Ladies and Gentlemen,
Would you trust your life with flying Singapore Airlines. I would not. It is not just the number of major crashes with heavy fatalities, it is also the nature of these crashes which is worrying.
On Oct 31, 2000 a Singapore Airlines 747 crashed on to construction equipment on attempting a take off at Taipei Airport bound for Los Angeles. The tower had cleared it for takeoff at Runway 05 Left, but the captain mistakenly entered into 05 right, thinking it was 05 left and despite every condition indicating that he should exercise extreme caution, simply took off without checking. The errors were far too many and serious making this crash not just a simple mistake of judgement, it borders almost on recklessness.
First the charts clearly showed there were 2 runways parallel to each other 05 left and 05 right. If he was not sure where he was, how could he just endanger the lives of his passengers and crew without making sure where he was.
Second there was heavy rain in Typhoon conditions and visibility was minimal. Since he could not really see, should he not have exercised even greater caution to make sure where he was. Or even better aborted the take off entirely for inclement weather, as a safe pilot would have done?
The wrong runway into which he turned 05right, had green lights in the center line with no lights on the sides clearly indicating that it is not a runaway but only taxiway. Why did he not see this.
The aircraft cockpit display would have had a Para visual Display which would have shown that he was not lined up with his allotted runway. He did not check this.
Runway lights have white light in the center line and on the sides. Not seeing this he should have known that he was not on it.
This Singapore Airline pilot simply decided to take off anyway, not caring where he was putting the lives of his passengers at risk, which resulted in heavy casualties and serious injury.
Some years later, Silk Air, the sister airline to Singapore had an even more shocking accident. The pilot of a Boeing 737 deliberately pitched his nose down, pointing to the terrain below and deliberately crashed the aircraft killing all aboard. He has committed suicide.
And only last month, a Singapore Airlines from Manchester veered off the runway into the grass while landing in Munich even though all indications were that the weather was fine, it wasn't a Cross wind landing and there were no other difficulties whatsoever, which leads us to believe in this case the pilot was simply incompetent.
And why I would ask any reader of this blog to be wary about ever flying Singapore airlines is this. It is not really the number of accidents but more importantly the type of accidents which is worrying in this case. Unlike in other cases where the accident is caused by the aircraft malfunctioning, with Singapore Airlines it is either pilot recklessness, pilot committing suicide or pure incompetence.
In the Taipei crash the pilot almost showed complete reckless disregard in pouring rain and took off at the wrong runway. In the Silkair case, the suicide pilot did not care that he is killing dozens of his passengers in his suicide act. And in the Munich case recently, which trained pilot in the world would be expected to veer off a runway in perfectly good weather with a perfect headwind, or in other words ideal conditions, unless he is a mental case.
No no. If I were you I would not fly Singapore Airlines. Quantas is a much better bet which uses normal trained pilots who do not go around committing suicide, or take off from the wrong runway or decide to use the grass as a runway at Munich.
Attorney at Law
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