March 2nd, 2012|
March 2, 2012
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommended today that Colgan Air, Inc., the regional airline responsible for the February 2009 fatal commuter jet crash outside Buffalo, New York, be fined $153,000 for not giving flight crews their required time-off between shifts in the time frame surrounding the crash.
According to reports from Cleveland News, flight crews for 17 flights between June 2008 and February 2009 did not receive a 24-hour period of rest after working six straight days. Three flight attendants did not received breaks after working more than eight consecutive hours. The agency also discovered pilots were scheduled for more than eight-hours of flight time in between scheduled rest periods.
The findings come after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that pilot fatigue was a factor in the 2009 crash after evidence pointed to a captain’s error being caused by fatigue.
A spokesman for Colgan, Joe Williams, says that the company will “respond accordingly” to the proposed fines, noting that the company has been in full compliance with the FAA following the crash.
Pilot fatigue is being blamed on a growing number of accidents in the airline industry as budget cuts push companies and crews both to extremes, but that doesn’t mean that passenger safety should be compromised.