Sweeping the Dirt Under the Carpet…

Why the European Union is blocking access to safety records?

On an unexpected, not so transparent move, the European Union will begin blocking public access to the aircraft incident reports – MOR’s – Mandatory Occurrence Reports that were previously released under the Freedom of Information Act.

To understand it better, these Incident Reports include all ground and flight operations of an aircraft such as an aircraft collision with a vehicle or a building, runway excursions, bird strikes, loss of control, extreme turbulence, near mid-air, ATC conflicts, or any other event that is not a catastrophic crash.

In the U.S., the NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board provides public access to all incidents and accidents reports through their website, these reports include all occurrences and are considered a valuable tool on the learning process of every professional pilot.

Some guy sitting behind a desk took this decision on benefit of who? Airplane manufacturer? ATC? Government? The argument is that public gets scared if they read the bad news. This is totally untrue, millions of persons around the world take an airplane everyday to go on a business trip, vacations, etc., knowing that is the fastest way to go from one place to another. Same as millions of persons take their car and use the roads knowing that car accidents still are have the highest score on human life loss.

Remember the old saying? “Learn from others mistakes, you wont live long enough to make them all yourself” Absolutely true, prevention is rule number one in aviation, but unfortunately 100 % safe does not exist, precisely because we are humans. And as humans prone to errors.
Those errors have contributed to form the foundation, for example, of CRM – Crew Resource Management.

Up until now only incidents or accidents reports that involve military or government aircraft, police, etc., are keep sometimes confidential for national security reasons. All events that involve civilian aircraft, either private or of public transport must be reported and investigated to know the causes of the occurrence and avoid it happen again.

We don’t need only a tragic occurrence or a catastrophic crash as a source of information for prevention. Thousands of small events that happen everyday feed the basket of information used by everyone involved in aviation to develop safety procedures.

Many people considered aberrant this initiative from the EU is already taking actions to stop it.

We all hope this big step back never happen.

Capt. Ivan

Air Asia 8501 – A Tragedy Already Seen?

Meanwhile Indonesian investigators are extracting information from the black boxes of Air Asia Flight 8501 to get the answer of the plunge into the Java Sea, killing all 162 aboard, senior government officials are suggesting the Airbus A320 stalled at high altitude. There are growing fears on the aviation industry that the crash will share troubling similarities with other recent aviation disasters, in other words, pilots who lost control of an otherwise flyable airplane.

Air-traffic-control readings, along with data gleaned from Flight 8501′s black box recorders, recovered by divers last week, suggest the Airbus A320 experienced an aerodynamic stall at high altitude. About 40 minutes into the flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, the pilots requested permission to deviate from their route and climb from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet to avoid an approaching storm. Their request wasn’t immediately granted, however. The plane’s radio transponder later showed the plane veered off course and began ascending rapidly before radio contact was lost.

“The plane may have climbed in the last minutes at a speed beyond normal limits. After that, it stalled. Why did it stall? I don’t know,” Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan said this week. Meantime, the Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the investigation, said the A320′s stall-warning alarm could be heard on the cockpit voice recorder as the pilot and co-pilot struggled to regain control of their plane.

Aerodynamic stalls occur when the plane’s wings lose lift, usually because the aircraft is flying too slowly or climbing too steeply. It’s not unlike a waterskier who begins to sink once he or she stops moving. In order to resume flight, pilots need to point the nose of the aircraft down to regain airspeed and restore lift to the wings. However, as past accidents have shown, it can be difficult for pilots to recognize what’s happening—alarms shriek in the cockpit and the plane becomes difficult to control—and they may not always respond correctly. Such “loss of control” accidents have been blamed for causing more than half of all aviation fatalities in the past decade, marring an otherwise enviable industry safety record.

Of course, exactly what transpired aboard Flight 8501 aircraft won’t be known until investigators release their full report, although some preliminary details are expected to be made public next week. The pilots may have experienced severe turbulence or found themselves caught in violent updraft caused by the bad weather. There could have been mechanical problems with the instruments that rendered the plane un-flyable. The plane’s black box voice and data recorders should yield further clues, if they haven’t already.
What is known, however, is that, once the plane began to climb rapidly—reportedly faster than the A320 is designed to do—the pilots’ ability to manually control their airplane, if that’s indeed what they were trying to do at that point, would have become vastly more difficult. As the air becomes thinner and colder at higher altitudes, the speed at which a plane can experience an aerodynamic stall rises while the speed at which it hits the sound barrier falls. Fly too fast and the aircraft will experience buffeting, too slowly and it will fall from the sky. “Flying an airplane manually at those altitudes is like trying to balance a ruler on your fingertip,” says Sunjoo Advani, a Netherlands-based expert in flight simulation, who spent the past six years heading an international team that rewrote the rulebook on training pilots to deal with stall emergencies.

An eerily similar sequence of events led to the loss of Air France Flight 447 back in 2009. The Airbus A330 was a few hours into its overnight flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, when the pilots flew into a line of thunder clouds, common near the equator. The pilots lost their speed readings when the plane’s exterior sensors, called pitot tubes, iced over, the investigation later revealed. As the plane bounced through turbulence, the stricken pilots, inexplicably, put the plane into a climb, causing it to stall. Despite alarms sounding repeatedly in the cockpit, the pilots failed to recognize what had happened. They fought to regain control for three and a half harrowing minutes as the plane fell in total darkness. All 228 aboard died.

The shocking Air France disaster galvanized the industry, coming as it did on the heels of two other deadly stall accidents: the 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., (50 dead) and the 2009 crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 on approach to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport (nine dead, 54 injured). Advani was tapped to lead a team of global experts to investigate whether there were gaps in pilot training programs that needed to be fixed. They found that pilots receive most of their training about stalls and manual recovery techniques early in their career—it’s essentially Flying 101—but most of their ongoing training, usually performed in simulators, tended to be focused on managing the plane’s complex auto-pilot systems, which do most of the actual flying in a modern aircraft. In the case of an approaching stall, pilots were being trained to power up the engines and maintain altitude, which is fine if the aircraft is merely approaching its stall speed, but can actually make matters worse if the plane is on the cusp of the real thing or cruising at higher altitudes.

The group suggested a revised approach in late 2012. It re-emphasizes the importance of manual flying skills and, where possible, makes use of small aerobatic airplanes in addition to simulators. The idea is to better train pilots to recognize what a stall looks and feels like, and how to avoid dangerous situations that could lead to them. It also teaches pilots how to react more decisively when faced with a stall emergency: Point the plane’s nose downward until the wings regain lift. While the new approach might initially run counter to a pilot’s basics instincts—the last thing anyone wants to see when falling out of the sky is the ground hurtling toward him—Advani says it’s necessary to re-train pilots’ brains, since pitching the nose forward to pick up speed, as if on a roller coaster, may represent their only chance for survival. ”It is a significant change to how we train pilots, in that it encourages manual flying, rather than always relying on the automation,” Advani says.

The new training regime has already been adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization and has been signed into law in the United States, although it won’t actually be implemented there until 2019. In Europe, meanwhile, regulators plan to publish new rules on upset prevention and recovery training this spring. In 2013, Transport Canada sent an advisory circular to airlines that instructed pilots to focus on reducing the plane’s angle of attack (point the nose down) if faced with an aerodynamic stall.

Some airlines aren’t waiting to be told what to do. South African Airways, for one, spent more than a year retooling its training program and retraining its instructors, with the costs being offset by the airline’s insurer. It began retraining its pilots this month. “The release of the accident reports regarding Air France, Colgan and Turkish Airlines made us realize that we need to address the shortcomings of advanced automation—a decrease in manual flying skills by the average airline pilot,” says Brad Bennetts, the program’s project manager. He adds that, so far, the South African Airways pilots who have undergone the new training sessions claim the sessions have “greatly improved their confidence to fly the aircraft” in both normal flight conditions and when things get hectic—which, it should go without saying, is when a pilot’s steady hand is needed most.

Capt. Ivan

Asiana Flights between ICN and SFO Banned.

Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, was ordered to halt its daily flights to San Francisco after the crash while landing at the city’s airport in July last year killed three passengers.

The airline won’t be allowed to fly to the city for 45 days from Seoul- Incheon airport, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said today. Investigations by the US National Transportation Safety Board found pilot error, inadequate training on automation system of the B777 aircraft led to the fatal accident.

Asiana strengthened pilot training, appointed a new chief executive officer and hired an official to oversee safety after Flight 214 struck a seawall short of the San Francisco airport on July 6 last year. The carrier violated US law by not promptly helping victims and family members immediately after the crash, which also injured 49 people, the Department of Transportation said in February.

“The government plans to implement additional measures to ensure proper pilot training at Asiana,” the ministry said.

The government reduced the penalty from the maximum of 90 days because of the crew’s efforts to evacuate passengers, the ministry said in the statement. Asiana has six months to comply with the ruling. The order will be finalized if the airline doesn’t object within the next 15 days.

Asiana will consider legal steps against the government’s decision, the Seoul-based airline said in an e-mailed statement after the government pronounced its verdict. The carrier’s shares gained 3.4% to 4,630 won as of 2.21pm in the city.

IATA’s support
Since the San Francisco crash, the South Korean government has stepped up regulations to improve airline safety standards, including steeper penalties for accidents involving casualties.

The International Air Transport Association had sent a letter to the South Korean transport ministry last month that the airline shouldn’t be sanctioned over the crash. A carrier already suffers significant financial loss from life and equipment, legal liability and damage to image, the group said.

The pilots on Flight 214 mismanaged their approach to the airport, failed to
notice the deteriorating speed and lights near the runway showing they were too low, and then didn’t abort the touchdown, which they were trained to do, according to the NTSB. The two pilots also didn’t communicate as they each made changes to the cockpit automation, the board found.

Source: Bloomberg News
Photo: Reuters

NTSB: Virgin SpaceShip Two Sole Survivor Was Thrown Away From the Craft.

Meanwhile Peter Siebold, the sole survivor of the SpaceShip Two accident is still recovering at the hospital from a surgery on his shoulder, he was able to declare to NTSB investigators that he was thrown away from the vehicle when it disintegrated, he added that at some point during his free fall he unbuckled from his seat and the parachute deployed automatically.

The NTSB has evidence that the craft deployed its shuttlecock-like wings just as it approached Mach .1, the system is not suposed to be unlocked until the craft reaches M 1.4, however copilot Mike Alsbury could be seen on an inflight video unlocking the wings before the vehicle reached Mach 1, apparently at the wrong moment. Two seconds later the vehicle exploded.

Not blaming completely to Alsbury, the NTSB says that the wings could have deployed because of aerodynamic forces, the agency continues its investigation on the forces that act on the vehicle during flight.

Still there will be several months of investigation ahead for the National Transportation Safety Board to decipher the causes of SpaceShipTwo’s fatal crash in the Mojave desert last Friday.

What the NTSB hasn’t been able to begin to answer, however, is the question of how pilot Peter Siebold was able to escape the explosion. How did he stay conscious without an oxygen mask or spacesuit in the freezing cold, dangerously airless upper atmosphere, or how did he survive what appears to be a 40,000 feet free fall before deploying his parachute at around 20,000 feet above the ground.

Capt. Ivan
Photo: Reuters

SpaceShip Two Pilot Survival – ….a Miracle.

Scattered parts of SpaceShip Two on the Mojave Desert

Scattered parts of SpaceShip Two on the Mojave Desert

“It’s a great miracle that he did survive and survive in relatively good shape”, Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said.

How SpaceShip Two pilot Peter Siebold survived the fall from extreme altitude a week ago while co-pilot Mike Alsbury died is not yet clear.

SpaceShipTwo did not have ejection seats, but there was an evacuation procedure.

Typically, the pilot would stay with the controls and the co-pilot would depressurise the cabin and then they would both unbuckle and bail out with parachutes, said Brian Binnie, a former test pilot for Scaled Composites, which designed and built the craft for Virgin.

It’s sounds simple, but not in an aircraft that is tearing apart violently, the biggest challenge is surviving a wind blast of 800 km/hr that could blow off eyelids, tear off limbs and snap vertebrae, says Dr John Ogle, an air force flight surgeon who has investigated plane ejections and crashes.

Ogle suspects Siebold probably stayed with some of the wreckage, such as his seat, which would have slowed his fall.

Siebold would have faced the triple threat of lack of oxygen, extreme cold and
intense air pressure as he fell at a rate of about 480km/h, he said.

As the doomed flight rocketed past the speed of sound about 13 kilometres high and then shattered seconds later, the chances of survival were slim.

Remarkably, as sections of the cockpit, fuselage, a wing and motor rained down over the Mojave Desert and pieces of the lightweight craft tiny enough to travel 56 kilometres were picked up by the winds, a single parachute was seen in the sky.

Bill Weaver has been telling a similar story for decades.

The former Lockheed test pilot was torn from the seat of an SR-71 Blackbird 24km above New Mexico on January 25, 1966. The plane was going more than triple the speed of sound.

As Weaver banked into a turn, a malfunction caused one engine to lose thrust. He lost control of the jet and knew he was in trouble as the plane began to pitch and break up.
He didn’t have time to be scared.

‘I knew we were going to just be along for the ride,’ he said.

Weaver tried to radio to the reconnaissance and navigations officer in the back seat that there was no way to safely bail out, so they should stick with the plane and eject when it got lower.

But the severe gravitational forces made his speech unintelligible and then he blacked out.
The whole event to that point took two to three seconds.

When Weaver regained consciousness, he first thought he was dreaming. With the face plate on his helmet iced over from temperatures as cold as minus 48C, he could only see a hazy white light and in a detached sense of euphoria, he thought he was dead.

He was relieved when he realised he was alive and plunging toward Earth.

‘I had no idea how I got out of the airplane,’ he said.

‘I had no idea how long I had been free falling. Had no idea how high I was or low I was.’
How Siebold got out of SpaceShipTwo is also unknown, according to National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Christopher Hart, who said the pilot hadn’t been interviewed because he’s recovering from injuries originally characterised as moderate to major.

Initial findings show the Virgin Galactic plane designed to take tourists for $A270,500 joy rides beyond the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, broke apart after the craft’s re-entry braking system prematurely activated during its rocket blast, Hart said.

Capt. Ivan

 

Propeller Blade Smashes Through a Window on a Jazz Q400 Emergency Landing.

Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-400, flight QK-8481.

Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-400, flight QK-8481.

A Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-400, flight QK-8481 from Calgary,AB to Grande Prairie,AB (Canada) with 71 passengers and 4 crew, was climbing out of Calgary when the crew stopped the climb at 4000 feet due to a blown tyre after departure from Calgary. The crew decided to divert to Edmonton and positioned for a landing on Edmonton’s runway 02, during touchdown the right hand main gear collapsed, the aircraft came to a stop off the right hand side of the runway resting on its nose gear, left main gear and the right hand wing tip, the right hand propeller contacted ground with all blades separating, at least one impacting the fuselage. Three passengers received minor injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

One of the passengers had a close call when a propeller blade came through the window next to her.

Luckily the propeller didn’t hit her, but the whole inside wall of the plane blew out so she had fibreglass and everything all embedded in her skin.

Spokeswoman Genevieve Corbin confirmed a portion of the right propeller blade was partially lodged into the fuselage of the aircraft.

Passenger Ron Prochner said he knew something was wrong when he heard an explosion on takeoff.
“There was a loud explosion and then we took off and it was like bump, bump, bump,” said Prochner, adding that people calmed down until the pilot started his approach into Edmonton International Airport.

As the plane descended to the runway passengers and crews braced for impact. When it touched down, he said the landing gear on one side of the plane collapsed.
As the plane skidded across the runway something started to smash into the fuselage, Prochner said.

Jazz Aviation LP said in a statement that four passengers on Flight 8481 were sent to hospital for treatment. Three were later released but one person remained in hospital Friday for observation.

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski said investigators would be interviewing the flight crew and air traffic controllers Friday.

“Our investigators are continuing to work on it and gather information, interview witnesses, examine the aircraft,” he said from Gatineau, Que.

Jazz said an extra flight was sent in late Thursday evening to take most of the passengers on to Grande Prairie, while those who remained in Edmonton overnight were expected to complete their trip Friday.

The airline said it’s “very grateful” there were no severe injuries and that it’s co-operating with the investigation.

 

Capt. Ivan
Photo: CP

Twin Otter Accident in Papua New Guinea.

image
A Hevilift Twin Otter, on a flight from Woitape in Goilala district to Port Moresby, carrying nine people crashed today near Mount Lawes, about 20 kilometres north of the capital Port Moresby, PNG.

Hevilift has confirmed the pilot, of australian nationality, his co-pilot and one passenger, both of whom were PNG nationals, were killed on the accident.
William Seneka, a senior investigator with PNG’s Accident Investigation Commission, said the cause of the crash was yet to be determined but it was likely that bad weather was a significant factor.

“There was low clouds from speaking to some aircraft that flew in this morning, and it’s been raining,” he said.

In a statement, Hevilift said it would be “conducting a thorough investigation” and was “cooperating with all relevant authorities to determine the cause”.

“Hevilift’s thoughts and sympathy go to the families of those who have died in the crash and the company will continue to provide every assistance to the survivors,” it said.

More than 20 planes have crashed since 2000 in PNG, where the rugged terrain and lack of internal connecting roads makes air travel crucial for around 6 million citizens.

In July 2012, a helicopter, also operated by charter company Hevilift, crashed while flying from a drill rig site to Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, killing two Australians and a New Zealander.

In one of the worst accidents, an Airlines PNG Dash-8 crashed 20 kilometres south of Madang in October 2011, killing 28 of the 32 people on board.

In June this year, the Accident Investigation Commission found that pilot error was a contributing factor in that accident.

Capt. Ivan
Photo: twinotterspotter.blogspot.com

Moscow wants report on UN role in probing MH17 crash

A photo taken on September 9, 2014 shows part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk. The Malaysian passenger jet which blew up over rebel-held east Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board was hit by numerous "high-energy objects", according to a report on September 9, 2014 which could back up claims it was downed by a missile. While the preliminary report from Dutch investigators does not point the finger of blame over the July disaster, it could heighten Western pressure against Moscow over its role in the bloody Ukraine conflict. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER  KHUDOTEPLY

A photo taken on September 9, 2014 shows part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk. The Malaysian passenger jet which blew up over rebel-held east Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board was hit by numerous “high-energy objects”, according to a report on September 9, 2014 which could back up claims it was downed by a missile. While the preliminary report from Dutch investigators does not point the finger of blame over the July disaster, it could heighten Western pressure against Moscow over its role in the bloody Ukraine conflict. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY

Russia’s U.N. ambassador says Ukrainian rebels and the Russian government were blamed for involvement in the crash of a Malaysian Airlines jet in July without any proof as part of “an information war.”

Vitaly Churkin told the U.N. Security Council Friday that the only way a transparent and objective international investigation can be carried out is with the participation of the United Nations.

Churkin, who called for the council meeting, said the preliminary report into the crash released Sept. 9 “is not really informative.” It said the Boeing 777 was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” causing its breakup over eastern Ukraine.

He said Russia has new questions stemming from the report and called for the release of alleged information on what happened, including satellite photos.

Capt. Ivan

MH370 Pilot Depressurized the Cabin to Kill Himself, Claims Kiwi Airlines Boss

The pilot of the missing MH370 flight killed himself and his passengers by switching off the oxygen supply in what is the sixth example of such a suicide, according to an aviation expert.

Ewan Wilson, head of Kiwi Airlines, believes Zaharie Ahmad Shah planned mass murder – locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, depressurising the cabin and shutting down all communication links before turning the plane around.

Having examined all other possibilities, Mr Wilson insists that Shah, 53, is responsible for the deaths of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight, which disappeared on March 8.

Theory: Geoff Taylor (left) and Ewan Wilson who have written a book which claims the pilot of MH370 cut off the oxygen supply to the passengers before deliberately crashing into the Indian Ocean.

Theory: Geoff Taylor (left) and Ewan Wilson who have written a book which claims the pilot of MH370 cut off the oxygen supply to the passengers before deliberately crashing into the Indian Ocean.

And shockingly, Mr Wilson will tell British aviation experts today that there have been five other suicide flights in recent times, as he travels from New Zealand to Birmingham for a meeting, the Birmingham Mail reports.

He said: ‘There is a fundamental desire to ignore the mental health issue in the aviation industry.

Our research indicates there have been five previous incidents of murder/suicide in commercial flights over the last three decades or so, accounting for 422 lives.

The sad addition of MH370 would bring that number to 661.’

Malaysia MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

Malaysia MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

‘Mentally ill’: The book claims the most likely scenario is that pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah (above) deliberately depressurised the cabin then flew for another three hours before ditching into the sea

Although oxygen masks would have dropped down automatically from above the seats, the passengers’ supply was limited to just 20 minutes.

People unable to grab a mask, such as those sleeping, would have passed out within the space of a few minutes.

The entire ‘ghost plane’ – including her cabin crew whose air supply is only marginally longer, would have slipped into a coma and died shortly after from oxygen starvation.

Ahmad Shah, who locked his co-pilot out of the cockpit, survived long enough – either by repressurising the aircraft or from breathing his own, more extensive air supply – to evade radar and ‘execute his master plan’, Mr Wilson has concluded.

The Kiwi Airlines chief says he then made eight different course changes before allowing the jet to fly on auto-pilot for its final few hours.

He then performed a controlled ditching in the sea, which would explain why no debris has been found because the plane landed and sank in one piece.

The theory is the result of the first independent study into March’s disaster by the New Zealand-based air accident investigator, Ewan Wilson.

Mr Wilson, the founder of Kiwi Airlines and a commercial pilot himself, arrived at the shocking conclusion after considering ‘every conceivable alternative scenario’.

However, he has not been able to provide any conclusive evidence to support his theory.

An earlier report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) also concluded that passengers may have died from hypoxia.

And Malaysian authorities previously named Ahmad Shah as their prime suspect.

The remarkable claims are made in the book ‘Goodnight Malaysian 370’, the culmination of a four-month study into the incident, which Wilson co-wrote with the New Zealand broadsheet journalist, Geoff Taylor.

Wilson, a qualified transport safety investigator, said: ‘One of our objectives in writing this book was, in some small way, to convey the human stories of the tragedy.

‘Our other, more important task was to pursue the truth about what really happened; that is one small contribution we felt we could make to this whole, terrible affair.

‘We could never have foreseen the information we uncovered, or their implications.

‘Neither could we have imagined the horrific scenario that our research suggests took place on board that fateful plane.’

Search continues
Officials claim they are ‘making progress’ as they continue to scour 60,000 sq km of sea for the plane. The orange line indicates ‘high priority’ search areas; the yellow has been searched already.

They believe that Ahmad Shah, who they have concluded was suffering from mental illness, tricked his co-pilot, father-of-three, Fariq Hamid, into taking a break about 40 minutes after take-off.

After locking Hamid out of the cockpit, Ahmad Shah made his last broadcast to air traffic control – ‘Goodnight, Malaysian 370’ – before switching off the aircraft’s air-to-ground communication links.

Alone at the controls, he took MH370 up to 39,000 feet and de-pressurised the aircraft, giving passengers and crew less than 60 seconds of Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC).

Ahmad Shah could not have prevented the plane’s oxygen masks from automatically dropping down or an automated emergency announcement in English.

But Flight 370 was a night flight and, with the cabin lights off, the majority of passengers would have been asleep, or close to it.

And for 227 of the 239 passengers, English was not their first language.

Cabin crew would have tried to help those on board, but would have had to have donned their own facemasks first.

International effort: Australia's deputy prime minister Warren Truss unveiled the latest search plan at a press conference in Canberra earlier this month. The government has contracted a new firm to take up the search.

International effort: Australia’s deputy prime minister Warren Truss unveiled the latest search plan at a press conference in Canberra earlier this month. The government has contracted a new firm to take up the search.

International effort: Australia’s deputy prime minister Warren Truss unveiled the latest search plan at a press conference in Canberra earlier this month. The government has contracted a new firm to take up the search.

‘It would have been a frightening and confusing time throughout the cabin,’ Taylor said.

‘By the time some of the passengers had woken up groggy, heard the commotion and looked around in confusion, it would have been too late for them.

‘Those passengers who did not react within 60 seconds or less would have lapsed into unconsciousness and death would have followed within four to six minutes.’

Those who had found a mask would have had between 12 and 22 minutes of breathing time before blacking out.

The cabin crew’s oxygen supply would have lasted for about 70 minutes, depending upon the height of the aircraft.

By the time MH370 returned to cruising altitude, everyone on board would have perished.

Ahmad Shah would have had three hours’ worth of oxygen – plenty enough, the authors believe, to carry out the ‘final act of his performance’.

They conclude that he set a course for the southern Indian Ocean and, after the fuel ran dry, glided the aircraft for a further 100 nautical miles before performing a controlled ditching on the surface of the water.

Wilson, a trained commercial pilot, said: ‘Ahmad Shah was a man known for his methodical, thorough nature, for his love of the technical, and probably for his ego, too.

‘This would have been his final sad act to his family and to the world: “find this one”.’ -Daily Mail

MH370 New Search Areas

MH370 New Search Areas

Sources:  DailyMail / Malaysia Chronicle / Reuters

FAA – UPS Crash, as Usual the Pilots are To Blame.

FAA accident investigators determined that a series of pilot’s errors and violations of safety procedures as the primary cause of the UPS Airbus A300-600 crash at Birmingham, AL (USA) on Aug 14th 2013. Both pilots died in the pre-dawn accident when the aircraft crashed a short distance from the Birmingham runway.

“Yes, the pilots flew the airplane into the ground, there’s no question,” said National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt, a former airline pilot.
Although the NTSB did not blame UPS on its report, Sumwalt said the cargo operator also failed to take actions that could have prevented the crash.

The NTSB mentioned a series of pilot’s errors on its report:
– The captain failed to correctly program an aircraft computer, failed to monitor the plane’s altitude, didn’t relay important information to his co-pilot, and failed to abort the landing when it became apparent the plane was in trouble.
– The captain did not have a stabilized approach — meaning the plane’s speed, direction and descent were not within established standards
– The first officer, meanwhile, failed to communicate altitudes to the pilot as the plane approached Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. In a conversation captured on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder, the co-pilot also confessed to being fatigued, evidently after failing to use her off-duty time to get appropriate rest.

Sumwalt also blamed the global cargo operator for not updating a software on a ground proximity warning system, which could have given the crew an earlier indication they were too close to the ground, he said.
“Based on the rate of descent of this particular aircraft, it would be impossible to determine whether a software upgrade would have made a difference,” Capt. Houston Mills, UPS director of airline safety, noted that the NTSB does not cite the software in its official finding.

Sumwalt said the cargo carrier also did not provide all of the available weather information to the pilots. As a result, the pilots likely expected to see the airport after descending below clouds at 1,000 feet, but didn’t clear the clouds until 350 feet.

“Everything UPS does is about efficiency. They have guys running around with clipboards and stopwatches to make sure if an airplane is a minute late, someone will be held accountable for it. But the sad thing here — this (technology) could have possibly prevented this accident.”
“If you’re interested in efficiency, I can guarantee you on August 14 of last year, those packages on the airplanes did not get delivered by 10:30 in the morning,” Sumwalt said.
UPS’ Mills acknowleged that known information about the cloud ceiling was not relayed to the pilots. But, he said, the pilots had been given a forecast that included a variable cloud ceiling, giving the pilots enough to plan and execute their approach.

The U.S. aviation industry has closely watched the UPS crash investigation largely because it highlights different FAA standards for commercial and cargo aircraft. In January of this year, the FAA required additional rest hours for commercial pilots, but it exempted cargo pilots.

Cargo pilots say rest rules should be uniform, regardless of the type of aircraft flown.
Wednesday, the NTSB concluded the pilots of Flight 1354 had been given an adequate opportunity to rest, even under the rule that applies to commercial pilots. The rule did not make a difference in this case, the board said.
UPS pilots complained of fatigue before fatal crash

Asked if the UPS culture encourages pilots to call in fatigued when they are tired, 91% “strongly disagreed” or “somewhat disagreed,” according to a survey conducted in March by the Independent Pilots Association, a union that represents UPS pilots.

“You probably have some bias in here as it was issued by a (union),” Sumwalt said. “But when you have 2,202 people responding to that, they are trying to tell you something.”
UPS spokesman Malcolm Berkley said the union was “politicizing” the investigation in an effort to change pilot work hours. UPS pilots typically work 70 hours a month — 30 in the air, Berkley said, less than the 55 hours the typical commercial pilot flies.

The safety board approved more than 20 recommendations, including one that board member Mark Rosekind called “ground-breaking” that would require warnings about flying fatigued during pre-flight briefings on overnight flights.

Capt. Ivan

  •   GDL 39