New Guidelines for Airline Pilot Training - Charter Flight Group

New Guidelines for Airline Pilot Training


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New Guidelines for Airline Pilot Training


Federal officials issued tougher training requirements for pilots this past week. Part of the reason stemmed from the prodding by families of people killed in a regional airline crash.

Buffalo Niagara Airport
Buffalo Niagara Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One of the largest changes will require airlines to give their pilots better training on how to not only prevent, but to recover from an aerodynamic stall. This stall occurs when a plane slows its speed to the point of losing lift. This type of stall was responsible for the crash of Continental Express Flight 3407 in February 2009, on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in western New York. The crash killed all 49 people on board and one man on the ground.


Under these new requirements, which are the most substantial changes in two decades, airlines will have to provide flight simulator training for pilots dealing with stalls. Up until now, the training for pilots emphasized on how to avoid stalling the plane, rather than how to recover from a stall. It was this lack of training that was blamed for that fatal crash according to safety investigators.


While FAA officials praise the new training requirements that will, according to FAA administrator Michael Huerta ,“give our pilots the most advanced training available to handle emergencies they encounter,” family members are complaining about the length of time given to implement the the requirements. The FAA is giving the airlines five years (2018) to have the new strategies and training in place. That will make it nine years since the tragic crash of Flight 3407, before pilots have to be trained on how to not only prevent this type of emergency, but to recover from such an in-air event. Other training changes to be implemented by this ruling include how to handle crosswinds and wind gusts, accountability by the pilots who repeatedly demonstrate deficiencies in skill tests.


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