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Airline safety

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by simpsontruckdriver, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. simpsontruckdriver

    simpsontruckdriver Guest

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    I fly Southwest Airlines every month for work, which got me to thinking... it has been a long time since any planes broke down mid-flight. I read through this Wikipedia article, and it says the last was 9 years ago. One of those in January 2009 was the "Sully" Sullenberger flight, where he landed the plane in the Hudson River. Of course, there have been weather issues (like sliding off the runway) and birds hitting the engine, I only count defects.

    I also got a lot of travel vouchers from Southwest due to maintenance issues. I would rather have the plane break down before pulling away from the gate than in the air.

    TS
     
  2. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I tend to doubt the premise.
    The article lists more recent accidents, some of which were mid-flight.
    2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
    Also, the January 2009 Sullenberger flight was not a "breakdown."
    It was a bird strike. A bird-strike pre-flight is unlikely.
    .




     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  3. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Commercial aircraft- actually ALL aircraft- are pretty dependable, and critical systems are redundant (backed up) whenever possible. Major structural parts that can't be redundant, are over-engineered to survive many multiples of expected stresses (like overloading and encountering severe turbulence). But like any mechanical device, stuff can break. Or wear out. Flying is BY FAR the safest way to travel. But, Boy, it can be frustrating and uncomfortable and a general PITA!
     
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  4. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    The level of safety achieved in commercial aviation (US) is a true modern marvel.

    Many critical industries should study the aviation model to see how safe operations are won.....it's always an uphill battle.
     
  5. simpsontruckdriver

    simpsontruckdriver Guest

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    I stand behind what I wrote. If you take out worldwide (non-American companies) and non-military crashes, the last American company to crash was in 2009.
     
  6. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    Actually, what you wrote was "break down"... which implies a failure of a part or system. The information you cite is for a major American based airline accident. Two massively different things.

    Things "break down" all the time on aircraft. In fact, aircraft can and do operate all the time with a laundry list of broken items (MEL). However, as Passepartout notes, there are multiple redundant systems along with lots of over engineering for failure. We are also discussing AMERICAN AIRLINES, so not taking into account foreign flag carriers, who have had more than their share of accidents and incidents. We are also not discussing smaller general aviation aircraft, which sadly also have their share of accidents and incidents.
     
  7. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Gee, what are all those orange stickers on the dashboard? Pretty.
     
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  8. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    Ohhh Ahhhh, all the flashing lights are so pretty. What's that buzzing sound? HAHA.
     
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  9. Tamino

    Tamino Guest

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    The only fairly recent crash that was caused primarily by faulty equipment or poor aircraft design was the AF 447 crash in 2009. The Airbus 330 could have been flown by a US carrier and could have experienced the same malfunctioning airspeed indications that the AF crew experienced.

    Otherwise, the bulk of disasters have been attributed to other causes, from human operator error to hijackings to environmental factors. Mechanical malfunctions resulting in accidents are very, very rare.
     
  10. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Good post.....but I'll add a comment or two....

    The AF447 accident was initiated by pitot/static icing (possible design flaw) that resulted in unreliable airspeed/flight data indications. This is what initiated the mishap sequence and accident chain.

    What caused the aircraft aircraft to crash into the sea was not unreliable airspeed. It was pilot error. Cliche, I know, but true. The pilot flying the aircraft at the time of mishap, made radically inappropriate control inputs and actually prevented the aircraft from recovering to normal flight parameters. Many changes have been made in training and simulation to address this particular accident and other mishaps with similar situations.

    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-...ishly-followed-flight-director-pitch-commands

    Air France was specifically cited for their aircrew training and knowledge. Not sure if an American Airline (not specifically AAL) crew could have performed better or differently, but I like to think so. The actual report documenting the pilot's actions (RIP) is quite shocking but also quite believable given the proper conditions and lack of specific training. It's not easy to understand for laymen, but every accident generates a response in the training and evaluation systems for all airline pilots to prevent this kind of thing from reoccurring.

    You can put the 'trigger' in the airplane column, but the cause was in the right seat.

    In the last few seconds of the CVR/FDR as the aircraft stalled into the ocean below and would not recover, Bonin stated "But I’ve been at maximum nose-up for a while!"
    If there are any pilots or even gamers reading this statement, I think you now know the cause of the crash....
     
  11. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    Stated like someone who has some aviation experience.

    I'd like to think that it would not have occurred in an American airline due to the differences in how pilots here are trained. However, that may be wishful thinking as one can easily point to Colgan 3407 for pilot error on a most basic level.
     
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  12. Tamino

    Tamino Guest

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    Possible design flaw? Airbus had already directed that the pitot static systems be replaced on these aircraft and many had been. The reason? Possible errors in airspeed and other readings being relayed to both pilots and automated flight systems. Unfortunately for the crew of AF 447, the work had not been completed on their aircraft.

    The crew had no concrete idea what was going on and there was no autopilot backup as its information was faulty as well.
     
  13. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Yes, the pitot-static system was prone to moisture/icing. But, this was not an EAD.

    And, yes, you are exactly and precisely correct: The crew (PF, right seat) had no idea what was going on. The CVR shows that the Capt and PNF left seat knew what was going on and tried to initiate a recovery but were stymied by poor communication/coordination and lack of access to the flight controls.

    So yes, the aircraft had a known deficiency that needed to be corrected but had not been completed.
    And yes, the pilot flying (RIP) was clueless.

    Do you really want to have a discussion about alternate flight control law, SAI and pitch attitude at FL350?

    The pilot reaction to the system malfunction resulted in a deep, prolonged and artificially maintained (by the PF) stall that was unrecoverable in the remaining altitude. Period.

    Sadly, many pilots have lost the ability to fly the aircraft--smoothly and/or safely--with the sudden loss of autoflight.
    That's not my opinion, that's fact.
     
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  14. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    As with every accident or incident, there is a chain of events leading up to it. In this case, it is easy to start with the design of the aircraft systems (Airbus design philosophy), possible failure to maintain systems (not replacing a known faulty system), possible failure in crew training, possible human factors (pilot error), etc. It's easy for us to arm chair quarterback this accident nine years later, but we were not in the cockpit with the world going to crap around us... so take what I'm about to say with that in mind. The AoA indicator was working the entire time, it never indicated lower than 35 degrees after the autopilot kicked off. Had the crew just decreased pitch and put it at 5 degrees up with full power (they were at 100% with thrust leavers in the TOGA position), they never would have stalled the aircraft. The crew failed to do the most basic of functions taught to American pilots, which is "fly the plane". Yes, we can point to other links in the chain which could have prevented the accident, but the easiest to address is crew training and human factors.
     
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  15. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Well said.

    Sent from my KFDOWI using Tapatalk
     
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  16. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Not to get too technical but there is a significant design approach difference between Airbus and Boeing. Airbus’ philosophy is to protect the airplane from the pilot by designing in hard limits to control inputs. Boeing’s approach is to allow the pilot to do whatever he/she feels they have to do to recover from an emergency while providing warnings to the crew.

    As a pilot, I much prefer the Boeing approach.

    Cheers
     
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  17. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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  18. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    If it aint Boeing......

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  19. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    Yeah, I had written this long philosophical differences post out, then deleted it as it was too technical. Both have their positives and negatives. What it tends to boil down to is Boeing has more accidents that end up being pilot error, and Airbus has more accidents that end up being systems related.
     
  20. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    Thanks.
     
  21. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    I think that 9-year counter just reset today:

    1 dead after jetliner apparently blows an engine in flight


    Yikes. I guess it could have been worse, but I feel sorry for the family of the one casualty.

    Kurt
     
  22. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, I wonder how that person died? Rick thought maybe shrapnel coming through the broken window from the engine that blew.
     
  23. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Note to self: Always keep your seat belt on and don't line up by the restroom!
     
  24. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I'm seeing two stories - someone was partially pulled out of the window (yikes) or someone had a heart attack and died. Either way, such an awful tragedy. (This is per the flyertalk thread - so in other words - no one knows for sure).
     
  25. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I always keep my seat belt on for the entire flight. I don't like to go to the restroom on the plane. We were on the way to Maui once, and the flight got bumpy while I was in the stall. I was terrified to walk back to my seat.
     

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