Monday, December 12, 2005

Aviation in the News

Happy Monday!
I took the weekend off from blogging because I was flying. 
Normally this doesn't create a problem, but for some reason I was unable to access wi-fi and had to make do with dial-up.  Makes for difficulty in posting, so I gave myself the weekend off.  Back on track now.
Lots of aviation news the past week:
The plot thickens in the air marshall shooting in Miami.  Apparently, no witness has yet corroborated the marshals claim that the passenger said he had a bomb.  However, there is no reason to doubt the official reports while the investigation continues, withholding judgment until it is completed and all the facts in.
A Southwest 737 ran off the end of the runway at Chicago's Midway airport, killing a child on the ground.  The official NTSB investigation is just underway, but already lots of ideas, speculation, and lawyers circling the wagons.
In Nigeria, for the second time in as many months, a plane has crashed
Fun times for the airline industry.
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Astroprof said...

The Monday morning quarterbacks (or should we say pilots?) are already jumping all over the decisions that led to the crash. And, the sharks, I mean lawyers and media, are circling and moving in for the kill. Sadly, virtually none of them have every been at the yoke of an aircraft. Even the ones that have were not in the air then. I actually have flown a small aircraft, but I know that this in no way gives me the right to second guess the decisions that were made, though several at first glance seem rather questionable (like landing with a tail wind: what I was taught is a big no-no). Air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, largely because of all the different safety procedures. In order for this accident to occur, a long chain of things had to go wrong. Everyone wants to point to one thing and say "That's why the plane crashed!" The reality is that the one thing that they point to likely would not have led to the accident. It only led to the accident when coupled with several other things. And unless one were at the controls, or in the tower, or in any other way involved what was going on at the time, then you can't really say what you would have done at that time.

marco_099 said...

About what happened in Miami, i find it strange, the wife shouted that this guy needed his medication, and a lot passengers heard..., why nobody heard the officer? You know, since 9-11, everybody (airport control, policemen etc) is like very loco, like nervous or something, i like very much going to US, but (no ofense) now i ´d rather go to vacations to europe or southamerica, as a mexican it´s quieter -and easier- and people just dont stare at you strangelly.

Whats going on there? strange days. Why so much speculation? how come u.s. citizens don´t fully trust what their government say about that matter. Bueno, ya basta..., mucha suerte y feliz navidad Lady.

allison said...

Good times.

Be safe up there.

Queen of Sky said...

Hey YuHu!

I just noticed that on that guy Rant Air's blog, he has a bunch of other pilot blogs linked. I found one I liked (and it appears to be updated regularly):

-Q of S

P.S. I definitely don't miss the part of the job where you have to worry about crashing every take-off and landing... and then there is the part about potential hijackers :P

Traytable said...

Lots happening in Aus as well... we had a rather well-publicised incident where a pax brought a gas cylinder on board which went off (I mentioned it on my blog in case you're interested), the airline is seeking legal action to recoup diversion costs...

And of course people are going mental about the "unsafe state of general aviation" after a coroner handed down his judgement regarding a fatal crash of a twin Cessna a few years ago...

they're saying now that flying on a plane is "as dangerous if not more so than riding a motorbike".... hmm.... like, whatever you say!!! :p

As you say, it's always best to wait for the official findings. My opinion is, the crew were going by what they thought best at the time. If that turns out to be wrong, then so be it. Action will be taken. If they were right, then, good thing it wasn't worse....

Traytable said...

(I should mention that by "we", I meant Aus aviation industry, not necesarily my company)... ;)

Fly Girl said...

Astroprof: I think one of the reasons that pilots comment on what they would have done is based on the training experience. Emergency training for both flight attendants and pilots is largely based on a programmed response, rather than an independent thinking model. That's why there are check lists, coordinate commands and responses, etc. These are practiced and practiced in a variety of training exercises, including a flight simulator. So when someone talks about what they would have done, I think it stems from this training.

Of course, most emergencies go a little bit beyond the simple checklist situation, and it is then that experience, reaction and sometimes creativity come into play.

One other component, I think, is the idea that people need to voice "what I would have done" as a means of reassuring themselves that it didn't happen to them. When another crew member experiences an emergency, we frequently feel like we, too, have had a brush with our own mortality.

Fly Girl said...

Marco: Why don't we here in the U.S. trust what our government says? Unfortunately, decades of misinformation, disinformation, or downright misrepresentation cause us to view information through a jaded lens.

Q of S: Thanks for the link. I've gotten a few other flight crew blog referrals and will be updating the list at year end.

Fly Girl said...

Traytable: I read about the gas cylinder incident on your site. I find myself shaking my head and saying "what were they thinking?" Generally speaking, they probably weren't. And that's the biggest part of the problem.