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An Interesting Interview in TOI

 
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me111993
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: An Interesting Interview in TOI Reply with quote

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articlelist/articleshow/6034620.cms


Flying has never seemed so risky, what with crashes, near misses and pilots freezing at the controls. Captain Shakti Lumba , an aviation veteran for 40 years and ex-operations head of IndiGo, tells Shobha John that aviation cannot be zero risk:

How do you define safety for the aviation sector?

Safety is risk identification and reduction to acceptable levels. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and regulators mandate only the minimum acceptable requirements. Prudent operators add a buffer margin to cater for error. But remember, any landing from which one can walk away is, in fact, a good landing. And it should be left to the discretion of pilots how they do so.

Is India an unsafe place to fly in?

It has a reasonably good statistical safety record. But this is more due to divine intervention than a proactive safety philosophy. Safety is expensive. But the training of most airlines is cost-centric. Sooner or later, they will be in trouble.

How safe is Air India (AI)?

Financially sound airlines are rarely unsafe. The most dangerous issue in a plane is "subtle pilot incapacitation" and for an airline, "subtle corporate incapacitation". AI seems a case of the latter.

Airlines that have a built-in safety management system for risk identification and mitigation and those that have professional chiefs of operations and engineering who do not succumb to pressure are the safest ones.

The recently formed Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council should help matters.

It's been hijacked by the Federation of Indian Airlines, by CEOs of airline companies. They are responsible for profitability and reducing costs. This is the very antithesis of safety. Everyone pays lip service to safety but no one is willing to pay for it if it affects the bottom line, be it political or economic.

Can one gauge a pilot's proficiency simply by his flying hours?

No. Total experience along with recent experience on aircraft type is a better indicator. A 10,000-hour short haul pilot is considered far more experienced than a 10,000-hour long haul pilot due to the increased number of landings and take-offs he does.

Pilots are coming to aviation just for the big bucks. During the aviation boom, hundreds of 'flying shops' were set up and many who qualified from these lacked basic understanding and knowledge, motivation or passion. Most have not even heard of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Incidentally, the FAA is likely to up standards by making the Airline Transport Pilot Licence and not a Commercial Pilot's Licence the basic requirement for co-pilots.

Can runways be termed 'unsafe'?

Almost 90 per cent of Indian runways and airports meet ICAO requirements. Those that do not cannot due to physical, geographical limitations. No runway is inherently safe or unsafe. Determining the feasibility of a runway for safe operation is the responsibility of the airline, not the DGCA or the Airports Authority of India. The most 'critical' airports presently are Leh, Kullu and Srinagar. They aren't unsafe, just more demanding of pilot skills.

However, Mumbai is the riskiest airport when its two runways are in operation simultaneously, although individually they meet ICAO requirements. The airport urgently needs surface radars to reduce the risk of a collision, as the control tower doesn't have a full view of the operational area. But vigilant controllers can prevent collisions.
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Last edited by me111993 on Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RKRamesh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this very candid and believable interview me111993.

Puts things in perspective - it does reiterate the common belief that a financially robust airline is more likely to harbour a better maintained fleet.
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tayaramecanici
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the CAVALIER or rather NAIVE attitude of INDIA/INDIANS towards SAFETY is abunduntly evident on the streets of the country.
The dismal road safety record, worst in the world, 120000 deaths/year.
The routing of POWER cables across the gali and gaons of INDIA, its a daily miracle that more people don't get elctrocuted.

Though i am digressing here, i believe its all connected.
Like the worst Industrial disaster in the world was in INDIA, BHOPAL. The news channels are more interested in chasing ANDERSON rather than asking so called EXPERTS in ISI or whatever safety institute in INDIA about their contribution to safety culture.

A anecdotal personal experience whilst working as a Tech with AI at SAHAR. Next to the hangar was a Flt kitchen and bang opp was a Spinach farm, every other morning after Night shift the guys would buy these tasty SPINACH. One day i followed them to buy some but was put off by the stench. Here is the reason why, and next time you guys tread the hills of BAIL BAZAR with your NIKONS think what you could do to improve the situation.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?sid=aErNiP_V4RLc&pid=20601109
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me111993
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks for posting this very candid and believable interview me111993.


You are welcome, RKRamesh. Very Happy

Quote:
Puts things in perspective


Interviews given by former/current pilots usually do the same, it's the journalists that do the real damage...
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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting Interview.
The Safety Programme is effective only when people believe in it.
Airlines with good financial backing & willing Mgmt will be safer.
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malQ
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it seems the AIX Mangalore crash pilot was on "controlled rest" for most of the flight and the CVR recorded his snores as well as lack of any voice inputs from him. Amazing. Must understand this "controlled rest" in a two-person cockpit - shouldn't this be someting reported back, is this a practice, and reason enough for action?

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at cruising altitude. Along with the cockpit crew, we are going for controlled rest. Please ensure somebody wakes us up 4 hours from now, as you are watching the movies anyway."
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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

malQ wrote:
Well, it seems the AIX Mangalore crash pilot was on "controlled rest" for most of the flight and the CVR recorded his snores as well as lack of any voice inputs from him. Amazing. Must understand this "controlled rest" in a two-person cockpit - shouldn't this be someting reported back, is this a practice, and reason enough for action?

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at cruising altitude. Along with the cockpit crew, we are going for controlled rest. Please ensure somebody wakes us up 4 hours from now, as you are watching the movies anyway."



I find it very tough to believe that both Pilots were not focussed while landing on a Table top Airport.Irrespective of what occured in cruise.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

malQ wrote:
Well, it seems the AIX Mangalore crash pilot was on "controlled rest" for most of the flight and the CVR recorded his snores as well as lack of any voice inputs from him. Amazing. Must understand this "controlled rest" in a two-person cockpit - shouldn't this be someting reported back, is this a practice, and reason enough for action?

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at cruising altitude. Along with the cockpit crew, we are going for controlled rest. Please ensure somebody wakes us up 4 hours from now, as you are watching the movies anyway."


Wow - is that normal on a 4 hour flight? I'd love if I could sleep during my job Smile
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

malQ wrote:
Well, it seems the AIX Mangalore crash pilot was on "controlled rest" for most of the flight and the CVR recorded his snores as well as lack of any voice inputs from him. Amazing. Must understand this "controlled rest" in a two-person cockpit - shouldn't this be someting reported back, is this a practice, and reason enough for action?

Controlled rest doesn't simply mean the pilots sleep- there are a handful of criteria which need to be met to do it legally (and safely). The airlines are bound by government regulations + their Ops Manual etc which lay down the procedure.
Just because an incident may have been caused after a rest period doesn't automatically mean it's a dangerous system.
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HAWK21M
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can controlled rest be permitted on a Two crew Flight deck with no standby crew.
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it's allowed with 2 flight deck crew (provided other things are met of course)
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