Concerns about flying

Posted Thursday, May. 08, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Flying 7,000 commercial aircraft out of 1,520 airports, handling over 5.7 billion passengers annually is hardly routine.

Mechanical problems, weather issues and reductions in fuel loads add challenges.

The FAA recently instituted new ‘rest rules’ to ensure best pilot performance. Flight-hour minimums and qualifications necessary to fly particular aircraft increased.

US Airways’ latest cost-cutting measures endanger lives. Using “American Eagle” for a range of regional carriers implies a quality and reputation earned when Eagle was the junior member of a high-quality company that included American Airlines.

Many small carriers do not operate under those standards or safety record.

When the very pilots who established that excellent reputation refused drastic reductions in pay and benefits, US Airways essentially fired them, replacing them with pilots having significantly less experience for salaries barely over minimum wage.

That original airline has been renamed Envoy, making it difficult to decipher who is really flying your plane.

They are outsourcing the training that created the reputation. Lobbyists in Washington are attempting to undo FAA rulings on pilot flight-hour minimums and training requirements.

Is flying safe?

— Renee Michalski, Waco

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