House Bill Addresses Pro Pilot Training

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A bill passed the House on Wednesday requires that commercial airline pilots to have a minimum of 1500 hours flight time, their ATP rating, and it describes "minimum contents of study" for pilot academic training. It also calls for the Administrator to initiate a study of the effects of commuting on pilot fatigue. If the bill makes it through the Senate unchanged carriers will also have to display on passenger's tickets any separate carrier contracted for the flight. The bill was inspired by the crash of a Continental Connect flight (operated by Colgan Air as Flight 3407) near Buffalo, NY, in February that killed all 49 aboard, plus one on the ground. The captain of that flight had 3379 total hours, with more than 3000 hours of turbine time, and 110 logged in type (the accident aircraft was a Dash 8). He also held an ATP rating, but had been originally disapproved for his initial instrument, commercial single engine, commercial multi-engine, and ATP ratings.

The first officer had 2244 total hours with 774 hours time in type. The NTSB has disclosed that flight data information from the crash shows the Colgan crew reacted to stick shaker and stick pusher activation with aft-stick control inputs. The bill has been referred to Senate Committee.