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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, January 18, 2018

Headline from Europe:

"Plane skids off Turkish runway 
on Black Sea coast"

News Europe

Nobody Died. This Time.

A captain who has a passion for aviation safety, sent me the following email related to the above incident: 

"A Pegasus Boeing 737-800 veered off the runway after landing on runway 11 at Trabzon Airport (Turkey) and became stuck in the mud on the edge of a cliff 

Many friends flew for this airline, and they make pilots pay to fly for them. Pilots buy a block of 500 hours for about $40,000 on top of the self-sponsored type rating, also at a cost of $40,000. Friends there have told me the cockpit gradient is extremely steep, there is practically no manual flight above 400 feet. Little to no SOPs (standard operating procedures) discipline and certainly zero CRM (crew resource management). 

They have been involved in many similar incidents already."

Why no Manual Flight?

I'm learning many airlines worldwide do not allow manual flight. Why? Perhaps this snippet from another flight operations manual explains perceptions: 

Statement from above: 

“There is no safety case to justify turning off the A/P and AFDS in a Boeing 737-800 Series Aircraft engaged in commercial transport operations – doing so increases the chance of an undesired aircraft state.”

This is an interesting mandate, however not isolated. It has become apparent that many airlines do not believe their pilots can manually fly the aircraft safely, therefore prohibiting it. However, there no reason manual flight in any Boeing (or Airbus) would cause an unexpected aircraft state. I have observed manual flight approaches into the most challenging airports in Alaska while sitting in the flightdeck of a Boeing 737, and observed beautiful approaches and arrivals on many A330's from altitude to landing. 

Why the Fear of Some Airlines?
What happened in this accident?

What if the pilots were not properly trained for the unexpected? What if they were not trained for manual flight? Should we always blame the pilot if they are not given the tools? What if the culture prohibits reporting safety issues? Human error happens, but how is it addressed? Safety Management Systems (SMS) are designed to identify errors and create change in order to mitigate risk, but is SMS lip service only?

What if the regulators know the problem
and don't do anything to enforce compliance?

What if Airlines know the problem 
and mandate automation usage 
to avoid training? 

What happens if the automation breaks 
or the unexpected happens?

As many of you know I am working on my PhD and collecting data to identify the relationships between safety culture, pilot training, aircraft understanding, aviation passion, and the impact on automation usage, in order to identify the root cause of performance issues, beyond pilot error. 

If we don't identify the source of the problem, 
then nothing will ever change.

I'm asking everyone to please share the link:

Tuesday January 9th survey monkey said there were 2397 completed surveys. I then wrote a post and asked everyone who took it, if they would share it with just one more qualified pilot (airline, charter or corporate) they knew. I asked people who cared about aviation to share with qualified pilots they knew. The support was incredible!

I'm utilizing snowball sampling, meaning I'm asking qualified pilots to take it and then share it with their colleagues and friends who qualify, and ask those pilots to share it with their colleagues and so on. What happened from that January 9th post, was that the snowball began gaining momentum. Pilots worldwide continued to take it, share it, and posted it on their sites. People who didn't qualify, shared it with those who did.

This morning 
Survey Number is 3127!

What this says, is that the pilots care about their industry. They care about the future of aviation. They care about passengers' safety. It means that passengers want the best, every time they step on a plane. These numbers show the world is that we do care about the trajectory of where our aviation industry is headed.

Everyone who participates is making a difference!


I will be gathering data until mid March,
when my B777 training is complete. 
Can we double those numbers?

Let's Keep This Going!

I cannot thank you all for your help with this. 
Thank you for helping me
 to gain as many surveys as possible!

Let's keep this snowball rolling
And double those numbers!

What will the Numbers be Next Week?

Please send the link PetittAviationResearch 
to all the commercial pilots you know! 

Thank YOU! 

Your comments are always appreciated and many will be included in the dissertation and/or journal article (de-identified of course, unless you state you want your name and credentials listed). 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

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