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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career
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Jan 31, 2019

When it comes to aviation, there is no such thing as useless information.

If you've read this story on my author website, you will read how seemingly useless information saved my life 50 years ago.

A recent episode of Air Disasters highlighted the crash of Atlantic Airways Flight 670. In that accident, the BAE-146 aircraft was attempting to land with a slight tailwind on a short damp runway which had a major drop-off at each end. The airplane was unable to stop, and went off the end of the runway into a ravine and burst into flames. Four of the 16 passengers lost their lives.

The accident board found that, when the spoilers failed to extend upon landing, the Captain selected the emergency brakes. A relatively innocuous entry into the airplane flight manual notes that when the emergency brakes are engaged, the anti-skid system is deactivated.

What you may remember from your studies is the phenomenon of reverted rubber hydroplaning. When a lock tire skids over a damp surface, it heats up and the heat turns the water to steam. This layer of steam lifts the airplane off the runway, and the brakes become relatively ineffective.

In the case of Atlantic Airways Flight 670, seemingly unimportant information - the lack of antiskid protection when using the emergency brakes, and the potential for reverted rubber hydroplaning - led to this accident.

Takeaway: there is no such thing as unimportant information in aviation!

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