November 28, 2014

GLA pilots land deal after years in holding pattern

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 [...]

Great Lakes Airlines pilots need our help

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By RICK JOHNSONColorado State Legislative Director Safety is job number one for UTU-represented pilots employed by Great Lakes Airlines. Yet their current contract with the carrier is substandard in terms of working conditions and wages that daily puts pressure on their ability to fly passengers safely. The image of airline pilots earning high wages and [...]

FAA announces new pilot fatigue rules

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced new rules aimed at preventing dangerous fatigue among passenger aircraft pilots. The rules do not affect all-cargo aircraft pilots. The new rules are in response to a Colgan Air crash near Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009 that killed 50 people.  Under the new rules: • Flight-duty times would [...]