Learjet 35 accident October 1999

I am afraid that this episode of Air Crash Investigation made my blood boil.

It was assumed, but not conclusively so, that the reason the Lear Jet crashed was because the pilots were incapacitated by the fact that the aircraft did not pressurise properly when it reached high altitudes.

The jet had been chartered to fly a Payne Stewart, who was a golfer, not that I have ever heard his name before.

The NTSB could have easily checked if the pilots had their masks on by examination of their bodies but they did not.

They assumed that the aircraft did not pressurise properly because of the probable failure of the flow control/airflow valve.

There is only one of these and it was fed by both engines. Yet again, this shows that aircraft manufacturers do not put in sufficient redundancies into an aircraft in order to keep the cost down. Anyone, with a single brain cell, would have designed the plane so that there were two control valves, one fed by each engine. If one failed, there would still be pressurisation from the other, albeit somewhat lower.

Yet again, it seems that money was put before lives.

After all, if something breaks in a plane, it is likely that it will crash, killing everyone on board, if there are no or insufficient redundancies. If something breaks in a car, it will “just” be the case that normally it will just be the driver who is killed or injured.

The cause of the crash was blamed on the checklists not having “DON YOUR MASK” as the first item but surely it is common sense to automatically don your face mask in such a situation

If there is an immediate decompression, the first thing that a pilot does is to don his mask, if above 10,000 feet. He or she doesn’t look at a checklist. It is an automatic reaction and is sheer common sense too. After all, one of the pilots was ex military and that would have been the first thing that he would have done; he would not have even had to think about it. He would have told his lady copilot to do the same.

So, after the crash, the checklists were changed to say “DON YOUR MASK FIRST” and the attitude was that “everything is alright then“, even though the two pilots and three passengers were unnecessarily killed.

The NTSB brushed over the fact that Lear Jet did not have a redundancy for air and that is rather important for humans.

It is yet another classic case of the NTSB and the FAA protecting the US aircraft industry.

The programme then showed the televised reaction to the crash. Even president Clinton kept on going on about the tragedy of the loss of Payne Stewart.

What about everyone else who was fucking killed on the plane? Do their lives not matter?

Apparently, if you are a celebrity and are famous, your life is far more important that the lives of “ordinary” people, the likes of you and me.

That makes me want to vomit

Published by David Hender (copyright owner- all rights reserved)

If you want to know me, you first need to understand where I have been and where I am going

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