New Survey of Pilots Finds US Airways Scrimps on Safety

According to an article in The Herald, the push for profitability has led US Airways to cut corners, according to 1,560 pilots for the airline who participated in a recent survey conducted by the University of Illinois. Many of those who responded to the survey said they are being pushed in a way that compromises safety, such as:

  • The push for on-time departures
  • Pilots have little input into safety issues
  • The airline showed an “unsatisfactory response” to reported safety issues
  • Safety personnel were seen as “out of touch” with the real risks of flight operations

The survey was taken by Professor Terry von Thaden, a well-respected aviation safety expert. Overall, the survey indicates the safety culture at US Airways is “generally negative and in need of intervention.”

In response, US Airways points to a U.S. News & World Report assessment on the safety of the eight largest U.S. carriers. It ranks US Airways third in overall safety and first among major airlines.

US Airways had 124 documented safety incidents in 2010 among 1.1 million flights. The airline says it met or exceeded its safety goals and posts all safety issues, near collisions and unsafe landings. Last year a US Airways Expression regional flight overran a runway in Charleston, W.VA and the National Transportation Safety Board has found the crew was distracted and unprofessional in their duties.

For many years pilots have been talking about the bottom line mentality of airlines and the impact on safety. Even US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who safety landed a jet on the Hudson River in January 2009 saving 155 on board, has expressed concerns about how financial pressures are making it harder to attract and keep experienced pilots.

US Airways pilots are paid the least of all five major airlines and are currently in contract talks.

The Florida personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah understand a business must be profitable, but not at the expense of safety when one mishap can mean many lives. If you or a loved one have been injured in an aviation accident, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call and consult with our experienced aviation accident attorneys about your options.