A Fatigued Pilot is a Fatigued Pilot, No Matter the Airplane
Phillips Law Group believes that the Federal Aviation Administration should have the same laws for passenger airlines as well as cargo planes. Not doing so puts everyone at risk.
Once The Federal Aviation Administration got wind of this event, it was reported that they will be addressing and implementing new fatigue standards for all pilots. Of course, these requirements will not apply to cargo aircrafts, or even aircrafts traveling halfway around the world. By doing so the FAA is clearly failing to make safety its number one priority.
The new rules set in place pay more attention to that of human fatigue. They will set a minimum of a ten hour minimum rest period before a pilot will be flying, which is two more hours than previous standard requirements. This law will allow for pilots to get eight hours of sleep rather than the five or six most pilots are currently receiving.
Although the National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for similar changes for decades now, it took a plane crash in Buffalo, New York, in 2009 for Congress to finally require the necessary changes.
Often timeís cargo pilots are required to face extreme demands including longer flights, overnight work schedules, and time zones are crossed. During these times pilots are least alert and are known to perform at their worst during these times.
According to a 2013 survey taken by the British Airline Pilots Association, over half of British pilots admitted to nodding off during a flight, and one in three reported awaking to find the other pilot asleep as well. Further studies indicate that fatigue has similar effects on an individual as that of intoxication.
On August 14, 2013, a United Postal Service cargo airliner crashed during an approach to Birmingham, Alabama, resulting in the death of two pilots. At this time the flight is still under NTSB investigation, however the flight crash closely resembles that of a fatigued pilot crash, as it was an overnight flight. The cargo airliner crashed into an open field near a neighborhood, which means that the plane could have just as easily crashed into the nearby homes, as a plane in Buffalo, New York, did.
Even so, the FAA has seen no need to impose fatigue prevention rules on these cargo pilots. The agency has claimed that this type of rule would prevent only one cargo airliner from crashing every 10 years, while saving only $31 million in damages. This claim seems to be odd as UPS holds insurance of $1.5 billion for each single aircraft accident.
The FAA also seems to ignore and understate factors such as passengers flying on these cargo aircrafts, which often includes up to ten passengers, the value of the cargo being carried, along with injuries and deaths. It was in 1992 when a 747 cargo aircraft crashed into an apartment complex after takeoff killing for people on the plane and 43 more on the ground in Amsterdam. No matter if it is people on a plane or packages, pilot fatigued affects everyone just the same, while threatening the lives of both innocent bystanders and pilots.
In the 1990ís the FAA finally agreed that regional passengers deserve the same level of safety standards as that of major airliners. This led to the addition of collision warning systems. Of course, fatigued pilot standards should be similar to these, while we should not wait until another disaster to discover that the FAA made a rule error.
At Phillips Law Group, we believe these standards should be changed in order to greater protect everyone including pilots. Our aviation accident attorneys also have great sympathy for all injured in aviation accidents and offer free no-obligation consultations to all injured victims by calling us at 1-800-706-3000 or visiting us at www.phillipslawgroup.com today.
About Phillips Law Group
A well-respected name in personal injury law, Phillips Law Group is committed to helping those who have been injured by the actions of another in the state of Arizona. The personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group have a wealth of knowledge and experience in auto injury claims, premises liability, dangerous drug litigation, medical malpractice and product liability claims.
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