Tartan Monkey

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About Tartan Monkey

  • Birthday 08/07/1978

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    Doha, Qatar.
  1. Very true as I like the Flintstones. 😉
  2. Moved to Qatar 5 1/2 years ago, hated it. Left after 2 years. Now very happy in Abu Dhabi in the UAE, been here 3 1/2 years. Very settled and don't see us moving, wife happy, wee one at school. Lots of friends here, most friends from home have moved overseas. Hardly any friends left in Scotland now.
  3. Safety is not a limiting factor in this argument. Perhaps that is your biggest problem. For us safety is everything. It's an old cliche but it is certainly true that if the pilot goes home at the end of the flight then so do the passengers. Despite this incident in the Alps that still hold up. We don't take risks, we accept that there is risk in our job, but we don't go looking for it. Computers don't have the ability to decide what is too risky and when a situation is going to deteriorate into something more serious. You simply will not see pilotless commercial aircraft in 10 years.
  4. You can certainly fly an aeroplane remotely. However operating a successful commercial flight from A-B dealing with weather, air traffic control restrictions, emergencies and technical issues that are not in "the code" is another matter. Then you have to multiply that by every commercial flight there is around the world. There are currently around 100,000 passenger flights every day around the world. That's 36,500,000 a year (roughly). So since the Silkair (alleged) pilot suicide in 1997, we have had (very roughly) 657,000,000 passenger flights worldwide, and 3 or 4 supposed pilot suicides. 3 or 4 too many I admit but it's hardly a common problem.
  5. For someone with such a strong view on the subject, your lack of knowledge into the job of an airline pilot is staggering. So 3 pilots commit suicide in the past 18 years, (allegedly, as I believe only one has been proven beyond all doubt) and you want to replace all pilots with a computer? As I have said before, there are many cases where the computers would not have saved the aeroplane and many cases where the computer has caused the accident. A computer would not have landed in the Hudson following a double engine failure, a computer would not have safely landed the Qantas A380 in Singapore. Indeed in the Qantas incident the computers were making the situation worse. To say we are redundant and only look out of the window while the computer does everything is both insulting to our profession and factually incorrect. If and when the sky is full of pilotless aircraft (which incidentally Boeing and Airbus have no intention of designing in the near future) I for one will be happy to travel by whichever mode of transport is commanded by a human. It won't be in my lifetime though. I welcome your view, and it is an interesting debate, but your comments on pilots are far from true.
  6. All Middle Eastern airlines, and several worldwide airports and airlines employ random breath and drug testing.
  7. Eye tests every year under 60 during medical. Over 60 the eye tests and medical are every 6 months.
  8. We tend to avoid anything predicting severe turbulence. It's difficult to define a threshold as such, partly in that some forms of turbulence are difficult to forecast. Some is associated with strong winds such as a jet stream over high terrain, as in the Pyrenees or the Alps. As its "clear air" turbulence we can't see it either on our weather radar or out the window. This obviously makes it much more tricky to avoid. In this case we rely on the weather forecasts en route, experience and our knowledge of met phenomena and on a measure on our flight plan called the shear rate. This is a ratio of changing temperature over a given altitude. So a 2 on the flight plan is faily benign, a 10 is probably moderate to severe turbulence. Sometimes we have a 3 predicted and encounter moderate turbulence, sometimes with a 10 we get nothing. Weather is hard to predict and is a dynamic thing, so really it's a best guess. As for what we do about it. Well if it's associated with precipitation such as a thunderstorm we will fly around it and avoid. Sometimes that means being 100 miles off track (as was the case last night) to avoid the storm. As you suggest we can change level by climbing or descending. Climbing can send us into clear air above any clouds, however it also reduces our aerodynamic margin. At high levels and high weights there is very little margin between stall speed and overspeed. This margin narrows as we climb and is, rather ominously known in aerodynamic terms as "coffin corner". So in unstable, turbulent air, climbing isn't always the best option. Sometimes we have to just sit with the turbulence and plough on through, but we certainly do all we can to avoid it. It's no fun for us either I can assure you. So on the whole we will avoid turbulence if we can, however it may not always be possible. We will always avoid thunder storms as they can seriously impact the performance of the aeroplane, and can in fact cause structural damage and even break up of the aeroplane. So when we make that PA welcoming you all on board and suggest you keep your seatbelt fastened even when the sign is off........ We really do mean it! As for the PA volume, it really depends on who is speaking on it. Sometimes the pilots are using their headset and the mic might not be picking everything up. A hand mic tends to work better and that's what the cabin crew use which is why you always hear the duty free goodies. TM.
  9. I think psycometric tests will become mandatory. I've done several over the years, indeed I've done 3 at my current airline. Other companies I've worked for I didn't do any. I don't think you can just do them once, obviously life events come along and someone may not have the same mental state now as they had 10 years ago. I don't mind doing it, if it reduces the chances of this kind of thing happening then it's worth it.
  10. There are no air capsules on an aeroplane. Air conditioning an pressurisation is actives by cold air entering the engine. It's then compressed and heated (known as bleed air) and is taken to the air conditioning packs. Inside the pack a heat exchanger cools the air back down. Finally it is gently heated to achieve the desired temperature on the cabin. Most large passenger aeroplanes have 2 or more a/c packs. Its true that filters are not as badly damaged as they were during the smoking days, but smoking on board was stopped for safety, not economic reasons.
  11. Hypoxia would only have played a part if the cabin had depressurised. Although the aeroplane is flying at 38000ft, the cabin altitude is around 6000-8000ft. So assuming normal pressurisation, hypoxia isn't an issue. If it depressurised you would have heard the alarms on the CVR.
  12. Yes. I agree. I had thought the same thing.
  13. I'm curious about that too, I guess he took the answer to that with him.
  14. Favourites for different reasons. For work - B777 and B757. For pleasure - FFA Bravo (Aerobatic trainer), Kitfox. Wish list. F16, F86 Sabre, Spitfire, P51 Mustang, B727, Concorde, B707, Extra 300.