The Missing of Malaysia Airlines: Compromise rules and Automation Addict

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has just release a statement that the year of 2012 was The safest year in the history of aviation. It is expressed in reference to the lowest level of accidents that happen in 2012.

The mere comparison, in 2012 just happens to one accident of 5 million departures. In 2011, there is one accident for every 1.5 million departures. It means increased almost two-fold. Increase the level of security enjoyed by society flying international flights along with the rapid advancement of technology aviation.

However, rapid technological progress has never deliver security assurance as expected. Many factors affect flight safety, no matter how high a level of security that has been achieved. In the field of technological nature, which demanded a high adherence to all regulations and conditions that go with it.

Just a little compromise is given to rules and regulations, certainly would constitute action that opens up the chance of occurrence of the accident. Departing from the understanding, an investigation into the cause of the accident is always oriented in the regulation or provision which has been ignored. In fact, in the world of aviation, data breach or compromise against the rule early clues often are usually the cause of the occurrence of an accident.

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, a Boeing 777-200 belonging to the Malaysia Airlines System (MAS), flight number MH370, was missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China. The gradual MH370 that all of a sudden, in the sense of not got around to sending a message alerts the emergency or an emergency signal, gave rise to much speculation over what has happened. During more than 3 x 24 hours without any instructions to add more guesswork about what is actually experienced by the MH370.

The gradual an aircraft without submitting an emergency message was certain that something very untimely has happened. If no spur of the moment, the pilot will definitely send a message emergencies as specified in the standard procedure. This refers to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Though not necessarily “bomb” of terrorist suspects, the explosion that caused it damage is one of the causes of the loss of the aircraft suddenly without giving time for the pilot had sent out a message via radio or other communications equipment.

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For this, the initial findings that there are two MH370 passengers who used the false passport certainly needs to be investigated carefully. Bit difficult accepted common sense why they should be using a false passport. What’s more, there are other findings, four people joined the flight was canceled.

Although it is too early to say that the bomb and the terrorist who caused the plane disappeared MH370, further research should be done. At a minimum, in the ranks of lax immigration will provide a lesson in the order of execution of expensive passenger aircraft departure procedures.

Malaysia Airlines has a pretty good record in the context of security. On the other hand, the Boeing 777-200 aircraft which is entered in the safest category of wide body aircraft. The first big transport planes from Boeing that uses fly by wire system that complements itself with many improvements, including the safety devices or ancillary equipment security of flying the plane. Pilots who manned the was a highly experienced senior pilots on-board with Malaysia Airlines.

The question arose, why the high-tech aircraft and very modern could vanish in the services. Why sophisticated aircraft can (most likely) have an accident?

To understand about the modern and sophisticated aircraft, should also see the results of the investigation the National Safety Board of France and the Netherlands in the event AF-447 plane crash Rio de Janeiro to Paris and the Turkish Air undershoot landing a few kilometres before the runway of the Schiphol Airport, Netherlands.

On both the investigation results, there is an interesting note that almost the same about the ability of pilots to deal with emergency situations. The Pilot doubted the ability to manually pilot the aircraft in emergency situations. The Pilot was late to realize the fallacy in the sequel to its flights.

There is one very interesting terms, i.e. to pass one terminology: automation addiction. A fatal habit of pilots who always use the autopilot trip flights along the route. A very high reliance on automated equipment is suspected as the cause of the descent of the skills of the pilots flew the aircraft manually.

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On flight AF-447, an Airbus A-330 advanced crash sensors on the aircraft’s speed and then bookmark the result in a breakdown in normal work with autopilot system. It is fatal due to bring the aircraft into the active cloud that caused very severe turbulence. The plane moves extreme upward and cause stall or fall. Stall is actually a dangerous maneuver that became one of the mandatory training for pilots to be able to cope with it.

How to cope with and overcome the stall is likely to occur if many happen, should be the basic ability of a pilot before being allowed to fly. On flight AF-447, the pilot failed to overcome the stall and the aircraft eventually entered into the unusual attitude of unbridled and is spiral-dive to the sea.

All that can be known from recording the motion of the aircraft and the pilot talks stems from research “black box”. AF-447 entered the sea in 2009 and the “black box” of his work was made in 2010. The inquiry took approximately one year. The pilots belatedly realized that the autopilot was not working properly so as to bring the aircraft into the area a dangerous cumullus-nimbus.

In the Netherlands, Turkish Air landed a few miles before the runway of Schiphol. It turns out the chronology is almost similar to AF-447. Pilot late knowing that his plane (which flew under the control of automatic) is in flying trajectory for landing on runway far from the normal path. In an attempt to fly the plane to return to the path of a normal landing, the pilots have been raised too high the nose of the aircraft. Height of the nose of the aircraft and the conditions of use power machinery that is not balanced causing planes not able to go up and in fact is happening is stall. The plane hit the ground, long before the end of the runway of Schiphol Airport.

AF-447 pilot and Turkish Air pilot are senior pilots by thousands of flight hours. However, the results of the investigation which is largely derived from the flight data and cockpit conversation in the data explained, they’re not quite adept at controlling the aircraft in an emergency. The delay in realising there had been lapses in normal flight operations, and aircraft fire control to its normal position, be the cause of a fatal crash is dominant in it.

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All of that is regarded as a result of the pilot automation addiction, dependence is very high against a sophisticated flight systems automatically. A senior pilot say, since 2010, the era pilots who have been flying skill is over. They then learn to fly yet experiencing technological advances, all moved on retirement. Now, a new generation of pilots, those who early on learned to fly are accustomed to using automatic equipment, unconsciously no longer have sufficient skills to fly an aircraft, especially in dealing with emergency situations.

Just another example, a pilot who has 10,000 flight hours, when traced deeper, it turns out not to be that kind of flight hours which have a skill as a pilot. In a 9-10 hour flight, the pilot actually flew the plane for 5-7 minutes of take-off and 8-10 minutes before landing. The remaining amount of 10,000 flight hours were chronicled in reality of the autopilot!

Automation addiction has spawned new problems are quite serious. Although this is still a debate among its senior pilots and pilot instructors, this issue may indeed deserve to be the subject of enhanced efforts to increase security.

Does MH370 have an air hijacking by terrorists who used a fake passport, it must be proven further, or whether the case unusual attitude, things suddenly causing unusual maneuverable aircraft and then not being able to overcome pilot, also still await further investigation.

I am reminded of a producer’s senior pilots of the Lockheed factory and experienced much as investigator and had worked in the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). He expressed the opinion that is quite interesting. “In a fatal airplane crash, aircraft were severely damaged, total loss and no people in them that are saved, then we will never know exactly, what exactly has happened,” he said.

Sources: Chappy Hakim, Senior Pilot, Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) No 2391

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