Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pesky Pilots Complain About Safety Worries Because of Mandatory Low Fuel Loads

Those darn whistle blowers are at it again. This time via a system set up by NASA so that airline pilots and workers can register safety concerns without fear of being fired.

The current worry from many pilots is strictly enforced low fuel load rules that are making them fly with a dangerously low level of fuel for the distances that they are covering.

Less than a month after pilots at US Airways took out a full-page ad in USA Today accusing the carrier of skimping on fuel loads to save money, pilots at other airlines are continuing to sound the alarm and are expressing concerns about the safety of airline crews and passengers.

Pilots said that their airline bosses, desperate to cut costs, are forcing them to fly uncomfortably low on fuel. The situation got bad enough three years ago, even before the latest surge in fuel prices, that NASA sent a safety alert to federal aviation officials. Since then, pilots, flight dispatchers and others have continued to sound off with their own warnings, yet the Federal Aviation Administration says there is no reason to order airlines to back off their effort to keep fuel loads to a minimum.--AP
I feel so much more comfortable now preparing to fly the many thousands of miles from Tokyo to Denver in a couple of weeks. The care and concern of the FAA is gratifying. (this story brought to you from our continuing series "Don't Worry Be Happy" Or "Failure of Oversight Departments A Way of Life in the USA")