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On July 10, CA flight 106 was involved in a incident which cause the flight to suddenly descend due to oxygen level decrease. It was caused by smoking of e-cigarette by copilot and error in turning off recirculation fan. Resulting deployment of oxygen masks for passengers caused widespread publicity and investigation. The flight crew was faulted and resulted in their firing. guancha.cn has a couple of articles by civilian aviation commentator on the incident and reactions by the readers are instructive. Certainly we in the West consider incidents like this as a no-no. There were incidents in Western airlines that pilots drank before flight and barred from flights and fired, and we can quote incidents like the disappearance of Malaysian airline, or the German flight when the pilot committed suicide to show others can be faulted too. Yet I find this incident demonstrates problems endemic in China and needs addressing seriously.
According to the analyst, smoking by flight crew in China is widely known and rarely dealt with until incidents like this happens. If this is widely known, why is this not dealt immediately to prevent it from happening again? Why subordinates do not intervene or report such violations to relevant authorities? If zero tolerance policies are really employed this type of incident should not be known to everyone working in civil aviation. I have traveled in Chinese airports where smoking ban was rarely enforced. With surveillance everywhere it should not be difficult to see if someone is violating the rule. Smoking ban is seriously enforced in high speed trains and should be enforced everywhere.
We read about stories about corruption involving hundreds of millions of dollars again and again. I know it’s difficult and time is needed to change a culture of corruption or obedience to superior, and Xi is trying to install honesty and promote good officials, but we have to start on little things like smoking and pollution, then hopefully governance and corruption will eventually follow.

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  1. pug_ster
    July 20th, 2018 at 07:28 | #1

    It seems like both the captain and the co-pilot lost its license to fly. Probably the moron who vaped should lose its license, but not sure about the captain…

  2. N.M.Cheung
    July 20th, 2018 at 08:03 | #2

    Actually the penalty is severe not only for the flight crews, including a backup pilot, but also the airline. China Airline was cut the total schedule by 10% on their profitable domestic routes for I think 3 months. The reason was obvious to make an example of not just zero tolerance, but toleration or knowledge of rule or law breaking. Consider all the reports of corruption which usually were someone of second ranking, yet do their superior or underlings totally ignorant of the corruptions or not part of the corruption? The various reports usually mention the corrupt officials continue their corruption even after the 18th Party Congress which started the anti-corruption campaign, and responsibility up and down the line. The Captain certainly is part of the problem, so is the management which tolerated it. I think Xi may not challenge all the corruption before he came of power, that’s why you heard all the statements on the guilt being not just recent and attempt to change the value system back toward Maoism and socialism values.

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