Questions tagged [safety]

Safety includes all aspects of protecting aircraft, passengers and crew from accidents, mistakes and other potentially dangerous situations.

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15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don't both black boxes hold the same data?

As I understand, there are two black boxes on-board an aircraft. One black box, the Cockpit Voice Recorder holds the cockpit conversations and the other, the Flight Data Recorder holds essential ...
7
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2answers
1k views

What does “design-induced pilot error” means?

In the Slashdot article Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard? it says: what aviation analysts call a 'design-induced pilot error' I tried to search for ...
5
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1answer
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How often does fan blade out happen?

Jet engines are designed to contain a fan blade failure, and the engines and airplanes are designed with this type of failure in mind. This is more critical in the modern high-bypass designs with ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Is it legal to drop/shoot paintballs from an airplane?

My brother and I are big into paint balling and aviation, and we've often wondered if it would be legal/possible to use an aircraft in a large scale paintball match? Mainly to drop paintballs, or ...
12
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1answer
4k views

When did inflight smoking become (widely) prohibited?

Currently in my mid-'30s, I can still clearly remember the time when half of the plane's passengers were smoking throughout a long-haul flight. I know commercial flights became non-smoking sometime in ...
0
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0answers
107 views

Why do you have to put the blinds up during take off and landing? [duplicate]

I understand the rationale for putting seat backs straight, folding tables, fastening seatbelts etc., but I've never really understood why the window blinds matter.
3
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1answer
786 views

Why don't they have two black boxes? [duplicate]

Why is it that black boxes don't float? From what I gather the answer is: So they will not float away from a water crash site. The ping can be heard underwater with sonar. Finding the ping, finds ...
5
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1answer
556 views

How frequent are TCAS resolution events?

The question is a little open, but I'm wondering how many TCAS resolutions (i.e. the serious type) occur every week or month over sizeable region like the United States or Europe.
31
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2answers
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I just saw a plane drop off online radar; should I do anything about it?

I was watching Flight Radar 24, positioned near my house, to see what planes I could spot, and noticed a Cessna 550's transponder just dropped off @ 5,325 ft in a high-speed descent! Is there ...
24
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2answers
4k views

What to do if the captain smells like alcohol?

Suppose you're the co-pilot on a flight and during pre-flight, talking to the captain, you smell alcohol. Although you didn't see him drinking and the smell isn't strong, what does regulation ...
17
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4answers
7k views

What would happen to a flying aeroplane if there's suddenly a brick-size hailstorm?

What would happen to a flying aeroplane if suddenly there is hail in the sky? For example, ice the size of a brick.
10
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2answers
3k views

How long can passengers survive after ditching in the ocean?

Assuming Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ditched in the ocean, and surviving passengers and crew were floating around in their inflatable vests, how long could they survive? Is there data about the ...
8
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1answer
605 views

Would discharging a firearm in-flight cause an explosive decompression?

I was reading a BBC FAQ about Federal Air Marshals, which has this chilling quote in it: A gunfight on a passenger airliner is seen as an option only of last resort. Presuming an air marshal has ...
15
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1answer
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Do landing strips suffer from potholes or rutting?

In companion to the other question asking about wheel tire tracks. Planes come down and stop with a significant amount of force which I would expect to cause either rutting or potholes. Are runways ...
2
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0answers
153 views

Why after 911; do we not have “fail-safe” transponders that cannot be turned off? [duplicate]

In the 911 terror attack the transponders were turned off. Who is to blame for the lack of foresight that has allowed another jet liner to shut off their transponders. This is a ¼ billion-dollar ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Are you required to have constant view of the runway when circling?

When you're circling, it has been said that you are required to keep view of the runway at all times below the MDA. However, sometimes this can be impossible due to issues with visibility, such as ...
0
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0answers
162 views

Boeing 777 MHA370 [duplicate]

Can anyone explain how a Boeing 777-200 can vanish without a trace? How can it simply disappear without any indication of an in-flight emergency from the flight crew? Does its disappearance and lack ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Can you go around with LAHSO in effect?

Some larger airports in the US use land-and-hold-short (LAHSO) operations, meaning you're cleared to land, but only if you're able to do so without going beyond specific point (usually an intersecting ...
23
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2answers
4k views

Why can't most jets safely use reverse thrust while airborne?

According to Wikipedia: Some aircraft are able to safely use reverse thrust in flight, though the majority of these are propeller-driven. Many commercial aircraft cannot use reverse thrust in ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Do bluetooth aviation headsets and/or music negatively affect safety?

I'm in the process of getting my private pilot's license, and I've come to the point where it's probably time to think about buying a headset. As I understand it there are a few options ranging from ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Is it possible to bluff one's way to the flightdeck like in Catch Me If You Can?

I was watching some clips from Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo DeCaprio as Frank Abagnale. I was wondering- If brought a ticket on an airline today, came dressed up like a pilot, would you, be ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Why do I have to turn off my (non-cellular) iPad before takeoff?

Every time I travel on an airplane, the stewardess forces me to shut down my iPad. I just lock it, and start using it again 5 minutes later. I wonder why this is? Is it because I have to have my ...
7
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1answer
707 views

Are there any speed and altitude limitations on the autopilot?

This comes from a flight simulator experiment ages ago in the Boeing 737.... I'm on the runway. I engage the heading switch, followed by the altitude and thrust. The aircraft lifts off, although ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Is it possible to prevent plane accidents due to fuel explosion?

We know that most of the plane accidents and deaths result from the explosion of fuel tanks in the planes, like when two planes collide, or when the plane falls on the ground. With the advent of ...
23
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1answer
3k views

What are the accident rates for kit built aircraft vs. normal aircraft of the same model?

I know that some manufacturers both sell kit and finished version of their aircraft. For a fair comparison of accident rates, i was wondering: What are the accident rates for kit built aircraft vs. ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How effective are modern aircraft at clearing smoke?

In reference to this incident by a certain (in)famous artist, i'm wondering how effective modern aircraft are at clearing smoke for single aisle commercial aircraft such as B737/A320 or a business jet ...
21
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1answer
4k views

How does exceeding the critical Mach number of an aircraft affect its operation?

If an aircraft exceeds its critical Mach number, does it affect the way the aircraft is handled? Are there any significant changes to performance or the safety of the aircraft when above this speed? ...
15
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1answer
4k views

When should pilots observe a “Sterile Cockpit”?

A "Sterile Cockpit" means avoiding all conversations and actions not related to flight during important flight times. (eg. No extraneous conversations, no non-important electronics, no eating, etc) ...
11
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2answers
7k views

What are the risks involved when doing a classic zero-g maneuver?

I suspect most pilots have done it at least once: briefly experience zero g when flying a parabolic path. It's quite an experience (if your stomach can handle it). Question is: are there any risks ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Where does the Oxygen for the emergency gas masks come from?

Normal commercial jets drop gas masks when cabin pressure drops, and supply oxygen, but, where does that oxygen come from? Do commercial jets store oxygen? If they do, isn't pressurised oxygen very ...
9
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2answers
473 views

Are there benefits to opening a flight plan if I'm flying over populated areas?

Here in Idaho we have a lot of mountains and desert areas where if I had to make an emergency landing or crashed it may take a very long time to find me. In that case I can see the benefit to opening ...