I call them ``tombstone phrases'' -- grim words, the critical things pilots say in the moments before a fatal accident takes place. Although rarely the last spoken words captured by a CVR, the tombstone phrase represents the final window of opportunity for a crew to take action and alter the trajectory of their fate. The words are particularly disturbing when they reveal a crew's doubt and anxiety -- right before that crew does nothing to keep the aircraft from crashing. Although the ...


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