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Allegiant

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There has been lots of concern/anecdotes about the safety of Allegiant Airlines now that they have started seasonal routes into small centres near the border..Plattsbugh, Ogdensburg, Syracuse, Niagara Falls and Bellingham. If you have friends thinking of flying with them, you can forward this article from a Tampa Bay paper..kinda sums up what we have suspected:

http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2016/investigations/allegiant-air/mechanical-breakdowns/

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Allegiant appears to work as close to the line as the principles of aviation permit.

Perhaps however, their long list of incidents and handling of their cockpit crews is being interpreted as an indication that they are actually doing things right and are even good enough to get away with the "minor" items, and, as with the Challenger accident, they normalize their deviance as positive reinforcement that their processes and procedures are working successfully.

This was Diane Vaughan’s primary thesis in her book on the sociology of organizations,The Challenger Launch Decision; Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA”.

If this is so, such a mentality could also conceivably see an accident not as an unfortunate event as a result of such "fine-tuning" *, but as an unexpected occurrence in an otherwise-"good" operation.

Human behaviour being what it is, such management perhaps would normalize even the lesson as having already been incorporated into their daily ops, the accident being a true aberration. This way, no change has to occur.

Also another principle of the aviation industry is, as long as the ticket price remains the sole arbiter of one's choice of holiday air carrier, such incidents will continue.

In my view, while the Jetsgo experience is certainly an example of what to prevent by sufficient regulatory authority and TC oversight, the difficulties, with Allegiant including its reputation in the industry, could be a timely lesson for Canada's regulators, particularly ex-aviator-now-politician Marc Garneau, in what kind of ULC "carrier", may be encouraged by his new ownership policies.

*Starbuck, W. H. and Milliken, F. J. (1988), CHALLENGER: FINE-TUNING THE ODDS UNTIL SOMETHING BREAKS. Journal of Management Studies, 25: 319–340. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.1988.tb00040.x

and possibly another of many books on the subject:

Saving Human Lives; Lessons in Management Ethics, Robert Elliott Allinson, Springer, 2005
 

Edited by Don Hudson
typos
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Don, insightful views, as always.

A psychology prof I once had summed it up rather bluntly.  In his view, corporations were persons in ways other than legal:  Indeed, large organizations could develop most of the personality disorders a human individual could.  As he put it, if a small, young company, 'in its youth'  is allowed to get away with being a spoiled brat, it will grow up to be a large, narcissistic, perhaps even sociopathic spolled brat.  It will choose to be led by that personality type, reward that kind of behaviour internally and literally dare its competitors and clients to call it to task for how it acts.  Only when control is taken away from someone, or something, so ill, can change happen.

In aviation, we know what it takes for that kind of change to be triggered....

FWIW

Vs

 

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Vs, I think your professor's remarks are relevant to all giant modern corporations since the 20's, (last century). I would include political organizations.

As we know, Allegiant's "DNA" is from Valujet.

As pristine as we might wish to think of NASA as being given its honorable mission and unmatched history of imagination and accomplishment, it took two accidents for that organization to change their culture. The Columbia accident is discussed in William Starbuck's and Moshe Farouk's book, "Organization at the Limit: Lessons from the Columbia Disaster".

Let us hope that the lessons for NASA do not have to be re-learned by either Musk and Bezos as we seek worlds presently far more hostile to all life than our own.

Let us also hope that those who believe in "autonomous" commercial flight learn those same lessons and apply both technical prowess and high ethical standards to contemplated solutions.

 

 

Edited by Don Hudson

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