About David Learmount

Author Archive | David Learmount

Capabilities of the VS Learjets

Which way is up?

Loss of control accidents are the world’s new big killers since the installation of airborne terrain awareness warning systems (TAWS) dramatically reduced the numbers of controlled flight into terrain crashes. The US FAA is considering mandating an upset recovery training programme for airline pilots. But what does it think is the best training method?     Right […]

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Don’t marry an airline pilot (Part 2)

About this time last year I suggested reasons why marrying an airline pilot might not bring you the lifestyle you had in mind. Today David Nicholas, who frequently posts comments here, has kindly sent me a link to a human interest story on the BBC website – including a video – which rather backs up my […]

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Winter thoughts in the northern summer

Are pilots ever really ready for winter when they have just flown through summer? They could be this year…   It’s not just about de-icing, its about which de-icing fluid to ask for under which circumstances. It’s not just about contaminated runways, it’s about what the runway is contaminated with  – and how much of […]

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Why has airline safety stopped improving?

“Unless there is a dramatic improvement in airline safety performance between now and the end of 2010, then 2001-10 will become the first decade since the Second World War when global airline accident rates did not show improvement.” You will shortly be able to read those words in Flight International’s review of global airline safety […]

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Do we do nothing if AF 447 remains a mystery?

It is still possible that the AF 447 recorders will be found. But if they never are, can the industry afford not to explore what is likely to have happened, rather than what is merely possible? The list of theoretical possibilities is, at present, so long that an assumption by the industry that any of them might have […]

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Safety and politics don’t mix

European transport commissioner Antonio Tajani and several French politicians have seen fit to pronounce on aviation safety in the wake of the Yemenia Airbus A310 accident in a way that reflects a distressing degree of nationalistic prejudice.   Without any knowledge of what caused the Yemenia accident, they have clearly pre-judged the carrier as not […]

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The unvarnished truth about all airline accidents

The following statements apply to all accidents involving all airlines flying all types of aircraft, whether people in them were hurt or not: 1. If the accident involves a big Western-built jet airliner with lots of people on it, it will either be an Airbus or a Boeing, because they are the only Western aircraft manufacturers left on the […]

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AF447: the search

If Paul-Louis Arslanian, the BEA’s chief investigator in charge of the AF447 probe, says he does not have any answers yet, how can the rest of the world be so sure of its many theories? Arslanian has more direct access to information than any of us has, and an international team of the best analysts available. But you can tell […]

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The A380 shows off Airbus’ clever new kit

This group has just disembarked after a 27 May A380 flight from Airbus’ Toulouse base. The flight was mounted to demonstrate two really clever and seriously useful avionic advances that Airbus is just about to see certificated. One will make airborne collision a little less likely, the other will prevent runway overruns. Overruns are the most common type of aircraft accident, and one of the most […]

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Missing Air France A330

Air France has just admitted that it cannot hold out hope any longer of re-establishing contact with flight AF447. By now, the company says, this Airbus A330-200 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris would have run out of fuel if it were still airborne. At present, information is very sparse. According to the airline, the last report […]

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