This hits close

A new episode of the National Geographic Air Crash Investigation TV show, titled  Killer Attitude is hard for me to watch. It describes the crash of a perfectly good Northwest Airlink Jetstream 31 from MSP to Hibbing, MN, on 1 December 1993. I was flying out of MSP that night, same airplane type, same airline. I knew the captain, Marvin. I remember the grief counselors in the MSP crew room for two weeks after the crash.    And one of the presenters, Craig Railsback, is a friend. We met 25 years ago, as young first officers in Jetstream 31 training at this … Continue reading This hits close

1 in 5 biz jet pilots are stupid?

Ripped from the aviation press headlines: One in five business jet pilots don’t do a full flight-control check before takeoff. Actually one in five is a bit of an exaggeration. The would be 20%. The more precise number is 17.66%. And that’s actually a per-flight percentage, so maybe the percentage of pilots is a little less. But WTF Batman! 17.66%? You may have read about the fatal 2014 Gulfstream G-IV crash caused by the crew not doing a flight-control check and then trying to takeoff with the gust lock engaged. Well, now the airmanship onion has been peeled back a … Continue reading 1 in 5 biz jet pilots are stupid?

It’s no accident — it’s a crash

Interesting article yesterday in the New York Times, titled ‘It’s no accident: Advocates want to speak of car ‘crashes’ instead’. It’s about safety advocates changing language use from a car accident to a car crash. The AP recently revised their style guide. Dr Rosekind of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is on board, saying, “When you use the word accident, it’s like, ‘God made it happen.’” The thinking is that ‘accident’ may make us shrug our shoulders and think, oh well, what can you do, accidents happen. ‘Accident’ may trivialize that most common cause of traffic incidents: human … Continue reading It’s no accident — it’s a crash

Airmanship at a distance

This is a sad story. But important to think about. For we are all our brother’s keeper. The news headline this weekend was ‘Flight school sued over death of student‘. Fox5 reported: A 21-year-old’s dream of becoming a pilot was cut short when during flight school his plane came crashing down, killing him, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Cobb County. The father of the young man filed that suit alleging the school was negligent by forgetting to refuel the plane. “I don’t want another family to experience that kind of loss,” said Michael Hughes. This was the reason … Continue reading Airmanship at a distance

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