The Post is on again about the “inappropriate cockpit chitchat” in the Buffalo-bound Colgan Air flight that crashed this week. “LAUGHS TO DOOM ‘IN 20 SECONDS'” roars the hed. As we said before, we consider the banter of the crew the least part of the issue. People in tough jobs often joke. Haven’t they ever seen Only Angels Have Wings?
More to the point are their lamentations of the low pay and poor training of the pilot and first officer. Their editorial’s proposed remedy: “ground” Colgan, and investigate the FAA. Also, make sure the crews are “sufficiently trained, experienced, rested — and healthy enough to fly their planes.”
We applaud the Post‘s concern for workers when their own lives are threatened. Theirs is both a laudable and an attainable prescription, and we would like to extend it also to medical personnel who often work too many hours to be at their best when cutting and treating us. Presumably the Post editorial board will suspend their usual antipathy to “socialism” and acknowledge that the only way to pay for these new standards would be either higher fares — which would further depress the sluggish air travel industry — or government funding.
Of course, if such a plan were implemented, we expect Post editorials decrying the pilots’ rest provisions as featherbedding. But that’s a small price to pay for safety.