Thursday, January 13, 2011

Safety in air starts from ground

Below are two reflections of human errors and negligence.
The picture below clearly states the story that this aircraft was not maintained as per required schedule. Someone somewhere took a short cut that cut the engine cowling and must have cost the airline, a fortune many many times the salary paid to that guy for his entire service.

Following is a result of crew fatigue. Insufficient rest to flight crew is insisted upon all the world over, but some greedy airlines' managements think that pilots sleep in the long flights so blow two hoots and force them to fly more than stipulated hours without rest.

In the year 1986 in Male (Maldives), an American pilot who was flying as captain of DC-8 aircraft for Maldives Airways, became my friend. He told me that he suspected beyond doubt that the earlier company he was working for, was involved in illegal drug smuggling. This he came to know after a few months of flying. He risked his life to get out of their clutches, leaving behind his 3 months salary arrears.

He used to recall his boss telling him there, "Damn it. You just keep flying. Make money. You can't ever make this much in your entire life. Keep your bloody eyes and ears open and all your traps shut." No one had courage to speak a word.

I told him with pride, "For Indians, life is precious than money and morality more than life."

Following is a picture of Pilots fatigue. A heavy landing at Kabul that separated the entire front section including the cockpit from the aircraft.

In Aviation we always keep in mind that howsoever repetitive and boring the checks may be, they are meant to lead us to the path of safe operations in the air.

V S Saxena
Mumbai (India)


  1. Very interesting piece. Looking forward to more interesting excerpts.
    Anju and Sona

  2. Nice article that makes a good point. I think there are lessons that can be learnt from aviation field and applied to any other field. Only in aviation, the failures can cost human life! Look forward to more interesting stories and experiences!

  3. Thank you Anju, Sona and Mudit for encouraging remarks.