About David Learmount

Author Archive | David Learmount

Lock up your controllers

The worst example of press-led vigilante justice was the series of prosecutions after the Milan Linate runway collision in October 2001. Several industry people were handed jail sentences, but the longest went to the tower controller.

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EASA: is it really that bad?

A special kind of scrutiny was applied to the European Aviation Safety Agency last week. On 27 September the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) imported five of the top executives from EASA, seated them behind a long desk facing a packed hall of industry people, allowed them a few words each to update the audience on […]

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Watch for the high roundouts as runways widen for the A380

Airbus’ new A380 may just have been cleared by the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency to operate on 45m-wide runways (which is standard for large airports), but the International Civil Aviation Organisation says the runway width for the type should be 60m. This has upset the airports that have to […]

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The TAM accident: when getting answers makes you ask questions

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Meeting Michael O’Leary

Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary is well known for his bombastic public persona and ruthless management style, but what’s he like when you meet him on business?

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Fuel tank inerting and the LXX Squadron 90th birthday party

Last weekend I went to a good party at RAF Lyneham and came back even more convinced – if that’s possible – that RAF transport aircraft should have fuel tank inerting systems. More of that later.   The party was the 90th Anniversary of No 70 Squadron RAF – traditionally designated LXX Squadron, as members […]

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Better than working for a living: flying the A380 sim

Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A380 full flight simulator(FFS), a huge already-liveried box perched precariously on its hydraulic rams,was awaiting shipping from the manufacturer’s site near London Gatwick airport.  Fellow journalist Kevin Done – Financial Times aerospacecorrespondent – and I were being shown the machine by its proud builders,Thales, having first received a presentation on the […]

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Fighting for safety

There’s an interesting tension at each year’s International Aviation Safety Seminar (IASS) nowadays, and this years’ session – in Moscow – was no exception.   The IASS, originally a modest affair run by the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) for its member airlines, manufacturers and organisations was, more than a decade ago, merged with the annual […]

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Helicopter safety and gangsta-rap

 Some people can give presentations and some can’t.   By common agreement of all I spoke to at the International Helicopter Safety Seminar (IHSS) in Montreal (26-29 Sept), Brig Gen Joseph Smith, US Army, gave the most riveting presentation of all, despite having to compete with  plenty of quality  stuff at this seminal gathering. He […]

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