Views on Airline Training Are Hit

Former test pilot LeVier cites some valid points regarding safety and training in aviation today. However, as a crew member in the airline industry for 18 years and currently a captain on a Boeing 727, I object to his statements concerning the Delta Airlines crash at Dallas last year. It's all too easy to "Monday morning quarterback" the judgment used by pilots involved in aircraft accidents. Some folks seem to forget that the pilots up front want to get to their destination as much as the passengers they're hauling. Thunderstorm and microburst phenomena continue to be studied at great length, and sophisticated equipment is being developed to assist the pilot in anticipating the constantly changing winds/downdrafts associated with those thunderstorms. Other aircraft had landed successfully ahead of Flight 191 that fateful day, emphasizing the drastic changes that occur rapidly near thunderstorms.

Pilot judgment is based on experience and the set of circumstances he is faced with on any day, at a given time. To accuse those pilots of "slaughtering 200 innocent people" does nothing to solve the problem. We will never know what those pilots saw on their radar scope that day, or the variables involved in their decision-making process.



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