Tenerife airport disaster

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pages: 309 words: 100,573

Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections by Patrick Smith

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airline deregulation, airport security, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collective bargaining, inflight wifi, low cost carrier, Maui Hawaii, Mercator projection, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, race to the bottom, Skype, Tenerife airport disaster

At heart this is a human factors issue. The FAA’s most valuable contribution to the problem might be something they’ve already done: stirred up awareness. When it comes right down to it, the best way to prevent collisions is for pilots and controllers to always be conscious of their possibility. Meanwhile, not to close on a morbid note, but I’ll remind you that aviation’s worst-ever catastrophe, at Tenerife in 1977, involved two 747s that never left the ground (see Tenerife story). What were your experiences on September 11, and how, from a pilot’s take, has flying changed since then? Among my vivid memories of that morning is that of the enormous black cockroach I saw crawling across the platform of the Government Center subway station at 7:00 a.m. while waiting for the train that would take me to Logan Airport.


pages: 371 words: 101,792

Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am by Robert Gandt

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airline deregulation, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Maui Hawaii, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, yield management, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The 747, which was emerging as the new flagship, established itself as the safest airliner ever operated by Pan Am. Not a single life would ever be lost in a flying accident with a Pan Am 747*. Pan American went on to establish a safety record that was the envy of the industry. * In neither of two fatal 747 disasters—the bombing of PA 103 in 1988 and the runway collision with a KLM 747 at Tenerife in 1977—was the 747 or the Pan Am crew held to blame. Chapter Twelve Vietnam Ton Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon May 1968 What the hell are we doing here? That was what Rob Martinside wondered, standing beneath the broad wing of the jetliner. He squinted in the bright sun. Across the sprawling ramp he could count six more tall tails bearing the blue Pan Am emblem. There were others—World Airways, TWA, Flying Tigers—but most of the commercial aircraft hauling troops and materiel into Vietnam belonged to Pan American World Airways.


pages: 182 words: 56,961

pages: 455 words: 116,578

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, meta analysis, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel

NASA administrators, for instance, tried for years to improve the agency’s safety habits, but those efforts were unsuccessful until the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. In the wake of that tragedy, the organization was able to overhaul how it enforced quality standards.6.40 Airline pilots, too, spent years trying to convince plane manufacturers and air traffic controllers to redesign how cockpits were laid out and traffic controllers communicated. Then, a runway error on the Spanish island of Tenerife in 1977 killed 583 people and, within five years, cockpit design, runway procedures, and air traffic controller communication routines were overhauled.6.41 In fact, crises are such valuable opportunities that a wise leader often prolongs a sense of emergency on purpose. That’s exactly what occurred after the King’s Cross station fire. Five days after the blaze, the British secretary of state appointed a special investigator, Desmond Fennell, to study the incident.


pages: 486 words: 148,485

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz

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affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, car-free, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, cosmological constant, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, desegregation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lake wobegon effect, Ronald Reagan, six sigma, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Tenerife airport disaster, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

For a detailed account, see the Netherlands Aviation Safety Board’s final report on the accident (one of the two planes involved was a KLM flight; hence the involvement of the Dutch authorities), Final Report and Comments of the Netherlands Aviation Safety Board of the Investigation into the Accident with the Collision of KLM Flight 4805, Boeing 747–206B, PH-BUF, and Pan-American Flight 1736, Boeing 747–121, N746PA, at Tenerife Airport, Spain, on 27 March 1977 (available online at http://www.project-tenerife.com/nederlands/PDF/finaldutchreport.pdf). reducing significant commercial aviation accidents. National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Statistics, Table 2: Accidents and Accident Rates by NTSB Classification, 1988–2007, 14 CFR 121 (available at http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table2.htm). The National Transportation Safety Board divides accidents in commercial scheduled passenger service into “major” and “serious.”


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

His researchers design applications that can monitor a doctor and patient or other essential conversation, offering support so as to eliminate potentially deadly misperceptions. In another application, his research team maintains a book of morbid transcripts from plane crashes to map what can go wrong between pilots and air traffic control towers. The classic and tragic example of miscommunication between pilots and air traffic control is the Tenerife Airport disaster of 1977, during which two 747 jetliners were navigating a dense fog without ground radar and collided while one was taxiing and the other was taking off, killing 583 people.18 There is a moment in the transcript where two people attempt to speak at the same time, causing interference that renders a portion of the conversation unintelligible. One goal in the Horvitz lab is to develop ways to avoid these kinds of tragedies.