By Laurie Taylor
Regardless of the excessive criteria of safeguard in civil air delivery, aviation mess ups proceed to take place. This publication examines the dangers regarding air shuttle - human elements, the traditional and operational environments, and man-made difficulties resembling sabotage - and exhibits the place managers have succeeded and failed.
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Extra resources for Air Travel: How Safe Is It?
The landing gear warning system is a typical example. Landing gear warning systems are intended to warn the pilot that it is unsafe to land when he or she reduces power by closing the throttles without having first lowered the landing gear, and in these circumstances a red light is displayed and a warning horn sounds. There are, however, many occasions when a pilot reduces power for the purpose of reducing speed or to descend, without intending to land. This causes the warning system to operate as designed, creating an unwanted distraction with the warning horn being so loud that it prevents almost all communication and thought.
It is common practice for flight numbers to be a major part of an aircraft's radio callsign, and for two aircraft to be flying to the same airport at the same time and be using the same flight number, albeit with a different prefix. In these circumstances, there are many instances of controllers confusing two aircraft, or of the pilot of one aircraft acting on an air traffic control 'clearance' intended for another. In the crowded skies that surround busy airports the potential for disaster is obvious, and there have been many near mid-air collisions as a result.
Western airlines instruct copilots that they must bring all deviations from standard operating procedures, breaches of air traffic clearances or any event that might threaten safety, to the attention of the captain by means of prompt carefully phrased, respectful but firm questioning, and if that fails, to actively intervene to ensure safety. It is easier to propose such a procedure than to implement it in the air, for in almost every circumstance the captain will be the person with the greater experience and higher status in the airline < previous page page_31 next page > < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 hierachy.
Air Travel: How Safe Is It? by Laurie Taylor