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Despite a promise the Obama administration made in June of 2009 proposing "new limits on how many hours airline pilots can fly" the FAA, the NTSB, and air safety regulators across the globe continue to "sleep in" while the screaming alarms continue to sound. The crash of the Air India flight last week killing 158 people sounded the most recent alarm on possible pilot fatigue and pilot error. The reason I say "possible" is because the investigation for cause of that particular disaster has not been completed. It is doubtful that pilot fatigue will be blamed for the crash. Our air safety regulators choose to continually hit the snooze button and then to throw the alarm out the window. They will no doubt find a simpler cause to the crash. They do not want to confront the airline industry or the airline unions with the stringent new regulations necessary to protect our safety in the air. Randy Babbitt, FAA administer, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, attended congressional hearings convened to discuss the crash of the Continental Connection Flight 3407 on February 12, 2009 near Buffalo, NY. The crash killed all 49 people on board as well as one person on the ground. The crash was caused by pilot fatigue. Babbitt told Congress and the media that he would propose a new rule addressing pilots' fatigue related complaints dealing with multiple take-offs and landings (often described as more stressful than long flights) "in the next several months." Mr. Babbitt, you can wake up now. It's been well over a year now and we have not seen your new regulations. Babbitt assigned the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) the task of drafting the new rule changes by September 1, 2009. The committee completed their task on time. An Aviation Today article detailing Mr. Babbitt's promises described the ARC's 18 members working together with unions, airline industry representatives, and the FAA. Mr. Babbitt said the group was examining "flight time, duty, and rest limitations; including definitions of rest, duty, fatigue, captain's authority, and reserve. Scientists who specialize in fatigue made presentations about sleep opportunities, circadian rhythms and potential scheduling." Wrapping up his speech Mr. Babbitt said, "I can't say this any more directly than I am right now: We all have to take on additional responsibilities whether we're legally required to or not. This is about safety, and safety is about saving lives." The ARC finished up in September 2009, but Mr. Babbitt has been silent, except for his April ruling allowing pilots to use antidepressants while on the job. Our administrators are not the only air safety regulators shunning their alarm clocks' screaming cries. The European Cockpit Association, a group of pilots unions with over 38,000 members criticized the European Union's "endangering air safety by failing to act on the recommendations of experts who say cuts in flying hours are needed to curb pilot fatigue. Here in the EU, pilot fatigue is the single biggest "hot potato" safety issue where neither the European Commission nor the European Aviation Safety Agency has shown any leadership to move decisively towards science-based EU rules." The CBC in Canada has repeatedly reported on Transport Canada's failures to respond to pilot fatigue issues. More than a dozen crashes linked to pilot fatigue have occurred since Regionnair's flight 347 crash 10 years ago. Serge Gagne, the pilot of that flight had

been working 30 days straight when he crashed in 1999. He was in his 18thhour of duty and was 60 hours over Transport Canada's monthly limit. The Air Canada Pilots Association, with over 7,000 members, has been asking for changes to Transport Canada's regulations for years. The regulations haven't been changed since 1995, and before that, the changes last made were in the 1940s. Our own NTSB has been pressing for new regulations on pilot hours for 19 years. An FAA proposed rule change in 1995 was halted by the air industry. Pilot unions wanted to reduce the duty hours from 16 to 14, but the airline industry said no. Dave Ross, of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing pilot unions at six regional airlines, says, "It's money. If you can't fly as long as you do today, then that increases your cost." Mr. Babbitt, Ray LaHood, the Obama administration, and the airline industries need to ask themselves "How much money is human life worth?" The Wall Street Journal recently chimed in on this issue with an article by Andy Pasztor. In "Dispute Over Cost Delays Pilot Rules." he attributes the delay of proposed changes to a dispute between the FAA and the White House Office of Management and Budget. He says that budget officials have told the FAA informally that "the proposal's projected cost to airlines wasn't justified by the anticipated safety benefits." Front row seats at the FAA, formerly representing the airline industry belong to: David Weingart: FAA Chief of Staff. Six years with Northwest Airlines. Hank Krakowski: Chief Operating Officer. 30 years at United Airlines. Ramesh Punwani: Chief Financial Officer. Past CFO and VP of Pan American World Airways David Grizzle: Chief Counsel. 22 years at Continental Airlines. Responsible for agency regulation, safety enforcement and compliance programs, and personal and labor law. Joining these FAA administrators in affecting current air safety regulations and concerns are the following important lobbyists: Former Senators John Breaux and Trent Lott, along with at least 17 former congressional aides and staffers now with Delta Airlines. Sharon Pinkerton, former FAA Assistant Administrator, now with the airlines main lobbying group: Air Transport Association of America. Linda Daschle, wife of former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, former ATA executive and former FAA deputy administrator and acting administrator in the 90s. Now she is one of Washington's top lobbyists, paid more than $440,000 a year to lobby for American Airlines. Regulators, airline executives, congressional representatives, and lobbyists are constantly exchanging places in the merry-go-round for money. While they ride their ever changing horses, air safety regulations will take the back seat near the toilets where we can listen to the constant flushes of empty promises disappearing into the thin air. In the meantime, we will continue to read frightening data, such as these, reported by Stephen Stock and the investigation team of CBS4 in Miami: "1011 incidents nationwide since 1978 where pilot fatigue caused a safety concern on board the aircraft or an actual crash. 689 of those incidents happened in the last five years (2005-2009)." "Data from the FAA, NTSB, and NASA shows the problem is growing. There were 189 incidents in

2008 which is up from 117 incidents the year before (2007). And in just the first 9 months of 2009 there were 104 incidents of serious pilot fatigue which is the same number as in entire years in the past." Their investigation team even found a brochure, published by the NTSB in 1990, "calling for the FAA to address fatigue immediately." Randy Babbitt's latest word comes from his statement before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation on Update: The Agency's Call to Action on Airline Safety and Pilot Training. His complete statement can be found on faa.gov. He laments that, despite his direction for an aggressive timeline for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the end of last year to update the rules from the mid-1990s, it did not happen. He says, "However, with my continued emphasis on this topic, we hope to issue an NPRM this spring. Although this is slightly later than I originally hoped, it is still an extremely expedited schedule and I can assure you the FAA team working on this is committed to meeting the target." Anyone hear the alarm going off? It's ringing! Daylight has arrived. No one hears it. Our sleep deprived pilots are on their radios airing their distress signals. The music of the flushing toilet, the carrousel, and the ride for money are drowning out the cries for passenger safety. When will our regulators awaken from their sleep paralysis?

Ronald Czarnecki, ezinearticles.com contributor and recently published author of "Shop for Sleep and Survive the Bite" offers consumers the first "how to" guide for mattress shopping. The career veteran of the retail mattress world breaks the "code of silence" and uncovers the map to the "good night's rest" we all deserve. For more information visit Ron at: http://www.shopforsleep.com or join him on his blog site at: http://www.sleeplessandtired.com Good night, sleep tight, and survive the bite! Copyright 2010. All rights reserved to Ronald Czarnecki.

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Now You Can Learn To Fly Easily & Get Your Private Pilot Licence Done In 30 Days Or Less...! http://lnk.co/IHT33 ==== ====