EAAAirVenture OshkoshShopJoin

Frontline PBS - Cheap Flying, tomorrow night, 2-9-2010

Posted By:
Pete Buffington
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
13
Posts
1
#1 Posted: 2/8/2010 15:45:44 Modified: 2/9/2010 22:46:11

Don't miss this one, it's long overdue!

 

Frontline PBS - Cheap Flying 

 

Due to the importance of improving regional airline safety, I am offering a 50% discount for my regional airline autobiography "Squawk 7700".
 
Enter Coupon Code: LV92T
 
This is valid for a limited time only.
 
"Squawk 7700 is a timely, eye opening, must read aviation autobiography. My personal experiences as an airline pilot and as acting first officer aboard US Airways Flight 1549 that ditched into the Hudson River, I recommend Squawk 7700 for anyone interested in an aviation career, and mandatory reading for those who fly on our national airline system."
- Jeff Skiles, First Officer US Airways Flight 1549


 



Files Attachment(s):
BookCover(1).jpg (289345 bytes)
Jessica Jones
41
Posts
25
#2 Posted: 2/8/2010 18:25:25

Thanks for this!

I have my TV set up to record it.



"For once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return."
Bob Seevers
50
Posts
10
#3 Posted: 2/8/2010 22:36:29 Modified: 2/8/2010 22:37:29

We went to DVR it and found it should be called Cheap 'airline' Flying.  Bummer.
angry

 



Pete Buffington
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
13
Posts
1
#4 Posted: 2/9/2010 22:47:10

What did you think of the show?



Joe LaMantia
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
175
Posts
69
#5 Posted: 2/10/2010 10:27:48

I watched the show last night and found a lot of familiar themes about how our political system interacts with our culture and values.  If you saw the program then you saw how our legal system has been used to advance the private interest of the major airlines at the expense of public safety and employee welfare.  This is not unique to the airline industry, but for those of us who fly we know it is beyond a dangerous disregard for safety. 

I spent the last 4 years of my working career driving an 18 wheeler around the country, the rules for truck drivers are more stringent then for these regional airline operations when in comes to hours of service.  Truck drivers are required to log "On Duty Not Driving" time as well as driving time.  Both classifications are considered as work and the limit is 11 hours which must be followed by a 10 hour off duty period.  

I can tell you how this really works, first off drivers are paid by the mile so all the incentive is to run hard.  Second, every trucking company will pitch safety first and will not directly advocate cheating on the log book.  Sounds greats but this is how it works, if a driver refuses a load by saying he is too tired to make the delivery schedule then he is given a weeks worth of short run loads with lots of down time so he makes no $.  Drivers refer to the log book as the "comic book" because it is completed at the end of the day when you can "adjust" your activities to fit the logging rules.  Some guys run 2 or even three log books in case they're stopped by the "diesel bears", the states' commercial vehicle enforcement patrol who run the scales on the interstate and some state routes.

What we have is a culture where the political class writes regulations that allow them to stand in front of the public and proclaim "victory" for public safety.  The agency responsible for enforcing these "regulations" are always under-staffed and under-funded, and in some cases packed with political hacks who's agenda is to "promote" the industry.

Here is my prediction on how the regional airline mess will be handled.  We will see some "commission" formed to study the issue and recommend changes in the regulations.  Some folks will advocate "stronger" rules and better enforcement maybe even fines against airlines that fail "audits".  We'll see a lot of smiles and handshakes in front of the cameras for this "bipartisan" breakthrough.  The airlines will promise to focus on safety and in a week it's off the front page and back to business as usual.  

If the american public really cared about safety we would take away the economic incentives that are in place and change the playing field.  This would certainly add cost to the price of our tickets and probably send some passengers over to surface transportation but, "you can't have your cake and eat it to", as we say.  The very idea of interfering in private industry by the government will be met with cries of socialism or worse.  The industry and the political class know this so rest assured it won't happen.

I sure my comments will set off an interesting discussion.


Happy Flying


Joe








John Reid
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
43
Posts
15
#6 Posted: 2/10/2010 17:17:03

Money trumps safety! what else is new.Fortunately in this case it will eventually be self -correcting after a few more accidents.In the mean time I will stick with the major airlines.



David Deweese
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
61
Posts
21
#7 Posted: 2/10/2010 18:05:42

It was fascinating, in a sobering sort of way. Kind of like reading "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair, but with airline pilots instead of meat packers. Too bad things have to get so bad before they get better. As Oliver Hardy used to say, "'Twas ever thus!"



Will Moore
1
Post
1
#8 Posted: 2/11/2010 18:51:28 Modified: 2/11/2010 18:53:27

I see everyone here talking about how money trumps safety ... but never seem to allow that airline flying today in the US is one of the safest forms of transportation ever invented in history of mankind.  Are there problems?  Sure.  Are there solutions to make it even safer?  Sure.  But many or even most of these solutions to increase safety would raise the cost of flying above what it is today.  Is this a bad thing?  We could debate that all day long using those terms alone.

But I suggest that we also look at it a different way.  For every dollar that you raise an airline ticket, it means that there's someone that will drive to their destination instead of buying the ticket and flying there.  For every person that decides to drive instead, they are far more likely (on a per mile basis) to have an accident and die driving than they are flying.  So while you may have made _FLYING_ safer by these increased safety measures, you've actually LOWERED the overall safety of the population by forcing some people to drive instead of fly.

There are always trade-offs in life, we just need to make sure that we don't have knee-jerk reaction without considering some of the consequences.


Will

[edited for spelling correction]

 



Joe LaMantia
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
175
Posts
69
#9 Posted: 2/12/2010 10:37:57

Hi Will,

I would suggest you consider the topic of this thread, which was a TV program that aired this week on a crash in Buffalo last year.  The issue is not overall aviation safety but focused on a current trend in the regional segment, that this particular accident brought to light.  I would agree that we have a very good safety record in the major airlines and in cases where the majors actually run their own regional airline this is also true.  The focus is on the "outsourcing" of the regional flights where things go off the track.  The documentary points out that the passengers who bought tickets thought they were flying with Continental Airlines, when in fact they were flying with a very small, overextended, company called Colgan Air.  While Continental issues the tickets and the passengers check-in and board via Continental gates the air operations are not their responsibility.

Some of the safe guards that we have had in place for many years that we know work, have been discarded through de-regulation.  Do you really want to fly with a low time crew, with very little time in type, in bad weather, at night, and oh yeah, they've had 4 hours rest in the last 24hrs!   This is not the formula that was used to bring us the airline safety record we all expect.  There has been a blind trust in "de-regulation" over the past 30 years, and too much of a good thing has brought us near the brink in the financial system.  We don't need a race to the bottom in the airline industry, and this program is a warning that the legal pieces are in place for that outcome.


Joe