Tag: aviation safety

An Appeal for Safe Flying : BALPA on Tired Pilots

Cabin Pressurisation – Hazards of Rapid Decompression

Incidence of failure of cabin pressurisation in military aircraft, even in peace time, is higher than commercial aviation. The commonest cause of loss of pressurisation in military aviation, especially in fighter flying, is engine flameout.

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Cabin Pressurisation – If Lost?

On 10 Jun 1990, on BA flight 5390, Captain Tim Lancaster was sucked out halfway out of the aircraft, when an improperly installed windscreen pane failed. While the first officer made an emergency landing in Southampton, the cabin crew firmly held on to Tim, bringing him down safely [*].

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Cabin Pressurisation – The Mechanism

It is not practical to maintain sea level conditions in flight. For example, a cabin differential pressure of 1 Kg/sq cm (nearly 1 ATA) generates more than 1,000 gm/cm2 pressure on the cabin wall and the transparency. If the cabin altitude of 2,500 m (8,000 ft) is accepted,the pressure differential would now be reduced by …

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Cabin Pressurisation – An Introduction

On 26 January 2011, a Qantas Boeing 737-400 made an emergency descent of about 8000m [*], when the aircraft lost cabin pressure after about 30 minutes of flight. This flight, with 99 passengers, from Adelaide to Melbourne had oxygen masks dropping in the cabin, causing a scare amongst its 99 passengers. 



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Decompression Sickness in HA Reconnaissance Aircraft

Pilots flying high altitude (HA) reconnaissance sorties are vulnerable to decompression sickness (DCS) due to, exposure to “pressure equivalent up to 29,500 ft (8992 m) of altitude for over 8 h” [1]. Cruise altitude of such HA reconnaissance aircraft viz. U-2 [2] and MiG 25 [3] is 70,000 ft and 74,000 ft, respectively. There are two …

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Do Flight Simulators help in Transfer of Learning?

Despite the wide scale acceptance and use of flight simulators, some doubts may continue being raised about their limitations in the transfer of learning, especially whenever there is an aircraft accident. 

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Lost It, Situational Awareness!

Situational Awareness “can be conceived of as the pilot’s internal model of the world around him at any point in time” [1]. Conventional flight requires the pilots to glean information from the instrument panel and other auditory inputs, interpret it and draw inference to maintain their situational awareness and in turn ensure safe flight. And …

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Flying into thin Air: Understanding Hypoxia

Undoubtedly cabin pressurisation and oxygen systems have allowed unhindered aviation activities, with a caveat though – never to cross the altitude beyond the capabilities of the system on board. Thus, commercial aircraft fly maintaining a cabin pressure of 6000-8000 ft, and unpressurised small aircraft mostly operate below 10000 ft. Combat aircraft may have a higher …

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Flying into Thin Air: Neurological Effects of Hypoxia

The most important effects of hypoxia is on Central Nervous System (CNS) and vision. This insult to CNS which affects the performance in flight varies as per the altitude and the resulting stages of hypoxia. The effects are discussed as per the stages of hypoxia.

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