Miscellaneous Blog Posts

Plane crash lessons

I’ve recently been watching programs featuring airplane accident investigations. Due to the high level of public nature, high level of operation controls, and the graveness of damages when accidents occur, aircraft come hand in hand with daily operation records and thorough accident investigations. This also seems to make it a great textbook on business administration and problem management in other fields.

I’m interested in aircraft as machinery that belongs to the same vast genre of vehicles as bikes, my specialized field. Also, there is so much to learn from the way problems occur with such machines, and what can be done to avoid dire consequences, or make matters worse. Speaking of learning, it works great for me as a material to learn English, though sometimes it drives me crazy when I can’t figure out some word I’m hearing.

Okay, it was a far-fetched ambition to compare bikes to airplanes. Let me give some examples now. Many of you may be aware of the confusion in measurements in the bicycle world due to the coexistence of metric and imperial scales. Tire size standards include confusing stuff like 650C and 26″, and frame geometry tends to be provided in inches for American-born sub-genres such as BMX, where the top tube length is always referred to in inches. Another example of confusion may be the diameter of steerer tubes, which many seem to think is 28.6mm for the oversize standard. To be exact, the standard assumes 1.125″, which is 28.575mm. The difference may seem minor, but is enough to affect the fitting status between the fork and the stem if component designers lack the knowledge. Conversion of units should inherently be a clear and sure process, unlike translation of languages, but that extra step could cause problems. Even with high-tech jet planes.


Provided below is some description including spoilers

Air Canada’s Boeing 767 experiences engine stall due to mysterious fuel shortage halfway through the trip, with no option but to glide down to land on a small airfield. The strip, on the other hand, has been converted into a drag race strip. Furthermore, the pilot has to take a measure called “side slip,” a maneuver equivalent to straight-line drifting in a car, an utterly unconventional way for a commercial jetliner to adjust the height before landing. Miraculously it ends with no major human damage, and investigation kicks in, which reveals an error in unit conversion. Boeing 767 is the first plane for Air Canada equipped with fuel gauge in kilograms, not pounds as in other models. This explains the miscalculation by the fueling crew, an error that no one can really be singled out to blame for. Staff training programs see improvements following the incident. A repro test on simulator is carried out later, where all of the several crews who try end up crashing.