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Pilot's artificial arm 'became detached while landing plane'

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Pilot's artificial arm 'became detached while landing plane'

Old 18th Aug 2014, 23:02
  #181 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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I really cannot imagine a situation where the copilot couldn't have taken over , or assisted with throttles, or even the captain make a go around.


Sorry, doesn't make sense, no matter what part of the approach/landing an instantaneous and successful change of control assuming competence in both chairs/pilots.
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Old 18th Aug 2014, 23:46
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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If they changed the rules to age 65 if the other pilot is below 60 in case the older pilot can't perform his duties because of physical incapacitation why not let a pilot with an artificial limb be allowed to fly with a pilot without disabilities?
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Old 18th Aug 2014, 23:55
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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So you've made several hundred landings TTR!

What an expert you must be. Here's me getting all confused about what the first P in PPRuNe stands for.

Now I remember why I stopped looking at this site. Too many wannabes!

Cya.
Wannabe?

No thank you, flying has always been a privilege for me, not a profession.

As stated in my original post, which you obviously didn't read, several hundred landings is enough to have experienced difficult wx conditions and unexpected events on landing, giving me a sense of empathy for the captain and respect for his decision under difficult circumstances.

And it must be said that the tone of your postings forgets what the first P in the site title means.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 09:40
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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I think what you have to remember here is that a normally healthy and able-bodied person becoming incapacitated (for whatever reason) is a temporary (regardless of the outcome) and UNFORESEEN event. Having a prosthetic limb is a permanent full-time FORESEEN problem carrying risk on a daily basis.

Its a crazy rule because if he only had one eye he would not be allowed a medical so whats the difference with only having one arm? The idea of having two of anything important (engines, eyes, arms, legs) is if you lose one you've still got another - the old belt and braces.

And for those of you using the multi-crew argument to justify this situation please remember this - having a co-pilot is no good if you don't use them. This was a multi-crew operation and it still nearly ended in an accident.

I totally respect this chaps experience and ability and i admire his strength of character and true grit in the face of disability but I don't think he should be granted a medical and shouldn't be flying a commercial aircraft. And before anyone mentions Douglas Bader please remember that he was in an aeroplane ON HIS OWN and there was a war on - a totally different set of circumstances.

On this occasion Flybe were very lucky and they have been very quick to play this event into the long grass but let me ask this - what would be happening now if the aeroplane had have been damaged and people injured/killed? Flybe would be taken to the cleaners.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 11:23
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Doesn't matter how nice a guy he is the fact is that the aircraft was out of control in a critical phase of flight.
Yes, imagine no change to the situation EXCEPT the aircraft had had an accident and crashed on the runway.

What would be:

The view of the CAA;
The view of the airline;
The view of the travelling public?

This is the risk.

I'm sure the Captain is a great guy and an experienced and competent pilot.

However the risk doesn't change because of the outcome.

The risk is there for every member of the crew and all passengers every time he flies - because nothing has changed to alleviate the risk that caused this incident.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 12:09
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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Oneoffdave:

His arm didn't fall off, his "hand" came away from the yoke.

Well, that's a relief. I thought for a moment something serious had happened.



Dash8:

The RAF proved years ago that a pilot can be totally legless and still be a stuff-shirted arrogant glory-seeker.

The difference being that the gung-ho RAF chap did not have 60 fare-paying passengers behind him.


Lose a limb? Lose a heart and consciousness? What's the difference?
That's why we have two pilots in the cockpit, right?
Move along, nothing to see here.

Except that the f/o was deemed to be not capable to taking over the flight. Which is why there definitely IS something for the fare-paying passenger to see here. A f/o should always be capable of taking over, even if it means a go-around and diversion. If not, there is something wrong (and I have seen that 'something wrong' several times in my career).

And excuse me asking, but how does one transition from control-column to tiller, with a mechanical hand? What sort of mechanics would allow such a swift transition? I would be interested to see the mechanics behind this, as would most of the passengers, I'm sure.


Silver

Last edited by silverstrata; 19th Aug 2014 at 12:22.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 13:28
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Silverstrata, spot on :-)
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 13:56
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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I suppose that many of the posters opposing a Class 1 Medical for pilots with a prosthetic limb might review their position if a tram ran over their arm tomorrow.

I was astonished to learn that a Class 1 medical is available in this case but the CAA information linked in one of the first posts seems to be a sensible regulation.

Unrelated to acceptable risk discussions for commercial operations, one of the most succesful German aces flew a significant part of his career with one leg only (Hans-Ulrich Rudel). While this might not be a yardstick for commercial operations, it is IMHO evidence that pilots with prosthetics can have the "manual skills" required for the art of flight.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 14:00
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Silver, while we don't know the exact mechanics of the prosthetics in question, the mechanics of the one shown earlier in this thread for motorcycles is shown online.

It's basically a quick disconnect. It doesn't specify the amount of force needed to pop the ball out of the socket so I'm not sure if the good hand is needed to assist the detachment or if it's easy enough to just lift and pop it out. It says the amount of force is user adjustable.

Theoretically if one had the brackets mounted on all the necessary controls one could just pop from one to another.



From the web site:
. Adjusting the device

As you can see, the device is comprised of a ball on the end of the prosthesis and a socket mounted on the handlebar. The device releases the ball from the socket when the force applied by the ball to the socket exceeds the threshold of the detent plunger set by the user. This threshold is modulated by setting the detent springs in the socket, and by varying the length of the shaft of the ball. When adjusting the detent springs keep in mind that they should be at least tight enough to avoid any up-and-down free play, but not so tight as to create drag on the assembly.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 14:34
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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To those that think this pilot was "unsafe" or otherwise creating an additional hazard to flight safety: there have been plenty of aircraft crashed (and people killed) by perfectly functioning human beings with both hands on the controls of a perfectly serviceable aircraft.

I'd be happy to be on this pilot's aircraft.

How many "able bodied" pilots here would be willing to admit they lost hold of the controls (control column, throttle, or both) due to turbulence at least once in their life?
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 14:42
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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I believe I taught this fine chap to fly. I'd rather be sat in the back of an aircraft with such a decent sound aviator as him, compared to some of the other questionable types that were on his course and are now flying commercially.

His heads in the right place, the aircraft will follow.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 15:44
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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"the aircraft will follow"

just like it did during the event in question - bouncing down the runway and out of control with nobody flying it. TBH it sounds more like the aircraft was doing the leading on this occasion!

I was under the impression that pilots, airlines and aviation authorities were supposed to mitigate risks, not just accept them simply because somebody is a nice guy. Perhaps I'm mistaken?...

For the record, my hands have come off the controls loads of times in turbulence however, because I'm fortunate enough to be able bodied my hands have found the controls again more or less immediately - and that's the difference! Anyone who can't see that isn't really thinking this through.

Hand on heart, if was in the same predicament physically there's no way I would want to fly commercially - my conscience wouldn't allow it. If ever my disability led to someone being injured (or worse) I would never forgive myself.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 16:26
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Couldn't agree more!
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 16:58
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Hand on heart, if was in the same predicament physically there's no way I would want to fly commercially - my conscience wouldn't allow it. If ever my disability led to someone being injured (or worse) I would never forgive myself.
BUT you are not disabled so how can you know what your answer will be if you are? How do you know your point of view will not shift dramatically?

Finally, the investigation will provide judgement on this. Who are we to attempt to do so?
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 18:31
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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Silverstrata
And excuse me asking, but how does one transition from control-column to tiller, with a mechanical hand? What sort of mechanics would allow such a swift transition? I would be interested to see the mechanics behind this, as would most of the passengers, I'm sure.
Has one checked if the 400 has a tiller ?
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 18:32
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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BUT you are not disabled so how can you know what your answer will be if you are?
Why would this 'answer' have any bearing whatsoever on what the right course of action should be?

I think too many people have watched 'Reach for the Sky' and think that situation is analogous to this one.

The pilot should have no involvement in any decision making process which determines whether or not s/he is fit to fly, only to express a wish as to how s/he would like to be regarded.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 18:33
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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To those that think this pilot was "unsafe" or otherwise creating an additional hazard to flight safety: there have been plenty of aircraft crashed (and people killed) by perfectly functioning human beings with both hands on the controls of a perfectly serviceable aircraft.
yeah so tomorrow let's accept blind and deaf pilots, after all.

sorry but it is what you mean. We can always compare and reassure ourselves by saying, "there were worst situations before".
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 18:50
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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It's about mitigating risk and finding the right balance. I would suggest that after this incident the 1 in number has got significantly smaller so having a pilot with a prosthetic is even safer now than 2 years ago. Would we be finding the right balance if we said the safest course of action with regards to flying is to not get airborne? Of course not. Is finding the right balance letting every man and his dog with or without licence or with any medical condition fly? Of course not.

I am quite happy for the experts in their field to make up the rules and assess each and every case on its own merits. Companies then have to assess an individual's ability to complete the task in hand. I am happy to fly with the chap in question, not because he is a good bloke but because it sounds like he has a proven track record of being a good operator.......something I strive to be every time I go to work.

There has clearly been a mechanical failure between the prosthetic and the control column, but the problem was rectified and no one knew about it until 2 years later. The pilot has learnt and the industry had learnt. I would suggest that the likelihood of a recurrence is very unlikely.
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 19:41
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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. gatbusdriver: but the problem was rectified
How was it rectified ? As far as I know the CAA still allows any prosthetic arm to be used with no regard to its reliability.

I know some guys who use prosthetics, they do wear out and require replacement occasionally. So often they end up with multiples at times, the old ones and newer ones and sometimes continue using both. The newer ones may be more advanced.

I don't see any regulation stipulating that a prosthetic arm has to be the same one from day to day. The passengers might get lucky and fly with the newer improved one, or perhaps they fly with the older worn out prosthetic arm. Do you feel lucky ? This is an extreme scenario but it demonstrates that the industry values disabled pilot job retention, in the exact same job, far above passenger safety, even with the extra risks, now demonstrated and likely to occur again if prosthetic arm quality isn't ensured. Either give him a good reliable (built to aircraft safety standards) arm to use or find him a job that doesn't involve landing flares. Compared to a crash investigation how much can a good prosthetic arm cost ?
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Old 19th Aug 2014, 20:11
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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Has anybody yet satisfactorily explained how a disconnect between PF and the controls be deemed not to compromise flight safety? At any time but especially on landing?

If that's the case, why do we do the 'I have control', 'you have control' rigmarole?

Bird strike, go arounds, gusts etc could have been disastrous, yet the company and CAA presumably reckon safety wasn't compromised? Err how?

We have a huge credibility problem surely?

I got a response from Flybe when Neil McDonald thought I was a journo, but nothing since I honestly responded it was a 'private' inquiry.

Just to make it perfectly clear, my 'problem' is not so much it happened (which is bad enough) but that the Company's statement said that safety wasn't compromised.

Last edited by Dengue_Dude; 19th Aug 2014 at 20:14. Reason: Clarification
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