NASA Releases Pilot Gripes on Tired Crews, Air Traffic

Surveys uncover twice as many problems as official reports
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 4:58 AM CST
NASA administrator Michael Griffin speaks during a news conference. After turning over the data on pilot complaints, Griffin said the raw data was unreliable and needed to be analyzed by experts. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Bowing to pressure from Congress, NASA has grudgingly released thousand of pages of pilot complaints, CNN reports. They include complaints about crowded skies, tired crews, and communication problems. The surveys of more than 30,000 pilots found twice as many collisions with bird, near-collisions with other aircraft, and runway incursions as the government's monitoring system had reported.

The head of NASA stressed that the raw survey data should not be considered validated and that air travel remains extremely safe. "What the public should understand is that they have approximately the same risk from dying from a lightning strike as they do from dying in an air transport accident in the US," Michael Griffin said.