Tag: aircraft accident

Pilot Incapacitation: Extent of the Problem.

The study by Evans et.al. highlighted a linear trend in incapacitation rates from the pilots in 20s to those in their 60s, with those in 60s accounting for 15% of incapacitation [4]. Both cardio- and cerebro-vascular conditions being responsible for 50% (18/36) of incapacitation events, including 2 of the 4 sudden deaths, endorse the present …

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Pilot Incapacitation: What is?

Common medical causes of in-flight incapacitation amongst airline pilots in U.K were cardiovascular (heart attacks, rhythm disturbances) and neurological (epileptic seizures) [10]. Another study in U.S. identified several causes of in-flight incapacitation. This included loss of consciousness; causes related to the gut viz., gallbladder stones, gastroenteritis or discomfort due to expansion of trapped intestinal gases; …

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Pilot Incapacitation: Debate on Assessment, 1% Rule etc.

Reuters reported on 15 February 2012 that the captain of a Czech Airlines plane collapsed and died in flight from Warsaw to Prague. The plane carrying 46 passengers made a safe landing with the co-pilot on controls [1]. In another case, a Qatar Airways captain passed away in October 2010 on a flight from Manila, …

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Hypoxia Training – Essentially Useful.

Most military aircrew undergo hypoxia training, including experience in decompression chamber, to understand the ill-effects of the silent but deadly hazard of in-flight hypoxia [1]. Symptoms experienced during the classic mask-off hypoxia indoctrination in altitude/decompression chamber correlates well with reported in-flight symptoms [2]. The objectives of hypoxia indoctrination, an effects-based training, is to make aircrew …

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Airlines in Financial doldrums – Can Indian skies stay Safe?

After surveillance of airlines’ financial status, DGCA has surmised that poor financial outcome may affect the safety culture of the affected airlines [1].

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Safe 2011 – Looking Back

The year gone past – 2011 – should be considered reasonably safe as per the statistics released by Aviation Safety Network [1]. It is heartening to note that third lowest number of fatalities (507, excluding 14 on ground) occurred due to a total of 28 fatal airline accidents, the second lowest number in aviation history …

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An Appeal for Safe Flying : BALPA on Tired Pilots

Are SD accidents not so Common in Aviation?

Accidents due to Spatial Disorientation (SD), in military and general aviation, reportedly vary between 2.1 to 31% [1 – 11]. Despite of physiological limitations of the ‘human’ operator, accident statistics do not correctly reflect SD as a cause, as commonly as expected, especially in the military aviation. In fact, in a review of accidents due …

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Loss of Control: Human Factors in Air France Flight 447

Investigating the crash of Air France Flight 447 [1], from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, into the Atlantic Ocean on 01 June 2009, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA = Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile) released an interim report on 29 Jul 11. This …

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Orientation & Pilot Training – Likely Lacunae!

James Doolittle made history on 24 September 1929, when he took off, flew a distance of 20 miles and landed an airplane by instruments alone [1]. The array of instruments included the Sperry Horizon, precursor of the artificial horizon, which still remains the essential instrument for maintaining orientation in flight. 

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