A former Delta Air Lines pilot is raising awareness about issues with aviation safety, arguing that “we are at a critical waypoint” after observing “an unusual number of commercial aviation incidents” recently.
According to Lee Moak, who piloted Boeing 767 planes for Delta and served as president of the Air Line Pilots Association, several occurrences within the last three months that came close to “resulting in tragic accidents” have to be addressed.
In a Washington Post opinion piece titled “Airline safety is at a breaking point. We can’t wait for tragedy to fix it,” he cited several of these events.
“On Dec. 18, a United Airlines Boeing 777, just seconds into takeoff from the island of Maui, climbed to around 2,220 feet before entering a steep dive and coming within 775 feet of the Pacific Ocean,” Moak wrote.
As reported by the Seattle Times, United refused to reveal how many passengers were on board of the 312-person-capacity plane or what could have caused the aircraft to plummet.
According to the outlet, that flight took place on the same day that 36 people were hurt, including 11 serious injuries, on an extremely turbulent Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu.
Moak continued, sharing another instance from Jan. 11 when “the nation’s airspace came to a standstill for more than two hours after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the first nationwide ground stop since Sept. 11, 2001, because its method for communicating alerts to pilots, known as NOTAMs, failed.”
The FAA’s computer system faced massive outages and forced thousands of US flights to be delayed or canceled.