Investigation into Italian gondola accident concluded

No new information technology systems are needed to increase safety on U.S. fighter jets, according to a high-level commission appointed last month in the aftermath of the deadly accident involving a Marine Corps jet and a gondola in Italy.

The commission, led by Navy Admiral Joseph W. Prueher, agreed with a Marine Corps investigation that concluded the accident resulted from errors made by the EA-6B Prowler's aircrew, according to a press statement released by DOD.

In addition to calling for better management and information sharing between U.S. and Italian military authorities, the commission recommended the creation of a "Flight Information Web Site," which, according to DOD, will provide near real-time access to flight safety information for the military's flight-training areas.

The accident, which killed 20 people, led to a high-profile trial of pilot Richard Ashby and ignited a debate on Capitol Hill about information technology failures in the jet's cockpit that many experts believe played a key role in the mishap [FCW Web Extra, March 8].

Ashby, who was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter charges, argued that the jet he was flying was not equipped with a heads-up display that might have given him more information about his surroundings, and that the hard-copy map he was using did not depict the gondola cable. Heads-up displays, or HUDs, provide pilots with an eye-level view of critical flight data, such as horizon location, altitude, heading and airspeed.

Defense Secretary William Cohen, who appointed the commission, accepted the recommendations.

Featured

  • IT Modernization
    Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    OMB's user guide to the MGT Act

    The Office of Management and Budget is working on a rules-of-the-road document to cover how agencies can seek and use funds under the MGT Act.

  • global network (Pushish Images/Shutterstock.com)

    As others see us -- a few surprises

    A recent dinner with civil servants from Asia delivered some interesting insights, Steve Kelman writes.

  • FCW Perspectives
    cloud (Singkham/Shutterstock.com)

    A smarter approach to cloud

    Advances in cloud technology are shifting the focus toward choosing the right tool for the job and crafting solutions that truly modernize systems.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.