In the 2012 film Flight, the cause of the mechanical failure is a sort of worm-screw that controls the rear tailplane. And I believe that in real life failures in those devices have been implicated in one or more crashes, with people shocked that there were no fail-safe mechanisms.
Do airline pilots feel or have a responsibility not to subject a machine to extreme mechanical stresses? Or is the assumption that nothing they can really do has not been foreseen by the designers?
Do some individual flying techniques, used by pilots, wear aircraft out quicker than others?
This 2012 film, with Denzel Washington, aired last night on UK TV.
I think I have seen bits of it before... this time around for various reasons I also missed a small part of it.
If you haven't seen the film this question might not be of interest. If you have, and you're interested in flying, you probably remember it: it involves a "hero pilot" implausibly "inverting" a commercial airliner which is plummetting downwards, and eventually doing a crash landing where most people walk out alive.
One of the main "themes" of the film is that the pilot, played by Denzel Washington, is a "maverick": he is an alcoholic and cocaine-snorter, etc. He is drunk when he gets on the plane, and drinks more during the flight.
The thing that I'd like to ask about is this: the cause of the mechanical failure is a sort of worm-screw which controls the rear tail plane... and I believe that in real life failures in these devices have been implicated in one or more crashes, with people shocked that there was no failsafe mechanism, etc.
But another aspect of the film is the very "dramatic" take-off: the plane takes off in a very bad storm, and "Denzel" takes the plane through some very macho manoeuvres in order to get out of the "bad air" and find some "good air". The passengers are terrified and the plane is rolling all over the place, while the co-pilot is saying that the plane is flying too fast.
The "investigation" sequence of the film, which is the bulk of it, never seems to pose the question about the advisability of "macho" flying techniques and the possibly culpability of a pilot when taking a plane to its mechanical "limits". The clear position of the film is that the aircraft was simply "bad" (and recommended maintenance procedures hadn't been followed, etc. etc.).
Do pilots flying commercial airliners feel or have a responsibility not to subject a machine to extreme mechanical stresses, as far as is humanly possible, or is the assumption that nothing they can really do has not been foreseen by the designers? Do some individual flying techniques, used by commercial pilots of passenger aircraft, wear aircraft out quicker than others?