Safety while flying elicits a lot of attention from all those who venture to fly. As much as statistics show that travelling by cars is more dangerous than aircrafts, flying is more feared due the loss of control that people feel as a result of being suspended in the air. Many regulatory bodies look at aviation safety seriously as much as passengers. These bodies are tasked with the enforcement of rules and standards that address safety of the passengers while on board a moving aircraft from lift off up to landing.
The aviation industry is one of the most highly regulated. All players from the manufacturers of the giant jumbos to the suppliers of the smallest parts are required to adhere to a wide range of standards. Each part that is made is tested so as to verify whether it is compliant with predetermined tolerance limits failure to which it must be done away with. There are approved third parties who are empowered to certify companies that engaged in the aircraft industry (Krause, 2003).
All companies that are involved in air travel are closely monitored to ensure they are competent. This is not only expected of manufacturers of parts but also those companies that assemble aircrafts. After the assembly every plane is tested so as to ascertain whether it complies with regulatory requirements. The tests include flying so as to establish whether it is operating properly and safely (Krause, 2003).
During a test flight only a small portion of the crew is taken on board. New models are examined through a battery of tests that are designed to simulate real flight conditions. This process can take over a year to be completed. Production runs of a particular model are also subjected to lesser demanding tests but test flights are always conducted on every produced unit. Regulations are also enforced when a plane is in service. Actually the rules become stricter through a schedule of maintenance and inspections before every flight (Stolzer & Goglia, 2011).
If an aircraft deviates from a set out schedule it may be grounded. Every busy plane is usually inspected for more than one occasion every day. Those that fly occasionally are inspected after a few days or weekly. If a plane fails an inspection it is immediately grounded until all required repairs are completed. Minor maintenance procedures are done at least one time a month or after a few days. On the other hand major maintenance is done as required or at least one time after every two months. The regulations that govern how safe aircrafts are also apply to the crew.
As far as the crew is concerned, the major bone of contention is the number of crew members that are included in each flight as well as how experienced they are and for how long that they have flown. This is extended to how much sleep pilots have before entering into a cockpit every time. As much as most people worry about how safe they are aboard an aircraft is one of the safest activities that anyone can engage in (Krause, 2003). Rules and procedures are enforced so as to reduce the number of airborne accidents to the minimum by ensuring that all aircrafts are in proper working order at all times.
Every passenger who boards a plane always expects that it is well equipped with devices for utilization during an emergency situation. In many modern aircrafts such devices extend beyond procedures for ensuring that passengers are safe to warning systems that are designed to avoid accidents. These systems have to be correctly installed and constantly maintained (Stolzer & Goglia, 2011).
Devices that are considered as basic for ensuring that each and every flight is safe are standards that must be adhered by each plane whether it is the smaller planes to the huge commercial jets. Large jets have a deployable slide that is used to evacuate passengers from the sides very quickly in case of an emergency. If such devices are not there, evacuation may not be feasible which portends that a jet would hit the ground while passengers are aboard which would lead to catastrophic results (Rodrigues & Wells, 2012).
Parachutes are a primary requirement in the smaller aircrafts. This device is one of the foremost precautions that is available in every plane and should be maintained adequately to ensure that it is in proper working condition and it can be deployed without damaging the parachute. Parachutes are rarely used during an accident but they still remain an option that is considered seriously (Huang, 2009).
There are computerized equipments that are installed in aircrafts and calibrated to avoid occurrence of accidents altogether. These are recent developments and pilots consider them as important ways of controlling planes and helping them to understand problems as they develop during a flight, thereby giving them sufficient time to appropriately react.
The aircraft industry has seen the enforcement of so many standards that are geared towards ensuring that all flights are safe. Companies have to hire highly experienced personnel to fly and manage their planes. Such personnel should have an established record of safety as well as in implementation of best practices. One of the most basic ways of ensuring that a plane flies and lands without interruption is that every cockpit must have two pilots just in case one of them becomes deactivated during a flight.
Statistically the number of aircraft accidents is low as a result of developments that have enhanced the performance of aircraft through superior engine design as well as adequate training of pilots which are deemed to be the focal points of ensuring that each plane lifts off and lands without any incidences. International organizations that govern manufacture and management of aircrafts always recommend that all national authorities should implement safety regulations.
Since the advent of flying planes have crashed leading to very serious results. This is a result of the flight nature which is unforgiving as a small medium is suspended in air to support a large mass whose failure does not give an option but quick descent with catastrophic eventualities (Stolzer & Goglia, 2011). Due to this planes are designed with an emphasis of reducing the chances of mechanical malfunctions and pilots are intensively trained.
In the earlier developments in aircraft technology there were those who have been of the view that a plane should be designed with consideration of how it would endure an accident. However, such a design would lead to the manufacture of very heavy model that would be more susceptible to crash as a result of the added weight. As a result of this it is not uncommon to find the nonstructural parts of planes, especially the small ones are very light and when such planes crash devastating results follow.
Flying in private jets is more dangerous in comparison to the scheduled flights. This is partly attributable to less maintenance and training. In most cases privately owned aircrafts do not have system redundancy to be utilized if a system failure occurs. Therefore it can be presupposed that it is safer to fly using commercial airlines (Rodrigues & Wells, 2012).
Air traffic can be considered to be intense as there are usually ten thousand planes in flight at the same time. Despite this accidents are rarely sighted given the high number of operations. Statistically flying by scheduled airlines in the developed world is at least ten times safer than driving. However, this is not the case in many African nations and Russia. Plane accidents make headlines throughout the world when they occur (Rodrigues & Wells, 2012).
The perceived impact of such accidents has magnifying effect. The main reasons that lead to the airborne accidents are flaws in the design, pilot’s errors and improper maintenance procedures.
There are inspectors whose sole mandate is to ensure that regulations regarding performance and quality of aircraft including personnel are adhered to. These professionals are specialized in the inspection of either single or multiple engine aircrafts or commercial carriers. Other inspectors perform inspections on the operation of airlines where they evaluate commercial carriers as well as air operations. In addition inspectors also certify flight instructors, pilots as well as ensure verification of flight training facilities and programs.
The aeronautical profession is very dynamic and highly technical. There are numerous technologies that emerge with a view to improve travelling through airborne means. Every flight implies that many lives are at stake at any one time which places a very high demand on the crew and pilots to be highly trained and constantly updated with new developments (Rodrigues & Wells, 2012).
The training of pilots must be very intensive so as to ensure that the passengers aboard their aircraft are safe. Prior to being allowed to fly an actual aircraft an aviator is required to hone his skills using simulators that emulate real flight conditions. This is intended to prepare the pilots to deal with many types of scenarios that may present themselves while in flight mode. A pilot is certified after amassing a certain number of flight hours.
Pilot trainers are also constantly put to speed with every new development so that they pass on the knowledge to their students. Aircraft mechanics and engineers are also required to be equally competent as pilots and are held responsible in case a plane develops mechanical problems while in flight (Huang, 2009). This is intended to ensure that they carefully do their work so as to prevent aircraft accidents that usually cause multiple deaths.
Planes do not fly a lot during winter. However, the importance of proper winterizing a plane should not be understated as it is a matter of safe flying as well as enhancing the useful life of an aircraft. Manuals usually spell out how a plane should be winterized. One basic thing that should be done is to cover the canopy, windows, prop blades and the horizontal tail as these are the most crucial external parts. Covering reduces damage that is caused by snow, ice, rain and cold which are experienced during winter.
In order to enhance the welfare of all passengers it is important for a pilot to be very observant about pressure and oil temperature while flying in cold conditions as such features oscillate significantly when in flight as well as while not in flight. Repairs should be immediately done in case an oil cooler bypass occurs (Stolzer & Goglia, 2011).
One of the most basic things to do so as to ensure that flight is completed successfully is checking that the fuel tank is full and that the valves are properly closed. Emptiness in the fuel tank of a plane leads to condensation during winter which may cause corrosion that leads to complications during flight. When flying during cold weather, a pilot should establish whether his plane requires the use of isopropyl alcohol that is added to the fuel while operating in low temperatures.
Many regulations in aircraft management are usually precipitated by catastrophic events. Such rules have gone long way in preventing other air disasters. The ability of a pilot is one of the most crucial factors during the occurrence of accidents. Pilots are properly evaluated so as to ensure that accidents do not occur as a result of easily avoidable things like fatigue. Aviation safety will continue to be an important matter for all national and international air travel regulators. This will ensure that travelling by air continues to be the safest mode of transport in comparison with others like motor vehicle transportation (Huang, 2009).