Friday, June 19, 2009

777 Lands With 2 Pilots. Why Is This Considered Big News?

I pay pretty close attention to aviation-safety matters, for obvious reasons.

Gotta say, I'm baffled by the breathless treatment in some media of a nothing story about a Continental Boeing 777 that landed in Newark after a transatlantic flight from Brussels, with two fully certified pilots in the cockpit.

Unfortunately, the captain had died of a heart attack in mid-flight. This is very sad, but it is not aviation-safety news -- not with two other pilots on duty.

Overplaying this story does a disservice to passengers who might have legitimate concerns about aviation safety.

By the way, while researching a book, I had the great luck two weeks ago to be able to spend over three hours in a 777 flight simulator at British Airways headquarters at Heathrow. What an informative and exhilarating experience. More on that -- and on how intensely big-airline pilots are trained and re-trained -- in a column this weekend.


1 comment:

ChefNick said...

Hey, fuck roller coasters -- I'd pay big bucks to ride in a 777 simulator with a fully-qualified pilot, say, handling the JAL 123 incident.

Now wouldn't THAT be cool?