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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 20, 2009 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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airplane said i have never seen icing like this before, because we have all learned something. that is just as apparent as whether -- we have learned something. she felt she was not prepared. >> so you are saying you can have violations, things go wrong, but that she said this is such an indication that there are problems in training that you really do not need anything more than that. >> that, plus sharing information between pilots. knowing what is going on. we taught regularly so that you know what i am thinking. you have to voice some of the things that are going on in your head so that your first officer or captain knows what you are planning to do. that is not a violation of sterile cockpit. that leads us to know what is going on between the two, the dynamic. . .
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more training is always good. >> i guess what i would comment on is, we learned at the ntsb hearings that there is software available to take inexperienced pilots and put them with experienced pilots. a mentoring program of some sort, or you have an experienced pilot who has flown in the eyes, who has seen it, who has understanding of it, put an inexperienced pilot with that. it is a hands-on way of learning about these things. there's only so much that can be
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done in a simulator. >> i would think that icing would be a harder condition is -- a heart condition to simulate. >> i just want to make one other comment. the regional airlines are usually flying less than 2 hour flight. more takeoffs, more landings. this is the critical time of flight, taking off and landing. where should we have the best skill. --? i am not trying to take anything away from the majors. should we not have the best pilots and the most skilled pilots flying the short trips? particularly if they're finding -- flying in these altitudes that are more susceptible to ice. that is another issue. the pilots to not like to fly them, but they have to. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i like to talk a little bit about maintenance. i have worked on this issue since i came to the senate on foreign repair stations. i am sure you are all aware that they have determined the regional carriers are depending on outsourcing maintenance to a large extent. my question to you, mr. cullen -- cohen, i believe 50% is being outsourced. how much of that is going to faa certified repair stations? >> is good to clarify some things in the report that i think the hearing in the other body did not quite get straight. 100% of all the maintenance is being done in faa certified maintenance operations. otherwise, it would not be
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allowed to fly. i think that there is -- if i can't clarify what the study is, the regional airlines outsource less of it overseas than even the mainline carriers do. virtually all the maintenance by the regional airline members is done here in this country, either by himself -- by themselves, on their own, by a certified maintenance operation here in the united states, including our manufacturers which applications in the united states. in miami, tennessee, west virginia. i hope that -- it may be a long way of answering your question. >> i am sure you are aware that it is perfectly acceptable to the faa for the repair work to
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be done in on certified stations. you are aware of that, right? your maintaining today that all the maintenance work is being done? this is one of the problems we have right now. a repair station does not have to be certified by the faa an order for it to be utilized by either the commercial carriers or the regional carriers. >> are you aware of that? >> senator, again, it is my understanding on the maintenance that the heavy maintenance that we're talking about are conducted by it what i am assuming our faa certified it. >> if you would check that. i would be surprised if i were the fact. we have done a fair amount of work on this issue. there are a large number of -- not just to kick the tires, but
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serious and substantial maintenance and repair work that is being done by non certified repair stations, both foreign and domestic. i would certainly appreciate you following up on that. one of the issues, of course, is what we have certified repair stations if people are not qualified to eat -- required to use them. --? as i said to faa a couple of different times in this room, i assume getting one certified as a good thing. if it is a good thing, why aren't we requiring people to use them? if it is not a good thing, why are we spending taxpayer money supporting them? it does not make sense to me. using the old fashioned common
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sense that we would go 3 certification process and not require it. if you get back to me, i would appreciate it. the faa does not have data on this. they admit they do not know. >> we will get you all the information. >> same question to you for the national carriers. can you give me any kind of figure of what maintenance is being done and certified vs. non certified -- >> i do not have that on hand, but i will be happy to provide it for you. >> none of this is being outsourced beyond the united states in terms of the regional characters. i am confident it is being outsourced be on the united states for the large commercial carriers. does your association have a number of what percentage of that maintenance is being outsourced? >> i am sure we have the answer to that. i would be happy to provide it for you.
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>> if you have it, that would be terrific. it has been a very difficult -- the difficult -- the information is difficult to come by from the faa. i did not think they have prioritize looking at this issue. one of the problems is, and many of these places, there is not even alcohol or drug testing. it seems weird to me that we have domestic certified repair stations, and because we do not have as many of them anymore because they have been outsourced, there are faa inspectors that hang out there, that are really looking over the shoulder. then you travel to indonesia, and if there is ever an faa inspector that shows up, by the way, the united states pay for that.
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-- pays for that. not the airlines. the taxpayers are underwriting the outsourcing. they're not even doing drug and alcohol tests. as we have talked about before, their locations that have been on the state department's watch list where there have been repair stations that have been utilized. if you could get back to us, i think it will be helpful as we move forward tried to get these important reforms done in the area of maintenance repair. >> we will attempt to get all of that information. i am well familiar with the issue of the inspections and repair stations. we have written about one of the carriers that fly is an empty airbus for repair after having a
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repaired in el salvador. my guess is, it is probably another issue of dollars and cents. let me go back to icing. this co but said, i have never seen icing conditions, i have never deiced. i have never experienced any of that. i did not want to have to experience that and make those kind of calls. the actual transcript as a co- pilot that appears to me to have had a minimum training in these conditions. the reason i mention this is because the training issue has been on the table here. what kind of training does someone have in the cockpit to fly under the conditions into which the airplane is headed. --? one would expect to encounter
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icing conditions of some sort. i learned to fly many years ago. i have been on airplanes with a lot of build up on the wings and watching it with flashlights. i have flown with pilots and others. it is an important question. how much training exist before someone is put in the cockpit for the specific kind of conditions they are likely to encounter? i want to ask about this issue of time in an airplane. i think that is also important. in the buffalo crash, i am told that the carrier had train their pilots on a stick shaker, but not the -- but not the stick pusher. if that is the case, if you're in a cockpit with a device
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called a stick pusher which is going to be a device that is automatically going to move you towards some sort of safety function and that flight, and you never have experience with it, isn't that a significant deficiency? how could that happen? can you tell us? >> i would be glad to. every airplane has different characteristics and safety features. pilots should be trained to the proficiency in each and every one of those. i cannot testify towards the conditions on the training of this individual. i can say more generally, there is a huge cost to training mn. -- airmen. it comes down to dollars and cents.
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they may not want to spend as much money making sure they are aware of each and every facet. trading has been shortened over my three decades as an airline pilot. we need to look at it very seriously and say, should we reduce it to below what are the standards? >> in defense of the training programs, this committee was provided with a very detailed information about the training programs which are every bit as robust. one of the things we talked about on monday's call to action was to look at all of these types of training issues that have been laid on the table, certainly today and over the last several weeks. and a look at whether it is an additional training environment, additional training on what ever, and that and all my years
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in the airline it -- in the airline industry, have been in it since 1971, i have never ever seen a decision by any airline regarding safety that would jeopardize safety because of cost. >> the center was making the point -- a perfectly reasonable point that if we are flying through very difficult economic conditions, if regional characters -- carriers are having difficulty, isn't it likely that you have less experience in that airplane? does that have an impact on the capability of that airplane to fly through difficult circumstances? the airline industry has created, for the most part in this country, two different systems. one is a hub and spoke system. the other is flying between
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carriers. northwest airlines served my state, it would fly its jet carriers into that city, one of four cities in north dakota with 727's with a pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer. i assumed they were pilots that have less experience and were bet on. i understand longer routes and the bigger planes are going to get pilots with more experience. the way this hub and spoke system has morphed, the network carriers have decided, we're going to move a lot of these spokes off to a commuter carrier. that commuter carrier is going to be out there with smaller planes in most cases. it is going to cost us less.
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we're going to wear our name on the fuselages. it will cost us a lot less, because frankly, it can be a carrier that we have perhaps 100% ownership of and not the same contracts we have. we have pilots with less experience at an entry level of $18,000 a year. you have, without the meeting a pilot or the pilot's ability, you do have the potential of a separate standard of capability. i'm talking about a separate standard of capability. the major question that started with a day is, the faa said in the mid-1990s, that when passengers walked to the airplane or, they should expect the same standard on the cockpit of a carrier or a network
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carrier. i think mr. prager says that he believes the enforcement of the standard is not as rigorous as passengers would expect or as we would expect. >> mr. chairman, we all adhere to the single standard that was established in 1995 the reality is, main line characters more regularly far exceed that standard than our regional partners do. we have, with virtually no exceptions, programs and more robust trading. as part of the recommendations we have made before you today and in the house last week we
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would suggest that many of those programs be instituted at the regional level for our partners. >> the fact is, it is your name on the fuselages of these airplanes. in many cases, you own the regional carrier or own substantial portions of equity. it would seem to me that it would be in the interest of the network carriers to require the things the of recommended today prior to these recommendations. >> i understand that thought, senator. there was actually a proposal made by ntsb back in 1994 when this whole debate came to pass and 121 was created, putting the regionals under 121 to have the mainline carriers be the enforcement of 121 for their
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regional partners. that was specifically rejected by congress and the faa because they wanted to have a single level of enforcement as well as a single level of achievement. and i think that decision was the correct one. it remains correct that the faa needs to be the principal enforcer. we have openly said, and will continue to say, if we need to change the standards and upgrade them, then that is something that we ought to look at doing. by the same token, the enforcement needs to rest with the faa. >> i was just another committee earlier this morning plan to describe a federal agency that was willfully blind -- willfully blind and cheerfully ignore it. i of not ascribe that to the faa except by certain agencies that
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have completely neglected -- the faa has said, we need new diligence here. a new level of interest in making certain that we have one standard. passengers can rely on one standard when they board an airplane. that is going to require some effort by the faa, and it may require some effort by this committee. they're going to be working on putting together, along with my colleagues, the faa authorization act right in the middle of that process. it will include a modernization of the air-traffic control system, all of which have to do with safety. and so, i would say to those that have raised the questions this morning about records and so on, my first expectation is that the administrator is going
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to move quickly to address some of those issues. we will introduce legislation to make certain it is done the right way as well. senator, did you wish to make any other comments? >> let me think the witnesses for being here. we will have an additional hearing at some point. we appreciate your representation of them here at this hearing. there is one other question i have not asked. we talk a lot about fatigue today, and one of the senators raised the issue of crew rest. i have been on plenty of airplanes that fly into year late because of storms. we land at midnight at washington national. i know that there is a requirement for a certain number of hours of rest. i have sat with pilots and
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walked off the plane is say, i have got to be back here at acts our. that is the number of test i have for rest, but the delegates to the hotel, by the time i checked in, but the time i get to bed, i will have four hours of sleep tonight. that is a crew rest issue. it is a regulatory issue. i do not want people to think that fatigue is the only issue here. i think there are other issues with respect to caress that we want to talk about as we go forward. >> yes, sir. it leads to the fatigue of the next day. if you're not allowed adequate time to recuperate from the 16 hour duty day you had the day before, and you are away from the airplane for eight hours or 8.5 hours, it is not enough. we need to ensure that the pilots are getting an adequate opportunity behind the hotel door to get eight hours of rest. >> we're all pretty mobile.
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we rely on transportation systems that are modern and safe. no insignificant part of that is the commercial airline industry. it is very important to our country, very important to all regions of our country. we wanted to be made as safe as possible. i think the tragic crash in buffalo, new york has activated a lot of interest in asking questions. did we drift along here and allow the creation of a couple different standards in training and so on? we will know more about the answer to that as more disclosures come from the ntsb and so on. we learned some from last week's hearing and this week's hearing. we have decided to, in the name of those we love, find a way to make a difference and make sure that others do not experience the same thing. this hearing is adjourned.
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>> coming up next on "the communicator's," a discussion on president obama's choice to lead the fcc. later, supreme court justice anthony kennedy delivers the commencement address at stanford university. then, bill clinton and the steady hoyer honor retiring democratic leadership ceo al from. tomorrow on "washington journal." a look at iran and the health-
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care debate on capitol hill with tony blankley and jon- christopher bua. later, a look at the cover story, barack hoover obama, the best and brightest blow it again. this week on c-span's "newsmakers." pete stark, chairman of the house at ways subcommittee on health discusses legislation working its way through congress. he talks about one proposal that will establish a public health insurance plan to compete with private plans. >> at the end of the day, if you choose to have competition, and you choose to have a plan that is dependable and affordable, you can't do it without having a public plan there. that creates the competition for the private. yes, there will be a public plan
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in the bill. will people vote for it? i don't know. who wants to go home and next year's primary and say, i voted against the plan that is going to provide 30,000 people in my district -- and most of whom are nonwhite, most of whom are poor, most of whom are working, i voted against giving them away to pay their doctors for medical care. i don't think that is a vote many people want to make. >> tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c- span. >> people did not want to think of roosevelt's conservation as policy so much as passion. so now, as people are talking about environmentalism, roosevelt is becoming the key
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figure to understanding this. he was the only politician of his day that had absorbed darwin, biology, birds' migratory patterns, mating habits of deer, elk, and did something. >> the first of two hours with douglas brinkley on "wilderness warrior. listen on xm satellite radio or download the cspan podcast. >> a discussion about julius jenachowskiy. they held a confirmation hearing in which they addressed the expansion of broadband in the u.s.. media ownership rules, and the so-called fairness doctrine. >> the senate commerce committee held nomination hearings on that -- joining us to talk about
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that this week, and refined byrd of broadbandcensus.org. before review the hearing itself, give us a little background on julius. >> the guy has been everywhere. he has been at the sec, and the private sector, -- fcc, the private sector, he has been a venture capitalist right here in washington which was a d.c. based startup. he is a tech and ciliary to the obama campaign. -- consider the very -- consigliari. >> given his background, what we know about him now? where do you think he will take the fcc?

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