Reply to post: Re: Why are these guys even in charge?

Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'unlocked tailbooms' going through sound barrier

I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

Re: Why are these guys even in charge?

Destroy all Monsters,

You seem to be under the misapprehension that this is easy. It isn't. Air safety isn't just about making sure the wings don't fall off. It's also about making sure the maintenance department do their job properly, the pilots are correctly trained and that obvious stuff doesn't get missed when things get stressful.

Air satefy has moved into the realms of trying to explain all the reasons why the accident happened, both human and mechanical, then changing all the aspects of the industry necessary to stop it happening again.

Planes have been lost for all sorts of trivially stupid reasons. In many cases there's a combination of several sets of mechanical and/or human errors that lead to a crash. Perhaps an un-recognised design flaw happens to coincide with a maintenance error on a flight where the pilots are tired, miss the signs and it all goes wrong.

Sometimes the solution is simply to add a line or two to a checklist, or to change training methods. Sometimes it's to alter the controls to be less confusing to pilots under stress. Sometimes it requires a change to maintenance regimes. Others it requires the whole aircraft be redeisgned, and modifications done to all existing models.

That's all done by an outside body, in cooperation with the manufacturer and operator. Partly to check up that they're not making basic errors, or worse covering up. But also because investigating accidents is hard, and so you need an experienced body of people to do it.

So we probably know that the tail deployed. But we need to ask why. Perhaps something weird happened. Or the controls are badly designed. Perhaps a sudden jolt of turbulence too strong for the tail to remain in correct position, once unlocked? Or maybe the craft had a pressurisation problem and the pilots were suffering from anoxia, and so making mistakes, that can be an insidious problem. Or something else entirely.

Don't knock the culture in aviation of independent safety inspections. It is one of the safest forms of travel. And the only one I can think of that beats it is rail, which also has independent accident investigation boards.

The idea is not to blame people for errors that are inevitable. But to try to improve methods of working so that these errors don't occur again. Sadly we then find different ways of screwing-up...

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