Flying into the rising sun

The sun is about to set on this blog, but those who find it useful or enjoyable – hopefully both – fear not. My new blog, Learmount.com, is now up and running, and I hope it will be a worthy successor to this one. Why? After years – even decades – of being Flightglobal’s (and […]

Continue Reading

The last chance to find MH370?

In its just-released message saying that they are extending the MH370 search area, the Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities have not been specific about the precise geographical parameters of the extension. But it looks as if the search will finally begin to encompass the area just beyond the south-western end of the Seventh Arc published […]

Continue Reading

Norway wants to stop “brutal” employment practices for crews

Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communications is preparing a report on the effects of commercial air transport globalisation and the “fragmentation” of airline structures within the European economic area and globally. This will include a study of “atypical employment practices” within the industry, according to State Secretary for Transport and Communications Tom Cato Karlsen. Speaking […]

Continue Reading

EASA contracts cabin air quality research

Cabin air contamination is going to be researched by EASA. Why? Aerotoxic syndrome, a disabling medical condition that has afflicted hundreds of pilots and cabin crew worldwide is caused by the presence in cockpit and cabin air of pyrolised organophosphates from engine oil that get into the engine bleed air that feeds the cabin. But […]

Continue Reading

What happens when pilots lose the plot?

When a pilot ignores an audio alert, why does it happen? It could be a ground proximity alert, or a warning that the cabin pressure is rising, or that the gear is still up while the aircraft is on final approach. So it matters. But what’s going on in the pilot’s brain that makes him […]

Continue Reading

Self-employment: the model for future European pilots?

About 14% of pilots flying for European airlines are self-employed or work for temporary work agencies (TWA), according to a European Commission funded study by the University of Ghent, which says that proportion is growing. The first conference held to examine this social phenomenon is being held in Paris on 12-13 February. It will be […]

Continue Reading

The short flight of TransAsia GE235

Taiwan’s accident investigators have taken the unusual step of publishing part of the flight data recorder printout for the crashed ATR72-600 almost as soon as it was available to them. There are no rules or protocols saying they must do so, and none saying they should not. The printout they released concerns only the data […]

Continue Reading

Taipei TransAsia crash

It is clear from the aircraft’s attitude and flight profile, seen on video in the last few seconds of the flight, that the TransAsia ATR72 was fully stalled. An aircraft stalls because it’s flying too slowly to generate sufficient lift from its wings and it starts to fall. If an aeroplane is flying too slowly in […]

Continue Reading

Recognition for the man who won’t go away

Capt Tristan Loraine has won a British Citizen Award for his work raising awareness of aerotoxic syndrome and the problem for crew and passengers of contaminated air in airline cabins. British Citizen Awards  are new, complementing the traditional honours system for recognising top public servants, and they reward “exceptional endeavour” in a number of fields. Loraine’s award […]

Continue Reading

The MoD’s nice little earner

RAF Northolt, next to the A40 trunk road in north west London, is one of the RAF’s oldest continually used airfields, and it accepts up to 12,000 civilian (mostly business aviation) movements a year on a commercial basis. Only London City airport is closer to London’s centre, and Heathrow no longer accepts business aviation movements, […]

Continue Reading