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 THE first incidence of its kind -

  the tragic accident at San Francisco Airport over the week-end is yet

  another consequence of the consequences of the complex systems

  which I have oft referred to elsewhere.

As the Daily Telegraph reported - "Lee Kang-kuk, whose anglicised name was released

for the first time on Monday and differed slightly from earlier usage, was the second most

junior pilot of four on board the Asiana Airlines aircraft and had 43 hours experience

flying the long-range jet, the airline said on Monday. 

The plane's crew tried to abort the

descent less than two seconds before

it hit a seawall on the landing approach

to the airport, bounced along the tarmac

and burst into flames.

It was Lee's first attempt to land a 777

at San Francisco, although he had flown 

there 29 times previously on different

types of aircraft, said South Korean 

transport ministry official Choi Seung-youn. Earlier, the ministry said he had accumulated 

a total of 9,793 flying hours, including his 43 at the controls of the 777."

... and therein lies the problem - that the computer control systems of these modern

aircraft have become so complex and sophisticated - that the pilots flying them, whether

experienced on type or not, have often never been appropriately trained to actually cope 

with the kind of situations which arise with the ultimate failure of the ever more complex 

fly-by-wire processes - which are responsible for keeping these aircraft on auto-pilot.

IT IS this airline-training system failure, coupled with a lack of comprehension of the

consequences of consequences of manufacturing systems failures, as well as the lack of

strict accordance to maintenance procedures and increasing difficulty on the part of 

pilots to satisfactorily complete their pre-flight aircraft inspections, that is collectively

putting pressure on airlines to cut corners because of the world wide acceptance, on 

behalf of the flying public, that low-cost flying IS the order of the day.

Several Indonesia airlines have already been banned by the European Union from flying

into European airspace for the reasons that I have described above. Just consider the fact

that weather forecasting has become very hit and miss in recent times because the

forecasters are using systems based on out-dated computer models which cannot yet

keep up with the rate of change of global weather systems - god forbid that this should

ever become the case for taking a flight from Heathrow to San Francisco.

When NASA put over 20 airline flight crews through an exercise to simulate an

emergency engine failure during flight, they were amazed by the variety of

performances they saw, from good communications to almost complete mayhem.

It's clear that effective communication in the cockpit is vital, yet the researchers

have found that those skills are often barely adequate or even non existent.

The psychologists at NASA are discovering that anything that prevents a flight crew

from working like a well oiled team is potentially dangerous and one of the most

disruptive influences is a pilot's personality. Many of them are simply not fitted

for commercial cockpits at all. 


As Factman commented on June 27 8:42pm to the FT Qantas engine failure issue -

Culture & behaviours: at the root of every major incident. No matter how many

systems & processes you have in place, they'll never save you or your business if the 

safety culture & behaviours are weak. If your safety culture & behaviours are strong, 

they'll prevail however sloppy the systems & processes are.


Views: 161

Comment by Michael Grove on July 13, 2013 at 7:48

Shares in Boeing took a nosedive on Friday after one of its Dreamliner 787 aircraft

caught fire while parked at Heathrow, closing the airport.

The incident, on a plane flown by Ethiopia Airlines, comes less than six months after Boeing

was temporarily forced to ground the new plane, amid concerns over the safety of its batteries.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is in contact with Boeing.

"We are aware of the situation and we are in contact with Boeing as they assess the incident,"

an FAA spokeswoman said.

In a second incident, Thomson Airways says one of its Dreamliner planes travelling from

England to the US had to turn back after experiencing a technical issue.

Howard Wheeldon, an aerospace analyst at Wheeldon Strategic Advisory, told the Telegraph 

he thought the problem was unlikely to be down to the Dreamliner’s battery, noting that

aircrafts smoke “for all sorts of reasons” and it could well be down to a “small issue”.

However, he said an issue with the battery, or any other technical problem with the

Dreamliner model, would shake shareholders’ faith in Boeing.

(what about the faith of the 787 flying public !!!???)

“It’s serious – it’s another little chip away in confidence in the company’s ability to solve a

problem. If it is a battery issue, there will be an erosion confidence in the company.

The investors would take a pretty dim view [of its handling of the matter],” he said.

The US company has invested more than $20bn (£12.8bn) in the 787, which made its debut

in late 2011 after a three-year delay. Its ground-breaking design and materials sought to

create a more fuel-efficient plane.

Boeing said in February that it remained confident in the 787 and had more than

800 outstanding orders for the jet, including from Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.

SO THAT's ALRIGHT THEN - who are these people !!!???

Comment by Michael Grove on July 13, 2013 at 8:54

Apparently the technical and engineering recruitment 'swing of the pendulum' that has

naturally existed between BOEING and AIRBUS for many years - has in recent times swung

almost permanently in favour of Airbus - hopefully this situation has nothing to do with the

Dreamliner problems or indeed any residual effect on AIRBUS - whatever the situation it can

not be a bad thing that a third competitor in the form of Bombardier is rising to the fore !!!

Comment by Michael Grove on July 15, 2013 at 6:24

US air acccident officials investigating the cause of the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco

on July 6 said a stall warning activated four seconds before impact and that the crew tried to abort

the landing 1.5 seconds before crashing.

Air speed was significantly below the target air speed of 137 knots,” said National 

Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chief Deborah Hersman who added that the throttle

was set at idle as the aircraft approached the airport and that the engines appeared

to respond normally when the crew tried to gain speed in the seconds before the crash.

“We have to take another look at the raw data and corroborate it with radar and air traffic information

to make sure we have a very precise speed. But again, we are not talking about a few knots here

or there. We’re talking about a significant amount of speed below 137,” she said.

The National Transportation Safety Board finally determined that the probable cause of this

accident was the flight crew’s mismanagement of the airplane’s descent during the visual

approach, [which was partly due to the pilot's lack of experience of actually landing this

type of aircraft manually and without assistance of the aircraft's automated systems]

the pilot flying’s unintended deactivation of automatic airspeed control, the flight crew’s

inadequate monitoring of airspeed, and the flight crew’s delayed execution of a go-around

after they became aware that the airplane was below acceptable glide path and airspeed

tolerances. Contributing to the accident were; (1) the complexities of the auto-throttle and

autopilot flight director systems that were inadequately described in Boeing’s documentation

and Asiana’s pilot training, which increased the likelihood of mode error; (2) the flight crew’s

nonstandard communication and coordination regarding the use of the auto-throttle and

autopilot flight director systems; (3) the pilot flying’s inadequate training on the planning and

executing of visual approaches; (4) the pilot monitoring/instructor pilot’s inadequate supervision

of the pilot flying; and (5) flight crew fatigue which likely degraded their performance.

Comment by Michael Grove on July 15, 2013 at 6:37

In a final rule to be published soon, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced

today that it is increasing the qualification requirements for first officers who fly for U.S.

passenger and cargo airlines.

The rule requires first officers – also known as co-pilots – to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP)

certificate, requiring 1,500 hours total time as a pilot. Previously, first officers were required to have

only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time.

The rule also requires first officers to have an aircraft type rating, which involves additional

training and testing specific to the airplanes they fly.

The rule gives first officers a stronger foundation of aeronautical knowledge and

experience before they fly for an air carrier,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

With this rule and our efforts to address pilot fatigue – both initiatives championed

by the families of Colgan flight 3407 – we’re making a safe system even safer.”

Comment by Michael Grove on July 15, 2013 at 22:04

Honeywell, a US engineer that can trace its roots back to the 19th century, confirmed it was 

helping around 25 experts, including some from Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) 

and the US National Transportation Safety Board, with their inspection of the damaged Dreamliner.

Comment by Michael Grove on July 23, 2013 at 9:28

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said they had "several" accounts of people 

onboard the plane reporting physical injuries. The Wall Street Journal said at least 10 people

had been injured. The extent of the injuries was not immediately known, but reports said six 

people were taken to hospital. Officials said at least four people suffered anxiety attacks.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville landed

at 5:45pm and safely came to a stop on the tarmac. The nose of the plane could be seen on the

ground. The Boeing 737, which was carrying 149 passengers and crew, was surrounded with

emergency vehicles.

Comment by Michael Grove on July 27, 2013 at 11:07

Despite being scrapped in 2010, the FiReControl project to establish nine regional fire control

centres continues to be a millstone around taxpayers’ necks. The Public Accounts Committee

report released yesterday highlights that FiReControl has wasted at least £482 million of

taxpayers’ money and still racked by problems. Margaret Hodge MP, the committee’s chair,

has described it as - “one of the worst cases of project failure we have seen.”

Comment by Michael Grove on August 12, 2013 at 9:12


Pilots for budget airline Ryanair have expressed serious concerns about passenger safety

and claim that these are suppressed by bosses.  In an internal survey of 1,000 pilots, two-thirds

said they did not feel comfortable raising safety issues through the airline’s internal system, while

nine out of ten said it did not have an ‘open and transparent safety culture’.

It comes just months after three Ryanair planes were forced to make emergency landings in Spain

on the same day, when they allegedly started to run out of fuel.

Comment by Michael Grove on August 18, 2013 at 12:55

Virgin Atlantic passengers and crew travelling from London to New York have been stranded

overnight in a small Canadian airport after making an emergency landingMore than 250 people

including children were said to be stuck at Gander Airport in Newfoundland after a 'sudden fuelling

issue and discrepancy ' forced the plane to land, one passenger revealed.

The problem was with flight VS25 from London Heathrow to New York John F. Kennedy Airport, and

a replacement aircraft was being sent to take the crew and passengers onto their final destination.

Comment by Michael Grove on August 19, 2013 at 16:47

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is streamlining aircraft certification and

approval processes to keep pace with technological advancements in aviation products and

to help the United States maintain global competitiveness.

The plan responds to recommendations in the May 2012 Aircraft Certification Process Review

and Reform Aviation Rulemaking Committee report to enhance the efficiency of getting new

products to market while improving safety.

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