On 28th January 2010, I had the privilege of taking a day long session of lecture at Hydrant Fuel Station od Indianoil Sky Tanking Ltd.'s (IOSTL) located at Delhi airport.
The participants were drawn from IOSTL's airport field officers. These officers toil hard to ensure thatirrespective of day or night, rain or thunder, hot winds of upto 50 degrees or chilling temperature touching freezing point, the aircraft at Delhi Airport, are refuelled on time, safely, with assured quality, accurate quantity, withing the stipulated short stay of the aircraft on ground.
These unsung heroes work silently without anyone knowing the intricacies, complexities, importance and significance of their job as well as the values attached to it. Such jobs do bring in a bit of monotony,which can be eliminated by exercises like this one initiated by IOSTL's Chief Executive Officer. I won't hesitate to admire the management of IOSTL, who realised this and arranged a series of lectures to ensure that the morale of officers involved in this responsible and important job does not go down at any time.
The 6 hours' series of lectures entitled, "Passion to win", were divided in 14 participative sessions as follows:
1. "Who am I?" makes a difference
2. Role of attitude in building our own personality
3. Communication: A presentation based on USAF C-130 crash. A practical exercise.
4. History of aircraft refuelling from 1900 till date, including mid-air refuelling
5. A Video of "Mid Air refuelling" of a helicopter
6. History of Aviation in Pictures from 400 BC till date.
7. Hydrant Refuelling System at Heathrow Airport.
8. A study by IAF on how "Human Factors" affect performance.
9. Select fleet of IAF
10. A rare video of "Cobra Maneuver by Sukhoy 30 of IAF"
11. How failures of control on quality of fuel can allow "Bacterial growth" in aviation fuel filters
12 Analyses of human errors: How, Why, & Remedy
Most of the presentations were on Power Point, making them feel that their company cares for them and values how important their job is.
We started with New Year Greetings: Since the year has just begun, we decided to start a new chapter in our lived by shunning the negative and thing of positives. The presentation, "Role of attitude in building our own personality" emphasised on how to make your mind think positive, was most liked session.
The participants were briefed before the session that if they did not agree on any point, or had any doubt on anything which they felt was not understood, or anything was not clear, I would love them to interrupt me during the session/ talk and speak up without any hesitation. The participation was very encouraging and a few doubts raised by the participants were cleared.
Here are a few photos that were taken at the session.
Below are two reflections of human errors and negligence.
The picture below clearly states the story that this aircraft was not maintained as per required schedule. Someone somewhere took a short cut that cut the engine cowling and must have cost the airline, a fortune many many times the salary paid to that guy for his entire service.
Following is a result of crew fatigue. Insufficient rest to flight crew is insisted upon all the world over, but some greedy airlines' managements think that pilots sleep in the long flights so blow two hoots and force them to fly more than stipulated hours without rest.
In the year 1986 in Male (Maldives), an American pilot who was flying as captain of DC-8 aircraft for Maldives Airways, became my friend. He told me that he suspected beyond doubt that the earlier company he was working for, was involved in illegal drug smuggling. This he came to know after a few months of flying. He risked his life to get out of their clutches, leaving behind his 3 months salary arrears.
He used to recall his boss telling him there, "Damn it. You just keep flying. Make money. You can't ever make this much in your entire life. Keep your bloody eyes and ears open and all your traps shut." No one had courage to speak a word.
I told him with pride, "For Indians, life is precious than money and morality more than life."
Following is a picture of Pilots fatigue. A heavy landing at Kabul that separated the entire front section including the cockpit from the aircraft.
In Aviation we always keep in mind that howsoever repetitive and boring the checks may be, they are meant to lead us to the path of safe operations in the air.
Why is the famous Gurudwara Bangla Sahib of Delhi, called by this name?
This holy gurudwara dating back to year 1664 AD, is related to the visit of Honourable 8th Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Harkishan Sahib Ji.
In 1664, India was ruled by last of the Moughals, King Aurangzeb. Guru Harkishan Sahib, who was only 8 years old at that time, was requested by Aurangzeb through Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, to bless Delhi, which was reeling under the epidemic of plague. Every day people were dying of this epidemic. This place, where Gurudwara Bangla Sahib stands now, was the bunglow owned by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur and that is where it’s name as Gurudwara Bangla Sahib originated.
Youngest queen of Aurangzeb perhaps wanted to test Guru Ji’s ingenuity and confirm if this 8 year old boy, whom the Hindus and Sikhs of her regime worship like God, has any sensory perception. So, she dressed herself as a maid and went to Guru ji to offer him a sweet drink. Antaryami Guru Harkishan Das Ji recognized her at the first glimpse. He told her to sit down on the floor. Then Guru ji walked upto her and quietly sat in her lap like a child would. He asked, “Are you satisfied that I am none other than Harkishan? The queen apologized with tears in her eyes and complimented him in traditional Muslim way and left embarrassed.
Plague was taking tolls of life every day in Delhi. King Aurangzeb was worried. Guruji washed his feet in the pond located in the bunglow and asked those who were suffering, to drink a sip. This had magical effects and those who drank the water from the tank, were cured. Those who were healthy, got protected from the disease.
Thus, with the blessings of Shri Guru Harkishan Sahib, Delhi was freed from epidemics of plague. Maharaja Jai Singh dedicated his bunglow (spoken as “Bangla” in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi) for making a holy Gurudwara, which is reason why this is known as Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.