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Alaska Agencies Come Under Fire For Dangerous Flight Policies

February 14, 2014

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With several recent aviation crashes in Alaska being attributed to preventable errors, the state is coming under heavy scrutiny for pilots hired by state agencies flying during poor conditions. Officials are hoping the pressure will prompt the state to change some of its policies.

Last year, a pilot and an Alaska State Trooper were killed during a flight to rescue a stranded snowmobiler. The pair were forced to fly in deteriorating conditions, despite having stated that taking to the air may be unsafe.

During a recent hearing, former Department of Public Safety supervisor, Sherry Hassell, stated she had attempted to change the policies regarding flying in bad weather, but to no avail.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Hassell then recalled how in 2009, another pilot had been forced to fly in poor weather in order to go pick up family members of a former Department of Public Safety employee.

The pressure is forcing several policy changes in the agency, including halting the use of night vision goggles while flying, adding new limits on duty and standby time, and enforcing flight decisions based on weather circumstances.

The Aviation Accident Attorneys with Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy understand the dangers weather can pose when flying and hope the changes to policy will help to prevent weather from being an Aviation Crash Cause in the future.

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