Instead of being 'just another number' I could order a
and help support PPRuNe
posted 20th October 2004
probably turn out to be a simple but awful error. Personally I suspect
insufficient runway for the weight and this can obviously happen in
several ways. However let’s leave that to the investigation.
At this point one could blame the crew and perhaps the controller then be
done with the business. However thankfully we tend to look further these
days and examine the deeper issues.
With MK this is going to be some can of worms.
Does the company have a safety culture? Any discussion with the crews will
show this to be a joke.
They fly long and hard and the company only does what is needed to
cosmetically satisfy whoever. You get paid for what you fly. No fly – no
pay. Complain too much and someone else gets the trips. This can be very
persuading when living as a white in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and trying to keep
up a family, education etc. when clearly the state takes pleasure in
persecuting you. MK took advantage of all this. Cheap crews with a noose
around their necks.
Does the company have a safety department? Sure they called in a few boys
from Cathay to fix up the procedures. Procedures count for nothing if the
safety culture is not there. It has to start from the top. It has to be
sincere. The accident rate shows just how successful this half hearted
attempt has been. A large part of the greatly proceduralised fleet is now
a charred wreck. However the same hasn’t happened to Cathay. I wonder why.
MK just didn’t get it. The only true belief was in the bottom line.
Is there an incident reporting method? Analysis of incident data? I doubt
it. The real stories in MKs years of operation are out there. Ask around.
They defy belief in some cases. The real tribute to the flying skills of
their crews is that there were not more accidents. If someone had kept
track of a penalty free incident reporting system, the flags would have
been very large and very red.
Was there a Confidential Human Factors system? Who has time for that when
there is money to be made? Flying tired, many days away from home, where
the wife and kids could be raped, or murdered, where nothing much works
and there is often no where else to go, and no other job at all to be had,
is a severe strain. “Everyone else in the company handles it so stop
whining” Putting a brave face on it however does not mitigate the
The only good thing about this unfortunate affair is that it happened in a
country whose authorities can be taken seriously. I wish the first 2
accidents had, then perhaps 8 men would still be alive today. I also hope
this flags the semi regulated carriers from Africa that fly over our heads
every night. Let them fly in their own corrupt regimes but not over
densely populated areas in the civilised world whose authorities have
little idea of what is really going on inside the aircraft.
This is so typical of managements that get caught up in the bottom line
and blinker themselves to the realities of aviation. So typical of
inexperienced companies who arrogantly think that years of aviation
experience in these matters is just the stuff of text books and awkward
Well now we have the bottom line: 7 good men killed, 1 beautiful aircraft
written off, 1 ugly investigation and hopefully an expensive law suit to
provide for the women and children who now have to go it alone in