In an attempt to reach out to the public, two of America’s most famous pilots — the ones responsible for landing a US Airways airplane in the Hudson River last year — talked about the proposed new rules by the FAA. They urged the flying public to express their concerns to the government (this forum has since closed) over new rules that would see an increase in the maximum amount of time that a pilot can fly in a day. Currently, eight hours is the maximum a pilot can fly, but in the proposal is an increase to 10 hours. First Officer Jeffrey Skiles said,
We’re here to tell you that you cannot reduce pilot fatigue by increasing the amount of time that a pilot is at the controls. The amount of time a pilot can fly must be maintained at the current eight hours a day.
Sounds like a reasonable conclusion. In addition, one of the other changes they were particularly concerned about was the time off between flights. The new rules would make that minimum time between flights nine hours, an increase of one hour, but according to the pilots an inadequate improvement. Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger stated that to get a good 8-hour sleep, a pilot needs at least 10 hours in a hotel room. Both the Coalition of Airline Pilots — which represents 28,000 commercial airline pilots — and the Allied Pilots Association have the viewpoint that several of the provisions in the proposal will have a negative impact on passenger safety.
[Image: Muffet / Flickr]