Flight Safety Australia Summer 2023
For many aviation enthusiasts, owning an aircraft is a dream come true. The sense of freedom and the ability to soar through the skies at will is unparalleled. However, aircraft ownership also comes with the responsibility to operate it safely, as Monica Kade writes in ‘Your own set of wings.’ And there’s no getting round that this responsibility comes at a financial cost, as you are responsible for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
In ‘Plan to survive’ Thomas P Turner says, ‘I’ve been an active flight instructor for 36 years and, for most of that time, have been creating lessons based on accident data. In that time, I’ve learnt a few things about flying’s risks and its rewards. The key lesson on risks is: The causes of almost all accidents are very predictable. We’re doing the same things again and again. The good news is this means most accidents are preventable, if we heed the lessons learnt from the unfortunate experiences of others.’
‘Seven deadly shortcuts’ analyses cognitive biases in aviation. Robert Wilson says the habits and tricks your brain uses to get you through everyday life become a problem when they run riot in the cockpit. The feature discusses the concept of the fast-thinking mind – automatically does 98% of thought – and the slow but thorough part of our thinking.
A timely article by Angela Stephenson is ‘Smoke is no joke.’ She got lost in smoke haze very close to an airport and discusses the hazards for pilots of smoke from bushfires. ‘During the 2019–2020 Black Summer bushfire season, it appears smoke was an extraordinary challenge for many.’
Kreisha Ballantyne takes a look at the effectiveness of aviation safety awareness campaigns in Australia and overseas. ‘The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is working closely with the ATSB, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Airservices Australia, Bureau of Meteorology and industry bodies to improve aviation safety through the Your safety is in your hands campaign.’
In ‘Power to the pedal’ Brendan Reinhardt analyses an ATSB report of an accident on the Great Barrier Reef when a helicopter crashed, flown by a newly converted pilot who was inexperienced in the characteristics of the new type. The main rotor of the Airbus EC120 turns clockwise when viewed from above, so the fuselage will want to turn left. The aircraft was coming into a pontoon, with a right crosswind, and yawed left quickly, before the pilot could correct with tail rotor.
One of the popular close calls is ‘I didn’t plan on that’ in which a pilot almost ran out of fuel, due to not knowing the fuel burn of the aircraft he was hiring, and running on full rich for too long. The main lesson here is don't assume anything, the pilot says.
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.