So the Irish suddenly love rules?

It seems that the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit’s answer to aviation people who break rules is to make more rules. Doesn’t that just create more opportunities for habitual rulebreakers to break more rules?   The Irish never struck me as a race who are in love with rules. In fact my many Irish friends […]

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Boeing pushing boundaries


Boeing always pushes boundaries. It’s a way of life.  The “can do” spirit, and the preparedness to take the risk that the company might not be able to deliver on a new and ambitious objective is impressive. The company frequently succeeds. The latest example of this characteristic I have in mind is Boeing’s plans for 787 pilot training. The manufacturer says […]

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Qantas 747′s sudden decompression: it could have been worse


Qantas’ Boeing 747-400 is not, by any means the first aircraft to survive damage to its pressure hull. The damage, in this case, however, is minor compared with what others have suffered and still landed safely. In 1989 a United Airlines 747-100 climbing out of Honolulu bound for en route for Auckland suffered the dramatic […]

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Not so green on the airfield at Farnborough

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If you’re on foot, airfields are big spaces. The township on one side of the old Farnborough aerodrome that springs up to support the air show every two years is pretty extensive in its own right, and during the trade days its one-way traffic grid system is permanently logjammed with powerful, expensive cars going nowhere with air conditioned people […]

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Europe prepares to shoot itself in the head, the USA in the foot

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 European FTOs: threatened    If you think you’ve heard it all having read “European pilot training industry heads for paralysis”, actually you don’t know the half of it yet. Nobody does. Europe is putting a significant proportion of its home-produced pilot training industry at risk by changing the rules about flight crew licensing (FCL), and also what […]

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Accident investigation beats divorce for lawyers


 The Ivy: in vino veritas?    It was over a glass of champagne at The Ivy restaurant in London I learned the real reason why the judiciary and police in most of the world rush to prepare prosecutions against pilots and air traffic controllers following a fatal airline accident. Apparently judges and the police are […]

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Toxic thoughts

What happened to the debate on contaminated cabin air? Incidentally, I don’t mean the issue of selecting an excess of recirculated air in the cabin to save fuel by reducing engine bleed, I mean toxic fumes from bleed air that have partially incapacitated crews and, in some cases, robbed them of their health and their […]

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The big squeeze

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Airlines face a potentially dangerous squeeze. The average experience level of pilots will reduce as the industry expands, so that makes training more important, but airlines can’t afford to improve training because the fuel price is sapping their ability to invest in it. Thousands of hours of flying doesn’t necessarily make a good pilot. It’s […]

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