Archive | July, 2013

Pilot competency up for discussion

That post on Facebook by my US airline pilot friend (see previous entry) developed into a discussion that made me more worried than I already was about the degree to which airline pilots are losing faith in their ability to fly ordinary manoeuvres and visual traffic patterns, because they practically never have to do it. […]

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Pilots will lose all faith in their judgement if this continues…

A good friend who flies for one of the US majors put this up on Facebook in the last few days. It is his account of flying into San Francisco to land on the same runway that saw the Asiana accident a few weeks ago. I have modified a few of his words slightly for […]

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Why aviation is safe: it’s not what you think

The exceptionally low fatalities total in the first six months of 2013 is not the result of low accident numbers. The same period last year saw exactly the same number of crashes but more than four times the casualties. For more detail, register free as a member of the FG Club and you can see […]

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Pilots with their eyes taped

My colleague Steve Trimble has just taken up a favourite theme of mine in a post-Asiana crash article that’s just gone up in the FG Club site. Why don’t pilots monitoring (usually the pilot-not-flying) actually monitor what’s going on? Or do they monitor but fail to intervene when they don’t like what they see? Come […]

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Rugby stars launch BA’s A380 Jo’burg route

Obviously going for Springbok supporters’ business as well as the home team fans, British Airways has fielded the South African team’s Bryan Habana (left) and Jean de Villiers either side of England captain Chris Robshaw, allegedly towing the airline’s first A380 on the pan at Manston airport in Kent. BA staged this pleasing but improbable […]

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Something to think about on final approach

As I noted in the previous entry about the findings of our airline safety review at the half-way point in 2013, runway excursions remain the most popular accident. No world region appears to be immune, although some are particularly good at it. A study published early this year by the Netherlands-based NLR Aviation Safety Institute […]

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Airline safety results for January-June 2013

Airline safety globally has been very good in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period in previous years. The number of fatal accidents equals the lowest ever, and the number of actual fatalities is less than half the previous lowest figure. The full figures and safety analysis, together with a detailed list […]

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How not to bust your helicopter

Practice autorotations cause a huge number of accidents during helicopter pilot training, and lots of helicopters are written off like this. Low-cost simulation will, hopefully, reduce the rate of occurrence, but while we’re waiting for the industry to wise-up to this, the International Helicopter Safety Team has issued a reminder about how to carry out […]

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That 787 fire: what to look for

The FAA is shortly to issue an airworthiness directive requiring checks of Boeing 787 emergency locator transmitters and the area surrounding them. It was close to the ELT in the cabin ceiling that a fire broke out in an Ethiopian Airlines 787 at Heathrow on 12 July (see previous blog entry). The FAA will advise […]

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That 787 fire at Heathrow: what now?

The 12 July fire in a parked, unattended Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 on a remote stand at Heathrow wasn’t associated with one of the aircraft’s two main battery power packs this time, according to an Air Accident Investigation Branch Special Bulletin on the event. But it does seem likely that a rather smaller lithium battery […]

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