A broadcast report says the airline that operated the flight that crashed and killed 50 people near Buffalo, NY, recently issued a policy limiting pilots’ ability to call in fatigued.
CNN says Colgan Air told crews they may not call in fatigued if they’ve had a 12-hour or longer rest break.
This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its report on Continental Flight 3407 that crashed near Buffalo, killing all 49 people on board and one person on the ground.
The NTSB said pilot error caused the Feb. 12, 2009 crash. It also said fatigue did hurt performance of the two pilots but couldn’t be blamed for the crash.
One of three NTSB board members did vote to include fatigue as a cause of the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration says tired pilots are supposed to call in fatigued and not fly.
But CNN says Colgan Air recently issued a memo, stating that its safety department would decide whether a fatigue call is acceptable and that blatant use of fatigue calls would be handled with disciplinary action.
Colgan and the pilots union say they’re working to revise the policy. The union says it opposes the presumed guilty approach of the memo and it wants the policy to be non-punitive.
This news about Colgan Air also follows a recent study which confirms that when workers try to catch up on a sleep deficit with ten hours of rest, it still leaves them vulnerable to accidents and errors.
Is Colgan’s policy reasonable? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below.