To the Editor
In your piece on “Drone Invasion” (Mid Rivers Newsmagazine, Dec. 16), Melissa Ford of Southwest Airlines said “pilots are trained and tested in techniques to detect unmanned aircraft … trained to respond to potential conflicts …” and I say “ you can’t be serious!”
Melissa is a “spin doctor” and not a pilot!
All pilots are encouraged to look out the window as much as possible, but a lot goes on in the cockpit during departures and approaches that keep you inside the cockpit, especially air transport aircraft.
When I started with TWA in 1966, I was a 727 flight engineer and during flight below 10,000 feet my job was to look for traffic and birds, but airline companies complained to aircraft builders to eliminate the “third man.”
Two pilots are busy changing altitudes, headings, radio and navigation changes, configuration of gear and flaps, power settings, flying the aircraft on instruments, etc. while going 240 to 290 mph below 10,000 feet and close to the airport.
It is probably like trying to “text and drive.”
Airplanes have always collided with birds and each other and will never stop. And the drone is just another bird.