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The “Gimli Glider”: Lessons applicable to both Malaysian Air and Obamacare

We continue to wonder how, in this day and age, a modern commercial airplane could just somehow vanish?

30 years ago, an Air Canada 767 managed to somehow run out of fuel at 41,000 feet. Only the superb skill of the pilot, who was able to glide the plane to a safe landing at an abandoned Canadian forces base, averted disaster.

For those interested in the details of the incident, here’s a video link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ffryZAd4Nw

It’s pretty much forgotten now, yet had the crash ended with major loss of life, we’d be looking at it as the nadir of humanity stupidity, Murphy’s Laws run amok.

While we don’t as yet know what happened with the Malaysia Air flight, we will eventually learn the answer. It could be anything, even something, a near-impossible sequence of events,  that we never imagined could occur.

The investigation into how a modern airliner could run out of fuel ultimately determined that the forced, one party, and very unpopular metrication of Canada, instituted by Pierre Trudeau, and continued by his successor, John Turner was the contributing factor.

Canada had just recently started measuring fuel in litres instead of gallons. The plane was one of the first delivered to Air Canada configured to metric specifications. There was almost no training in the implications of the conversion, even to something as simply as  reading fuel pumps.  Obviously, Air Canada ( after all, a “crown corporation” ( owned by the government) should have hired some “navigators” to assist in metrication.

“Pus ca change, plus c’est  la meme chose…”

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