Thursday, November 29, 2012

About flight safety and accident investigation in Portugal

To me one of the most important part in aviation is the incident and accident investigation and report. Since I started my ATPL lessons that I started to read the reports of the Portuguese Aircraft Accident Prevention and Investigation Group (GPIAA) to learn with others mistakes. It's general knowledge that most of the incidents or accidents with aircraft result from human error or at least the human factor is a very important contributory factor to maintain the chain of events witch lead to the accident.

If all this is so important then it really is necessary that the bureau of investigation works the best way possible and with the least outside interference in order to conduct the investigations fast and accurate.

In order to keep this interests in flight safety and obtaining the truth about the events it's very important that investigators have at first a academical formation about the investigated subject. Normally in aviation are pilots engineers technicians manufacturers operators and others. Here in the Southwest corner of Europe the most skillful persons to the job are by far Air Force officers in active or retired whom normally get invited when retired to work as Lead Investigators in the GPIAA. These men have the field experience due to their past in the Air Force Nato EU, etc. and can with this continue to justify the costs of their formation when they were Air Force operatives problem is that now they receive the payment of their retire monthly and the new rules for public employees forbid the accumulation of retire payments and payments as a public worker. Soon as this law was approved the entire GPIAA collapsed. The composition  of the Group was in total made by retired Air Force Officers and so since then the investigations are stopped this stop affects about 11 investigations of 2011 events and all events of 2012. The Director of GPIAA stated that there are no conditions to continue with investigations but no actions were taken by the Government to find a solution and the Director itself requested to leave maintaining functions until a new board of directors take place.

Last year the number of accidents with fatal victims increased and other accidents an incidents increased as well so there is a need to investigate those events and find causes in order to propose solutions to prevent new happenings like those.

Lisboa-Vila Real-Bragança regional flights come to an end

Last Tuesday was the day of the last regional flight connecting Bragança and Vila Real do Lisboa here in mainland Portugal. This route was the only regional route apart the conncetions between Lisboa Porto anda Faro in Portugal mainland and was operated since 2009 by AeroVip with a couple of Dornier 228.
This particular connection between the east-northern most region and the capital was due to the lack of access-abilities to those who live in Bragança and Vila Real and need to come to Lisbon. To "fight " against the distance and the lack of highways or a decent and fast train connection  the flights started in 1997 and always with the support of Portuguese Government as an essential service to the community. The Government support was in money nowadays at a maximum value of 2.5 Million Euros per year and varying with the number of passengers. The rest of the profits were taken from the ticket sales.

T contract with AeroVip ended on last January and since then the company has been flying 6 days a week as normal without the State compensation rather the aircraft is full or empty. This represented a debt of the State to AeroVip of eight hundred thousand Euros. AeroVip continued the flights after agreeing that with the Portuguese Government until a process to select the company who would held this connection for the upcoming years. Now the decision has been made by the Government and the Lisboa-Bragança regional flights will come to an abrupt end.

This represents to the people of Bragança region a set back in time and proximity with the rest of the country and a increase of hours and money spent to come to Lisboa.

To AeroVip the year isn't going as good as they wanted to and this represents the end of it's only regular route witch will lead to end contracts of some employees.

Now as my personal opinion probably Bragança will receive it's so waited highway soon or later and the construction costs will be astronomical probably in a "coffee table" business delivered to a "friend" of someone. At the end people to come to Lisbon and use the new highway will pay tolls at values that almost touch stupidity and continue to feed the disbelieve in politicians and public defense of interests in Portugal.

New err... Old format

Somehow I got a bit tired of that format all flashy and almost reminding me the new Microsoft Windows 8. So let's get back to the old format and let's also try to write a little more ok?