Hudson Presents Obstacles to New Crash-Avoidance Technology
The federal government is slowly rolling out technology meant to protect airplanes against the kind of collision that occurred over the Hudson River on Saturday. But as currently set up, the emerging system would not work well in New York.
The technology gives pilots a screen with a moving map showing their position, as well as those of other planes in flight. It can show the distance to other planes, and whether that distance is increasing or decreasing; it can also show the altitude difference, and whether that is increasing or decreasing.
In crowded airspace, â€œthe increased situational awareness for the pilot is invaluable,â€ said David Zwegers, director of flight safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., which has equipped all 75 of its single- and twin-engine planes with the screen. The system can warn a pilot if his plane is on a collision course with another, and give an aural or visual warning, he said.