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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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North Sea helicopter safety and the oil price

The UK Civil Aviation Authority looks as if it is – finally – doing a great job shepherding British offshore oil support helicopter operations into a safer future. When helicopter operators in the UK sector of the North Sea suffered five serious accidents or incidents in the period 2009-2013 the CAA’s initial response was defensive. […]

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An old fashioned fatal accident

Bhoja Air doesn’t exist any longer. In its recent incarnation, the Pakistani domestic carrier flew commercially for less than a year, suffered a serious fatal accident in April 2012, and was grounded before it was wound up. According to the ICAO universal safety oversight audit programme (USOAP), which rates national aviation authorities on their capabilities […]

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Tropical accidents: the evidence is building

Accidents to aircraft cruising through tropical or sub-tropical zones are repeating often enough now for the industry to have cause to refresh its pilots on the risks – if they have not already done so. There have only been three other accidents in the last ten years that merit comparison with AirAsia’s flight QZ8501 accident […]

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