A Word about Safety, Brazil and Towers
With aviation safety issues buzzing in the US because of the widespread tower closures, I was surprised to find US safety being held as a higher standard in a critique of Brazilian aviation by pilot Antônio Carlos Cruzeta.
His article at *http://paduim.blogspot.com/2013/02/relato-de-um-piloto-de-linha-aerea.html pillories the conditions of flying in Brazil, even compares the pilot to driving a luxury BMW in the middle of a safari in Africa.
But I cannot but wonder if even as this pilot pushes for progress in Brazil, we in the US are bound to be falling back. Will it take an aviation disaster here to wake up our government that we need to maintain our current standards of safety?
A Brazilian pilot can ask that question, and so can we. How can pilots continue to fly millions of passengers millions of flights in state-of-the-art planes when losing so many towers? And now there are lawsuits piling up as localities begin legal battles to keep their towers. Should tower support be withdrawn, leaving pilots to “fly by the seat of their pants?” What do US pilots think of this withdrawal of support? DO pilots consider towers extraneous?
Three hours or so from home the ride from Rio was unusually turbulent. Though I slept all the way to Houston this time, will I be so confident in the future? I worry for the state aviation safety as thousands of pilots converge flying to and from airports where tower support was once but is no longer.