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Study Finds 1 In 5 Pilots Commute 750 Miles Or More For Work

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FILE -- Pilots wait onboard their plane to get the go-ahead for the start of their flight (Photo credit: VOLKER HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE — Pilots wait onboard their plane to get the go-ahead for the start of their flight (Photo credit: VOLKER HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

diamond_feature Marla Diamond
I began my career at WCBS in the fall of 1997 as the station's New...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – If you think you have a long commute, just look at the distance some airline pilots have to travel for work.

Researchers looked at the home addresses of 25,000 pilots and found one in five lives at least 750 miles from work.

WCBS 880’S Marla Diamond: How Much Sleep Are Pilots Getting?

But the National Research Council concluded there’s not enough information to determine if pilot commuting practices are a safety risk.

“Fatigue can contribute to reduced aviation safety, so it’s still something we certainly want to take a look at and take whatever steps are reasonable to reduce that risk,” said Indiana University’s Clint Oster.

Congress ordered the study after a regional airline crash that killed 50 people in February 2009 near Buffalo.

The flight’s co-pilot had commuted overnight from her home near Seattle to her airline’s base in Newark, NJ in order to make the flight. The flight’s captain, who regularly commuted from Florida to Newark, had spent the night before the flight in an airport crew lounge where sleeping was discouraged.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the accident was caused by pilot errors.

Pilots have long cherished the ability to live where they want and fly free to work and balk at suggestions that the FAA limiting commuting.

Do you think long commutes contribute to pilot fatigue? Sound off below in our comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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