Archive | June, 2011

AF447 and the locked cockpit door

At the Paris Air Show today I was talking to a person who has reason to be interested in the loss of AF447, and she raised an interesting point: did the fact that the cockpit door is a post-9/11 security door make a material difference to the time it took for the captain to re-enter the […]

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Sukhoi Superbounce: how to arrive at Le Bourget

Careful, watch that sink rate… Flare. Flaair…! Oops!…overcooked it…here we go… …whoaa!… …don’t drop the nose – the spoilers are out…! Here we go again… …that’s better… …we’ve arrived! Okay that’ll do for today.  Just demonstrating what robust landing gear the Superjet has.

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Tomorrow’s flying lesson

Rockwell Collins is going to provide pilots with a button to push if they’ve lost track of which way up they are. No need to train for upset recovery, then. The same Pro Line Fusion suite will take care of emergency descent even if you’ve passed out from hypoxia, and if some Canada Geese or […]

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Lauber on AF447 and autopilot disconnect

Do you think it’s a bad idea that the autopilot/authrottle on AF447 tripped out just because two pitot sensors provided different airspeed values for a short time? Dr John Lauber, aviation psychologist and engineer, formerly of the US Navy, NASA, and the NTSB explains why it’s not. I advise those who are algebra-averse to persist. Clarity emerges through […]

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How much ash is too much?

  Maybe this much…?   Latin America is more used to volcanic activity than Europe is. Something’s always erupting somewhere between Mexico and Tierra del Fuego, usually Popecatepetl in Mexico which seems always to be up to something. This time it’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle in Chile, and the cloud is drifting east messing up aviation in much of Argentina. […]

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Understanding crew behaviour in AF447

If you are puzzled by crew behaviour in Air France 447, perhaps a quick read of this will provide food for thought. That article’s not about Air France 447, it’s about the airline training status quo, the kind of training the Air France crew would have received.  Ultimately, it’s about the regulators’ failure to modernise training requirements as the […]

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Can technology kill the most common airline accident?

In the last 25 years there have been 1,020 runway overruns by airliners or business jets. Most overruns were non-fatal, but they were highly damaging, expensive, and shocking to passengers. Many, however, were fatal, and a total of 1,082 people died in them. Airbus has invented and developed a system – the runway overrun prevention system […]

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The big stall recovery debate

Air France 447 and the Colgan Air crash at Buffalo have injected new vigour into a debate that has been going on quietly in the industry for some years now. It’s about how to teach airline pilots to handle the aircraft when it’s close to the edge of the flight envelope. The debate about airline training for […]

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