Archive | May, 2010

The crash we’ll never understand

When the Cessna Citation 500 crashed into houses near Biggin Hill aerodrome on 30 March 2008, it mystified all the aviators I spoke to who tried to understand what had happened. Now the Air Accident Investigation Branch has released its final report and we are not much the wiser despite their painstaking work. There were […]

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Volcanic ash: who says it’s not safe to fly – Part 2

Atmospheric volcanic ash in serious quantities is new to Europe, and the learning curve on how to deal with it is steep. But it needs to get steeper, because it seems the number of differences in the way national aviation authorities are interpreting the internationally agreed guidelines  almost equals the number of authorities in the Eurocontrol […]

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Just culture: ‘we’ve been going the wrong way’

The tendency for national judicial systems almost automatically to bring criminal prosecutions in the event of commercial aircraft accidents is a growing global phenomenon, but it is not clear what is causing it. This issue was addressed at a Royal Aeronautical Society conference in London on 28 April, and the delegates – including some very experienced lawyers […]

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Afriqiyah crash: the circumstances

This Afriqiyah Airlines crash at Tripoli was not an ordinary approach accident. Ordinary approach accidents that involve an impact with flat terrain in the last kilometre before the runway threshhold do not usually smash the aeroplane into tiny pieces. They normally leave it crumpled but more or less complete, or otherwise the structure fractures into large but recognisable […]

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VIDEO: Pilot error (or anybody else’s error for that matter)

I’ve just been in Geneva attending the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, and Bombardier’s amazing learning experience for aviators – the Safety Standdown – is now an embedded part of what’s on offer there: a learning experience par excellence among the gleaming, glamorous hardware that EBACE presents. When the study of human factors began in […]

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