Miracle on the Hudson Pilot Rebuts Attempt to Equate Airline’s Training Program to Military’s

Buffalo, New York – May 13, 2022 – With news that regional carrier Republic Airways has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration for an exemption to the foundation of the landmark aviation law unanimously passed by Congress in 2010 in response to the tragic crash of Flight 3407, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ strenuously objected and called on acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen to reject the proposal in the strongest and swiftest manner possible.

“Obviously a very calculated move by Bryan Bedford and his regional airline cronies to wait for Administrator Dickson to step aside and then to try to pull a fast one when no one was watching or there was hopefully a sympathetic acting Administrator,” declared John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his twenty four year old daughter Ellyce when the plane crashed less than a mile from their family home.  “We are counting on the Biden Administration to be wise enough to see through this smokescreen and ensure that the FAA sends a strong message against it.”
The core premise of the Republic Airways’ request is that they should be allowed to circumvent the heightened experience requirements enacted in the aftermath of the Flight 3407 tragedy, with a program narrowly geared to training pilots in the specifics of a highly-automated cockpit.  The company argues that participants in its training program should receive the same experience credit towards an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license as is currently awarded to pilots who go through a military flight training program.

“As we have said for over 13 years now, let’s listen to the true experts like Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles in terms of what is the best way to prepare a commercial airline pilot to calmly and competently respond to a situation which is not addressed in a manual or encountered in everyday flying,” stated Scott Maurer of Palmetto, Florida, who lost his thirty year old daughter Lorin, an athletic department fundraiser at Princeton University.  “Captain Sullenberger could not be any more emphatic in his statement that there is absolutely no comparison between this training program, no matter how robust Republic considers it to be, and what is offered by the United States military.” 

The family group cited the sterling safety record that has been produced as a result of the landmark regional airline safety legislation, which included the increased experience requirements, as proof that the FAA and Congress should not modify the current safety regulations in any way.

“Let’s recognize these repeated efforts over the past decade for what they truly are; an attempt to rush pilots to the cockpits of commercial airliners and fatten corporate bottom lines at the same time,” stated Susan Bourque of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister Beverly Eckert, a prominent 9/11 widow and activist. “The regionals essentially are objecting to a young pilot gaining an additional 12 to 24 months of seasoning while they accrue these additional hours of experience.  That is hardly unreasonable when you consider what an aspiring doctor must go through prior to being entrusted with the lives of patients.  Sully and Jeff Skiles have impressed upon us the importance of all the experiences that a young pilot amasses outside of a training environment early in their development, including hand-flying, reacting to adverse weather conditions, and various other decisions that must be made.  Shame on us if we ignore the lesson of Flight 3407 and multiple other recent international safety incidents where a pilot was unable to recognize and react to a situation that went beyond the scope of the technology in the cockpit.”