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Old 4th Oct 2007, 22:22
  #2687 (permalink)  

Sun worshipper
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 494
The more minor stuff simply gets reported and is categorized accordingly. It is important that the data is codified against what actually happened and not against fanciful what-ifs. That way future designs can learn from the degree of successes at mitigating against catastrophic consequences for combinations of malfunctions and circumstances.
Thank you, that allows me to re-introduce a concept that PJ2 has mentioned in his post #1225 a month ago :
An ICAO directive launched in Europe the implementation of FOQA - flight Operations Quality Assurance - which most EU airlines adopted. The basic idea is to use the massive recording capacity of modern FDRs to allow a complete reading of all events on every aircraft. Both engineering and Ops departments could then be aware of repetitive defects, parameter trends, flight incidents like o/speed, unstabilised approaches, out of SOPs events...etc...The possibilities that were open are quasi limitless and airline managers suddenly found that it could lead also to some rather important savings in normal operations (fuel policy, ATC constraints...etc..).
One of the best safety tools is the stats the system can derive from all these recorded events.
The beauty of it is that through IATA these data are shared between airlines and manufacturers for safety and a quarterly safety bulletin informs the crews on undesirable practices and rerference to the OPS manual. some of the results were for instance the installation of an ILS to a rather difficult small airport, the disappearance of unstabilised approaches to a particular airfield, the increased discipline in taxi speeds...another stress on a given aircraft correct landing technique etc...
Of course, FOQA or FDA are just part of the whole set-up every safety-minded airline has, but they also have to have the aircrews' agreement. All the published irregularities are anonymous and any pilot could go to the FDA office and ask for the read-out of a given flight he was on.
So you see, TAM should have all the info you'd need...but won't get.
One question, though : Are the differences in operating procedures that we've seen from the graphs or heard of here, allowed by the airline ?
Does TAM have have a serious Ops quality assurance program ?
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