Industrial Automation / Industrial Safety

Boeing 737 Max concerns: Are pilots losing skills due to automation?

By USA Today

May 28, 2019

Automation has made planes safer and more efficient, but the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets lead some to wonder if there is a dangerous flip side.

Though advanced autopilots and computers are an integral part of any modern jetliner, many pilots worry that the systems detract from developing and maintaining their own abilities.

"We’ve been talking about this in the industry for years. Pilots are losing their basic flying skills, and there’s an overreliance on automation," Les Westbrooks, an associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said after the latest 737 Max crash, an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March.

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