A third Malaysian airliner, AirAsia QZ8501, goes missing, but Malaysia is not at fault. The reality is that airliner safety is an illusion.
Besides holding a US Commercial Airplane license, I’ve read over 2,000 airplane accident reports and recently studied the NatGeo Air Crash investigation documentaries.
Although most airline accidents are in some way pilot error, the following systemic international aviation defects should be improved as soon as possible, without waiting for thousands more passenger deaths:
|GPS is too accurate||When navigating via GPS, fly right of airway centerline by 50 meters to avoid opposite-direction traffic at same altitude (GLO 1907)||Free|
|Pilots flying blind||Add cameras and lights on all engines and control surfaces and put the displays in the cockpit||expensive to retrofit|
|Pitot/Static Icing||verify pitot/static system readings with radar altimeter and throttle setting (XL 888T, AF 447)||Cheap|
|Lost Airliners||emit location tracking pings every 15 seconds (MH 370, Adam Air 574, AF 447)||Cheap|
|Pilot confusion||Pilot emergency retraining by AI (attitude indicator) in thunderstorms and turbulence (AF 447, Adam Air 574)||Cheap|
|Airliners are bullseyes||Avoid war zones/NK/Russia (KAL 902, MH 17)||Additional fuel costs for some airlines|
|Airliners are deathtraps on the apron||Need fire-proof jetways and buses to help evacuate large airliners at each major airport (QF32)||Cheap|
|SE Asia weather||Better understanding of weather in SE Asia, similar to successful US microburst and hurricane studies (QZ8501)||Cheap|
|Externalizing risks on passengers||US regional airlines that don’t allow bookings and exist only for cost-cutting need to be decertified. Colgans and Comairs are an abomination.||Free|
|Congressional roulette||US ATP pilot certification changes are a safety unknown. Get Congress out of FARs||Free|
|FAA bureaucracy run amok||The FAA should stop lying to the public about their unattainable “One Level of Safety” policy for both Part 121 (airline) and Part 135 (charter) operations, reminiscent of NASA mgmt. saying the Space Shuttle was safe.
Post a warning sign outside Part 135 operations saying, “We are not a large airline. Buyer beware.”