Leveraging New Technology to Enhance Safety
In addition to monitoring the in-service performance of the worldwide fleet, Boeing develops and incorporates new technologies to enhance safety. Through research, development and collaboration, Boeing has developed sophisticated technologies that provide distinct safety advantages.
Excellent examples of how technology has made aviation safer are readily visible in flight deck systems designed to help pilots avoid two of the more common safety problems in years past: windshear and controlled-flight-into-terrain (CFIT).
Predictive windshear equipment along with improved windshear-training programs for pilots have virtually eliminated this type of accident.
Similarly, the "look ahead" terrain avoidance warning systems, such as Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, has significantly helped toward eliminating CFIT accidents as well.
Vertical Situation Display is another example of safety-enhancing technology.
This sophisticated system builds on terrain awareness warning systems by presenting a clear picture of an airplane's vertical position relative to the predicted flight path and terrain (shown in the lower portion of the flight deck display in the photo to the right).
This capability allows pilots to see at a glance potential terrain conflicts and runway overshoots at a much earlier point in time than traditional warning systems.
Apart from airplane equipment and technology, Boeing leads the industry in studying and applying human factors engineering lessons to the design of commercial airplanes.
Boeing human factors experts gather information about human abilities, limitations and other characteristics and apply the data to tools, machines, systems and processes.
Their efforts provide a better understanding of how humans can most safely and efficiently integrate with technology.
Boeing also works with the FAA and the industry to develop training aids that improve a pilot's ability to respond to challenging situations.
For example, in 2004 Boeing provided an updated training aid as part of a continuing effort to reduce loss-of-control airplane accidents.
The upset recovery training aid focuses on helping flight crews recover from unusual flight attitudes that can result from unusual weather or other "upset" conditions.
The enhanced training also increases the pilot's ability to recognize and avoid situations that can lead to airplane upsets.