Category Archives: Safety

A new approach -Thoughts on Automation

There is not a new transport airplane built that does not rely heavily on computerized systems.  Automation has been the “name of the game” for several decades now, with each new generation adding more to it. Pilots are now accustomed … Continue reading

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Proper attire on airplanes

It seems every few weeks there is another news story about a person being denied boarding for wearing something that in the view of the airline is inappropriate. These standards vary and are quite subjective. Some middle eastern airlines will … Continue reading

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Questions on the Moscow Superjet crash

On May 5, 2019, an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 crashed when returning to land at the Moscow Shremetyveo airport.  Of the 76 passengers, 41 were killed in the accident.  On departure the flight encountered an area of convective weather. It … Continue reading

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Increasing Learning from Accidents A Systems Approach illustrated by the UPS Flight 1354 CFIT Accident

Please click the link here for the full paper.  Most accident analyses are based on ad hoc approaches. Many formal analysis techniques have been proposed, but few are widely used. This case study shows how a structured process called CAST (Causal Analysis … Continue reading

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Is the Boeing Max safe?

There is much concern right now about the Boeing Max.  I have seen also quite a few comments from people saying that they would refuse to fly on it, even after it is approved again.  While a typical response, it … Continue reading

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Pilots are not the problem

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Thoughts on stalls

Much of my recent work has involved LOC-I, and stalls in particular.  The following may be of interest. First, this from the AA 903 incident in 1997 (from the NTSB report on AA 587, page 106-107): On May 12, 1997, … Continue reading

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Microburst detection and avoidance – A new method to identify the threats

Microburst detection and avoidance A primer for pilots By Captain Shem Malmquist You’re on final and there are thunderstorms around.  As you line up still 10 miles out you notice that you can see the airport but there is some … Continue reading

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It’s More Than Angle of Attack

It’s More Than Angle of Attack   By Captain Shem Malmquist       As many in the flight test community know, Pete Reynolds (Learjet, later Bombardier) was one exceptional test pilot. Pete possibly had more time in transport category … Continue reading

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Automation, Pilots and Preventing Accidents – Reprinted from Flight Safety Information

Automation, Pilots and Preventing Accidents   By Captain Shem Malmquist    In recent FSI articles I have put forward the idea that perhaps our problem is not weak pilots who are “automation dependent.” Here I will expand on the topic … Continue reading

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Certification and limits

My previous article discussing limits on electronic engine controls elicited a number of very interesting responses that went into several different directions.  I thought I might share some of these with you as well as some additional thoughts.  Unless specifically … Continue reading

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WHY DO WE ACCEPT HARD LIMITS ON JET ENGINES?

By Captain Shem Malmquist AN FSI COMMENTARY We make a number of assumptions about automation, the good, the bad and the problems. I believe that it is time to put some of these to rest if we are to actually … Continue reading

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THE AOA PROBLEM – WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT (reprinted from Curt Lewis Flight Safety Information News).

THE AOA PROBLEM WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT       By Captain Shem Malmquist AN FSI COMMENTARY The following is based only on an analysis and implications of the FAA airworthiness directive (AD) issued in the wake of the … Continue reading

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WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM LION AIR 610: Thoughts on Lion Air – Reprinted from Curt Lewis Flight Safety Information news

A FSI Commentary Editors Note: While the Lion Air 610 investigation continues, it’s important to remember that hindsight bias is no substitute for understanding potential combination system failure events. We welcome reader response to Captain Malmquist’s commentary. On October 29, … Continue reading

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Is your job safe from the perils of automation or free trade?

While most of my writing regards pilots, this one is for everyone. That said, please forgive the aviation examples I use! Many people worry about their job security as companies shift manufacturing to other regions of the world while simultaneously implementing … Continue reading

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High Altitude Flying: What every pilot needs to know – A new Online Course from Curt Lewis Aviation

New Online Course from Curt Lewis Aviation HIGH ALTITUDE FLYING: WHAT EVERY PILOT NEEDS TO KNOW Aimed at all pilots who cruise every day at high altitude, this course shares the critical lessons learned from the Air France 447 disaster and … Continue reading

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Two talks

Some may be interested in more information on these.  If so, please feel free to contact me. Training to Facilitate Adaptive Capacity in Automated Systems Capt. Shem Malmquist, FRAeS While automation has often been touted as the source of the … Continue reading

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Single-Piloted Commercial Aircraft

Section 744 of H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which was introduced on April 18, 2018, states: SEC. 744. SINGLE-PILOTED COMMERCIAL CARGO AIRCRAFT. (a) Program.—The FAA, in consultation with NASA and other relevant agencies, shall establish a research and development program … Continue reading

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Take a Fatigue “Selfie”!

In a previous article I discussed cognitive bias as it relates to flight operations. Although I just hinted at this in the previous article, let me be clear now: Fatigue will exacerbate all of the negative aspects of cognitive bias. … Continue reading

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INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ENGLISH ASSOCIATION

Several years ago I wrote an article on the importance of proper phraseology.  You can read that article here. For those interested, you may like the following conference. ======================================

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Know your aircraft – System Training

  System training.  This is part of the curriculum when learning any new aircraft.  Why is it important to talk about here? In recent years there has been a trend towards less and less system training.  At one time we … Continue reading

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Just turn it off!

Several years ago my company had a number of senior pilots transitioning off of traditional “round dial” airplanes, such as the B-727 and DC-10 as the airplanes were being retired from the fleet.  The pilots were moving directly to the … Continue reading

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Talk and book signing following the film

For those interested and in the Tampa, FL area on December 3rd, I will be doing  a talk and book signing following the film.  See below for details.

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Practical Methods for Accident Investigation

In my previous article I posted a link to a paper I had written originally in 2014 and presented at a conference for the South East Regional meeting of ISASI.  The topic of investigations came up last Spring when I … Continue reading

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Just Culture Accident Model

At the time I wrote this I was working with various methods to investigate accidents. I have since found that Leveson’s STAMP provides the most robust method.  This paper may be useful in a technique to help the field investigator … Continue reading

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High Altitude Flying and Radiation

There is much concern in the pilot community of the exposure to radiation as a consequence of high altitude flight.  There are FAA and NOAA pages that discuss the issue and the amount of radiation can even be tracked.  So, … Continue reading

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How much fuel?

Fuel.  It is an ongoing issue.  We all want to ensure that we arrive with enough fuel at the destination so we have options.  The best way to accomplish that is to have more fuel on departure, right?   Well, maybe … Continue reading

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The Bluecoat Project

If you’re on LinkedIn, check out The Bluecoat Forum An international Forum on the subject of FMS, EFIS and EICAS displays, automated subsystems, flight mode annunciators, flight directors, autopilots, and the integration of all avionics equipment in the modern cockpit. … Continue reading

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The Briefing

I just thought I’d share something fun.  Pilot briefings are very important, and it is critical that these are, literally, “brief”, as well as hit the issues that are actually important.  Things that are just standard and expected are not … Continue reading

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Angle of Attack book released!

NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDER  Finally, the definitive book on the Titanic of aviation accidents, a state-of-the-art jet that couldn’t stall until it did and took the lives of 228 Air France passengers and crew. Based on exclusive interviews with the … Continue reading

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A dry microburst experience

I came across this article today which I had written quite a few years ago.  How many years ago?  Well, TWA was still in business!  I should add that my more recent article, here, is a worthy follow-up if you’ve … Continue reading

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The Actors of Resilience

I am going to shift gears a bit and move into a discussion of resilience engineering.  I was able to attend the recent symposium of the Resilience Engineering Association (http://www.resilience-engineering-association.org/) of which I am a member.  A common thread of … Continue reading

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Appearance on AirplaneGeeks.com

I am honored to have been a guest on the 401st podcast for airplanegeeks.com.  Great group of folks who are working hard to get accurate aviation information and news out to the world.   I discussed how an aircraft accident … Continue reading

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Are pilots going to be eliminated?

We have become accustomed to the idea that we can do more with less and flying is no exception.  Improvements in technology first allowed airplanes to fly without navigators as long range radio navigation then inertial systems and most recently … Continue reading

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A probabilistic world

As pilots we need to make decisions based on reality.  Anything else can lead to a very bad outcome, but what is reality and can we perceive the difference between reality and perception? We live in a probabilistic world.  This … Continue reading

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“The Fall of Saigon: FedEx Aircraft Mechanic Reflects on Journey from War 40 Years Later” –An amazing story

This post is to honor someone who deserves to be recognized.  Sometimes the job of flying puts us in contact with amazing individuals.  I have been fortunate to meet quite a few in my lifetime and perhaps that will be … Continue reading

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Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501

The Final Report of the Air Asia 8501 has been released.  This was a loss of control accident that does contain some lessons that are worthwhile sharing. There had been an ongoing maintenance item that resulted the ECAM message of … Continue reading

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High Altitude Stalls – how well do you understand them?

  High Altitude Stalls – how well do you understand them? By Captain Shem Malmquist Acknowledgements Credit for the impetus of this article must be given to my friend, aerodynamicist Clive Leyman, who initiated a discussion on these issues.  He … Continue reading

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Salient Symbols and the HUD

________________________________________________________________ There are those that dislike using a Heads Up Display, or HUD ( such as pictured above), but in my experience, once a pilot is used to the HUD it becomes as indispensable as the Primary Flight Display (PFD), … Continue reading

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Are you an “expert”? Does your airline train you as an expert?

Are you an “expert”?  Do you think that the industry, the public and regulatory agencies expect you to be an “expert”?  Are you being provided the tools you need to become an “expert”?  Do you need to be an expert? … Continue reading

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What is of interest

For those interested, I often post articles I come across that are pertinent to my Jet Safety Facebook site:  https://www.facebook.com/jetsafety. These include items I have written as well as articles I have come across that are of interest to flight … Continue reading

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Video of a Downburst

By Captain Shem Malmquist In a previous article I discussed the need to tilt the radar higher when in the terminal environment in order to be able to paint the area of the storm where the threat is present. Today, courtesy … Continue reading

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Kinematic Effects

Kinematic effects has been published in the International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics and Aerospace.   Abstract The control of an aircraft relies on sensory feedback. It follows that any aspect that could create a situation where that feedback is faulty … Continue reading

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Can you see the biz jets?

By Captain Shem Malmquist On Monday, April 11, 2011, an Air France A-380 was taxiing at JFK when it hit a regional jet (RJ) that was waiting for a gate.  There is video footage, and it is pretty clear from the … Continue reading

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Asiana in SFO

Ten seconds. When this crew was at 500 feet they were exactly on glideslope and exactly on their target speed. Ten seconds later they had too low energy to recover. Think that would never happen to you? How many times … Continue reading

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A short discussion of Malaysia airlines missing flight on NBC’s “The Mix” with Janet Reilly.

Shem Malmquist on NBC’s “The Mix” with Janet Reilly.

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Hand-Flying and Attention to Detail by Shem Malmquist

  The author shot this photo flying inverted over Hong Kong   “The problem with pilots today is that they’re not doing enough hand flying!”  How often has this been said in recent years?  It is a refrain that seems to … Continue reading

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Fit for Duty by Shem Malmquist

I was recently flying a trip and my first officer and I got into a discussion about how various family emergencies should be handled.  My company has, historically, been very good about this, where if a person calls in with … Continue reading

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The role of Cognitive Bias in Aircraft Accidents

By Captain Shem Malmquist Please also see my book, written with Roger Rapoport, available via the following link: “Angle of Attack“. Introduction Humans are subject to a variety of heuristic biases.  These directly impact the decision making process, resulting in … Continue reading

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Investigative Bias

The concept of biases on the part of the accident investigator is not something often considered, however, I think this is a much larger issue than is often given credit for.  It is virtually impossible to separate our bias’from what … Continue reading

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Hindsight Bias

More to follow, but this is a teaser for an upcoming article: Pilot Error? It is exceedingly easy (and a lot less cognitive work) to just capture the hindsight bias (a type of confirmation bias, really) aspects and say “that … Continue reading

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Cold Fuel

Cold Fuel  By Captain Shem Malmquist GENERAL INFORMATION On January 17, 2008, a Boeing 777 operated by British Airways crashed on landing just short of its destination due to apparently fuel “freezing” (actually ice crystals formed clogging the fuel/oil heat … Continue reading

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How to get the most out of Carbon Brakes

Carbon Brakes Captain Shem Malmquist The following information was adapted from an article on brake use by Capt. Simon, UAL (Ret), and portions have been reprinted with permission.  It is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to … Continue reading

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SERC of ISASI Annual Meeting – Guest Speaker

This talk proposes that the concepts developed for Just Culture may provide an avenue to broaden the scope of accident investigation and move away from the “blame” outcome of most reports through the use of a simple Just Culture algorithm … Continue reading

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Slow-Onset Hypoxia: An insidious killer

   (Image from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cabin-pressurization.htm) Slow-Onset Hypoxia: An insidious killer Captain Shem Malmquist and Dr. Paul Buza, Florida Institute of Technology Have you ever ran a checklist, and then looked up a few minutes later and realized that something that you thought … Continue reading

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Airborne Weather Avoidance

Airborne Weather Avoidance By Captain Shem Malmquist  Please also see my book, written with Roger Rapoport, available via the following link: “Angle of Attack“. You are on approach with convective weather in the area.  Lightning is present, and you can … Continue reading

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Weather Depiction – What Air Traffic Controllers need to know

Weather Depiction by Captain Shem Malmquist “Flight 1210, I am currently depicting an area of extreme precipitation from your 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock approximately 40 miles in front of you”.  We were enroute from TPA to MEM at FL380.  Our … Continue reading

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Landing Kinematics

  Landing Kinematics Captain Shem Malmquist   Pilots flying large aircraft need to be very cautious when making pitch changes near to the ground.  A review of flight data shows that pilots sometimes make forward (negative) pitch changes or rapid … Continue reading

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Phraseology in International Air Transport Operations

by Captain Shem Malmquist Pilots should “avoid the use of slang” in international communications.  For those pilots that will fly some international trips during their career, it is worthwhile to explore what that statement really means.  The challenges of international flying … Continue reading

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Aircraft Pilot Coupling (APC) PIO Transport Aircraft

Written by Shem Malmquist, Captain MD-11 Most pilots have heard the acronym “PIO” (pilot-induced-oscillation) at some point in their careers, and most assume it is related to poor piloting skills. Recognition and recovery from PIO is not even taught in … Continue reading

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Weather Avoidance – Transport Aircraft Operations

By Captain Shem Malmquist While thunderstorms can occur during any part of the year, we all think of Spring as “thunderstorm season”.  With the warming of the weather comes an increase in convective weather. This is an excellent time to … Continue reading

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The Effect of Negative Pitch Changes on Landing Performance

By Captain Shem Malmquist One area of flight performance that is misunderstood by some pilots is the affect of pitch changes just prior to landing.  Specifically, some pilots will aggressively lower the nose just prior to touchdown.  While this technique will … Continue reading

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Stabilized Approaches

(image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A380) By Captain Shem Malmquist There has been much emphasis on the importance of the stabilized approach.  I recently came across an interesting analysis of the time saved by flying an approach at higher speed as opposed to configuring … Continue reading

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Cold Temperature and Wind Effects on Altimetry

  (Image from http://www.mountainflying.com/) By Captain Shem Malmquist Barometric altimeters are prone to various errors. Most pilots understand the effects of non-standard pressure. We correct for this below transition altitude by setting the local altimeter setting as provided by ATC. We … Continue reading

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Windshear

Photo from http://wildaboututah.org/images/VirgaTucsonJulioBetancourt-4.jpg By Captain Shem Malmquist At least once each year we each return to fly the simulator.  The “game” in the simulator is fairly predictable.  We know what to expect most of the way through – we are more … Continue reading

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Inflight Fire

By Captain Shem Malmquist June 2, 1983, Air Canada flight 797 experienced an in-flight fire.  The first hint of smoke odor occurred at 1900 CDT.  The crew had thought they had extinguished the fire.  At 1907 CDT the smell of … Continue reading

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