About ten years ago, a senior FAA executive exhorted his managers to renew their focus on safety. “Think about the things you’ll do tomorrow if an aircraft crashes due to something involving your area of responsibility,” he said. “Then go back to your office and do them today!” A laudable approach, but one hobbled at the time by a fatal flaw: How do we know what’s going to cause the next accident? Over its history, our air transportation system has introduced progressive and focused ...


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