Old 5th Jan 2015, 13:41
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Oxfordshire
Age: 50
Posts: 470
I think we need to give credit where it is due, and just pause to consider that there were about 33 million commercial flights in 2014, and only 150 crashes.

Which is a crash rate of 0.00045%.

And that's per flight, not miles flown.

These are staggering numbers, and vindicate that the industry (both technical and aircrew) do a fantastic job. It is perhaps the slow pace of change which has positively contributed to this safety record, and not made things worse.

Of course we can improve, but changes must be made in a measured, sensible way taking advantage of properly proven technological advancements in an affordable way.

In an increasingly congested airspace, humans simply cannot keep track of everything going on inside and outside the flight deck so automation must take on ever more tasks.

Perhaps aircraft systems have already gone beyond the point where any single person can understand how everything works such that they can piece together disparate symptoms of failures to produce a recovery plan?

If it takes thousands to develop these systems and dozens to maintain them (with no time constraints and a set of manuals to follow) why are we expecting a single pilot to know enough about everything important?

Humans are the weak link, and always will be - both in the design stage and in the flying. On the ground we have many many processes to follow to try and eradicate errors, but they do still occur. 99% are found during the testing phase, and whilst costly they can be put right.

When errors compound faults during flight, the odds are stacked against the pilots...
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