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Monday, July 16, 2007

Another Nuri Down...

Planes crashing is an inevitable event as this can occur as a result of pilot error, bad weather, equipment failure or a combination of all three factors.

I wonder if anyone has the record of all the planes and pilots we have lost during the past 10 years.

There is always an inquiry held but details are usually scant or not even published.
When this happens, not much pressure is exerted to rectify problems such as possibly having more rules or operating procedures for bad weather conditions or maintenance problems.

I would have imagined that upgrading planes and helicopters with a minimum of voice recorder and a proper black box should be a prerequisite for a modern air force rather than buying the latest fighters that we have problems to maintain.

I am sure all Malaysians hope and pray that these men and women will be safely reunited with their families soon.

Meanwhile I hope that any inquiry to investigate this crash will come up with a report similar to this.

The accident report concluded with this brief:

"The formal analysis of this accident noted the following circumstance as valid contributors:

The pilot continued the flight into adverse weather beyond the point of having a visual external reference.
The risk of not being able to turn around onto a reciprocal track without visual clues was high as the pilot was not instrument rated and the helicopter was not IFR rated.
The pilot's operating culture was conditioned from having 'got through' adverse weather on previous occasions.
Having decided to track via the shipping channel because of turbulence consideration on the coastal route, the pilot overlooked the coastal route as an alternate course of action.
The weather information passed by the tower controller probably placed an expectation in the pilot's mind that he could negotiate the weather successfully. *
More details of this accident are contained in Occurrence Brief 199901009."

Photo: Thanks to http://www.chiangmai-mail.com/157/pictures/home-157.jpg

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