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We explore aviation accidents as emergent properties of complex systems, and discuss: the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association complaints about pilot wages, a survey on frequent flier rewards programs, an NPRM that would change FAR Part 61, third class medical reform in yet more legislation, and a two seat Robinson R44. David has an onfire history segment and Rob talks TSA.
Captain Shem Malmquist has a broad aviation experience ranging from teaching aerobatics and instructing in a wide variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft, to academic research and safety investigation.
We talk with Shem about improvements that have made air travel safer, and the gaps we now face for identifying problems that might arise in the future. Shem explains how aviation accidents currently present themselves as interactions of complex components. Resilience engineering is an example of a different approach to how we look at complex accidents. We discuss flight simulators, mitigating lithium battery risk, and autonomous vehicles, including both manned and unmanned aircraft.
Shem worked as an instructor and evaluator on several transport aircraft and has served as flight crew on the Embraer EMB-110, Shorts 360, B-727, DC-8, B-747 and MD-11. He continues to work a full flight schedule, mostly international long haul flights.
Shem has been part of the Air Line Pilot Association’s (ALPA) National Charting and Instrument Procedures Committee (CHIPS), and he was selected by his airline to be the chairman of both the airline’s Safety Committee and the Aircraft Design and Operations Committee.
As Flight Duty Officer, he led several initiatives, including a volcanic ash avoidance plan, air security procedures, and a number of regulatory compliance issues. Shem completed NTSB’s accident investigation training and acted as Party Coordinator for an MD-11 accident in Newark, New jersey, and he was on the “go-team” for an MD-11 accident in Narita Japan.
Last year, Shem was a keynote speaker at FAA’s InfoShare and has presented at several International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) events. He has also authored numerous articles on various issues involving flight safety and operations covering a broad range of topics from technical to human factors.
Shem earned a Masters (MSc) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Science (BSc) from Embry-Riddle University. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and a member of AIAA, IEEE, and SAE where he also serves on three committees: Flight Deck Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft, Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology, and Lithium Battery Packaging Performance.
David Woods, Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University. Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems.
Sidney Dekker, professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, author on human factors and safety: Field Guide to Understanding Human Error.
Air Transport Safety Articles A collection of articles written by Shem Malmquist FRAeS.
Airline Safety and Accident Investigation Community on Facebook.
Driverless Cars and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell, MIT Professor of engineering and the history of technology, author of Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy.
Southwest Pilots Sue City of Chicago Over Billboard Advertising
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) wanted to make a point about pilot wages on a billboard at Chicago Midway International Airport. City Hall told them they could not post their message, so the union filed suit against the city of Chicago, claiming an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment rights and asking for a temporary restraining order to allow the pilots to display the ad. As a result, a Judge orders Chicago to allow Southwest pilots billboard at Midway.
The Best and Worst Frequent-Flier Rewards Programs for 2016
The Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey conducted by consulting firm IdeaWorks found that for the third year in a row, free seats open for booking increased. “Overall, I think the consumer is being better served than the year before,” says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks.
Switchfly CEO Daniel Farrar said, “This survey reflects the fact that airlines can’t afford to take their customers for granted. 21st century consumers are savvy and plugged-in. They know when their loyalty programs are offering them a real value and when they are not delivering; and they don’t have time for loyalty programs that aren’t delivering, especially in such a competitive space. Increasingly, consumers expect a personalized booking, travel and reward experience. Every time a customer interacts with the brand – online, offline or mobile – the user experience must be on-point. Airlines must make this happen and ensure that zero customers have a bad experience anywhere along the booking or redemption path.”
See Southwest and airberlin Top Reward Rankings but Turkish Airlines and Air China Rise High [Ideaworks press release, PDF]
Proposed Part 61 changes would benefit GA
The FAA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change FAR Part 61 which governs the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. AOPA is supportive of the proposed changes, which include “increased use of aviation training devices (ATDs) for maintaining instrument currency, the option to use new technically advanced aircraft instead of older complex or turbine aircraft for single-engine commercial pilot training, and giving credit for hours accumulated during sport pilot training toward earning a recreational or private pilot certificate.”
Defense Bill Includes Medical Reform Language
Third class medical reform from the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 keeps getting into legislation: As standalone legislation in the Senate, again as part of the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill, and now by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the National Defense Authorization Act.
FAA Approves Two-Place R44
The FAA has certified Robinson’s two-place R44 Cadet The Cadet is essentially an R44 Raven, but with the rear seats removed for more cargo space. Maximum gross weight is reduced to 2200 pounds, engine power is derated to 210 hp takeoff and 185 hp continuous.
The Aircraft of the Week
Aviation Historian David Venderhoof comments on The F-35 Stealth Fighter’s Dirty Little Secret Is Now Out in the Open.
On the Mark
Rob is talking about why he likes something the TSA did … well, sort of.
Breastfeeding pilots file discrimination charges
Tell Frontier Airlines: Sexism Won’t Fly – ACLU petition.
Breastfeeding pilots’ claims against airline seen as advance
Pilots And ACLU Sue Airline Over Breast Milk Pumping At Work
Air Data System Failure Involving Airbus A320-243 A6-EYJ [PDF] from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.
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Why won’t “I” enroll in the TSA precheck program?
1) Why give into a system that assumes my guilt and has to clear me as innocent … for now. Compounding the throwing away of the presumption of innocence, I have to pay good money to re-establish my status as just a normal schmuck and not a schmuck who’s a danger.
2) Fingerprinting is for those arrested and suspected of committing a crime. Or perhaps someone obtaining a security clearance. I’m neither of those.
3) Did you know it was easier to travel in the old USSR? Why would I want to participate in a system that’s even more draconian than what the USSR foisted on it’s population?Your papers please indeed.
4) And the number 4 reason I won’t participate in the TSA precheck program is …. Not going thru the nudi-scanner is the cheapest homo-erotic groping action your dollars can buy! People pay good money for that sort of action away from the airport. There’s nothing like a little preparation to fully experience the thrill of rotation at liftoff.