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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What happens when an airline pilot decides not to fly at the last minute?

What happens when a commercial airline pilot wants to remove himself from a flight a short time before takeoff (say an hour or less)? He obviously can't be forced to fly, and there may be very good ...
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What does it mean when a runway's safety area is not standard?

If an airport has a NOTAM that states that a runway safety area is not standard, what does that mean? Here's an example. ...
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Why did flight attendants need to be seated early landing at Palm Springs?

I took an Alaska Airlines flight to Palm Springs (PSP) and on landing the flight attendant mentioned that "this is one of the airports where we need to be seated early". Why is that the case for that ...
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Why ground a plane while fueling?

Why does a plane need to be grounded while fueling, but we never ground our cars? Does the potential for a spark magically exist for an airborne vehicle but not for an earth bound one?
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How often do pilots fly drunk?

AVweb reported: 2018.07.30 - A former pilot for Alaska Airlines was sentenced on Wednesday to a year and a day in federal prison, for flying two flights in 2014 with a blood alcohol level more ...
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Airbags in aircraft - is that just a military thing?

The Bell OH-58D (a military helicopter used by the USA) has an airbag to make life better in the event of a crash. I had never heard of such a thing in an aircraft before and I wondered if this ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How dangerous can it be if something falls from a flying aircraft?

How dangerous can it be if something falls from a flying aircraft?
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Does the co-pilot still remain in control of the plane if an engine fails during takeoff?

If an engine fails after $V_1$, how long does the copilot remain in control if he was the pilot flying? What is prioritized before the captain taking control of the aircraft?
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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 ...
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Why are aircraft external lights round, not tear-drop shaped?

I saw this image of a Cessna 172's tail posted on another question and it made me wonder why the beacon light is basically a cylinder, and not a more aerodynamic, teardrop shape? Image source
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Are the window wipers on jet aircraft ever deployed in flight?

Many commercial airliners have car-like window-wipers. I would presume this is for taxiing only, as the wind would surely keep the windows free from water when airborne, or do they turn them on in ...
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Is flying during the day safer than flying at night?

Is there any correlation between night or day flight time and rate of accidents? To me it seems that there should not be a difference. If an airplane needs to execute an emergency landing, it has to ...
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Can espresso be made at cruising altitude?

Espresso makers work by bringing water to a certain temperature (typically 198-202°F / 92-95°C), and then extract it at a high pressure (~9 bar). Given that the FAA requires that cabins are ...
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Have any passengers crashed planes?

The question Are pilots allowed to let passengers fly the plane? is interesting to read, noting that pilots are permitted to allow passengers to fly. I recall an Air Crash Investigation episode (...
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Is Jetman flying above other aircraft allowed? How it is possible?

According to the Times of India: Yves Rossy and Vincent Reffet - have achieved the rare feat of flying with the innovative Jetman wings, on either side of an Emirates A380 aircraft, the world's ...
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Was there ever an accident from in-flight smoking?

In the 80s and 90s, regulation increased to prohibit smoking in passenger planes. Was smoking ever identified as the cause for serious accident in flight (for example the cabin caught fire as a result ...
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Is it allowed to listen to music while piloting a plane?

When I'm driving my car, I almost always put some music on. It's really relaxing for me. I know that piloting a plane is nothing like driving a car, but it would be great, at least for me, to listen ...
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What is the appropriate fuel tank selection to land a 172?

On a recent checkout on a C172 I was told to select "fullest tank" as opposed to "both" that I have been doing for years. Given the aircraft is high wing (gravity feed) with no auxiliary fuel pump ...
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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 ...
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Could a golf ball damage an airliner?

Question Would a golf ball ingested into an engine, or impacting a windshield cause meaningful damage to a commercial airplane? The scenario below outlines that this is possible, but the principle ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why is the takeoff decision point based only on speed and not time or distance?

The go/no go decision on takeoff for airliners is calculated as a V1 speed. The question is, why is there no time or distance for V1 calculated. In other words, if we don't reach V1 in X seconds or by ...
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How do you report reckless pilots?

I have never reported reckless behavior by other pilots to the FAA, but I have thought about it several times. The only problem is that usually I will only know the tail number, not the name of the ...
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1answer
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What level of information does a PIC have about a missile crossing their aircraft route?

Recently North Korea launched a missile out of its national airspace on a trajectory which crossed the route of an aircraft from Air France. The aircraft wasn't in danger at any time, the minimal ...
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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) ...
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Are fireworks a hazard to aircraft?

Tonight's fireworks got me wondering: With all of the firework displays happening at the same time, how do they keep aircraft away from them? Is there any risk of collision or blinding the pilots? ...
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What is required to fly privately from a region with high levels of the ebola virus (Nigeria) to the UK?

My dad will be flying us in a private aircraft from Nigeria back to the UK. I know that he has been in touch with someone from the UK about this, but since I wasn't present for the conversation I'm ...
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For what reasons might a taxiway be mistaken for a runway?

In this article, an airliner landed on a taxiway instead of a runway. What might be the reasons that a pilot can mistake a taxiway for a runway? (I mostly know the answer for this question, but I ...
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When taking passengers, what should I do to prepare them?

What kinds of stuff should I think about in terms of taking other passengers flying in a small airplane? Many potential passengers have never been in a small airplane.
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How are engines mounted onto wings?

I've heard that the engines on a commercial air transports are typically mounted with 2 or 3 bolts. Is this true? If so, how big are these bolts and what are they made of? I'm optimizing a bolted ...
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How do larger aircraft compensate for reduced visibility from the cockpit, e.g. less visibility of the rear of the aircraft?

In smaller planes, pilots has apparently great visibility in front, on the sides and a good portion of the rear of the plane. But as the plane's size is increased, the visibility is also reduced. One ...
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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?
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Is it safe to fly a glider when I can't move the stick fully left and right?

This past Saturday, I started training in a Schweizer 2-33A glider. When I got in the glider for the first time, I found that I couldn't move the control stick fully left and right, because my legs ...
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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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Where does the 90 seconds limit for plane evacuation come from?

New airplanes have to confirm that all passengers have to be evacuated within 90 seconds or they wouldn't be certified by aviation authorities. But where does the 90 seconds limit come from? Why isn't ...
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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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What if you refuse to fasten your seatbelt?

As a passenger, what happens / can happen if you refuse to fasten your seatbelt when you are told to, either during take off/landing or (bad) turbulences? I've recently read a Facebook post that ...
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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 ...
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How much cheaper would flying be if we made it less safe?

Comment: I know this doesn't represent reality, it is a hypothetical scenario. I have the impression safety measures are non-linear in cost, i.e. that reducing the accident rate by one percent costs ...
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Airline safety: what happened between 1959 and 1962?

The graph on page 17 (PDF page 18) of this Boeing air safety publication shows the fatal accident rate for commercial jets in the US and Canada dropped from about 40 per million departures in 1959 to ...
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How does this test flight escape aparatus work?

I was watching this video about the test flight escape systems on a Bombardier flight. In the video, this machine is shown: The yellow box moves up and down in the video. Does it move up and flip the ...
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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  [...] ...
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Is it possible that meteor could strike a commercial airliner?

Is it possible? Are there some such accidents in human history? Is there any rules or systems design to protect airplanes?
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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 ...
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Could a runway include a safety device to destroy a plane's landing gear?

The NTSB recently released its final report of a crash at Hanscom field (KBED) in Bedford, MA. The short of it is that the pilot tried to rotate with the gust lock engaged, preventing the plane from ...
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Can a passenger drone perform auto-rotation?

(Source) The Dubai Drone is an Ehang passenger drone planned to start commercial services in July 2017. If there is a failure, can such an electric multi-copter auto-rotate a landing? I'm wondering,...
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Why does Canada recommend a minimum rate of climb for ultralights of 300 ft/min?

What is a safe minimum rate of climb for ultralights? I understand most ultralights climb at least 300-800 ft/min and in fact the Canadian ultralight specs recommend a minimum rate of climb of 300 ft/...