That was an amazingly fast investigation...
"Deadly plane crash caused by pilots' error on heat"
Is it just me, or did that headline not make a lot of sense?
Electronic IV pumps in the hospital have programming that alerts the nurse when something isn't within pre-programmed parameters. Couldn't we wire planes that way? Like "it's -7 Celsius outside, and the heater for this thing isn't on, is that okay? Sincerely, the plane". I know the checklist would solve the issue, but...
Rule #1 - Fly the plane. I think that training (simulation) with bad instruments should be mandatory. Being able though the situation and to work as a team is what saves lives. We only read about the crashes. Crews who "fly the plane" and work the problem, don't get the press but they are the ones who bring people home.
In December 1974 Northwest Airlines flight 6231, a B727 with only 3 crew aboard, crashed north of New York City after departing JFK on a ferry flight to BUF. The aircraft stalled at approximately 24,000 feet as a result of conflicting airspeed and overspeed warnings. The crew failed to activate the pitot heat on departure. As the aircraft climbed the trapped and constant pressure in the blocked (frozen over) pitot tubes became increasingly higher relative to the outside static pressure (which decreases with increasing altitude), driving the air data computer to display higher and higher airspeed, and activate the overspeed warning. The pilot tried to control the “increasing” (erroneous) airspeed by raising the nose until the aircraft stalled and became unrecoverable. Checklist, checklist, checklist …
Something a lot of folks don't know but the AN-148 was built by both Russia and the Ukraine. The proxy war between Russia and the Ukraine (which continues unabated since the Russian government is headed by a man who basically wants to reform the old Soviet Union), has had a major impact on the parts supply line for the AN-148 models. So much so that dozens of scheduled flights to and from Cuba were cut or seriously delayed in 2017.
It's also rather telling that they'd come out and announce this finding so quickly when most such investigations usually take months (even for the Russians).
The Russian government would be exceptionally embarrassed if a parts problem due to its war on the Ukraine had anything to do with the crash. The AN-0148 has a spotty safety record in the first place, and it's possible that a dearth of spare parts had nothing to do with the crash (there was an AN-148 crash in 2011 caused by exactly the same problem), but the speed at which they've made this announcement seems suspiciously like propaganda rather than the results of a thorough investigation.
I said when this was first reported, look at the de-icing and the pitot tubes given the conditions, and where it crashed after take off, both stood out.
Have to use the checklist - all the time - every time no matter if its the first flight or 10,000th flight. Actually checklist help with many routine process to ensure that all the steps are taken. Get the audiobook for "The Checklist Manifesto; How to Get Things Right".
Turns out in many cases the more experienced operator is the one most likely to forget or gloss over a step because they have done it some many times before.
If the plane type has such a poor safety record, maybe the heater wasn't working.Wasn't it snowing? Seems rather stupid to not get de-iced or at least turn all heaters on.
That is what happens when you do not use the checklist. Though I haven't flown in years, it was drilled into me to use the checklist, every time. Simple little things like turning on the fuel, or pitot tube heaters, which is what is the outside pressure sensor for air speed. Kinda important when taking off in winter....