Thai Lion Air First Officer Faints in Flight and Later Dies

A Thai Lion Air B737-900 performing flight SL8537, from Hat Yai (Thailand) to Bangkok Don Mueang Intl. Airport, with 152 passengers on board, was forced to return to Hat Yai after the First Officer lost consciousness 20 minutes after takeoff.

The flight had departed from Hat Yai at 12:15PM and was 20 minutes into the flight when First Officer Peter Esberte collapsed. Director of Operations of the airline, Capt. Worawut Kongkositkul confirmed that the 47-year-old Dutch pilot died while he was being taken from the airport to a hospital.

Mr Worawut said Peter joined the low-cost airline at its launch last year and was healthy with no record of health problems. His latest medical check-up in February and March showed no signs of problems.

After Peter collapsed, the Captain declared an emergency and turned back towards Hat Yai airport, landing safely at 1:21PM.

Aeronautical Radio of Thailand confirmed that Peter died of a heart attack on the airplane.

 

Capt. Ivan

The Stabilized Approach.

For several years the highest percentage of incidents and accidents has occurred during the approach and landing phases. According to a Flight Safety Foundation study, 46 percent of the 250 worldwide accidents of the period 2002-2011 happened during approach, landing or go-around.

Although operators can specify different minimums criteria for deciding to continue the approach or execute a go-around, on their Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) Briefing Note 7-1, the FSF suggests that the approach must be stabilized 1000ft. AGL on IMC and 500ft AGL on VMC. An approach is considered stabilized when:

• The aircraft is on the correct flight path.
• Only small changes on heading and pitch are necessary to maintain the correct flight path.
• The airspeed is not more than VREF + 20 IAS and not less than VREF.
• The aircraft is on the landing configuration.
• Sink rate is not more than 1000ft/min. If an approach requires a sink rate of more than 1000ft/min, should be noted on the approach briefing.
• Power/Thrust is appropriate for the actual aircraft configuration and not below the minimum required for the approach according to the AOM.
• Approach briefing and all necessary checklists have been conducted.
• Specific type of approaches are stabilized if they also fulfill the following
• ILS approaches should be flown within one dot of the localizer and glide slope.
• A category II or III approach must be flown within the expanded localizer band.
• During a Circling Approach wings should be level on final when the aircraft reaches 300ft above airport elevation.
• Unique approach conditions or abnormal conditions requiring a deviation from the above elements of a stabilized approach require a special briefing.

Stabilised Approach Gates

Stabilized Approach “Gates”

If anyone of these elements are not met by 1000ft above airport elevation on IMC or 500ft above airport elevation on VMC, requires and immediate GO-AROUND.

Contributing factors to create an unstabilised approach can be adverse weather, being placed by ATC in an uncomfortable position for the approach, runway illusions during a night approach with no vertical guidance, being high or too close to the runway during a circling maneuver.

Continuation of an unstabilized approach can lead to several situations like; cross the runway threshold too fast and/or too high, not be aligned with the runway centerline, leading to land long on the existing runway, or a runway excursion.

Build your own defenses; adhere strictly to SOP’s and if for some reason not listed here you don’t feel comfortable with the approach execute a go-around, prepare for a new approach and start again. Don’t allow anyone to rush you.
Happy Landings!!

 

Capt. Ivan

Recommended Reading:

AVIATION – The Invisible Highway

AVIATION: THE INVISIBLE HIGHWAY is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Filmed in 18 countries across all 7 continents, it renews our appreciation for one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring aspects of the modern world. The documentary is produced and directed by Brian J. Terwilliger (“One Six Right”), narrated by Harrison Ford, and features an original score by Academy Award-winning composer James Horner. It’s scheduled for a 2015 release.

Website:  aviationtheinvisiblehighway.com

Capt. Ivan

Barefoot Pilots, When Life is About Adventure!

Unfortunately, if you type “barefoot pilots” on wiki, the first result that will pop out is the story of a convicted criminal known as Colton Harry Moore.

Nothing more unfair, reality is that the Barefoot Pilots are a community of seaplane pilots with an amazing job! Although there are dozens of places all over the world were the BP operates, there’s a place that offers all the magic of flying in the paradise: The Maldives.

The immense archipelago that makes up the Maldives lies south-west of the southern tip of India and spans a vast area of the west Indian Ocean. With an area of about 90,000 square kilometers, yet less than 0.5 per cent of it being dry land, the Maldives is one of the most distinct countries in the world, a unique place in the world, with a truly amazing landscape, a paradise for a vacation, where sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun wait to engulf you their arms.

Trans Maldivian Airways started on 1989 operating helicopters only. The transition to seaplane-only was completed on 1999, after merging with Maldivian Air Taxi, together, the two airlines, operate 44 seaplanes including three new DHC-6-400 series and conduct well over 100,000 flights per year making them the world’s largest Twin Otter operator on land or sea. Together the companies employ around 900 people and service more than 60 resorts, safari boats and liveaboards.

Meet Maria… Our Paradise Barefoot Pilot!

A Day at The Flying Office!

Capt. Ivan

30 Airplanes in 3 Minutes

Over 30 airplanes in 3 minutes. A must see for anyone interested in airplanes. Great shots of Early Flight, WWI, The Golden Age, WWII, modern era and spacecraft, demonstrate the breadth and depth of FLYING TV! Time: 3:10