Sunday, August 24, 2014

Technology Ups and Downs

My ideas file is much longer than the time I am spending using it, so I've pulled out several news stories that I'd better comment on before they expire.

No headline writer could resist the fact that the captain's arm came off during landing, but if you read to the end you realize that the prosthetic stayed attached to the body. It's the clamping device he was using to ensure that the artificial limb maintained a grip on the yoke during the flare that came off the yoke. I have worked with a student pilot with an prosthetic foot and know of a pilot who lost both arms flying with prosthetics, and a pilot born without arms flying with her feet. (The hardest part of the exercise for her appeared to be fastening the lap belt). I have worked with commercial pilots missing a finger or two, but not a whole limb. I would have thought a co-pilot briefing on the subject would be required, and I would also have expected a co-pilot to automatically grab the yoke without a briefed transfer of control, the way you would reach for something fragile if you noticed it slip from your friend's hands, or the way the passengers in your car stomp the floorboards if the car in front of you brakes suddenly. (Except me: it has been documented that I grab for the brakes with my hands, as though I was stopping a bicycle. I rode a bicycle for many years before I drove a car and apparently in my brain that's still the hardwired subconscious stopping reaction). I thought until it was pointed out to me that I was throwing up my hands to protect my face, so perhaps it has now mutated into an attempt to bank out of the way.

As the person who sent me this link pointed out, rich idiots looking for fun has always been a source of danger in our communities, but the line that struck me in this article was, "Recreational drone users don't need approval from Transport Canada." Surely, however, they are restricted to uncontrolled airspace? It shouldn't be too hard to make it illegal to fly one in an airway or approach path. I will have to do more research on this in the winter.

I don't remember where I got this purported mid-air airplane repair. It must be staged, but it's still a pretty neat trick.

This caught my attention not only because it was an air accident involving a very respected Canadian operator with a lot of Antarctic experience, but also because it was on CBC North. Antarctica is the North of the South, of course. And it's likely that the crew although from Calgary, had ties to the North. I'm six minutes to boarding so don't have time to find if they managed to recover these bodies, or if the antarctic ice shifted and swallowed everything up.

Safe flying, people. Keep both arms on, and watch out for those drones.


أبوعمر said...

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Unknown said...

The CARs, and hence any airspace restrictions, do not currently appy to "model aircraft".
Model aircraft are defined as having a "total weight of which does not exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures". Those that don't fit into that definition require a Special Flight Operation Certificate - and would need to abide by the CARs.

The problem is - without requiring licensing of model aircraft fliers, how do you ensure they even know where controlled airspace is, let alone respect it?

Majroj said...

We have had trouble with private photo RPVs getting into tightly controlled airspace over firest fires in California. They do not have much of a lateral radar cross section or visual cross section either and pose issues for the real pilots.

In 2013 I accidentally photographed one at the Reno, Nevada balloon races. Couldn't see it clearly other than a hypermobile tiny something up there WITH the participants. Was visible once I blew up photos.