Autopilot isn’t enough: experts call for new pilot training standards to prevent crashes

For over a decade, aviation safety experts like the NTSB’s Robert Sumwalt and NASA scientist Key Dismukes have warned that pilots should never drop their guard — that they not only need to monitor their instruments, but also their co-pilots to keep fatal errors from occurring at times when the plane is most vulnerable. In 2003, they achieved a major win: citing a 1994 NTSB study that claimed 84 percent of accidents might have been prevented if the crew caught errors and / or questioned their superiors, they convinced the FAA to offically change the on-duty titles of pilots so both individuals would always have active responsibility.

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