International flight crews share a never-ending need for a good night’s rest. Now there’s a proven link between exercise in moderation and sleep quality. A new report from the National Sleep Foundation studied 1,000 adults between ages 23 and 60 and found that those who exercised in the seven days before the survey reported better quality of sleep than those who did not. Surprisingly, both groups averaged about the same number of hours of total rest–just short of seven.
Air France Flight 447
What if technology could help pilots recover an airplane when it is clear (to the software) that the pilot’s actions are trending toward an accident?
At a time when aviation has achieved an extraordinarily high level of safety, regulators and safety organizations are pushing for more improvements in pilot training to preempt future accidents and ensure that new pilots entering the ranks start off with the right approach. One of the key areas receiving extensive examination is stall training, both in the early stages of ab initio training and how it is taught later to pilots who are flying sophisticated high-performance jets.
By all accounts, the 1996 genesis of Bombardier’s Safety Standdown, an event that now regularly draws nearly 500 aviators to Wichita annually, was rather humble. Bob Agostino, director of Bombardier’s Flight Operations at the time and a trained accident investigator, asked his pilots for their thoughts after a particularly difficult accident investigation. One of them, Air Force veteran Dave Sullivan, explained how the military dealt with similar issues.
The International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (Icatee) published an article this summer in the ICAO Training Report that said, “The number-one cause of commercial jet transport fatalities…[is] loss-of-control-in-flight (LOC-I).” Icatee chairman Sunjoo Advani said, “[The problem] cannot be simply solved through technology or through current pilot training paradigms.” Coincidentally, Boeing’s statistical summary of commercial jet airplane accidents worldwide operations 1959–2011 showed more fatalities caused by LOC-I accidents than by any other.
The largest threat to aviation safety is loss of control (LOC) and it stems mainly from inadequate pilot training, according to the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (Icatee). The group was created in June 2009 as an arm of the UK-based Royal Aeronautical Society and tasked specifically with suggesting training alternatives to reduce LOC accidents.
The final report on the crash of Air France Flight 447 is giving ergonomics specialists food for thought. One area of particular focus has been the stall warning, which the report says the crew ignored.
Thales (Chalet S1) is here exhibiting its future cockpit concept: Odicis (one display for a cockpit interactive solution) with additional functions. Engineers have endeavored to make ground and air segments work together seamlessly in next-generation air traffic management (ATM) systems such as the Single European Sky and U.S. NextGen. The philosophy of Odicis is to have more information displayed and still make the crew’s job easier.
In its final report into the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 over the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009, French air accident investigation agency BEA (Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses) has managed to explain most–but not all–of the pitch-up inputs by the pilot who was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident during the last minutes of Air France Flight 447.