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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Medallion Foundation should do advanced flight training

  • Author: William A. Quirk III
    | Opinion
  • Updated: June 12
  • Published June 12

In reference to the commentary in the ADN, “Medallion Foundation an unfair target in recent crashes” by Dave Prewitt: There have been five airplanes flown by Alaska pilots that crashed, killing 12 people, during the month of May 2019. The total fatalities for this year as of June 5 are 16.

The Medallion Foundation focuses on risk management and providing more than 20 flight simulators for training in instrument flying conditions and in emergency procedures. The Foundation’s overall goal is to improve the level of safety for Alaska pilots and make it a safer place to fly. From all I have heard and read about Medallion Foundation’s aviation safety efforts, it appears they have a progressive program that benefits Alaskan pilots. They are involved in Alaska with the air carriers and with general aviation, or GA, pilots. Alaska aviators are criticizing the Medallion Foundation for the large number of aircraft fatalities in May 2019.

I don’t have sufficient information to comment on the Medallion Foundation’s training success to discuss the airplane fatalities in May 2019. Nevertheless, I have had discussions in the past years with some of the foundation’s board of directors. I did not discuss their current efforts, but was always interested in finding out why they were not involved in the weak and ineffective flying procedures that GA pilots are currently using. I am talking about the contemporary training that GA pilots have, which is basic flight training with no options for advanced training. This is by far the most compelling problem with GA pilots in not having the appropriate advanced training to become safer pilots with fewer aircraft accidents.

I have never received a satisfactory reply from the Medallion Foundation’s board of directors on my quest. They are primarily focused only on risk management and their simulators, and they are not willing to get further engaged.

— William A. Quirk III

Anchorage

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