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jfklganyc
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Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:11 pm

The thing that amazes me about this situation is how quickly the cruise line has turned against its Captain.

Could you imagine if 2 days after an plane crash if an airline like Delta, US, or United came out swinging against the Captain?

Very interesting and also very interesting that Italy arrests people in situations like this. I know this is not unheard of outside of the United States
 
ACdreamliner
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:19 pm

If all input data was fed directly to the airline as is with large ships, they would know almost immediately what the cause of the crash was. So if this happened in aviation and it was beyond reasonable doubt the pilot was to blame, I'm sure an airline would do the same thing...
Where are you going?
 
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garpd
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:25 pm

I can see this thread going to Non-Av.

Anyway, I have a niggling feeling there is more to this story that a Captain simply steering his ship into rocks.

He firmly states the rocks the Concordia hit were uncharted.
Is this correct?

There were reports of electrical problems. Could these of contributed?

As Captain, the buck stops with him, but I just have an annoying little voice in the back of my head telling me the poor man is being made a scapegoat to hide bigger issues.
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BoeingVista
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 2):
He firmly states the rocks the Concordia hit were uncharted.
Is this correct?

He was out of the lane he should have been in so uncharted rocks maybe but he shouldn't have been there to hit them.

Anyway 150m of clearence with a 300m long ship doesn't seem like a safe margin to me.
BV
 
rfields5421
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:34 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Thread starter):
how quickly the cruise line has turned against its Captain

I suspect that is based on two things - 1) to avoid criminal charges against cruise line executives, and 2) to minimize legal liability for 'negligence' on the part of the cruise line.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:35 pm

According to news reports (I know it is sometimes questionable), the Captain, and the First Officer left the stricken ship early, before most of the passengers and crew were off her. There are also valid questions about the ship's navigation systems, and power loss just prior to grounding on the reef. One report I have read says the Captain was drinking at the bar during all of this, but I don't know if that is true, or not.

Another factor is that airline pilots have strong unions and the liability the airline could be subjected to if they publicly admit one of their employees was responsible. In this case the Maritime Master's Union does not seem to be supporting the Captain's actions. The ship's 'black boxes' have been recovered and sent to the US for their digital read-out. The ship is owned by a US/British company (Carnicall Cruise Lines), but the Captain is an Italian citizen.

What is known now is that after the ship collided with the reef, and then attempted to manuver into the harbor to try and save the ship, passengers, and crew, there was no "MAYDAY" signal sent from any of the ship's radio and communications systems by the Bridge Crew, First Officer, or Captain. A signal, but not a "MAYDAY", was sent to the Italian Coast Guard after the evacuation had begun and she had a severe list to starboard.
 
tharanga
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:36 pm

Quoting ACdreamliner (Reply 1):
So if this happened in aviation and it was beyond reasonable doubt the pilot was to blame, I'm sure an airline would do the same thing...

But is it ever obvious, beyond a reasonable doubt, that quickly? It takes some to do a proper investigation, and that investigation may turn up factors that weren't obvious at first.

There are also legal aspects - lawsuits and compensation - so a company would normally not be in a rush to blame its crew before the careful investigation is done.
 
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garpd
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:39 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
One report I have read says the Captain was drinking at the bar during all of this, but I don't know if that is true, or not.

It is not unusual on a cruise ship for the Captain to entertain selected guests.
All the reports I've read have him at the dinner table.
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BoeingVista
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:40 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
There are also valid questions about the ship's navigation systems

The ships owners have stated that routes are programed into the nav system and were in fact correctly programed, and that if you deviate from those routes alarms go off that need to be manually cancelled. The ship has a "black box" which has been recovered.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
and power loss just prior to grounding on the reef

I guess the question is did it actually lose power before it hit the rocks or did hitting the rocks casuse it to lose ppower.
BV
 
dstc47
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:43 pm

An interesting letter in the Daily Telegraph today makes some good points.
It takes up to 20 years to become a captain of a cruise ship, he will earn about a third of an airline salary, will likely be away from home six months at a time and if involved in a crash where most passengers survive, will not be seen as a hero but may be arrested.

Whatever about a rush to judgement in aircraft accidents, there has been a great deal of irrisponsible speculation and statements as to "facts" by persons unlikely to know them.
 
HiJazzey
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:44 pm

Going back to the OP,

The airline industry is not that different. Human error is always the first choice.
 
incitatus
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:05 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4):
I suspect that is based on two things - 1) to avoid criminal charges against cruise line executives, and 2) to minimize legal liability for 'negligence' on the part of the cruise line.

But this can back-fire very easily. So early there has been no formal investigation process. This tells me:

1. Prematurely the company is placing the blame on someone. Who in their right mind would work for this company?

2. Companies will always share the blame when someone screws up. If it was the Captain's fault, there is a good chance something else in the company was awfully wrong: Either training, or procedures, or their ability to keep employees current or properly vetted over time.
I do not consume Murdoch products including the Wall Street Journal
 
Bau
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:12 pm

According to the Italian law, in case of a wreck / accident the Capt. must direct the disembarkment and be the last one to left the ship. Furthermore, the authorities claim to have him detained because "he could escape his responsibility" before the trial.

[Edited 2012-01-16 07:14:39]
 
ltbewr
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:53 pm

Maritime law is very well established, has been for 1000's of years and puts a great deal of responsibility in the Captain. Certain parts were adopted into airline/aircraft operational law.

In the USA, a ship's captain can be arrested and face criminal charges if they are grossly negligent. A good example is the 'Exxon Valdez' where the captain, operating the ship in a very narrow channel near port causing it to go aground was determined to be legally intoxicated by alcohol at the time. He went to jail. With numerous wrecks of oil tankers in particular, we have seen where captains made or allowed their staffs to make bad decisions causing grounding and crashes with other ships. Sometimes such decisions may be due to pressure by the ships operator to reduce time in route. Indeed, that was a factor in the 'Titanic' disaster.

We have seen several cases of airline pilots face grounding or suspension due to suspicion of about to board to be in the flight crew to be intoxicated or under the influence of illegal or legal drugs be pulled or found to have 'FWI' and face penalties. Indeed, alcoholism/drug abuse is just as likely with ship captains as with airline pilots or any other person. Clearly there have been many cases of 'pilot error' from missing a critical setting of flaps, not using weather knowledge, over relying on instruments to improper reactions to weather or other operational problems.

Poor CRM has long been a factor in serious and major air accidents leading to formal training in CRM. I wonder too how much Resource Management was on the Costa Concordia's bridge, that is could the staff on duty override the decision of the Captain even if they had been ordered to take a high risk path.
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:04 pm

Costa's ships have their routes programmed and alarms sound when they go off course....

The captain of a cruise ship that ran aground off Italy made an "unapproved, unauthorised" deviation in course, the liner's owners say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16576979
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
rfields5421
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 13):
puts a great deal of responsibility in the Captain

The Captain of a ship is 'responsible' for anything that happens.

Even if he is off the bridge, or on shore. It is his ship and his main job is to train the crew.

Yes on a cruise ship, much of his job is entertaining passengers. But navigation and ship handling are his main function.

One of the very interesting things about newer cruise ships is that in many cases the Captain is not able to personally handle the ship, especially docking.

For hundreds of years the captain gave orders to a helmsman. A captain never personally touched the ships wheel.

With bow and stern thrusters, with pod engines - todays cruise ships captains can control their ships better than you can park your car. After 20 years in the US Navy (72-92) and several times on the bridge of ships from a minesweeper to aircraft carriers - I was shocked in 2009 to see the captain of our cruise ship in Alaska standing on the bridge wing using a joystick type controller to dock the ship himself.

(I do not know if this ship had pod engines)

[Edited 2012-01-16 08:14:57]
Not all who wander are lost.
 
Steelhead
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:18 pm

This is a little reminder to pay attention to the safety demonstrations - kind of similar what is happening befe every flight (but you don't have to put your life-vest on in the plane). Very unlikey, that you will ever experience the need of it, but we should all be aware, that this is really necessary. I noticed many times (in the plane and on the ships, that nobody is really paying attention (many peple are even annoyed)
 
CYatUK
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:45 pm

I think another good learning point from the Costa or any other cruise liner or airliner disaster is that Technology has played (and continues to play) an extremely important role in minimizing such accidents but it is still incapable to fully compensate human error and in some cases human "stupidity" (not referring to Costa accident for which little is known at this stage).
 
747400sp
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RE: Costa Crash Vs Airline Crash

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:02 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):
(I do not know if this ship had pod engines)

[Edited 2012-01-16 08:14:57]






Give me the ship name, and I could tell you.

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