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Dirty Dozen: 12 ways your drone can land you in trouble

Drones are becoming increasingly popular throughout society—being flown by kids with no aviation knowledge at the local park or by experienced pilots conducting complex commercial operations. With this popularity comes an increasing awareness of...

Properly clear of the prop?

by Phillip Zamagias How many times have we been told ‘treat every propeller as if it is live’? Like many things in aviation, years of doing repetitive tasks with no apparent danger can breed a familiarity...
Interior of helicopter cockpit

Workload and helicopters

Rotary-wing pilots have to manage engines, rotors and their own mental reserves. ‘It flies itself’, said no helicopter pilot, ever. Piloting a helicopter is a complex, continuous, multi-task operation, in no small part because of...

Aviation medicals—myths versus realities

Whether you fly an A380 or a Jabiru J160, if you’re in the air it’s your responsibility to be medically certified. You’re just about to be issued with your pilot’s licence but there’s just one...

Video shows bags delaying evacuation

Passenger video from yesterday’s accident to an Emirates Boeing 777 at Dubai shows something anyone with interest and commitment to aviation safety would rather not see: some passengers reaching for their luggage in an...

Lithium battery fire sparks Mayday

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its report into a lithium battery fire that ignited in the cargo hold of a Boeing 737 moments before passengers boarded a flight from Melbourne to...

No second chances

Why gliding experience makes us safer pilots. Kreisha Ballantyne experiences the seven valuable skills advanced by gliding. Clunk! That’s both the sound of the tug rope leaving the glider and the sound of your brain realising...
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Shot down in flames: the dangers of the blame game

The tendency among pilots to be tough on each other can be nasty—and ultimately, hazardous. By Kreisha Ballantyne. ‘Self-indulgence and severity towards others are the same vice.’ Jean de La Bruyère (1645–1696) Shane Masterton* was a grade...

Lithium battery ban announced

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries will no longer be permitted as cargo on passenger carrying aircraft from 1 April, following a decision by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Single use lithium metal batteries have...
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New drone has built-in ADS-B

Drone manufacturer DJI has announced its latest model will have a built-in automatic dependant surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) receiver. Due to be released over the coming months, the Matrice 200 (M200) series is marketed on adaptability...
image: © Airbus A340 cockpit | Airbus SAS

The finger of fate

One mistyped digit almost led to what could have been the worst crash in the history of Australian aviation. Adrian Park analyses an incident that exposes some uncomfortable truths about automation, redundancy and the...
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Australia’s civil aviation in 1950

How’s this for flashback Friday? As part of researching a story on the evolution of air traffic control featuring in the upcoming May/June edition of the Flight Safety Australia, we came across this historic video...
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The myths of pilot error

Since the legend of Icarus, pilots have copped the blame for not following policies (i.e. don’t fly too close to the sun) and causing aircraft crashes. Over the century of powered flight, innumerable newsreaders,...

Aviation university offers free course

In a rare case of something in aviation being free of charge, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is offering an online course in accident investigation. Embry-Riddle, founded in 1926, is the world’s only university exclusively devoted to...
Female pilot Tracy Lamb

Women’s work

Evidence suggests women have the right stuff to be safe pilots and engineers. So why aren’t more of them doing it?  ‘… when I think of women on planes, I don’t think of women as...

It was almost all over: the destruction of China Airlines flight 120

There is a tangible sense of relief when a large passenger aircraft touches down. The sound of the landing gear reacquainting itself with the earth is indeed a cheery sound—especially when it’s accompanied by...
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The Seaview disaster: conscience, culture and complicity

Adrian Park reflects on the grim but important lessons from a watershed crash that happened 20 years ago A little after midday, on Sunday 2 October 1994, an Aero Commander 690 operated by Seaview Air...
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Investigators say ‘Sully’ movie gets it wrong

Crash investigators with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are frustrated at having been cast as Hollywood villains in the film Sully, which opened this week. ‘From what I hear, this is somewhere between...

Engineering the future

What happens to aviation safety if there aren’t enough people to service aircraft? In the first of a series of articles, Flight Safety Australia looks at the looming shortage of aviation professionals. Aviation is facing...

Fatal misunderstanding brought down Flying Tiger

Sunday 19 February marks the anniversary of a crash that serves as a grim lesson in the importance of clear communication in aviation. On 19 February 1989, a Boeing 747 operated by Flying Tiger Line...