FAA Delays Release of New Pilot Training Guidelines

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM EDT


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBW) It was expected that the Federal Aviation Administration was going to publish new airline pilot training guidelines in October.

The new rules were something that the "Families of Continental Flight 3407" have been pushing for since 2009 when a Continental Airlines regional turboprop aircraft crashed in Clarence Center, NY killing 50 people.

"Because in the end, we are making the skies safer for everyone so that this tragedy doesn't happen again," said Jennifer West, who lost her husband Ernie in the crash.

"This was one of five really important rules from the airline safety act that was signed in 2010, as a result of the crash of Flight 3407, that Congress mandated the FAA to complete," added Karen Ecker, who lost her sister Beverly in the crash and has traveled to Washington 60 times to lobby for the changes.

Under the proposed new rules, pilots would be required to receive more extensive training -especially in simulators dealing with sudden stalls.

Investigators concluded that Flight 3407 crashed as a result of the plane entering a stall with the pilots unable to properly react due to lack of training and experience.

But the recent partial government shutdown has now delayed the guidelines release with the FAA issuing the following statement:

"Prior to the government shutdown, the FAA planned to issue the pilot training rule in October. However, the employees at the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Office of Management and Budget responsible for finalizing the pilot training rule were furloughed under the shutdown, and the Agency is assessing the shutdown's impact on finalizing the rule."

"Once again it is another delay," said Jennifer West.

"We had a 16-day shutdown . . . we're hoping that it will be November now," commented Karen Ecker.

"I hope the delay is only a few days and not several months," added John Kausner, whose daughter Elly died in the crash.