Why can no-one have the guts to do anything about the excessive amounts of cabin baggage that are allowed onboard flights with high load factors?. Low load flights do not always pose a problem, but often overhead bins are packed full of heavy bags, Duty Free, etc, and people do end up with injuries from these falling out in the normal course of a flight - let alone in an accident.
I have only seen once in my native Denmark a simple but effective device to filter this out... a plywood board with a hole cut in it positioned on the jetty by the main door. If your ONE bag fits through the hole, it goes onboard. If it doesn't it goes in the hold. Simple and effective. If any airline wants to be seen to be doing something to make flights safer, why not start here. Plywood is very cheap !!.
As a regular operator throughout Europe and North America, I am certainly used to being searched and my crew baggage X-rayed each time I need to gain access to airside. I understand this need, but cannot understand why so many people (including many search authorities personnel) are exempt from searches, even after triggering audio alerts on metal detectors ?. Perhaps someone can explain!!.
I am the only Flight Attendant on a UK registered turbo prop which carries about 30 passengers on each sector. We normally operate sectors of around 1 hour duration, followed by a 30 minute turnaround time. The flight deck are often limited by duty hours after 4 sectors, but I have to carry on and do 6. Why are my allowable duty hours longer, when my primary function is supposed to be passenger evacuation in an emergency?. After 6 sectors I and my colleagues often cannot even count the bar properly!!.
I'm not in the aviation business, but I am a (modestly regular) customer. It makes me squirm when fellow passengers treat the "safety demo" as "something that doesn't apply to me". I wonder if some people do it just to demonstrate to fellow passengers that "I fly frequently, I am a pompous git, and I want everybody to know it"? Dunno what the answer is, but as a passenger, it annoys me as much as it must annoy the cabin crew. ps - as I have demonstrated support and sympathy for the cabin crew, do I get a bonus lemon-soaked towelette next time I fly? If so, please send me a "towelette voucher"
Can you please post the following on your site: to warn others and hopefully generate some comment :
This is a fairly simple theory based on the fact that air accelerates as it is forced to flow over a curved obstacle.
I noticed it myself during my instructing days at Glasgow Airport when I regularly flew to the local flying area via the standard exit lane. The procedure is to fly outbound at 1000 ft through a valley at Dumbarton. I noticed that some days I would be above the hill to the west side of the valley, (this was usually the case) and other days I would be below. It seemed a bit suspicious to expect the QNH at the airport to be much different from that of just a few miles away. I knew it wasn't finger trouble be accidentally setting QFE, as the difference between them at Glasgow is never more than one millibar. Then there were days when I would look down on the hill one minute, and about 2 miles or so later I'd be looking up at it. Initially I blamed things like optical illusions, my bad flying, or my pupil's bad flying and my carelessness to not notice it. Then one windy day I found myself descending (deliberately) to maintain a constant altimeter reading of 1000 ft. I was well below the hill top, and judging by the size of the streets below,(I was now closer to the middle of the valley) I reckon I was at about 500ft. The towns in this valley are on Cattish ground through which a river joins Loch Lomond and the River Clyde. They're all approximately at sea level. (likewise Glasgow Airport)
From this, I suspect that air blowing over certain shapes of hill accelerates (I've felt this while trying to stop myself from being blown over a cliff on top of a mountain during a skiing trip) and this reduces the localized static pressure in the same way as a venturi. I further suspect that pilots flying in the vicinity of such terrain (not necessarily downwind) may experience over-reading altimeters due to this localized low pressure, the extent of the problem being dependent on factors like wind speed/direction, hill shape and size.
On several occasions I have noticed problems with radio navigation during events of AURURA BOREALIS. This usually results in the aircraft drifting slowly left or right of track while still following the correct VOR radial, the drift returning to 0 as you pass overhead the VOR. On one occasion ATC advised I was 30 miles off track (75 miles away from VOR). I have also heard a few comments from other pilots questioning localiser guidence during events. I wonder has any real study been done to quantify this , or has anyone else suffered the same way ??.
Transferred to Electomagnetic Interference
CASA (Australia) has effectively banned the towing of banners over populated areas. Is there any data to suggest this is necessary?
In addition to clogged or otherwise inoperative lavatory smoke
detectors, cabin crews should be aware of the latest ruse of smokers to
subvert anti-smoking regulations. This was related to me on a cruise ship
by a rather flamboyant sort who was not to be denied either cigarettes or
booze while in the air. If you want to smoke on a flight, just go to the
lav and press down on the button that empties the water out of the basin!
The vacuum created easily sucks out all the smoke, and the detector
doesn’t go off! This also works with the vacuum toilets, but you have to
keep flushing them and sit on the floor with your head in the bowl to
enjoy a smoke.
Cabin crews should be observant of long lavatory visits accompanied by constant sounds of escaping air!
"The recent mid-air between a Kazahk Il-76 and a Saudia 747 highlights a concern which we have been discussing between ourselves for months. While all the details may not apply; this disaster does dramatically illustrate our concern.
The modern onboard GPS and/or DME updated IRS/INS navigational equipment has greatly enhanced the ease and accuracy of aircraft navigation. However, under certain circumstances, this accuracy could become a flight safety hazard.
Airline pilots spent untold hours EXACTLY in the centre of their 10 mile wide airways guaranteed only 1000 or 2000 feet separation from opposite direction traffic.
If there is a mistake during an altitude change by the crew of either aircraft, by the controller, with the communication between the two, or an autoflight equipment failure -- a disaster may occur..
FMS navigation computers should be off set just 1 or 2 miles to the right
of track. This would guarantee 2 to 4 miles lateral separation between
opposite direction traffic while all aircraft would still remain well within
This would utilize the extreme accuracy of onboard navigational systems to
both remain within airways and to provide additional traffic separation.
Had both aircraft been equipped with TCAS, the Delhi disaster would have been prevented. However, all aircraft world-wide are not so equipped. Airline pilots almost daily will pass another aircraft with this 1000 feet clearance. Wouldn't it be much safer to also have at least 2 miles lateral separation? Since equipment and people do fail, why not implement this fail-safe technique?"
Captain R.J.van der Zwaal
Captain J.A. Schottenheimer
HOW SAFE IS THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR AIRLINER?
From: T. D. Ponder
Airline Transport Pilot
(10.000+ hours Pilot In Command)
The FAA recently issued an A.D. (Airworthiness
Directive) for Boeing 737 aircraft that incredibly does
not offer to solve KNOWN problems with the aircraft's
Rudder Power Control Unit, but instead mandates crew
training so pilots can attempt to survive sudden
NTSB investigators remain unsure why two Boeing 737s crashed, one near Pittsburgh and the other in Colorado, although rudder problems definitely are suspected in each case. The 737 is the most popular airliner today with 2,705 flying world wide, including 1,115 in the U.S.
The FAA mandate requires Flight Manual changes and crew training to instruct pilots how to correct jammed or restricted flight controls. That's right. That is exactly what it says! The FAA has said that test by Boeing showed the 737's Rudder Power Control Unit under "extreme conditions" could jam and even go in the OPPOSITE direction from that desired.
Imagine the thrill of THAT on a gusty landing! I certainly would call a rudder movement in a direction opposite from input an "extreme condition" at amy time or altitude.
Is the use of training to overcome a mechanical uncertainty really a viable solution for one of the worse conditions a pilot could possibly face?
The FAA goes on to suggest a pilot lower the nose in such a situation to increase airspeed and regain control of the aircraft. What does this say about assigned altitude, the possiblility of a mid-air with an aircraft below, or frightening or injuring passengers? Plus, the FAA does NOT clarify, to my knowledge, if this procedure is to be used only at altitude or maybe at Decision Height on an ILS night IMC approach.
Who would do such a thing with an aircraft already out of control due to Rudder Hardover (sudden rudder movement) mere feet above a runway? What, just slam her down, possibly split the gear, and MAYBE walk away saying that is what I was instructed to do?
The pilots who fly 737s, the Boeing Co., and the FAA have known about these problems for years. A fellow flight Instructor I gave instruction to in aerobatics (who was subsequently hired by Piedmont, now US Air) told me in the early 1970's that the 737 would get into a "Roll Oscillation" condition on approaches under gusty or turbulent conditions.
He said the plane would then have to be flow manually, with locked elbows (and clinched jaws) to force the yoke steady, until the aircraft stabilized. Other pilots have told friends of unexpected and sudden Rudder Hardover at altitude, and said they did not think they would have recovered had they been on approach.
There was no indication of problems from the crews involved in the two approach crashes, so you know it happened suddenly and that it was unrecoverable, sticking the nose down, thank you FAA very much, or otherwise.
There have been hundreds of reports of uncommanded rudder movements from 737 pilots, including at least FIFTY SINCE the Pittsburgh crash.
On the other side of the coin, the 737 for its large number of passenger miles, has an excellent safety record. Since they are not falling out of the sky left and right, it obviously takes certain sets of rare circumstance if a major rudder malfunction is to occur.
Boeing, however, has added a rudder stabilization device to its current production models: the -600s, -700s and -800s, but still maintains there is no safety problem with older models. So, why did they spend the extra dollars to add the device? Nonetheless, Boeing seems reluctant to accept the necessity (ergo, much greater expense) of retrofitting older 737's.
The FAA apparently is making no attempt to solve the mechanics of these KNOWN problem, but instead is imposing upon crew members the edit to break its own rules --- namely those FAA rules that require, in terms of aircraft and airman certification, that no unusual or extraordinary piloting techniques or abilities be required.
THIS A.D. REPRESENTS A LUDICROUS POSITION UNWORTHY OF THE NTSB AND THE FAA.
Additionally, a standby procedure is mandated that requires the switching off of the rudder's hydraulic assist system under prolonged conditions and executing approach and landings manually. This has been used by pilots who could not otherwise control the aircraft. Let's hope the lady pilots who are type rated in 737's have had their Wheaties before preflight.
It is my opinion that there still exist the potential for disasters until the actual problem is solved. Components should be redesigned, if necessary.
THE RESOLUTION OF THIS PROBLEM BELONGS TO BOEING, THE FAA, AND THE AIR CARRIERS -- Certainly NOT TO THE PILOTS IN THE COCKPIT WHERE IT IS JUST A LITTLE TOO LATE FOR ENGINEERING, OR ATTEMPTS AT AEROBATICS ON SHORT FINAL WITH A PLANE FULL OF PAYING PASSENGERS.
I have sent Email to the NTSB, the FAA, and most US Senators concerning this critical problem. If you as a pilot, crewmember or passenger feel there is merit to this discussion, please at least contact your Senators and recommend yet another, closer look into this situation. While it is impossible for carrier employees, informed passengers at least may choose to alert the airline they normally use that they are not fully confident in the 737 and ask if alternate equipment is available to their destination.
On the Internet, go to:
where you will find a list of US Senators, by state, with links to their Email addresses in Washington.
If you have flow or are currently flying 737's and have experienced critical problems of this nature, please send me Email with a brief summary, with your name and address preferably, and I shall forward the information to your Senators and other appropriate sources (include your state of residency). Say if you are currently flying 737s, which model number was involved and the approximate date, location, and flight conditions during an occurrence.
Send Email to me:
T. D. Ponder
This situation needs to be resolved immediately before the possibility of lives being lost unnecessarily becomes a nightmare in reality.
T. D. Ponder
716 40th Place
Fairfield, AL 35064-2306
Ph / FAX 205-785-1615
It looks like somebody very very high up is watching the fortunes of Saudia Arabian Airlines. First in 1980 they manage , due to incredible pilot error , to write off a Tristar with a full load of passengers and crew on board. The luck on Saudia's side was that all these (financially) poor passengers were Haji's from Indonesia, with no real legal representation whatsoever, so.... nobody really cared and the disaster was quickly forgotten, only to be remembered by a BBC TV team, "World in Action", who made a documentary about the accident.
Now the same Airline is involved in another disaster, this time involving 257 poor Indian workers, again with no real legal representatation, so..... nobody cares and the same scenario seems to be in action: Let's keep this very silent and forget it even happened.
We pilots and everybody else would like to know what happened, and at least the outcome of the flight data recorder readings should be public by now. This would answer the most important question; Was Saudia too high, or the Kazakh too low?
If this mid-air collision would have involved SV020/021- Jeddah/New York/Jeddah, with its usual complement of American passengers, the ensuing public outcry, and the investigative transparency, would at least have answered some basic questions by now.
It is about time that some real pressure is placed on the agencies involved in this investigation.
We have a direct testing solution for the No Fault Found problem, and a lot of investigative information on it's cause and effects.
Check out our home page http:\\www.usynaptics.com
Your readers can also send for a data package.
Just a tip for any aircraft commander..to verify that you are landing at the correct airport at night, while on a 4-5 mile final have the tower increase the intensity of the runway lights...this has saved me from the embarrassment of a wrong airport landing at least three times in my career at TWA..Most recently was last winter..I was making a weather diversion to Stewert and mistakenly visually identified Orange County airport as Stewert..when I asked the tower to increase the intensity of the runway lights we saw the correct runway almost directly below us...it is a painless and simple way to prevent wrong airport landings...Thanks!
Transferred to Electomagnetic Interference