Pilot Error Illustrates a Danger of Regulation
October 27, 2009 Leave a comment
When a passenger flight recently overflew its destination by 150 miles (which, hyperbole aside, is only about 15 minutes), the first assumption on everyone’s part seemed to be that the pilots were asleep at the wheel.
While this appears to have been wrong, it brings to light more than how foolish media speculation tends to be.
It is a great example of how government “safety” regulations make things more dangerous, not safer.
The FAA, unlike private ventures, does not adapt to changing demands, except when forced to. It continues, in this case, to impose a dangerous rule that became outdated before most of us were born: Pilots are not allowed to choose to nap, in a safe and organized way, despite the presence of co-pilots, autopilots, computerized navigation, et cetera.
As with most arbitrary prohibition, the consequence is actually more of exactly what the rule tries to avoid: Pilots cannot have small naps when they need them, and thus end up so tired they either fall asleep, or take illegal naps.
This is why most foreign airlines do allow their pilots to nap on long flights…another example of “free” America actually having a more repressive, socialist government on some issues than the openly collectivist nations.
In fact, most regulations intended for “health”, and “safety” have exactly this same bad effect…they set into stone what was the absolute minimum, oldest standard at the time of their establishment. Quickly, this becomes MORE dangerous than leaving people free to choose haphazardly on their own.
As always, liberty is superior not only in principle, but even in practical application.