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Even high-tech aircraft need good airmanshipEven high-tech aircraft need good airmanship

Even high-tech aircraft need good airmanship

By AOPA ePublishing staff

Today’s technologically advanced aircraft (TAAs) may have sleek designs and information-packed displays, but that doesn’t relieve pilots of their main responsibility—flying the airplane.

That was the message AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg delivered to the Aero-Club of New England during a March 18 speech.

Landsberg told the audience of 300 that there’s no substitute for solid training and good airmanship, no matter how sophisticated the aircraft you fly. And he warned that no amount of technology can change basic aviation truths, like the fact that thunderstorms and airplanes don’t mix.

An analysis of accident data from 2003 through 2006 shows that TAA had fewer accidents than other types of aircraft but were more likely to be involved in weather-related accidents—possibly because they are often used for long-distance transportation and inexperienced pilots may rely too heavily on in-cockpit weather information to keep them out of trouble.

Other gotchas included accidents related to landings and go-arounds, possibly because new-design TAAs may require longer landing distances and high-powered versions may have greater left-turning tendency in go-arounds than their more boxy predecessors.

March 20, 2008

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