Flight safety

    The bird did it:

    Even colleagues from Tutu often wonder how safe it is to fly, not to mention the passengers. There are a lot of rumors on this topic, so let's sort them out.

    Basic things:

    - Emergency landing in uneven shrub steppe is often safer than landing on water.
    - Parachutes as a systemic phenomenon will reduce the safety of passengers.
    - 30 years - the normal life of the aircraft. 20 years old - the plane is still young.
    - In case of engine failure during takeoff, there are situations when it is necessary to continue taking off.
    - The failure of all engines does not mean a catastrophe at a certain speed.
    - To the best of a hard blow during landing is safer than “kiss landing”,
    - For what each flight attendants are instructed.

    Each of these points can be a potential cause of controversy. Below is my subjective opinion as an acting pilot of Russian aviation (seven years).

    What is flight safety?

    If we refer to the textbook, the term safety is as follows: “Flight safety is a state of the aviation system or organization, in which the risks associated with aviation activities related to the operation of aircraft or directly providing such operation are reduced to an acceptable level and monitored ".

    In other words, a certain percentage of victims is implied, but this percentage should be extremely minimal, and all risks associated with aviation activities should be monitored and ideally reduced to zero.

    What does it mean?

    15 years ago, this meant that by 1.2 million transported passengers no more than one passenger was lost. If you set the bar lower, you can reduce the cost of flights, but at the same time safety is lost. If you put it higher, you can get the best passenger survival rate by incredibly complex measures, but the ticket price will be much higher. That is, this is an optimization problem, within the framework of which you need to get those flight conditions when it is safe enough, but it does not cost 200 thousand for a one-way ticket. The current level is considered acceptable, but this does not mean that civil aviation specialists are not working to improve this indicator. In second place for the safety of passengers are considered trains. At the same time no one is afraid of trains, and many are afraid to fly.

    What influences safety?

    There are three factors that affect flight safety: technical, human, and environmental.

    Technical factor: modern technology is much better than it was at the dawn of aviation. Mankind has learned to produce sufficiently reliable equipment to perform safe flights. Therefore, it is believed that the influence of a technical factor is practically reduced to zero.

    An example of a technical factor is the Jakarta incident, when the weather radar could not detect a cloud of dry volcanic ash. “Ladies and gentlemen,” says the captain. - We have a little problem. Stopped all four engines. We are doing everything possible to restart them. I hope this doesn’t give you too much anxiety. ” Then everyone survived.

    Human:unfortunately, it is human to err. A person gets tired, a person has individual characteristics, character, temperament, which influence decision making. Today, aviation specialists undergo a number of psychological trainings, special courses to improve their skills, a special technology is being developed with a clear sequence of actions and cross-checking of each other. All these measures reduce the accident rate on air transport, help to overcome psychological incompatibility within the crew and improve the performance of the human resource.

    Wednesday: the influence of weather on flight is mainly attributed to this factor.

    There are several dangerous weather phenomena that affect safety and flight performance in general:

    1. Thunderstorm and as a result - various precipitations (heavy rain, hail, snow). On board there are special locators that can determine the presence of thunderstorms on the route of the aircraft.
    2. Poor visibility on the runway (for example, dense fog). As mentioned above, mankind has sufficiently improved aviation and ground equipment, and today, with certain training of pilots (who work continuously on their skills), it is possible to land almost with zero visibility. If for objective reasons the pilot cannot land with poor visibility, he decides to leave for the alternate aerodrome.
    3. Gusty wind that interferes with the control of the aircraft. Here, the gliders themselves have become much more stable, but still the main technical approach is to recognize such situations and not to fly to areas where it is possible. Or leave them at another airfield.

    Is it always possible to leave for another airfield?

    Yes. The plane is fueled with a certain amount of fuel, allowing you to make two laps over the destination airport (15 minutes per lap), then go to the nearest suitable spare (most often in another city or region) and safely drop in on the correct path there. This is in the "Federal Aviation Regulations": a similar calculation is enshrined at the legislative level. There are a number of features for calculating such a stock, but the rule above is the most frequent case.

    Why passengers are not given parachutes?

    A similar question will cause a smile to the pilots. Why? Because the process of such landing is simply unreal. Starting from the general organization of the jump itself in an emergency and ending with the design features of the aircraft. Therefore, it is simply necessary in civil aviation to look for other ways out of the emergency.

    Here is a good analysis .

    Can an airplane land in a field?


    To get started, watch the educational video. The operator removes from the passenger seat a hard landing.

    One member of the staff died during the landing, another person died on the way to the hospital, the pilots were seriously injured, three factory workers were injured on the ground. The link has more details in English.

    Such a landing (except for the factory building that was encountered at the end) is safer in practice than landing on water. The plane reacts with the impact of the waves in approximately the same way as if it landed on an uneven stone. The physics of the process is a bit more complicated, but the analogy is generally correct. Therefore, if there is a choice, it is better to sit in the field.

    Aircraft can land without landing gear and decelerate the entire fuselage. That is, by the case itself, where the luggage compartment is located. Here is another video (approximately in the middle you can see landing on a lane without a chassis):

    Can an aircraft land in the field if all its engines fail?

    Yes. And on the airfield too. Glider lift is determined by the wing. When a plane has a certain speed, it can plan for quite a long time. From a height of 10 kilometers (this is about the standard level of movement of a passenger plane), you can plan more than 100 kilometers. Usually through these 100 kilometers is a strip. If not, at least a road or a flat field.

    That is why the takeoff is quite sharp, which often scares the passengers. In many situations, airlines are trying to avoid safe, but subjectively frightening actions (for example, passengers do not like the zone of turbulence). Take off - an exception. At takeoff, you need to pick up the optimum speed and take the optimal angle of climb. It is necessary to gain as much height as possible and get as high a speed as possible so that in case of failure there is a speed margin for the maneuver. Immediately sharply tear up can not: the greater the angle, the more the speed will be lost. Therefore, this angle is calculated and maintained by the pilot manually, depending on external conditions.

    Simply, before taking off, the pilots calculate several speeds (V1, V2, VR), which they will withstand during takeoff. What is this speed?

    V1 - decision speed. This is a speed calculated for the given take-off conditions, before which it should be decided to continue or stop taking off. In other words, if in the course of the run-up one of the aircraft’s systems failed, the pilot is obliged to stop taking off, while stopping the aircraft will happen safely.

    VR is the speed at which the aircraft begins to rise and the safe speed of the aircraft's detachment from the surface of the runway.

    V2 is a safe take-off speed. This is the speed at which in the event of a single engine failure, the take-off will occur GUARANTEED safely.

    In general, the failure of one engine - a situation that is driven thousands of times on simulators. This is almost a regular exercise for pilots, and do not be afraid of this.

    Here is an example.failure of four engines - then the plane flew through a cloud of volcanic ash.

    If running around the cabin is bad?

    The movement of a large number of passengers in the internal space of the aircraft creates problems with the longitudinal stability of the aircraft. In other words, the aircraft must be balanced in mass relative to the center of gravity. For this, a centering schedule for baggage is made on the ground, and passengers sit in the cabin in a strictly defined order to create the correct alignment. That is, your bags are not just loaded as it will, but laid out so that the center of gravity of the aircraft was in a certain place so that the plane was balanced in the air.

    And, for example, pilots of military aviation, when they throw a tank on a parachute, feel not very comfortable. The plane so bucks that it is necessary to align it specifically. This is a whole skill. During the landing of the Airborne Forces Air Force, the pilots' pulse is greatly increased due to surprises with centering.

    Therefore, the mass movement of passengers from one end of the cabin to the other is undesirable.

    Do I need to turn off the cell?

    Cell phones are assumed to interfere with navigation systems. More precisely, they can create. In practice, this is questioned, but still the gadgets are asked to turn off. This is one of the requirements to reduce the impact of a technical factor on flight safety, which is slowly changing in the direction of greater comfort for passengers.

    In addition, there are airlines that hold the opinion that if a passenger plays on the tablet, then he may not react in time to a critical situation, and therefore let him be better vigilant. To do this, the tablet must be turned off.

    Wonderful video on this topic:

    The shutters, by the way, open so that the eyes are accustomed to the ambient light (or darkness): this can be useful when evacuating from the cabin.

    Why is hard touch better?

    If you were flying with American or Eastern European pilots, then you probably noticed that they were making quite a significant push when landing. Our USSR flight school assumes more what is called “kiss landing,” that is, a very soft landing.

    When landing on a wet strip, both our pilots and other schools use a tougher touch. It is safer to “drop” a plane to the lane a bit, though not so pleasantly for passengers. But it allows you to make sure that there will be a good friction force and a good first contact: this will not only reduce the chance of slipping during contact-tearing, but also allow automation to work more accurately. In addition, a “confident touch” dissipates some of the aircraft’s energy, and a smaller length of landing strip is required to extinguish the rest.

    But on the dry strip, the measure of professionalism of the pilot is still a very accurate calculation when landing. Therefore, our pilots conditionally touch extremely gently, and then, after touching, they tightly press the plane to the runway.

    Why not be afraid of old planes?

    Because the plane has a huge margin of reliability. In general, the plane pays off in about 20 years. Age up to 30 years is considered “conditionally” mature. The aircraft is built for very long operation initially. Each aircraft passes the necessary technical regulations, before taking off and after landing, all aircraft systems are thoroughly checked by engineers and pilots. This allows you to identify failures and significantly increase the life of the equipment.

    We are still successfully flying the An-12, and they are 1965 of release. Steering surfaces still keep air flow well, the engine is working. Yes, there is no support for a number of new standards for navigation and other things, but these are details of the equipment installed on board.

    Why be afraid of birds and drones?

    Because the bird can get into the engine or leave a serious dent on the body, which will then be damaged further by the air flow. Duck in the engine - instant failure.

    Fortunately, birds and drones are found only at low altitudes; they simply do not rise to flight levels of large aircraft. Birds are purposefully scared off around the airports: they are stuffed, they use special repellers, fly kites with a profile of birds of prey, use hunting birds of prey (rarely) and simply shoot birds. At busy airports, ultrasound emitters work best.

    It is for this reason that many GPS drones firmwares include areas where the drone cannot take off: most often they are located near airports.

    What happens if a person on board becomes ill?

    Flight attendants can provide first aid. They have a connection with the land where there is a doctor at the airport. If the case is serious and the doctor understands that it is necessary to urgently land the plane, then this is exactly what will happen. The final decision is made by the FAC.

    Also, an emergency landing can be made in emergency situations on board. If someone in the cabin brawls - this is a good reason for landing. A drunk, frightened person, when he starts to make a row, is a serious problem for flight safety. It is not for nothing that legislation imposes heavy fines for aviadeboshir. An inadequate person can perform a series of actions, to put it mildly, unsafe. This introduces nervousness that interferes with the work of pilots who can make a serious mistake.

    Instructing flight attendants

    Separately, I would like to stay at the briefing from the flight attendants. Some do not listen to information about the actions in an emergency, emergency exits and the placement of special tools inside the cab. And is it important. It is clear that our flight will take place normally and we will safely reach the point of destination. But you must know TB. Therefore, it is important to have information on where emergency exits are located, since in case of a fire in the cabin, it is necessary to quickly and coordinatedly leave the cabin. 150 people do not fit into one door, we need additional exits that are, but they need to be known. It is necessary to fasten, because when the aircraft is damaged or during turbulence, the fastened passenger will not suffer. Information about oxygen masks is very important, especially the point that you first need to put the mask on yourself and then on the child. It should have time to attach to the face in about 6-9 seconds. The oxygen supply is about 10 minutes. The pilots have it more, but in 10 minutes you can go down to a height where you can breathe outboard air. Therefore, pilots of many airlines can not wear a mustache and nose rings: this worsens contact with the oxygen mask.

    What else do paranoids need to know?

    Pilots of the overwhelming majority of airlines are fed with different catering to eliminate food poisoning. One pilot was poisoned - the second remained in the ranks.

    Before the flight, the pilots undergo a medical examination. A professional doctor does several tests, conditionally measures the pulse, pressure, looks into the eyes, sniffs the pilot and asks a couple of questions, watching the reaction. At the slightest doubt, a full physical examination is started. This rather quick procedure is applied in both civil and military aviation.

    Pilots have a working time standard to eliminate fatigue and reduce the influence of the so-called human factor. After the shift is over, you will need to rest in the hotel. Working hours should not exceed a certain amount per day, so almost all pilots love transatlantic flights: 15–16 flight hours — and quality rest, then the second crew comes on the plane, and the tired first one rests a few days, waiting for the return flight. But usually on flights inside the country the same crew flies back and forth. If the pilot is sitting in the cockpit on the ground and waiting for the passengers to land, this is also a separate type of work. That is, the pilot can immediately rest during work hours and still be at work. For this, there is a system of coefficients that takes into account the rate of fatigue in different situations.

    There are many reasons to go to the second round when landing (usually it feels like going up and turning and unnerving passengers a little). This happens when you need to miss someone out of turn, for example, a plane with a person who is already waiting for ground services of the Ambulance.

    Flights over the North Pole are dangerous in terms of temperature and radiation conditions. Generally, as you rise a little higher in the atmosphere, the level of background radiation increases as compared to that available on earth. This can only be a problem for pilots (because they fly very often) and on certain flights near the poles of the planet. Aurora is a sign of increased background radiation over the circumpolar regions. Accordingly, more than 40 times a year on flights to the US it is better not to fly through the zones of active aurora. This used to be a problem, but modern routes lie more to the south than old ones.

    Pilots are taught psychology of communication. It is necessary not to communicate with passengers via an intercom (flight attendants perform the role of on-board psychologists), but so that the pilots understand each other well. Soviet approach - flew carriages. Modern approach - clearly written scripts for each action. It is assumed that the pilots speak to each other only special teams, special answers and report on templates. This eliminates any ambiguity. The goal - to talk as little as possible and in the case. If you fit into these reports, it is believed that you can safely perform in-cab procedures. There is a fixed phrase for each instrument reading. And the answer should also go a simple short phrase in English.

    Training Each pilot loses many different chains of failures many times and is constantly put in a stressful situation on the simulator. Again, with some exaggeration, you can say that the task is to make everything that can happen in flight seem like a routine.

    Modern equipment allows you to very accurately form the trajectory of landing. Systems on the ground and on the plane work in conjunction. For many years, robots have helped make maneuvers including landing.

    In general, do not be afraid to fly a plane, and a taxi at the airport.

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