767 Near-Miss with the Planet Venus

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On January 13, 2011, Air Canada Flight 878 departed Toronto for Zurich on a scheduled passenger service with 95 passengers, 6 flight attendants and 2 flight crew. After approximately three hours of flight time, the First Officer expressed a desire for a ‘controlled rest’ – a standard practice used in many (usually non-US) airlines that […]

Flight For Control – Karlene Petitt

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For the last two years I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Karlene Petitt on a number of projects – including a number of websites and a podcast. As a group, we’ve followed the progress of her first novel with great interest. In fact, in the early days of our collaboration, her book was […]

Training + Performance = Safety

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“Without Knowledge, Skill cannot be focused. Without Skill, Strength cannot be brought to bear and without Strength, Knowledge may not be applied” – Alexander the Great’s Chief Physician The recent tragedy of the Air France Flight 447 has left the aviation community baffled, and later scandalized over the shocking revelations shared by the investigation. What […]

Air France Flight 447. The Controversy Continues

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The ensuing controversy on the Airbus continues. Two years ago an Airbus A330 fell to her death in the Atlantic Ocean. We’d heard rumors she’d fallen apart in the sky. That she’d lost all her flight instruments due to a known pitot static problem, that Airbus would immediately fix. We’d heard that we would never […]

Fatigue – A Societal Issue; not just Aviation

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Radio National’s excellent Background Briefing program had a story today called Fatigue Factor. Although it commences on an aviation related theme – quoting particularly the now infamous Jetstar memo to pilots telling “toughen up princesses – you’re not fatigued; just tired” – the program rolls on through a number industries (Trains/Trucks) – and non-industries such […]

Complacency: Performance’s Evil Twin

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Highly automated aircraft — the reality of the airline industry. A great concern paralleling this automation is the inbreeding of complacency. We’ve moved away from teaching pilots how to fly jets, to teaching them how to program and manage — performance lapses. Automated airplanes identify and report system failures — systems knowledge lapses. We fly […]

Qantas QF32 A380 Damage

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Attached are two documents that seemingly appear to be genuine Airbus documentation detailing damage done to QF32 as a result of the uncontained failure on the Airbus A380 earlier this month. The first document, QF32-A380-Damage-Overview.pdf, appears to be a PowerPoint slide presented by Thomas Montagne, Airbus’ Technical Services Manager. It presents an overview of major […]

QF32. Aircraft System Failures…

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We considered devoting a segment on the uncontained engine failure of Qantas Flight 32 (VH-OQA, an Airbus A380) in the latest episode of Flight Podcast, but decided it was inappropriate to address the issues in any detail in the early stages void of any real or formal investigation. We have a panel of experts that […]

Bo Corby & NWA Flight 41 (Podcast)

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The real story about a cargo fire indication that forced Northwest airlines Flight 41 to divert into Iran was never told in any detail. The airline did a wonderful job of silencing the crew on board the airliner to the point where most employees were – and remain – blissfully unaware that one of their […]

The Day We Thought a Qantas A380 Crashed

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I received a disturbing phone call from a friend only a few hours ago who had caught the tail end of a news bulletin suggesting that Qantas debris had washed up onto a Beach in Batam. Traditional news services failed me, so I turned to the one place that offers immediate information – Twitter. As […]

Qantas QF74 Uncontained Engine Failure – Video & Pics

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A Qantas Boeing 747-400, registration VH-OJP performing flight QF-74 (departing Aug 30th) from San Francisco to Sydney with 212 passengers and 19 crew, was climbing through FL250 about 20 minutes into their flight when the number 4 engine (an RB211) suffered an uncontained failure. It caused a large hole into the outer engine cowling near […]

Crew Smoking Dope on a Plane

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Forget smoking cigarettes on an aircraft! This video shows what appears to be a Russian pilot and cabin crew smoking marijuana on board an airliner. Despite the fact I’ve seen reports of this as a freight aircraft – like that would make any difference – there are cabin crew, suggesting a passenger service – despite […]

Interview with Captain Eric Moody

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I had the opportunity to talk to Eric Moody in the company of Karlene, Ken and Adam yesterday as part of a new aviation podcast at FlightPodcast.com that we’re in the final stages of releasing. Eric is most famous for experiencing a 4-engine failure in a British Airways Boeing 747 as a result of volcanic […]

JFK Controller lets Kids Direct Aircraft

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On the 16th and 17th February, an Air Traffic Controller at John F. Kennedy airport (Glenn Duffy, 48, of Stony Brook, New York) permitted his 7-year-old son and younger daughter to issue ATC instructions with JFK air traffic. The recordings were posted onto LiveATC.net before the FAA and the air traffic controllers’ union became aware […]