NTSB Warns Pilots To ‘See And Be Seen’

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The proliferation of technology in the cockpit can be distracting, and the NTSB this week issued a safety alert (PDF) reminding pilots to “see and be seen” and to visually scan for other aircraft. “As a pilot, your first job is to fly your own airplane,” said NTSB chairman Christopher Hart. “Part of that job is to scan for other airplanes. On-board traffic advisory systems are not a substitute for an outside visual scan.” The safety alert cited several recent GA midair collisions in which a failure to see and avoid was a factor. The safety board also posted a video this week that focuses on lessons for pilots from the investigation of a cargo plane crash; it’s the first-ever such video companion to an official NTSB report.

The 8-minute video is aimed at commercial and professional pilots, but many of the lessons of the accident apply to every pilot, the NTSB said — for example, avoiding unstable approaches. The video is based on the investigation of a UPS cargo plane crash in Birmingham, Alabama, in August 2013. The safety board plans to produce other videos in the future on major accidents. “People consume information and absorb lessons in different ways,” said Hart. “This video is another way to reach pilots and aviation safety professionals with the lessons we learned through our investigative work.”

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