NTSB seeks change in emergency transponder rules

10/15/2009 | CNN

In a safety recommendation stemming from January's Hudson River splashdown, the NTSB is calling for new rules that would allow air traffic controllers to switch a plane's radio code in case of emergency. Investigators found that Capt. Chesley Sullenberger had no time to make the switch in the fevered seconds after losing both engines, so controllers watching the flight on their radar screens had no indication that anything was wrong. Without criticizing Sullenberger or anyone else involved, the safety board is recommending that controllers be authorized to switch a plane's transponder code to 7700, alerting the entire system to a possible emergency.

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