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December 28, 2009 - Report: Airline Pilots Need More Training

A number of airline pilots in and around Buffalo, N.Y., are not trained to deal with all emergency situations they may face in the air, an analysis suggests.

The Buffalo News said Sunday its review of federal safety data found that between 2004 and 2008, pilot error was determined to be responsible for regional airline crashes that claimed a total of 64 lives.

Along the same lines, an analysis of the five years' worth of data indicates pilot error was deemed responsible for nearly 28 percent of accidents and incidents involving regional airlines. That figure represented double the rate of pilot error events endured by major airlines.

The News' review, which also included interviews with aviation experts and pilots, found regional airlines have been hiring rookie pilots instead of veterans. Those fledgling pilots do not receive as much aviation training as their predecessors, the review suggests.

Pilot Jeffrey Skiles told to the News that many regional pilots "simply do not have the flying skills for the position."

"So they have to develop them with paying passengers in the back," added Skiles, who served as co-pilot during the emergency U.S. Airways flight landing the Hudson River this year.

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