The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Pushing safety to the limit - and beyond

Feb 3, 2003

A US Air commuter plane crashed January 8 in North Carolina killing 21 people. It turns out the plane was overloaded.

United Airlines, US Air and American are all laying off workers who service their big planes and at the same time expanding their "commuter" lines, which use these small planes where the workers get much lower wages and benefits. And they are using these little planes for longer flights.

The response of the Federal Aviation Administration to this crash was to require airlines to weigh all their commuter plane passengers over the next three months.

Why not cut back on the lengths of flights? Longer flights require more fuel, which weighs a lot.

Why not cut back on freight shipments? These, too, add weight.

No – the FAA is only making a pretense of a study. It has no intention of stopping the airlines from increasing their profits by using these small planes on longer flights.