In the case of the Swiss air crash it was a combination of a mis-set altimeter alignment, plus poorly trained controllers misdirecting pilots into mountainous terrain when an opposite turn to an alternate downwind approach was required. One other famous incident occurred when the automatic landing control was not disengaged, a corporate culture of requiring steep climbs out of this one airport for noise abatement, and an automatic misread of an updraft as if it was a landing flare stall, which cut out the engines during takeoff.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.