Category: Aviation

Loss of Power in Flight

Posted on June 12, 2020 in Aviation

In May 2019, the crew of a chartered Cessna Citation 550—being operated as an air ambulance flight—experienced a total power loss that began just over an hour into the flight. With a tremendous amount of skill, and with nurses and patients on board, the pilots performed a successful no-engine landing. The failure was later traced…

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Weather is a Factor in Crashes

Posted on June 8, 2020 in Aviation

Weather is a cause or contributing factor to a number of plane and helicopter crashes. Weather is constantly in flux and even though pilots may focus on pre-flight planning including weather, they must monitor weather forecasts during the flight and make changes when and if necessary. General aviation pilots should always plan an alternative course…

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Careful Flight Planning Reduces Risk

Posted on June 1, 2020 in Aviation

As part of a preflight preparation, general aviation pilots on cross-country flights may want to avoid high-traffic areas near busy airports. The pilot should also check the status of military airspace, alert areas, and look for notices to airmen outlining potential hazards such as unmanned aircraft operations. Careful flight planning can help ensure safe operations…

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Pilots and Alcohol

Posted on May 25, 2020 in Aviation

There are safety rules for pilots, just like for  people driving cars. For instance, a pilot should not consume alcohol or other intoxicants within 8 hours prior to flying and should always consider the lasting effects of alcohol the following day. Issues that seem mundane for the general public can be of great concern for…

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Mechanical Difficulty In Flight

Posted on May 18, 2020 in Aviation

If an airplane or helicopter is damaged or encounters mechanical difficulty that is hazardous to flight or ground operations, the pilot should land as soon as practical and not attempt to takeoff. Continuing on to the intended destination is often an unnecessary risk that can lead to a crash.

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Poorly-Maintained Aircraft are Not Airworthy

Posted on May 10, 2020 in Aviation

Airplane and helicopter owners and operators should maintain their aircraft in accordance with the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness found in the Airplane Maintenance Manual. Failure to do so can make the aircraft unairworthy.

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Pilot Use of Supplemental Oxygen

Posted on May 3, 2020 in Aviation

Pilots should use supplemental oxygen and confirm saturation levels are above 90% by utilizing a pulse oximeter when operating aircraft above 10,000 feet during the day or above 5,000 feet at night.

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Minimizing Aircraft Crash Injuries

Posted on April 28, 2020 in Aviation

A pilot facing an emergency landing when airplane or helicopter damage is unavoidable must remember that minimizing crash injuries are in large part a matter of keeping the cabin area as contained as possible by using the wings, landing gear, fuselage bottom to absorb the violence of the landing before it affects the passengers and…

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Electrical Fires During Flight

Posted on April 21, 2020 in Aviation

Electrical fires during a flight are often detected by the smell insulation burning. When such a fire occurs the pilot must check all the circuit breakers, flight instruments and lights to find the source. If the source cannot be found and fixed, the battery master and alternator/generator switches may have to be turned off, even…

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In-flight Engine Fires

Posted on April 15, 2020 in Aviation

An airplane or helicopter engine fire is most often caused by a flammable substance such as fuel, oil, or hydraulic fluid coming in contact with a hot surface. This situation can be caused by a mechanical failure of the engine, a defective exhaust system, or a broken line. Engine fires may also result from maintenance…

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Emergency Descents

Posted on April 8, 2020 in Aviation

An emergency descent occurs when the pilot makes the aircraft descend as rapidly as possible. The need for this maneuver could be an onboard fire, a sudden loss of cabin pressure, or any other situation demanding an immediate and rapid descent. Although an emergency, a pilot should not descend beyond the structural limits of the…

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Psychological Hazards for Pilots

Posted on April 1, 2020 in Aviation

Several psychological hazards may cause a pilot to not act quickly and safely when faced with an emergency. Some of these factors include being unwilling to accept the emergency situation; a hope to save the airplane; and concern about getting hurt. Pilot training and experience in handling emergencies are critically important.

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Emergency Landings

Posted on March 21, 2020 in Aviation

There are three main types of emergency landings: a “forced landing” (an immediate landing because the plane or helicopter cannot keep flying, such as with engine failure); a “precautionary landing” (the aircraft is still flyable but not advisable, such as worsening weather, getting lost, low fuel and engine trouble); and “ditching” (a forced or precautionary…

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Handling Emergency Situations in Flight

Posted on March 15, 2020 in Aviation

Non-normal and emergency situations can occur during a flight. The key to handling such a situation is for the pilot to know and follow the procedures from the airplane or helicopter manufacturer and contained in the FAA approved Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook.

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Airline Industry Hit Hard by COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on March 12, 2020 in Aviation

Airlines are being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An industry trade group for US Airlines has warned that the recent decision on travel restrictions would hit the U.S. airline industry extremely hard. Airlines in the US have forecasted the virus could threaten to wipe out between $63 billion and $113 billion in global airline…

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