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FAA Checks Out|Pilot Certification

WASHINGTON (CN) - In the wake of the Colgan Air Flight 3407 tragedy that killed 50 last year, the FAA is requesting public input on whether it should make changes to commercial pilot certification.

The Federal Aviation Administration investigation of the crash found that the crew was chatting and not monitoring the instruments closely when certain movements activated the plane's stall-protection systems. The pilot in command over-corrected and the plane went into a dive five miles from Buffalo Niagra Airport in New York, before landing on a house in a ball of fire.

Colgan's pilot training does not include flight simulator demonstration of what the pilot should have done, as it is not required by the FAA, according to the Wall Street Journal which interviewed folks close to the investigation. Also, the pilot had failed "numerous" flight tests in the past, according to the Journal.

The FAA plans to gather information on whether eligibility, training, and qualification requirements for pilot certification are adequate for flight in commercial aircraft. Specifically, does a copilot's training include enough hours of training in various weather conditions to be able to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and respond in a safe and timely manner.

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