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Distracted flying a serious form of pilot negligence

We've all heard that distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents these days. A large number of people have cell phones and other handheld devices that keep them from focusing on the road. As a result, approximately 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 people were injured in 2013 car crashes involving distracted driving. Despite these devastating injuries and fatalities, over 650,000 people reportedly still use their electronic devices while driving at any given moment throughout the day.

A number of accidents on the streets of Pittsburgh are caused by driver negligence. Similarly, an aviation accident can be caused by pilot negligence. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, pilots who are distracted by their electronic devices can cause aviation accidents mid-air.

In 2013, nearly 1,300 general-aviation accidents occurred and some of them may have been caused by distracted pilots. One of the most disturbing cases of flying while distracted occurred last spring when a pilot lost control of his plane while taking "selfies."

In situations involving visual flight rules, pilots are expected to keep an eye out for other planes in the air. While on-board traffic advisory systems are sometimes available, pilots are still supposed to frequently and attentively look out their windows. Smartphones and tablets often have aviation applications that make aircraft operations easier, however. There are approach plates, charts, maps and other information available to pilots on their portable devices.

Due to this advancement in technology, many pilots find themselves constantly checking their devices and not looking outside as much as they should. Various pilot distractions can lead to painful tragedies for victims of these accidents and their families. Those who have suffered aviation accident injuries, as well as families of fatal accident victims, may benefit from speaking with a Pennsylvania aviation accident attorney.

Source: Auto Blog, "Cell phones distracting pilots as well as drivers," Pete Bigelow, June 14, 2015

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