I was sent a link to a recent Wall Street Journal article titled, Friction Escalates in Air Crash Probe relating to the July 22 landing accident of a Southwest Airlines jet at LaGuardia Airport in New York. The article spoke about growing tension between the National Transportation Safety Board, responsible for investigating these types of events and the Federal Aviation Administration’s interest in regulatory compliance and determining if enforcement actions need to be taken against the flight crew or company.
What I found most interesting was the mention of how social media today affects the rapid pace in which agencies need to react and respond to the public. As stated in the article, “Escalating public pressure for nearly instantaneous details about airliner incidents and accidents has shaken up the previously staid, traditional world of accident investigations.”
Almost everyone is a reporter these days carrying mobile devices capable of capturing images and videos, and within seconds or minutes sending them to the world through social media.
What do you think? Do the photos, videos, and comments on social media, in an example such as this one, add value to investigators, or does the rapid deployment of images and comments cause confusion, perhaps hinder investigations, or place undue stress on flight crews and the airline?