Pilot: “We’re running out of fuel” Air-Traffic-Control: “Okay”. A mini CA-based analysis of the final moments of Avianca flight 52


On January 25th,1990 Avianca flight 52 flying from Medellín, Colombia to New York crashed around 30 km from John F. Kennedy airport, killing 73 of the 158 people aboard. The official Aircraft Accident Report subsequently concluded that the main causes of the accident were “the failure of the flight crew to adequately manage the airplane’s fuel load, and their failure to communicate an emergency fuel situation to air traffic control before fuel exhaustion occurred” (National Transportation Safety Board: v). Here, I offer a mini conversation analysis (CA) based analysis of some of the final Pilot-Air Traffic Control (ATC) interactions from Avianca flight 52. The audio was recorded on the Cockpit Voice Recorder aka the black box of …

The Danish pronoun ‘man’ used as ‘I’ in conversation

conversation 545621 12801

In English, you is both a definite and an indefinite pronoun. This means that speakers can use the same form to refer to a specific person and to refer to someone unspecific, someone in general. In Danish, the pronoun man is used to refer to someone in general, just like the English indefinite you, and the word’s primary meaning, listed in dictionaries and grammars, is this generic function. However, there are instances in the language where man occurs as an indefinite pronoun with self-reference. These instances are only briefly mentioned in the literature and are not described in detail at all.

This blog post is based on a presentation and an article from the 17th MUDS – Møderne …