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April 24, 2015  -  No. 080

In This Issue
United Airlines Boosting Training for Closer Pilot Teamwork
Zimbabwe: Air Force Jet Crashes in Gweru
Pakistani Air Force escorts Chinese president's jet (VIDEO)
Pilots' low pay
DGCA panel looking into norms for checking pilots' health (India)
ATSB releases new month old images of Pel-Air wreckage (Australia)
Does missing pilot have a license to fly?
Turns Out Airplane 'Oxygen Masks' Aren't Exactly Filled With Oxygen
Costa Rica closes San Jose airport due to volcanic ash
Top 5 Modern Improvements in Aviation Safety
AOPA asks FAA to close gaps in UAS rule
Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium...15-16 September 2015
The Aeronautics Committee of the New York City Bar Association and Vaughn College host:...Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Law, Technology and Social Implications
Society of Air Safety Investigators Pakistan, announce: Aviation Security Management Course at Ramada Plaza Karachi 8th to 12th June, 2015
Upcoming Events
JOBS AVAILABLE (New Positions)
Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC - Services
United Airlines Boosting Training for Closer Pilot Teamwork

In wake of safety lapses, company plans enhanced monitoring of pilots for compliance with procedures

United later this year intends to put a group of specially trained observers in selected cockpits to document the extent of pilot adherence to mandatory procedures. 


ORLANDO-United Continental Holdings Inc. is stepping up training and in-flight monitoring of pilots in response to a number of serious, previously identified safety lapses.

Howard Attarian, senior vice president of flight operations, laid out the carrier's plans-and the justification for dramatic action-in remarks to an industry conference here earlier this week. In the company's most specific comments yet on the subject, Mr. Attarian said United later this year intends to put a group of specially trained observers in selected cockpits to document the extent of pilot adherence to mandatory procedures.

Airlines, including United, have commonly relief on so-called line operations safety audits to examine pilot compliance with specific flying practices.

The airline also plans to boost training aimed at helping captains and co-pilots work more closely together as a team during flights. Mr. Attarian said officials are developing the business case to support such enhanced training modules.

The moves were prompted by a January memo to all pilots, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, that raised "significant safety concerns" prompted by four separate "safety events and near misses" in previous weeks, including one in which pilots had to execute an emergency pull-up maneuver to avoid crashing into the ground. Another flight cited in the document landed with less than the mandatory-minimum fuel reserves.

The two-page memo, signed by Mr. Attarian and the airline's top safety official, didn't provide specifics about the close calls, and Mr. Attarian didn't disclose additional details in his speech. But the January memo's unusually blunt language focused on the dangers of lax discipline and poor cockpit communication and coordination.

"You have to confront this head on," Mr. Attarian told an international gathering of airline officials and training providers. "I will not let United and our pilots operate in an unfettered, undisciplined and noncompliant" manner, he added.

In the past, Mr. Attarian said, United succeeded in reducing safety hazards by relying on a combination of flight-data analysis and voluntary incident reports by pilots. Such efforts helped allay risks including those from takeoff rolls halted at high speeds, as well as near midair collision incidents.

Another company safety official told the conference that similar data analysis over the years helped reduce the frequency of pilots continuing risky approaches, in which planes were descending too quickly toward the runway or lining up to land at excessive forward speed. Results included "four consecutive year-over-year improvements" in the rate of so-called unstablized approaches, according to Chris Sharber, a United training captain.

In his remarks, Mr. Attarian stressed that the company's management remained convinced that putting out the memo was the right move, and he said the decision was supported by "most everybody," including pilots.

None of the incidents cited in the memo resulted in aircraft damage or injuries, but it underscored broader safety concerns stemming from demographic trends and personnel shifts affecting pilots, including retirements, new hires and aviators transferring to different aircraft types. Such change, according to the document, "introduces significant risk to the operation."

In his remarks this week, Mr. Attarian said "we observed behavior that was unacceptable, in my opinion." The importance of doing something to curb such lapses, he said, was "fully supported by the data" company officials analyzed. He said the training and cockpit-monitoring changes are intended to ensure that pilots operate appropriately and under "scrutiny of programs that were intended to keep the airline safe."

Write to Andy Pasztor at andy.pasztor@wsj.com


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Zimbabwe: Air Force Jet Crashes in Gweru

Two Air Force of Zimbabwe pilots escaped death by a whisker when their plane crashed at an open area in Gweru yesterday after developing a fault.

Zimbabwe National Army director-general responsible for policy, public relations and international affairs Brigadier-General John Mupande confirmed the incident, saying investigations were underway to determine the exact cause of the accident.

"The Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga commended the pilots for having taken all precautionary measures that saved the lives of people and further prevented damages to civilian property." Brig-Gen Mupande said.

The pilots were taken to Thornhill Air Base hospital for a medical check up, while more than 100 AFZ officers, some in plain clothes, descended on the crash scene and movement into the affected section was restricted. A Gweru City Council fire tender was denied access to the area since the fire from the crash had been put out by AFZ fire tenders. A resident said he heard a loud bang as the plane crashed close to his house and saw a ball of fire and smoke coming from the crash site.

A Karakorum-8 (K-8) is a single-engine, advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed and manufactured jointly by Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation (HAIC) of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) to replace the ageing Cessna T-37 Tweet jet trainers which is in service with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).


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Pakistani Air Force escorts Chinese president's jet (VIDEO)
Exclusive Video Of JF-17s Escorting Chinese President's Plane,
Exclusive Video Of JF-17s Escorting Chinese President's Plane,

Apparently Air Force One isn't the only plane that gets the royal treatment while flying in the friendly skies. Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets were dispatched by the Pakistani Air Force to fly alongside Chinese President Ki Jinping's jet as it entered the country Monday.

The video gives a quick glimpse of what it takes to get crews and aircraft ready to escort the president's plane, which is common diplomatic etiquette between countries, although sometimes in countries with questionable security, combat aircraft is sent as more of a means of protection rather than proper etiquette.


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Pilots' low pay

No offense to cab drivers, but airline pilots should earn more than they do. Right now, many don't.

Uber drivers in New York City make $90,000 a year, while first-year pilots for regional carriers earn an average of $22,400. A pilot with a family could be on food stamps or working two jobs. A once-glamorous profession, commercial aviation has been battered by terrorism, poor management, and cost cutting.

After losing billions of dollars in the decade after 9-11, the fortunes of U.S. airlines are improving. They collected $7.3 billion in profit last year, thanks to lower fuel costs. Instead of giving passengers more snacks, they should invest in their safety with better pay for pilots.

Pilot compensation has declined 10 percent since 2000, even as the training required of pilots has increased, along with its cost. The Federal Aviation Administration now requires pilots on commercial airliners to have 1,500 hours of flying experience, up from 250. The cost of obtaining those hours, plus a four-year aviation degree, exceeds $100,000.

While seasoned captains at major airlines earn more than that, more than half of the flights in the United States are through regional carriers. With their comparably dismal pay, a lot of men and women in the cockpit worry not just about wing icing, but also how to pay their heating bills.

As the United States loses experienced pilots to better-paying foreign airlines, a Government Accountability Office report says fewer people are entering the profession. They can't reconcile the cost of training with years of low wages.

U.S. airlines lost $63 billion in the eight years after 9-11. It will take years of profit, not a few good quarters, to recover from that hit. They're hindered by consumers who revel in cheap flights booked online. The average fare in the third quarter of 2014 was $396; in 1980, it was $600.

Even so, airlines are expected to earn more than $7 per passenger in 2015, up from $5.42 a year ago. Improved pilot pay is up to them. No matter how skillful the landing, cramped passengers in economy class aren't going to leave tips.


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DGCA panel looking into norms for checking pilots' health (India)

New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has set a committee to look into the norms for checking pilots' health in the wake of the recent Germanwings plane crash.

"There is a committee which is looking into it (the norms for assessing pilots health)," Director General of Civil Aviation M Sathiyavathy told reporters.

She, however, refused to elaborate more on the issue.
"I cannot comment further," Sathiyavathy said.

The move by Directorate General of Civil Aviation comes in the wake of the recent Germanwings airline plane crash in the Alps in which it is alleged that a mentally disturbed co-pilot crashed the plane killing all 150 people onboard.

The 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz of Germanwings was reportedly battling against severe mental health issues and even had treatment for suicidal tendencies before obtaining his pilot's licence.
As of now, nine domestic airlines, which employ over 3,000 pilots, carry out such tests on their pilots at the point of induction but there are no subsequent appraisals of their mental state. They, however, undergo physical fitness tests every six months.

Sathiyavathy also said that the DGCA is also recertifying all flying schools and non-scheduled operators, following the restoration of India's aviation safety rating back to the top category by the US aviation watchdog Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) early this month.

The FAA had downgraded India from Category I to Category II last January.
"For re-certification, we took up Air India and Jet Airways on a priority basis as they fly to the United States. Then we took up Vistara, Air Pegasus and Air Costa (the two regional carriers operating out of the southern region). Other scheduled airlines are being taken up now," she said.
The re-certifcation implies that the aviation regulator is satisfied that the airlines meet all the prescribed safety and security norms.

She was speaking on the sidelines of a function jointly organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce in New Delhi.

The function was organised to announce the dates for the 5th edition of the India Aviation international conference-exhibition in Hyderabad from March 16 next year.

Responding to a question on financial audit of domestic airlines, Sathiyvathi termed the exercise as a "regular" process.

Last year also, DGCA had conducted a similar exercise.

She defended the recent notices issued to some of the Jet Airways pilots for allegedly flying without clearing the mandatory pilots' proficiency check or PPC, though the airline had rebutted these allegations.
"As far as (Jet Airways) pilots are concerned, there were two aspects based on which we had issued show cause notices to some of them and not only Jet Airways," Sathiyavathy said.

DGCA is right: An upgraded safety record doesn't mean India can afford to get complacent now

"One was that people were not having pilot proficiency certificates and the other was that they were not undergoing breath analyser tests.... These are minor aberrations," she said.

The DGCA head also denied that national carrier Air India was given any dispensation as far as operating flights with less than required number of cabin crew was concerned.

"No special dispensation has been given to Air India with regard to number of crew," she said.
Responding to a question on the air fares, which sky-rocket during the peak seasons but hit rock bottom in the low demand season, she said that the regulator's job was just to ensure that the airlines adhere to the published fares only.

"We are monitoring the tariff and ensure that they (airlines) charge as per the published rates....I can only ensure that it is within the band that they publish. Beyond that it is a free thing," Sathiyavathi said.



ATSB releases new month old images of Pel-Air wreckage (Australia)

It seems to have occurred to someone in the ATSB that it does need to eventually post updates on the re-opened inquiry into the 2009 Pel-Air crash which it botched the first time around.

The safety bureau has just posted some new images of the wreckage on the sea floor off Norfolk Island, although it is almost a month since the crash scene was resurveyed in advance of actually making an attempt to retrieve the flight recorder from the rear section of ditched Westwind corporate jet.

The jet operated by Pel-Air, was conducting an air ambulance flight from Apia to Melbourne when it found itself unable to land as intended at Norfolk Island to refuel.

The dysfunctional manner in which the prolonged ATSB inquiry was conducted is laid bare in the peer review of the procedures following by the safety body by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, but only if you read all of that report rather than rely upon the summaries offered by it and the Department of Infrastructure which is responsible for both the safety investigator and the air safety regulator CASA.

The crux of the Pel-Air controversy is that the pilot was framed by the ATSB and CASA while the safety regulator improperly withheld an internal report which found gross failures on its part to correctly oversight or remedy what was found to have been serious safety deficiencies by the operator.

The ATSB says it doesn't appear from the late March survey that any attempt has been made to retrieve the flight data recorder (or other wreckage) although there are claims that life rafts from the flight had already been previously recovered in the aftermath of the heroic rescue of the six people on board the flight by the crew of a Norfolk Island fishing vessel.



Does missing pilot have a license to fly?



Pilot identified as Lee Leslie, 41, of Vancouver
Missing Piper Cherokee 'very common trainer'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) - It has been more than 48 hours since a Vancouver father's plane went missing somewhere over Oregon or Washington, and Thursday night KOIN 6 News found out it appears the man doesn't have a current license to fly.

The Oregon Civil Air Patrol continued its search efforts to find 41-year-old Lee Leslie's plane on Thursday. The man is described as 5-feet-10, 180 pounds and was last seen wearing a red polo shirt and light colored pants. He is the only confirmed person on board the plane.

After extensive searching, KOIN 6 News could not find a current pilot license registered to Leslie's name. He also had his driver's license suspended due to a lengthy criminal traffic history.

A specially equipped Cessna 182 search and rescue aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol are currently involved in a missing aircraft search (Oregon CAP file photo)

The plane, a single engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee, is not registered with the FAA. CAP officials said they received a weak emergency signal Thursday within the search area, south of the Aurora State Airport and closer to Eugene. They sent a plane and ground searchers to the area, but did not find anything.

"We are looking for broken tree tops, any signs of an airplane or anything that does not belong where we sit," Richard Richmond said.

Richmond, one of the searchers with CAP, said what makes this case so difficult, is that there is no record of any communication with Leslie during this flight.

"It's hard to understand why we are not seeing anything in the valley here," Richmond said.

The single engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee left Hobby Field in Creswell around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oregon CAP said. It was supposed to land at the Pearson Air Park in Vancouver, Washington but was reported missing Tuesday evening.

Oregon CAP has three aircraft and 15 people involved in the search.

"The FAA radar had him on track for a period of time and then he dropped off radar," Lt. Col.Ted Tanory said. KOIN 6 News learned the last known spot was over a heavily forested area that was on the original flight path.

"We will continue searching as long as we possibly can as long, as we can safely keep our planes in the air," he said.




Turns Out Airplane 'Oxygen Masks' Aren't Exactly Filled With Oxygen

Man with oxygen mask hanging in front of face, on airliner

Frequent travelers know that in the event of changes in cabin air pressure, one must put on his or her own oxygen mask before helping others. But have you ever wondered what's actually inside that thing?

We wondered too, after the fine folks at io9 pointed out that oxygen masks can be made with chemicals that you'd never want to breathe anytime soon. We asked our trusty travel experts to put things in plane terms.

The air in your "oxygen mask" starts out not as oxygen, but as a bunch of other chemicals.

Yes, those chemicals become breathable oxygen, but they don't start out that way. Your "passenger service unit" actually uses a cocktail of chemicals, which are usually stowed in an overhead oxygen generator.

If cabin pressure drops, either the flight crew or an automatic trigger releases the masks. When you pull down on the mask, you're releasing those overhead chemicals -- commonly sodium perchlorate and an iron oxide -- and letting them mix together. The chemical reaction, or "burning," makes oxygen that flows to you. It also makes the overhead chamber REALLY hot, according to Arch Carson, an occupational health expert at the University of Texas.

"When you pull down on the mask, it'll generate a burning smell," Carson told The Huffington Post. "It's a bit like turning on a new oven." Woof.

...but don't worry; you can breathe it in safely.

"You might get some small bits of chemical dust," Carson said. "But it's way better than the alternative, which is passing out due to lack of oxygen."

Your oxygen will last only about 15 minutes.

Passenger oxygen masks typically provide enough air to last 12 to 20 minutes. However, this is usually plenty of time for the pilot to get the plane to a safe altitude where masks aren't needed anymore, according to Air Force flight surgeon Dr. Gregory Pinnell.

"Pilots can get down much more quickly than it takes to run out of oxygen," he said. "They know the situation."

But it's crucial to put your mask on first, and to do it fast.

Low cabin pressure triggers a mask drop. And when oxygen is that scarce, it's important to fix things fast.

If you don't put your mask on within 30 seconds of a pressure change, you risk passing out, Pinnell said.

"Once the cabin loses oxygen, passengers can become lightheaded and disoriented... and then lose consciousness," adds air travel expert George Hobica. "It's important to act quickly."

He points out that making sure you've got oxygen first is key if you want to be alert enough to help others. Focus and calm are all you need to conquer an emergency landing with flying colors.



Costa Rica closes San Jose airport due to volcanic ash


Passengers queue up in a terminal at Juan Santamaria international airport in Alajuela April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Randall Vargas

(Reuters) - Authorities in Costa Rica temporarily closed the airport in the capital city San Jose on Thursday after the eruption of the Turrialba volcano, the company which operates the airport said.

The volcano spewed gas and ash over various parts of San Jose, some 31 miles (50 km) from Turrialba, including the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Ash can affect the safety of flights during takeoff and landing.

"The airport will be closed until midnight (2 a.m. EDT)," a spokeswoman for Aeris, which operates the airport, said, adding that 18 flights have been canceled so far.

Families living near the volcano were evacuated in March after the biggest eruption in two decades. That event also forced the airport to close, affecting more than a hundred flights.



Top 5 Modern Improvements in Aviation Safety

By Eric "Cap'n Aux" Auxier / Published April 23, 2015

While the airline accident du jour continues to (annoyingly) grab the headlines and be overanalyzed ad nauseum by the media's self-proclaimed yet often clueless "experts," airline safety continues to improve by leaps and bounds. All this blathering tends to worry the public, giving them a false perspective on aviation safety.

In recent decades, however, improvements and inventions have transformed the cockpit-and thus the airline industry-from impressibly safe to incredibly safe.

Notes and Disclaimers:

*This is my opinion, as an "industry insider" (Yes, a "self-proclaimed expert!")

*For many of the factoids presented below, I use the "lazy man's reference": Google search, followed by Wikipedia.

*The Top 5 are in somewhat random order, rather than implied effectiveness. The exception is Number 1 which, in my opinion, has been the greatest improvement to aviation safety in the modern jet era.

Number 5: TCAS-Traffic Collision Avoidance System
Many improvements in aviation safety have come off the backs of airline tragedies. In fact, today's modern Air Traffic Control system traces its roots to the tragic midair collision over the Grand Canyon, when a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 struck a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation. All 128 on board both flights perished.

As a result, the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA, later renamed the Federal Aviation Administration,) which in turn greatly expanded the Air Route Traffic Control System, a series of ground-based radar controllers. Today, virtually every square inch of the contiguous 48 states enjoy radar control.

On-board, another wonderful advancement in technology has been TCAS. Using radar data from "Mode C" airplanes-which reply to ATC radar interrogation signals with data such as identification, speed and altitude-the on-board TCAS system warns of potential threats of other aircraft. If both planes have TCAS on board, in an emergency situation, the two boxes will coordinate with each other to come up with a vertical "solution," commanding one plane to climb and the other to descend.

Number 4: EGPWS-Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System
Another wake up call for the industry came in the form of American Airlines Flight 965 into Cali, which suffered a catastrophic "CFIT"-Controlled Flight Into Terrain. In nighttime, "severe clear" conditions, the experienced crew flew a perfectly good airliner straight into a mountainside, killing all 159 passengers and eight crew members.

The airplane was equipped with the revolutionary new "GPWS," Ground Proximity Warning System, which looks at radar altimeter data to predict a possible impact with terrain. However, the warning came too late, and the pilots were unable to out-climb the terrain.

Today's "Enhanced" GPWS gives the modern airliner a worldwide terrain database which greatly improves the safety margin, and even displays the potential hazardous terrain on the pilots' ND, or Nav Displays.

Along with TCAS, this has greatly aided the pilots' situational awareness.

Number 3: LLWAS-Low Level Windshear Alert System
Another tragedy that led to great improvements in safety was the 1975 crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 66. Flight 66 was a victim of "Windshear" caused by a thunderstorm microburst-that is, a rapid change in the direction and speed of the airmass in which it was flying, causing the Boeing 727 to stall shortly before landing, killing 113 of 124 on board.

A plane is simply a body moving through a fluid, much like a boat in a river. In any given configuration, there will be a minimum airspeed at which the plane can fly. The wind, like the river's current, can change. If the wind changes in speed and/or direction fast enough, the plane may theoretically lose that airspeed for a few critical moments before adjusting. In extreme cases, it may be too much from which an airplane can recover.

In the aftermath of Eastern, NASA developed a new system called LLWS-1 to detect these rapid changes in windspeed and direction, most often associated with microbursts. Over the years, this system has been improved and refined, including the incorporation of Doppler radar. If convective activity (i.e. thunderstorms) are detected in the area, LLWS advisories are given to arriving and departing aircraft.

Another recent addition to the cockpit has been predictive windshear detection systems, which uses onboard Doppler weather radar to detect shears in precipitation ahead of the aircraft.

Number 2: RSWS-Runway Safety Warning System
The most deadly accident in aviation history remains 1977s Tenerife collision between two B-747s, in which 583 people lost their lives. The accident was the result of a "runway transgression" when, in foggy weather, one B-747 began the takeoff roll while another was still on the runway.

Runway transgressions remain a hazard. To alleviate this threat, one of the most recent and delightful additions to the U.S. aviation safety system has been the Runway Safety Warning System.

RSWS uses transponder data from all aircraft to detect movement of an arriving or departing aircraft on a runway. When one is detected, red lights illuminate at runway intersections to alert transiting aircraft. Conversely, when an airplane is lined up at the end of the runway, ready to takeoff, and another is cleared to cross downfield, a row of red bars light up in front of the departing aircraft as a warning.

Currently, RSWS has been installed at several airports, and is rapidly expanding in use.

Number 1: CRM-Crew Resource Management
In some ways, technology has advanced aviation safety to the point where the human pilots themselves have become the airplane's greatest liability. This has prompted some nincompoops to suggest the safest cockpit may be the one with no pilots.

I vehemently disagree with this absurd statement.

While humans may be the airplane's greatest liability, they also remain-head and shoulders above anything else-its greatest safety asset.

As we have tragically learned in the recent Germanwings crash, the human element can play a major role in aviation safety. Obviously, a homicidal pilot is exceedingly rare, but human factors still effect today's airline pilot. While the FAA and the public tend to treat us pilots as automatons that can fly without human issues, airline pilots are constantly facing such factors as fatigue, stress, and, yes, the need to "tend to one's physiological needs," as the FAA dryly puts it, by using the lavatory inflight.

In short, sad to say, we are still mortal humans.

This being said-and I say again-the human pilot is by far the greatest safety "device" onboard your airplane. While drones and autopilots tend to grab the headlines ("Today's planes practically fly themselves, right?"), the bottom line remains:

Computers can Process, but they can't think.

Would you trust your car's cruise control to drive you to the grocery store? Thought not. As sophisticated as it is, today's modern airliner autopilot is nothing more than a fancy, 3D cruise control.

And therein lies the most important safety issue in an airplane: Judgement-i.e, the thinking human mind.

-Can a computer decide to ditch in the Hudson?

-Can a computer troubleshoot bad data for 2 hours in an A380 after the engine explodes and safely land the vastly overweight plane, saving over 400 passengers and crew, a la Captain Richard de Crespigny and his amazing crew aboard Qantas Flight QF32?

In case you're wondering, the answer is a definitive NO.

A computer can't even decide what to have for lunch.

As a result, I believe, the "thinking" computer-the one that exercises (NOT "simulates") true judgement-is still a hundred years in our future.

The single pilot airliner concept is equally absurd. In my 35 years of flying, I have repeatedly observed that the 2-pilot flight deck is the safest, most practical concept conceived. Two heads are exponentially better than one. Two pilots-a Captain and First Officer (NOT a "Pilot" and "Copilot," TUVM!)-can trap each other's errors, discuss fuzzy issues such as deviation around weather or diversion to take on more fuel, and assist each other when the lav juice hits the fan.

I have talked extensively on my blog and in other articles about CRM, or Crew Resource Management, so I won't go into much detail here. Nevertheless, it remains a critical component to the vast improvement in aviation safety over the past few decades.

Captain Richard de Crespigny and I explore this topic in depth in his fascinating, 3-part video interview, coming soon.

In short, however, CRM can be summed up in this:

The old maritime tradition that "The Captain is God" has given way in recent decades to the concept that, "The Captain is in charge, leading a team of experienced, qualified professionals."

In other words, the Captain respectfully solicits the input from his valuable crew-especially his First Officer-before making critical decisions. In turn, a good captain creates a trusting environment wherein each crew member feels valued, and safe to speak up about any concerns.

For a fun analogy, look at the "evolution" of the captains in the Star Trek TV series.

Originally, we had Captain Kirk, of the old "Captain is God" school. In Star Trek The Next Generation, however, we met Captain Jean Luc Picard, who not only valued his fellow crew, but actively sought their advice.

Kirk may be the baddest-ass captain of all time . . . but Captain Picard was a better captain.

For more on this fascinating subject, don't miss airline pilot and author Jean Denis Marcellin's excellent book, The Pilot Factor.

Honorable Mentions
Weather Radar-Around since WWII, weather radar has evolved into a highly sophisticated device which allows pilots to navigate around the stormy weather. Absolutely invaluable in today's cockpit.

Transponder/Mode C Transponder- Tracing its roots back to the original "IFF" (Identify Friend or Foe) system of WWII, the transponder is another wonderful tool that transmits aircraft data (identification, speed, altitude) to the interrogating signal, i.e., radar facilities. Mode C introduced the vertical portion of the equation, that is, altitude reporting.

EFIS-Electronic Flight Instrumentation Systems-In nearly every aircraft cockpit today, the EFIS system consolidates the six standard flight instruments of yesteryear, often called "steam gauges," into one CRT or LED (i.e., "TV") screen, helping today's pilot to more easily fly on instruments. Moreover, the EFIS is incorporated into the autopilot, which in turns increases safety by relieving the pilot of the burden of mundane flying tasks and frees up his or her attention to take in "the Big Picture."


Eric Auxier is an airline pilot by day, writer by night, and kid by choice.

AuxCockpitGateHiAn A320 Captain for a major U.S. airline, he has over 21,000 hours of flying in a career spanning 35 years. He has flown the A320-class Airbus (A321-A319) for the past 20 years, and has over 14,000 hours in type. He is also type rated in the Boeing 737 and DHC-8. His flying career has taken him from the Alaska bush to the Caribbean Islands and everywhere in between. A popular aviation blogger at "Adventures of Cap'n Aux" (capnaux.com) and author of four books, in 2013 he captured the coveted Amazon Top 100 Breakthrough Novels Award for "The Last Bush Pilots."



AOPA asks FAA to close gaps in UAS rule

By Elizabeth A Tennyson

GA advocates seek UAS rulesAOPA is asking the FAA to close gaps in the agency's proposed rules governing small commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The association made the recommendations in formal comments filed April 22 in response to the FAA's notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

While AOPA called the NPRM "a good first step toward safe integration" of UAS into the National Airspace System, the association also noted that a number of additional provisions could increase safety and make it easier for UAS operators to comply with regulations.

In its comments, AOPA asked the FAA to lower the maximum operating altitude for small commercial UAS from 500 feet to 400 feet, the same altitude now allowed to model aircraft, which would provide a small buffer between manned and unmanned operations in most areas.

To ensure that UAS can comply with altitude and other airspace limitations, AOPA also recommended that UAS meet certain equipment requirements, including the installation of an altimeter and possibly of autopilot capabilities. And the association asked the FAA to consider requiring UAS to use geo-fencing technology, a software feature that uses GPS or radio frequency identification to define geographical boundaries and serve as a virtual barrier to prevent UAS from entering airspace that is off limits.

The association also asked the FAA to prohibit UAS operations in Class G airspace near airports and landing facilities.

In its comments, AOPA indicated its support for a recurrent pilot knowledge test every two years, but suggested the training be Web-based to lower the cost of compliance and allow more widespread access to required training.

To ensure that UAS can be identified in the event of an accident, incident, or violation, AOPA asked the FAA to implement additional requirements, including the establishment of a publicly accessible database of small commercial UAS.

AOPA noted that while the NPRM does not address recreational UAS operations, the FAA should take additional steps to issue clear and definitive guidance for recreational operators and publish guidance to help pilots file timely reports of reckless UAS operations.

Elizabeth Tennyson 

 Elizabeth A Tennyson | Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications, AOPA
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.






Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium


15-16 September 2015 * Centara Grand Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand


Call for Papers 


The Journal for Civil Aviation Training (CAT) is now accepting presentation abstracts for the world's largest  aviation training event in the Asia Pacific region. A limited number of speaker slots are available at the 12th APATS event, to be held 15-16 September, 2015, at the Centara Grand Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand.


Over many years the challenges in aviation training have evolved, and increasingly detailed research has helped to develop a better understanding of the issues. Many conferences have provided an excellent platform on which to reveal the type and extent of the problems, but frequently the optimum solutions to these have been more difficult to discern.


The challenge for APATS 2015 is to identify and present practical solutions to some of the current headline topics in the aviation training world. The overall theme of APATS 2015 is "Training Solutions".

Presentation abstracts are invited to present best practice in the following areas, and the conference will be shaped by those abstracts.


How do we:

1. Recruit and retain new aviation professionals?
2. Select ab intio pilots, experienced crews and captains?
3. Adapt to cultural issues in the cockpit?
4. Deliver effective CRM?
5. Ensure that ICAO Level 4 Aviation English is properly examined?
6. Train to improve situational awareness?
7. Implement Evidence Based Training?
8. Train for Upset Prevention and Recovery?
9. Train to deal with lithium battery fires?
10. Deliver balanced assertiveness training for cabin crew?


Preference will be given to air carriers and training organisations with real world insights and "Lessons Learned" information. In no case will sales presentations be accepted. Actual presentations must fit into the APATS format which is 20 minutes, followed by a Q&A period. Longer presentations may be accepted if an in-depth explanation is required. In each case we are looking for two or three clear take-away ideas, so that those who deliver training, or who need certain capabilities can leave the conference with some specific plans to improve training. 


To propose a presentation for the APATS conference, please send a maximum 200 word abstract by 30th April, 2015. Abstracts are required to be accompanied by a short biography of the speaker which should include contact information, titles, positions and employers, academic background and any conference presentation experience. Authors of accepted speaker proposals will be notified by 31st May, 2015. Abstracts can be sent to Chris Long, Conference Chair, at chris.long@halldale.com. File a copy to fiona@halldale.com and put "APATS 2015 ABSTRACT" in the subject block.


For more information about APATS 2015, please visit www.halldale.com/apats  


Best regards,

Chris Long
APATS 2015 Conference Chair


The Aeronautics Committee of the New York City Bar Association and Vaughn College host:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Law, Technology and Social Implications


Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m.

6 to 9 p.m., free


Panelists to include:  Brendan Schulman, Special Counsel, Kramer, Levin, Naftalis and Frankel; Ketih Hagy, Director, Engineering and Air Safety, Airline Pilots Association; Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project; Loretta Alkalay, Former Regional Counsel at Federal Aviation Administration; and Moderator Douglas McQueen, Aviation Attorney, LeClair Ryan.


The House of the New York City Bar Association

42 West 44 Street

New York, NY


RSVP:  Alison Surcouf, asurcouf@condonlaw.com, 212.894.6863

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Society of Air Safety Investigators Pakistan, announce

"Aviation Security Management Course"

To be conducted by IATA at

Ramada Plaza Karachi, Pakistan (8th to 12th June, 2015).



  • Combine security with customer service ,
  • Select AvSec contractors and create RFPs
  • Manage human factors in aviation security
  • Implement quality control measures to improve security
  • Conduct vulnerability assessment of your organization
  • Evaluate screening points and procedures for passenger and cargo

Target Audience

  • Managers from airports, airlines or civil aviation authorities , service providers
  • Ground Handling agencies.
  • Civil organizations who play vital role in responding to major security emergencies
  • Airport and Airlines administration representatives
  • Custom and immigration personnel.

Key Topics

  • Implementing international and national security legislation (EU, TSA)
  • Applying Annex 17, ICAO and IATA security manuals
  • Contract management and Service Level  Agreements (SLA)
  • In-house versus outsourced aviation security
  • Controlling the flow of passenger and baggage
  • Evaluating facilitation and Security Management Systems (SeMS)
  • Ensuring the security of cargo, catering and stores
  • Vulnerability assessments of airport facilities  and  Guaranteeing asset protection
  • Preventing fraud and smuggling  and  Responding to major security emergencies


What you get - Participants will receive a consolidated reference binder of class material with CD and a certificate by IATA.


Course Location   Karachi -A shopper's paradise. The cheapest city of the world has a wide range of activities for visitors; eating out is a fun in Karachi. Shopping malls and traditional bazaars where you can buy carpets, wooden articles and leather products.


Cost - 1,695 US $ per person. It includes course material, snacks during tea and coffee break and lunch during course days. It also includes a welcome breakfast on first day and course dinner with a boat trip at "Port Grand" the land mark of Karachi. Free pick and drop from airport and two guided tours of the Karachi city on weekend


For Registration rashidabhatti@hotmail.com   for details Visit: www.sasi-pakistan.org


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Hello, you are receiving this message as a courtesy to Mr. Hussain Alhallaf, a Ph.D. candidate
at Florida Institute of Technology's doctoral program in Aviation Sciences in the College of
Aeronautics. He is examining the relationship between factors affecting the aviation profession
and the concept of aviation professionalism, specifically understanding aviation
professionalism, and is seeking your assistance to complete an online questionnaire, which
would take 10-15 minutes to complete. Mr. Alhallaf endeavors to understand why the aviation
profession is such an important career and how can we improve ourselves as professionals
within the aviation profession. In addition to taking the survey we also are seeking your
generosity in distributing the survey's link. Your assistance and participation are totally

To participate, you may access the online survey via the following link:

If you have any questions or are unable to distribute the email to your members, please do not hesitate to
contact me via e-mail at halhallaf2014@my.fit.edu or by Cell phone at (386) 847-7671.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Yours faithfully,

Hussain Alhallaf
Ph.D. candidate in Aviation Sciences

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Upcoming Events:


ERAU Aircraft Accident Investigation Seminar

Daytona Beach, FL

Apr. 27-May 1, 2015



ISASI MARC Meeting/Dinner

April 30, 2015

Herndon, Virginia



GWBAA Safety Standdown
April 30th
NTSB Academy


ERAU Advanced Aircraft Accident Investigation Seminar

Prescott Campus, AZ

May 4-8, 2015



IATA Cabin Operations Safety Conference
May 5-7, 2015
Paris, France


ERAU Aviation SMS Seminar

Daytona Beach, FL

May 12-14, 2015



Aircraft Accident Investigation - Fire and Material Failures

New course offered by BlazeTech Corp.

Woburn MA USA

19-21 May 2015



Fundamentals of IS-BAH

June 15, 2015

St. Hubert, Quebec  Canada



IS-BAH Auditing

June 16, 2015

St. Hubert, Quebec  Canada



6th Pan American Aviation Safety Summit
June 22-26th
Medellin, Colombia



Fundamentals of IS-BAO

April 23, 2015

PCAT Safety Smackdown, San Antonio TX  USA



IS-BAO Auditing

April 24, 2015

PCAT Safety Smackdown, San Antonio TX  USA



Fundamentals of IS-BAO

May 12, 2015

Toluca, Mexico



IS-BAO Auditing

May 13, 2015

Toluca, Mexico





Aviation Technical Writer




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"Flight Safety Information" is a free service of:   

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Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC is an international, multi-discipline technical and scientific consulting firm specializing in aviation and industrial safety. Our specialties are aviation litigation support, aviation/airport safety programs, accident investigation and reconstruction, safety & quality assessments/audits, system safety (PRA), human factors, Safety Management Systems (SMS) assessment/implementation & training, safety/quality training & risk management, aviation manual development, IS-BAO Auditing, airfield/heliport lighting products, patent infringement/invalidity expert testimony and Technical Support.