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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41
votes
5answers
8k views

Is the seat-belt sign activation when a pilot goes to the lavatory standard procedure?

Yesterday, I took an inter-European commercial flight with a popular budget airline. Before take-off, the captain announced that the First Officer would be taking the entire flight today. During the ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

How should ground crews act to safely extinguish an airliner's brake unit fire?

When the brake unit was overheated and had just begun to catch fire due to excessive braking because of long taxi distance upon arrival, the ground personnel (not firefighters) made the first ...
2
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0answers
107 views

Can a protective mesh protect engines from bird strikes? [duplicate]

Can a protective mesh be installed on the front of the engines to stop birds from entering the engine and causing damage?
-3
votes
1answer
223 views

Is there a correlation between airport capacity and accident rates?

This question about the new Heathrow runway increasing flights per day by 700 mentions that this airport (and many others around the world) runs at over 98% capacity. This got me thinking, is there a ...
-9
votes
1answer
233 views

What can I do if my aircraft type changes last minute? [closed]

I have a flight scheduled for June with a popular, European commercial budget-operator on a 737. I'm sure everyone knows about the groundings of the MAX. However, I'm concerned that the MAX may be ...
17
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4answers
38k views

Are Boeing 737-800s grounded? [duplicate]

I’m flying on a WestJet Boeing 737-800 from Honolulu to Vancouver and then on to Toronto in July, returning on the same type of aircraft in August. Are these aircraft still grounded and are they ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Don’t seats that recline flat defeat the purpose of having seatbelts?

Virtually all first-class airline seats, and many to most business-class seats, recline all the way down, either as lie-flat seats (where the seat reclines to a 180º seatback-seatpan angle, but the ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Why is a small amount of smooth ice over the top of the wing more dangerous than an accumulation on the leading edge?

According to a Gleim study guide, "Generally speaking, smooth ice on top of the wing is more dangerous than heavy accumulated icing on the leading edge." Is this true? If this is true, why?
1
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2answers
1k views

Why was the Electra uniquely vulnerable to whirl-mode flutter?

The Lockheed L-188 Electra, notoriously, suffered from early problems with whirl-mode flutter, which caused two Electras to break apart in flight in 1959 and 1960, forcing an expensive redesign of the ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why do aircraft stall warning systems use angle-of-attack vanes rather than detecting airflow separation directly?

Stall warning and protection systems on essentially all aircraft work by using several hinged vanes on the side of the fuselage (usually at least three, and preferably more), which align themselves ...
6
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2answers
781 views

Does the person directing the plane to parking not risk getting ingested by a jet engine?

According to answers in this post, a jet engine can suck a human into its engines, even on idle power. Aircraft use their engines post landing taxi and into their parking space, and I notice people ...
4
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1answer
223 views

Do aircraft engineers take into consideration engine placement to avoid ground strikes in a cross-wind landing?

On a multi-engine airplane with wing-mounted engines, do aircraft designers have a standard way of ensuring that the banked landings associated with cross-wind's do not cause a prop or engine-housing ...
5
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1answer
576 views

What safety issues led the FAA to ban Constellation flights into/out of the U.S.?

Although the Lockheed Constellation (like the other late, large piston airliners) was superseded in the 1960s and 1970s by newer jets (plus turboprops for shorter/lighter routes), it hung on into the ...
3
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0answers
67 views

Is it possible to selectively deactivate alarms? [duplicate]

My question is restricted to Airbus an Boeing's best sellers, namely the A320 and the B737. If relevant, answer can be extended to other types. In those aircraft, there are multiple possible alarms (...
35
votes
3answers
7k views

How long to clear the 'suck zone' of a turbofan after start is initiated?

I recently found this (IMO funny) picture. All funny and all. But let's make this a real situation. Let's suppose I see my crush and his BF doing this, and I come with this 'genius' idea (alright, it'...
31
votes
3answers
8k views

Why are on-board computers allowed to change controls without notifying the pilots?

Recently we've had the 737-MAX debacle, where it increasingly appears that the MAX on-board MCAS system repeatedly would issue nose-down events, leading to the Lion Air crash, and possibly another ...
2
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0answers
275 views

Can 7 AKE containers adjacent to each other be securely locked in a 777-300ER's aft cargo bin?

Is it possible to securely lock 7 AKE (LD3) containers adjacent to each other in a Boeing 777-300ER's aft cargo bin from position 31 to 41 (41 included)? According to my experience it's impossible to ...
6
votes
1answer
353 views

Why not separate out the two definitions of V-1 into two separate Vspeeds?

V1, officially the takeoff decision speed, has, somewhat infamously, two separate definitions: It is defined as the minimum speed at which, if one engine fails, the pilots can press to liftoff and ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the Boeing 737 MAX 8 MCAS exceptional in operating when autopilot is off?

To the uneducated reader it seems strange the Boeing 737 MAX 8 MCAS system only operates when autopilot is off. I understand the reasoning behind why it was implemented to operate when autopilot is ...
4
votes
0answers
152 views

Has any jurisdiction mandated passenger training?

A chunk of pre-departure time for each flight is dedicated to a safety briefing for passengers that few passengers seem to pay attention to. In the aftermath of accidents, it has been revealed at ...
14
votes
1answer
677 views

Who decided that the Boeing 737 MAX planes that were airborne when the grounding was issued cannot enter and land in EU air space?

On March 12th, 2019, EASA grounded the Boeing 737 MAX series by publishing their Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2019-0051-E (AD): Effective Date: 12 March 2019, 19:00 UTC  [...] ...
50
votes
3answers
29k views

What is the technique or procedure to disable/disengage the MCAS on Boeing 737 Max 8 & 9 Aircraft?

What is the technique or procedure to disable the MCAS and manually fly the Boeing 737 MAX 8/9 Aircraft? To clarify my question, what I'm asking is can the pilot disengage the MCAS and if so, how do ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is not every airplane equipped with 3 angle-of-attack sensors?

For critical systems, redundancy is built into the system. It is common knowledge among designers/architects to have three different inputs so in case one is faulty, input from the remaining two can ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the longest period of time an aircraft type has been grounded due to safety concerns?

Obviously inspired by the current 737 Max situation, what is the longest period of time that any individual type of airliner has been grounded for safety concerns (excluding those that never returned ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Are pilot YouTubers breaking any rules?

Recently, I've been watching a few YouTubers (mostly FOs) who make great videos like this: Then I realized... They must spend a lot of time setting up cameras, ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

Why don't all pilots receive at least basic instrument training?

Given the frequency with which non-instrument-rated pilots get themselves killed attempting to continue VFR flights into instrument conditions, why don't all pilots receive at least basic instrument ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

What is the most critical data to measure for a predictive maintenance model for a drone? [closed]

I'm looking at making a predictive maintenance model for a drone (quadcopter mainly but can include others) I'm wondering what is the most common causes of failure due to "overflying". (not including ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

What happens to an airborne plane when its type is grounded by an authority?

Many countries have (temporarily I think) banned 737 Max 8s from taking off or landing. What happened to the ones in the air? Do they get special permissions or are they forced to divert to a ...
0
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0answers
93 views

Could a kilometer of sand as wide as the runway,1 meter deep stop an Airbus A380 if it overshot the runway [duplicate]

An aircraft overshooting the runway could prove to be fatal. Assuming an Airbus A380 is fully loaded at near take off speed and pilots decide its would be best to abort take off, if they slammed the ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Is it possible to 'derate' a plane as a safety measure?

Assuming a type of plane has a technical issue that must be fixed related to its flight behavior, could the plane be derated to add safety margin (instead of banning it). What I have in mind is ...
10
votes
3answers
544 views

Is it common for automated control systems to use non-redundant sensors?

While reading an article about the Lion Air Crash with a Boing 737 Max 8, I was very surprised by the following paragraph: In designing the 737 Max, Boeing decided to feed M.C.A.S. with data from ...
5
votes
9answers
972 views

How many serious airline accidents have been caused by design faults alone?

That is, in the chain of events that led to death or injuries in an airline accident, how often has a design fault been solely responsible? By a design fault I mean a problem such that even if the ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Which situations would cause a company to ground or recall a aircraft series?

Which agencies or companies might decide to ground an aircraft series, and in which situations can this occurr?
0
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0answers
46 views

Why are airline seat belts lap-only? [duplicate]

On the flight that I was on today, one of the passengers near me asked this question. Why don’t airplanes use lap- and shoulder belts like cars do?
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Why does the DHC-6 have only one set of elevator cables?

Air Moorea Flight 1121 crashed because its up-elevator cable broke, allowing the elevator to blow to its faired position and thus be unavailable to counteract the pitch-down moment caused by the flaps ...
1
vote
0answers
140 views

Marshall signals history

When were airport marhall signals used for the first time? What is the history of these signals? Thank you
-2
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3answers
352 views

What warning lights can one safely fly with? [closed]

Like many people, I often either ignore or reset warning lights in my car and continue to drive without issue for months or years (usually due to dodgy sensors giving a false-positive). What warning ...
0
votes
2answers
260 views

What prevents the use of an EMAS along the sides of a runway?

The NTSB report about the crash of American Airlines Flight 1420 discusses whether an EMAS would have mitigated the severity of the accident, but concludes, based on testimony from a representative of ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there an audible warning on commercial aircraft if you try to land gear up?

In one of the comments on this question (under the accepted answer), someone remarks that Aircraft can legally fly without a system to alert the crew when they are landing with gear up, etc. Are ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why was the 737 main rudder servo valve’s vulnerability to causing uncommanded reversals never discovered in testing?

As was discovered during the NTSB investigation into the crash of USAir Flight 427, the design of the servo valve inside the main rudder power control unit (PCU) formerly used on 737 Original- and ...
-1
votes
1answer
581 views

How safe are sail planes? [closed]

I think sailplanes have to be pretty safe. Because if it falls it will gain speed, which will be converted to lift. So unless you do something stupid sailplanes can't just fall out of air. Am I ...
3
votes
1answer
541 views

Why didn’t the 757 have manual-reversion capability?

The Boeing 757 was the highest-capacity and latest-designed narrowbody Boeing ever produced (and, in the case of the 757-300, the highest-capacity narrowbody anyone ever produced); it was also the ...
6
votes
1answer
970 views

Why is the A330/A340's angle-of-attack protection disabled in alternate law, even if the AoA vanes are operating normally?

Reading about Air France Flight 447, to quote Wikipedia (emphasis added): ... A second consequence of the reconfiguration into alternate law was that stall protection no longer operated. Whereas in ...
6
votes
4answers
400 views

Are there statistics showing the relationship between safety and the age of aircraft?

Some people seem to believe that some airplanes are less safe to fly just because they are older than others. As a pilot myself who has learned that the safety of aircraft is nothing to do with their ...
13
votes
8answers
7k views

Why would all passengers be asked not to eat peanuts when there is one allergic person on board? [closed]

In this review of BA British Airways Club World London City flight there is one thing I don't understand: ... it was announced that a passenger onboard had a severe nut allergy, so they asked ...
2
votes
2answers
557 views

Why don't commercial aircraft have drag chutes for aborted takeoffs? [duplicate]

We were watching the program Air Crash Investigation and there was an episode where it was too late to abort the take-off and the pilots had to attempt to climb still but since an abort was not ...
30
votes
5answers
19k views

Why didn’t the Captain of Cathay Pacific flight 780 shut down engine 1 and land with a more reasonable speed?

In the approach phase, engine 1 of Cathay Pacific flight 780 got stuck at about 70% N1 and it forced the crew to do an overspeed landing (230knots). Why didn't they shut it off by turning the fuel ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

Do any aircraft automatically test that the pitot-static system is functioning properly before liftoff?

Given that a properly-functioning pitot-static system is absolutely essential for flight (a plane cannot be flown without valid airspeed data, or at least not for long), are there aircraft that ...
1
vote
0answers
249 views

Could I Legally Fly a Paramotor as a Commuter Method [duplicate]

I get permission from company security to fly into work using my paramotor (I don’t have one, but would like to get one). We have six offices around the city. The city has two airports: one major ...
1
vote
2answers
542 views

How do aircraft stall warning systems handle (or not) asymmetric-stall situations?

Most, if not all, new airplanes are required to have stall warning systems to (as the name should make clear) provide the pilots with a warning when the airplane is about to stall. Most stall warning ...

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