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Miscommunication Leads to Three Fatalities During Ground Deicing of Aircraft 6 pages. [PDF 148K]
One deicing vehicle was parked on each side of the Boeing 747’s fuselage and forward of its horizontal stabilizers. The vehicles’ operator buckets were extended on telescoping booms 15 meters (49 feet) above the ground when the aircraft taxied forward into the booms and overturned the vehicles. Three members of the deicing crew were killed when they were thrown from the buckets.
Because miscommunication can have serious consequences, air traffic controllers responsible for international flights must have the skills in English to communicate more broadly than just to repeat learned phrases. The training and testing of controllers in English should require that controllers be able to respond to unusual, as well as routine, situations.
Airport Land Uses Require Planning to Prevent Wildlife-Aircraft Strikes 6 pages. [PDF 272K]
Increased wildlife populations on and around airports and changes in aircraft technology have added to the danger of collisions between wildlife and aircraft. A recent U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular makes many recommendations about land uses on or near airports.
FAA Tests Task-specific Eyeglass Lenses for Air Traffic Control Specialists 6 pages. [PDF 166K]
Aging results in diminishment of near-vision acuity, which can be corrected with prescription lenses. Researchers concluded that, for air traffic controllers who work at radar consoles, lenses with a wider field of view are generally preferable.
In a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Institute study, air traffic controllers working a simulated “2-2-1” shift schedule experienced disruption of the sleep/wake cycle. Nevertheless, no significant performance degradation was found until the night shift on the last day of the 2-2-1 shift schedule.
Roughly half of all communications by pilots and controllers included at least one communication error, in an analysis published in a U.S. report. The report recommends that controllers and pilots practice correct communication techniques.