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Aircraft Safety
Airline Safety In Britain

Have our British Government and the CAA let us down?

Movie Reviews

"Larry we're going down"

?re going down Larry??t;br>?now??lt;br>The final words of yet another ill-fated jetliner that meets a fiery grave.

But can we just keep assuring ourselves that these accidents are just freak occurrences, and reassure ourselves that we?more likely to be injured on the way to the airport than on the flight itself?

The recent Concorde crash just outside Charles-de-Galles airport highlights that maybe there is a similarity between too many an air crash for the incidence to be coincidence. In 1989, an American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft made an emergency landing at Sioux City Airport in Iowa, USA. When investigators finally pieced together all the evidence, engine blade degradation was found to have ruptured hydraulic systems, which are necessary to control the aircraft. As one reporter wrote, the plane was ?able but not land able??nly 189 of 290 passengers survived the crash and the ensuing inferno.

There does seem to be at this stage, however, a striking resemblance to the Concorde crash of this month. Preliminary findings show that tyre degradation caused a rupture in fuel tanks and two engine failures. Concorde?fterburners, the part of the four Rolls-Royce Olympus engines, which inject fuel into the exhaust of the engines, ignited the leaking fuel, causing a catastrophic explosion.

In both cases, maintenance could, quite possibly, have saved the lives of countless innocent passengers. Is it the case that airlines have lowered safety measures and cut back on maintenance levels to save on costs, thereby endangering lives?

After research, I have found several cases where in one instance or another, the airline must be deemed responsible for failing to meet the standards its government sets.

The first is the case of a Korean Airlines Boeing 747 aircraft, flying into London?eathrow airport. It had only ten minutes of flying time left before fuel exhaustion to the engines would have resulted in disaster. Surely, such important tasks as fuelling an aircraft for its flight are those, which cannot be overlooked? Sadly, the instance is all too common.

Cubana, the national airline of Cuba has had three serious air accidents within as many years. Maintenance is said to be poor, however, nor our Government nor the CAA, our Civil Aviation Administration can intervene to check the safety of aircraft which can fly Britons, and which fly into and very often overhead of our bustling cities.

The Americans have the answer, though. The FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration have passed via their Government a law which allows them to make safety checks on any aircraft and at any time which flies into or out of mainland USA.

Surely therefore, our own country?viation Administration should insist upon these same rules? The fact is that we?not going to see such regulations being implemented for some time. Why, the conscientious traveller enquires. The answer is as simple as it is stupid. Our Government don?ant to threaten the security of economic bonds between ourselves and the countries such as Korea and such as Cuba, by insisting on inspecting that country?irlines. The problem is, our Government depend too heavily on these countries for exports, imports and jobs, for us to start breaking these bonds. The problem is, our Government values money more than it does the lives of its citizens.

Book Reviews


The tale is told by two survivors of a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boieng 767 in this, their nove, entitled, "Hijack".