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National Aviation Safety Reform Effort Stalls

By Ed O'Keefe

The Post's Sholnn Freeman reports:

Federal efforts to improve U.S. aviation safety after a deadly regional plane crash in February have hit major obstacles, sapping momentum for a reform effort that enjoyed broad political support earlier this year.

A number of aviation safety proposals have been filed in Congress this year in response to the Feb. 12 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 outside Buffalo. The regional plane's crash killed 50 people, making it the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in seven years.

In preliminary hearings and reports, the National Transportation Safety Board has exposed a number of safety issues, including lax pilot hiring practices and problems related to training and fatigue, as well as a lack of depth of regulatory oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In three days of hearings in March, the safety board released cockpit voice transcripts from the accident, with the plane's co-pilot expressing fears about poor training and her own inadequacies as an entry-level pilot. The safety board's revelations were followed by a wave of news conferences, press releases and congressional hearings in which lawmakers demanded action.

Continue reading this report >>>

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 9:45 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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