October 27, 2009 | Mark Paradies

“Distracted Driving” May Cost Pilots Their License

There’s been a lot of talk lately about drivers of cars and trains texting, but this is the first I’ve seen about pilots using a computer while flying.

See the CNN story here:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/27/airliner.fly.by/index.html

Do you think any other pilots will admit what they are doing in the cockpit in the future if a problem happens? My guess is they will ask for an attorney and take the fifth!

Also, since pilots use computers in the cockpit (for example, they program computerized autopilots), what computer use is acceptable and what isn’t? When is a computer distracting and when is it OK?

Yes, I understand this computer use violated company rules. But did it break a federal law?

Taking away someone’s livelihood seems fairly severe – especially when they have probably already learned their lessons.

Will this discipline be a deterrent to other pilots using laptops or just a deterrent to pilots being honest during an investigation of a problem?

interesting questions … What do you think. Leave a comment below.

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