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Life in the Skies

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Nervous flyer worried about pilots’ disorientation and accidents
Written by Capt Lim   
Friday, 17 October 2014 14:07

Spatial disorientation 1

Hi Capt,

Just a quick question about Pilots Spatial Disorientation (SD) and Stall Recovery.

According to the following paper (source) the chance of a pilot experiencing SD during their career is in the order of 90 to 100 percent. And several studies show that SD accounts for some 15 percent to 26 percent of fatal accidents.

The above-mentioned facts plus a few of the more recent accidents with SD being one of the primary factors (Kenya Airways, Adam Air, Air France, Air Algerie where the experienced pilots failed to execute stall recovery procedure) make me very nervous of flying. It just seems to me that the human factor is still one of the main contributors of aviation accidents and incidents.

Could you please give me assurance that I shouldn't be worried about flying?

Why, how and when is the need to dump fuel in flight?
Written by Capt Lim   
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 14:06

Fuel Dumping over Madrid

Good evening, Captain!

This is Xavier Chan Jun Yuan from Singapore. I am an aspiring student pilot and ever since I was introduced to your website through your book, I have found the information in both your book and website very interesting.

Also, you have been maintaining your website very well. I've seen other people asking you questions regarding aviation matters on your website and in your book.

Now I have two burning questions to ask you regarding the topic that you talked about on pages 178 and 179 of your book.

May I ask how does an aircraft dump its excess fuel in the event an emergency forces an unplanned landing?

May I also ask if the Airbus A330/A340 have this function and what other aircraft types have this function?


May you have a great day ahead and may your website soar to greater heights!

Best regards,

How pilots handle a Boeing 777 entirely in the dark?
Written by Capt Lim   
Monday, 13 October 2014 12:11

Night landing on a Boeing 777

Hi Capt Lim

We are flying a Boeing-777 from Los Angeles to Sydney which is a flight conducted entirely in the dark (night time).

I don't know how the pilots handle that long a flight and how they get their radar/satellite information as it is entirely over the water.

How are they informed, for example, of upcoming storms and/or turbulence?

How can they contact air traffic control to navigate to a different altitude for a smoother ride?

Thank you for answering and allaying my fears about this very long flight.

I experienced severe turbulence and thought I would die!
Written by Capt Lim   
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:16

Air Turbulence Tips

Hello Capt Lim,

Warm greetings from India... I just read your book Life in the Skies and I must admit, the book is incredible and most of my fears about flying have been shed.

You know captain, I was unable to sleep the previous night before flying...that too was after the MH370 & MH17 incidents, I am still terrified...

The most I fear is air turbulence. I enjoy a smooth ride but when the plane starts to shake I am almost out of control and I panic a lot.

Recently on a flight from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, I experienced severe turbulence and I thought I would die of a heart attack.

Is air turbulence safe?

We are frequent AirAsia travellers. Being a budget airline, how safe is it?

Is it equipped with all modern technology like the huge planes and the larger Airbus?

I would be glad if you would be able to enlighten me with these doubts.

Thank you

Have a good day

Will hearing problem prevent me from becoming a pilot?
Written by Capt Lim   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:16

How to read an Audiogram

Hi Capt. Lim,

Your book, Life in the Skies truly inspires me a lot.

I've been dreaming of becoming an airline pilot since when I was a little boy.

I have just graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering last March. I am planning to proceed to flying.

Will I be qualified to undergo flying training if I have hearing problem, especially on my left ear?

I am looking forward to your response.

Thank you captain

Sanie Flor Madrona
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