flight time," which is considered by the FAA to be any time an airplane is moving on its own power, even if it is on the ground at airport. Pilots would be limited to 28 working days in a month.

Airlines will be given two years to comply with the new rules.

Last edited by TheFly; 12-23-2011 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Added text with link
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