Fox host suggests equity efforts could be to blame for airplane near-collisions

Brian Kilmeade: “You could have that whole equity push, where it's not the best person, it's what color and gender they are”

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Citation From the March 2, 2023, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Let's talk about air problems -- problems in the air. The FAA is now investigating near-collisions between a JetBlue flight and a private jet. This happened on Monday at Boston Logan Airport. This is the fifth close call involving a commercial airline on a runway in the U.S. this year.


Is this because of the pandemic, is it because people haven't made the adjustment in the tower? Are people overworked and underpaid? Let's bring in Kyle Bailey, pilot and aviation expert. So, Kyle, you hear about these incidents, there are probably more out there. Are we just chronicling it better or are there some problems?

KYLE BAILEY (PILOT): Good morning, Brian. There are some problems. I mean, the incidents quite frankly are on the rise. We went from about eight a year and now this year we're up to about 20 per year. So, the problem is on the rise, and it is a combination of various factors. And like you said, one of them could very well be pilot fatigue, they're overworked the pilots are overworked. And, you know, there is a lot to deal with. 

KILMEADE: Well, I mean, you have a couple things, as you bring up. You say they have crash pads where they sleep near the hub in the airport. You got 15 pilots chipping in, just to crash. Maybe they're not sleeping well. You also have a situation where pilots were told to retire. Other new pilots coming in. Or you could have that whole equity push, where it's not the best person, it's what color and gender they are.

BAILEY: That's right. And, you know, so your audience knows, a lot of these pilots are commuting to their home base. So, they might live in, say, Minneapolis and be commuting to Chicago by air and spending a full day for travel to get to work. It's not just like they drive an hour and show up and they're there at work. So, it's a combination of many things. Fatigue I think is playing a part. One thing I'm really concerned about, too, is social media and the use of iPhones. Yes, they are prohibited while operating an airplane and also while a controller is in the control tower. But, I'm seeing on social media on YouTube, a lot of videos of pilots posting videos while they're sitting in the plane before the plane is actually operating.