The Effects of Strip Markings on Air Traffic Control - Research Paper Example

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This discussion talks that prior to World War II, the air traffic control system was confusing. Ran by the Civil Aeronautics Agency (CAA), controllers were in place at the airport towers, but could not talk to the pilots directly and instead were forced to relay messages through the air companies…
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The Effects of Strip Markings on Air Traffic Control
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Download file to see previous pages Plus, records are statutorily required to be kept in the event of a disaster. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is tasked to investigate all civil transportation crashes (in addition to some military ones) and one of their requirements is to have complete Air Traffic Control records. Without flight voice recorders and the transcripts they provide, the investigation could be hindered and stalled.
Prior to World War II, the air traffic control system was confusing at best. Ran by the Civil Aeronautics Agency (CAA), controllers were in place at the airport towers but could not talk to the pilots directly and instead were forced to relay messages through the air companies. For en route traffic, airlines were basically left to their own devices and pilots were more or less allowed to pick and choose their own airspace. All of that was managed by clerks at the airline using Flight Progress Strips, which showed estimated times and altitudes. The US Government took over the operation by 1938 but the system of no communication and free altitude remained in place. The populace was lucky this perplexing and somewhat ridiculous sounding system didn’t result in more crashes.
Yet fate and technology were quickly catching up to the ATC system. The country had entered the jet age and the decade after World War II (1945-55) saw five midair collisions over the United States, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred people. Yet planes were getting bigger and faster, as more people began to fly. All of this culminated in the disastrous 1956 midair crash over the Grand Canyon in Arizona. As incredible as it seems, “It was a common practice then for pilots to deviate from their route slightly to offer a great view”. United Air Lines 718 was an almost new DC-7 with 58 people on board and TWA 2 was a Lockheed L-1049 with seventy more.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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