In the RAF Aerobatic Team (RAFAT), the Red Arrows pilots may be the stars the public recognises, but they didn’t join the RAF as stars. Neither did the RAFAT engineers on whom the pilots depend for keeping their ageing Hawk T1s in fit shape for sharp flying. Nor the admin and logistics team that keeps […]
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At the end of the Seventies, airlines had a formula for safety. It didn’t work very well, but they had one. Having studied and written about global airline safety performance for 30 years, I can tell you the evolution in safety thinking over that time has been pretty radical. (We’ll talk about what’s going on […]
During the European volcanic ash grounding in April 2010, EasyJet’s head of engineering Ian Davies began to wonder if there was a better way, so he googled volcanic ash and emerged with a name: Dr Fred Prata of NILU, the Norwegian Institute of Air Research. Dr Fred had been working for years on systems for […]
The last time British Airways offered wannabe pilots the chance to train for a job with the company was before 9/11. Between now and 2016, says BA head of recruitment Robin Glover, the airline needs 800 new pilots, about half of which will be newly trained. The balance will come from other carriers and the military. […]
Honestly, what is the world coming to? When I was an instructor there we used to train them for British Airways…
In October last year, I got together with some student pilots who graduated into a jobless universe and helped them write their story in Flight International. I am delighted to report that they are all joining airlines now. James Ashworth, Mark Boyle, Mark Farquhar and Catherine Winter have all won jobs as junior first officers with EasyJet, […]
Dr Fred Prata is one of the boffins working with EasyJet and Airbus to test the feasibility of deploying passive infra-red sensor systems on aircraft to enable pilots to navigate safely through airspace contaminated with volcanic ash. In fact this passive IR ash detector system, called AVOID, was developed some years ago by the Climate and Atmosphere Department of […]
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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