Justice Starts Here

Premier Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

Free Consultations | Se Habla Español
Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C.

Reliance on Auto Pilot Features Lead to "Loss of Control" Airplane Accidents

Similar to a motor vehicle's cruise control, modern commercial airplanes have auto pilot features. The question is, however, whether drivers and pilots rely too heavily on these automated features.

A recently released study by aviation safety officials looked at this question and found an emerging problem with "automation addiction." Heavily relying on automated flight systems and auto pilot features, many pilots only really have to do about three minutes of flying the entire flight, during take-off and landing.

Once in the air, commercial airline pilots often sit back and let the automated features take over, essentially turning control of the plane over to computer systems. Because pilots do not have their hands on the controls at all times, they have a slower reaction time in the event of an emergency or a mechanical failure.

report, in the last five years there have been 51 aviation accidents in which pilots lost control of the plane and hundreds of passengers were killed.

Thanks to the increasing reliance on computer systems and auto features, pilots are forgetting how to fly, said, Rory Kay, an airline captain and co-chair of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) pilot training committee.

This idea is further supported by the Air France Flight 447 crash in June 2009. While flying over the Atlantic ocean, the autopilot disengaged and the pilots received a stall warning. The pilots pulled the plane's nose up -- despite the fact that during a stall the plane should be pulled nose down. A recording revealed the co-pilot yelling to climb, with the captain interrupting, "no, don't climb!"

All 228 people on board died when the commercial plane crashed into the ocean.

An investigation by France's Bureau of Investigations and Analysis revealed that there were no mechanical problems with the plane and it only crashed due to pilot error.

Of the 51 loss of control accidents, the FAA found that over 60 percent of the time pilots made mistakes with automated controls or had trouble manually flying the plane -- clearly supporting the idea that automation addiction is a growing problem that the FAA and commercial airlines need to address when it comes to aviation safety.

Source: ABCNews.com, "'Automation Addiction': Are Pilots Forgetting How to Fly?" 8/31/11.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Recent Jury Verdicts &

$6.4 Million Settlement Medical Malpractice

More Verdicts & Settlements
  • National board of trial academy
  • ABPLA | American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
  • AV preeminent | Peer rated for highest level of professional excellence 2018
  • The best lawyer in America
  • Super Lawyers
  • America's top 100 high stakes litigators
  • The national trial lawyers top 100 trial lawyers
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top rated personal injury
  • American association for justice president's club
  • American association for justice Leaders forum
  • ACBCA American College of Board Certified Attorneys
  • B Injury Board
  • Recommended by peers for leading lawyers network the top lawyers
  • Best lawyers Best Law Firms | U.S.News | 2019
  • The national trial lawyers top 40 under 40
  • The national trial lawyers top 10

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

**Board certification is not required to practice law in Illinois, and the Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize specialties in the practice of law.

What Our Clients Say

  • Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I know a lot of hard work, by all of you, went into the preparation of this case and we wanted you to know that it is greatly appreciated. We worried about many things during that period, but one thing we didn't worry about was our attorneys. What a fine team you make! You guys are great! Read More
  • I wanted to touch base with everyone again to express my thanks to everyone involved in the USAir 1016 case for the way the case was handled and the way you treated myself and my family. While I realize that there are other law firms that could have tried the case, I don't believe they could have matched the caring you showed us... Read More
  • How do we thank you for doing such a tremendous job with the lawsuit against Freeport Memorial Hospital?...The day that check arrived I was so nervous, in fact I was a wreck until we had it safely invested. I am not thanking you just as our attorney, but as a very good friend...Read More
  • We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks for the supportive service that you have given our family during the past three years. While we wish that we would not have found ourselves in a situation requiring your services, we are grateful for the sensitive way...Read More
Email Us For a Response

Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Tell us about your case and we’ll get back to you with a FREE case evaluation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Premier Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

Call 877-216-4213 or Email Us For A Free Initial Consultation

 Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. Review Us

Office Location

20 North Clark Street
Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60602

Toll Free: 877-216-4213
Phone: 312-445-9160
Chicago Law Office Map

Contact Information