Air Fatigue

Cargo pilots should be included in rest regulations, association says

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Louisville, KY – To mark the one-year anniversary of a plane crash that killed two UPS pilots, the Independent Pilots Association has renewed calls to address fatigue.

The organization, which represents more than 2,600 UPS pilots, recently stated that Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration were wrong to exclude cargo pilots from FAR Part 117 – new rules intended to decrease flight-duty periods and strengthen rest requirements. The regulations went into effect for passenger carriers Jan. 4 but exempted all-cargo airlines.

IPA has fought what it describes as the “cargo carve-out” by filing a lawsuit against FAA and calling attention to the potentially deadly consequences of fatigued flying. On Aug. 14, 2013, Capt. Cerea Beal Jr. and First Officer Shanda Fanning were killed when UPS Flight 1354 crashed while approaching an airport in Birmingham, AL.

“What we didn’t know then, but suspected, was the role fatigue played in this accident,” Capt. Robert Travis, president of IPA, said in a press release. “Once the Cockpit Voice Recorder transcripts were released, there was no doubt.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced a Senate bill on Nov. 13 to include cargo pilots in the new rest regulations. However, as of press time, the bill remained in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.