The Blackout Effect: Fiction or Fact?

GUEST EDITORIAL. On January 4, 1997, NBC will air a made-for TV movie in which an ATC computer glitch results in a passenger jet inbound to O'Hare colliding with a cargo plane, destroying both aircraft and killing 185 people, whereupon FAA management attempts to cover up the cause of the mishap. Is this the product of a Hollywood screenwriter with a hyperactive imagination? No it isn't, say ATC consultants R. Michael Baiada and Michael J. Boyd. They've previewed this movie and believe it to be uncannily accurate, and that a real catastrophe along these lines is just a matter of time unless decisive changes are made promptly to the U.S. ATC system.

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