Air France's safety record is worse than what it seems. Some accidents do not pop up in the statistics because: 1. there were no fatalities and 2. the aircraft was not scrapped, but eventually returned to service.
You will only be able to find any information on certain incidents/accidents when you specifically know what you are looking for.
- Runway overrun on 13th June 1995 at Delhi Airport
About the AF A319 in Sofia: I understand small mistakes but this is a HUGE mistake that could have made an accident (if small aircraft on twy H). They were at night? So the runway lights should be clearly visible and WHITE; not blue and green as on a twy. Of course we don't know everything about this serious mishap but the result is that with a vis of 4K at night they made this HUGE mistake: it could have killed many people; remember SQ 744 in 2000 in Taipei: 83 fatalities when taking-off from a closed runway in bad weather. I heard the CVR: no taxy briefing, no correct runway identification at line-up; same with Air France that day in Sofia?
oh well..i guess the crew will just get called in for a cold coffee ,quick Gitanes and a stale croissant without jam..then a typical gallic shrug of the shoulders (you know, that one with the special facial expression )..and back to work ..no problem eh ?
Instead of the competent/incompetent argument between the skygods and others, perhaps just best to ask ourselves what we are doing to prevent such an occurrence to ourselves at a tricky airport plus any other airport.
At my company, we are verbally saying such things as Runway 36L verified prior to entering a runway and it is also a checklist call. It is also best to check lights/paint when lining up. Blue/green lights are bad. White lights are good for confirming on a runway. Yellow paint bad, white paint good. Threshold numbers the best.
Plus we use the localizer(if possible) and heading for runway confirmation on low vis takeoffs.
If it is not your SOP, I'm sure most of it can still be done by silently.
The problem with Air France is that when a pilot is incompetent .. one in the other seat is too! AF has two scheduled flights per day in Sofia The runway is 5 years old What should be more for don't confuse runway and taxiway ? Answer: Two competent pilots
Come on chaps, let's get rid of pointless additional checks and crap arse-covering briefings. Just do the basics and do them properly. Briefings should be very simple - a basic intent and then highlight of the BIG risks. In the past I have been bored rigid with ludicrous drivel which near enough goes down to the colour of the bloody ink and the thickness of the paper.
Not sure what AF are using but there are a number of aircraft and or operators that have a long checklist which gets run during line up (my current one has nine checklist items).
This is the problem with adding a check each time an error happens. You end up missing the forest for the trees. Instead of concentrating on the big picture you are trying to complete a checklist correctly.
Last edited by Roger Greendeck; 20th Oct 2012 at 23:45.
Well, if that's your standard of competency it's time for me to stop flying! In my book a COMPETENT pilot should not make such an INCOMPETENT mistake as this.
If all the hints from the very beginning of man's conquest of air were not enough to some to recognize this to be so so untrue that it borders with pathologically romantic, then official adaptation of TEM a couple of years ago definitively should have been.
However, I would be first to admit that there are legions of PPRuNers absolutely incapable of taking off from wrong runway or taxiway.
Qantas has no known fatalities since 1951 (which is impressive, I grant you). But due to its age (again, impressive), one can't hope to write "Qantas is an airline with zero accident rates" and be right about it.
Quantas has historically flown a predominantly long haul operation with long periods of low risk cruise and significantly less exposure to the higher risk take off and landing phases of flight. It is not, therefore, surprising to find them at the better end of the league tables. Lies, damn lies and statistics etc.