International Civil Aviation Day

Celebrating International Civil Aviation Day 2015 by understanding how far we have come, to know how much more we need to travel to keep everyone safe in sky above.


Aerospace Medicine International – Collaborative Effort for Safer Skies

AMI LogoAn association of like-minded practitioners of aerospace medicine amongst the Indian diaspora has come together to work towards aviation safety. It is ‘Aerospace Medicine International’ or AMI.

AMI depends upon the spirit of volunteering and pooling of their respective expertise to work towards the following goals:-

  • To support training, education, and research in the broad discipline of Aerospace Medicine
  • To critically examine the standards and practice of Aerospace Medicine across geographical regions and suggest improvements
  • To educate aviators, medical practitioners, aviation related personnel and general public regarding issues that impact aerospace safety in their respective regions

With its focus on the developing world, starting with South Asia, AMI intends to work in the emerging aviation markets with a collaborative effort to promote and enhance health, wellbeing and safety of all those involved in, or affected by, aviation and space travel related activities.

Anyone and everyone involved and in aviation is welcome to join this novel effort. We need you on-board AMI to ensure safer aviation. If interested, please apply Online for Membership of AMI.

Fly Safe – always!

Contrasting Outcomes in Multiteam Systems – Part 5

Lessons from the study – Selection and training of MTS aircrew

The findings of Bienefeld and Grote’s study has implications for selection and training of crew to perform within and across teams for enhanced aviation safety [3]. The salient points were:-

Selection of MTS aircrews is to be based on the leadership potential of the crew, who can undertake shared leadership to be able to optimally utilise leadership requirements both within and across teams effectively. Especially for pursers, individuals with high leadership potential is recommended to be selected.

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Contrasting Outcomes in Multiteam Systems – Part 4


What does Bienefeld & Grote’s Study on Multiteam Systems (MTS) say?

Bienefeld and Grote [3] conducted a study on 84 cockpit and cabin crews (n = 504), simulating an in-flight emergency in a high fidelity simulator with two-man cockpit and a fully furnished passenger cabin. Their aim was “to examine the effect of shared leadership within and across MTS on team goal attainment and MTS success” with the premise that the shared leadership, with proven effectiveness in single teams, “may be an effective strategy to cope with challenges” faced by MTS. This was to understand leadership within and across teams, despite different and at times competing goals in MTS [3]. The authors had three hypotheses [3]:-

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Contrasting Outcomes in Multiteam Systems – Part 3


Shared Leadership in Multiteam systems

During an on board emergency, despite their differing roles and responsibilities, the crew work interdependently with the primary objective to protect and save lives of all passengers and crew on board, after the aircraft has landed safely. The shared goal of safety during the dynamic and stressful environment of an in-flight emergency is defined by the two onboard teams collaborating, sharing information and being able to handle high demand situations with equanimity. This requires a change from the conventional ‘vertical’ leadership style to that of shared leadership in multiteam systems (MTS) like aviation.

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Contrasting Outcomes in Multiteam Systems – Part 2

Airbus 340

Airbus 340

Air France Flight 358 – 02 August 2005 [2]

What Happened?

It was an Airbus A340-313, which departed Paris, France on a scheduled flight to Toronto, Ontario, Canada with 297 passengers and 12 crew members on board. Thunderstorms were forecasted at Toronto prior to its departure, and while approaching, the crew was advised of weather-related delays. On final approach, they were advised that the crew of an aircraft landing ahead of them had reported poor braking action. Flight 358’s aircraft weather radar displayed heavy precipitation encroaching on the runway from the northwest.

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Contrasting Outcomes in Multiteam Systems – Lessons from Air Canada 797 and Air France 358 accidents


In commercial aviation, there are two teams at work during flight: cockpit crew and cabin crew. The former being led by the captain who also has the overall responsibility of the flight, with the first officer/co-pilot as a member in the cockpit. The purser leads the flight attendants in the cabin. The formal leadership roles of both crew are well defined, but come under scrutiny particularly during an emergency as was amply evident in the contrasting outcomes of flights Air Canada 797 [1] and Air France 358 [2] on 02 June 1983 and 02 August 2005, respectively.

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Not Black Hawk Down! Helicopter Crash – Part 4

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASurvivability Issues in Crash into Water

As per their analysis, Brooks et al. surmised that survival after crash in water depends upon “amount of warning time, rapidity of sinking and inversion” [13]. An advise worth following by all helicopter operators, based on this study, is that while flying over water, all occupants in helicopter must don their mae west or persoanl floatation devices [] through out the sortie duration rather than attempting to retrieve it from the aircraft which reduces chances of survival in case of crash into water. Their recommendations for safety for helicopter operations over water were as following [13]:- Continue reading

Not Black Hawk Down! Helicopter Crash – Part 3

800px-HH-65C_DolphinCrashes into Water

Flying helicopters over water has an accident rate of 2.0 per 100,000h as compared to 0.4 per 100,000h in fixed wing aircraft, as reported by Civil Aviation Authority’s helicopter airworthiness panel report in 1986 [13]. High fatality rate in case of helicopter crash into water occurs due to sinking of helicopter and inversion under water due to its high center of gravity [13, 14, 15, 16]. Flooded cockpit traps and disorients the occupants who may fail to reach escape hatches in time [14], thus resulting in high fatality, as reported by several authors:- Continue reading

Not Black Hawk Down! Helicopter Crash – Part 2

800px-Sikorsky-S92-cougar-helicopters-ilulissat-airportOffshore Oil and Gas Operations

Baker et al. reported that there were 178 helicopter crashes from 1983 to 2009 related to offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico. This was based on the database of the National Transportation Safety Board [2, 11]. 30% of those crashes were fatal, with 139 lives lost including 41 pilots. The annual accident rate was 6.6 during the period of this study. Continue reading