Last month I wrote an article titled “This is why you don’t fly in Third World nations… unless you have at least one First World pilot in the cockpit“. In it, I pointed out:
There are incompetent and/or inadequately-trained and/or completely untrained pilots in many Third World countries, where a bribe to the examiner can ensure that you pass written tests and check flights with little or no difficulty. The results are obvious if you examine accident statistics for those countries. The number of accidents put down to “pilot error” is phenomenal – and in many cases it wasn’t error so much as incompetence.
. . .
That’s why pilots from most Third World nations, coming to the USA to upgrade their licenses, must start the gamut of qualifications all over again, from private pilot, through instrument rating, through commercial license, and only then be allowed to sit for an airline pilot’s rating … The US aviation authorities dare not assume that everybody from Nation X or Country Y is, indeed, qualified, because they’ve learned from bitter experience that many of them are not.
There’s more at the link.
As if to prove my point, we learn of a Moroccan ATR 72 commuter airliner that flew into the surface of the sea – and, amazingly, survived intact, along with everybody on board! – thanks to its pilots’ incomprehensibly stupid actions. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Investigators have determined that a Royal Air Maroc Express ATR 72-600 twice struck the surface of the Mediterranean Sea during an extraordinary botched approach to Al Hoceima airport, badly damaging the turboprop before its crew diverted to Nador.
Analysis of the incident showed the pilots had proceeded with an unstable approach, after a lack of preparation, and descended below minimum altitudes without visual references.
But Moroccan investigation authority BEA also found the ground-proximity warning system had issued ‘terrain’ and ‘pull up’ alerts during the crew’s previous approach to the same airport.
As a result, prior to the accident, the pilots turned off the system, believing it had been giving nuisance alarms.
After the aircraft hit the water, the crew executed a belated go-around, telling the tower controllers that they were aborting the approach because of a bird-strike.
Again, more at the link, including a picture of the ruptured underside of the aircraft.
No, the ground-proximity warning system had not been issuing false alarms – they were real ones, caused by the crew’s incompetent flying! Note that their reaction was not to say, “Oh, I guess we’re too low”. Instead, they shut off the system warning them that they were flying too low! One can read their attitude from miles away. “We’re high-status pilots! We know what we’re doing! Why do we need, and why should we listen to, aircraft systems telling us that we’re not, and we don’t? Who do these systems think they are?”
Remind me not to fly on that airline if I can help it! Ye Gods and little fishes . . .