Two Air India pilots and a pair of flight attendants have been suspended from duty pending an investigation into an April 13 incident in which both pilots left the flight deck of the Airbus A321 at the same time for 40 minutes of rest in the cabin. The pilots left two flight attendants in the cockpit to monitor the aircraft. The pilots returned to the cockpit only after one of the flight attendants mistakenly turned off the autopilot.
Colgan Air Flight
Paul Comtois knows why safety is a tough business for some people to comprehend: “Because it’s difficult to prove that what you’ve implemented actually had any effect.” Comtois, a former fighter pilot, is director of advanced pilot training programs at ETC, a Southampton, Pa.-based training company focused on upset prevention and recovery.
I really thought we had heard the end of the FAA’s one-level-of-safety mantra after Colgan Air Flight 3407, masquerading as a Continental Airlines codeshare, crashed in a fiery ball in a residential area just outside Buffalo, N.Y., one snowy February night four years ago.
What if technology could help pilots recover an airplane when it is clear (to the software) that the pilot’s actions are trending toward an accident?
At a time when aviation has achieved an extraordinarily high level of safety, regulators and safety organizations are pushing for more improvements in pilot training to preempt future accidents and ensure that new pilots entering the ranks start off with the right approach. One of the key areas receiving extensive examination is stall training, both in the early stages of ab initio training and how it is taught later to pilots who are flying sophisticated high-performance jets.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found the two pilots of a QantasLink Bombardier Dash 8-300 to be primarily responsible for an unstabilized approach that activated the twin turboprop’s stick shaker on final approach to Runway 16 Left at Sydney Airport [YSSY] in New South Wales in March 2011. The Bureau said both pilots got behind the required checklist duties for configuring the aircraft before commencing the approach.
Scott Foose, the Regional Airline Association’s (RAA) senior vice president of operations and safety, who chaired the Flight Officer Qualification (FOQ) Aviation Rulemaking Committee in the wake of the 2009 Colgan 3407 crash in Buffalo, told AIN the RAA agrees with almost everything in the current
It took a pilot to make one of the first moves in Congress to create one level of safety as part of a 2011 proposal to upgrade Part 121 crew-rest requirements.
The FAA proposed levying a civil penalty of $153,000 on Colgan Air last month for allegedly operating 17 flights without giving pilots or flight attendants the required minimum amount of rest.
The world breathed a sigh of relief as 2011 came to a close; aviation had experienced two remarkably safe years, following 2009, during which two extraordinary airline accidents focused the public’s attention on what appear to be serious lapses in fundamental airmanship.