The vital element of Safety: Training

Builders,

Like many aviation professionals, I have found the coverage of the Boeing 737 accidents pathetic. The media is very weak on most technical subjects, but aviation is always a topic they forget their journalism on and resort to inflaming public fears for ratings.

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Their entire narrative is about Boeing, totally ignoring to completely obvious factor: The 737-max 8 is one of the most advanced machines mankind has ever made, yet foreign carriers are operating these this crews who don’t have enough flight experience to qualify for giving a sight seeing flight in a Cessna 172 inside the US.  CNN has reporters trying to explain ‘fly by wire’ controls, ( Oblivious to the fact they are describing an Airbus not a Boeing ) and never mentioning that the Ethiopian Air Co-pilot had only 200 hours of flight time total, and very questionable training. Few people commenting on this aircraft understand that many foreign pilots are very, very reluctant to ever try to hand fly any element of this planes flight envelope, and they are discouraged from trying it, and this makes them very reluctant to turn off the autopilot, even when it is in error. The Ethiopian Air co-pilot would not have been allowed anywhere near the flight deck of a US operated 737, with good reason. Thinking you can be safe by having very sophisticated machinery, and ignoring the training level of who is flying, is insanity.

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Good thing no one in Experimental Aviation thinks that way, right?

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Look at the picture above, remember when you had 200 hours of flight time, and ask yourself if you would have been comfortable walking onto the flight deck of this plane, with the lives of 100+ people behind you, and taking off.  That is exactly what the ownership of Ethiopian Air did, and now they offer emotional commentary about Boeings alleged poor judgement.

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We are a week away from Sun n Fun 2019. I have been going there for 30 years. Wander through the endless displays and you can see a dazzling supermarket of things for people in Experimental aviation to buy. Ask any salesman if the product he is selling is ‘safe’ and without any doubt he will say it is.  Notice how tiny the segment of products are which qualify as direct training: Books, companies offering flight training and transitions, training on engines and systems. It is as if the management of Lion Air set the priorities of US homebuilders. How well do you think that will work out? 

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I have spent 30 years teaching builders about the engine that powers their plane. This wan’t done so they can save money like most people first guess. This was done because I know that training in aviation is paramount, and without it, no machine can be considered reliable nor safe.  Salesmen, ( and the ownership of Lion Air )would try to tell you otherwise, but that is like trying to argue that you could replace Chesley Sullenberger with a 200 hour pilot and expect the same outcome on the Hudson River.

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You don’t run Lion Air, nor Ethiopian Air,  but you are CEO of your own aviation enterprise, and you also will decide what portion of your budget will be for supposedly ‘safe’ equipment, and what portion of your program, in both time and money,  will be devoted to learning, training, understating and mastery.  Choose wisely, physics chemistry and gravity judge inadequacy without a trace of mercy.

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wewjr.

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PS; If you see me as an aviation grease monkey from Florida, perhaps out of his element commenting on International air transport, keep in mind I’m a graduate of the worlds finest aviation university, most of my close friends are aviation professionals, and the chief person I ran this past before typing this happens to be a current 25,000+ hour ATP qualified in both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Anyone can question my perspective here, but if they are driven to do so, perhaps for the sake of their future passengers, they should ask themselves why they are downplaying training.

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Something humorous: How you know ‘journalists’ are a joke today: Boeing has more than 5,000 737s on order today, that is 10 years worth of production, it is the most successful airliner in world history, more than 10,000 of them have been built. This particular aircraft is the #1 threat to Airbus.  About a third of Airbus is owned by European states. Journalists are completely blind to how quickly and why European entities condemned the 737, these people have a very strong vested interest in seeing how many of the 5,000 Boeing orders they can get canceled. Notice how not a single news reporter questioned the flight data recorder being sent to France for analysis. It’s all a big charade. Just make sure your own aviation program has a lot more integrity that this circus, because you do have a vested interest in that story.

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