Flight crew training altered cockpit culture, promotes safety

by nph | March 30th, 2012

March 30, 2012

“This is a home run,” said Frank Tullo, former vice president of flight operations at Continental Airlines when speaking about the handling of an incident with JetBlue Airlines on March 27. “We have really empowered the entire crew to be responsible for the safe conduct of the flight,” quotes Bloomberg Businessweek.

More than three decades ago, a United Airlines jet crashed in Portland, Oregon, killing 10 people.

The National Transportation Safety Board found that the captain had ignored the flight engineer’s warnings that the plane didn’t have enough fuel to land safely.  As the tanks ran dry, the junior crew members mutely stood by.

The accident prompted a revolution in how pilots are trained. New safety methods were devised in the late 1970s to give all crew members responsibility for safety.

Co-pilots were taught to speak up if they had concerns. Captains were instructed to listen and encourage crew members to voice their concerns as well.

The events aboard the March 27 JetBlue Airways Corp. flight proved that the new safety measures are working and saving lives.

On this JetBlue flight, the co-pilot was forced to lock an erratically behaving captain out of the cockpit and divert the plane for a safe landing.

Read more.

If you are someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private airline, the aviation accident attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.