FAA Fines Colgan Air, Pilots/Fight Attendants Not Getting Minimum Amount Of Rest


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FAA Fines Colgan Air, Pilots/Fight Attendants Not Getting Minimum Amount Of Rest

By Shane Nolan

March 5, 2012 - The FAA alleges that between June 14, 2008 and Feb. 23, 2009, Colgan scheduled flight duty time for two captains, two first officers and six flight attendants on a seventh day after they had been on duty for the previous six consecutive days. 

The FAA regulations required the airline to relieve each crewmember from duty for at least 24 consecutive hours during any seven consecutive calendar days. One of the captains operated four flights without adequate rest. Each of the other flight crew members operated one flight without meeting this rest requirement. 

The FAA also alleges that Colgan failed to give three flight attendants a required scheduled rest period of at least eight consecutive hours after scheduling them on flights after their previous duty period. Two of the incidents took place on June 15, 2008 and the third took place on Sept. 16, 2008. 

Finally, the FAA alleges that Colgan scheduled a first officer for flight time on Nov. 7, 2008 when the pilot's total flight time in commercial flying exceeded eight hours between required rest periods. 

This civil penalty involves alleged violations predating the FAA's new pilot flight, duty and rest rules that were announced in December 2011. The new regulations will go into effect in December 2013. Colgan Air has 30 days from the receipt of the civil penalty letter to respond. 

You may remember Colgan Air when it made a name for itself when Colgan Air Flight 3407, marketed as Continental Connection under a codeshare agreement with Continental Airlines, a regional airline flight from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York crashed.

The plane crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York on February 12, 2009, at 10:17 p.m. The crash killed 50 people, including the two pilots, two flight attendants, 45 passengers (including an off-duty pilot), and a person in the house into which the plane crashed. It was the first fatal accident of a commercial airliner in the United States since the August 2006 crash of Comair Flight 191. The NTSB ruled one of the factors that lead to the crash were the pilots did not have adequate rest before the flight.

Colgan Air, Inc. is a regional airline subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. The headquarters of Colgan Air are located in Memphis, Tennessee. Colgan Air's major hubs are Boston's Logan International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It has been operating as US Airways Express since 1999 and now serves almost 50 cities in the Northeast and Texas as a feeder for US Airways Express and United Express. Pinnacle Airlines Corp. plans to phase out the Colgan Air name. 

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