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A History of Aviation Safety “A Time-line”


Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina The dawn of aviation. From the first successful sustained powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine (the “Wright Flyer”) made here by Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903,


to pilot Steve Fossett, completing the longest, nonstop flight in aviation history in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer on February 11, 2006 . He surpassed his goal of covering 26,389.3 miles in approximately 80 hours, establishing a new aviation long-distance record. In comparison the Wright Flyer flew four times on Dec. 17, 1903, with the first flight lasting 12 seconds, while the final one was 59 seconds long and covered 852 feet.


Aviation has come a very long way in a very short period of time. A world-wide phenomenon ! Despite incredible technological advances in wing designs, increases in engine power, and use of light weight material, aviation initially was slow to catch on. Bleriot morlon Brabazon biplane Farman oilette Goupy triplan W Wright Wright


The war did not bring wide acceptance to aviation as early pioneers had hoped. Even with the massive aircraft inventory left over at the end of the war, the airplane was quickly returned to curiosity status. On 28 June, 1914 World War One (WWI) started. Changes were rapid, and the aircraft were well suited for bringing the war to the skies.


It wasn’t until Jack Knight’s completion of the first transcontinental airmail delivery on Feb.21,1921 that aviation received the impetus (in the form of financial support from Congress) that it needed to compete with trains/railroads and automobiles as a viable source of transportation.


Many events had to take place in order for commercial aviation to gain a foot hold in America: 1. Aviation technological improvements 2. Flight by aircraft instrumentation 3. Financial support 4. Public acceptance


By the mid- 1920’s commercial aviation had taken off. Anyone who had the money could purchase an aircraft. This resulted in many new upstarts. The Airmail Act of 1925, transferred mail carrying to privateers. Airmail delivery was going strong (and was very dangerous due to a very high number of crashes), and the transcontinental airmail route was being extended. The skies were growing increasingly crowded and were free and open to anyone daring enough. Anyone!


1908... US Army flyer flown by Orville Wright crashes Killing Lt. Thomas Selfridge. 1909... Eugene Lefebre dies while piloting a Wright Biplane. 1910... John Moisant killed when plane crashes. 1910... Georges Chavez died in crash of plane after flying the Alps. 1912... Amy Quimby and her passenger Charles Willard are killed when they fall out of their plane. 1913... Sam Cody and his passenger killed. On 28 June, 1914 World War One (WWI) started. 1920... Two Latecoere airline planes crash. 1920 Technology developed during WWI leads to Airmail delivery 1920... Handley Page 0/400 crashes in London killing pilot, engineer and two of six passengers. 1921... At the first crash at Le Bourget airfield five people were killed. 1921... Forty-four people were killed when the US navies new airship USN ZR-2 crashed in England. 1922... On April 7th two planes- one flying from Paris to London and other from London to Paris crashed head on six were killed 1925... Twenty-nine crew members of the airship USS Shenandoah 1925 Airmail Act- Now privatized airmail delivery and mandated its safety 1926 Air Commerce Act- Feds Play in field of aviation, creates act to promote air commerce. 1926- 1935 Aviation industry sees tremendous growth 1928... Six Argentineans were killed when their plane crashed into Rio De Janeiro Bay. 1930... The British Airship R-101 blew up in France after crash landing on the way to Egypt. 48 passengers and crew members were lost. 1931 Crash kills famed Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and U.S Senator 1935 Commercial travel attracts the very wealthy and high profiled 1937... Hindenburg Explodes on landing in Lakewood New Jersey killing 36. 1938... Stunt plane crashes into stands in Bogota Columbia, killing 53. 1938- Civil Aeronautics Act- Stricter legislation, Civil Aeronautics Authority, Birth of accident investigation 1940-1945 WWII- Technology explosion, Industry competition, Global tech. growth, Human factors I.D’d, Ergonomics, Structure tech. improved, Jets introduced. 1940- 1945 Aviation industry sees tremendous growth. 1944... US Bomber crashes into school in Freckelton, England, 76 are killed. 1945... US B-25 bomber crashes into Empire State Building in New York killing 14.


1947... Eastern Airlines DC-4 crashes at Fort Deposit Maryland- 53 are killed. 1949... British South American Airways Tudor 4B disappears off Bermuda 40 are lost. 1950’s Crashes increase 1950... British European Airlines Vickers Viking Crashes in Fog At Heathrow London, killing 28. 1951... Miami Airlines C-46 crashed into the Elizabeth River killing 56. 1951... American Airlines Convair crashed into Elizabeth NJ killing 7 residents and 23 on plane. 1952... National Airlines DC-6 crashed in Elizabeth NJ killing 26. 1952... At the Farnborough Air Show a De Havilland DH 110 disintegrated in flight killing the pilot and 28 spectators on the ground. 1952... US Air Force transport crashes at Moses Lake, Washington 87 are killed. 1953... Canadian Pacific Airlines Comet crashes in Karachi 11 die. 1953... British Overseas Airlines Comet crashes near Calcutta India 43 killed. 1953... US Air Force plane crashes in Tokyo, 129 die. 1954... British Overseas Airlines Comet exploded in midair off the Italian coast. 1955... United Airlines DC-6B explodes and crashes 44 die. A bomb was placed by passengers son to collect insurance. 1956... United Airlines DC-7 and a TWA Constellation crashed over the Grand Canyon, killing 128 Crashes


Mid-air collisions have the effect of raising public awareness and causing a great deal of interest and pressure from the press and the public to "do something". Congress will therefore scramble to initiate measures and pass edicts to address the problem, spawning a flurry of activity and causing progress to leap forward. Grand Canyon Mid-Air Results in the Federal Aviation Act of 1956: The FAA IS FORMED!


The A4 (Aggregat 4) was the result of a continuous rocket development program initiated in Germany in the early Thirties. The A4 was later dubbed "V2" (Vergeltungswaffe 2) by Goebbels, clearly designating it as a measure to "retaliate" on the Allies. Development was spearheaded by the technical director of the German rocket centre at Peenemünde, Dr. Wernher von Braun (who would later go on to head NASA and lead the US space program).


World first commercial jet, The ill-fated Havilland Comet 1949. Frank Whittle (British)- co inventor of Jet Propulsion 1930 Sir Frank Whittle of Britain and Hans von Ohain of Germany who both invented the Jet Propulsion technology independently early 1930.   First Flight of a Jet-Powered Aircraft   HEINKEL HE 178 BY HANS VON OHAIN 27 August 1939 In the 1930’s, with the invention of jet propulsion, the race towards the Jet Age of the 1960’s began


"The Kelly way would be to add two inches," one quipped about the ribbons. The pilots were so good that one of them, retired Col. Joe Rogers, shot down a MiG-15 over Korea. So, a lot of pilots did that. But Rogers shot down the Russian jet while he was flying an F-51 Mustang-style propeller-driven fighter. If there was one thing anybody felt free and easy talking about, it was the reverence for the late Kelly Johnson, the Blackbird's designer. Johnson's Lockheed star began to rise with planes like the P-38 Lightning "forked tailed devil" in World War II; kept going with the P-80 Shooting Star, the first U.S. operational jet fighter; shot past Mach 2 with the F-104 Starfighter; and went into the stratosphere with the U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird. MIG-15 F-51


The 1975 World Conference allowed the nations’ whose economy rely heavily on aviation for security and commerce, to discuss the pressing aviation issues of the time. Huge international attention was focused on: Accident Data sharing Human error *Human error identified and accepted as being a possible cause of aviation mishaps. *After much debate, no single cause nor solution was found to eliminate human error.


On March 27, 1977, two Boeing 747’s collided (runway incursion) on the Spanish owned island of Tenerife, Canary Islands killing 583 people. The main causal factor of this international accident is human Error. This is still the deadliest aircraft disaster in history- with the highest fatality of any ground aircraft incident. Accident caused by “Human Error”- 583 dead !


Jimmy Carter signs the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Deregulation signed into existence on 24, October 1978. The goals of the Act: Safety as the highest priority maximum reliance in air transportation air service at major urban areas through secondary or satellite airports the avoidance of unreasonable industry concentration Open markets for new air carriers, encouragement of entry into additional markets by existing air carriers, and the continued strengthening of small air carriers. The Act intended for various restrictions on airline operations to be removed over four years, with complete elimination of restrictions on domestic routes and new services by 31, December 1981 and the end of all domestic fare regulation by 1, January 1983. *Deregulation opens the doors to tremendous growth!


From 1978 to the mid 80’s the aviation industry experienced huge growth after deregulation and as a result of deregulation the freedom to set fares establishment of new airlines. international carriers offer domestic service. * Between 1976 and 1990 the paid fare had declined approximately 30% in inflation adjusted terms. Tremendous growth as a result of De-regulation. Lower ticket prices mean more people can afford to fly which in turn increases airline revenue.


Space shuttle Challenger


On January 28, 1986 at 11:39 EST the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds into its flight (Challenger's 10th) due to the failure of an O-ring seal in the right solid rocket booster (SRB). The seal failure caused a flame leak from the SRB that impinged upon the adjacent external propellant tank and aft SRB connecting strut. Within seconds the flame caused structural failure of the external tank, and the orbiter broke up from aerodynamic forces. All seven crew members were killed when the slowly tumbling detached crew compartment impacted the ocean.


Most people believe this disaster was caused solely by a design flaw in the Shuttle's solid rocket boosters that was exacerbated by near-freezing air temperatures at the time of launch. While those problems were significant causes, there were a number of other little-known factors that also contributed to the tragic loss of Challenger on the 25th flight of the Shuttle program. Had any one of these factors not existed on that fateful day, the disaster might well have been avoided. It is also a common misconception that the Challenger "exploded." In actuality, the Shuttle was destroyed by a structural failure that caused the vehicle to break apart. As the vehicle disintegrated, it released large amounts of fuel that vaporized to form a massive cloud surrounding the Shuttle. The expansion of this cloud is what has created the perception of an explosion.


First Civilian Space Flight Space race- U.S vs USSR HUMAN ERROR ACCIDENT Pressure to launch Crew rest of mission control minimal Decision Cycles **Do we need to privatize the Space program ? Space shuttle Challenger I cannot join the space program and restart my life as an astronaut, but this opportunity to connect my abilities as an educator with my interests in history and space is a unique opportunity to fulfill my early fantasies. Christa McAuliffe


From 1986 thru 1995 the aviation industry experiences huge growth, and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy. However, that huge growth is accompanied by an increase in aviation mishaps.


The popularity of travel by air, larger planes with more passengers and hundreds of daily flights have all led to a dramatic increase in the number of accidents and deaths in the past 30 years. March 3, 1974 Turkish Airlines: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashes northeast of Paris, killing 346 people. May 25, 1979 American Airlines: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashes while taking off in Chicago, killing 275 people. June 23, 1985 Air India: A Boeing 747 crashes off the coast of Ireland, killing 329 people. Investigators conclude a bomb caused the crash. Aug. 12, 1985 Japan Air: Flight 123, another Boeing 747, crashes into a mountain on a domestic flight, killing 520 people. July 3, 1988 Iran Air: An Airbus A-300 is shot down over the Persian Gulf by the U.S. naval vessel USS Vincennes, killing 290 people. Dec. 21, 1988 Pan American: A Boeing 747 crashes in Lockerbie, Scotland. A total of 259 people onboard and 11 others on the ground are killed. The cause of the crash is believed to be a terrorist bomb. April 26, 1994 China Airlines: An Airbus A300-600 carrying 272 people crashes tail-first while trying to land at the airport in Nagoya, Japan, killing 264 people. Jan. 8, 1996 Cargo plane: At least 350 people are killed when a Russian- built Antonov-32 cargo plane crashes into a crowded market in the center of Zaire's capital, Kinshasa. Jan. 8, 1996 ValuJet Airlines: A McDonnell Douglas DC-9 jet with 110 people onboard crashes in the swampy Everglades near Miami International Airport. There are no survivors.


In the years following Deregulation: Between 1986-1995 Many accidents in commuter airlines occur. Deregulation leads to cutting corners. Fatigue becomes a major issue in HUMAN ERROR Accidents


As a result of De-regulation the elimination of restrictions on entry into new markets has increased the number of competitors . With this the quality of service as well as Safety is generally acknowledged to have declined. In the interest of Safety /the Commuter Airline Act of 1995, set forth airworthiness and operational requirements that were adopted by the FAA to regulate the safe operations of commuter airlines within the United States. Such as: Take-off weight requirement changes Airspeed accuracy calibration


On May 11, 1996, ValuJet Flight 592, burning and smoke-filled, plunged into the murky saw grass plains of the Everglades, taking 105 passengers and five crew members to their deaths. The crash focused new attention on the safety of low-cost, start-up airlines and raised questions about the federal government's ability to regulate air carriers. This accident reveals the culpability of the FAA for not performing the required inspections.


FAA chief David Hinson defended his agency's handling of Valujet inspections Tuesday before a Senate committee. He said the FAA initiated a 120-day Special Emphasis Review of the airline February 22, because of ValuJet's explosive growth and because of four safety-related incidents in January and February of this year. During the inspection period, Hinson said they also did a separate focused inspection during which 11 inspectors spent a week "fine tooth combing" the airline.


September 11th, 2001


On September 11, 2001 America was under attack. United and American Airline, Boeing 767and 757 respectively. This attack would forever impact the economy and security of the country. However, it would also affect the sense of security that all Americans felt in their aviation industry as well as their country. "Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised."   - Marilyn Manson


Pentagon: Under Attack Shanksville


Space Shuttle Columbia


Saturday, February 1, 2003 Space shuttle Columbia broke apart in flames 200,000 feet over Texas, killing all seven astronauts just minutes before they were to glide to a landing in Florida. The cause of the tragedy was not immediately known. An independent commission was appointed to investigate. One potential focus is possible damage to Columbia's protective thermal tiles on the left wing from a flying piece of debris during liftoff. One potential focus possible damage to Columbia's protective thermal tiles on the left wing from a flying piece of debris during liftoff. Space Shuttle Columbia


Historical landmarks in Columbia Disaster Second disaster in less than a decade Maintenance procedures scrutinized NASA Human Flight Culture Doing too much with too little Aging Space shuttle fleet A Changing in NASA Leadership Pressure to succeed-schedule pressure


“NASA heals by solving yesterday's problems and launching the next mission. So, indeed, does the American nation. Thus, before the grief had fully faded into memory, we began asking ourselves what had gone wrong, and how to solve it. Many solutions have been proposed, from the incremental (such as safety upgrades and improved inspections) to the radical (such as a new breed of space vehicles powered by plasma engines). But the most radical change, the one that would improve space exploration most dramatically, has been ignored: privatizing the space program.” Space Shuttle Columbia I see a very positive shift at more and more companies where more and more products are being designed with teams that have communication designers, usability people, the engineers, working all together at the beginning. Donald A. Norman


The future of Aviation ? Airbus 380 Boeing-777 Boeing 777 The Boeing 777 is the newest Boeing-developed passenger plane and the most recent addition to Delta's fleet. Its two-isle cabin is smaller than the 747, but larger than all other twin- or tri-jet passenger aircraft. A-380 It's the largest passenger jet ever built -- so huge that airports have to be redesigned to accommodate it. But its designers claim it will actually increase efficiency, use less fuel and generate less noise. A big aircraft and a very big gamble for Airbus and Aviation industry. What does this type of craft means for the future of air travel? Jerome Joseph

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