Posts

Showing posts with the label Aviation

Another Training aircraft crash highlights regulatory failure

Image
India has witnessed an increasing number of training aircraft accidents over the past few years. Flight schools are the foundation of pilot training. The airlines and other operators depend on these institutions to churn out high caliber professional to assure safety and efficiency in air transport. Unfortunately, these very institutions are facing the wrath of a crumbling regulatory setup. The safety systems are dependent on proactive and reactive measures to assure safety. The regulator has demonstrated inadequate oversight of activities and poor standards/quality. The investigation from which the industry learns to prevent future accidents is unable to perform due to poor quality of accident investigation reports.  Commercials has clearly been given precedence over safety. A number of investigations are motivated to shield the operator and/or poor infrastructure. An example is the comments in the attached clip. The system is a closed setup and does not encourage collaborative decisi

AirIndia Express Co-Pilot's life & others lost probably to a failed emergency response plan

Image
  The crash of the Boeing 777 on July 6th 2013, at San Francisco killed two and injured more than 180. The first police and fire personnel arrived at the crash scene in about two minutes, and local officials said brave rescue efforts and effective triage of the many wounded likely saved lives.  A stark contrast was the Air India Express IX1344 accident at Calicut airport where the aircraft plunged 35 meters killing 21 people including the pilots. The victims were transported to various hospitals in ambulances and private vehicles. While ambulances are equipped with life saving medical equipment, the Co-Pilot was rushed to a hospital 25km away an hours drive on the backseat of a private car thereby depriving him of the critical life saving equipment. While it was a helping gesture but who ever decided this inhumane treatment to the co-pilot did contribute to the sad demise of the young pilot. The airport emergency response plan which is mandatory and is rehearsed periodically failed mis

Toxic Cabin air may be causing neurological problems in airlines crew

Image
On 2nd Feb 2012, an aircraft took off from Stockholm/Bromma airport for a scheduled flight to Malmö/Sturup. After approximately five minutes the commander was affected by dizziness and nausea and therefore handed over the controls to the co-pilot. The flight was discontinued and the aircraft diverted back towards Bromma. Captain Andrew Myers, worked for JetBlue for 15 years but then in 2017 he became ill with a number of alarming health conditions, including toxic encephalopathy, which is a neurologic disorder, and neurocognitive disorder as well as visual difficulties, which could be permanent.The State of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board in August 2020, ruled in favour of Myers, which in essence establishes the fact that Myers did indeed fall ill from toxic cabin air. This decision is significant because for years, the airline industry has denied the existence of what is known as aero-toxic syndrome, or exposure to toxic cabin air. Myers will now be paid several years of compensat

Qatar Airways avoids potential traffic collision with a crossing aircraft over Iran

Image
  A Qatar Airways newly acquired Airbus A-350-1000 series aircraft had a close call over Iran on 12th April when it came into close proximity with another crossing aircraft. The airliner equipped with the state of art technology and traffic collision avoidance system was seen climbing by about 500ft while cruising at 34000ft on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Los Angles, USA.           Flightradar24 plotted aircraft track The automated TCAS detects an incoming aircraft and if it identifies the other aircraft on a potential collision trajectory, she arms the traffic collision avoidance system. When the intruder crosses a pre-set threshold , the system automatically initiates an avoidance maneuver to provide the minimum safe separation between two aircrafts. Altitude increase/ Speed decay due to traffic avoidance In this incident the Qatar Airways A350 registration 97-ANO dropped its speed by almost 35km/hr while cruising at 888km/hr. This drop in speed at an high altitude is not safe since

IATA Travel Pass, the safest solution to reopen international borders amidst the COVID19 pandemic

Image
  COVID19 is here to stay. Its been over a year and the globe is still reeling with the effects of death and destruction caused due to the on going pandemic. Aviation industry has been affected the most and the recovery is predicted to be cautious and slow. Despite all the precautions being taken by the aviation industry the governments are apprehensive to open up borders to normalize flight schedules. The governments have initiated COVID19 vaccine drive but it will take over an year before a substantial percentage of the world's population has been vaccinated. IATA the international body promoting air travel which has a membership of 290 airlines from 120 nations, has taken up the initiative of helping reopen the borders. To re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status. Informing passengers on

Singapore Airlines B777 levels out at 500ft, as strong cultures overshadow procedures

Image
  I am a true believer that society and culture cannot be separated from work and training. However best the training may be, it is under a controlled environment and the performance indicators needed to be achieved are briefed before hand. The crew undergoing training works together to achieve their objective and they are driven by performance indicators required to be achieved to declare them competent. In the real world, the motivation, drive and targets are not briefed as well as they are in a training environment. There are a lot many distractions and personal cultures and behavioral influences are lot more active as compared to a training environment.   The First Officer of this Singapore Airlines B777 departing from Shanghai, China was a Multi Crew Pilot License holder with over 1700hrs flight experience on type. The essence of an MPL training program is multi crew coordination and threat error management. Therefore it can be safely assuming that the crew had demonstrated all th

Multi-Crew Pilot License, India needs better preparedness to adopt the change

Image
  The Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) was adopted by ICAO in 2006 with an amendment in the ICAO Annex-1. India has still not implemented the change. India has been following the traditional prescriptive training methodology with very few changes over the year. The idiom “ Don’t fix it until it breaks ” fits well in the Indian context. There is however a need to rationalize training curriculum since it has been overloaded with additional training requirement post a major accident or an ICAO mandate. There are lobbies which have been pushing for the introduction of MPL in India in partnership with a few airlines. The airlines unknowingly are falling for the bait that they have been traditionally been doing since eternity. India has always been seen as a milking cow by the west and the sheer numbers in terms of training hours requirement seems like a lucrative business to anyone. The question here is,   is India prepared to launch and support a new training and licensing methodology? The c