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Thursday, 5 March 2009

Crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 at Amsterdam - the media

I really hate the media fueled frenzy over accidents in the aviation business. I read on one blog that fuel starvation was the reason, which is clearly not true. I read that Turkish Airlines were accused of poor maintenance, why? Because the day before the crash they fixed a faulty master caution light.

I have read that the auto-throttles had gone into retard mode, and that the captain's radar altimeter had suddenly under-read. That could be part of the cause. However, it's all just speculation.

Wouldn't it be nice to expect accident investigation authorities to produce an authoritative report, free of political pressures, free of fears of litigation, and accurate. However the sceptic in me knows that the reports are slow to arrive, are often driven by political agendas of many kinds, and so rarely do anything to prevent similar accidents in the future.

It's so easy to simply say, "pilot error" and be done with it.

It's so easy to blame everyone and anyone.

It's so sad that in the end - all aircraft accidents are preventable. All it would take would be one break in the usual chain of events that lead to the mishap to prevent it. If the above speculation is true, the pressing of one button and flying the aircraft by hand would have prevented this particular tragedy. Too much reliance on technology, autopilots, auto-throttles, GPS or inertial navigation systems.. etc., have caused accidents and will continue to do so. Is it laziness? Is it a lack of attention?

Let's get back to basics, pilots, and for heaven's sake fly the aircraft!

See also Buffalo's accident! They didn't fly the aircraft!


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