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NTSB Hearings On Crash Of UPS 1354 Reinforce Need For One Level Of Safety

February 20, 2014 - Today, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), reiterated its support for immediate passage of the Safe Skies Act of 2013 that would end the “cargo carve-out” and help ensure that every pilot is a well-rested pilot. 

Safe Skies Act of 2013 would modify the flight crew member duty and rest requirements of air all-cargo operations to reflex the same rules as applied to passenger flights. 

Current status of bill - This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on January 4, 2013, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. The bill at present has a 5% chance of being enacted. This bill has a 7% chance of getting past committee first. Only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 3% were enacted in 2011–2013.


Capt. Lee Moak, president of ALPA said “As we learn more about the events leading to the UPS crash in Birmingham, Alabama, it is becoming more apparent that separate rest requirements for cargo and passenger pilots is unsustainable, unsupportable, and unconscionable. 

On August 14, 2013, UPS Airlines Flight 1354 was on a scheduled cargo flight from Louisville International Airport to Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport. On its final approach the A300-600F, crashed and burst into flames short of the runway. Both pilots were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. They were the only people aboard the aircraft. It is believed that pilot fatigue play a major role in this crash. 

“Pilots who operate in the same skies, take off from the same airports, and fly over the same terrain must be given the same opportunities for full rest, regardless of what is in the back of the plane.” 

Earlier this year, the FAA implemented FAR 117, which established strict rest-requirements for passenger pilots; however, these rules don’t apply to cargo pilots. ALPA was fully engaged in the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee regarding pilot fatigue and has long maintained that the new flight- and duty-time limits and minimum-rest requirements must cover all airline pilots. Science-based studies show that all airline pilots experience fatigue in the same ways, regardless of whether they are transporting passengers or cargo.


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