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You are here News Domestic (USA) On autopilot: 'Pilots are losing their basic flying skills,' some fear after Boeing 737 Max crashes

On autopilot: 'Pilots are losing their basic flying skills,' some fear after Boeing 737 Max crashes

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Boeing pilots losing skills

Automation has made planes safer and more efficient, but the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets is leading some to wonder if there is a dangerous flip side.

While advanced autopilots and computers are now considered an integral part of any modern jetliner, many pilots worry that the systems are detracting from developing and maintaining their own abilities.

"We’ve been talking about this in the industry for years. Pilots are losing their basic flying skills and there’s an overreliance on automation," said Les Westbrooks, an associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, after the latest 737 Max crash, an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March.

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