Pilots: who needs them?

“Unless pilots are trained to cope when automation fails, logic dictates that manufacturers might as well design them out altogether.” That’s the logic. But will it survive the argument? ———————— The greatest service the Dutch National Safety Board could render to aviation in its investigation of the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 crash at Schiphol is to use […]

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Schiphol crash: cockpit doors have to get better than this

There is a lot yet to learn about the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 crash at Schiphol. Just about everything, in fact. But this was an accident – like many recently – that was survivable by all, or at least most, of the people on board. An unconfirmed report in the Turkish English language daily newspaper […]

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Turkish airlines accident at Schiphol

The Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed on final approach to Amsterdam Schiphol on 25 February is the second aircraft in a little more than a year to land short of a runway on approach to a major airport. The other event involved a British Airways Boeing 777. It landed about 350m short of runway 27L at London Heathrow […]

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What’s gonna hit the airlines next

As  if we needed to be told, things are changing and the outlook is bleak. But bleak like what? Thales, which held a big party to launch its new RealitySeven flight simulator range and announce its re-entry into the provision of training support services on 19 February, gathered a massive breadth of global air transport expertise at […]

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Colgan 3407, icing, and turboprops

Early information released by the US National Transportation Safety Board about the Colgan Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 that crashed on approach to Buffalo on 12 February made it look as if the agency had more or less decided that icing was the cause. This is definitely no longer so. Icing now looks like just one factor – maybe […]

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Which way is up for Eastern and Western artificial horizons?

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An Aeroflot-Nord pilot flying a Western-built aircraft – a Boeing 737-500 crashed on approach to Perm, Russia, last year because of disorientation. The official report says the accident was at least partly caused by the fact that the Western and Russian artificial horizons (AH) – alternatively known as attitude director indicators (ADI) – work on a completely different psychology. This captain had spent most of his […]

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The toxic subject that won’t die

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Two television stations, one German and one Swiss, have begun their own investigation in the face of consistent denials by airlines that passengers and crew are routinely exposed to neurotoxins, and have proved that it is true. I have blogged about this before. And we have investigated the subject ourselves and found it to be […]

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Revealed: How to run an airline

Michael O

Somebody has noticed that all is not well in the world of airlines, and has deduced that good management practises might help. They’ve written a book about it. Is it just me, or is there is an insidious implication here that most airlines are badly managed? The main theme, I gather from the blurb, is that […]

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Ditching as an informed choice

This week’s Comment page in Flight International – When water is the best option – muses on whether the US National Transportation Safety Board’s inquiry into the Hudson River ditching could provide simulator manufacturers with enough hard information to enable them to simulate ditchings for pilot training purposes. If that were possible, it might add […]

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Prima donna passengers versus punctuality

Yesterday I boarded an EasyJet flight out of Cologne for London Gatwick. We pushed back 17min early and arrived 40min early. Pushback as early as that is a record for me. I was left to reflect on how this was achievable. Clearly the airline had all its operational ducks in a row, but the final decider […]

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