Fighting complacency

Fighting complacency is not as exciting as fighting fires, but it’s a battle we will join many more times. We train for engine failures, electrical loss, and lots more. And we should practice multiple worst case failures. But we must also learn to handle ourselves on all those flights when nothing is going on. (Quote is from Coelho’s 2008 novel The Winner Stands Alone.)

We will not accept any kind of lapses

It became public this month that Qatar Airways has fired all four pilots in the cockpit when their Boeing 777 tail broke a set of runway lights during takeoff from Miami International last September. They mistakenly left from an intersection thousands of feet short of the planned full runway length. It was a serious accident, no doubt. There was a visible tear to the aircraft’s skin, the pressure vessel was damaged, and MIA airport needed some new approach lights. The crew continued with the overwater thirteen plus hour flight uneventfully, apparently unaware of their close brush with disaster. But damage of … Continue reading We will not accept any kind of lapses

Celestial navigation is back!

Redundancy is the best policy. Lt. Alex Reardon US Naval Academy instructor. And by redundancy I don’t think he means two GPS units! The US Navy, who has long relied on GPS and electronic mapping for all navigation needs, is now going to start spending valuable teaching time on something really old school—sextants and celestial navigation. I’m not suggesting we all start leaning how to shoot the stars (something that remained an airline skill up to the first B747s), but the idea that we can continue to fly should we have total loss of GPS and electronic nav is strong. We … Continue reading Celestial navigation is back!