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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 12, 2009 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT

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>> thanks for letting become i think i have a story and everybody here who is here today has a story. it is not a happy time. thank you very much for
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listening to me. >> i will close with a rhetorical question that will be with all of these closings will other makers go to these institutions that have facilities available and pre-unfair new products and convey them to the public instead of the established makers? take you very much. >> thank you very much that concludes our questioniquestioni ng and hearing. thank you to our witnesses and testimony that committee rules that the committee members have 10 days to submit additional questions for the record. all of the exception of one and three be entered into the record and any redacted a permission proprietary to law-enforcement sensitive that without objection all documents will be entered into the record. we are turned.
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-- adjourned [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> here is our policy we are willing and anxious and eager to stop the bombing just as we are eager to stop the war. >> the telephone conversations from lyndon johnson's presidency, vietnam and troubles for his supreme court justice pic. listen 10:00 a.m. eastern on it c-span radio. online at c-span radio and
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nationwide -- nationwide xm radio channel 1302. >> direct aid to colleges is a late 1950's earn these sixties and has grown rapidly since then. >> hills state college has never accepted government funding and even student loans are not permitted. >> title for his roughly 400 pages long. we have a lawyer here in town who tries to keep from giving the government money he said it was no use i could not read it. >> hills a college president sunday 8:00 p.m. or listen on c-span radio or xm satellite radio or download the podcast. >> during the senate hearing on aviation safety we will hear the circumstances of crash 34 '07 back in february
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witnesses include members of the faa byron dorgan chairs the subcommittee it is one hour 45 minutes with a. >> we will call the hearing to order i want to thank you for joining us to talk about an important subject of aviation safety it is a subcommittee of the u.s. commerce committee. the first of two hearings and one of today and one next week to discuss aviation safety with the discussion of airlines. we will receive testimony from eight faa's, ntsb come apartment of transportation inspector general and the independent safety experts, mr. o'brien that i have just mentioned is not here he is stuck in traffic but will be here momentarily. on june 17 we will hear from other witnesses including airlines and pilots.
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let me begin at the the subject of safety by saying in this country i think we have a remarkably safe system of air travel the safety record is extraordinary. does not my intention to alarm about considering taking a flight on a regional carrier or any airline, but we do have a responsibility to examine airline crashes when they occur and do what we can to prevent future accidents. we have all heard the story of the tragic crash and february this year continental connection flight 3407 from buffalo york station york it was a bombard your/eight both of private says had commuted fairly long distances and burr have found to have little rest. the co-pilot revealed the
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inexperience in flying in icy conditions that i have read in the transcript the captain had failed a number of flight test. we will hear from the ntsb which has been investigating but it sounds like the captain it made the wrong decisions at the wrong time. i worry when i have looked at this and have read the transcript of the cockpit recording and all of the other issues, there are issues of fatigue, training, commuting, and perhaps the salaries that could have played a role. i am concerned about the airline's and faa's ability to prevent an experienced pilots from flying planes they may be less familiar with and then they should be or icy weather when they are less experienced that you would expect them to be. we are supposed to be having a
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one o level of safety for regional and major carriers and i want to hear from our new administrator babbitt randolph if he thinks that is the case and if the faa has kept up with the changes in the industry, it does this standard exists at one bubble? is that enforced to what level? i sent a letter to the department of transportation inspector general to review the faa's role of the certification of training programs airlines require to the extent the faa can verify the pilots are receiving training and the ability to verify the qualifications of pilots to operate specific aircraft for i am pleased the inspector general is here with us today. also i sent a letter that they study safety practice in place to deal with icing conditions let me say that ntsb appears
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to be doing a very thorough job which is not a surprise to gain an understanding of this crash may need to fully understand it and it what changes need to be made to ensure it does not happen again. this will be the first of two hearings and our witnesses today are a babbitt randolph administrator faa's, calvin scovel inspector general at department of transportation and general brian -- john o'brien who was a member of the flight safety foundation. i will call on the ranking member for an opening statement and chairman and ranking member of the full committee then call on witnesses and a round of questions a. >> thank you mr. chairman i want to thank you for your diligence and a sense of
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urgency to have these hearings to have the answers to american people and all passengers. i appreciate the witness is being here today i would not give a full opening statement because i want to get to you. but the possible weaknesses on the carrier side are important and they agree with everything the chairman says but in interviewing some of the carrier's there may be things on our side that we can do such as our privacy regulations to keep carriers from having access to some other records that we no fault the carrier for not responding to. of by to hear more about that but you have met with me of people who lost loved ones wants this report comes out and makes recommendations, will we
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respond or make the same mistakes again? i hope we can talk about that today. there is one thing but these parents are asking us whether we going to do about it? thank you for being here and i appreciate all three of you and i will yield to the ranking member. >> thank you senator dorgan, a senator demint for of course, i have spent the chairmen of this committee and the chairman of the ntsb safety is always going to be the highest priority on my agenda. i will always remain interested so i will be an active member of this subcommittee. but seriously having had the ntsb experience we have made great strides. we used to have two standards.
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we did for the regionals and the air carriers. but we do not any more. we're all together in the 121 category. but the fact is some of the largest airlines have larger safety programs and have higher standards than even the minimum of 121. why no that is something you want to look at 23 have the right minimum standard or should we start stepping up to be more in line with some of the larger air carriers? the troubling thing of course, his four of the last five accidents and we have had in our country have been regional jets. maybe they have not been all
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jets and guess i assume regional carriers. i think pilot issues have been a part of that. what i want to hear and ask you to particularly the gatt is obviously pilot history, calculations, a cockpit oversight, trading, but also maintenance trading. that is not in most of these accidents but we do need to look just because we are beginning to see that may be made in its trading and oversight these to come into the safety factors as well. i will support what senator dorgan has said. we have the safest system and the world with wonderful faa
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and ntsb involvement. our investigators are the best and they come up with the causes and we have learned from those causes and have made the adjustments by the faa through the years. i take we are a safe aviation and country. but we should be saying let's take another look and see where we need to be more stringent with more oversight just to ensure bree doing everything possible. i know their people in this audience whose lives are affected by these tragic accidents. i appreciate you are holding the hearing i do have a conflicting hearings because i cannot stay but will get the testimony and when we are into the reauthorization and safety standards i will be very active and i want to have the input i will look at
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everything you have said and we both work together and what is in all of our interest. >> senator hatch and thank you for your work on this subcommittee. senator rockefeller is not able to be with us would you like to make a one minutes opening statement i would be happy to recognize you. >> just very quickly because i do want to hear from the witnesses and we are pleased to have the new administrator of the faa's and i see. people have confidence and experience and we need to look at the safety side people are anxious to go places they still crowder planes there are still huge chalets but the overriding concern is safety and i mini for holding that. >> let me make one final
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point* most consumers get on the airplane and all they see is the brand name of the carrier they do not know if it is a major, a commuter or a carrier and a question as we begin to hear the witnesses, should passengers expect that the same confidence -- competence and capability, experience and judgment exist in the cockpit no matter the size of the airplane? if they do not know if it is commuter or major carrier. does it exist today? a lot of evidence suggested the most recent crash that was not the case. let me commend the ntsb for the extraordinary work they're doing and i will begin with the honorable randolph babbitt administrator of the faa's we are pleased to have decided to serve your country but we will
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recognize you and your entire statement is made a part of the permanent record and you may proceed mr. babbitt. >> chairman organic thomas senator demand and members of the full committee thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the of april and oversight of air carriers. we at the faa more the tragic loss of plight 3407 as well as the families and crew members above air france 447. this agency is dedicated to air safety any loss is felt by all of us and and there are sympathies go out to air france 447 and 3407 this is my first appearance at a hearing since i was sworn in on
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june 1st and want to think the committee again for both of your support and your confidence in me. we do have and the ambitious agenda that i discussed with you at the last confirmation and i intend to work very hard to achieve the stated goals we have set forth as a challenge of the faa. since the nineties there has been a requirement of safety that of regional carriers must operate under the same rules and the same level of safety as major airline counterparts and i am proud to say when i was president of the airline pilots association are that the efforts to work with the faa to make those changes. all carriers that operate aircraft today with 10 or more seats are required to meet the same safety standards and are subject to the same level of safety oversight across the boards when the ntsb conducted its hearing last month that i commend the four several
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issues came to light and they were investigating the air crash this such as pilot training, qualifications, a flight crew fatigue, and consistency of safety standards, compliance between their transportation operators and given the ntsb has not included the conversation -- investigation i cannot speak to findings my written testimony will provide details as two current requirements with regard to pilot training, records, a flight time, should limitations. i can also tell you secretary of the hood and might announce faa inspectors to really focus inspections to better ensure all airlines including regionals are complying with federal regulations we're gathering representatives from
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major air carriers the original partners aviation industry groups here and washington d.c. on the 15th to participate in a call to action to improve safety. this will address training, cockpit discipline and other issues associated and while we await the findings of the accident the secretary and i believe there is no time to loose in acting upon information we have already gathered. in june 15 hours summit is designed to foster action and voluntary commitments in four key areas, the ms. responsibilities for crew, education, support. to, a professional standards in the cockpit. number three, a training standards and performance and fourth, the mentoring relationships between mainline characters in regional
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partners. the air accident and loss of air france remind us we cannot arrest on our laurels we must remain alert and diligent to our challenges. we have to work to enhance the air safety within the system. this is a business where one mistake is one mistake to many. senator dorgan, a senator demint and members of the committee this concludes my repaired days prepared remarks of a happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you very much for being with us will now hear from calvin scovel and you may proceed. >> chairman dorgan ranking member demand and members of the subcommittee we appreciate the opportunity to testify safety is a responsibility shared among faa aircraft
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manufacturers airports and together all four for a series of overlapping controls to keep the system safe. the past several years have said what of the safest periods however the tragic action and teach accident of 3407 underscores the need for constant diligence is among the part of all stakeholders last month and tsb held a preliminary hearing into the accident in which some evidence suggested pilot fatigue may have contributed. as a result you along with chairman rockefeller and ranking member how to since requested our office began an extensive investigation into some of the issues brought to light during that hearing perk we have already begun work on this review. today i will first address two major weaknesses related to faa oversight of the industry then move onto operational differences between may 9 and
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regional carriers. first hearing april 2008 highlighted weaknesses and the faa risk-based oversight system and air compliance with directives. all those southwest airlines compliance many stakeholders were concerned if they could be symptomatic of much deeper problems with faa's over carrier oversight. for example, in 2002 reported faa needed to develop national oversight process to ensure it is effectively and consistently implemented in 2005 we found inspectors did not complete 26 pretend -- 86% of inspections. compliance issues of south west negative program go undetected for several years further the ongoing work has determined the laps and oversight inspections were not
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limited to southwest. faa oversight offices for other major it period air carriers missed inspection some were lapsed long beyond the five year cycle traditionally of a national oversight of other areas such as the stations have struggled to keep pace with the dynamic changes occurring in the industry. these facilities are rapidly becoming primary source for aircraft maintenance precut we found faa's relies heavily on carriers to maintain the stations but that has not always been effective. we reported air carriers did not identify all deficiencies at repair stations and ethically following up on deficiencies identified to assure problems were corrected this is a problem of particular concern for regional characters to rely heavily on repair stations. according to provided -- data
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provided they are sending as much as half of their maintenance repair stations the ntsb investigation of air midwest and january 2003 identified serious lapse in the carrier's oversight of outsourced me and. last month ntsb hearing proselyte the need to firstly examine the regulation government pilot training and represent oversight to ensure compliance for these issues are particularly critical at regional characters the last fatal accidents involving regional air carriers ntsb cited pilot performance as a contributory factor in for a 692 our second concern with operational differences between main line and regional air carriers it is critical there is one bubble of safety, regional flights represent one-half of the total scheduled flights across the country and regional
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flights the the only service to over 400 communities. in response to your request our preliminary audit work have identified differences in pilot training programs and level of flight experience. we're also looking into have a role in determining your carriers with both may 9 and regional air carriers have developed program to ensure pilots are adequately trained and have sufficient experience to perform responsibilities. mr. chairman we will continue to do our part to advance the call of one level of safety while all stockholders -- stakeholders will be to areas that need to be address. we will be to areas for improvement and other where faa needs to revisit difference is and rethink its approach to safety oversight. that concludes my statement i will be happy to answer any
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questions you may have. >> thank you very much for your testimony and work at the inspector general's office next to hear from mark rosenker the acting chairman of national transportation safety board. you may proceed. >> thank you mr. chairman, distinguished members of the committee i would like to begin my testimony this afternoon with a short summary of the ntsb investigator actions to date regarding the accident involving cold air flight 3407 this is still the ongoing investigation and there is significant work left for our investigators but my testimony today will be limited to those facts we have identified and i will steer clear of any analysis of what we have found so a


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