Report: FAA failing to make sure pilots can manually operate planes
The long march toward full automation is creating certain vulnerabilities when it comes to airline safety.
A new report from the Department of Transportation's Inspector General alleges that the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, is simply not preserving its ability to ensure pilots are properly trained to fly manually in light of the abundant automated systems onboard modern aircraft.
According to the report, "While airlines have long used automation safely to improve efficiency and reduce pilot workload, several recent accidents, including the July 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214, have shown that pilots who typically fly with automation can make errors when confronted with an unexpected event or transitioning to manual flying."
The report continues, "...FAA estimates that automation is used 90 percent of the time in flight. However, FAA does not have a process to ensure that air carrier pilots are trained to use and monitor automation systems while also maintaining proficiency in manual flight operations."
In the end, the report recommends FAA to develop new guidance for carriers and better standards to measure pilots' abilities.
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