Trouble in the air

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Trouble in the air

Saturday, 22 September 2018 | Pioneer

Trouble in the air

A takeoff from a taxiway in Riyadh, a landing on an unopened runway in Male and now forgetting to put on a switch on a domestic flight out of Mumbai -- Indian commercial pilots and crews are in the news for all the wrong reasons. What is surprising is that there are all sorts of checklists to prevent just these sorts of errors but it must not be forgotten that there has not been a major commercial aircraft incident with fatalities since May 22, 2010 when an Air India Express flight crashed in Mangalore and this is despite Indian air traffic having almost doubled in the past five years. However, there is also no doubt that an acute shortage of pilots, particularly senior pilots, has played a major role in the sudden spurt of incidents. But it should be noted that there are tens of incidents like these across the world and that commercial aviation is incredibly safe. Because large commercial aircraft incidents are invariably dramatic, they tend to grab headlines. Also, keep in mind that these incidents get blown up in the English-language media because people who read English tend to fly a lot more. Yes, some of these events are scary and the pilots in charge should be brought to book and passengers should be adequately compensated.

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