Re: safety

Date:         17 Dec 96 03:09:22 
From:         ktl@crl.com (Kian-Tat Lim)
Organization: Personal account, no affiliation implied
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In article <airliners.1996.2797@ohare.chicago.com>,
Andrew Weir  <100637.616@CompuServe.COM> wrote:
>It seems to me, [...] that if the accident rate is to continue to fall,
>aviation regulators [...] may have to insist on all those myriad
>recommendations made by investigators over the years that have not been
>acted upon, e.g.  rear-facing seats, full cargo hold fire detection,
>smoke hoods, cabin and/or cargo hold fire suppression systems,
>greater impact friendliness of the airframe, and much more efficient
>incident reporting.

	Most of the suggestions made above, though undoubtedly made by
safety authorities, have more to do with *survivability* in the event
of a crash than *crash prevention*.  If a plane went down somewhere in
the world once a week but most of the passengers walked away thanks to
their rear-facing seats and smoke hoods, I think aviation would still be
perceived as being high-risk.  Only avoidance of crashes in the first
place will lead to the necessary impression of safety.

	Accordingly, aids to pilot situational awareness, better
human-computer interfaces, improved operational and maintenance procedures
in developing countries, and other such items should be higher on the
priority list.  In fact, it might be better from an overall economic
standpoint to invest in these steps even if survivability improvements
would directly save more lives since driving passengers away from airplanes
might have higher costs in the long run.

--
Kian-Tat Lim, ktl@crl.com