Thursday, July 13, 2017

It Can Happen to Me

I think this is the US Air Force base where I had my KC130 sim time, blogged about here close to ten years ago. It's possible that one of the young, keen US military pilots I witnessed learning to land the beast was on board today. It's likely that one of my readers has a connection to someone on board. My condolences.

Oops, I messed up my HTML on the first attempt and the link didn't post.

The article mentions a previous Herc crash attributed to an item jammed in front of the yoke to prop up the elevator. That resonated with me, because pilots do stuff like this, stuff that seems perfectly reasonable at the time, which can come back to bite us later. I couldn't write a list of all the things that I have inadvertently got stuck in all the parts of an airplane that could have caused me grief but didn't. The wrong bout of turbulence, the pen dropped just wrong, something else compounding the problem, and that giant, beautiful, stable airplane rolls up into a ball of snot and aluminum.

They'll find out what caused today's crash, and it will be something humans did, or didn't do, missed seeing, or didn't know how to plan for, or miscalculated, because airplanes only do what we and the laws of physics tell them to, for as long as their components hold out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Salami is not a Dangerous Good

Struggling to make Transportation of Dangerous Goods legislation less stultifying for my folks than it was in the course I took, I worked to make the in-house course interesting, maybe make them laugh a little. I was working with a bureaucrat to get it approved, and it looked like we had it almost wrapped up. I sympathized with her about having to read these tedious plans, made the corrections she requested and submitted it. I think she appreciated it being not the same boilerplate as everyone else had. Then came a new e-mail from someone else, excerpted below.

Hello Mr. Aviatrix,

Please note, I have taken on the TDG review process of [your company] COM from [nice bureaucrat], and she is no longer involved. I will require a revised copy of 16-0090E prior to a full review proceeding.


There are several highlighted answers on the exam that are incorrect and others that are not of suitable difficulty for an air operator. For example, question #14 - salami is an inappropriate response as a potentially regulated substance.


All COM document submissions are considered legal documents and are fully discloseable in the event of an enquiry. This should be considered when adding unnecessary commentary.

Transport Dangerous Goods Inspector

There is nothing in my COM that I'm not proud of, including the humour. If something is interesting, people will remember it better. The administrative overhead required to give my folks an interesting dangerous goods course may be more than I can spare, forcing them to take the dull online course I took. Cockpit Conversation readers are, however, invited to suggest appropriate incorrect responses to a question asking test takers to identify the regulated substance from a list.

And I have a request for you. If you're not sure of someone's pronouns or term of address, and you can't be bothered to ask a colleague who has worked with them what it is, or otherwise look it up, don't just assume the person is a man. If you do, you might just be the lucky hundredth person to do that to that person, and eventually someone is going to invent a way to punch people through the Internet.

Never forget that "salami" is an inappropriate response.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

NOTAM of the Week

1707011745 TIL 1707011815

Because apparently that's how Nanaimoians celebrate Canada Day.