In 1981, following years of aircraft accidents caused by distracted flying, the Federal Aviation Administration enacted Federal Aviation Regulations 121.542 and 135.100. Commonly known as the “sterile cockpit rule,” these regulations prohibit air crews from performing non-essential duties during critical phases of flight. Though there are many differences between flying and tactical operations on the ground, a similar rule should be incorporated to reduce distraction-related accidents during critical phases of Marine Corps and Army ground operations.
1. Code of Federal Regulations 121.542 and 135.100, “Flight Crewmember Duties.”
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5. Wadhera, et al, “Is the ‘sterile cockpit’ applicable.
6. Michelle Federwisch, Hortencia Ramos, and Shonte’ C. Adams, “The Sterile Cockpit: An Effective Approach to Reducing Medication Errors?” American Journal of Nursing, 114, Number 2, February 2014, 47–55.
7. Hugh Morris, “The rule that forbids pilots from chatting below 10,000 feet—and the farcical crash that created it,” The Telegraph, 17 May 2017.