The Improbability of Flight

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Failures of Critical, Essential, and Non-Essential functions were expected to be, respectively, Extremely Improbable 10 —9 or less , Improbable 10 —5 or less , or no worse than Probable 10 —5. Previously, system safety analysis was quantitative; that is, it was dependent on evaluating the probability of system failures from physical faults of components. But with the increasing use of digital avionics i. During system certification in the late s, it became clear that the classical statistical methods of safety assessment for flight critical software based systems were not possible.


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Qualitative methods were instead recommended for reducing specification, design, and implementation errors in the development of digital avionics. The concept of function criticality was replaced with classification of failure conditions according to severity of effects cf. Failure conditions having Catastrophic, Major, or Minor effects were to have restricted likelihoods, respectively, of Extremely Improbable 10 —9 or less , Improbable 10 —5 or less , or no worse than Probable 10 —5. This task was published in the Federal Register at 61 FR The focus was to be on safety assessment and fault-tolerant critical systems.

Said problems are discussed at length within the NPRM. The FAA proposed revisions to several related standards in order to eliminate such problems and to clarify the intent of these standards.

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In some proposed changes, definitions or conventions developed in lower level regulations or standards were adopted or revised within the subsequent Advisory Circular. Catastrophic Failure Condition was previously defined as "any failure condition which would prevent continued safe flight and landing"; but is now defined as "Failure conditions which would result in multiple fatalities, usually with the loss of the airplane.


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  5. However, owing to the increasing development of Highly Integrated Systems in aircraft, qualitative controls previously considered necessary for safe software development are extended to the aircraft function level. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Aviation Today. October 31, Retrieved To the average person, and certainly to my wife following on FlightAware, this looked like a very scary proposition. But these maps show things in only two dimensions.

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    Which is exactly what I found at 13, feet: clear air, great tailwinds and the ability to easily navigate around the storms and make it back to Atlanta in personal record time. Years ago this trip would have frightened me… now it was an exhilarating challenge and a great memory. And I realized that this mirrors life itself: things will change if you wait them out, and they always seem more threatening until you tackle them head on.

    Back on the beach, as we approached our condo, the storm did indeed blow itself out, and the dark clouds dissolved into a fine mist.

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    In their place a rainbow appeared, starting at the edge of the waterline and arcing halfway into the deep blue sky. The rainbow merged directly into a contrail streaking much higher across the heavens, as if signaling those other pilots that it was all clear to their next destination.

    He, along with thousands of others, marched right down to the Navy recruiting office to sign up for that gig, but the Navy decided his feet were too flat.

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    The dream smoldered for several decades, until a friend took him for a ride in his Cessna , which relit the flame. He now has hours on his PPL, and flies mostly for pleasure and some business in a Mooney Ovation 3. So far, he has never been beaten in the Factory class, but encourages everyone to give it their best shot.

    The flow is clockwise around a high pressure system. This is simplistic. Other pressure systems will deflect the wind some, but essentially the direction of the wind are in a relationship with the center of the high.


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    Jeff, I totally agree with you on the weather changing. I do a lot of hour flights to pick up dogs for Pilots n Paws. It is not at all uncommon to start a flight with the destination weather quite bad with storms or low IFR, and to have it clear before I arrive. Timing is everything with the weather.

    I also worry about turbulence when flying dogs and I find the turbulence forecasts to be very pessimistic. Great article Jeff — well said. The satisfaction of heading out on a nm trip and timing it with the movement of an entire weather pattern so you get tailwinds out and then 3 days later enjoy a tailwind for the return is right up there! Thanks for sharing your experiences. Good article, thank you.

    The Improbability of Flight

    Your email address will not be published. Lots of storms, but lots of gaps too. Bio Latest Posts.