One fatal crash that claimed the lives of some and injured many urged the Navy to drop the use of touchscreen interface and go back to the traditional control.

The result of the investigation conducted and released recently by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that the lack of proper training on the touchscreen interface caused the crash that killed 10 persons and 58 others in a ship.

The collision between an oil tanker and U.S. S. John McCain took place on August 2017. The investigation report states that the sailors in charge of the helm lost control that leads them to direct the ship towards the oil tanker instead of going the opposite way.

The report said that U.S.S. John McCain sailors were using the integrated bridge and navigation system, IBNS, a multi-functional pair of touchscreens designed by Northrop-Grumman. The said interface has just been installed on the destroyer almost a year before the accident.

The sailors were using traditional mechanical control with knobs and dials for quite a long time before the touchscreen interface was installed. Since they have only been into the said interface for a short time, the U.S.S. John McCain sailors found the software complex.

One major accident contributing factor that the investigation points out is the sharp turn that the ship made gearing toward the oil tanker. The investigating committee found out that the sailor got confused about the interface controlled only one side of the ship believing that he was actually doing the command for the entire throttle.

The investigation report concluded that the accident was primarily caused by fundamental issues such as the qualification process as well as the sailors’ training with the INBS. The said matter came out after the gathering of the post-accident interviews and John S McCain crewmembers misunderstandings.

Navy Rear Admiral Bill Galinis stated in the American Society of Naval Engineers event that the whole thing was unadvised. He further admitted that they made things complex with the touchscreen interface.

Galinis said that, as per all the destroyers where they installed the touchscreen interface, they wanted to have the physical throttles back and that is what they are getting. This means that the armada will get their hands on their traditional mechanical interface next year.