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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 15th Aug 2014, 11:54
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NW England
Posts: 84
How far removed is the detached prosthetic from a pair of spectacles being accidentally knocked off?

(I'm not advocating barring spectacle wearers from passing the medical BTW)
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 12:02
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Hi there,

Personnally, despite the colleague landed, I do not agree to let a pilot with a prothesis arm, flying professionnaly... but I do not make rules and take decision, it's just my view.

We can congratulate him, but in the same time, be AWARE, that it is OUR JOB and simply our job to land a plane in safety conditions. So, we can not say that this captain was a hero or what. He did what he HAD TO do. No more, no less.
What if , if he would have crashed ? what families would say ? huh ? What we would say ?

About the airline policy, an equal opportunity does not mean to put everybody in a cockpit. In aviation you can be Sim instructor no ? You can work in management field ? no ? so, that would have been equal opportunity too.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 12:33
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: NC
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BOAC Exactly, this plane full of paying passengers were very lucky to have someone as skilled as this pilot to handle such an anomoly moments before touchdown. I don't think I've seen anything negative about the pilot or his piloting skills mentioned. It's a question of policy and methods to manage risk.

I read there were 4 pilots registered with the CAA with arm prosthetics. I think they should be allowed to fly "IF" they are qualified and "IF" the mechanical prosthetic arm is engineered with high quality parts and has scheduled inspections. Apparently now the policy makes no difference between an economy model prosthetic with cheap linkages and fasteners and a higher end model that has been built with the safety of the crew and passengers in mind.

Why build a high quality plane of tested parts for tens of millions of dollars and then agree to control it with parts of unknown quality. Unknown-quality parts could fail at the worst possible time and put the passengers at unnecessary risk. 25 percent of the prosthetic arm pilots have now experienced just that event. Why can't they certify the arm joints and clamps to engineering standards and let them continue flying.

Last edited by toaddy; 15th Aug 2014 at 12:45.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 12:55
  #104 (permalink)  
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This subject goes deeper than it appears! flying is an occupation/profession unlike any where every year a pilot has to present himself/herself for a first class medical to continue with their livelihood /profession.

Just imagine a Lawyer / Doctor having to present themselves every year or six months and being told sorry mate your career is over.

i know some pilots who avoid going to the doctor with ailments for fear of it going on their records.

The aviation medical authorities because of this fact do try to accommodate pilots with issues and keep them flying where possible and where they consider flight safety is not compromised.

The great Sir Douglas Bader flew with no legs and was famous for his saying
" Rules are for fools to obey and wisemen to question". This was a guy who pushed the limits.

Another great saying? " If you do not push the limits you will never find what lies beyond" A saying which will attach to all human endeavour in all walks of life from medicine research to individuals challenging their own disabilities to achieve what they want in life.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 13:15
  #105 (permalink)  
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Well statistically these chaps who are flying on a prosthetic are actually safer than us fully handed pilots.

That group of pilots has never had a fatal accident that I have heard about.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 13:22
  #106 (permalink)  
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statistics? How many able bodied pilots have had their arm fall off during the approach and landing? There are only 4 with false arms flying so you could say 25% of pilots with one arm have had them fall off!

Should one of these pilots have a fatal then statistically 25% of pilots flying with one arm are likely to be killed.
The number of able bodied pilots go into the millions worldwide
But keep them flying I say
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 13:33
  #107 (permalink)  
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Pilot's artificial arm 'became detached while landing plane'

Very sensible safety action by the AAIB. Not the knee-jerk reaction of politicos that do not dare carry any responsibility.

The man met all the tests simrides etc. so obviously qualified to fly.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 13:51
  #108 (permalink)  
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Well I have had FO's who have got their finger stuck in the yoke. There is a hole where the PTT goes in but has a blank on the other side which had come out.

I have had some ones leg get trapped under the rudder pedal. That was a bit of a sod to sort out.

lost count of the number of time I have read reports of feet slipping on pedals.

In fact if you listed out all the things which we take as "just part of the job" that wouldn't happen if our hands were strapped to the controls. We all might end up clamping our hands to the yoke.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 14:09
  #109 (permalink)  

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Toaddy, the document you seek is at post 4, from Fostex. It is as you surmised that a double amputee is required by CAA (and now EASA) to have the prosthetics certificated to aircraft engineering standards, as they are considered to be part of the control system but there is no such requirement for single upper limb amputees.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 14:39
  #110 (permalink)  
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. ... in general the prosthesis does not need to be certificated by the CAA, providing that failure of the prosthesis (e.g. falling off the stump) would not result in the pilot losing complete control of the aircraft. In the case of double upper limb amputees, the prostheses need to be certified by EASA to ensure that they are manufactured to the same standard as aircraft parts
Thanks moosp, they talk about no certification required as long they don't lose "complete" control of the aircraft. Interesting choice of words. They will never lose complete control as long as they have feet.

Last edited by toaddy; 15th Aug 2014 at 15:02.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 15:14
  #111 (permalink)  
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I've wavered between 'yes' and 'no' during the course of this thread. I finally came down on the 'yes' side - let this pilot continue to fly.

Perhaps it would be helpful if the CAA issued an official policy statement to the media stressing that disabled pilots are fit to fly professionally as long as they meet the competence standards required.

The travelling public are currently probably more at risk from crew fatigue than from prosthetic limb detachment.

Last edited by Discorde; 15th Aug 2014 at 17:20.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 15:38
  #112 (permalink)  
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"Arm down and locked"
That is naughty but very funny
And is a fairly accurate summation of the AAIB bulletin's conclusion.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 15:39
  #113 (permalink)  

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Thumbs up

(Ex-Speedbird I wonder if we ever met in Cranebank - I was one of those in white coats in the days of 707, VC-10s, and eventually 737/757)!

You beat me to it - Douglas Bader!

Now, as I understand it, investigations into "aircraft incidents" are usually designed not to "find the culprits" but to prevent it happening again. I noticed in the BBC report that the gentleman concerned has already stated that he'll check his "attachment" more thoroughly in future and also brief his right-hand-seat what to do in the remote chance of it happening again.

The whole thing seems to have been the usual over-reaction in the media, and reading between even their lines, everything was taken care of pretty well by a very experienced and competent pilot.

He obviously can think and act quickly and, if he were flying the GF this Sunday morning, DXB-BAH, I'd feel in good - oh no - you know what I mean
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 15:40
  #114 (permalink)  
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"This subject goes deeper than it appears! flying is an occupation/profession unlike any where every year a pilot has to present himself/herself for a first class medical to continue with their livelihood /profession."

Depending on their age seafarers and marine pilots have to present themselves regularly for medicals. Over 40 and it is every two years. An ENG1 is similar to an aviation class 2 without the cardiograph. No ENG1, no job. I know of one captain who was made medically redundant because he was on blood pressure tablets, which I understand are acceptable in the aviation industry!
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 18:49
  #115 (permalink)  
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I find it sad that in todays world so many continue to mock and question a truly professional and experienced pilot
Nobody is mocking him, however as a former professional pilot myself I am kind of surprised he managed to get a Class 1, because A) the CAA is completely anal and B) (at least in my experience) not exactly lenient.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 19:20
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
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From b263354

I already have problems with collegues wearing glasses, but I guess I tolerate that.
Well if you really are 39 make the most of your next few years as presumably you will do the decent thing and step aside when the inevitable happens in your mid-forties.

Over 40yo it's every 6 months. Over 50yo the ECG is also every 6 months
Times move on and even for us older types (with glasses) it's yearly
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 20:52
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Pilots artificial arm

I feel compelled to add to my post yesterday. Unsavoury and I believe ill informed comments continue to be published both here and in the press about this incident. I fully understand the possible concerns of travelling public but they are not aided by what I perceive to be ill informed remarks. Therefore unless you are medically qualified, work for thCAA or have a relevant Health and Safety qualification I respectfully suggest that you reflect before writing. My son was a first officer with the airline concerned and flew with this captain who he would describe as first class. Again I say "well done catain".
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Old 16th Aug 2014, 08:07
  #118 (permalink)  
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Its still 6 months for single crew ops, but 12 for multicrew ops.
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Old 16th Aug 2014, 08:57
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
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How many (fatal/hull loss) accidents where fatigue was and will continue to be a factor? Dozens.

How many ............. where detached/failed prosthetic a factor? ??

Anyone genuinely worried about future accidents should be shouting from the rooftops about the new EASA FTLs, commercial pressures and the obviously inadequate psycho screening through which professional pilots manage to slip unknown til after their accident report is published!

Asiana, THY @AMS, Lionair, AF447 and many others I could quote all had theoretically perfectly formed crewmembers, yet they failed the ultimate test in better weather conditions. Again I will call for the brain- limb/voice/vision interface to be better examined as a way of reducing the HF accident rate.

Many fatal accident reports quote commercial pressures and/or costcutting as contributory factors, yet the inhabitants of the average airline "handbrake house" or HQ are NOT subject to formal assessment of their decision-making processes.

Money to be made by the AAs various in catching these villains in the aptitude/ medical fitness nets might encourage those authorities to consider this link in the accident chain.

But then I woke up and realised it was daytime..............

As for this incident with this individual, "nothing to see here, move on!"
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Old 16th Aug 2014, 09:05
  #120 (permalink)  
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Must be a bit difficult making entries into the FMC....
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