GPS Devices and Airplane Safety

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By Greg Bartlett

To most people, the magic of being able to fly fascinates us as children and never completely leaves us. But there’s a dangerous side to flying. Sometimes it’s hard enough to keep track of everything going on in my car. What about pilots? They have at least twice as many gauges and devices that they have to pay attention to, and then there’s the whole matter of crashing. If I’m riding in an airplane, I don’t want the pilot to not notice another plane nearby. I don’t want the pilot to get lost and run out of fuel. And I definitely don’t want to crash someplace where we might never be found again –such as the wilderness of Alaska.

Airplane Safety

Airplane Safety

Airports and airplanes have had advanced technology for years, and now they’re branching out with GPS devices. For instance, in Alaska, GPS beacons are being put into airplanes to help monitor planes and ensure that, if a plane does go down, it is found quickly. The wild beauty of Alaska comes with a cost – much of Alaska is only accessible by plane, and the many undeveloped miles of wilderness, ice, and snow increase the chances of crashing far away from civilization. Furthermore, the chances surviving after a crash in Alaska depend primarily on someone finding the airplane quickly. In the cold wilderness of Alaska, quick response and rescue can mean life and death to the pilot and passengers. GPS beacons can give coordinates to rescuers to aid in their search for planes that do crash, saving pilots and passengers before it’s too late.

GPS devices also allow Air Traffic Control to monitor planes. This can aid ATC with finding lost planes before or after crashes, and can provide ATC with the information it needs to guide the pilots through difficulties, whether they are an unexpected storm or just landing the airplane.

Using GPS devices, pilots can monitor their own locations and the locations of other aircraft. Using sight alone to identify and avoid airplanes is very risky, but GPS tracking enables pilots to be aware of the precise location of other aircraft so that they can safely navigate the skies.

For the safety of anyone flying, airplanes should be equipped with a GPS device. They can increase pilot awareness, provide tracking information to Air Traffic Control, and can aid rescue teams should the plane go down. Flying can be fun and safe, as long as the technology is used to ensure plane, pilot, and passenger protection.

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