Rethinking Aircraft Accident Stories

By Robert Mark on July 8th, 2014

TWA 800 smallI had an opportunity to visit the normally closed-to-the-public NTSB Training Center near Leesburg Virginia a few weeks ago as a guest of director Paul Schuda assisted by Senior Air Safety Investigator Bill English.

To say my visit was eye opening would be quite an understatement. Schuda’s briefing detailed the thought processes behind the NTSB’s recent decision not to reopen the TWA 800 investigation. There was much more too, including a look see at the TWA 800 fuselage reconstruction.

The entire Friday afternoon event gave me pause to think about how I write about an aircraft accident, with the insight that perhaps too many of us our jumping to indict the pilots when there may be more to the probable cause to consider.

I hope you’ll give this episode a listen.

If you’re receiving this Jetwhine/ Aviation Minute post via e-mail, click here to listen to the program.

Rob Mark, Publisher

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2 Responses to “Rethinking Aircraft Accident Stories”

  1. SaferAviator Says:

    Rob,

    Thanks for telling the story of your visit to the NTSB schoolhouse. You have nicely shared the message those of us in the Aviation Safety business are trying to get out (it runs deeper than pilot error, e.g. Asians 214). At the same time, everyone who pilots, maintains, or works around aircraft should seek more information than what is on tv or in the paper.

  2. JSA Says:

    Certainly things are far beyond pilot error. I’m sure you know this report: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/16-422-human-supervisory-control-of-automated-systems-spring-2004/readings/interfac.pdf

    It’s made by FAA and it’s almost 20 years old. The nice part: You can change the date from 1996 to 2014 and it should be hard to notice how old it is.

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