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Saturday 21 April 2012

The Teneriffe Aircrash

The investigation would reveal that the primary cause of the accident was the captain of the KLM flight taking off without clearance from Air Traffic Control. However, the investigation would specify that the captain did not intentionally take off without clearance; rather he fully believed he had clearance to take off due to misunderstandings between his flight crew and ATC. Dutch investigators would place a greater emphasis on this than their American and Spanish counterparts,but ultimately KLM would admit their crew was responsible for the accident, and the airline financially compensated the victims.
The accident had a lasting influence on the industry, particularly in the area of communication. An increased emphasis was placed on using standardized phraseology in ATC communication by both controllers and pilots alike, thereby reducing the chance for misunderstandings. As part of these changes, the word "takeoff" was removed from general usage, and is only spoken by ATC when actually clearing an aircraft to take off. Less experienced flight crew members were encouraged to challenge their captains when they believed something was not correct, and captains were instructed to listen to their crew and evaluate all decisions in light of crew concerns. This concept would later be expanded into what is known today as Crew Resource Management. CRM training is now mandatory for all airline pilots.

Now what's the relevance of an air crash to the government? Well, politicians are behaving the same way. They aren't questioning what is going on. They are suffering from Group Think. 

The standard group think is that the deficit means the same as debt. Often exposed by people like Gordon Brown that the government can pay down the deficit. You can't. The deficit is an overspend.

Next comes what is a debt. They will just admit to gilts being debts. State pension? Not a debt. Implication is simple they won't pay it. Civil service pensions? Not a debt. It's not on the books. State second pension. Not a debt. All paid for up front, but it won't be paid because the debts are too large.

So politicians are behaving like the captain of the plane. The aren't listening to all the alarms going off. They are intent on full speed ahead when its clear there is going to be a crash.

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