September 2007 Issue

Why It Went Wrong

Why do pilots come to make blatantly bad decisions? Can we catch those bad choices before itís too late?

Mishaps happen for a number of reasons, but all too often thereís a "what were they thinking?" element to an NTSB accident report. In the calm, clear skies of retrospectóor a motionless easy chairóitís easy to condemn a bad decision and move on. But itís not usually a single bad decision that causes tragedy. Pilots donít take off intentionally choosing to put themselves in a no-win situation; they donít mean to kill themselves, their families and friends.

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