NASA: Airline Safety Survey Results Kept Secret to Avoid Public Panic
October 23, 2007 9:06 AM
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Employee rides down a baggage conveyor belt
NASA kept research data private to avoid a panic
If you're afraid of flying, this recent article compiled by the
probably won't relieve any of your pre-flight stress.
After conducting an $8.5 million safety project that revealed safety problems, NASA withheld the results to avoid upsetting air passengers. The following safety issues take place more than the public is aware - bird strikes, near mid-air collisions and runway interference. NASA interviewed more than 24,000 commercial and private pilots over a four-year span that started in 2000 - after finishing the interviews and stopping all research, NASA has spent the past year silent about data gathered.
NASA last week requested the main contractor delete all relevant information from its computers. According to NASA, no collected data was severe enough to warrant contacting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Publishing the data could have damaged the "public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits," said Thomas Luedtke, senior NASA official.
"If the airlines aren't safe
I want to know about it
," said Rep. Brad Miller, R-N.C., chairman of the House Science and Technology investigations and oversight subcommittee. "I would rather not feel a false sense of security because they don't tell us," he added.
The House Science and Technology committee will now reportedly launch an investigation, also warning NASA and its contractor to not delete any documents.
Due to the
article published in the morning, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said the U.S. space agency will work to try and find a way some of the information can be published for everyone. The information "should be widely available and subject to review and scrutiny," he said in an official NASA statement.
NASA Ames Research Center officials want to publish a public report before 2008.
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Nasa is right
10/24/2007 12:40:23 PM
Nasa is right to withhold this information. The general public will not be able to correctly read this data, and the sensation press will delibarately misinterpret the report.
All accidents and incidents in aviation are published every year. It shows a consistently decreasing absolute number of both accidents (resulting in loss of aircraft and or life), incidents (resulting in damage to aircraft/injuries) against a backdrop of ever increasing traffic.
Aviation is safe and getting safer!
about the terminology: Near misses mean aircraft coming within 2 minutes (or something similar/larger) of colliding, runway incursions mean two flights are cleared to a single taxiway or an runway is occupied while an other aircraft in on final approach - with plenty of time to pull up (minutes, not seconds!)
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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