Welcome to GlobalAir.com | 888-236-4309    Please Register or Login
Aviation Articles
Home Aircraft For Sale  | Aviation Directory  |  Airport Resource  |   Blog  | My Flight Department
Aviation Articles

The Importance of Accident Investigation

by Tori Williams 31. August 2015 22:34
Share on Facebook

This semester I am taking a class that is required for my major called “Aviation Safety Programs.” I did not know much about this class before the first day, besides that we would be learning how to be safer and more cautious pilots in our flight operations. Now that the first week of classes has come and gone, I am looking forward to this class more than most of my others. The basic setup of this class is that we will be reading and watching videos about aircraft accidents and analyzing what went wrong. We then write 250-500 words a week about a factor of the accident that stuck out to us. A large percentage of our final grade is calculated from a presentation that we each give about an accident that is randomly assigned to us.

This may sound grim, but it is so important to sit down and work through exactly what caused a deadly accident to happen so that you can avoid the same mistakes in the future. Whether it is pilot error, instrument malfunction, or an accident caused by ATC, knowing how to understand and avoid the same fate is paramount to creating safer skies.

For example, the first accident that we investigated was Colgan Air flight 3407. As 40+ aviation students anxiously watched the projector screen, we were shown a video that recreated the accident with a 3D model of the aircraft and instruments visualizing what the black box had recorded. Additionally, this video had real audio from ATC communicating with the copilot shortly before the accident. It was disturbing to hear, as it made the accident seem so much more real.

After watching the video, we opened discussion to what we believed went wrong. Was it icing? Was it the captain who had previously failed stall awareness training? Was it the first officer who had been working so much between flying and being a waitress that she was deliriously tired? It is important to consider all of these factors and logically work through why this was a bad decision/scenario. We then read the NTSB report and discussed how they came to their conclusions.

This is the infamous accident that lead to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introducing the “Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009.” Many things changed in the world of professional aviation after this law was passed. Regulations governing pilot training became much more strict. Additionally, the hour requirements for a pilot to earn their ATP rating changed from 250 to 1500. Although both pilots had several thousands of hours of training, the distraught families of the victims who pushed for these updates to regulations simply wanted to try and ensure something like this never happened again.

As you can see, the aftermath of this accident was colossal. It had a huge impact on the aviation industry as a whole, the effects of which aviation students will witness firsthand for years to come. Had the NTSB reported that the cause of the accident was icing with minimal other factors, perhaps the outcome would have been different. However, we cannot be sure of this. The important thing to gather from this is that the entire accident could have been avoided if the pilots had stopped the sequence of bad events from early on.

The "Decide" model is often used to evaluate in-flight emergencies. Having a prior knowledge of events that have lead to accidents can assist with logical thinking when evaluating impeding danger.

Each accident starts as a chain of events. Imagine dominos in a line. When you knock down one, others start following after quite quickly. One of the things we will be doing in my class is identifying which moments leading up to the accidents are dominos. We will analyze where it starts, what makes it worse, and what the ultimate result is. I think that this is fascinating, and it is extremely important for all pilots to examine aircraft accident reports to become better informed and prepared in case they recognize something that could be a domino.

I want to encourage every pilot out there, whether it is their profession or they fly for fun, to begin paying attention to accident reports. It can be difficult, as most pilots have an “it won’t happen to me,” attitude, but doing so will help make flying safer for yourself and everyone around you.

Tags: , ,

Aircraft Accidents | Tori Williams

Help Build the "One Week Wonder" at Airventure!

by Ray Robinson 28. January 2014 10:11
Share on Facebook

At the Zenith Builders in September, Charlie Becker (Director of Communities & Homebuilt Community Manager) spoke about the return of the One Week Wonder! project to AirVenture (Oshkosh) next year. Photo © Sabastien Heintz

EAA’s unique building project is focused on building a Zenith CH 750 kit aircraft during the seven days of EAA AirVenture 2014, beginning on July 28 and continuing through completion or the event’s final day on August 3. The goal is to completely construct, inspect, and taxi test the aircraft by the end of the weeklong event.

“We want people to discover that building an airplane is not that complicated and is within the reach of just about anyone, by watching this project take shape during the week and participating in it themselves,” said Charlie Becker, EAA’s manager of the organization’s homebuilt programs. “This Zenith kit will arrive at Oshkosh just as any builder would receive it. The One Week Wonder will show how today’s advanced kits and technology make aircraft building accessible and affordable, especially with the support from many EAA programs and members. It’s a fun, interactive opportunity that will show thousands of people exactly how an airplane goes together.”

The One Week Wonder project will also allow EAA to showcase how a person can build their own airplane, the technical achievements along the way, and EAA support programs for aircraft builders. AirVenture attendees will be able to add their own “hands-on” moment in the construction project and sign the logbook as one of the builders.

In the One Week Wonder display area, which will be located near the EAA Welcome Center in the main crossroads of the AirVenture grounds, other displays will include the completed Zenith CH 750 built by EAA employees – including many who had never built an airplane previously. There will also be interactive displays that highlight the aircraft construction process, the variety of aircraft available for builders, and information on getting started on an aircraft project.

More details about the One Week Wonder project will be announced as they are finalized. You can also learn more about building Zeniths at Sabastien Heintz’s blog here

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Press Release

Nellie and Abe, and the Grace They Provide

by Ray Robinson 25. September 2013 17:03
Share on Facebook

On September 21, I dropped by the Grace on Wings Family Aviation Festival and Hog Roast at the Indianapolis International Airport. Coming from the south end of the airport (which is mostly under construction and fenced off), I begin to wonder if I was lost – soon there were signs that guided me in. I found a hangar full of life and activity!

Bidders gather for the final moments of the silent auction.

The star attraction of the day seemed to be the Silent Auction. Tables and tables full of items up for grabs! Most of the hangar was filled with patrons of the hog roast – picnic tables with pulled pork and all the trim. The can’t miss vendor table near the entrance was packed with figurines of all sizes carved from olive wood grown in Bethlehem. Plus bouncy castles for the kids in the background let you know this truly was for the whole family.

The festival was to raise funds for Grace on Wings, the nation’s only charity air ambulance service. I spoke with Hal Blank, CEO and Chief Pilot, about this festival; with a turnout of over 1,100 over the course of the day, he was very pleased. “We always pray to at least break even. We’ve been doing this for seven years, and this event was one of our best! We served over 600 meals (at $10/adult, $5/child), plus the silent auction was huge. We also gave 71 free flights to kids as part of EAA Young Eagles program. But the largest success is always getting the word out about ourselves and telling about the opportunities we've had to be able to help families in need. In fact, many of our patients were there to celebrate with us Saturday!”

This little piggie was pretty much decimated by the crowd!

Grace on Wings was inspired by the need of two young Indianapolis girls who suffered from a genetic bone disorder that required regular visits to a Baltimore specialist -- more than 11 hours away by car. With the support of charitable funding, they provide transport to patients who are needing to go long distances for important treatment throughout the United States. Their two air ambulances, “Nellie” and “Abe”, two customized Mitsubishi MU-2B Turboprops, were on hand outside the hangar for all to see. Both are equipped with oxygen, oxygen saturation monitors, portable ventilator, cardiac monitors, baby pods, defibrillators and more.

Blank shared the stories behind each aircraft’s name. “Nellie is named after Nell Wood, a missionary nurse who travelled the world. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, and they funded the original $10,000 seed money for Grace on Wings to purchase the aircraft, so it was named in her honor.”

”Nellie” sitting outside the hanger for all to see.

“When Nellie needed to undergo routine maintenance, we needed to purchase a second aircraft since she was going to unable to make runs during that time. We went to Farmer’s Bank (who financed the purchase of Nellie) for additional funds, and they stepped up for us again. Since the registration of this one was 777LP, we took the LP to mean the “Lord’s Promise”, so Abraham was the obvious choice. Abe served five families while Nellie was down.”

How a patient would be transported in “Abe” .

Blank also explained that with the two different models come different advantages. “Nellie is a J-model, which sits lower to the ground. So loading is easier – we can use a 400-pound loading system with her. Abe, the 36A-model, is the best choice for long distance flights.

For more information on Grace on Wings and the services they provide, plus how you can participate, check them out here

Tags: , , , , , ,

GlobalAir.com

A Feast for the Eyes: EAA Sport Aviation Weekend, Part 2

by Ray Robinson 18. September 2013 09:42
Share on Facebook

This is a continuation of my article on the 39th annual Kentucky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend. To see Part 1, click here.

We moved over to a beautiful little Cessna 172L Skyhawk, and chatted with its owner Keith Mountain. Keith, a native Australian, stateside for 35 years now, still has a strong hint of an accent that sets him apart from the Kentucky twangers (like myself at times). He explained that he has owned this Skyhawk for about three years – he sought it out for the 180hp constant speed prop conversion, plus the fact that both windows open. The latter was important for him since he does a lot of aerial photography.

Keith grew up with flying, as the farms where he worked frequently used cropdusters in the fields. When we joined the Australian army, he worked with C130s, Bell 212s and Caribous. He got all his ratings 25 years ago when he was considering a career in aviation.

Finally, we chatted with Jerry Depew from Knoxville, and his son Jeremy Hunt. They flew in with their Bonanza 35 C-model V-tail – Jerry joked that they were both “built in the same year – 1951”. His Bonanza still has the original 185/205 hp engine, and has only replaced the glass and cylinders – other than a major overhaul, it’s a stock airplane. He’s owned it the same amount of time he’s been married – 17 years. “I asked her permission and she waivered. I thought about it, but kept her anyway!”

When I asked about what got him interested in flying, it was a family affair for him as well. “My father had an airplane, so when I was first flying I couldn’t see out of the windows! I could only see the ground when he turned left base or left for final.”

Jerry also shared how he got his first job in aviation. “I just got my driver’s license – since I loved aviation, my first drive was to the airport. The pilots that hung out there asked if I was there to apply for the job. ‘What job?’ was my reply. They needed a lineman, and I asked what they do. So I spoke with the man in charge and got the job. I wound up endorsing my paychecks over to a flight instructor and got my license that year.”

Jerry, the editor of the Knoxville EAA newletter, also enjoys collecting aviation stories like me, and shared a gem he heard from Peter Koza in Louisville. “Flying is NOT expensive. The cost of therapy and anti-depressants ARE expensive! Besides, if you take anti-depressants, you have no medical to fly, no libido, no sex, and then you are REALLY depressed!”

Enjoy these additional photos from the 39th annual Kentucky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend!

Tags: , , , , ,

GlobalAir.com

A Feast for the Eyes: EAA Sport Aviation Weekend, Part 1

by Ray Robinson 17. September 2013 11:59
Share on Facebook

The weather was perfect this weekend for a countryside drive from Louisville to the Falls of Rough. There, at Rough River State Park’s airport (2I3) was the 39th annual Kentucky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend, where pilots and aviation enthusiasts from Kentucky and surrounding areas to get together for the weekend. Activities, beyond the typical aircraft sightseeing and meeting old friends (or making new ones), included a poker run, spot landing contest, a Friday night hospitality room, and a Saturday evening banquet.

When my wife and I arrived, the poker run was underway, so many pilots were in the air. But there was still about 30 aircraft of many varieties hanging around, with their pilots grabbing from brats, burgers and potato salad, and sharing their experiences. We wondered around, snapping photos and talking to a few until the batteries on my camera faded away.

Nathan Robertson was minding his parent’s 1950 Cessna 195 when I wondered over – they were off chatting with some friends. His wife was changing their baby’s diaper in the back seat, which made me wonder if a car seat in an aircraft is still called a “carseat”.

While his parents, Phillip and Tia, are career commercial pilots, Nathan only recently got his license. “Growing up around aviation, I took it for granted – if I wanted to go flying, I’d just ask them to take me up. When my friends wanted to go flying, and mentioned that they wanted to be adopted by my parents so they could be taken up like that, I began to realize this was something I wanted as well. I got my license in January, plan to get all my ratings, and possibly make a career out of it myself.”

We also discussed the difficulty the younger generation faces when pursuing their licenses – Nathan had an approach to consider to fast-track it. “Get books and DVDs, study and get the written exam out of the way first. That way you can just do 20-25 hours flying to save expenses. Most people, like myself, focus on flying first because it’s more fun, but that can stretch out your training time and cost. However, if you decide to make a career out of it, in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that expensive!”

Part 2 of this article can be found here. In the meantime, enjoy these additional photos!

Tags: , , , , ,

GlobalAir.com



Archive



GlobalAir.com on Twitter