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Higgins applauds FAA rule requiring more realistic, hands-on training for pilots

by jmaloni


Tue, Jul 15th 2014 12:40 pm

Simulator upgrades and adverse weather training proposed in response to lessons learned from Flight 3407

Last week, Congressman Brian Higgins welcomed the Federal Aviation Administration's proposed new rule requiring more vigorous training standards, including advanced simulator training for airline pilots.

The rule introduced is a component of the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act, approved by Congress and signed into law in 2010, which addresses, in part, the need to improve weather event and stall recovery training. The legislation, which passed under the strong advocacy of the Flight 3407 victims' families, also focuses on airline carrier transparency and pilot fatigue - factors impacting the 2009 crash.

Higgins spoke on the House Floor in support of the new requirements, which he said would better prepare pilots and protect passengers:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Federal Aviation Administration's proposal to update flight simulators to more accurately warn of emergency situations.

"Though these situations are rare, when they occur, the result is catastrophic.

"In my own Western New York community, Continental Flight 3407 tragically crashed in February of 2009, killing all aboard, because the pilots did not know how to compensate for a loss of speed caused by ice on the plane's wings, which caused an aerodynamic stall.

"Among the provisions included in aviation safety reforms passed by Congress in the wake of Flight 3407 are requirements that pilots undergo additional ground and flight training in order to prepare for catastrophic events.

"I urge the FAA to act quickly to approve and implement these new simulators to comply with the law and give pilots the best possible training for the safety of the flying public."

Airlines will have three years to comply with the advanced simulator standards. The deadline for comments on the rule is Oct. 8, 2014. For more information or to file comments, visit https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15432.

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