Flight students learning to respond to crash situations

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A local university is teaching its flight students how to quickly respond to life-threatening situations in the air.

On a flight simulator at Lewis University in Romeoville, flight trainers and their students see the same sort of scenario witnessed Saturday in San Francisco; a plane crash-landing just short of the runway.
Dr. Randy Demit has flown 777’s during a long career as a commercial pilot. And he too wonders what went wrong Saturday, given all the warning systems in a 777 cockpit.

“There’s cockpit warnings when you’re approaching too low,” he said.  “There’s warnings when you’re out of the correct glide path.  All of this gives situational awareness with warnings to the pilot.”

Demit says with all the technology in today’s airplanes, pilots have to process information quickly.

“Pilots are not just the pilots of their aircraft.  They’re also having to manage the systems with information coming into the cockpit,” he said.

Veteran aviation instructors say its too soon to speculate on a cause to Saturday’s crash.  But they say with a large aircraft like the 777, there are half a dozen possible causes.

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