Air travel less safe than expected

Posted on Sunday, Oct 28 2007 @ 16:33 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
WTOPnews claims NASA is withholding results from a national pilot survey because they fear it might upset air travelers:
NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly.

Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers.

The Associated Press learned about the NASA results from one person familiar with the survey who spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss them.
The survey unveils the number of potentially dangerous situations is much higher than generally believed:
Among other results, the pilots reported at least twice as many bird strikes, near mid-air collisions and runway incursions as other government monitoring systems show, according to a person familiar with the results who was not authorized to discuss them publicly.

The survey also revealed higher-than-expected numbers of pilots who experienced "in-close approach changes" _ potentially dangerous, last-minute instructions to alter landing plans.

Officials at the NASA Ames Research Center in California have said they want to publish their own report on the project by year's end.


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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