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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...

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...

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...
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...

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...

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...

178 seconds to live—VFR into IMC

Flights operating under visual flight rules (VFR) flying into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) remains a prominent safety issue, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau recording 111 occurrences over the last 10 years, investigating 18 serious incidents...
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Point it, call it, get it right

How Japanese railway theatre could make aviation safer There’s free entertainment on trains in Japan. Ride near the driver’s or conductor’s positions and you can watch them making bold gestures, accompanied by confident and abrupt...
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...

Surprise greeting turned into soggy mess

An embarrassing and potentially dangerous incident (its official classification) in Dubai is a reminder that aviation safety extends to when the aircraft is on the ground. On 20 September 2018 at 10:38 local time, a...

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...
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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...

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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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...
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The fatal five

By Kreisha Ballantyne Every pilot, controller and engineer needs to know about these five psychological traps. In aviation, knowledge is power. As pilots, engineers and controllers, we pride ourselves on how our aircraft and systems work...
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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,...

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...

Do not go gentle: the harsh facts of hypoxia

Five months after the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370, authorities believe that a hypoxia event best fits the available evidence for the jetliner with 239 people on board to go missing. In the aftermath of one of...