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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Power of Learning

From Real Life Stories and Research!

This week I have been actively looking for pilots who qualify to take my pilot survey for my research at 


The greatest thing about a project of this magnitude is knowing there are people within the airline industry taking their time to participate, and identifying a passion for aviation safety still exists. 

There are also people beyond the airlines who care deeply about the industry and safety, and want to help. Mary Latimer is one such person. While Mary has never flown for the airlines, she has trained many pilots who do. She primarily flies a corporate C441, and does a lot of teaching. She reached out to offer her help, despite not qualifying to participate in the survey. 

Mary writes:

I did some research several years ago for a presentation. I was looking at causes of accidents for owner flown versus professional flown business trips. I ended up looking at flights that had voice recorders. 

Interesting findings: 
  • Every single accident that was caused by crew "decisions", the captain was flying. 
  • Usually the FO was silent or was suggesting a more conservative course of action.
  • Apparently, if the FO was flying, they listened to the input from the captain and then the conservative course was followed and the accident was avoided and therefore no report.

I only found one accident where the FO was flying. The aircraft was iced up, the FO wanted to do a go-around. The Captain insisted on landing. The aircraft crashed during landing and was destroyed but no injuries. It was almost certain that a go-around wouldn't have been successful and most likely fatal. Due to the ice load, the aircraft could no sustain adequate lift. 

In another instance, the FO told the captain:

"If I am wrong, we do an unnecessary go-around,
 If you are wrong, we hit the mountain." 

They hit the mountain. It was about whether they had properly programmed the GPS in a BBJ. Fortunately, no passengers were on board. 



Takeaways: 
  • When emergency or complex situation occurs, Captain should become supervisor and FO does the physical act of flying. 
  • Active listening to other perspectives.
  • Conservative voice wins.

I also wrote and article called Redefining Pilot Error.

Break it down into 3 categories:
  1. Pilot Misconduct- knows the action is wrong but does it anyway.
  2. Careless or complacent- skipping preflight or failure to check NOTAMS, etc.
  3. Honest pilot error- wrong frequencies, heading, feathering wrong engine

Mechanical malfunctions can often be broken down into the same categories for Mechanic error:
  1. Mechanic misconduct: knowingly falsifying documents to indicate that work was done when it wasn't.
  2. Careless/complacent: leaving the cowling unsecured.
  3. Honest error: installing wrong bolts on propeller (correct length but different shank to thread ratio)
Yep all these are based on 
personal experience!


If my experience can be of benefit, 
I'd be glad to help.


Mary Latimer

Join me tomorrow and meet
Mary, as she is definitely 
a Friday Fabulous Flyer! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

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