Archive for May, 2010

In The News

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 by luckyjet

The media reported today that an airliner diverted to Dulles DIA airport due to a “Cockpit Fire”.  People are asking if this was serious.

Few things are as serious as a cockpit fire. Imagine you are in a space the size of a small dumpster with a bunch of equipment,  a valued coworker, and enough electrical circuits to operate several average homes in there with you.  Add some nice big windows and you have a fair idea of  an airliner cockpit. This is definitely not a place for a fire or heavy smoke.

The sequence of events usually goes a little like this …. What’s that smell?  I dunno. Izzat…..smoke? ….Shit!   Mask and goggles …… I’m ok it’s just a litle smoke ….. Uh… OK …. long pause   Shit! it’s a fire.     Variations on the theme sometimes follow the prescribed checklist very closely, sometimes not.

A good general policy to follow when in any vehicle or building is that if it smells like smoke it probably is a fire. I once had Flight Attendants call up front and tell me there was a fire in the cabin. When I asked where the fire was they told me they weren’t sure, it was really just smoke. When asked what color the smoke was they couldn’t really say and changed the report to a smell. We turned off power to the galleys and other non essential equipment and the smell went away before we could land.

A careful read of the news today indicated that a passenger had only seen pictures from another passenger of the fire. Maybe there was only some overheated equipment, maybe this was an impending disaster. It is too early to say, but if ALL potential smoke / fire events were handled this well the industry would be safer.  Sounds to me like a job well done.

Happy Landings

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This Time You Guys Really Screwed Up.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 by luckyjet

I’m really too busy to post very often lately but I just can’t let this pass without comment.

The implementation of Federally Mandated passenger service law will be a total DISASTER. You will find that the airlines will no longer have you on the ground during FAA delays for more than about an hour. Then they will go back to the gate, dump your happy ass off and cancel the flight.

Leaving  government out of aviation is not possible or desired. Leaving the government out of  customer service might have been a good idea if you consider the following:

1. The airlines are losing massive amounts of money on almost every flight

2. When they toss you and your stuff out and cancel the flight they will have no fuel cost

3. They already have your money, you don’t yet have the ride

Those of you who understand that sometimes it is not safe to fly, sometimes the FAA won’t let us fly, and sometimes airplanes break are now going to have to understand that the airlines cannot afford the risk of being fined for having you on the plane for too long.

This is a well intentioned but really stupid law. It will, however, give the airlines the latitude to cancel all of the flights that aren’t profitable.

Assuming you ever take off …………. Happy Landings