Archive | July, 2011

Lessons from AF447: back to basics

As more detail of Air France flight 447′s surreal last four-and-a-half minutes emerges in the latest interim factual report by the French investigation agency (BEA), we see yet another example of a crew that lost touch with the aeroplane it was flying. It’s not difficult to see some predisposing reasons: it was 2 a.m. on a […]

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Cockpit landing 2 Photo Sören Andersson

Flight powered by fish and chips

Why does it please me that the used oil in the deep fat fryer from which my fish and chips has just been retrieved will power a Finnair Airbus A319? Or maybe, eventually, any number of flights with other aeroplanes and airlines.  This is a Lufthansa Airbus A321 having its right wing tank filled with a 50/50 mix of ordinary […]

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Low res LM2 pic.jpg

Simulators get real

Cathay Pacific has just become the first customer airline for a revolutionary new simulator motion system that will transform what simulators can be used for. Even full flight simulators (FFS), at present, are really just sophisticated procedure and systems trainers, although the aviation authorites pretend they can be beneficial to manual flying skills. But  US FAA research says there is no […]

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‘A profession in decline’

William Langewiesche’s book “Fly By Wire” is about the ‘miracle on the Hudson’ – the successful ditching in the river of a US Airways Airbus A320 commanded by Capt Chesley Sullenberger with Jeffrey Skiles as his copilot. For me the book’s fascination was the author’s view on what being a modern airline pilot is all about. Langiewische is an experienced […]

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Mist rolling in from the sea

An official accusation that two UK Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook transport helicopter pilots caused a fatal accident 17 years ago through gross negligence has at last been retracted, after causing protracted and unnecessary grief to the families of those killed. Lord Philip’s independent legal review of the original negligence judgement – delivered in 1995 […]

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