Qantas 32: cockpit resource management at work

July 25, 2015: This is a 45 minute Air Crash Investigation episode about the Qantas Airway Flight 32 Airbus A380 engine failure and the subsequent events. Aside from the interesting circumstances, this demonstrates Cockpit Resource Management. What especially caught our eye was at the end, when the Captain made comment of automation vs human crews. With discussion from time-to-time about having one pilot, no pilots or someone on the ground controlling the airplane (as with a drone), this is why we like having real people in the cockpit. Qantas 32 is a good example of of how pilots on the scene vs human monitoring on the ground is the much better way.



6 Comments on “Qantas 32: cockpit resource management at work

  1. Thanks for sharing the video. The captain delivers now key note speeches on team work. He came to Toulouse a few years back to deliver a talk to execs, very good one. He has also published a book about it.
    On the technical side, as a positive note one could point at how despite of losing many control surfaces due to the loss of hydraulic and electrical systems the airplane was still controllable (even if degraded) to the point of being able to go back to Singapore and land safely.

    • Very good point Javier. I was about to contact Scott about this since nothing on this line was mentioned on the video. Yes, the crew was great but also the A380!

  2. In the future maybe we can have both.A two men(women) crew in the cockpit and the possibility of remote control from the ground in case of emergency or unorthodox behaviour.

    The unlucky Germanwings flight comes to my mind. Overwriting dangerous manual inputs from the pilot from an external control center could have saved many lives by guiding the aircraft to a saver route.

  3. Locking the door was (probably does) save lives.

    We have also seen the downside, law of unintended consequences. For each action there is a predicable certainty there will be a problem, though unknown what it will be.

    Can you imagine the insane complexity for ground control to take over an aircraft? totally modified aircraft, hundreds of ground stations.

    And how do you monitor all said aircraft. easy to pull this out and cherry pick a what might have been, thousands of aircraft in the air, each has to be monitored to be sure its not doing something odd, take over, ohh, they had a reason, let go, well darn, two others just went into the dirt.

    Cost is not an object?

  4. I have only recently seen a picture of the culprit oil fitting (I’m afraid a can’t remember the website), it really is a shocking piece of machining and quality control. Here in the UK the term “Rolls Royce solution “or “the Rolls Royce of kitchen sinks “is very widely used to describe something that has stone unturned or expense spared.l can understand the accident investigators shocked disbelief “and a Rolls Royce too”

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