Airline pilots who’ve spent months grounded by the coronavirus pandemic say they’re out of practice — and that it’s showing in their work.
An anonymous database of safety reports kept by NASA reveals that those behind the controls of the world’s planes sometimes feel just as out of shape as the rest of us when it comes to getting back in the field after months of staying home.
One pilot who turned their aircraft right when they should have turned left acknowledged in a safety report, “second flight on [sic] over 7 months, due to COVID.”
Another who forgot to turn on an anti-icing mechanism admitted, “because I had not flown in a few months, I was rusty. I felt that my recollection was strong enough, but in reality, I should have taken some time to review,” according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Another pilot didn’t remember to turn the parking brake off on his plane while prepping to pull away from the gate, and yet another had to make three attempts at landing on a windy day before completing the task, the paper reported.
One pilot acknowledged being out of a daily routine has a negative impact, but said it’s no excuse, according to one report reviewed by The Post.
“Under the circumstances of COVID-19, it is still incumbent on each pilot to maintain the highest level of professionalism possible,” the pilot wrote.