Date: Mon, 21 Aug 89 01:30:47 -0400
Subject: Human failures in emergencies
The July 17 issue of Aviation Week has a very interesting letter from P.G.
Boughton, commenting on the British 737 crash in which the pilot shut down
the good engine instead of the bad one:
"I am amazed that Boeing has taken all the blame... I am an
F-14/F-4 backseater with more than 3000 hr. Twice I have had
experienced pilots shut down the incorrect engine. Both times
we had enough airspeed and altitude to get the engine relit.
The hardest obstacle... was getting the pilot to try a restart.
He just could not believe he shut down the incorrect engine...
"In trainers I can get about 10% of experienced aviators to
miss a bright, flashing FIRE light at eye level for up to 5
minutes by introducing multiple emergencies, hurried approaches,
and frequent simulated approach-control radio transmissions...
The British 737 pilots were in just such a multiple emergency."
Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology