PILOT ESCAPING THROUGH UNDERWATER EJECTION

Do you remember that some fighter pilots could safely eject from underwater back in 1965? Could it be survived? One may wonder but a few ejections were reported. The transcript is below the video. Look at that canopy, it looks like it came from an F-8 Crusader:

TRANSCRIPT:

If your aircraft has provision for underwater ejection, you have a ready-made, secondary escape route. Succesful underwater ejections can be made from any aircraft attitude – nose down, tail down, and inverted.

Escape by this method requires no preparation other than that recommended for normal seat ejection. There should be at least ten feet of water above you before you can safely eject. Never eject from the surface. With present systems, the chute cannot open with a zero-zero situation (which means at a height of 0 and at a speed of 0). The effect of free-falling 80 feet to water is little different than falling 80 feet to concrete. True, some lucky ones have lived to tell about it. But it is one hell of a gamble.

When you eject through the canopy underwater, the seat breaks through clearing the way for your body. Because water resistance imposes terrific forces on your head and neck, it is vital to hold the face curtain tight against your head for support. The forces of ejection might cause a momentary blackout. Immediately upon collecting your wits, disconnect yourself from the seat by pulling the emergency release handle breaking your restraints. Now, separate yourself from the seat. This is difficult. You will have to kick and swim violently even though you are disconnected.

If your chute gets hung up on the seat, do not waste time trying to clear it. Release your riser fittings and swim clear off the chute. Do not inflate flotation equipment until clear of the seat. Remember, surface slowly, exhaling as you go. Remove your oxygen mask.

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ATC SAVED HYPOXIC PILOT

This Dallas Fort Worth air traffic controller well deserved her NATCA award two years ago. Had she not responded quickly, the pilot would have passed out on board his Piaggio P180 Avanti (registration N501PM, callsign shortened into N1PM) and could even have passed away. Another pilot was alerted by slurring in the pilot’s speech. Video:

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LANGUAGE CRITICAL TO AVIATION SAFETY

The 5th ICAO Journal dates back to August 2013, and there is a chapter on Language Proficiency Requirements (LPR) in it. The Journal reviews ICAO’s LPRs and other recent initiatives developed, and reported during a technical seminar to support language proficiency in March 2013, and particularly English language testing among Member States.

All the stakeholders were gathered at the seminar. Those who implement the safety-critical language provisions as mandated by Assembly Resolution A32-16 in 1998, and embodied in Annexes 1, 6, 10 and 11, as well as Doc 4444 — PANS-ATM have their work cut out for them!

According to ICAO Convention, Annex 10, Vol.2, « If a pilot, and an air traffic controller don’t speak a common language, the default language is English. Additionally, the flight crew establishes the language to be used. »

The seminar presented an ICAO speech sample training aid. This tool provides examples of ICAO levels 3, 4 & 5. There was a discrepancy among the various ratings given to samples in a workshop. I know that the juries throughout the world have done some good work. However, candidates have already reported differences between juries within a fortnight. The ratings can vary up to almost two ICAO levels. Rating is difficult, and setting a test is difficult as well.

We know now from the journal that EUROCONTROL is developing a Level 6 examination and that EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) might establish a validity period of 9 years for Level 6.

Another initiative is the launch of a new AELTS (Aviation English Language Test Service) website at http://www.icao.int/aelts .

The LPR seminar report is available here:

ICAO JOURNAL 2013 LPR

Further information:

FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF ICAO’S AVIATION ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST SERVICE (AELTS)

Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements

Latest news: The MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) on the aeronautical documents test might be given up in 2014. Therefore, the FCL .055 D might be deleted. The FCL .055 tests VFR and IFR only would be left unchanged ie without the 15-minute MCQ test.

Thanks to Thierry Hermas – English teacher at the French Air Force Academy (FAFA) – who passed the documents on.

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LANDING – HOW DIFFICULT IT CAN BE…

 

WarningThis voice communication does not comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) recommendations. However, you can click off, and listen without reading the script on this video in order to jot down this radio communication for listening training purpose:

 

Waterbury-Oxford Airport Map

Click on the map above to enlarge. (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration courtesy via Wikimedia)

 

These things happen.

  1. Bearing reported with a ninety-degree error, then corrected;
  2. Uncertainty of the downwind leg;
  3. Traffic not in sight;
  4. Uncertainty as to which airport is in sight;
  5. Requests are said again;
  6. Another airport in the vicinity with same runway configuration;
  7. Traffic off course;
  8. Within half a mile, no traffic in sight, and no radar tracking;
  9. Pilot cannot hear at times or does not reply;
  10. Confusion between ident and squawk;
  11. Pilot does not know how to use the transponder;
  12. Uncertainty of the type of aircraft, then corrected.

Landings may be difficult at times, indeed…

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