Tag: crash

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

Eject! Eject! Eject! – Escape from an Aircraft

Escape from a crippled aircraft, be it a commercial aircraft, full of passengers, or a combat aircraft with one or two aircrew, ensuring a safe exit is the first and the paramount step towards survival. Unlike the combat aircraft with its ejection seats, transport aircraft, helicopter and most of the training aircraft, except jets, do …

Continue reading

Flying into Thin Air: Preventing Hypoxia

Technological improvements in reliability and performance of cabin pressurisation and Oxygen delivery systems has greatly reduced the incidents and accidents due to hypoxia. Yet, incidence of hypoxia in flight still occurs due to lack of vigilance, mechanical failure of equipment, improper indoctrination or improper use of oxygen equipment. 

Continue reading

Lost Sleep – Compromised Safety

One of the often neglected but vital predisposing physiological factors in aviation is sleep, rather lack of sleep. The commercial pilots are governed by their duty schedule and the military aviators have the uncertainties of the operational deployment to blame for the loss of sleep. Although there may be regulations and guidelines, including FDTL to …

Continue reading

Boeing and the Checklist

In 1930s, Boeing was successful in offering their Model 299 to the US Army Air Corps, winning against Martin’s Model 146 and Douglas’ DB-1 aircraft. On the fateful day of 30 October 1935, the aircraft stalled during climb after take off. The test flight crew consisted of Major Ployer Hill and Lieutenant Donald Putt, as pilot and …

Continue reading

Blame it on the Pilot!

The CIS Interstate Aviation Committee has released the final report on the crash of the Polish TU-154. This Russian built aircraft, piloted by Polish Air Force pilots, crashed while attempting to land in poor visibility conditions at Smolensk North Airport in Russia  on 10 Apr 2010. The report found that ‘pilot error’ was the cause …

Continue reading