Flight Safety Australia Spring 2023
For the spring edition of Flight Safety Australia, Shelley Ross put out the call and received quite a few first-hand accounts of close calls caused by weather, with several citing violent turbulence in mountain waves. ‘Note that in every case, the pilot has worked out for themselves what they could have done better, and how they learnt a lot from an arguably scary situation,’ she says. Her feature, ‘Whatever the weather’, aligns with the Weather and forecasting segment of CASA’s pilot safety campaign.
In ‘Creatures of habit,’ Kreisha Ballantyne analyses habits and their importance – both as positives and negatives – for pilots. ‘Good ones are your best friends, bad ones are treacherous enemies, so sort out your aviation habits,’ she says. Read the article to find out about the ‘Seven deadly habitual sins.’
Instructor Thomas P Turner says the rules that govern your aircraft’s performance envelope are not imposed by regulators, but by nature – so ignore them at your peril. He analyses an incident in south-east Queensland where the pilot declared a MAYDAY when the engines of a Cessna 310R began surging alternatively. The crew had been using the auxiliary tanks which had become exhausted, resulting in fuel starvation, before they switched to the main tanks. The crew believed the auxiliary tanks were larger than was the case.
Adrian Park recalls using a very basic simulator in his teenage years and credits his time on it with his subsequent strong performance on instrument flight when he joined an Army pilots course. He says the real question for you (if you want to improve your real-world flying) is not ‘Should I get a desk-based system’ but ‘Why haven’t I got one yet?’
Robert Wilson goes back to 1943 to reanalyse the Bakers Creek disaster in which only one of the 41 people onboard survived the crash of a USAAF Boeing B-17 flying Fortress. It remains the most deadly aircraft crash on Australian soil, yet is largely unknown outside the town where it happened, due to wartime censorship. ‘The many layers of James Reason’s Swiss cheese model – active failures, preconditions, triggering events and defences, or their lack – can be clearly seen in retrospect,’ Wilson says. ‘Many things have changed in aviation but overloading, imbalance, power loss, weather and inexperience can all still kill.’
In one of the popular close calls, ‘Ice bucket challenge’, a first officer becomes a mere spectator to poor cockpit decision-making and feels the cold hand of fear.
This 64-page edition features another ‘crash comic’, tests readers’ knowledge with quizzes and has great safety reading and information valuable to everyone in aviation.
Flight Safety Australia is also available for annual subscription.