August 28, 2016

Sleep apnea focus won’t solve fatigue issue – says SMART TD Assistant Legislative Director

Singling out sleep apnea doesn’t solve the critical problem of fatigue in the transportation industry, stated Joseph Ciemny, SMART TD assistant Illinois legislative director, at a joint comment session of the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, held recently in Chicago. Read the complete article here.

FAA and industry will study pilot fitness

The FAA is working with the commercial aviation and medical communities to study the emotional and mental health of U.S. commercial pilots. The joint FAA and industry group known as the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) recommended the study based on the recent Malaysia Flight 370 and Germanwings Flight 9525 accidents. The Pilot Fitness Aviation […]

GLA pilots land deal after years in holding pattern

After nearly three years of mediation with Great Lakes Airlines in conjunction with the National Mediation Board, SMART Transportation Division-represented airline pilots employed by the company have finally reached an agreement with the carrier. Following several requests by the pilots’ local representatives to the NMB to be released from mediation, the affected pilots and SMART […]

GAO report: Airline pilot shortage? Not clear

WASHINGTON – Regional airlines report difficulty over the past year in finding enough pilots to hire, but it isn’t clear whether there is a shortage of pilots, a government watchdog said in a report released Friday. Researchers found “mixed evidence” of a shortage, said the Government Accountability Office. A key economic indicator supports the emergence […]

The little airline that could, but didn’t

If you already read the Aug. 15 article titled “Great Lakes Faces Shortage of Pilots” that was written by James Chilton and published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, you may be interested in a broader view of the story. In response to Great Lakes’ far-flung exertions across the western United States to garner public support […]

Inside the secret world of tired pilots

Many airlines do not provide sleeping quarters for their off-duty pilots, yet the pilots are expected to get the required amount of sleep in order to function during their next flight often in an away-from-home city. Some pilots make as little at $17,000 a year and so are forced to sleep in cheap “crash pads” […]

A tired pilot is a tired pilot, regardless of plane

News broke recently that two pilots reported falling asleep while operating a long-haul Airbus 330 flight to the U.K. full of passengers. For an unknown length of time, autopilot kept the aircraft flying. Before the Aug. 13 flight, the pilots had slept only five hours over the previous two nights. The event brings yet another […]

Pilots challenged by monitoring automated systems

WASHINGTON – Airline pilots spend nearly all their time monitoring automated cockpit systems rather than “hand-flying” planes, but their brains aren’t wired to continually pay close attention to instruments that rarely fail or show discrepancies. As a result, pilots may see but not register signs of trouble, a problem that is showing up repeatedly in […]

Great Lakes Airlines pilots ask mediation release

After 53 fruitless mediated bargaining sessions stretching over almost three years between United Transportation Union-represented pilots and Great Lakes Airlines, the union has asked the National Mediation Board to declare an impasse in the talks, release the parties from mediation and make a proffer of binding arbitration. Great Lakes Airlines pilots are members of United […]

FAA proposes raising pilot qualification standards

WASHINGTON – Qualification requirements for first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines would be “substantially” raised under a proposed Federal Aviation Administration new rulemaking to be published in the Federal Register Feb. 29. The agency, in a notice of proposed rulemaking, is responding to a mandate in the Airline Safety and Federal […]