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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12
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2answers
8k views

Is it possible to access the baggage compartment in flight?

In this incident the cabin crew entered baggage compartment to find and secure a smoking suitcase. But that was in ATR-72 which has the baggage compartments on the main deck behind cockpit and aft of ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What is Crew Resource management (CRM)?

I hear a lot about CRM these days (it seems to be a buzz word). It is related to safety, but what exactly is it? From what I know, it also applies to single pilot flights (even in a Cessna 150!), ...
11
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3answers
5k views

Is there a minimum distance between a runway and a public road?

Does the FAA require a minimum distance the between the TDZ of a runway and a public road? The reason I ask is because an aircraft landing at a small GA airport (Garnett Municipal, K68) came across ...
10
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2answers
5k views

Are there any data on the safety rate of gliders vs single-engine GA aircraft?

Can anyone point me to statistics on the safety record of gliders vs. single engine general aviation aircraft?
8
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1answer
2k views

What is the correct crew procedure for an unreliable airspeed alert?

When the crew receives "airspeed disagree" message on the primary flight displays, they may face some hazardous situation. Is there any procedure, using a table containing pitch, power, altitude and ...
8
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2answers
798 views

What are the properties of a good general aviation training aircraft?

I've been told that the best kinds of planes to train in are very small ones, like Cessna 150s and 152s. But I've never been clear as to why. I know they are cheaper to operate, so is operation cost ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why can not two modes coincide perfectly for some cases in Flutter phenomena?

I have a question about flutter phenomena. As you know, flutter occurs when two modes (for example, first mode and second mode) coincide (that is, after a specific velocity, the frequencies of two ...
2
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2answers
329 views

Measuring speed and altitude from personal phone midflight [duplicate]

Given that there is no need now for one to swith off their cellphone midflight, inflight wifi is now a norm and common, Is it possible for me to measure the velocity and altitude of an aircraft using ...
52
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8answers
28k views

Why don't pilots parachute from small planes that are in distress?

There was another question that asked why commercial flights don't have parachutes. The almost ubiquitous response was that the parachutes would be useless because: Most accidents with commercial ...
23
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5answers
8k views

Do safety-critical avionics systems run Linux?

I have heard diverse things about this. Some people claim that running Linux on safety-critical avionics systems is a very bad idea. On the other hand some people (who are rather unfamiliar with ...
19
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2answers
6k views

How do airports with no ATC operate?

I've heard that some airports don't have an ATC tower and nobody monitors the landings. Can someone tell me how those planes can land/takeoff safely without incidents occurring? I understand the fact ...
23
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4answers
15k views

How do commercial pilots send distress signals?

If a commercial jet is in trouble, how does a pilot send a signal indicating distress? Does it take long? For instance, behind reception desks in many institutions and executive offices, there's a ...
35
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6answers
8k views

Why can't the A320's computer-imposed limits be overridden?

Under the investigation section of US Airways Flight 1549, it is noted that [The pilot] asserted that insufficient credit was given to the A320's fly-by-wire design, by which the pilot uses a side-...
24
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6answers
21k views

Can a passenger request to visit the cockpit during a flight?

As a kid, I remember going to the cockpit of a plane with my mom (I believe the airline was AOM French Airlines). Is this still possible now? I understand the answer might differ with different ...
24
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1answer
1k views

What is the most overlooked item during preflight inspection?

Have there been any studies that gathered statistics on overlooked items on preflight inspections, or even statistics on how many pilots actually perform a good preflight (following a checklist, etc.)?...
23
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3answers
7k views

Is it a flight violation to mishear ATC instructions for exiting the runway?

I was on landing rollout and misheard a tower "turn off at xxx switch ground" call. We read back the incorrect taxi way and turned off there and switched to the ground frequency. After our incorrect ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Can I get a photo with the pilots?

Could I, as a passenger, get a picture with the pilots in the cockpit before takeoff/after landing? I'm asking specifically about any rules that would deny a passenger into the cockpit. I know this is ...
10
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2answers
692 views

To what extent have political (race, gender, social class) attitudes been implicated as human factors in the cockpit?

This question is related to: How does cultural difference impinge upon human factors in aviation industry safety? How have deep-seated cultural human factors (particularly in east Asia) in the ...
23
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2answers
4k views

How can a pitot tube freeze when it's heated?

Reading Why turn off pitot tube heating?, it appears that the pitot tube heat can be switched off to extent its lifetime and also in case of short-circuit. (Thales pitot-static probe, source BEA) On ...
22
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1answer
939 views

How is fuel vapor dealt with at large airports?

When I fill my tank at a gas station, I can see fuel vapor coming out of the tank. I imagine the space above the aircraft tank has fuel vapor mixing with air (at lower oxygen than normal thanks to ...
21
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4answers
9k views

Why can't aircraft be cleared to land before the preceding aircraft turns off the runway?

For example, let's say we have an Airbus A330 in front, which has just landed, well past the threshold and looks like it's going to be alright. Next in line to land is a small general aviation ...
19
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2answers
8k views

How can pilots fly VFR over-the-top in overcast conditions?

It's apparently legal for pilots to fly over the top of clouds and fly VFR. However, I don't understand how it's possible to do so, especially since there is no visual reference to rely on to ensure ...
18
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1answer
3k views

What are the details of opening a cockpit door from the outside?

Can one pilot lock the other out of the cockpit? It is mentioned in the answer to the question I linked that a person inside the cockpit can stop a person outside from opening the door by "canceling ...
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4answers
4k views

Was the miracle on the Hudson saved exclusively by the APU?

In the film Sully, (staring Tom Hanks) the APU is switched on straight after both engines rollback, why was this step necessary; Airbus said this was the "15th thing" to do on the checklist. How or ...
14
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3answers
2k views

What percentage of airplanes are involved in a crash in their lifetime?

The chances of a commercial flight crash are about 1 in 1 200 000 - pretty low. If each plane makes about 40,000 flights in it's lifetime, about 1 in 30 airplanes will be involved in a crash before it ...
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3answers
3k views

What are the major non-pilot causes of GA accidents?

I'm considering getting a private pilot license. From what I've read, pilot error is the leading cause of major airline crashes -- such as on this page, but that's for major commercial carriers. As ...
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2answers
2k views

How do “fundamentally unstable” aircraft deal with the risk of computer failure?

As technology becomes more advance airplanes are becoming less and less stable. In flight school I learned that it's dangerous to load a Cessna out of it's CG range, and now in college (for aerospace ...
3
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2answers
331 views

Would better location tracking for airliners improve safety?

Once in a while an airliner just up and disappears -- typically over ocean -- and lengthy and expensive search efforts have to be launched in order to find it. The most famous cases in recent years ...
26
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1answer
22k views

Is it legal to smoke in your own plane?

I was just curious, in the past, smoking on planes was permitted. What is the law surrounding smoking in your own private plane?
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2answers
5k 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 ...
23
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6answers
6k views

What is the difference between a flow and a checklist?

Use of checklists is a 'special emphasis area' during FAA private and commercial checkrides but there are a lot of comments in pilot forums about using flows instead, often - but not always - in the ...
23
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3answers
5k views

What if pilot feels too tired before his flight?

Today is a day when I feel terribly tired. I'm not ill, but I could sleep all the day, though I had enough sleep last night. This is not a problem if you have an office job where you can probably be ...
22
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8answers
39k views

Has a commercial airliner ever crash-landed in an ocean?

They have rafts and life jackets on board and before takeoff, passengers are explained how to use that equipment, but have any evacuations ever happened successfully?
22
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4answers
9k views

Is there a legal maximum altitude?

In the US, is there a highest legal altitude allowed for certain planes and does it depend on the plane? I heard from a sort-of-reliable source that the maximum is 45,000 feet but I haven't been able ...
19
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3answers
2k views

Was smoking banned because of passenger safety or occupational safety?

Federal regulation CFR 252.3 notes that: Air carriers shall prohibit smoking on all scheduled passenger flights. Was this because of: 1) passenger safety concerns (the airplane may catch on fire ...
18
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2answers
1k views

What makes it safe for the DC-8 to use reverse thrust in flight?

For most jets, the use of reverse thrust to slow down in flight, where even possible, is extremely dangerous, and strictly prohibited. Not so on the DC-8, which is certified for the safe in-flight ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Is it possible to suffer barotrauma during decompression?

Barotrauma is damage of lungs by air overpressure and may occur at overpressure as low as 30 kPa (4 psi). Overpressure in most aircraft is about double that value. So is it possible to suffer ...
14
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4answers
1k views

How do I remind myself to run in-flight checklists?

When flying a basic light aircraft with no "modern" instrument the pilot needs to remember to do various checks on a regular basis (FREDA every x minutes, change fuel tank every Y minutes etc.). Just ...
13
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4answers
9k views

How can civil ATC maintain safety with military aircraft around?

I've been asking myself for a while how ATC can maintain air traffic safety with regard to military aircraft - or if they just don't. As I understand it, all bigger planes (let's for now focus on ...
13
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6answers
3k views

What is the difference between a tire deflation and a tire explosion?

In this question, our intrepid former 747 pilot Terry mentioned, in the accepted answer, that: As I understand it, tires that dangerously overheat will explode before melting, and that's why ...
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
3k views

What does a blue light by the toilet sign mean?

When I was flying with Swiss Air we hit some turbulence. Of course, the seat belt light came on but above the bathroom sign, a blue light came on. (Source) Then after a while a second one came on. I'...
10
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1answer
663 views

Are some countries' civil aviation authorities safer than others?

Okay, put down the pitchforks, I'm not pointing fingers at anyone! I'm just aware that every country has its own civil aviation authority, and I wonder if there's any reason to believe that some ...
9
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4answers
871 views

If turning off electronic gadgets is so important, why are there no detectors used to find them?

It's supposed to be that electronic gadgets' emission are dangerous for airplane systems. If this is true, why don't they use any detectors to locate such emissions?
8
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4answers
3k views

Is this statistic about the fatal accident rate correct?

This link says that: fatal accidents occurred once every 200,000 flights in the 50s and 60s. Now, fatal accidents only occur once every two million flights While many sources, including this one, ...
8
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3answers
4k views

Why do you have to keep your seat belt fastened after landing?

What's the point of the usual "please keep your seat belt fastened until the aircraft stops completely (at the gate)" in large passenger aircrafts? Since the plane is on the ground, it is not moving ...
7
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1answer
512 views

How have deep-seated cultural human factors (particularly in east Asia) in the cockpit been successfully managed in the past 20 years?

This question is based on https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/27814/ and related to: How does cultural difference impinge upon human factors in aviation industry safety? To what extent have ...
4
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2answers
897 views

How does cultural difference impinge upon human factors in aviation industry safety?

Safety through understanding of human factors This question is based on https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/27814/ and related to: How have deep-seated cultural human factors (particularly ...
-2
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4answers
1k views

Could ejector seats save lives in commercial aircraft? [duplicate]

If cost were no issue (it could be done cheaply), would installing ejection seats for passengers possibly save lives? There are certain scenarios (albeit extremely rare ones), where the crew may know ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Would a roll cage plus a safety harness make a small GA aircraft accident more survivable?

It seems to me that race cars (like Formula 1 and NASCAR) and small GA aircraft (like a Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee) travel at generally the same speeds, roughly between 70 and 200 mph. Yet, if an ...

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