How Safe Is Our Sky? Essay

1025 words - 5 pages

Recent aviation incidents such as the crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214 and disappearance of MH370 cause people to wonder if aviation is still safe. Some say that the taxi ride to the airport is more dangerous than the flight; however, others fear the dangers flying may bring. Although pilot error, pilot fatigue, and mechanical failures contribute to the danger of aviation, new aircraft systems and improved safety measures continue to sustain the high standards of the safety of aviation.
On July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines flight 214 crash landed just short of the threshold of San Francisco International Airport’s runway 28L. Flight 214’s tail struck the seawall in front of the runway. The ...view middle of the document...

Whether it is mistaking a knob for another or inexperience of an aircraft, pilot errors usually result in terror, injuries, fatalities, or all of the above; however, the FAA, NTSB, and other aviation organizations continuously strive to make flying safer.
Pilot fatigue also contributes to accidents and terror in the skies. Any flight with a tired pilot in the cockpit is endangered. In 2009, JetBlue’s pilot, Clayton Osbon, suffered a brief psychotic disorder due to lack of sleep. Forensic neuropsychologist Robert E.H. Johnson insisted that Osbon’s brief psychotic disorder was directly related to sleep deprivation (Blaney). The article concludes, saying that the FAA will put a new rule to regulation. This rule states, “The new rule requires a pilot to have a 10-hour rest period, including eight hours of uninterrupted sleep opportunity”(Blaney). Some may argue that since the FAA set a new regulation, airlines will ensure that their pilots are not fatigued; thus it removes the dangers that pilot fatigue causes. I, however, refute this opinion with a much more recent article that addresses the issue of pilot fatigue. In 2012, a U.S. Air Force aircraft approaching below an Air Canada airliner set off the alarm in the airliner’s cockpit. The disoriented co-pilot of the airliner immediately responded to the warning and forcefully pushed the plane into a dive because he had mistaken the planet Venus for the approaching jet (Sleepy). Within 46 seconds of the dive, the plane lunged back up. The pilot’s dangerous and unnecessary actions resulted in 16 injured passengers. One can observe that regulations state for pilots to have enough sleep; nevertheless, the dangers of pilot fatigue still exists in aviation.
Aviation also includes a branch called “General Aviation”. Aircrafts that fit under the General Aviation includes any non-scheduled flying operations. Most General Aviation accidents never make it to the news, but online sources show that General Aviation is not as safe as people think. Deborah Hersman, the chairwoman of the NTSB, quotes, “Although GA represents about...

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