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Jonathan C. Reiter News : NY Aviation Accident Lawyer News: Autopilot contributing to pilot inattention?

NY Aviation Accident Lawyer News: Autopilot contributing to pilot inattention?

Aviation accident lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter reports NTBS officials to discuss pilot professionalism and autopilot-related issues within the aviation industry.


NTSB to discuss pilot professionalism.
NY Aviation Accident Lawyer News: Autopilot contributing to pilot inattention?

// New York, New York, USA // Jonathan C. Reiter News // Jonathan C. Reiter
Washington, DC— In a three-day conference, which was set to commence Tuesday, May 18, 2010, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were expected to bring light to pilot and air traffic controller professionalism. The topic of discussion stemmed from over a dozen instances in which autopilot systems may have played a role in cases of pilot inattentiveness and/or complacency. However, the aviation-related issue is not new. In fact, reports indicated that ever since cockpit tasks became divided amongst pilots and the modernized autopilot systems, there have been several cases of disturbing pilot inattention. Problems allegedly included occurrences in which pilots insufficiently monitored flights, autopilot functions and even the location of the aircraft, as reported by the New York Times.

However, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorities seem to contest such theories, claiming there was not enough evidence to link automated cockpits to a bigger issue. According to J. Randolph Babbitt, agency administrator, “If we had any suspicions or trend lines, we would be making efforts to bring some change about.” An incident in which Northwest Airline pilots were apparently on their laptops during an October 2009 flight was a key point in the topic of pilot professionalism. The unwarranted distraction seemingly led the pilots to lose track of the aircrafts’ location. As a result, the plane overshot the airport they were scheduled to land at by about 150 miles. When referring to that specific incident, Babbitt stated, “It doesn’t have anything to do with automation… Any opportunity for distraction doesn’t have any business in the cockpit. Your focus should be on flying the airplane.”

On the other hand, autopilot mechanisms have long been regarded as a helpful tool in the aviation industry. “The introduction of automation did good things… Now the pilot is a manager, which is good, and a monitor, which is not so good,” stated the leading scientist for aerospace human factors at NASA, Key Dismukes. The real issue seems to be finding the equilibrium between too much dependency on autopilot systems and none at all. William Rouse of the Georgia Institute of Technology stated, “When the person has no role in the task, there’s a much greater risk of complacency.”

Leading aviation accident lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter states if you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to an accident caused by pilot inattention, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. With more than thirty years of experience in the field of aviation litigation, contacting the Law Firm of Jonathan C. Reiter with regard to your aviation-related claim may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.


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Jonathan C. Reiter
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