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Old 6th September 2013, 14:37   #196
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/18742...a-counterparts
I asked the same and got to know it's the extra rest periods for the pilots and other staff.

So does anyone here have any facts or data, other than personal opinion and emotional speeches, to support the claim that the Indian skies are safer than Europe or the US?
My 2 cents; I think the answer is much, much more complex than resting periods for pilots. Obviously, that is a factor.

When talking about "the safest skies" we first need to define what that means and how to measure it. There are various ways of looking at it.

One way of looking at it is by looking at accidents with fatalities and then calculating that in a meaningful way. The absolute number doesn't mean much. So usually this gets expressed in fatal accidents or casualties per flown mile or something similar. You also need to decide in what time frame. Last week, last year, last ten years.

You can find a lot of statistics on the internet that are using fairly long periods of measurement. However, the accidents rates have improved vastly over the years, so in all honesty I never understand why they do it. If you google "least safe airline" you are very likely to find Air India this way. Again, I don't think it's an appropiate way of looking at safety. They end up in this position because of a few accidents with a lot of fatalities many years ago.

Also, aviation has become incredible save. So the number of fatal accidents has reduced to the point it does not have any significant statistical significance anymore. It's one of these cases where "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" is not relevant. The pudding always taste great! But what you want to know is, what was the recipe, what ingredients were used, who was the cook, what are his qualifications etc.

So you need a system that shows in a standardized and measurebable way how "good" things are. The aviation industry has several of these systems in place. There is, to my knowledge, not one overall system that looks at each and every aspect of aviation safety.

The picture below illustrates one of those systems. Would be interesting to know the scores of India in this international system. Any of our resident pilots have that number? That would quickly give a reasonable insight as to how India compares to the rest of the world.

A few other points; Pilot resting period are of course relevant. Although very few accidents are directly related, pilot fatique has been a "contributing factor" in numerous accidents. And it is regulated through local legislation and also international agreements. It doesn't mean carriers can do better.

Just complying with the legal regulations doesn't mean you operate safely. It's a choice open to Carriers. There are carriers that use this legal rule as their company rules. There are also carriers that take their own responsibility much more serious and develop a far more elaborate and strict system when it comes to pilots physical and mental state. For instance, would you like to be flown by a pilot who is going through a very messy divorce? Or maybe one of his/her parents just died? A wife that is about to give birth?

On that last one; although you won't find it in any official report, because in those days they did not consider this, the worst accident in aviation history, the KLM-PANAM-Tenerife disaster had most likely such a contributing factor: The KLM captain had a particular situation at home, and he was probably anxious to get home and pushed on. To date, statistically speaking more accidents happen on the inbound flights than outbounds. Pilots want to get home too, and unconsciously it impacts their behaviour and performance. How do you "regulate" that?

It's not just the resting period that have impact on pilots performance. What about those carriers that pay their pilots by the hour, rather than a fixed salary? These guys get paid, only for hours flown, not for the delays. If they don't fly, they don't have income. What does that do to your thinking. Ultimately, it's first and foremost the pilot himself that needs to assess whether he or she is mentally and physically capable of flying the plane safely. So you need have a system where you encourage individuals to be extremely fair and transparant and there shouldn't be any negative consequences for them if they feel they can't fly. I believe KLM has a policy where pilots won't be rostered for duty during the last week of their wife's pregnancy.

Dont know what Indian carriers do, more than comply with Indian laws to resting periods, do they have more advanced system in place. Do Indian pilots get paid by the "hour-flown" or more a fixed salary? I have no idea. I' more familiar with USA and European based carriers.

For those that are interested here are a few interesting links to sites with a lot of data and reports on aviation safety:

http://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Main_Page

http://aviation-safety.net/index.php

If you like a daily dose of what's happening, incident/accident wise in commercial aviation, you might enjoy visiting this site:
http://avherald.com/h?list=&opt=0


Jeroen
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Old 8th September 2013, 19:48   #197
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Would be interesting to know the scores of India in this international system. Any of our resident pilots have that number? That would quickly give a reasonable insight as to how India compares to the rest of the world.
I thought I might as well look up that number myself. It's not difficult. Surf to http://www.icao.int/safety/Pages/USOAP-Results.aspx

This is an interesting page. You can build your own graph on how countries compare to the average in this system. So I built two little graphs:

First lets compare India to the average:

Name:  Indian safety.JPG
Views: 1681
Size:  43.7 KB

It clearly shows that in nearly all domains India is above average.

Now lets compare India to some European countries with big international hubs and airport, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and also the USA thrown in for good measure:

Name:  world safety.JPG
Views: 1786
Size:  61.9 KB

The conclusion is very simple; In this comparison all of the above countries have implemented nearly all the USAOP regulationans and recommendations to a greater extent than India. Does that make them safer? Well, in theory perhaps not. But have a go with this data base yourself and see what conclusion you can deduce.

It's worthwhile to also look at the audit period and the verification period to get some sense on how current the data is. But still, I think a certain picture is emerging as to the claim India has the safest skies. Now, how about those Indian carriers? Does anyone have any idea how to measure their individual safety other than looking at meaningless (my opinion) fatal accident statistics?

Jeroen
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Old 8th September 2013, 20:23   #198
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Does the website also capture details of the other seemingly minor violations such as the ATC failing to maintain sufficient distance between two planes in the air, or the pilots ignoring instructions while taxiing or in flight? These may not be fatal but have every potential to become fatal.

How does India compare against the Western countries in this regard?

There are two factors which are a contrast between India and the western countries- legislation and weather.

I have yet to see any videos of severe crosswinds making landing difficult in India, but such situations are more often encountered in the Western skies.
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Old 8th September 2013, 20:57   #199
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Does the website also capture details of the other seemingly minor violations such as the ATC failing to maintain sufficient distance between two planes in the air, or the pilots ignoring instructions while taxiing or in flight? These may not be fatal but have every potential to become fatal.

How does India compare against the Western countries in this regard?

There are two factors which are a contrast between India and the western countries- legislation and weather.

I have yet to see any videos of severe crosswinds making landing difficult in India, but such situations are more often encountered in the Western skies.
Not sure, this system is more about the implementation and adherence to standards, policies etc from the perspective of 'oversight'

If you look at accident statics for General Aviation and Commercial Aviation you will find that they share a near identical risk profile. Number one risk is what is known as "loss of control'. On number two 'controlled flight into terrain'.

The FAA in the USA started apilot proficiency program some years ago; FAA Wings. (https://www.faasafety.gov/WINGS/pppinfo/default.aspx). It's open to all pilots holding a US license. I was an active participant whilst living and flying in the USA. Completely voluntary. It's all about making pilots more aware of all factors contributing to flight safety. Amazingly the FAA found that the number of hours flown is no measure for safety. To put it differently. A new pilot with 50 hours has statistically speaking, the same chance of being in a fatal accident as a pilot with 15.000 hours. Bit of eye opener and for many very counter intuitive. Still, those are the facts. It's your total safety and awareness of the various factor that contribute to flight safety. The program has been running several years and recently they took stock on the results; Pilots under the program have a significant lower chance on being involved in fatal accidents than pilots that do not participate. It really changes the way you plan a flight, assess yourself as to whether you're physically and mentally prepared to execute a flight, how to execute the flight etc.

If anything it teaches that no matter how much training and learning you put in, safety will never be 100%. So, based on the above, I always get a little cautious when aviation experts (pilots, ATC-staff, spiciest) make claim as being the safest (plane, skies, company etc). It just doesn't correlate with anything I've been taught on how to regard flight / aviation safety.

I honestly don't know how India compares to the Western region. You would really need to look in accidents/incident databases. India as a region has a number of things that make it pretty unique. A commercial pilot friend of mine stated:

QUOTE:
There are other issues in India pilots have to deal with: a lot less radar coverage, sometimes even loss of radio contact for short periods ('if you don't catch the next frequency now, try again in 20 miles"... and there you are, on your own at FL360), interesting weather situations (monsoon and the general "hazy" Asia), and the political situation with Bangladesh where you end up listening to 3 frequencies at the same time.
UNQUOTE:

I thought your point on the "scams" was very relevant too. I read about scams and fraud every single day in Indian news papers. On this forum there are many members being very vocal about scams, fraud and similar despicable behavior within the automative industry and various authorities.

If the Indian aviation industry has come to terms with it or better yet, knows how to deal with it effectively, that in itself must be something unique. Because I read about scam and fraud in just about every Indian industry and part of society. So how does Indian aviation industry at large deals with it?

To that effect I just came across this article: http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-...1-1111704.aspx

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 8th September 2013 at 21:20.
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Old 8th September 2013, 21:31   #200
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Just an update:

I came upon a string of articles all about ICAO questioning India's current safety rating.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-...1-1111704.aspx

Also, India ICAO status might be jeopardy for other reasons: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/pBt...-airlines.html

Quote from the above:
The December audit found India wanting in its ability to oversee safety issues.
“Icao has identified a significant safety concern with respect of the ability of this state (India) to properly oversee its airlines (air operators) under is jurisdiction,” the agency said in its report, about which Mint reported on 10 March.
Icao clubbed India with Angola, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Most of the issues raised concerns about DGCA’s ability to oversee safety, he added, and with state-owned Air India’s expansion being affected, “it is about time India woke up instead of trying to sweep things under the carpet and pretend we are a safe aviation system”
Unquote

Or: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngogl...for-faa-audit/


So, it remains to be seen what happens with the formal India safety rating as shown in the graphs in my earlier posts. But something appears to be amiss. Draw your own conclusions.
Lets hear it from our own 'resident pilots' why India is the safest? The other (international) experts don't seem to agree. Nor have I been able to find any conclusive data that would point even remotely into that direction. But live and learn. I'd be very open and happy to hear a different opinion with some good factual data

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 8th September 2013 at 21:38.
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Old 8th September 2013, 22:04   #201
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

On a slightly more lighter note, have a look at this:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/04/tr...tml?hpt=hp_bn5
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Old 8th September 2013, 22:36   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
A new pilot with 50 hours has statistically speaking, the same chance of being in a fatal accident as a pilot with 15.000 hours. Bit of eye opener and for many very counter intuitive. Still, those are the facts.

...

If the Indian aviation industry has come to terms with it or better yet, knows how to deal with it effectively, that in itself must be something unique. Because I read about scam and fraud in just about every Indian industry and part of society. So how does Indian aviation industry at large deals with it?

Jeroen
There! You have answered it yourself! We are perhaps stretching that theory a bit thinner by saying even unqualified pilots stand the same chance.
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Old 9th September 2013, 06:56   #203
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
There! You have answered it yourself! We are perhaps stretching that theory a bit thinner by saying even unqualified pilots stand the same chance.
I guess so, must be the Indian way of "dealing with it".

Jeroen
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Old 18th September 2013, 09:58   #204
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Found this update "India removed from aviation watchdog blacklist"

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/f0T...blacklist.html


Although the above means India is no longer on the blacklist there is still more work to do to comply with overall ICAO requirement

: http://www.livemint.com/Companies/nC...?ref=also_read

In this article an interesting statement from the FAA:

Quote:
Even if the FAA finds safety issues, my opinion is that it will not downgrade India because of current geo-political considerations. Country rankings have not been free of diplomatic considerations in the past and I expect those considerations would continue,” Goglia said. “If the FAA finds safety concerns, I believe it would quietly reach agreement with the DGCA on a programme to correct any such deficiencies.”
I find that pretty remarkable, because one would hope that institutes that deal with safety, are completely unbiased and are able to deal and report facts only. (geo) - political considerations should be no factor.

Jeroen

Last edited by Rehaan : 19th September 2013 at 15:50. Reason: You can use quote tags instead of writing "QUOTE & UNQUOTE" :)
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Old 23rd September 2013, 21:31   #205
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

A somewhat slightly different aspect of flight safety. Will those mobile phones bring down a plane, when left turned on.

Read all about it, well not all, but at least, a reasonable good summary I think:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/23/tr...html?hpt=hp_c4

Jeroen
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Old 24th September 2013, 10:04   #206
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

I'm very excited! After more than a year of not flying myself I'll be taking to the skies again as pilot! I will be travellling to the USA early October for a conference course at the Sanfe Fe Institute, New Mexico.

I've already rented a nice plane. (Diamond D40, glass cockpit and all). So in between lectures I'm going to try and regain my "currency". It's one thing to discuss flying and aviation on this and other forums, but nothing can beat the thrill of actually flying a plane yourself!

Having not flown for more than a year I've lost my formal legal currency status and also my pilot's medical certificate has expired. So I will be taking to the skies with a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) to retrain. Well, I might not have time to really get current again. But just spending some hours flying, taking off, landing and running through all the flight maneuvres should be fun. Also, New Mexico should be very pretty and pleasant to fly this time of the year.

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Old 24th September 2013, 12:42   #207
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There were some questions earlier as to what extent (Indian) airlines are involved in other types of incidents then just one with fatalities.

So I put together the following links, for the three major Indian airlines. This is not necessarily a complete overview, as I'm using a public source, but it certainly provides some insights as to what goes on.

I'm not providing the below information to suggest these carriers are safer of less safe. You could try for yourself with a carrier of you choice and you will find similar, often very long, list of accidents, incidents and reports. I have not compared them against each other or against other carriers. In order to do so, get a real apple to apple comparison, you would first need to develop a realistic meaningfull way of measuring and quantifiying the various items.

The ICAO links I shared earlier contain a lot of detailled information, but that is typically given per geographical region. Boeing produces similar statistics per airplane type. Maybe Airbus does too, I don't know. But I have yet to find some database where you can compare carriers versus each other.

It does provide a certain insight. You will see incidents due to "unruly passengers" to runway incursions, smoke in cockpit and a huge variation in various technical glitches and some (serious) procedural infringements, engine fire, bomb threat etc etc.

If you are of a nervous disposition when it comes to flying, you might not want to click on these links. Because there is a lot of stuff going on. Again, that is not unique to India, or Indian carriers perse. That's just how aviation works, and overall it is incredibly safe.

Indigo: http://avherald.com/h?search_term=in...x=0&search.y=0

Jet Airways: http://avherald.com/h?search_term=%2...x=0&search.y=0

Air India: http://avherald.com/h?search_term=%2...x=0&search.y=0

Enjoy,

Jeroen
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Old 27th September 2013, 08:59   #208
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Just came across this article which makes for some interesting reading about pilot fatigue and pilot's resting hours, or rather lack off.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/26/tr...html?hpt=hp_t3

No napping on the flight deck for US pilots, but European pilots are allowed to nap. I seem to recall that BA will have only one pilot in the cockpit during longhaul cruises and the other two pilots resting.

Its a touchy and hugely complex topic. But in the end it is all about safety versus cost. The only way to reduce pilot fatigue is to have pilots fly less and rest more, which means you need to employ more pilots.

I was just reading one of my aviation magazines. In it an article on a recent accident of a Cessna. Flight when fine, but on the approach the plane crashed mysteriously into the ground, it appeared as if it just continued the flight path right into the ground. When studying the pilot flying/rest hours the investigation board declared the probable cause to be: the pilot fell asleep during the approach and the plane subsequently flew into terrain.

I've worked in the merchant navy/offshore industry many years. Especially on salvage and anchor handling tugs duties of 24-36 hours happened. Was all a bit gung ho, very macho and we made tonnes of overtime! During these long shifts it was very hard and demanding work, nobody falls asleep the. The problem starts as soon as the tug returned to normal sailing duty and normal 6 hours on, 6 hours off duty turn.

We've had several cases of crewmembers falling asleep on duty and the ship subsequently crashing into something.

Jeroen
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Old 27th September 2013, 12:08   #209
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Just some more aviation related statistics. Delhi shows as 37th busiest airport in the world. (source CNN / http://www.aci.aero/ )

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Old 27th September 2013, 13:35   #210
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Why is London on both 3rd and 36th? I see two city codes, does that mean they are two airports located at different places?
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