Probable Checklist Error

Given the latest news about the latest Spanair disaster–that the wing dipped sharply before the plane crash–I’m thinking this was probably the result of a crew cutting corners with a checklist again. Either that or there was a hydraulic failure that resulted in loss of control.

Many accidents on takeoff or landing are the result of such checklist failures. When you have a crew that is rushed, or is tired, there is temptation to cut corners on checklists.

Trouble is, that is how people get killed.

Author: Amir on August 23, 2008
Category: Aerospace, News/Opinion
6 responses to “Probable Checklist Error”
  1. Rev. Russ Westbrook says:

    Well; I guess they won’t do THAT again………..

  2. Amir says:

    Trouble is, other pilots will. Complacency leads to that kind of problem.

    Still can’t rule out a mechanical failure, such as a hydraulic system failure, though. There is almost no chance of recovery if you suffer a hydraulic failure, especially on takeoff.

    The two most notorious DC-10 disasters–Chicago O’Hare and Sioux City–were the result of hydraulic failure.

    The former was caused by a cracked engine mount, which resulted in the loss of the engine on takeoff, which caused complete hydraulic failure. The latter was caused by a defective part that caused the engine to fail in mid-flight. The resultant shrapnel destroyed hydraulics, forcing the pilot to use the remaining engines–altering thrust–to steer the airplane.

    The Sioux City disaster would otherwise have been worse but for the great work of the flight crew. If memory serves correctly, only 110 people died, and most survived.

  3. Amir says:

    The single worst accident from hydraulic failure was Japan Airlines Flight 123, which remains the worst single-aircraft disaster in aviation history. 520 people died.

  4. Carrie says:

    I was waiting to hear the engineer’s perspective on the crash.
    Thanks for not dissappointing. :)

  5. Amir says:

    Looks like I was right: apparently the crew did not deploy the flaps. That is definitely a checklist error.

  6. ame says:

    that’s a very scary thought.

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