In February 2019, Conrad Aska, the leader of his family and a man of deep religious faith, lost his life in a tragic aviation accident, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported in a “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment this week.
Carlson explained how Aska was piloting an Amazon Prime cargo jet for Atlas Air when he accidentally pressed a switch that put the plane in “go-around mode,” causing the plane to nose-dive and crash into the water.
The accident not only claimed Aska’s life but also his co-pilot and another pilot who was “hitching a ride.”
An investigation into the cause of the accident revealed that Aska was not qualified to be in the cockpit of an airplane.
Prior to flying for Amazon, he had worked for seven different airlines, and several instructors at Mesa Airlines reported that he was overwhelmed in the cockpit, according to Carlson.
In emergencies, Aska “became extremely anxious and would start pushing a lot of buttons without thinking about what he was pushing.”
Aska’s personnel records confirmed his unsuitability for flying 767s, yet Atlas Air did not seem aware of this when they hired him.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) cited systemic deficiencies in the aviation industry selection and performance measurement practices, which failed to address the first officer’s aptitude-related deficiencies and maladaptive adaptive stress as causes of the accident.
Aska’s family has since filed lawsuits against the airline for gross negligence in putting him in the cockpit despite his obvious inability to fly an airplane.
The case of Conrad Aska is not an outlier, but rather a symptom of a larger problem in the aviation industry, Carlson argues, as Airlines like Atlas Air and others are “doing their best to hire and retrain pilots on the basis of irrelevant criteria like their appearance.”
Safety concerns are being “ignored in favor of something called equity,” and hiring is being done based on appearance, not ability.
United Airlines has promised that 50% of their new trainees will be women and minorities, which says means “not the best pilots” will be hired, but rather people who look a certain way.
Safety is being pushed aside “in favor of ideology,” and people are at risk of losing their lives as a result.