FAA Reminds Pilots To Fly the Airplane

 - January 14, 2013, 1:40 PM

In a new safety alert for operators (SAFO), the FAA reminds pilots not to depend upon cockpit technology as the primary means to control the aircraft in all situations.

“A recent analysis of flight operations data (including normal flight operations, incidents and accidents) identified an increase in manual handling errors,” said the SAFO, issued on January 4.

“The FAA believes maintaining and improving knowledge and skills for manual flight operations are necessary for safe flight operations. Continuous use of those systems does not reinforce a pilot’s knowledge and skills in manual flight operations. Autoflight systems are useful tools for pilots and have improved safety and workload management, and thus enabled more precise operations. However, continuous use of autoflight systems could lead to degradation of the pilot’s ability to recover the aircraft quickly from an undesired state. Operators are encouraged to take an integrated approach by incorporating emphasis of manual flight operations into both line operations and training (initial/upgrade and recurrent).”