My Website’s Articles

Welcome to Stephen Carbone’s Article page.  Stephen tries to post a new article every Saturday and at any time that the aviation industry is impacted by events or changes that affect those who follow his post.

Stephen also posts about: composing for aviation journals, authoring aviation fiction or just writing in general.  He has discovered a niche, an untapped aviation fiction genre – not that there aren’t any aviation novelists; there are many pilots and other aviation enthusiasts who can speak, whether fictionally or non-fictionally, on what it is like to fly above the clouds.

However, Stephen speaks from different points of view of the aviation technician and, in some cases, the engineer.  His background includes working on the latest digital technology airliners … and many that are of the ‘analog’ variety.  His first-hand experiences in major accident investigation and airline inspection, give him a unique view into the world of aviation safety.  He can tap his involvement in investigations, risk analysis, surveillance and troubleshooting to relate the important topics to anyone enthusiastic about aviation and aviation safety.  As an aviation instructor, he helps aviation professionals to understand the importance of being diligent in aviation safety, from FAA inspectors to international aviation personnel, industry professionals and NTSB investigators.

Although a regular contributor to aviation journals, Stephen believes the best way to communicate what he believes are of vital importance is through fiction.  “Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson.  It is this quote that inspires Stephen’s fictional writing, because he can either teach safety by rote (non-fiction) or by getting the point across while entertaining with a story.

After all, stories are so much more fun to read.

  • All opinions are that of Stephen Carbone and do not reflect any agency, government or private.  Opinions are based on Stephen’s 36 years in the aviation industry.

4 thoughts on “My Website’s Articles”

  1. Nice article on the Drone Lobbyist groups/ I made sure AOPA, and my former boss at AOPA, got a copy.

    Are you retired or just doing this in your spare time?

    After I retired from AOPA, I’ve decided …No more paying jobs.

    TR Proven
    AAI-100

    1. Thank you for forwarding the article to AOPA, I truly appreciate the vote of confidence. I’m still a few years from retirement, but looking forward to it. Hope all is well with you and thank you for your comments to the website; I’m in the process of getting both novels in paperback version and I am trying to build up viewers to the website to get some dialogue going.

  2. I really enjoy reading your articles. However I think I should say “enjoy” – they are interesting but disturbing. Sometimes things go wrong way too easy. That makes me thinking every time I board the plane. Working in 21G and 145 causes those thoughts even more exciting. In your articles you mention the ‘probable cause’, and the fact this term is not really defined anywhere. Any chance you could elaborate on this a bit more, maybe confronting it with the actual root cause? How would I know whether I got to the probable cause or the real one? How do I tell the difference? (btw, we met during the FAA Academy International Training – 145 Repair Stations)

    1. Tomasz, Thank you and I would be happy to elaborate. The term ‘probable cause’ is undefined in aviation. In United States law, it is used as a reason for law enforcement to question a crime suspect or hold someone under suspicion. However, that does not translate to aviation. The term ‘probable’ is defined as ‘maybe’, for example this is probably what happened, not definitely what happened. The probable cause does not take as much effort to reach and speaks to the experience of the investigators who found ‘probable cause’. Since the international classes were more structured, we rarely had extra time to go into ‘root cause’ and for that I apologize. Root cause means what was the basic, actual cause … not maybe.

      Root cause analysis says that if you ask why to every answer five times, you will reach root cause. Let’s say you broke an expensive plate. The ‘probable cause’ would be that you were careless and broke the plate. WHY did you break the plate? The plate slipped from your hands because you tripped. WHY did you trip? Because the rug was sticking up and you caught your foot in it. WHY was the rug sticking up? Because your brother moved furniture that caused the rug to stick up. WHY didn’t your brother ask someone to help him move the furniture? I think you get the point, but the root cause is the basic issue that led to you tripping and dropping the plate: the rug, your brother, the furniture movement or even something else.

      In aviation, the obvious cause is the probable cause – it’s the easy solution. But if you dig deeper beyond probable cause and into what led to the accident – by asking WHY a lot – the root cause could be a training issue, a maintenance manual issue or a management issue, something that eventually led to the probable cause. The bottom line is that unless we search for root cause, we will never solve the aviation problems that led to accidents. We will only have temporary fixes and we will repeat the problems that were never identified to begin with.

      Tomasz, thank you again for writing. I hope you continue to participate.

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