AirAmericaC46
Topic Author
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:23 pm

Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:43 pm

There was this adage that "In 1950, sex was safe and flying was dangerous!" Then came the reverse: "In 1990, sex is dangerous and flying is safe". In 2007, Is dangerous sex safer than a more dangerous flying??

After reading some news lately (I hope someone posts some of those news here), I am questioning our safety as flight fanatics:

1. The NTSB and FAA is delaying release of data about near-collisions/danger in the skies and on the ground.

2. Both pilots of a recent Frontier A319 IAD-DEN flights were caught sleeping by air traffic controllers wondering why thier speed near DEN approach was twice as fast! Talking about pilot fatigue.

3. A VS pilot was arrested prior to a transatlantic flight due to high alcohol levels

4. Any other??

My recommendations: To the government----- funds -----to upgrade ATC equipment
------to modernize runway lay-outs of major airports to make it staggering or remove criss-crossing runways and taxi-ways--------so far the best runway lay-out that I can think of is DENVER!
-------investigate working hours of pilots, do random breathalizers or urine drug screens.

To the airlines: Please cut down on all your regional jets------combine frequent regionals into bigger or even combine all your medium-size jet frequencies into widebodies like what they do in Japan!!
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:00 pm

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Thread starter):
1. The NTSB and FAA is delaying release of data about near-collisions/danger in the skies and on the ground.

This doesn't mean the information isn't being used to address the risk. Their hesitation to release data was more a matter of maintaining anonymity for the airlines and pilots reporting the problems. If that anonymity is compromised, fewer pilots will voluntarily come forward and raise red flags when they identify safety risks that need to be addressed.

Bottom line - that anonymity is a heck of a lot more important than a news "scoop" intended to scare the public and generate headlines.

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Thread starter):
2. Both pilots of a recent Frontier A319 IAD-DEN flights were caught sleeping by air traffic controllers wondering why thier speed near DEN approach was twice as fast! Talking about pilot fatigue.

3. A VS pilot was arrested prior to a transatlantic flight due to high alcohol levels

Both of these events are examples of problems that need to be addressed, but remember.....as we increase the number of flights, we'll see an increase in the number of incidents. The key is to examine the rate of accidents and incidents.....not the perceived quantity.

Also, in this era of instant information and instant communication, we'll hear about incidents now more than ever.

In the past, I think the lack of electronic communications and the overall slower pace of news and information might have given the impression that the industry was safer than it actually was. Today, although we live in a comparatively safe time, the most minor of incidents gets plastered all over the "DEVELOPING STORY" banner on CNN and (in my opinion) misrepresents the actual level of danger in an attempt to capture viewers. Indeed, much of the time, the news helicopters themselves present more of a safety hazard than the events they are trying to broadcast.

2H4

[Edited 2007-11-03 10:07:23]
Intentionally Left Blank
 
bennett123
Posts: 7530
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:10 pm

http://aviation-safety.net/statistics/period/stats.php?cat=A1

I think that the numbers speak for themselves.

The average number of fatalities from 1990 to 1999 is 1,206 and the average from 2000 to 2006 is 858, (it looks as if 2007 will be a "good" year.

David
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:12 pm

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Thread starter):
1. The NTSB and FAA is delaying release of data about near-collisions/danger in the skies and on the ground.

Yep, because they don't want to get people all freaked out. What that data almost certainly shows is that near-misses are a lot more common than people think they are, which makes people nervous. However, a "near-miss" is also a "not-accident"...aka another successful flight. It's the accident rate that matters and the accident rate has been steadily dropping.

Tom.
 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:25 pm

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Thread starter):
2. Both pilots of a recent Frontier A319 IAD-DEN flights were caught sleeping by air traffic controllers wondering why thier speed near DEN approach was twice as fast! Talking about pilot fatigue.

Not so recent. The story is over 3 years old, it just has gotten alot of talk recently.

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Thread starter):
3. A VS pilot was arrested prior to a transatlantic flight due to high alcohol levels

Don't let one pilot speak for the industry. 99.9999% of pilots go to work every day, do their jobs safely, stay sober, and don't complain. You just don't hear about them in the news.
AirSO. ASpaceO. ASOnline. ASO.com ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13812
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:27 pm

Answer? No, it's safer. Fewer fatalities with more flights equals safer by any measure.

Don't let the instant access to news the internet provides fool you into thinking there are more events happening in 2007.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1574
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:41 pm

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
Bottom line - that anonymity is a heck of a lot more important than a news "scoop" intended to scare the public and generate headlines.

Amen!
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 5061
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:53 pm

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
the most minor of incidents gets plastered all over the "DEVELOPING STORY" banner on CNN and (in my opinion) misrepresents the actual level of danger in an attempt to capture viewers.

 checkmark 

This is not just true in aviation but throughout the society. The ratings chase is turning us into a bunch of wee timorous cowering beasties, alarmed by everything that moves.

The most amazing thing about the steadily improving aviation safety numbers is that they are occurring despite both a hefty increase in passenger numbers and relentless pressure to cut costs and shave schedules.
 
EXAAUADL
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:48 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:56 pm

youre evidence is all anecdotal...stats say otherwise...how many fatalities on part 121 carries in 2006?
 
bok269
Posts: 1568
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 10:19 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:56 pm

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Thread starter):
2. Both pilots of a recent Frontier A319 IAD-DEN flights were caught sleeping by air traffic controllers wondering why thier speed near DEN approach was twice as fast! Talking about pilot fatigue.

3. A VS pilot was arrested prior to a transatlantic flight due to high alcohol levels

Both of which could have (and most likely did) occur just as easily 10 years ago. What's important to note is that the Pilot WAS caught before he could board the flight. Overall what's important is that the rate of deadly accidents in developed parts of the world is decreasing.
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:20 pm

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
However, a "near-miss" is also a "not-accident"...aka another successful flight

Indeed. And because what gets measured gets done, we need to foster an environment that encourages pilots to report anything that represents a potential hazard.

Quoting Seabosdca (Reply 7):
The most amazing thing about the steadily improving aviation safety numbers is that they are occurring despite both a hefty increase in passenger numbers and relentless pressure to cut costs and shave schedules.

It really is amazing. SlamClick once described a speech that David Hinson used to make.

Hinson talked about the enormous progress in air safety over the past generation. Then he went on to say that if things stayed as good as there are, there would be a major crash with much loss of life ONCE A WEEK by the year 2020. The reason? The increase in traffic caused by the increase in population.

Programs like NASA's ASRS have played a large part in offsetting the predicted relationship between the number of flights and the safety of flights, thank goodness. I really hope the whining media doesn't ruin it for everyone...

2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
eE-Kay
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 9:47 pm

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:54 pm

I beg to differ.

I think that with the way airlines are going, slashing costs left right and centre, everything going lowcost, outsourcing, fewer staff working longer hours, handling larger aircraft, longer flights, more sectors, having loaders and cleaners working 12-hour-plus shifts 6 days a week for about US$200 a month in some parts of the world (where security risks tend to be just as elevated, if not higher), with some turnaround times reduced to 25 minutes, and aircraft lying idle for less and less time (possibly not getting the required quality and quantity of maintenance), I believe that the answer to your question is staring in your face.

There are limits to which you can push things.
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:08 pm

Quoting EE-Kay (Reply 11):
I beg to differ.

Cool. Show us some evidence!  Smile

2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Is Flying More Dangerous Now Than A Decade Ago?

Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:18 pm

Quoting EE-Kay (Reply 11):
I think that with the way airlines are going, slashing costs left right and centre, everything going lowcost, outsourcing, fewer staff working longer hours, handling larger aircraft, longer flights, more sectors, having loaders and cleaners working 12-hour-plus shifts 6 days a week for about US$200 a month in some parts of the world (where security risks tend to be just as elevated, if not higher), with some turnaround times reduced to 25 minutes, and aircraft lying idle for less and less time (possibly not getting the required quality and quantity of maintenance), I believe that the answer to your question is staring in your face.

All the trends you discuss have been going on for years (decades in some places). Yet, the whole time, air travel has been getting safer. If you want to support a claim that flies in the face of all the data we have available, you need some data of your own.

Tom.

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