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Weather and training contributes to Chicago plane crash

December 9, 2011, 01:38 pm

In November, a small plane crashed into a field just outside of Chicago killing four people on board. Officials believe both weather and pilot training may have led to the crash.

The ABC-affiliated television station for Eau Claire, Wisconsin, WQOW, reported it was cloudy and raining when the crash occurred, and the pilot was trying to land in an airport west of Chicago. But the air traffic controller said the airstrip was only permitting planes to land with instruments due to the weather conditions. In these circumstances, specific pilot training is required to land successfully, which the pilot did not have. Thus, the control tower tried to encourage the pilot to land at a different airport about 20 miles away where weather conditions were more favorable.

According to a preliminary report, the pilot did not listen to the control tower, arguing that he would be grounded because of the weather. After that, no more communication occurred, the source reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working on new technology to make flying safer. The Northwest Herald reported one of the projects the agency is working on is to transition from ground stations to satellites for navigation. The systematic change would allow plane to use GPS to fly to airports and enable them to make fewer turns as they prepare to land. This can help prevent crashes, and enable pilots to find ways around inclement weather.

The program aims to improve safety by providing pilots with a display of all the air traffic around them, just as air traffic controllers see. These advancements coupled with pilot insurance can help reduce losses and financial burdens from crashes and malfunctions.

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