'At 500 ft, the FDR indicates: landing gear retracted, slat/flap configuration 3, airspeed 220 knots IAS, descent rate 2000 ft/min. According to the FDR and CVR recordings several warnings and alerts such as over-speed, landing gear not down and ground proximity alerts were disregarded. The landing was undertaken with landing gears retracted. The aircraft touched the runway surface on its engines. Flight crew applied reverse engine power and initiated a braking action. Both engines scrubbed the runway at various locations causing damage to both of them. [...]'
I'm amazed that the airplane managed to become airborne again despite the engines being dragged down the runway with reverse thrust selected.
So maybe they'll go to idle but won't reverse, because reverse while in the air would be bad.
In the case of the landing attempt above, reverse thrust and the very sketchy (ahem) landing configuration would typically bleed off too much speed to make a successful takeoff possible. Depending on the runway the implicit decision point might have been behind them virtually upon touchdown. With so much excess airspeed, though, while a safe stop was not possible they were still able to fly. It would have been a hell of a ride, though, and just thinking about abusing an airplane like that kind of blows my mind.
But the excessive speed is what allowed the plane to lift off again.
"Imran Narejo, an official of the PIA Pilots Association, said Gul was a seasoned pilot with 18,000 hours of experience including over 4,000 hours in the A320."
A while back some US Air Force pilots landed a B-1 bomber on Diego Garcia. The entire flight and the landing was flawless, other than the part where they landed with the gear in the retracted position. The report on the incidents finding was they simply went right past the item on the checklist like it never happened.
See also: https://danluu.com/wat/
I've, for example, left the carb heat on when I had to go around. The hot summer air, combined with a C152 at max load, made for a hair raising takeoff. At 500' or so, the instructor casually asked if I was going to turn off the carb heat, which improves engine performance quite a bit.
Figure I'll fly 30 or so hours this year. The normal workflows get rusty, which is why checklists are such a thing.
When someone does a belly up landing, what usually ends up being the expensive part is the prop smacking the tarmac, the engine must be rebuilt.
This is what it looks like from the inside. Notice the beep that the pilot... missed.
I don't fly retractable gear aircraft, but I did spend several months exclusively flying a Citabria. On my first flight back in a more typical Cessna 172, I went through the downwind, base, and final legs as usual.
After landing and getting the plane stopped, I turned to my instructor and commented that the landing sight picture seemed a lot steeper than what I had remembered.
He smiled and pointed to the flap switch, which I had completely forgotten about. The Citabria doesn't have flaps.
The human brain is a funny thing. It will convince you of things that are not there just out of habit.
"Pointing and calling" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointing_and_calling) appears to address this.
(I think this is meant to be an accurate simulation of the same type of aircraft under the same conditions.)
The current top comment in this thread also quotes the investigator report for this crash as saying
> According to the FDR and CVR recordings several warnings and alerts such as over-speed, landing gear not down and ground proximity alerts were disregarded.
So, yep. Although in the simulation, at least, this particular one is not a voice alert but is an annoying bell (with details of the reasons for the alert available elsewhere in the cockpit).
But gear up landings don't happen in a normal stable approach in nice weather. Gear up landings happen when something else is going on taking all the pilots' attention. Like in this incident they were too high, too fast and descending too quickly. That causes a lot of other warnings and distractions, so they completely didn't hear the gear warning.
The thing about flying an aircraft is while it's 90% boring monotony, takeoff, approach and landing are all extremely time sensitive operations. It's easy to become cognitively saturated or to "get behind the aircraft". You can only go forward and you're going really fast so everything has a deadline.
The best description would be like when you were learning to drive and you merged onto a highway the first time. Lots going on, can't slow down, just have to commit and try to keep up.
This happens at the highest levels, even. Consider Hillary Clinton and the communication of classified (and information that should have been considered classified regardless of markings) via her primary email server. It's a pervasive culture of rule breaking.
I do not believe all government systems result in systemic rule breaking but only those do that do not provide an reasonable way to get things done within the rules/regulatory framework.
No, that is not at all true. There are lots of government run systems, like the health care systems in most developed countries, that are just fine. The problem with Pakistan is it has a highly corrupt culture in general and in government in particular. That is no doubt why so many of the airline pilots were able to get hired without a legal licence.
Your general claim and the fact that you bring up Hillary Clinton as an example makes me think that you believe in the crackpot libertarian view that modern societies would be vastly better if we basically got rid of the government except for a few, narrow areas.
Which group, government or 'crackpot libertarians', were responsible for more deaths in the last century? I'll wait. I'm sure if you ask those in Iraq, they'd vastly prefer the US Government was more libertarian (or any NATO government, really). I understand wanting to trade blood for convenience, as long as it's not your blood.
In routine operations of the plane under normal conditions. If they hadn't gone through proper training, they might lack knowledge of how to respond to abnormal situations.
I would have thought anyone with a fake license was already grounded. It sounds like they knew this was an issue and just looked the other way.
The only reason this is happening is because of Covid-19. No flights, so pilots can't threaten to boycott flying. Let's see if the authorities have enough political capital to follow through with firing them all.
Well, that training costs close to $100,000, takes up to 2 years, the fake pilots would have to pass several written, practical and medical tests.
> They didn't do very well
In Asian culture, staff only get promoted (one-way up) over time. So the concept of failing one of your pilots is a hard sell for local examiners - it would be scandalous behavior to flunk their sim ride.
S. Korea rotates in US CFIs until they find compliant ones that will endorse, otherwise they're sent back to the US. Or they just use locals to rubber-stamp logbooks.
One of the few recent US airline accidents was the SFO Asiana crash, which is the poster child for "not doing very well." (although why SFO turns off their ILS all the time is bizarre.)
why are you using Korean anecdotes to explain a Pakistani problem?
Some Asian countries do have some common cultural heritage. Japan and Korea were both heavily influenced by Chinese culture, for example. But, Pakistan and Korea, what common cultural heritage do they have?
No, we're talking about aviation, and the point is this.
Both have a large percentage of ex-military pilots in civil aviation. The military is hierarchical, same as Asian culture in general.
Both SK and likely Pakistan would fire a contract US CFI for busting a pilot on a sim ride, and then have a local massage the results into a pass.
It isn't making that point, it is making it in combination with the fallacious assumption there is such a thing as an "Asian culture" (as opposed to "Asian cultures")
Is it only Asian countries which have hierarchical cultures and aviation industries dominated by ex-military? Might some countries in other continents have the same situation? Conversely, might some Asian countries lack that situation?
I never asked for your agreement.
If you want to explore that further, here's an exercise for you. Name one Asian country over 50 million people that doesn't revere their elders.
Back to aviation ...
The West adopted CRM decades ago, which really helped with interpersonal issues in the cockpit. The concept of pilot flying (controls) and pilot non-flying (FMS and radio) are used, and takeoffs and landings are alternated.
Other countries have been slower to embrace CRM, and military and traditional cultural hierarchy issues made that more so. So there are still issues where the captain tells the co-pilot to just sit there, and the co-pilot is afraid to tell the captain of deviations, resulting in accidents.
I give Lionair credit for the excellent CRM during their first 737 MAX incident handling, where a 3rd pilot was able to work with the active crew to save the airplane. (The second incident caused an accident.)
Reverence for elders is by no means unique to Asian cultures, it is found in cultures on other continents as well. It is widespread in African cultures, and in the indigenous cultures of the Americas and Australia. It used to be a big thing in European cultures too, but its importance in European (and European-derived) cultures has greatly declined compared to what it was a few centuries ago.
Maybe rather than "Asian culture" one should say "non-Western cultures"? European-derived cultures, with their contemporary reduced respect for elders compared to most other cultures, are really the odd ones out here.
> Back to aviation ...
It would be interesting to see a comparison of aviation safety records between airlines from different continents, based on actual data. (One could try to perform such an analysis using JACDEC data, e.g , although I myself haven't done it.)
Hell the cultural values of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have diverged and they share a common history.
But why would pilots with valid licenses boycott the government preventing pilots with fake licenses from flying?
Wouldn't the valid-license pilots want this, because with less of them their salaries will go up? I can't imagine any scenario where people who passed a test would want people who didn't pass it to get the same benefits...?!?!
However, an accountability process that looks into the doing of pilots will get both valid license and invalid license holders in trouble, because I assure you, lots of valid license holders are also doing lots of other illegal things. So, its better as a group to resist all attempts at accountability and reform.
 Also, you will be surprised how unambitious most people are. Religion being premier in everyone's life means that they care far more about what happens after they die, rather than trying to improve the life and society they have now. Yes, the irony of having fake licenses being not exactly good for their afterlife is lost on them.
I can only talk about what I've heard in India.
1) No test is done. An official with access to blanks just prints another one for $1,000. The govt. could match up tests with the complete list of pilots with authorized licenses and get an exact count.
2) An impostor does the written and practical (flying) tests. This is common in IT also.
I personally think this is a bad idea.
The concern appears to be, at least partially, "the Americans will watch the convoys via satellite and know where we've got them all stored".
You're right Pakistan's problems are many and epic.
But saying "Hey, I have a great idea, you should solve your problems!" is not brilliant advice. They've already thought of that.
It should not be the only mechanism employed.
(I have no clue what, if any, other measures Pakistan employed.)
You have the full source of major important components of Android (like the OS Kernel), and you have very little of that for iOS. They've both got great, constantly advancing security models, but the iPhone's extra layer of security will continue to give it the edge (in my opinion at least).
Executing a process covertly doesn't imply "security by obscurity".
Its a pretty effective way of moving things that need high secrecy and present logistical challenges in required protection. In the past highly valuable items have been moved using mundane methods with little fanfare.
There's something to be said for subtlety. The US President travels around in a giant motorcade; the UK PM travels in an unmarked Jag with a couple motorcycle escorts.
So that scene with Nick Fury in Winter Soldier isn't far removed from reality?
Here's a video showing the vehicle in action:
Vendor's product page:
Edit: also see the same video from 2007 from another uploader:
It appears "Q" might refer to the product here. Or perhaps it is a James Bond reference.
Please, don't be sorry. You didn't mean anything wrong, and I was actually wrong.
The US should stop the idiotic believe that Pakistan is an ally. They simply are not, and have not been for a long time. It is well known that the support the Taliban. It is well known they are one of the main pushers of radical Islam. The only real value they ever had was to help against the Soviets when they invaded Afghanistan.
And to do that the US ignored the warnings that they were developing nuclear weapons and basically created anti-western radical Islam.
Do they actually believe it, or do they just pay lip service to that idea for realpolitik reasons? The US has repeatedly accused China of assisting Pakistan with their nuclear weapons program. It's hard for any of us to say what the truth is in that matter, but either way I don't think the potential relationship between Pakistan and China has been ignored.
But I defiantly believe they are a bad ally. I don't know what exactly they have done to get such a high status as an ally in the US. I think it never made sense really and the US has not benefit from the alliance.
I know some of the history of how it came about but even if you read those, the strategic calculus behind it was flawed.
They opposed India, which was opposed by China, and the US spent the post-Vietnam period cozying up to China, because it opposed the USSR.
So, to answer your question, they haven't done anything other than be the enemy of an enemy of an enemy of an enemy.
Here’s a wild idea: don’t try and fill the hole with money; if you can’t afford to safely move your nukes, you can’t afford your nukes, ergo you shouldn’t have nukes.
Pakistan is playing in a geopolitical game that also involves the US, China, India and other nations much stronger than it. Large countries have a track record of being willing to throw small regional powers under the bus for their own gain. Pakistan, rightfully in my opinion sees having nukes as their only way to be dangerous enough that nobody will try to screw them out of their sovereignty. It's no surprise that they'd rather have nukes unsafely than not have them at all.
Yes, what's use of a superweapon if you can't make use of it?
From my childhood experience, some times you need to commit without reservations to completely hopeless, no chance fights, as the only hope for a way out. Strong adversaries often don't expect the weak to even attempt to fight back.
- would the weapons be neutralized in most or all cases by Russia before it reaches the targets? Perhaps yes? I don't know much about that sort of thing.
- it would give a carte blanche to Russia to wipe out Ukraine, which it has the means to do if it comes to total war.
That's why I'm skeptical that nuclear weapons bring more benefits than trouble for smaller players.
But the final result would be the same as Russia deliberately bombing themselves and amputating a big chunk of their own country forever. The radioactivity would not stop in the Ukranian frontier. All nuclear weapons are boomerangs
But the game the Pakistanis imagine is different. Their concern (as I understand it) has always been that an existential war for them could be a small, regional, thing for India. Nuclear weapons are a way to change that.
I believe the same fear explains a lot of their meddling in Afghanistan. Having some chaos on their border is one thing, but having a serious independent country which could one day choose to ally with India is regarded as a mortal risk.
It's not the best of countries.
I’m not saying it’s a good idea, but there’s certainly precedent.
Smart. Reminds me of how in movies or TV shows if the person being kidnapped would just go limp instead of following the kidnapper, 99% of the problem could be solved right there. Don't aid the enemy.
At least in the US, the inherent security of nuclear weapons is kind of incredible.
I can't be bothered to find a reference, but it's expected that an agency with nation-state level resources in possession of a weapon _and_ its blueprints still would not be able to detonate it.
The term to google here is permissive action link
Hint: it's trucks and trailers.
Some argue that they are only endangering their own lives on the road but one can see how that is complete BS when you are on the road and come across such drivers.
If people were put through an extremely arduous journey to get their driving licenses with the possibility of them being taken away when you break a certain degree of rules, people would have a strong motivation to not be negligent on the road.
The queue for the test was managed in this way - pick one male and pick the 3 next females in queue and pack them up in one car with only the male to drive. I guess they for whatever reason didn't trust women to pass the test by themselves (or they were just sure they knew how to drive?). Or didn't want to waste time testing everyone.
And the test itself ? Take a U turn and stop the car. That's it. I don't know why they even bothered doing the test. Plausible deniability I guess - all of use technically 'took' a test.
Oh after I got out of the car, I asked when my motorcycle test would be, since I had applied for a 2 wheeler license as well. And they just told me you passed the 4 wheeler driving test right? Don't worry about it, we'll send the 2 wheeler license as well.
This was in a major city. If you happen to be in a village or town they don't even bother with this pretence of a test.
No wonder India has the highest rate of road accident related fatalities.
The DMV employee noticed and warned the woman to stop. She put the book away for a brief moment, then got it out again. The DMV employee saw all of this. The same thing kept happening, and the DMV employee kept giving toothless warnings. Finally, the DMV employee allowed the woman to turn in her test. As far as I know, assuming she passed the driving portion of the test, she got her license that day.
What is your incentive to meet those requirements when the "bribe" to that same official to get that same thing done is the same amount of money, only you don't need to go through the legal hoops?
As a matter of law, for U.S. companies the former is legal under the FCPA whereas the latter is not. For individuals ... the incentives are all to heck.
Fake academicians, and fake professors.
My favourites were fake doctors, with fake general surgeons included.
Ah, the best I think really were the fake dentists...
This was cleverly achieved by the state disrupting the "bribery" market at all these govt offices. You used to pay this dude 5000 Rupees to fast track your license, how about you pay us Rs. 5000 officially, and we will fast track it for you. Before you paid Rs. 10,000 to the guy to get your document without leaving your house, how about you order the document on our website, pay Rs. 10,000 and we will courier it to you.
Its really impressive how much of an impact this has made. We still have a long way to go, but things get better every year.
Similarly dangerous behavior in other areas of life often carries prison sentences, so just loosing a license doesn't seem that bad.
Regarding the motorcycle test coming for free after passing the car test (as another commenter points out), this was common practice too. In the UK if you passed your car driving license before 2001, you can drive a 50cc moped without any training or learner plates.
As for scooters... they're stupidly easy to ride, amd hardly faster than a bicycle which requires no safety equipment or training. Cyclists in Berlin are a greater danger to themselves in my opinion. Some aren't familiar with EU road rules. I wasn't until I got my licence.
Fun fact: they actually replaced my Canadian licence with a German one without any tests. I didn't even know what the yellow diamond sign meant. It's a good thing I started over with my motorcycle licence.
Infuriating series of events. It's not simply a matter of pilot error, it's criminal negligence.
It's almost inconceivable that someone could screw up as badly as he did.
*As they did. 2 pilots, both ignored the warnings from the airplane, and the initial ones from the tower about approach speed and altitude.
I'd start at 4:50.
(If you don't remember how to add the time, you can use https://youtubetime.com/ )
First thing I learnt on a flight sim: slow down or you can't extend gear.
Is the co-pilot allowed to smash the pilot in the face and take over when they realise they're ignoring basic instructions?
It takes explicit training to overcome a human tendency to defer, and that means training for all crew and especially cockpit crew. This is called Crew Resource Management and it involves learning interpersonal skills that enable the team to prevent individual human errors from having grave consequences.
CRM is most often important in the cockpit, in this example to get the pilot flying the plane to agree that this approach is bad and they need to try a fresh approach.
But CRM extends beyond the cockpit because in some incidents it's vital to remember that the rest of the crew are experts too, just not in flying a plane.
Colloquially we call all aviator people as “pilots” but technically the person on the left seat is Captain and to the right is First Officer/Pilot/Co-Pilot.
Like on marine vessels, the original idea is that the captain has the full authority to his ship and his first officer steers it under his order.
That extra hierarchy lead to several accidents so newer concepts such as PM/PF or CRM rules were conceived, but as far as terminologies go that’s what captain/officer stands for.
Time and workload permitting, ATC should inform aircraft of deviations. But most ATC, even in the US, are not pilots.
And ATC instructions are required to be followed except in an emergency, but "demand" is not the right word, as the captain is the final authority in civil flights.
> Is the co-pilot allowed to smash the pilot in the face
Well, that would be unusual, and doing it on final pretty hazardous. But in the Germanwings and probably MH370 accidents, that was the only option to avoid those accidents.
In small airplanes, instructors are prepared to override the rudder by evaluating how strong students are ("So, do you go to the gym?"), and purposefully focusing maximum force on the rudder controls.
It's pretty damn silent for two guys who are about to smash an airplane into a residential area.
They are recorded.
There are thousands of credentialed pilots but very few pilot jobs in Pakistan. A job with the PIA is highly coveted and ensures life-long financial security and social status (this perhaps explains the overconfidence of the pilots when dealing with ATC). These jobs are usually handed out to people who have the right connections with the right people in power. Some of these candidates with the right connections only needs one of those thousands of desperate licensed candidates to sit in an exam for them. PIA is also said to have thousands of ground staff hired as favors by the ruling politicians all around the world.
Also worth mentioning that it wasn't always like this - pilots and executives from PIA were behind the launch of Emirates which is one of the most successful airlines in the world. So it is really a sad story of decay and is a representation of the deterioration in other parts of the country's society.
When the pilots fail to lower the landing gear, perhaps it is time to shut down the state-run airline that runs on a huge loss and serves the top one percent of the most poor populations in the world.
Very often, using a "fixer" is the only way to do anything, as the "proper way" to do things is defunct as such (like entire ministry offices, and sections only working on the paper)
I'm genuinely scared by how much those "fixers" can do, as it seems to be no red line whatsoever on what even a man of my meagre income by tech industry standards can get with them.
A pocket change of a man making low 6 digit income can make section chiefs of ministries running circles around you.
One time had a problem with digital signature server of a tax office being down few days prior to the filing deadline. Called a fixer, fixer calls "a man in the ministry" with the same name, and surname as a vice-minister, 10 minutes later a fax with a tax certificate pops. Later I learned that thousands of companies in entire country had to pay huge fines for late filling because government server was down, and none of them were given any leniency.
The lever should refuse to budge unless moving it will in fact deploy the landing gear. These pilots are horrible, but that doesn't mean we can't improve the controls still.
If you want the lever to not move when the landing gear controller will ignore the command, then you need to lock the lever in place. If that locking mechanism fails during a normal approach, you have an airplane landing with gear up.
I'm sure the FMEA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_mode_and_effects_analy...) in this case will conclude that it's more likely that the lock will fail closed than that the checklist was ignored and both pilots will not realize that they're trying to lower gear at too high a speed since that requires three faults to occur: ignore checklist, pilot in command attempting gear down at airspeed too high, and copilot not noticing that.
Why do I say this? Well then the pilot has autonomy, if the overspeed warning is an error, or you have a problem reducing speed you can still attempt to fly the aircraft?
I mean sure, there'll be a speed at which gear extension just causes a crash, but there's also presumably mid-ground.??
Edit: total armchair aero engineering it; also in this case it might just have caused a problem at greater altitude ... but then at least there's time to correct things.
(I guess they could go for the gravity deployment backup mode, but that would be rather extreme option for a broken solonoid (or so on) on a control lever).
I can't believe anyone is defending the current UI given we have an obvious example right in front of us of how it can fail.
Just because we have an "obvious example right in front of us" does not mean it is the only failure mode that needs to be considered in the design of the system.
It is not sufficient to point out “obvious deficiencies”, one must also point out possible improvements. As other posters (with more patience than I can muster) have pointed out, it is not obvious how to improve this. Putting a lock in place to prevent movement of the lever adds another level of complexity that can itself fail. This is well known and has been extensively studied (a classic paper is No good deed goes unpunished: Case studies of incidents and potential incidents caused by protective systems ).
Listen, for example, to this episode of “Undercover Economist” Tim Hartford’s Cautionary Tales  (though the example given might itself be problematic ).
Airplanes are extraordinarily safe already (look at the amazingly low accident rate, given those fallible, sometimes even negligent and incompetent people that fly them).
Contrary to your facile assertion “There is lots of room for improvement”, there are very few obvious improvements. Change something and you might prevent one accident but enable another one.
As an example: terrorists enter the cockpit. Easy, obvious: lock the door! Ok. Suicidal pilot locks out the other pilot and flies into a mountain. Easy, obvious: unlock the door. GOTO 10. It’s not obvious. These are hard problems that many competent people have thought about in depth. That’s why “everyone” is so “intent on defending the status-quo”.
In other areas, there might be “obvious improvements”, eg regulatory matters, but even there it’s not easy. Aviation is operating within an international framework, there are rules and international treaties and regulatory bodies and stakeholders and so on.
But my main point is that it’s absurd to accuse Airbus of overlooking an obvious improvement without even a cursory understanding of the matter.
Who made such an accusation? The only way you can assume that's my assertion is if you think the UI of an airplane is literally perfect already. If there is room for improvement, which obviously there is, it's not necessarily because anyone was negligent, it's because we're constantly learning and improving.
I find all of your arguments unconvincing and tied to the status quo rather than acknowledging that improvement is possible sometimes even in obvious ways given new information.
Just because there is the potential for poorly thought out improvements, does not mean that every suggested improvement adds a prohibitive level of complexity. You've failed to demonstrate that such a prohibitive level of complexity would be added with my suggested improvement... you've simply asserted it.
On top of everything, you've not provided any credentials showing you know any more about the situation than I do, yet you seem every bit as confident.
Well, it's also an example of the saying "when you make something foolproof, God invents a better fool". They made enough mistakes here it's clear these pilots were a ticking time bomb; the only way we're fully preventing that issue is to replace pilots entirely with an AI.
It may be better to go to full automation then to start having various controls be locked (with the issues around those added mechanisms).
There are already LOTS of situation on airbus in particular where the plane simply will not do what you tell it. Overall this has saved a lot of lives (envelope protection etc).
You CAN almost always override / remove the safety envelope (pull breakers to get to direct law etc) but why. These plans can now be flown by relatively junior pilots (or in this case by folks with potentially fake pilot licenses).
That introduces a new and nasty failure state, "lever locking mechanism gets stuck".
You certainly don't seem to have a deep grasp of aerospace engineering, so maybe trust that others who do have asked these questions.
It doesn't seem right that their approach could be so fast? So perhaps the pilots themselves lowered the gear.
A comment on YouTube suggests that the gear does behave that way, it holds the command to lower gear and enacts it when airspeed falls sufficiently?
Back to the first approach, if you look at the report with the graph of the speed/altitude, the landing gear is retracted just after they are told by ATC to abort the landing and go around. See page 11.
There is no way the lever can know about all of these ahead of time.
Which is why the checklists require the pilots check the landing gear status lights to check the landing gear is down and locked.
There are precedents, for example:
A Mexican government Learjet plane carrying the Secretary of the Interior crashed in Mexico city due to a mishandling of the landing approach by the pilots (they flew to close to a 767 and got blown away by wake turbulence).
The pilots were in fact not qualified, and in fact got fake licenses to operate the Learjet from corrupt flying schools.
> Pilot Martín Olíva and co-pilot Álvaro Sánchez, were not certified to operate the Learjet 45. The investigation concluded that both pilots had received fraudulent certifications: Captain Olíva lied about the number of training flights he had made, and had issues on the few training flights he did complete, while Captain Sánchez lied about being a Learjet 45 instructor. Both men had taken advantage of a corrupt system to get false training documents and some unsigned Learjet 45 certification forms from their flight schools. These revelations led Mexican authorities to suspend the licences of both flight schools.
In World War 2, some company was experimenting with the kind of material to use for combat aircraft wings. When they did their initial trials, they saw that the planes coated with the new material came back with more bullet holes. Off hand, that would seem like a reason to dismiss the new material. But, digging into the data, they realized that planes with the old material were actually crashing when they got their first bullet hole and the planes that were making it back, even with bullet holes, all were coated with the new material.
> During World War II, the statistician Abraham Wald took survivorship bias into his calculations when considering how to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire. The Statistical Research Group (SRG) at Columbia University, which Wald was a part of, examined the damage done to aircraft that had returned from missions and recommended adding armor to the areas that showed the least damage, based on his reasoning. This contradicted the US military’s conclusions that the most-hit areas of the plane needed additional armor. Wald noted that the military only considered the aircraft that had survived their missions; any bombers which had been shot down or otherwise lost had logically also been rendered unavailable for assessment. The holes in the returning aircraft, then, represented areas where a bomber could take damage and still return home safely. Thus, Wald proposed that the Navy reinforce areas where the returning aircraft were unscathed:88, since those were the areas that, if hit, would cause the plane to be lost. His work is considered seminal in the then-nascent discipline of operational research.
edit: whoops, can't spell "plane" this morning
One airliner had a couple of incidents, including a tail strike which damaged the pressure bulkhead, and then crashed.
That boosted the reliability average of all the other remaining airliners in the region.
Seems likes they took it with a reasonable grain of salt?
Once the regulation is set, it can easily be undermined. BPA was banned by regulation, so industry developed analogue chemicals with the same properties and began using them.
Certain aspects of concrete & steel are regulated, so unethical effort goes into subverting the idea of the law while following the letter. Or they start sourcing the steel from outside the jurisdiction of the regulation (eg radioactive material is disposed of in China by mixing with steel made for export https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/the-growing-global...)
Not trying to be disagreeable, it's just a thought that has been bothering me.
Variable morality is a problem.
The solution is (imperfect as it often is, as BPA ex illustrates) effective regulation.
Effective regulation is synonymous with “making individual moral differences irrelevant.”
I think it's more illuminating to phrase the problem in terms of externalities.
Things need to be set up to ensure that the profit motive cannot lead to the following thinking: Rather than spending $100m on doing the project to a high safety standard, I'll spend $70m, introducing a mere 1% chance of catastrophic failure and hundreds of deaths.
1% is of course far too high a probability, especially if this line of thinking is being followed in hundreds of different projects, but the odds may look fine to the manager.
Without regulation, companies can be incentivised to take corner-cutting risks where they profit by the upside, and we all bear risk-of-death on the downside (failing aircraft, collapsing buildings, etc).
With regulation, companies are required to meet a certain bar. Reputational harm can also incentivise companies to invest in safety, but it's not enough; regulation is needed.
Also, of course, there are cases where regulation fails, and it’s never 100% successful. But the situations you mention are where people refused to adjust regulations as needed.
I’m curious to see examples where morality has prevented undesirable behavior on a large scale.
High labor costs in the western world drive construction techniques. We (try to) build stuff that never breaks because we can't afford to fix things if they break. Low labor costs mean structures can be replaced more often and built for a shorter lifetime. It's folly to pretend that those engineers designing shoddy Chinese apartment complexes that occasionally fall down during construction don't have the same formulas and simulation tools at their disposal. They just have different inputs and design constraints. They know that if they build 100 buildings and ten fall down it's still cheaper than 100 better buildings where none fall down. There's no point in building a 100yr building if it's gonna be bulldozed in ten.
Not quite, it's more of a deliberate fraud made possible by political corruption in the contract awarding process where they also know they won't be liable for rebuilding because they'll be long gone. The calculus is different than what you described.
Or at least that's my impression.
Here in india we don't skirt regulations because no one knows what regulations are supposed be followed. :)
The latter is rather rare in a place like the US, and when it happens, the problem will generally be discovered and fixed before people die. In the case that the problem results in casualties, there is almost always a process of oversight, media and public attention, and adapting of protocols to mitigate the risk of a similar situation in the future.
In my personal opinion the only reason why there are not a constant amount of electrical fires killing people is that brick and concrete structures don't catch on fire very well. The same shoddy electrical wiring in a north american environment with wood-frame construction would be a catastrophe.
The same cost cutting and compromise approach should not be taken to civil aviation.
Rich societies can afford to spend resources to make things safe. If the mechanism is government regulations, a strict liability legal system, and/or a civic minded population is secondary.
I'm curious to know how it got to that point. Do they have 3 or 4 competing cable tv services in the neighborhood, all with their own infrastructure?
Just to make you think about western engineering and oversight, here's one word: 737MAX.
Apparently there's heavy rainfall this year. 300-400 million people live below the dam. I'm unfamiliar with domestic travel restrictions within China, but I can't imagine it's gotten better with the ongoing pandemic, so you can't really plan ahead and move out of the way until the rainy season ends.
I want to believe there's something wrong with the camera that made that specific image distorted. Or that the government recognizes the problem and is fixing it. I like it when things are boring.
For what it's worth, that looks like distortion I've seen in other Google Maps images. This South China Morning Post article includes a satellite photo released by the Chinese government to show everything is fine: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3017927/no-p...
I'd like to think that I would've noticed before reading your comment but I saw the picture after... it looks pretty obvious though, especially to the right where the distortion follows the stitching line where there is clearly different light.
Even if the distortion were believed to be real, some of the discontinuities in the structure would be so severe as to be catastrophic.
Here's an extreme shot from the edge of the dam. Obviously it didn't deform that much and stay standing.
I’d say the dam is fine.