Visit Florida

Published on Monday, June 15, 2020

FAA: near-empty jets causing erratic flying


The Covid-19 pandemic has created a unique set of safety issues for airlines beyond the usual social distancing and staying healthy in-flight.

The Commercial Aviation Safety Team, which is made up of Federal Aviation Administration officials, unions, and airline representatives, issued more than 50 warnings relating to the unique conditions of flying half-empty aircraft.

With just a handful of passengers onboard, one jet 'climbed like a rocket' which led to pilots going beyond the assigned altitude, according to Bloomberg.

Other weight and balance issues have resulted in jetliners scrapinng their tails on takeoff, or veered off course prompting mid-air collision alerts.

The spate of incidents may also be partly due to pilots missing scheduled training sessions due to the pandemic.

In addition, when more grounded aircraft come out of months-long hibernation, there is the possible risk of fuel contamination.

"These dynamic changes are creating stress points on our systems and processes," the Commercial Aviation Safety Team said.

It also points to possible flight crew anxiety, having to fly during a pandemic and also fearing for their jobs as airlines look to downsize after the summer.

"There is certainly a concern that all of these things could be a distraction to crews and could result in an undesirable situation," Hassan Shahidi, president of the nonprofit Flight Safety Foundation told Bloomberg.

Although there are significant concerns, there have been no life-threatening incidents so far.  

"We are closely monitoring the data we receive from voluntary reporting systems and have increased the number of information-sharing meetings we're holding with operators," the FAA said in a statement.

Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
UK Lockdown 3.0 ? Fully justified ?
YES 56.48 %
NO 43.52 %

Thank you for your vote

What is GoodtoGo?

Submit your news
or special offer

Current UK Special Edition

Current US Special Edition

Current Asia/Pacific Special Edition


Destination Marketing Campaigns explained by Brightons 'Never Normal' Team

Sri Lanka 2021 - its the place to be

Patricia Rossello CEO of Roibos Technology talks through thier Hotel Distribution Marketplace

Chris Lee of Thailand Tourism talks about the plans for 2021

Air Transat launch direct booking portal for the UK trade