IATA Aircraft Recovery Task Force - Articles and news items
Issue 5 2010 • 1 October 2010 • William Cusato, Chairman – IATA Aircraft Recovery Task Force (ARTF), Sr. Manager Hangar Maintenance – LAX, FedEx Express
Aircraft recovery has largely been a ‘Black Art,’ with many stories of heroic efforts and unorthodox procedures that are made infamous over a pint after the work is done. However, the industry has changed since the days when the character portrayed by George Kennedy in the original Airport motion picture firewalled the throttles of a Boeing 707 stuck in the snow as if it was hotrod muscle car. In contrast to that aircraft recovery story are hundreds of other real-world scenarios with negative outcomes, because the parties involved were unprepared to address the situations they faced.
Airports and airlines alike devote considerable resources into developing contingency plans that enable an effective response to an aircraft accident or incident. These plans differ considerably and vary to cope with the degree of seriousness of the event. However, both are designed to focus on the human welfare aspects of any event and also to cope with the intense media focus that arise as a result of any sizable event, even if there have been no injuries or loss of human life. Fortunately accidents involving loss of life are not common events, but there are non-fatal incidents that are still occurring in excess of one a week.