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29 Jul, 2014

Too much “growth” a cause of frequent plane crashes?

Beijing (People’s Daily Online), July 28, 2014 – July 2014 must be the darkest month in the aviation history. Three air disasters happened in eight days and 465 people were killed. Despite the varying circumstances of each crash, insufficient preventive measures is a common cause of the accidents.

Zhang Qihuai, vice-president of Beijing Air Law Association, explained that frequent crashes are accidental, but with the development of civil aviation, the growth of the number of passengers and aircraft amortization may be the cause of aviation accidents.

Zhang said that Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways was aware of the typhoons and thunderstorms weather conditions, but instead of choosing an alternate airport, it carried out a forced landing. While the MH17 did not choose to avoid the war zone, and ICAO should also be responsible for not providing timely warning.

Rainy season meets travel peak season

“Weather and traffic are the important factors that affect fight safety,” Zhang said. “July, August and September are travel peak season for students on summer holidays. With frequent rain and thunderstorms, they are the bad season for flight.”

With the increase in traffic, to ensure the normal operation, the airlines will also increase the capacity in two ways: extending the operational time of the current aircraft and putting the aircraft in maintenance into operation. “Some aircraft fly for an average of 16-18 hours a day, without stop. The probability of the accident has been largely increased,” Zhang said.

Lack of captains globally

According to Zhang, there is a shortage of pilots, especially captains at global level. The captain and crew members are important to protect the safety of aircraft. “Shortage of pilots in peak season will result in the disorder in personnel arrangement. For example, we usually arrange a senior pilot to guide junior or fresh ones and choose the best pilots to fly over the difficult routes and areas. However we cannot apply it strictly during the peak season.”

In addition, Zhang thinks that fatigue of crews is also a problem. Some crew members have to fly three or four days without rest during the peak season. Flying overtime will also cause safety hazards.

This article is edited and translated from 阿尔及利亚载116人客机失联疑坠毁, Source: Beijing News