Economy

Families oppose rolling back 3407 safety rules

"Thanks to the families of Flight 3407, our skies have been safe for the last seven years because of enhanced training requirements", Collins said.

The airlines - especially the smaller carriers represented by the Regional Airlines Association - have long advocated a change in the pilot hours requirement, saying it's so stringent that it's causing a pilot shortage.

The report recommends permitting pilots with less than 1,500 hours to qualify for an "air transport" license if they receive academic training from their airline.

The FAA adopted the rule on pilot qualification at Congress' direction after the last fatal crash of a USA passenger airliner in 2009. It requires first officers to have at least 1,500 hours of flying experience, the same minimum requirement for captains.

Critics say the suggested change compromises quality and safety.

The report also recommends 53 other changes to safety rules, include regulations governing the strength of hinges, emergency exit markings and whether ashtrays should be required in restrooms since smoking isn't allowed on planes. "It's working so effectively and try and water it down", said John Kausner, whose daughter died on board Flight 3407. "My wife said it today, if you need a doctor and we had a doctor shortage in Western New York, we'd say get through your third year of college and you become a doctor. We don't do that".

She said the proposal asks the FAA to expand training opportunities for pilots that would provide them with a much better grounding in flying a plane safety than simple flying experience would.

"This doesn't weaken the pilot qualification rules, it expands the element of the rule producing the safest and most proficient pilots", said Black, who did not attend Thursday's meeting. "What happened with 34-7 was there was ice on the wings and one of the levers jammed". There was a way to solve it but the pilot didn't know it because he didn't have enough training.

Families of Flight 3407 crash victims are not keeping silent about a recommendation to scale back aviation safety rules for airline pilot qualifications. He also suggests that if airlines want to attract more pilots, they could start by raising wages. "You're not going to get many people to be pilots when you can make more flipping hamburgers at McDonalds".



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