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mindFly Katha

mindFly Katha

By Capt. Amit Singh
mindFully Human. All about human factors and thinking.
mindFly by Amit presents an Indian Non Governmental Organisation for safety
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Inspirational farewell letter written to my Grand Father

mindFly Katha

The roof of the Aloha Airlines B-737 blew away exposing the complacency in the industry on maintenance standards
The fuselage of the Aloha Boeing failed, despite the fact that it was designed and built to well proven rules. Why? The whole industry had become complacent about maintenance and particularly about the durability of old aircraft. To put this in perspective the accident aircraft was nineteen years old, older no doubt than the cars driven by most of the passengers. The aircraft had operated for 35,496 hours, in other words it had actually been up in the air for a total of four years. The aircraft had taken off 89,680 times, that means each flight had averaged only about 25 minutes. Every 25 minutes the skin, the frames and the joints had been stretched as the fuselage had been pumped up to maximum pressure. How could the airlines and their mechanics have become complacent about their planes while treating them like this? Boeing was concerned about its old aircraft in general terms, it too was complacent about the fuselage. This was because of a naive faith in a concept called the "lead crack". Boeing engineers believed that if the fuselage did crack anywhere, a single "lead crack" would grow along the skin until it reached a fuselage frame, then it would turn at right angles and a triangular shaped tear would blow out and safely dump fuselage pressure. Boeing is a close knit company and when an idea like this takes hold it becomes accepted as gospel. It went unchallenged by most of the FAA. The British and Australian authorities never accepted the concept but needed an accident to prove them right.(Lessons from Aloha: Martin Aubury)
February 08, 2022
Singapore Airlines B777 levels out at 500ft, as strong cultures overshadow procedures
I am a true believer that society and culture cannot be separated from work and training. However best the training may be, it is under a controlled environment and the performance indicators needed to be achieved are briefed before hand. The crew undergoing training works together to achieve their objective and they are driven by performance indicators required to be achieved to declare them competent. In the real world, the motivation, drive and targets are not briefed as well as they are in a training environment. There are a lot many distractions and personal cultures and behavioral influences are lot more active as compared to a training environment.
February 07, 2022
Pointing & Calling way to reduce common errors
“Looking without seeing” is the most common error that most humans make daily. Our attention is distracted or preoccupied with other thoughts. The obvious in front of us is sometimes missed whereas the reaction to the situation or the call out is as per SOP. Pointing and Calling refreshes our attention to the specific point that we intend to look. This activity involves pointing at target objects by stretching your arm and stating out loud. Calling out “Such and such is OK” at important points in the work ensures work is carried out safely and correctly. Read the blog here SFnSq0DKQAKwtw2EFulc
February 06, 2022
Airbus runway overrun protection fault inhibited when the systems is deployed, is it logical?
Read the blog here The Runway Overrun Protection System (ROPS) is designed to alert the flight crew in the case of potential runway overrun situation. The overrun warning (ROW) function automatically arms at 400ft AGL and works until start of braking. The Runway overrun protection (ROP) works from start of braking until the aircraft stops. The surprising part is that the ROW/ROP LOST fault which is triggered when the ROW/ROP is lost is inhibited below 800feet on the final approach till the aircraft decelerates to 80 kts speed. Effectively, the pilot is unaware of any fault in the system when the system is expected to be deployed and functioning. Isn't this giving the flight crew a false sense of safety whereas the system could be functioning or not functioning. I am sure that a lot of though must have gone behind the logic but definitely worth a discussion.
February 04, 2022
5G will spin money for telecoms but keep the airplanes away
Listen to the congress sub-committee hearing on the 5G issue. The 5G mess in the USA has exposed the corporate culture in the USA where lobbies decide on the course of action. Is it the $81 billion which is shaping the policy or aviation safety? Safety is always a balance between production and protection. Too much of anything is bad.
February 04, 2022
In the business of training pilot and the Union Budget 2022-23
Read the blog here Becoming a pilot is an expensive proposition due to the high training costs without an assurance of a job and on the other hand can be a lucrative business for some. Every year hundreds of youth train to become pilots at flying schools in India and abroad having borrowed huge sums in loans or mortgage. A pilots profession not only pays well but increases the social standing of an individual. The youth is desperate for jobs and the airlines need pilots, but do airlines have a moral and social responsibility of not making pilot training into a business which works towards maximising profits and at some stage even insensitivity?
February 03, 2022
When Wasps take fancy to the aircraft Pitot Probe to build mud nests, safety is compromised.
Interactions between aircraft and wildlife are frequent and can have serious financial and safety consequences. Birds are the most common threat to aircraft, with a host of terrestrial animals also implicated. This podcast is about the Wasps building mud nests in Pitot Probes of Aircraft. These can cause blockages and lead to aircraft instrumentation displays errors.
February 02, 2022
The Airbus A320 failed to lift as the pilot pulled full back on the stick, not again! Center of Gravity
Read the final report here The aircraft was departing from Runway 26 at London Luton Airport, but when the PF made a normal aft movement of the side stick control at rotation airspeed, the aircraft did not pitch up. The PF increased the side stick input close to the maximum deflection. When the aircraft still did not pitch up, the PM selected TOGA thrust. The aircraft responded and a climb was commenced but then the pilots forgot to retract the landing gear till about 5000ft.
February 02, 2022
Go Around at Orly led to GPWS warnings as the aircraft descended
Watch the animation , click here! When the plane was on final for runway 25 at Orly, a Runway Incursion Monitoring and Collision Avoidance System (RIMCAS) warning was activated due to the presence of a bird-control vehicle in the vicinity of the runway safety area. However, the bird-control vehicle was behind the holding point and outside the runway safety area. The erroneous activation of the RIMCAS warning was due to the relocation of the holding point, after work, not being taken into account in the system parameters. Due to the RIMCAS warning and the absence of a reply from the driver of the vehicle, the controller ordered the crew to perform a go-around after they had passed through the decision altitude (DA). The crew carried out the go-around by initially displaying a thrust and a pitch attitude which resulted in a high vertical speed. They then engaged the auto-throttle (A/T) although the autopilot (A/P) was disengaged. The left turn was started late and the high bank angle triggered the “BANK ANGLE” warning. The missed approach altitude was exceeded during the turn. Under the combined effect of a nose-down input from the PF and the A/T reducing the thrust, the plane next re-descended below 2,000 ft. The controller then cleared the crew to climb to 3,000 ft. The crew’s selection of this altitude caused a V/S mode reversion with the instantaneous vertical speed taken as the target speed (-1,100 ft/min).
February 01, 2022
Change management and systems designs exposed during COVID19 social distancing!
A serious incident caused by a combination of operating factors in a complex system interacting in a manner which had neither been designed nor predicted. If passenger and cargo distribution on an aircraft leads to an undetected out of trim condition, the potential outcome could be unexpected handling qualities or control limitations.
February 01, 2022
Airbus 320 NEO Center of Gravity issue
Airbus and Boeing have had their share of the center of gravity issues due to placing the bigger engines under the wings. This was an opportunity to build a new medium range aircraft but the existing ones were selling like hot cakes, so it didn’t make much business sense. They now have to deal with basic issues like the center of gravity.
February 01, 2022
Residents of Dhariwal will remember you with respect & gratitude forever.....a farewell letter to my GrandFather
An emotional & inspiring farewell letter written by the residents of Dhariwal, Gurdaspur, Punjab. He established the 1st D.A.V. School in Dhariwal at the age of 24years and fought against Proselytism.
January 28, 2022
RASE a repository of anonymous safety experiences
RASE is an open platform mobile application  where the users can share experiences/information that they normally write down in notes or remember at the back of their mind while flying an airplane or operating to an airport. Those unique features that are not normally found in company documents but are crucial or helpful. RASE app is available in iOS download here                                      Android  download here
January 28, 2022
Humans have a GPS like navigation system in the Brain
Comair accident in the USA and 2 other incidents have highlighted the issue of spatial orientation of the human brain. While pilots remain heads down in order to conclude tasks, they are losing their orientation. The chain of errors can only be broken by a brief pause to reorientate before a takeoff.
January 28, 2022
Inspirational farewell letter written to my Grand Father
My Grand Father, Chaudhari Prakash Chand was working at the New Egerton Mills in Dhariwal, Gurdaspur, Punjab. Protested against proselytism by the Britishers in 1920 & subsequently lost his 1st job for establishing the DAV school. Survived attempts on his life at the age of 20 yrs. The residents of Dhariwal, Gurdaspur wrote this touching farewell letter for his contributions to the society. Read by Mariam.
August 16, 2021
Know Thy Self: Emotional Intelligence
Self awareness is the sense of an ongoing attention to one's internal states. In this self reflective awareness mind observes and investigates experience itself, including the emotions.
May 18, 2021
Triage could have saved the AirIndia Express Co-Pilot's life
Air India Express IX1344 accident at Calicut airport where the aircraft plunged 35 meters killing 21 people including the pilots. The victims were transported to various hospitals in ambulances and private vehicles. While ambulances are equipped with life saving medical equipment, the Co-Pilot was rushed to a hospital 25km away an hours drive on the backseat of a private car thereby depriving him of the critical life saving equipment. Read the blog here
May 17, 2021
Qatar Airways close call with crossing aircraft over Iran
A Qatar Airways newly acquired Airbus A350-1000 series aircraft had a close call over Iran on 12th April when it came into close proximity with another crossing aircraft. The airliner equipped with the state of art technology and traffic collision avoidance system was seen climbing by about 500ft while cruising at 34000ft on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Los Angles, USA.
April 27, 2021
COVID19 & the Psychology of fear
When does fear set in and the different categories of near misses. McCurdy observed during the bombing of London in the World War that there were 3 categories. 1. Those who dies and those who were injured 2. Those who missed narrowly 3. The remote misses The behavior varied and so was their definition of fear.
April 27, 2021
IATA Travel Pass, the safest solution to reopen international borders amidst the COVID19 pandemic
The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both. It is built it in modules as an industry solution based on open-source standards. It can be used in combination with other providers or as an end-to-end solution. The most important thing is that it is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market.
April 24, 2021
Training Fads and Fables
Be skeptical about claims for effectiveness of training methods. Always ask questions and on implementation of these techniques.
April 21, 2021
Aviation ministry sits on INR1450 Cr in the backdrop of unpaid salaries & COVID crisis
COVID19 crisis has crippled the aviation sector which has witnessed salary cuts and job losses to stay afloat. In this time of crisis the civil aviation ministry has managed to overlook utilization of budgetary allocation of a staggering INR1450 Cr FY 2020-21.
April 20, 2021
Prevent conflict of interest, parliamentary committee recommends moving AAIB from Civil Aviation Ministry
The Committee felt that the administrative jurisdiction of AAIB under the Ministry of Civil Aviation go against the tenets of impartiality and equality, since it may raise the genuine question of conflict of interest.
April 20, 2021
Boeing 737Max grounded in India till further orders & how FAA misunderstood the Max flight control system
The DGCA has issued an AIC dated 20th April 2021 which states that The operation of B737 Max aircraft will not take place from/to Indian airports & transit or enter Indian airspace effective 13th March 2019 till further notice. The Watchdog Faults FAA For 'Significant Misunderstanding' Of Flight System
April 20, 2021
RASE, the anonymous safety experiences sharing platform
RASE is a repository of safety experiences. The USP of this mobile application is that experiences can be shared globally through an easy to fill form and experiences can be sorted through a searchable database in various formats. The application is for all X borders, uniting personnel using similar fleet, airports or just for information sake.
April 19, 2021
High reliability organizations in Aviation
A high reliability organization (HRO) is an organization that has succeeded in avoiding catastrophes in an environment where normal accidents can be expected due to risk factors and complexity. Important case studies in HRO research include both studies of disasters (e.g., Three Mile Island nuclear incident, the Challenger Disaster and Columbia Disaster, the Bhopal chemical leak, the Tenerife air crash, the Mann Gulch forest fire, the Black Hawk friendly fire incident in Iraq) and HROs like the air traffic control system, naval aircraft carriers, and nuclear power operations.
April 18, 2021
Mindfulness in aviation, the essence that west is slowly adopting:mindFly
This episode is also available as a blog post:
April 15, 2021
TRUST your AutoPilot under high stress, learnings from Vistara MayDay Fuel
This episode is also available as a blog post:
April 12, 2021
Psychology of Surprise: Air India tail strike at Pune
This episode is also available as a blog post:
April 12, 2021
Seconds away from disaster, crew use superior training skills to prevent a CFIT
This episode is also available as a blog post:
April 12, 2021
April 11, 2021
April 11, 2021