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Thai Airline One Two Go in the spotlight again

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Thai Airline One Two Go in the spotlight again

Old 19th Jan 2008, 01:13
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Thai Airline One Two Go in the spotlight again

From the Bangkok Post
http://www.bangkokpost.com/Business/19Jan2008_biz28.php


One-Two-Go Airlines is on the watchlist of aviation authorities and subject to more stringent safety standard certification, following a near-collision with another commercial aircraft on Dec 15. Still reeling from the Sept 16 fatal crash in Phuket, the budget carrier faces fresh image problems related to the competence of its foreign cockpit staff and reliability of its ageing MD-80 jetliners.

Wuthichai Singhamanee, the deputy director-general in charge of safety at the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), said the airline needed to be placed under close scrutiny after the latest incident, details of which only emerged this week.

The incident took place over Nakhon Sawan when a One-Two-Go aircraft en route from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, erroneously entered the flight ceiling assigned to Nok Airlines' Boeing 737-400, flying from Chiang Rai to Bangkok, causing potential for mid-air collision.

Disaster was averted thanks to the TCAS warnings on both aircraft. TCAS _ Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System _ is a computerised avionics device designed to reduce the danger of mid-air collisions between aircraft.

Since January 2005, all commercial aircraft registered in Thailand were required to be fitted with TCAS, which begins to sound off alarm when another flying object is about 10 km away.

Mr Wuthichai told the Bangkok Post that the latest incident would require DCA officials to personally carry out checks of the cockpit crew's competence rather than designating pilot trainers to do the job on its behalf.

The department will also review safety standards of One-Two-Go's aircraft at its next scheduled inspection.

Furthermore, a set of new regulations is being drafted by the DCA requiring foreign pilots working for Thailand-registered airlines to be knowledgeable and go through flight tests on simulators.

According to Mr Wuthichai, initial investigations showed that the One-Two-Go Airlines' pilots were ''negligent'' for not monitoring the flight status, failing to take immediate action when the auto-pilot was disengaged for some reasons that caused the aircraft to stray from its designated flight ceiling of 32,000 feet, to encroach Nok Air's authorised altitude at 33,000 feet.

The pilots on the One-Two-Go flight were Indonesians. The pilot who commanded One-Two-Go's Flight OG 269, which crashed at Phuket International Airport that left 89 dead and 41 injured, was also Indonesian.

The cockpit staff involved in the incident were grounded for one week by the airline itself after the event and the MD jet was later checked and cleared for service.

DCA director-general Chaisak Angkasuwan said the department had not taken any punitive action against the airline as the incident, in accordance with the internationally practised regulations, was not serious enough to warrant doing so.

The One-Two-Go/Nok Air incident was not unique. ''We see incidents of this nature happen ing once a month involving Thailand-registered aircraft operating on domestic and international routes.''

One-Two-Go founder and chief executive Udom Tantiprasongchai said it was too early to suggest whether the two aircraft were really in a ''near miss'' situation, or on the path of collision as some news reports indicated, pending investigation reports.

''If they were really on a collision path, the whole world should have known soon after it happened,'' he said.
Mr Udom said safety was not compromised, insisting that One-Two-Go had gone a long way to enhance its safety standards. ''We are confident in our safety.''
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 01:34
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''We are confident in our safety.''
Whew! That makes me feel SO much better.
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 07:59
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Does the Thai DCA sit in and observe the sim checks at one two go as they do with the other operators?
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 08:11
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Thumbs down

It was being mentioned in another thread that there seems to be some racism from the authorities in Thailand regardeing foreign pilots. The sentences "... the budget carrier faces fresh image problems related to the competence of its foreign cockpit staff..." and "The pilots on the One-Two-Go flight were Indonesians. The pilot who commanded One-Two-Go's Flight OG 269, which crashed at Phuket International Airport that left 89 dead and 41 injured, was also Indonesian." seem to be consistent with this.

I think they better realise that ANYBODY can make mistakes, not just the foreigners, before it's too late.

And BTW what on earth do they mean by "would require DCA officials to personally carry out checks of the cockpit crew's competence rather than designating pilot trainers to do the job on its behalf." ??? Are they gonna get their desk-pushers and bean-counters to be present at the sims instead of getting professionals? And that is supposed to benefit the system...how?

???
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 11:15
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It seems to have all gone downhill since they stop hiring western crew. Not bagging any specific pilot group but their (Indonesian's) track records haven't been all that great. Reminds me of China Airlines a decade ago.

I guess you get what you pay for.

Glad no one got hurt. For awhile it seems that maintainance or lack there of would get them.

Glad no one got hurt.
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