Airline travel has certainly come a long way since the Wright Brothers took that first flight back in 1903. While the first commercial flight took place a just a decade after that, travel by the predecessors of today’s jet airlines didn’t start until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Airline safety has made advancements in leaps and bounds since the first jet airliners took to the skies – but have those advancements truly made travel by airplane that much safer?
With over 87,000 flights in the skies over the United States in any given day – 5,000 at any given moment – there is no arguing that recent advancements in radar technology have made the air traffic controller’s jobs a little easier. The air traffic controllers are who are in charge of keeping track of all those flights and directing them when to land and take off. Of the planes in the sky each day, about one third are commercial flights, another third are private airplanes, with the remaining third being planes for hire, military and cargo planes. Air traffic controllers must keep track of all these planes and must know at any given moment how many airplanes are in their assigned air space. The development of modern day radar has helped air traffic controllers locate airplanes in the skies as well as help airplanes land in bad weather. For instance, airplanes that years ago could not land in foggy conditions can do so now with the help of radar assisted ground approach systems.
Additional advancements in safety technology have benefits the aviation industry and allowed more flight to take off and land smoothly. For instance, ice that once crippled an airplane can now be handled with the help of de-icing technology. Fire safety systems have also come a long way since the first commercial flights took to the skies. Large commercial jets are so highly advanced that they are literally capable of flying themselves under the right conditions.
That, however, brings up the down side of all these advances in technology. Much like advancements in vehicles, trains and boats, airplane technology has moved ahead at lightening speed in the last two decades. While technology can be a wonderful thing, the question “At what cost” should be considered. Are the pilots and crew members relying too heavily on computers to fly the plane? Are the air traffic controllers to reliant on computers to tell them what to do – to the point where in an emergency that aren’t equipped to act without the guidance of a computer. Using technological advancements to aid in flying a plane can be an invaluable tool, but relying too heavily of that technology can cause a pilot to make critical mistakes.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of an aviation accident or lost a loved one in an aviation accident, the best thing you can do is to consult with experienced California aviation attorney Emery Ledger with the law firm of Ledger & Associates. Call 1-800-300-0001 toady for a free detailed evaluation or visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com