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Dependence on Automated Controls Compromising Air Safety

February 28, 2014

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One of today’s greatest threats to the safety of airplane passengers is pilot error. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that in 60 percent of airplane accidents, a pilot’s mistake was to blame. More specifically, air crews made mistakes in the use of inflight automation systems.

Numerous federal organizations have long stated that pilots and their crews are becoming increasingly dependent on aircraft computers to operate planes, rather than hands-on stick and rudder skills.

NBC News says that in order to address this issue, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is funding a three-year study to look into how pilots use and react to automated flying systems. They want to determine when and how to alert pilots that they need to take manual control of the aircraft.

Experts say the information may one day be used to prevent accidents like the recent Asiana Airlines crash. Expert Witnesses determined flight crews thought an automated throttle system was engaged and was in control of the aircraft’s speed during a botched landing.

The Aviation Accident Attorneys with Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy are hopeful the study will provide the information that is needed to keep passengers and crews aboard aircraft safe at all times.

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