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Thu, Jan 31, 2013

Book Focuses On Pilot Fatigue And Its Consequences

Author Says It Is A 'Scathing Expose' Of FAA Inaction

Tired pilots crash airplanes at a much higher rate than well-rested pilots. That's the assessment of Ace Abbott, author of "The Rogue Aviator," who recently released his second book, "Dead Tired: Pilot Fatigue-Aviation’s Insidious Killer." The book has an accompanying website where one can garner information about the book and read excerpts.

Abbot says his book is a "scathing expose" of the FAA’s failure to act regarding the cockpit fatigue issue throws light on how this powerful agency can be undermined by special interests.

Do Cargo Pilots need To Be Well-Rested? The answer from the FAA is a glaring no! This determination was a result of the over-riding power of cost-effectiveness, or as the Harvard Business School will euphemistically state, “Maximum utilization of human resources.” After 50 years of obsolete, fatigue-inducing government approved 16 hour work days for pilots, the FAA finally—with the impetus of an angry Congress—steps forward with some rule changes that will reduce pilot fatigue in the cockpit. However, as a result of monetary considerations they exempted cargo pilots from the new rules. This policy is being challenged by the cargo pilots. IPA, the UPS union has filed lawsuits.

The Continental Flight 3407 fatal accident in Buffalo, NY, is the focal point of this book’s primary theme that politics and money will override good judgment in aviation policy-making.  Deadly aircraft accidents with tired pilots in the cockpit have been an offshoot of the politics of profit. The important role played by a group referred to as The Friends of Continental Flight 3407, is presented. This group’s aggressive activism was paramount in the Congress-mandated regulations for decreased workloads for commercial pilots. An in-depth discussion of the politics of flight and duty time rules for commercial aviation is a major theme of this book.

During his stint as a featured author at the Oshkosh Air Show, Ace Abbott took time from his Author’s Corner book signing duties to deliver a speech on the front-and-center issue of pilot fatigue. His speech was well-received and he will continue to address aviation groups and present seminars on this very important element of aviation safety.

Abbot says that although the book is directed at the aviation community, the non-pilot can also glean information on the subject of fatigue countermeasures that would benefit tired auto or truck drivers. The results of recent sleep deprivation studies are presented in this book—knowledge that could prevent sleep-deprivation accidents in non-aviation environments. Information about all aspects of fatigue (sleep deprivation) and useful antidotes is presented in Dead Tired.

FMI: www.deadtiredpilots.com

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