View Full Version : Airblue down near Islamabad


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p51guy
22nd Aug 2010, 22:59
They screwed up the approach by not staying in circling minimums distance and appropriate altitudes.



PJ2
23rd Aug 2010, 03:14
p51guy, your "cause" is tautological.

The question is, Why?

An accident investigation is the means to determine the answer to this question in an attempt to prevent it from occuring again. That is now in process. A simplistic answer pointing to a single "cause" rarely, if ever, covers the mix of factors which result, (or not) in an accident.

We need to know what the crew was saying to one another so we can understand what the decision-making process, such as it may have been, was. We need to know if the TAWS provided any warnings and what, if any, was the response of the crew. We need to understand whether the airport was kept in view and if not why not. We need to know if they lost SA but didn't execute a missed approach or if they thought what they were doing was perfectly reasonable until just before the CFIT.

A number of plausible scenarios have been provided by thoughtful posters. Hopefully we will learn what happened once the information on the recorders is discussed publicly.

PJ2

aterpster
23rd Aug 2010, 09:19
Green Gaurd:

I do not have any Jepp chart right here, but if this "note" is there,
even if drawing on the chart was CORRECT, that "note" is definitely WRONG.

I linked the Jepp charts much earlier in the thread. The note is on the airport diagram. Such notes tend to come from miscellaneous airdrome information. It is not a procedural directive on the official state instrument approach procedure. It, thus, has no legal standing, especially when airdrome weather is less than basic VFR. Under those circumstances the approach chart is controlling, and the three Runway 30 IAP charts have no conditions or restrictions for circling from those three IAPs for landing on Runway 12.

Of course ATC could place a tactical restriction on a CTL during less than basic VFR, such as "circle north of the airport for landing on Runway 12." (or south instead of north). ATC is usually hesitant to place such restrictions in marginal weather conditions, especially when they are not associated directly with thre CTL minimums on the official document; i.e., the approach chart itself.

State authorities would do well to either remove that ad hoc note that Jeppesen charts on the airport diagram or, alternatively, be more verbose.

BOAC
23rd Aug 2010, 10:26
I linked the Jepp charts much earlier in the thread. The note is on the airport diagram. - I cannot locate your link. Please note that GG was referring to a cct direction specified for R12 which you say exists and "is on the airport diagram"

No wonder the masses are getting confused! What does this note about R12 actually say?

aterpster
23rd Aug 2010, 14:15
BOAC:

No wonder the masses are getting confused! What does this note about R12 actually say?

Standby....

aterpster
23rd Aug 2010, 14:28
Snippets from Jepp charts:

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/aterpster/snippets.jpg

aterpster
23rd Aug 2010, 15:03
What does the note mean? Does it mean to or from Runway 30? Perhaps when the weather is good VFR aircraft arrive from the west on occasion. The note could (probably) mean "fly right hand traffic for landing on Runway 30."

denlopviper
23rd Aug 2010, 15:21
to clear all your confusions out

you can fly ONLY 1 circuit in OPRN.

right hand circuits for RWY30 ( north side of the field). no left hand circuit on RWY30 because you would enter the prohibited area which is just south of hte field., even for GA airplanes, no left circuits because you would over fly the air defence command and transport wing HQ of the PAF

NO CIRCUIT FLYING WHEN RWY12 is active. period. you cant fly a right hand circuit on RWY12 because of the prohibited areas. and you cant fly a left hand circuit ( north side of the field) because appraoch side is still 30 and the circle to land is on the north side of the field

that note has nothing to do with the circle to land. its a note telling the ONLY right hand circiuts on RWY30 allowed at the field.

BOAC
23rd Aug 2010, 15:54
Thank you denlop -I hope that has cleared up R30 for them.

I actually think you are incorrect (although it is irrelevant to this accident) about circling - there is NO published restriction other than 'do not overfly the city or prohibited areas' and it would be perfectly feasible to fly left-hand circuits on R12 if there was no IFR traffic on R30. If not, that would rather hamper base training etc with a wind too strong for R30.

It is a very badly worded airport chart sequence - either the OPRN authority or Jepp are at fault. If there are to be NO visual circuits on R12 it should say so - it does not..

kotakota
23rd Aug 2010, 16:10
Ok , gents , just back on thread , quite hard to keep up , but any ideas on the EGPWS database I questioned earlier ?
I still want to know what heading they were on when finally hitting the granite . This could be very interesting .

BOAC
23rd Aug 2010, 16:52
Kota - heading-wise you'll have to wait for the report (!!??). A guess can be determined by looking at Machaca's pictures in post #81 showing the rock face and debris and PF's picture 3 in post #124 which to me suggest about WNW after or in a left turn - but that is 'pure' guesswork.

GerardC
23rd Aug 2010, 19:06
Hi everybody,
1) The jepp chart specifes "PANS OPS" : does this mean all the posts about TERPS and the "FAA examiner" are simply irrelevant ?

2) since the published minimas are identical for CAT C and CAT D A/C is it reasonable to believe that the CTL OCA is based on a 5.28 Nm radius from threshold, a 242 Kts speed, a 20° bank angle and a 2.34 Nm radius turn ?

3) IMHO, the Jepp chart specifies "right-hand circuit" only in case of non-standard (ie L/H) circuit.
Since nothing is specified for RWY 12, it must be a L/H circuit.

4) you do not have to see the RWY at the MDA (nor perform a GA if you do not see the RWY during "downwind" leg) :
on the ILS, at 842' aal, with 2400m horizontal visibilitly you have NO chance to see the RWY.
You must see the RWY to descend below the MDA.

What puzzles me is : how a modern jet can be flying without any kind of GPS input in it's FMS.
(Map shift + GPWS/EGPWS remain open issues).

P.S. : for "CC", on modern jets you do not need aymore to use the radar to "see" the moutains ahead : a "terrain" display (based on EGPWS) is available on the ND.
One of the best (with the TCAS) single improvement these past 40 years.

denlopviper
23rd Aug 2010, 19:17
BOAC

i trained and operated out for OPRN for a while. if you do a right hand circuit you would over fly the previous house of the Chief of the Air Staff and his office. they just happen to be below the downwind leg for a right hand circuit for rwy12 plus the entire circuit would be flown over army airborne logistics center and PAF base Chaklala. im sure you understand the military was too happy about it. therefore no right circuits for rwy12 to as far back as i remember. neither civil nor military allowed to fly any circuit on rwy12. north side ATC restriction, south side mlitary restriction.

i still remember sitting on the ground the whole day waiting for the runway to change back to 30 so that we could go up for a few bang and go's :}. i think i lost an inch in height thanks to some very special students:}:}

BOAC
23rd Aug 2010, 20:19
Gerard - thank you for a concise clarification of it all.

1) Yes - 411A froth, bubble and distraction

2) Yes, apart from the speed which I think is around 200-210kts max for Cat D?

3) perfect

4) Yes

Good score!

denlop - see 4).

PS I NEVER mentioned a 'right hand circuit' on R12 - you invented that:). I can see NO reason not to circuit left on R12 and that is what I would ask to do if I arrived from the south in good weather. Perhaps I would not be allowed since you say "north side ATC restriction" - where is that published?

denlopviper
23rd Aug 2010, 21:02
i never invented it lol. just mentioned it for clarification that no circuits on the south side and no circuits at all with 12 in use.

no circuits on the north side when rwy12 is in use is to deconflict the circuit with the circle to land procedure. its a local ATC restriction. i think the restriction is there in the AIP, i cant recall for certain.

aterpster
23rd Aug 2010, 21:13
BOAC:

It is a very badly worded airport chart sequence - either the OPRN authority or Jepp are at fault. If there are to be NO visual circuits on R12 it should say so - it does not..

More likely the OPRN authority.

Having said that, you have a German (Jepp's Frankfurt office handles that part of the world) translating from a foreign lanaguage to a foreign language. The Pakistani's may publish their AIP in English but many countries do not.

And, no doubt circling off the Runway 30 ILS is authorized. Seems like lacking company directives it would be folly, though.

BOAC
23rd Aug 2010, 21:21
And, no doubt circling off the Runway 30 ILS is authorized. Seems like lacking company directives it would be folly, though - once again you have lost me!

We know it is 'authorised' - it is on the chart.

What 'company directives' do you need for a standard flight manoeuvre, trained and practised by nearly all crews?

BOAC
23rd Aug 2010, 21:28
Recorders indicate no technical problems - it all points to crew.

aterpster
23rd Aug 2010, 21:56
BOAC:

- once again you have lost me!

We know it is 'authorised' - it is on the chart.

What 'company directives' do you need for a standard flight manoeuvre, trained and practised by nearly all crews?

In this part of the world air carrier flight crews must have airport qualifications for every authorized airport. This can range from something as simple as a study guide and questionaire to perhaps a fairly comprehensive video and Jeppesen color airport photographs, weather trend briefing pages and, for some more difficult airports, a special authorization, which may consist of the first entry with a check airman.

I hope that gets you back.:)

BOAC
24th Aug 2010, 06:58
aterpster - that, I think, is a world-wide system (not peculiar to 'this part of the world'), called (under EUOPS 1.975) 'route and area qualification' and all crews are so qualified. Category A is normally renewed by the annual recurrent line check, whilst Cat B and Cat C airports and areas have different training and testing requirements. You are suggesting, I take it, that OPRN is a special category airport, possibly requiring a route check before circling is attempted or some specific 'company directives' for circling? If so, do we know that this Captain was so checked or trained? Perhaps you have opened a door onto this tragedy which may explain the apparent crew error. Perhaps someone familiar with AirBlue's ops manual could comment? I cannot see why a competent crew could not be expected to conduct a straightforward and simple CTL at OPRN (or any airport), but maybe herein lies part of the reason for this accident?

Gobona - same report, different source.

GerardC
24th Aug 2010, 12:17
Hi BOAC (and thank you for the "score"),
You're right about 205 Kts a NOMINAL IAS for CAT D A/C.
It's just that PANS OPS specifies that the OCA must include a provision for 25 Kts wind + altitude :
"7.2.3 Determination method
The radius is determined using the formulas in Section 2, Chapter 3, “Turn area construction”, by applying a 46 km/h (25 kt) wind to the true airspeed (TAS) for each category of aircraft using the visual manoeuvring IAS from Tables I-4-1-1 and I-4-1-2 in Chapter 1. The TAS is based on:
a) altitude: aerodrome elevation + 300 m (1 000 ft); and
b) temperature: ISA + 15°."

thus, they end up with the figures I quoted. (See table I-4-7-2 ; Volume II).

Concerning crews's recent experience (no matter Islamabad being "A" ; "B" ;or "C"), I cannot imagine either of the pilots NOT flying to Islamabad during the past few months (Airblue is based in Pakistan ; Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, right ?).
Flying once to an airport makes you current with this airport for one more year. (At least with my airline...).
CU

aterpster
24th Aug 2010, 14:05
BOAC:

aterpster - that, I think, is a world-wide system (not peculiar to 'this part of the world'), called (under EUOPS 1.975) 'route and area qualification' and all crews are so qualified. Category A is normally renewed by the annual recurrent line check, whilst Cat B and Cat C airports and areas have different training and testing requirements.

Although I am not familiar with the specifics of EUOPS 1.975, I would have presumed such a system exists. But, not necessarily for carriers in some parts of the world.


You are suggesting, I take it, that OPRN is a special category airport, possibly requiring a route check before circling is attempted or some specific 'company directives' for circling? If so, do we know that this Captain was so checked or trained?

It very well should be a special-qualification airport as to the use of Runway 12. The lack of straight-in IAPs strongly suggests some peculiar local restrictions or conditions. We know about the unusually close restricted airspace to the south side. I suspect there are issues about overflight of certain areas on the north side that could be better served by flight-track CTL procedures.

Perhaps you have opened a door onto this tragedy which may explain the apparent crew error. Perhaps someone familiar with AirBlue's ops manual could comment? I cannot see why a competent crew could not be expected to conduct a straightforward and simple CTL at OPRN (or any airport), but maybe herein lies part of the reason for this accident?

It's possible that the captain had never before landed on Runway 12 (or perhaps he had, but only in good weather conditions). That is no stretch of logic at all given the circumstances of this airport. In any case with monsoonal rain conditions, I submit CTL is a very demanding, difficult maneuver for the most competent of pilots. The egress to the missed approach procedure is no small consideration among other factors.

For all we know perhaps the captain was flying an ad hoc visual maneuver attempting to avoid known (to him) areas "unfriendly" to overflight. Also, from earlier comments it appears there are landmarks that can be confused with the airport, at least during rain conditions, which rain could have easily intensified as they proceeded towards the hills.

BOAC
24th Aug 2010, 16:51
Gerard - I had forgotten the 'excess' kts :ugh:

I totally concur with your last para - no excuses!

I submit CTL is a very demanding, difficult maneuver for the most competent of pilots. The egress to the missed approach procedure is no small consideration among other factors. - once again we diverge. Not 'demanding' nor 'difficult' and the MAP is not difficult to brief and master. attempting to avoid known (to him) areas "unfriendly" to overflight - none I am aware of to the north.as they proceeded towards the hills. - "aye - there's the rub" (more Shakespeare)

Anyone else with a stab at impact heading for kota?

AL1 - do I hear rumours of a coup in Pakistan?

aterpster
24th Aug 2010, 17:37
Here is a much better topographical rendering than the one I submitted earlier in the thread. The topo program I use recently began offering a world-wide 1:250,000 geo-referenced topo map derived from the Space Shuttle mapping flight made a few years ago. Jeppesen considers the data, as implemented by Delorme, to be sufficient for Jeppesen's purposes, so they have bought into these topo data.

I also changed the CTL airspace from 5.2 to 5.4 n.m. in this rendering.

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/aterpster/OPRNtopography.jpg

aterpster
24th Aug 2010, 17:42
BOAC:

- once again we diverge. Not 'demanding' nor 'difficult' and the MAP is not difficult to brief and master.

I agree with your view of egress to the missed approach procedure, provided there is a briefed plan of action.

As to the difficulty of CTL is lousy weather, the expert safety view tends to share my view of that world. But, any further debate on that issue between you and me would be pointless. I may be forced to quote Alfred E. Neuman. :)

BOAC
24th Aug 2010, 19:38
The 'CTL airspace' is not CTL airspace. It is the protected area (5.28nm) in which the CTL minimum will be at least 394' above the highest obstacle. It is not the area in which you PLAN to 'circle to land', just as 2.3nm (2 for 411A:8) is not the area in which you PLAN to circle to land in TERPS - it is the area that gives you vertical separation (300') at the minima. The circle you have drawn is not relevant to this accident. The a/c was outside it. That is why it hit the hill - simple.

"CTL is lousy weather," - well, quit if you cannot do it. Just like a Cat I ILS in 200m RVR - simple.

Alfred E. Neuman? aah! Mad.

aterpster
24th Aug 2010, 20:25
BOAC:

The 'CTL airspace' is not CTL airspace. It is the protected area (5.28nm) in which the CTL minimum will be at least 394' above the highest obstacle. It is not the area in which you PLAN to 'circle to land', just as 2.3nm (2 for 411Ahttp://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/nerd.gif) is not the area in which you PLAN to circle to land in TERPS - it is the area that gives you vertical separation (300') at the minima. The circle you have drawn is not relevant to this accident. The a/c was outside it. That is why it hit the hill - simple.

Thanks for the flying and procedure design lessons. :)

The circle (oval actually) I have drawn is most pertinent. It shows the limits of protected airspace, which is an appropriate aid in the understanding of this accident.

FullWings
25th Aug 2010, 12:07
For all we know perhaps the captain was flying an ad hoc visual maneuver attempting to avoid known (to him) areas "unfriendly" to overflight.
Possible... But not a good idea in the prevailing conditions.

A circling manoeuvre is a visual segment of an instrument approach, not a 'visual approach'. The in-flight visibility, maximum distance from the airfield and operating altitudes are all exactly specified, as BOAC has pointed out. As are the actions to be taken if you lose your reference or reach any of the other limitations.

If you're not completely clear about what you're attempting, it's possible to get caught by doing something half-instrument, half-visual and mostly dangerous. Minima are there for a reason.

aterpster
25th Aug 2010, 14:26
FullWings:

A circling manoeuvre is a visual segment of an instrument approach, not a 'visual approach'. The in-flight visibility, maximum distance from the airfield and operating altitudes are all exactly specified, as BOAC has pointed out. As are the actions to be taken if you lose your reference or reach any of the other limitations.

Gee, guys, I have probably as much flying time as any of you, plus I have worked with TERPs criteria and FAA instrument flight operations regulations and policy since 1970 and still do to this day as a professional.

In fact, my issue with BOAC on this subject is that my considered view, shared by lots of safety experts, that the circle-to-land maneuver is a very demanding maneuver, especially in minimal weather conditions and in a jet transport aircraft.

BOAC is of the opinion that it is just another routine aspect of instrument flying. I strongly disagree.

As to this particular accident, there is some reason that the captain, for lack of a better term, went on an excursion rather than flying a disciplined CTL pattern. Please note that I used the phrase "ad hoc visual" with reference to the captain's apparent actions. Please also note that I mentioned earlier in the thread the hazard of CTL in monsoonal rain conditions. Those hills were almost certainly experiencing upslope, moist conditions. (orographical lift)

The aviation community, both in the U.S. and Europe, is working to advance the use of 3-D approaches to virtually every runway end using RNP AR or at least Advanced RNAV (known as "APCH" in ICAO-speak). And, in RNP AR criteria CTL is specifically prohibited because of the high risk of the operation.

p51guy
25th Aug 2010, 14:57
I agree with BOAC on this one. We are all trained and have done hundreds of CTL approaches with hopefully no close calls. I haven't. Dumbing down aviation so beginners in an airbus with 300 hrs can do it with automation should not be the future of aviation. It seems to be headed that way however.

BOAC
25th Aug 2010, 16:04
aterpster - however difficult you may have found CTL before you and flying parted company, it remains a straightforward exercise to fly. Like all bits of aviation, some of which are more difficult than others, it requires a basic flying skill (circuit flying) and judgement of when to quit if things go pear-shaped.

hazard of CTL in monsoonal rain conditions. Those hills were almost certainly experiencing upslope, moist conditions. (orographical lift) - this is all irrelevant!

"monsoonal rain conditions" - nasty, but don't carry on when you lose sight of where you are - exactly the same on a damp 'stratusey' day in the UK. - look - no monsoon!

"Those hills" - forget them! The CTL goes nowhere near them. Orographic stratus is not part of this equation. Had the crew flown a sensible DOWNWIND heading the hills could have been covered in snow or skyscrapers for all the difference it would have made.

Once again you have avoided answering questions. What were the "areas "unfriendly" to overflight" of which you speak?

40 years is a long time out of it. All these glitzy approaches of which you speak are terrific, but let's not take away the requirement to be able to fly sensibly? You almost post as if you believe that when something requires a basic flying skill that cannot be achieved with an autopilot or computer it should be stopped.

You need to accept that regardless of circles/ovals/whatever drawn on maps, this crew went steaming off straight to the scene of the accident. That is the issue that needs to be addressed.

FullWings
25th Aug 2010, 17:06
aterpster,

My comments weren't directly aimed at you, more to others reading this thread who maybe don't have the benefit of your knowledge & experience. Apologies if it seemed that way.

...my considered view, shared by lots of safety experts, that the circle-to-land maneuver is a very demanding maneuver, especially in minimal weather conditions and in a jet transport aircraft.

I sort of agree, only it is still one of the necessary tools in the armoury of a professional pilot. These approaches do exist (I've had to do three in the last two days in the 777! Unusual, I'll admit...) and, with suitable training and realistic minima, can be executed safely (which also includes throwing them away).

Part of me wants to say "yes, do away with circling approaches for jets, just too much risk/difficulty" and the other part wants to say "a jet pilot should be competent in all manoeuvres expected of him". After all, "I just can't cope with engine failures" doesn't fast-track you through an LPC/OPC... Same should apply to circling, *while it's a recognised, approved and sometimes only method of landing at certain aerodromes*

On the day, if you're not sure and full of dread at the idea of a CTL, then take the tailwind or divert. It's not compulsory to 'have a go', apart from in the sim...

JW411
25th Aug 2010, 17:43
aterpster:

"The circle to land maneuver (sic) is a very demanding maneuver, especially in minimal weather conditions and in a jet transport aircraft.

BOAC is of the opinion that it is just another routine aspect of instrument flying. I strongly disagree".

I'm sorry old son but I agree 100% with BOAC.

Like it or lump it, there is still a lot of the world out there that "Try Walking Across" probably never visited that still requires a circling approach.

I certainly would never sign anyone off until they had demonstrated to me that they had mastered what I consider to be a basic skill.

fireflybob
25th Aug 2010, 18:11
In the company I fly for we quite regularly fly CTL as we fly to some smaller airports which only have an instrument approach to one runway. We have a very structured way of doing this which works very well.

CTLs are perfectly safe so long as pilots are trained and checked in how to do them and also aware of knowing how to go around if unable to maintain the required visual reference.

Lonewolf_50
25th Aug 2010, 20:58
@<hidden> fireflybob:

We have a very structured way of doing this which works very well.
CTLs are perfectly safe so long as pilots are trained and checked in how to do them and also aware of knowing how to go around if unable to maintain the required visual reference. In re point 1: Particularly if adhered to. :ok: Command climate/company internal culture are factors the flying public are too often blind to. In this case those factors may remain opaque. One hopes not.

In re point 2: This brings us back to qualificatino, training, currency, and proficiency ...

HundredPercentPlease
25th Aug 2010, 22:43
Likewise, I am with BOAC - but maybe from a more modern perspective (sorry!)

A regular instrument approach is a safe and happy place to be, because as pilots we can use two or more independent nav aids to confirm our position and path.

A circling approach in the 320 is also two sets of independent references that tie together to confirm our position and path:

1. You fly at F speed, break right for 30s level just above minima, turn left to track downwind, start timing abeam the threshold (for a pre-calculated height/wind corrected time), turn left (disconnect the AP) and descend. Do this and you'll be in roughly the right place.

2. You become visual with the runway and break off, you remain visual with the airport on downwind, you are visual with the threshold when you start the watch and your are visual with the threshold as you descend and turn towards it.

They are the two independent systems. One always cross references with the other - just like 2 nav aids. Even though either system will get you there, if you lose one - or lose the cross-check between the two, then that's your clue that it has gone wrong and you go around and think again.

Simple, cross-referenced and safe. Even a 200 hour cadet can do it. :E

Oakape
26th Aug 2010, 04:48
I agree that CTL approaches can be perfectly safe. However, they are higher risk than straight in CDA's and are less tolerant of error.

This risk can be mitigated by a number of things, including adequate training and recency. However, whether or not pilots are receiving adequate training and recency in the current cost cutting climate, is debatable.

VSD's and EGPWS displayed on ND's are two pieces of modern technology that go along way to enhance pilot situational awareness, which also increases the safety margins of NPA's and CTL approaches. However, the current cost cutting climate means that they are not always fitted.

Bus Junkie
26th Aug 2010, 05:19
Sounds like aterpster is one of the guys whose recommendations led to the depreciation of the US major airline pilot's certificate.
All US majors that type rate their pilots seem to have a no circling restriction on their certificates. That was the case at the major I was at, but funnily enough their contract training for non employed pilots did not have this restriction. Alaska may be an exception, I don't know.
Circling even in non radar (which this wasn't) is just part of the job. If you don't like it go around and do it again.
Rather like a memo from a desk job. Except its not. It is a bit more serious than that. It is what we are trained to do.

BOAC
26th Aug 2010, 07:12
100% - no need for apologies - that represents good C(ockpit) RM. The point I was making (trying anyway!) is that you don't NEED all the 'gubbins' to do it.If you don't like it go around and do it again. - I would add "or don't start it"? Tailwind or divert.

BOAC
26th Aug 2010, 08:03
One source is claiming incapacitation, but another source (unverified, but sounding plausible) is claiming that the CVR and FDR show that the F/O was anxious about the heading but that the Captain said he would make a "wider circuit". It would appear that the Captain may have been unaware of the proximity to the hills and the F/O called for a pull-up, but the Captain turned the heading pointer to the left (correct direction) but through more than 180 degrees so the a/c reversed the turn the right.

This heading 'bug' was present on early 737s but was 'softwared' out so the a/c maintained the initial turn direction. Any input from AB pilots on this please?

PBL
26th Aug 2010, 08:35
There is value in discussing publically the safety status of CTL procedures. It may be worthwhile to use the vocabulary and concepts which technical safety analysts generally use.

For example, there is no worthwhile division into "safe" and "unsafe"; as in "CTL manoeuvres are safe"/"CTL manoeuvres are unsafe", for there are no generally-accepted criteria which allow such a binary distinction. The pertinent question is that of risk: how risky is CTL manoeuvring?

Let us grant that, as well argued by many here, CTL is defined by a set of procedures that, if followed to the letter using well-trained, almost-perfect judgement, is extremely unlikely to result in an accident. However, it may be one of the few instrument-flying manoeuvres which is intuitively more risky in large transport aircraft than in Cherokees (I bet the numbers don't bear this out, though).

Specific questions of human reliability /engineering psychology then come into play. How risky is it for your airline, with your pilots, not faceless licence-holders but Bill, Andreas, Ahmed and Soo Li, to engage in CTL at airports X, Y, Z? That generally cannot be answered, but the question is well-posed. The question, and the corresponding judgement, is one of risk.

Some argue here that CTL is not more risky than other manoeuvres, for competent/well-trained pilots, for competent airlines with good training regimes and other caveats which in other contexts are called ceteris paribus conditions.

OK, but do those ceteris paribus conditions obtain generally? In The July 2010 edition of AeroSafety World (http://flightsafety.org/asw/jul10/asw_jul10.pdf) there is an article by Michael W. Gillen on a study of the performance of 30 pilots flying for U.S. carriers on 5 standard manoeuvres (pp 30-33). The mean performance on all 5 manoeuvres was below that required for ATPL (4 on a scale of 5). Two of the manoeuvres had a mean which was below that required for "basic instrument flying" (below 3 on the scale of 5).

A CTL manoeuvre was not one of the five. If you are running an airline's safety program, however, it seems you would be unwise to assume that all your pilots perform at least to minimal ATPL levels on standard instrument manoeuvres. You would probably be unwise to completely trust your flight crew's unanimous assurances that they are all capable of performing and competent to perform CTL manoeuvres, given the conditions under which they are generally used. You might well be advised to test them specifically, to be sure.

But of course testing uses resources, which might be scarce (money for salaries during non-revenue activities such as training and assessment; use of scarce simulation facilities, or money to hire them; use of training captains and other personnel). You might well choose to recommend your airline prohibit CTL manoeuvres in general, and only allow them to be performed at airports at which you judge them to be both necessary and less risky (for example, with no high ground or obstacles in the vicinity) by pilots who have repeatedly and recently demonstrated their competence at the manoeuvre.

Should you decide differently? What would be the argument to do so?

PBL

BOAC
26th Aug 2010, 08:52
"You might well be advised to test them specifically, to be sure." - in my experience they are, routinely. Initial and recurrent..

PBL
26th Aug 2010, 08:58
"You might well be advised to test them specifically, to be sure." - in my experience they are, routinely. Initial and recurrent..

Sure, they are in the US also; it's in 14 CFR. But how would you then account for Gillen's results?

PBL

Gulfcapt
26th Aug 2010, 11:25
PBL, thanks for the post. I felt there was something missing from the current CTL discussion but I couldn't put my finger on it - For me, at least, you did.
Best,
GC

BOAC
26th Aug 2010, 12:01
No accounting needed. After suitable retraining, if they are not up to standard, termination of employment is the only option. FAA doing anything about the airlines concerned?

It would have been useful to know figures for CTL. Sounds like a few US guys are not all they thinkl they are.

Gulfcapt
26th Aug 2010, 12:45
Sounds like a few US guys are not all they thinkl they are


BOAC, that's interesting to me. I take it you believe the results of the study (which I haven't read yet but am looking forward to) are regionalized? If so, do you believe the results would be different had they been done somewhere else?

I'm not disagreeing with you - yet - ;) Just curious about your perspective on this.

Best,
GC

BOAC
26th Aug 2010, 13:00
I have no idea, but based on what I have seen I would not expect the same results in CAA licensed crews! Based purely on "30 pilots flying for U.S. carriers" ie FAA licensed.

I don't think I will use 4.6mb of my contract allowance to be 'unsurprised' (based on the 'odd' contributor here........)

Gulfcapt
26th Aug 2010, 13:59
I have no idea, but based on what I have seen I would not expect the same results in CAA licensed crews! Based purely on "30 pilots flying for U.S. carriers" ie FAA licensed.

I don't think I will use 4.6mb of my contract allowance to be 'unsurprised' (based on the 'odd' contributor here........)


Thanks for the reply BOAC. I certainly don't know the right answer. I've only had the pleasure of flying with one of your countrymen - a former RAF chap - so that's hardly a good sample.

I lead a sheltered life and fly with the same four guys 98% of the time. I usually get paired with someone different at the schoolhouse, but that's only twice a year. I was paired with someone from the Middle-East last time. He was very good, but I found the cultural differences on CRM fascinating in the sim(!)

It does seem there may be a regional difference on CTL. An FAA ATP issued with a "no circling approach" restriction seems commonplace but I gather this is not the case in Europe.

Best,
GC

noske
26th Aug 2010, 18:55
I don't think I will use 4.6mb of my contract allowance to be 'unsurprised' (based on the 'odd' contributor here........) You don't have to download the whole issue, and the article by itself is only 217 kb. http://flightsafety.org/asw/jul10/asw_jul10_p30-34.pdf

HundredPercentPlease
26th Aug 2010, 22:49
This heading 'bug' was present on early 737s but was 'softwared' out so the a/c maintained the initial turn direction. Any input from AB pilots on this please?

Nope, not on the 320 family. Last I saw of this was on the 737-300.

aterpster
27th Aug 2010, 01:09
BOAC:

"monsoonal rain conditions" - nasty, but don't carry on when you lose sight of where you are - exactly the same on a damp 'stratusey' day in the UK. - look - no monsoon!

Apparently you haven't spent much time in the tropics or you would know the great difference between Brit (or Southern California) stratus and tropical rain coupled with strong winds and terrain around.

"Those hills" - forget them! The CTL goes nowhere near them. Orographic stratus is not part of this equation. Had the crew flown a sensible DOWNWIND heading the hills could have been covered in snow or skyscrapers for all the difference it would have made.

You don't read real carefully. The hills were the issue for orographic lift, thus upslope increasing rain and osbsuration.

Once again you have avoided answering questions. What were the "areas "unfriendly" to overflight" of which you speak?

Pure speculation on my part, didn't I make that clear previously?

40 years is a long time out of it. All these glitzy approaches of which you speak are terrific, but let's not take away the requirement to be able to fly sensibly? You almost post as if you believe that when something requires a basic flying skill that cannot be achieved with an autopilot or computer it should be stopped.

You apparently didn't follow the recent thread where I became an outcast for bemoaning the lack of hand-flying, basic skills.

What is the 40 years you speak of?

aterpster
27th Aug 2010, 01:13
Bus Junkie:

Sounds like aterpster is one of the guys whose recommendations led to the depreciation of the US major airline pilot's certificate.

I was no where near that issue.

aterpster
27th Aug 2010, 01:19
BOAC:

Sounds like a few US guys are not all they thinkl they are.

At least a few, not only in the U.S. but in the U.K., and everywhere else.

BOAC
27th Aug 2010, 07:27
Thank you noske. That paper fits quite neatly in my thread http://www.pprune.org/safety-crm-qa-emergency-response-planning/379780-computers-cockpit-safety-aviation.html. We certainly do appear to be at a fork in the road.We need the crew to be able to revert to this basic instrumentation and make a reasonable fist out of descending away from performance limiting altitudes where they can take time and try to 'reboot' all the gismos at a more leisurely pace. We need basic skills, as demonstrated by the AMS, PGF and Buffalo accidents and far less 'over-confidence' in the magic.

2 tasks then, as I see this. One is for the manufacturer/regulators/operators to ensure something usable remains, and not to be seduced into glittery-eyed fascination with how clever everything is. The second for the pilot fraternity to press hard for a change in the philosophy and application of training and recurrent testing. Learning how to programme and push the buttons is important, but more important is to be able to pick up the pieces. These requirements WILL impact on the bean-counters. The question is how do we get it done? I was thinking this morning of circuit flying. Many, like me, over their careers have flown and taught thousands of circuits in different aircraft types, at all sorts of landing sites and at all sorts of heights, directions and entry points. Have we now reached the stage where the 21st century pilot sees real jet circuits only, what, 6/7 times on base training, and CTL only in a sim with frontal visual only (ie very little ability to maintain visual with the airfield environment plus requiring a 'nudge' for 'abeam the threshold') and possibly only occasionally seeing these for real with a Captain able to fly such? How will they feel x years later when in the left seat about these manoeuvres?

Solutions?
1) Restrict visual circuits and CTL to certain pilots?
2) Change/improve training?

It may well be possible that this high-hour Airblue (?ex PIA long-haul was he?) Captain had minimal experience of such basic manoeuvres and may well have had zero awareness of where he was.

100% - thanks. Certainly casts doubt on the veracity of the information.

411A
27th Aug 2010, 08:23
All US majors that type rate their pilots seem to have a no circling restriction on their certificates.

IE: a cost center.

..but funnily enough their contract training for non employed pilots did not have this restriction.


IE: a profit center.

Solutions?
1) Restrict visual circuits and CTL to certain pilots?


Yes, those that can remain within 2 miles of the airport.

Gulfcapt
27th Aug 2010, 12:47
At least a few, not only in the U.S. but in the U.K., and everywhere else.


Just read the article and I'm with Aterpster on this one.

Thanks for posting the link; timely and relevant.
Best,
GC

BOAC
27th Aug 2010, 14:44
So, girls - as they say - don't give me problems - give me solutions?

Let's start with 1) or 2) ?

fireflybob
27th Aug 2010, 16:29
BOAC, in my book it has to be 2), change/improve training.

BOAC
27th Aug 2010, 17:01
Yes - I'd be there too. As I said, though, I don't think the bean-counters (or in fact the system) would permit.

The other option is, as bus junkie posted, rate the new pilots as 'non-circling' (and presumably, therefore, 'no visual circuits') although again once the diversions build up .........................

Even if we move towards the brave new world of GPS etc random approaches, there are going to be aircraft that 'no-can'do'. I guess if it is only the 'US Majors' that are issuing these 'no CTL' ratings, the second/third level carriers will be able to get on with it in the older metal

PJ2
28th Aug 2010, 00:36
BOAC;

Not your view I know, but I can't believe that "CTL - certified pilots" etc, as such, is even seriously contemplated. The objections both professionally and technically are so obvious that I won't waste space with them here. A pilot who calls him/her self by that title, should be able to fly the airplane as well as the autopilot, period.

The standard should be, If you can get from fully automated flight to fully manual and back to fully automated without anyone noticing, you probably understand the system, and when you can fly an airliner like a Cub or a Fleet, which means you understand energy levels, mass, aerodynamics, maneuvering capabilities/requirements at the theoretical and the 'artistic' level, and can fly a circling approach and a visual circuit like you were riding a bike, then you're a real pilot.

There is simply no excuse for non-competency in these areas and if the bean-counters object they should be placed in the cockpit a few times a month until they "get it", which means they come to know what adrenaline is. You'll never get that kind of crucial aviation understanding from looking at a spreadsheet.

Without that kind of understanding on the part of accountants, leaders and CEOs, the industry will continue to make headlines without knowing why.

PJ2

BOAC
28th Aug 2010, 06:50
Quite - the post by bus junkie came as a surprise (411A's did not:)). Mine was merely a log on the fire to attempt to try to see a way out of what appears to be a cul-de-sac (mixed metaphor alley!). What would be the next restriction? Manual flight only in emergency conditions? Heaven help all pax and c/crew.

EDIT: "know what adrenaline is" - I have always had this sneaking suspicion that a bean-counter does indeed get an adrenaline rush from a spreadsheet:)

On another forum our recently departed poster is still talking about a 'teardrop' procedure onto R12 (but also suggesting that the supposed co-pilot's frantic scream of "Sir - pull-up, pull-up" was being confused with the EGPWS callout - damned civilised EGPWS that - RHIP?:))

Fawad
28th Aug 2010, 13:06
‘Airblue cockpit had a third person’
By Imran Ali Teepu
Saturday, 28 Aug, 2010

The source said that investigators were trying to determine why the aircraft drifted five nautical miles away from its original route. – Reuters Photo

ISLAMABAD: A team investigating the crash of the ill-fated Airblue jetliner on July 28 in Islamabad has detected the possible presence of a third person in the cockpit. Under normal circumstances, a cockpit is not supposed to have anyone other than the pilot and the co-pilot.

“The investigators have reportedly heard the voice of a third person in the cockpit of the Airblue jetliner,” a source close to the investigation told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

The voice has been extracted from the Cockpit Voice Recorder, according to the source, and the investigators were looking into various possibilities and aspects.

The CVR, which is part of the ‘Black Box’, is a flight recorder used to document the audio environment in the cockpit of an aircraft. In order to record and document the audio environment, microphones are installed in the pilots’ headsets and in the roof of the cockpit.

The source said that the data of communication between the control tower and the pilot were available with the investigators. Dawn has also learnt that the pilot and control tower communicated with each other for two minutes and 25 seconds.

Two teams are currently investigating the air crash in which 152 people were killed. One of them is headed by Air Commodore Khawaja Abdul Majeed, president of the Civil Aviation Authority’s Safety Investigation Board. It is focussing on human factors, possibility of technical fault and weather conditions.

The second team, headed by Federal Investigation Agency Director General Zafarullah Khan, has been assigned the task of investigating the possibility of ‘sabotage’.

The source said that investigators were trying to determine why the aircraft drifted five nautical miles away from its original route. “The late pilot was very experienced and professional with thousands of flying hours under his belt; hence the fact that the plane strayed five nautical miles from the original route is also a cause for concern for investigators,” he said. The source said that six investigators were yet to hold a joint meeting.

When asked if there was a third voice in the audio recording of the cockpit, CAA director general Air Commodore (retd) Junaid Amin told Dawn: “I am not aware of the presence of a third person in the cockpit… you cannot judge from the audio whether there was a third person….”

No fault in Airblue aircraft

An analysis of the Black Box of the ill-fated Airblue aircraft which crashed on July 28 has revealed that it had no technical fault at the time of the accident.

In intimation to A-320 operators across the world, Airbus said there was no need to update the procedures or make fresh recommendations after the ED 202 crash because all flight systems were working normally before the aircraft slammed into the fog-covered mountains.

All 152 passengers on board were killed.

The advisory was based on a preliminary analysis of flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder by Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses.

A final outcome of the investigation may take months, but preliminary investigations have set the direction for the probe.

According to aviation experts, the Airbus communication implies that technical malfunctioning has been effectively ruled out as the cause of the incident and it is up to the investigation team constituted by the Civil Aviation Authority to determine if the crash occurred because of pilot error, bad weather, control tower fault or any other factor.

The cockpit voice recording readouts have also revealed that the pilots belatedly realised that they were flying into terrain. The first officer of the flight was heard screaming “Sir, pull up, pull up” moments before the crash.

This revelation has been supported by the findings of local investigators which show that before hitting the mountains the aircraft had climbed from 2,600 feet to 3,100 feet. The aircraft was circling for Runway 12, where it was to attempt visual landing.

Sources privy to the investigations believe the pilot got panicked after realising that he was flying into the terrain and had turned the autopilot ‘heading bug’ to the left at more than 180 degrees.

The aircraft, experts say, takes the shortest possible route in such situation and instead of turning left moved towards right.

Why did the aircraft go so close to the hills? Several explanations are being dished out, but the most commonly heard of in the aviation circles say that the pilot while circling for Runway 12 was on Flight Management Computer, but instead of following the prescribed route he had probably created a ‘visual circuit using place bearing distance waypoints’ that put him in the wrong place.

Insertion of place bearing distance waypoints is strictly prohibited by aircraft manufacturers because the Airbus FMC does not have a ‘fix page’ capability, wherein a defined distance can be superimposed on the existing route.

The standard instructions are that any route that is not supported by a ground navigational aid should not be used.

DAWN.COM | Front Page | ?Airblue cockpit had a third person? (http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/airblue-cockpit-had-a-third-person-880)

Gulfcapt
28th Aug 2010, 14:00
Sources privy to the investigations believe the pilot got panicked after realising that he was flying into the terrain and had turned the autopilot ‘heading bug’ to the left at more than 180 degrees.

The aircraft, experts say, takes the shortest possible route in such situation and instead of turning left moved towards right.



Panicked, stayed on autopilot...:sad:


Insertion of place bearing distance waypoints is strictly prohibited by aircraft manufacturers because the Airbus FMC does not have a ‘fix page’ capability, wherein a defined distance can be superimposed on the existing route.


Not the case on a Gulfstream.

Thanks for the post Fawad.
Best,
GC

BOAC
28th Aug 2010, 15:04
I keep getting this little voice in my head (yes, I know......:O) - what with Meekal still going on about a teardrop pattern onto R12 with 'DME' etc and his father being pretty well up in aviation in Pakistan (so he might just know) - suppose there WAS a ('unofficial'/'nod and a wink' from the authority) teardrop onto R12? You could construct a safish 'home-build' at around 2600' on, say, the 310 radial from the VOR to, say, around 9DME, remain clear of terrain and finish up established i/b at around 7DME (about 5nm+ final) which is fine for an approach? Again suppose said Captain (ex PIA we believe) knew of this but set the wrong outbound radial, or 'decided' to fly a 'wider circuit' as, supposedly, the CVR has it? F/O a little spatially confused in grotty weather but eventually the old military 'where am I' instinct breaks through? Might account for the 'lie' - "visual with the runway" (most unlikely) and then "I see the hills".

Plausible? Will anyone admit to it?

PS - To hell with 'Sir, pull-up" etc:{

PPS I'll step up the tablets tomorrow

PJ2
28th Aug 2010, 19:02
Insertion of place bearing distance waypoints is strictly prohibited by aircraft manufacturers because the Airbus FMC does not have a ‘fix page’ capability, wherein a defined distance can be superimposed on the existing route.
Nonsense. More ignorance from the media.

The current FMC standard for the A319/A320/A321/A330/A340 aircraft permits the use of PBD [Place/Bearing/Distance] and PBX [Place-Bearing/Place-Bearing] entries on the Direct-to and FltPlan pages as well as on Vertical Profile pages, UPDATE AT pages and DATA INDEX pages the latter being the "STORED WAYPOINTS" pages where crew-entered waypoints may be labeled and stored for later use or database waypoints may be called up.

Entries may be place/bearing/distance, place-bearing/place-bearing, lat/long or the crew-entered identifier given to the created waypoint.

The same FMC standard also provides a version of the FIX PAGE which is line-selectable after the 1L FMC key is pressed, (top left key); the menu-item, "FIX INFO" is visible at the 1R key and is selectable; the waypoints must either be database waypoints or those created/named/stored by the crew. The FIX INFO page provides the ability to enter a radial from the selected waypoint. This can provide crossing-radial information as well as "ABEAM" information. The feature is used all the time when cleared direct to somewhere and flight plan waypoints must be retained for ETO and fuel checks.

For obvious reasons, CTL procedures is no place to be messing, heads-down, with FMC waypoint entries by which to conduct a CTL procedure (or define the limits of the circling area). If at all, such entries, including entering the ICAO identifier of Islamabad on the PROG PAGE to maintain awareness of distance from and bearing to the airport in a difficult weather approach, would be made prior to descent and briefed as such. But relying upon waypoints subtlely "permits" thinking to shift from maintaining visual contact with the airport to one of computerized flight in which "safe" is an electronic display instead of a visual one.

One gets the feeling that none of this was briefed at all but the CVR will confirm whether this is the case or not.

The issue here is SA which means not making full use of the map displays and FMC "PROG PAGE" feature, which can display the distance and bearing to any selected waypoint including the DESTINATION airfield.

Turning the HDG knob would not get the aircraft out of this extremely serious circumstance; with autopilot engaged, max bank using the HDG knob is about 20deg.

For emergency bank angles up to 60deg, the autopilot must be disconnected and the aircraft very aggressively hand-flown using all available protections to their limits.

Here, that would mean immediate full back stick/TOGA thrust and perhaps full left stick (to the stops) to bank the aircraft up to 60deg.

The A321 (and all other same-type Airbus aircraft) is fully capable of handling this very aggressive input while protecting the aircraft from stalling or banking beyond 60deg. I strongly suspect that such a response would have cleared the mountains by a substantial margin.

BOAC, re "To hell with 'Sir, pull-up" etc"...fully agree. Regardless of how this crew permitted this situation to occur, the final absence of an aggressive response allowed this CFIT to happen. Why that was the outcome instead of the above-described response is, sadly, the only lesson here.

PJ2

411A
28th Aug 2010, 21:26
The current FMC standard for the A319/A320/A321/A330/A340 aircraft permits the use of PBD [Place/Bearing/Distance] and PBX [Place-Bearing/Place-Bearing] entries on the Direct-to and FltPlan pages as well as on Vertical Profile pages, UPDATE AT pages and DATA INDEX pages the latter being the "STORED WAYPOINTS" pages where crew-entered waypoints may be labeled and stored for later use or database waypoints may be called up.

And, so did the original Hamilton Sundstrand FMS, fitted to the Lockheed TriStar, circa 1976....provided of course that the flying pilot knew how to do it.
Nothing new...except possibly for the uninformed:}

flyawaybird
29th Aug 2010, 18:25
After reading all these interesting comments by BOAC, PJ2, Fawad etc
Could this air crash of Airblue similar to AA 965 in December 1995, whose cause of accident was ruled as CFIT by investigators, NTSB? :confused:

Robert Campbell
30th Aug 2010, 15:13
With all the unrest in the area. This article may contain a nugget or two.. or not, however there are many unanswered questions in this one.

AMERICANS BELIEVED INVOLVED IN PAKISTAN AIR CRASH, HIJACKING | Opinion Maker (http://www.opinion-maker.org/2010/08/americans-believed-involved-in-pakistan-air-crash-hijacking/)

"Sources indicate that the plane crash was an unsuccessful hijacking attempt intended to crash into the nuclear weapons facility at Kahuta, outside Islamabad. Such an attack may have been blamed on India and would likely have led to retaliation which could easily have escalated to a nuclear exchange between these two nations that have spent decades at each other’s throats.

Suspicions were raised inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence organizations when American military contractors employed by Blackwater/Xe showed up on the scene immediately after the crash, seizing the black box and “other materials.” There is no confirmation that parachutes or electronic equipment had been removed when Blackwater/Xe security relinquished control of the crash scene to Pakistani investigators.
Royal Television in Islamabad, owned by the brother of the head of Pakistan’s powerful JI (Jamate Islami), the Islamic political party, has reported that investigations are underway tying American based contractors to the planning of the attack

AVLNative
30th Aug 2010, 15:19
Interesting theory when you combine these two recent posts.

dvv
30th Aug 2010, 18:06
Robert Campbell, no.

Lonewolf_50
30th Aug 2010, 18:41
(Your source) Suspicions were raised inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence organizations when American military contractors employed by Blackwater/Xe showed up on the scene immediately after the crash, seizing the black box and “other materials.”

There is no confirmation that parachutes or electronic equipment had been removed when Blackwater/Xe security relinquished control of the crash scene to Pakistani investigators.
Did these contractors then fly away in a black helicopter? They surely wished to make it to the premiere of "The Expendables," a documentary about their craft and company. :*

Mister Campbell, this thread is about a tragic crash that cost the lives of all on board. Some pages ago, had you been keeping up with the thread, it was pointed out that the Pakistani government stated clearly that they had the black boxes in their possession.

It is disappointing to see a screen writer's version of the airplane crash be proposed in a serious tone. I am reminded of a :mad: named Dylan Avery, who attempted to distribute a "documentary" about the aircraft that hit buildings in New York and Washington, DC, as well as in a field in PA, 11 Sptember 2001. You are not keeping good company.

If you are taking the piss, and I missed the tone, consider my piss taken.

Fawad
30th Aug 2010, 19:21
Utter BS is the only way we can describe that "news".

"Royal Television in Islamabad, owned by the brother of the head of Pakistan’s powerful JI (Jamate Islami), the Islamic political party, has reported that investigations are underway tying American based contractors to the planning of the attack"

This should be enough to tell everyone this is a piece of bs. I see this as an advancement of the story that "military shot down the plane" and the current floods are controlled by the US using HAARP.

Robert Campbell
30th Aug 2010, 19:50
dvv

Do you believe everything said by governments in that part of the world? Or this part for that matter.

All I did was post a link to a story that I found. I even prefaced it with my doubts.

Now, the story seems to be spreading on the web. Time will tell.

RegDep
30th Aug 2010, 20:14
Now, the story seems to be spreading on the web. Time will tell.

"Now"? It circulated here three weeks ago :suspect:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/422401-airblue-down-near-islamabad-12.html#post5860740

Lonewolf_50
30th Aug 2010, 20:44
Do you believe everything said by governments in that part of the world? Or this part for that matter.
The all or nothing fallacy is noted. One need not believe everything uttered by a governmental source (any government, lies are part of what keeps many afloat) in order to find credible the mundane statement by the Pakistani authorities that they finally got their hands on the black boxes in the midst of a nasty pile of wreckage in difficult location.

One needs to be quite credulous, naive even to the point of living a fantasy life, to believe that the black helicopter borne commandos from Blackwater/XE showed up in the nick of time to make off with said black boxes and substitute replacements, just like Hollywood writers explain things in their movies ...

Your post with the quote that asserted the Hollywood script was entitled:

Possible?

Are you "just asking questions" here, Mister Campbell?

Robert Campbell
30th Aug 2010, 21:01
Blackwater/XE showed up in the nick of time to make off with said black boxes and substitute replacements, just like Hollywood writers explain things in their movies ...


...and then the rains came!

Lonewolf_50
30th Aug 2010, 21:06
Look, even Rain Man was a member of the Screen Actors' guild -- had to stick to the script, right? :rolleyes:

Diversion ended. Apologies to all.

windytoo
30th Aug 2010, 21:09
And then there was a no ball.

aterpster
31st Aug 2010, 14:59
flyawaybird:

After reading all these interesting comments by BOAC, PJ2, Fawad etc
Could this air crash of Airblue similar to AA 965 in December 1995, whose cause of accident was ruled as CFIT by investigators, NTSB? http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/confused.gif

Do you have some information that the crash of AA 965 was something other than CFIT?

The Colombian aviation authority and the NTSB were in total accord.

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 15:25
As an American, I cop to our volatility in the face of tragedy. We want something sinister and complex, not numptyness. Seventy Percent of Todays Americans do not "Believe" the Warren Report. Pardon the Parochial reference, but silliness does not belong here, imo.

What I am attracted to is not the grief, or loss. I am appreciative of the reference to the 320's capabilities to scurry from impending doom. If in fact this well powered twin can sense terrain (of course it can), and alert the distracted veteran and cause the F/O to raise his voice (but not his hand), why can it not act? Or can it? "Bugger this, my airplane". 60 degree bank heart pounding climb (at a steady two knots above the break), why did she instead fly into the rocks? If we have protections, and most are ok with it, (who doesn't try to mitigate risk in his/her daily actions?), why cannot we add "Manual uncouple" and allow the machine to save the day?

Do I miss something here? (wouldn't be the first time)

bear

BOAC
31st Aug 2010, 15:50
why cannot we add "Manual uncouple" and allow the machine to save the day? - I think I lost something there:confused: WTF is that all about? 'Manual uncouple' and then allow the machine to do it?

Not forgetting,of course, that '60 degree bank' is far from the recommended technique.

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 15:54
BOAC

I am sorry if I startled you into bolding a letter, (I). Keep an open mind. Well, the humans were not of any use. Even though training is mostly paid by the individual these days, I think training better pilots is a lost cause, Robots are our fate,

"CYBER OVERSEAS AIRLINES" Safe arrival guaranteed, and sometimes a thrilling escape from doom. Sell the extra two seats up front for a fortune. CFIT a thing of the past. It would be GAOS!! (Go around, offsite) Leave some glass and stick in the cockpit, "Interactive" airtravel. (Of course the instruments and controls would be inop!)

bear

BOAC
31st Aug 2010, 16:42
I'll just slip this post in before Aunt Mary calls..............................:)

PJ - I see you appear to have begun this '60 deg of bank' thing which seems to be running amok now as an 'idea' for some here. In order NOT to implant the wrong ideas in young fertile heads, could you please clarify the (I believe cross-type) Terrain Pull-up SOP so that there can be no confusion? I could quote the Boeing, but what is the Airbus SOP?

I am a little concerned that I might be sitting sipping my G&T in years to come while steely young Biggles heads into a closed valley - and I'd rather not spill it

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 17:04
Long ago gave up the Juniper berry, I learned in med school that it is usually associated with methylated spirit, bad for the God-given depth of thought process. It is you, Captain who flew me into the Box canyon. Topography can only be introduced here as a constraint, Captain, without the snark. It is a matter of concern where the gestalt of flight reposes here; the range is wider than the reality. The pilot and the Box seem to have a tense truce, rather than a game plan. I believe it is allowed to entertain the thought processes in pursuit of the best solution, absent the fear of change, no?

Think Box Law, Normal Law, Alternate Law, Direct Law and back to Box Law. The humans seem to have problems in the middle.

Captain Bill (Biggles of the Steely eye)

Neptunus Rex
31st Aug 2010, 17:06
60 degrees of bank? Tosh!
Just pull the sidestick fully aft,and Alpha floor will give you:
Full thrust
Full Alpha
Stall protection
Max rate of climb
Loadsa terrain clearance (unless you were too late, by poofteenths)
Of course, if you are below 100 feet agl, Alpha floor will not react, so in addiition to full aft sidestick, apply full thrust manually (but to be in that predicament, you would have to be an imbecile.)

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 17:09
Neptunus Rex

I didn't say it wasn't available, I am focused on the need to select it.

Neptunus Rex
31st Aug 2010, 17:23
Bearfoil
No slight intended.
My point is simply, that in most situations where unintended proximity to the ground has been perceived, instant climb is better that a turning escape. Alpha Floor will give you max climb gradient without any ham-fisted pilot degrading climb performance by stalling or not using enough Alpha.

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 17:35
I know that, I should not have introduced the bank angle, someone found an opportunity to extrapolate and complain. However, if the terrain was rising and there was an obstacle, some bank could be worked into an escape solution. My entire point is simple, if a capability is designed into the a/c, and it potentiates an escape from certain death, why let it lay dormant, as the oblivious humans ignore the danger (unto disaster, witness the raised voice and the folded hands of the F/O, NO?

bear

Neptunus Rex
31st Aug 2010, 17:54
Bearfoil,
We both seem to be of the 'old school,' yet with the ability to appreciate what the modern jets have to offer. As long as the pilot remains in control of his jet, its systems, and all they have to offer, all is well. When the knob-twiddling and heads down approach to flying take over - beware, be very aware!

MountainBear
31st Aug 2010, 18:27
"As long as the pilot remains in control of his jet, its systems, and all they have to offer, all is well."

But is that honestly the case.

Start with the supposition that it's impossible to eliminate all accidents (whatever the cause). Then, rationally, machines should replace the human pilot if it can be demonstrated that they save more lives than they cost. Or put conversely, we should only retain humans as pilots if it can be demonstrated that they prevent more accidents than they cause.

For every example in favor of keeping human beings as pilots (Hudson River) one can find a counter example (Armavia Flight 967.)

"When the knob-twiddling and heads down approach to flying take over - beware, be very aware!"

But what's the cause of that mindset? You talk as if the FMS is wearing a G-string and doing a pole dance in the cockpit. It's a computer not a silicon Succubus.

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 20:08
Neptunus Rex

Thank you for the kind words. PJ2's approach seems the ideal, so well balanced and expansive in understanding.

All of aviation is a marvelous continuum, progress is not to be feared.

bear

MountainBear

Pretty much, except for this: you describe as though it must be two modalities, separated by their respective safety records. This is not what I mean. The "generic" pilot needn't have his safety record perfect, and the generic "Computer" needn't be foolproof either. Back to Islamabad. When there are two humans whose chances of safe arrival are diminished (with a load of real people), they become the outlier on the "generic" record. It is at this precise moment when the "generic" computer uncouples the poor performers, steps in and performs its work with an expectation (statistically) of nearly certain success, even in emergency conditions. Or vice versa.
The time has come to get off our respective high horses and NOT ride in (stuff it, roll it into a ball, etc.)devoted to a system that is degrading, without introducing a new system that has a fresh chance, and a statistical probability of success. Grok?

FullWings
31st Aug 2010, 20:24
Happy flight
Terrain unexpectedly
Too late is up

WTF are you guys smoking!?! (Can I have some?) ;)

HundredPercentPlease
31st Aug 2010, 20:36
A thought - and something that may need changing.

In training, we have 2 clear scenarios for dealing with a GPWS warning.

1. If IMC, perform the escape manoeuvre.
2. If visual, continue if it's false, otherwise escape.

Trouble is, sometimes you are somewhere in between the two. Visual with the bottom of the hill, but not the top (which you don't think is there, because you think you are somewhere else). So, the warning goes off, you are visual with the stuff beneath you (only) and you consider it false.

PBL
31st Aug 2010, 20:46
WTF are you guys smoking!?! (Can I have some?)

Forget it, FullWings, these guys are speaking Californiaspeak and that was forty years ago. It just looks like English but isn't.

To get in on it, you might ask bearfoil if he got pictures of the mountain lion in Las Trampas and if not why not.

PBL

flyawaybird
31st Aug 2010, 21:02
No, I came to know of AA 965 at youtube. I am often at this site in the aviation subject area. But I do remember hearing the ATC at Kali ask the pilot to fly to Kali and that the pilot to report while flying over Talua. They don't have a radar. In response to this request, the pilot entered Kali in his computer, erasing Talua which he was approaching.

PBL
31st Aug 2010, 21:16
flyawaybird,

there is no relevant similarity between AA 965 at Cali and the accident in Islamabad.

The crew at Cali were attempting to navigate to the approach for which they were cleared, and were using the FMS to do so. They misunderstood the clearance they had been given; they were given little help by ATC, who observed they had misunderstood the clearance but nevertheless "affirmed" their misunderstood readback; the FMS had to choose between two ADFs with the same ID and frequency, within reception range of each other, a situation which is thankfully extremely rare, and became even rarer (the confusion was of course ameliorated after the accident). The FMS data and operation were faulted by a court in Texas. Furthermore, the airplane wasn't in weather, and the flight was at night.

The crew at Islamabad had performed the approach and were supposedly on a circle-to-land, which is a visual manoeuvre. The FMS should have had nothing to do with it.

The two airplanes were different. The only commonality is that they both CFIT into rising terrain.

PBL

p51guy
31st Aug 2010, 21:16
HPP, unless the top of the hill is bigger than the bottom of the hill continuing won't hurt you if you remain VMC. If you ever find a hill like that and stay VMC you will be fine too. My favorite airport, MHTG, it was almost impossible to circle to land with out EGPWS and GPWS going off so it had to be ignored if you were visual. Inadvertently losing visual contact would be the only time you would revert to the escape maneuver. Banking is fine if you know where the terrain is. If you can see lights on the ground and fly direct to them you cannot hit terrain. It doesn't work for towers.

p51guy
31st Aug 2010, 21:29
PBL is correct. The AA Cali crash into terrain was totally different. They proceeded direct to a fix that had the identical ID as Bogota on the other side of the mountain range. Instead of continuing south they turned east and neither pilot caught it. They flew into high terrain when they were on an easy approach in the valley. You don't get a lot of help from ATC down there. There was no moon that night because I was flying to San Salvador at the same time and experienced the same conditions. With no lights on the ground to reference they were flying totally on instruments with no ground reference at all. We will only know what happened on the present investigation when they release the black box data.

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 23:10
p51guy

The modes were different. Islamabad was vmc and actual was imc. Cali was supposed to be imc, but actually was 'visual', so these two crashes were essentially opposites, no?

Is it roughly as easy to defend AA as it is to fault AirBlue? I think it is, roughly.

flyawaybird
1st Sep 2010, 00:10
Bearfoil, PBL, P51guy and aterpster

Thank you. I now understand the technical differences in both accidents.:ok:

PEI_3721
1st Sep 2010, 01:34
HundredPercentPlease # 595 In training, we have 2 clear scenarios for dealing with a GPWS warning.
1. If IMC, perform the escape manoeuvre.
2. If visual, continue if it's false, otherwise escape.and “… something that may need changing.”

I suggest that the safety attitude and training are very outdated and both require changing. Enhanced GPWS (EGPWS) is a very much more capable and reliable system than in previous years. Also, with improved aircraft systems and installations, and the use of embedded GPS, it is more likely that the crew will be mistaken than experience an ‘inappropriate’ warning. Even in visual conditions, humans can suffer illusions or incorrectly interpret a situation (Celebrating TAWS ‘Saves’: But lessons still to be learnt. (http://www.icao.int/fsix/_Library%5CTAWS%20Saves%20plus%20add.pdf) Incidents 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8).
Any delay in pulling up, such as a few seconds considering the validity of a warning, could be fatal. It’s only after the event, with the luxury of time (and safe altitude) that the appropriateness of a warning might be established.
Never assume that a warning is false.

p51guy, # 599. I suggest that you review your safety reporting and investigating procedures, and contact Honeywell for assistance. There are very few airports where a fully configured EGPWS (embedded GPS, latest software and database updates) will cause problems.

bearfoil, # 601. “… so these two crashes were essentially opposites, …”
Not if both crews were head down? And if Airblue were ‘head down’ and failed to respond to a warning (or without a warning due to a map shift), we have another similar accident.
Accidents of human nature?

bearfoil
1st Sep 2010, 01:58
PEI3721

InRe: my #601. I used a broad brush. Here's my point. Islamabad was by definition in vmc (CTL). AA was on approach and IMC. AA had the best reason to have there eyes down, Airblue had no defense for not keeping their peeps on the outside. So as a responsibility consideration, AA got done in. Islamabad did themselves in, the Captain for being oblivious, the F/O for being attentive, but fearful to the extent he died rather than risk a change to his control. ?? Am I making any sense? it is late here in Cali.

MountainBear
1st Sep 2010, 02:38
"It is at this precise moment when the "generic" computer uncouples the poor performers, steps in and performs its work with an expectation (statistically) of nearly certain success, even in emergency conditions. Or vice versa."

I understand what you are saying but I don't agree. Once you introduce a human being into the cockpit you introduce the certainty, sooner or later, of human error. It's superficially appealing to think that man and machine can coexist on the flight deck in a "best of both worlds" mode but the question remains if that best of both worlds mode is really safer than the pure robotic alternative.

I don't know the answer to that question. It may be that in the long-run the threat of terrorists getting access to the controls, the ever changing weather, and other such risks means that an airplane without a human pilot just isn't as safe as one with a human pilot, even after accounting for human error. What I do know is that when I look back at the last three or four decades and see how automation has improved flight safety I think that those who favor complete automation of flight have earned the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do.

Looking at the distant past tells us what flight looked like without computer automation. Looking at the recent past and the present tells us what flight looks like with both computer and man on the flight deck. A rational person would want to know what the third alternative looks like--pure automated flight--before passing judgment on the matter as to which of the three choices is actually safer.

PJ2
1st Sep 2010, 05:29
BOAC;
PJ - I see you appear to have begun this '60 deg of bank' thing which seems to be running amok now as an 'idea' for some here.
The notion should not be running amok among experienced airmen as the standard response should be perfectly clear for those flying the Airbus, but I can understand the concern with those who follow in our footsteps and may be confused about what an airplane is capable of and what is required by SOPs.

I made these statements as observations of the Airbus A321's capabilities, not as a statement of the recommended procedure for the escape maneuver.

In the Islamabad case, from unconfirmed anecdotal comments, the aircraft was started on a turn to the left on the autopilot (and may have responded by turning to the right if the heading select went past 180deg...NOTE PLEASE - all this is complete conjecture and must be confirmed by the actual data!), and so I offered the thought that a bank angle of up to 60deg was available if required. It is not necessary nor is it SOP.

The Airbus A320 series "Ground Contact" escape maneuver is:

Simultaneously:

- Select thrust levers to TOGA thrust
- Ensure autopilot is disengaged
- Pitch nose up, Apply up to full back sidestick
- Roll wings level to initiate the pull up and then adjust as required.

The standard procedure for escape from ground contact after an EGPWS or GPWS warning occurs in poor/low visibility should now be quite clear to all pilots.

As pilots are trained on this equipment they will learn that their aircraft is capable of such bank angles but such bank angles are neither required during the maneuver nor are they immediately necessary without cause which is readily apparent to the crew.

I hope this clarifies my comments. Thanks for your important responses BOAC and Neptunus Rex.

PJ2

aterpster
1st Sep 2010, 08:13
bearfoil:

So as a responsibility consideration, AA got done in.

We don't know a whole lot about Islamabad. But, we do about AAL 965. That crew did it to themselves beyond any doubt. They had a database issue, which was their responsibility to resolve without letting the aircraft fly away into oblivian. It would have been very easy to have reverted to heading mode (pointed in the proper direction) or gone to raw data on a very simple arrival/IAP procedure. They were originally set up for the ILS (landing Runway 1 instead of Runway 19) but the accepted the offer of the approach landing south. They sure were not required to do that. But, they were running late so why not shave off a few minutes. Plus, there was a lot of idle, diverting chit-chat with a flight attendant while they were working hard to become passengers instead of pilots.

The Cali controller did nothing wrong. In fact, within the limits of Colombian non-radar air traffic procedures and English as a second language, he did rather well as I recall.

Additional comment added: The controller could be faulted for approving the request by the crew to proceed direct to the NDB (Romeo?). In the first instance the crew should not have made such a request during descent on an arrival route onto an IAP in a non-radar ATC environment. In response, the controller should have disapproved the request and, instead, told the crew to remain on the published transition and IAP.

PBL
1st Sep 2010, 11:53
I wouldn't like to see this thread contaminated with discussion about a non-relevant accident, but it seems as if things might be going that way. Let me try to head it off by referring to some real work which was done on the Cali accident, and suggest that those of us who wish to discuss the nearly fifteen-year-old accident start a new thread, say in the "Safety" Forum?

But, we do about AAL 965. That crew did it to themselves beyond any doubt.


Not so. Many other factors were involved. The Texas court found that the FMS manufacturer and the nav database supplier were also responsible. Further responsibility lies with the Colombian government for installed two NDBs with identical frequencies and idents within reception range of each other, and with the controller for replying "affirmative" to the mistaken readback of a clearance (indeed, the readback clearance could physically not be flown).

Then there were presupposition problems in the crew's intuitive understanding of how approaches are named, which caused some confusion. That is nobody's fault, least of all the crew's. See the cult paper Cali Conversation Comments (http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/Incidents/DOCS/Research/Rvs/Misc/Additional/Reports/cali-comment.html)


The Cali controller did nothing wrong.


Also not so, as mentioned in the last sentence of the above paragraph.

We digitised the Cali report, which was offered to us by a contact at the NTSB who read the above paper, and performed a Why-Because Analysis of the accident, from which the above is derived. All available through AG RVS - Computer-Related Incidents with Commercial Aircraft (http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/compendium/incidents_and_accidents/cali_american_airlines_b757.html)

It's nice to know that work we did 14 years ago is still relevant.

PBL

PEI_3721
1st Sep 2010, 13:56
bearfoil, re # 604, thanks.
Quite clear, hence my reference to human nature – AA being flown IMC had no choice but to manage the situation (assessment and choice of a course of action).
Airblue may have exercised a choice; not that there should have been a choice during a CTL (VMC only). Thus, this is a classic situation where the crew might have misunderstood the situation, or with good understanding, chosen a poor option. What we lack is the detail of the crew’s understanding of the situation and the decisions taken.

Hence my points in # 603 to remove the option of assessing and deciding that a EGPWS warning is false, and then the option to ignore it. Also, by eliminating ‘routine’ warnings which might be ignored habitually in other situations.

Situation awareness, decision making, and self discipline – all aspects of airmanship; and in this respect, the accidents would be similar.

bearfoil
1st Sep 2010, 14:14
MountainBear

I still think you may be a victim of bias. I recognize it sometimes because I am too often carrying it myself. "Introducing" human factors into any pursuit means defining a "modality". The exact same thing is true when discussing Computerized control. I don't wish to help derail this accident discussion; The first consideration when defining a way to harvest the "best" of dual modality flight is to start with an inventory. "What does each do best"? The Computer doesn't flirt, The pilot (pray) doesn't have non abstract "thinking" (only). Both are sampling "data", sensing a dynamic flight envelope, and coming up with solutions to a challenging problem that itself wants a thorough definition.

"Error"? Each approach is a limitless challenge here, notwithstanding the attempt to merge the two on a mechanical flight deck, whose own idiosyncratic profile is a new and constantly progressing domain.

I stopped flying commercially at 48 yoa. I am 64 yoa this very day. I stopped because in my own punishing self assessment, I had lost the "edge". And it wasn't the kind of fun I had grown to love. As that chapter fades, I gain huge understandings (at a distance, and especially here), of current "approaches".

A cliche, but Karl, my FAA examiner when acquiring the first certificate (and the one to which all progress is appended), says, "The certificate is a "License to Learn".

Consider me a student here.

aterpster
1st Sep 2010, 14:27
PBL:

I wouldn't like to see this thread contaminated with discussion about a non-relevant accident, but it seems as if things might be going that way. Let me try to head it off by referring to some real work which was done on the Cali accident, and suggest that those of us who wish to discuss the nearly fifteen-year-old accident start a new thread, say in the "Safety" Forum?

If you would be willing to start such a thread, I would certainly participate.

I followed the accident very closely and wrote an article about it for the U.S. ALPA magazine.

I view the court's assessment as mostly a red herring to award damages. There is no doubt the database had some issue, as did (and still does) the simplistic naming of nav aids in many parts of the world.

But, had the Jeppesen chart in effect at the time been properly used along with situational awareness and Airmanship 101 it would have been a routine ending to the flight.

I was, after all, a VOR/DME arrival/IAP; not an RNAV procedure. And, Colombia was certainly not WGS84 compliant in 1995.

bearfoil
1st Sep 2010, 15:19
PEI3721

Absolutely, and where is the "final" decision? Ultimate action is by its nature the result of 100 per cent confidence or utter defeat (or a "guess"). A routine warning isn't a warning, it is a fruit fly landing on your nose, and defying a state of the Art set up isn't a guarantee of failure either. I say a successful merging of the best of both modalities would improve the safety record. (Vastly?)

Certainly leaving petty and stubborn bias against one or the other behind has to help. If the safety record degrades further, we are in danger of doing that very thing, "One or the Other". At this point, unfamiliar with either accident as I am, I'll just watch here on in.

cheers

BOAC
1st Sep 2010, 15:56
You are all most welcome on the thread I began in 2009 http://www.pprune.org/safety-crm-qa-emergency-response-planning/379780-computers-cockpit-safety-aviation.html which covers these very dilemmas, and since July 2009 we have seen many unfortunate examples of either over-reliance on automation or lack of understanding of it.

PEI - I cannot see how you could contemplate the Airblue crew being 'head down' - it would be MOST unusual at around 840' AGL, especially with 2 calls of visual contact with features! It puts a whole new meaning to 'cojones' (or whatever that is in Urdu..............).

PEI_3721
1st Sep 2010, 18:36
BOAC, “ I cannot see how you could contemplate the Airblue crew being 'head down' …”.

An understandable thought, but rule nothing out. I have encountered such ‘unbelievable’ extremes in incident / accident investigation. These were predominantly aspects of human behaviour – mis-understanding, mis-conception, poor training, etc, etc, even the influence of modern technology or ‘automation’.
The crew ‘sneak a peek’ at the ND for a position check, inadvertently loose contact with the airport environment, then revert head down – to fly a go-around, but don’t, because the ND map provides adequate cues to continue the CTL until they become visual, i.e. the crew know better, fail to appreciate / consider the risks, discipline, – done it before, etc, etc, - human behaviour.

Not 'cojones', just human. In trying to understand these behaviours, we must start with ourselves; what small transgressions do we accept, e.g. for you and I, how many times above 48k without a pressure jerkin, or above 56k … ? Do we really know the risks or are we risk takers, for fun or to achieve an objective, do we think we are helping someone?

Don’t look for the human ‘failures’ in an accident, instead look at what prevents the vast majority of pilots taking such extreme risks. Look at what should be normal, and why this normality appears not to have existed in this situation?

Gulfcapt
1st Sep 2010, 18:53
PEI - I cannot see how you could contemplate the Airblue crew being 'head down'



An understandable thought, but rule nothing out


I'm with PEI on this one. To my mind, being heads down provides a plausible explanation for why they were 5+ nm from the airport.

Training emphasizes FMS programming to a fault. Weren't they both new to type?

Best,
GC

aterpster
1st Sep 2010, 18:55
BOAC:

You are all most welcome on the thread I began in 2009 Computers in the cockpit and the safety of aviation (http://www.pprune.org/safety-crm-qa-emergency-response-planning/379780-computers-cockpit-safety-aviation.html) which covers these very dilemmas, and since July 2009 we have seen many unfortunate examples of either over-reliance on automation or lack of understanding of it.

I will post a link to my 1996 article on Cali and related issues as well as the NTSB ATC chairman's factual report. Colombia went way beyond ICAO convention by making the NTSB a partner in the investigation. The Colombian in charge of aviation matters at the time was super sharp, as are many of the aviation "wheels" in Latin America.

BOAC
1st Sep 2010, 19:36
PEI - a thoughtful post, but I have to pass a few comments:

Para 1 - 100%% agreement

Para 2 - no - had they 'sneaked a look' they would have instantly seen that their heading/track and position were all wrong. I don't believe for a moment that they did nor that they knew where they were. Ground, buildings zipping past in the grot? A 10,000ft runway that seemed to go on and on for 3 or 4 miles?

Para 3 - absolutely, of course we took 'risks' - but who were our passengers? Yes, we are/were 'risk takers', but is it not 3 words? Duty of care? How many times would you bust the altitude limit of your airliner just because?

Para 4 - no argument, but was the Captain in his mind 'taking risks'?

I said many pages ago I felt I could write the CVR transcript,. I still do. I suspect the F/O had suffered the 411A 'short-CRM' course of 'Gear up shut up' - great as we know for a multi-crew environment.(oh, I forgot............). The fact that the last moments appear to have included 'Sir -pull up' speak volumes.

BOAC
2nd Sep 2010, 16:37
Interesting further (unsubstantiated) but credible postings on the PIA History forum (on which our departed friend is still insisting that CTLs are flown as teardrops with radar available).

These postings come from a Pakistani who is working in Hobart as CFI but presumably has good links back to Airblue and home.

He says that Islamabad approach saw the track and asked tower to send the AB back to him twice. On each occasion the AB replied that they were 'visual' and remained on tower.

He says the CVR and FDR were decoded a while back and are back in P but the CAA is not expected to release them, citing only 'Pilot Error'.

He repeats the '180 degrees plus' heading input which reversed the turn. (NB One supposed AB qualified poster here said that was not possible - jury out)

He interestingly describes the avoidance manoeuvre flown as the "third g/a for that aircraft" and "more than on attempt to land" with no further explanation.

The puzzle goes on. I suspect we will have to work on leaks.

flyawaybird
3rd Sep 2010, 15:50
PEI

I enjoy reading all the comments. This topic has been very interesting according to variable comments from all pilots concerned, but your comments, I find, most challenging and worth consideration for future occurence.:ok: Hope there won't be any!

Fawad
4th Sep 2010, 11:51
This video, claiming to have been taken 5 mins after the crash, from the roof top in a nearby residential area(F-6), doesn't make the weather look that bad at all. It seems the hills are clearly visible for a CFIT.

YouTube - Air Blue plane crash at Margalla, unseen video 5 minutes after crash from F6 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhYK9ZeZ2Pg)

(though we do have to take into account whether this was really taken after 5mins of the crash and weather can change pretty quickly in the area).

bobusse
4th Sep 2010, 15:00
That chopper was pretty fast on the spot,unless she was around by chance ?

BOAC
4th Sep 2010, 15:13
Certainly not looking like monsoons wot I have seen!

denlopviper
4th Sep 2010, 16:44
those clouds at atleast 4500 feet possibily above...

theres a chopper corridor that runs up and down the mountain for the military. that corridor links kahuta to the presidency, the Air and Naval HQ to a couple of Air defence and Survival training bases up in the mountains. you see the fly the route at low level pretty often.

BOAC
4th Sep 2010, 18:02
I'm pretty sure we can ignore this video (except in locating the crash site). I would hazard a guess that it was taken several hours after the crash -
1) Weather
2) Smoke appears to be from trees burning rather than fuel
3) Wreckage spread is well down the hill. I think you can still see the sheer rock face into which it crashed at the top.

flyawaybird
5th Sep 2010, 15:58
BOAC

Do you mean you can see anything of what was left of the plane.
Apart from the chopper, I see nothing except for the volcanic kind of smoke.:O Perhaps my eye-sight are poor.:(

BOAC
7th Sep 2010, 16:57
'Borrowed' from another forum, taken from a Google 3D view. The supposed actual crash site, said to be 2985AMSL and said to be the classic '20m' below the ridge which is the first one in the image. I guess if they hadn't hit the first one............You can see the road PJ pictured in his graphic way back.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v293/boacphotos/Noname.jpg

Also 'rumoured' on that site is that AirBlue are dismissing all exPIA Captains who are over 62. Interesting.

Swiss Cheese
8th Sep 2010, 07:47
AA965 - The Court in Florida, with a good US jury, found American Airlines to be 75% at fault, and Honeywell and Jepp 25% at fault. That was the layman's view of responsibility aided by "experts" from all sides. The CVR transcript was rather important in that determination. Out of that tragedy (and others) came EGPWS and an improvement in CFIT accidents. Not all bad.

Here, we have very little concrete facts, save for a steep cockpit gradient, and a straightforward approach. In coming months we shall hear all about low cost airlines being low safety airlines etc, with some choice "facts" which will take us all back to Valujet 592, Atlasjet, Adam Air, OneTwoGo etc.

Deja vu?

aterpster
8th Sep 2010, 13:07
Swiss Cheese:

Here, we have very little concrete facts, save for a steep cockpit gradient, and a straightforward approach. In coming months we shall hear all about low cost airlines being low safety airlines etc, with some choice "facts" which will take us all back to Valujet 592, Atlasjet, Adam Air, OneTwoGo etc.

I can only speak to Valujet. We had an open, party participating, investigation with reams of factual data and analysis.

Sadly, it appears at Islamabad it will be mostly a stone wall that we will view over time.

flyawaybird
9th Sep 2010, 01:28
BOAC

Thank you I now noticed where the crash site is.:ooh:

flyawaybird
9th Sep 2010, 11:52
Swiss Cheese

Hey. Thanks. Have noted the findings of AA 965 from your comment.:oh:

flyawaybird
9th Sep 2010, 12:06
Swiss Cheese

Hey. Thanks. Have noted the findings of AA 965 from your comment.:oh:

BOAC
9th Sep 2010, 13:58
Of passing interest is that the 'History of PIA' forum from whence some of my 'rumours' have come has gone 'off-line' following the bit about PIA sackings.

Maddad
13th Sep 2010, 05:41
Is that sacking of PIA pilots from PIA because of the "go slow" or the sacking of former PIA pilots from Airblue because of being above 60 years of age, the regular retirement age in Pakistan??

inducedrag
13th Sep 2010, 07:07
No pilots of PIA is sacked AIR BLUE has sacked all pilots above 62 years of age

BOAC
13th Sep 2010, 07:24
Maddad - see post #624

ManaAdaSystem
13th Sep 2010, 09:45
No pilots of PIA is sacked AIR BLUE has sacked all pilots above 62 years of age

Do you have a source? Why have they done this?

BOAC
13th Sep 2010, 11:03
You too could read post #624?

ManaAdaSystem
13th Sep 2010, 11:45
Just did, and my questions to inducedrag are stil valid.

flyawaybird
14th Sep 2010, 14:28
BOAC

Have read #624 but is this right? This is rather difficult to under why the sackings. Will the Pilots Association say nothing to this? I find this sacking unfair dispite the accident. It does not mean those under 62 cannot cause human error in flying.:confused:

BOAC
14th Sep 2010, 15:07
I have no idea. I merely posted the story from the other site. That site has now been taken down.

JALALUMER
15th Sep 2010, 21:24
i am not a pilot my home is on the left side 700 meters from the runway if u are approching for runway 12 at islamabad .when airblue jet passed directly over my home i had to immediatly look out as it was only about 350 feet above and it had missed landing .it turned left and went towarrds margalla hills for another approach (try) for runway 12
it was raining as it flew over my home
At the moment of crash there was no fog or mist
visibility was excellant for 10 miles
the top 100 feet of margalla hills were hidden in thick white clouds
below the clouds the visibility was excellant
The captain was unusally religious.he use to fast every other day.His nic name in PIA was IZRAEEL (the angel who visits at the time of death to take away the soul
as there was nothing wrong with the plane or the weather ,we should not over the mental state of the captian

BOAC
16th Sep 2010, 07:20
Thank you JALALUMER for that post - if interested readers could revisit post #616 you will see see a rumour I posted from the now closed 'PIA History' forum about multiple G/As.

Obviously a lot more lurking in the undergrowth here..

Mr.Bloggs
16th Sep 2010, 09:00
Fasting every other day, if true, was a contributory factor. No human is designed to do this, and combining drastic blood sugar changes with diurnal rhythm upsets and a complex job would lead to severely deteriorated performance.

And the accident record of PIA to date has been very poor indeed. Perhaps related, perhaps not.

aterpster
16th Sep 2010, 14:07
Mr. Bloggs:

Fasting every other day, if true, was a contributory factor.

In the U.S., at least, that would temporarily invalidate the pilot's medical certificate, thus his license to fly.

inducedrag
16th Sep 2010, 18:52
The pilot was asked to operate the flight on only 2 hrs notice. That is why all night before he was awake and praying and had returned home just before sunrise and kept a fast as it was his day OFF

Fawad
17th Sep 2010, 04:22
@<hidden>JALALUMER (http://www.pprune.org/members/338362-jalalumer)

Do you have any proof of your claims? All these are rumors at best. Media reports quoting his family said "he was not awake the whole night and went to bed at around 10.30pm" and he was also told the evening before that he would be flying tomorrow.

And please excuse my "rudeness", but I find it hard to believe when someone tells me exactly how high the plane was and what exactly it was trying to approach by watching from the ground.

@<hidden>

'History of PIA' forum is back online. As the admin states, it was an issue with the web hosting company. Please note that this is a private website with nothing whatsoever to do with PIA and also it isn't hosted in pakistan. There is little PIA or any govt. could do to "suppress recent claims on the website". Too much into conspiracy theories, are we?

BOAC
17th Sep 2010, 13:31
Fawad - thank you for that and for confirming the reason for that site's 'demise'. What are you questioning in Jalalumer's post - the fasting?

Interestingly while it has been off air folk have been 'busy' selectively removing what appeared to be reasonable posts while leaving obvious conspiracy theories in place! They have pruned the posts which rumoured the dismissal of the 'over 62's' and also the poster who wrote of a preceding go-round. Interesting.

The plot thickens. I believe Jalalumer's post is as reliable as anything else we are getting from Pakistan and certainly fits with the now 'disappeared' post on the PIA history forum. One thing IS certain - the CVR and FDR will tell - if we ever get the truth.

JALALUMER
17th Sep 2010, 19:57
i cant name my friends,they are flying as captians in PIA and airblue
as for the airblue captians religious routines ,info came from a doctor working in agha khan hospital living in the next door apartment in karachi
All i want to know is:
At the time of crash if i can see margalla hill from my house which are 8 mills away
why airblue pilots hit the hills when the visibility was very good.
After missing runway 12 it made a U turn towards margalla hills for aproaching 12 again.The aircraft should have turned left between faizabad flyover and zero point .
It never turned but flew strait for 4 miles into the hill.
I think the aircraft was making a left turn at the time of impact because if u see carefully theres are 3 gorges in the hill,the plane hit the one in middle.
The excat point of impact is in the gorge,thats only possible if the plane is making a left turn.
No pessenger plane ever flies in that area except the single engine cessnas flown by rawalpindi flying club .its used by them as holding area.
the airblue captian must have landed at islamabad thousand times in every type of weather but the intriging question for me is what went so bad in the last 3 or four minutes after i saw it flying over my home that it crashed in the hills.

Mr Fawad i know what i am taking about as some of my close friends are pilots.

Fawad
18th Sep 2010, 09:28
@<hidden>
The site admin claims that "all" and not "selected" posts between certain dates have been lost. That's quite normal and that forum isn't the first one to have experienced such sorts of thing. Basically, if your server crashes, you can only recover data till the last back-up you had and some posts will definitely be lost. I have had experiences of forums loosing a months worth of posts and even "selective posts" if the site is hosted on multiple servers sharing posts and only one of them crashes.

Now why would someone (presumably from what i gather) living outside pakistan hosting a website outside pakistan give a damn about PIA or govt? When shoe-hurlings at the president and "murder plots" but serving ministers couldn't be suppressed, I think you have a wrong (or out-dated) idea about media freedom in pakistan.

@<hidden>
There is no doubt that the late Captain was a religious person. The question is : was he fasting on the day of the flight? and did he stay awake all night? According to his family (from interview by media, I believe Mubashir Luqman Show but not sure since I have watched dozens of shows on the crash), he was informed of his duty the previous evening and went to bed at 10.30pm. I ain't advocating for the captain, but letting everyone know the other side of the story.

There are loads and loads of these - 'informed 2hrs before flight', ATC recording saying ' we can see the margala', ' We have the airport in sight', Blackwater trying to crash into kahuta (nuclear facility), anti-aircraft shot it down, etc. Pardon me if I don't take that seriously.

Regarding why would a pilot fly into the Margalla hills...ofcourse that's the whole point of the investigation. While you could see the hills (from ground level), its possible the plane was in the clouds.

Even if I were to believe the captain was awake all night and fasting, how does that make both him and the co-pilot miss an obvious sight (which according to you was clearly visible)? A plane is not like a car where you may fall asleep and crash ...unless you both do.

There's two way communication between the captain and ATC, there's a co-pilot, there are warning systems both inside the plane and by ATC. There has to be a series of events that went wrong for such a crash to happen. Its hard to believe that a crew in a sophisticated jet could fly into a mountain that is "clearly visible", even if its captain wasn't at his physical/mental peak.

I doubt the mountains were visible (to him) and would be suspicious of both navigational error (pushing the wrong buttons) and ATC handling. Also he wasn't approaching RNWY 12 "again" but approaching RNWY 30.

Btw, CAA ( civil aviation authority) now has a new chairman...a former pilot of PIA. And IIRC, this is the first time its being headed by an (ex?) commercial pilot. Let's hope this will open up the CAA a bit and we could see more transparency in the future.

BOAC
18th Sep 2010, 11:22
Fawad - I do actually understand this stuff, you know, I run a forum myself and have worked on this one (and have seen countless posts 'disappear' outside server back-ups). I take your word on the 'lost posts' on that forum. It is good to see some posters re-posting.

Judging by Regarding why would a pilot fly into the Margalla hills...ofcourse that's the whole point of the investigation. While you could see the hills (from ground level), its possible the plane was in the clouds. - I assume your knowledge on aviation and in particular on circling approaches is minimal?

I'm afraid also Also he wasn't approaching RNWY 12 "again" but approaching RNWY 30. does not make sense either.

Regarding your last para - I do hope so as, I'm sure, do the bereaved.

Junior79
18th Sep 2010, 11:56
I request you all to please desist from trying to "guess" what my father was like.
I dont know who this agha khani doctor is but maybe he can provide a time table of my father rozas. (btw there is no doctor in the next door apartment, ppl make claims to be important, I think we should be able to rationalise whats possible and whats just plain ridiculous)
I am not going to indulge in any stupid conjecture about his perosnal conduct and would request you to please respect my fathers memory.
I do not respond to what the media says cos thats just monkeys on typewriters. I wish to clarify once and just once for you since you guys are professional people. He was not fasting and was not up all night and was rather asleep by around 10 PM. I think we should respect that most pilots are responsible and are not reckless and do not put lives of others at risk. Lets try and find out why they were making a 3rd attempt to land and why there was no emergency with ATC and other moniors when they had gone beyond the MARGALLAS once.
P.S. he was informed about this flight 12 hours before ETD.

Fawad
18th Sep 2010, 12:42
@<hidden>

Well, the whole story of why HoPIA went offline doesn't really have much to do with the discussion of this thread. So let's leave it aside. If it may enhance your confidence, the same stuff regarding pilots being released has been reposted on the same forum.

According to a news report published in September 14 edition of Urdu daily 'Waqt', following four pilots above the age of 60 have been released by AirBlue after flight ED-202 accident.

* Capt. Ali Hamid
* Capt. Saeed Khan
* Capt. Mirza Rafi
* Capt. Khalid Mufti

Well, I have never claimed to be a pilot nor given that impression. I do, however, know a thing or two and am always eager to learn from sites like this.

My comments about RNWY 12 was to emphasize he wasn't making "another" approach to land on it. A lot of mess had been created in the local media in the early days saying he was going to land but ATC didn't "allow him" at the last moment and asked for a "go around", put him into a holding pattern, etc. All the stories about "told 2 hrs before flight","anti aircraft gun shot it," etc also surfaced within hrs of the crash with little merit sans any evidence.

My comments was related to that. I am aware that even if you intend to land on 12, you first approach 30 first before breaking off and also the circling approach. To my knowledge, the most credible reports so far indicates they failed to complete the circling approach successfully.

Going back to topic, someone posted this on the HoP forums.
Green: Normal approach
Red: ED202 path

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5910/1218r.jpg

If I understand what Jalal is saying (and please feel free to correct me if I got this wrong), the plane followed the green line till near the runway, flew over his house 700m from the runway, had to abandon the approach and made a "U turn" towards the Maragalla hills to try again. That would make it somewhere close to where the green lines crosses Saidpur Rd and Murree Rd.

The picture above and media reports suggest they followed the red path. This would mean they never approached Rwy 12 the first time to try it "again". It means they never made the left turn where the green line crosses Islamabad Hwy and 9th ave.

BOAC
18th Sep 2010, 13:00
The picture you have posted is conjecture only. There is no publicly available evidence that the a/c followed a particular route. In any case, technically the green line is not quite as a circle would be flown, but as an illustrative it is fine.

The picture above.... suggest see abovemedia reports suggest - pure guesswork on the part of the media.

What is of interest is Jalal's 'story' about a missed approach on R12 which fits with another post (still absent on the other forum at this moment, and I believe it was from 'Jameel Ashraf') which talked of multiple approaches to R12.

HundredPercentPlease
18th Sep 2010, 17:20
2 Google Earth views.

One of the runway on downwind, and one on "downwind" of the Islamabad Expressway (with the real runway behind it).

http://i54.tinypic.com/2u7njoh.jpg

http://i55.tinypic.com/21dhilw.jpg

JALALUMER
18th Sep 2010, 18:41
The red and green line map provided by fawad is almost correct.the only correction to be made is that that green line s left turn should have been a bit wider.A fokker would land comfortably using the green line map but airbus,777 and 747 make a wider circle.
There are no anti aircraft guns near margalla hill.
kahuta has live missiles but is about 30 miles away from margalla hills .Kahuta is approx in opposit direction of the final flight path.
The air blue jets first attempt was on runway 30,second was for12 ,this i saw myself when it passed very low over my home.it turned around flew back towards islamabad-margalla hills and crashed.
I am sure the pilots were flying very correctly.when ever a plane misses landing on 12 it flies directly over my home otherwise normal landings can be seen from my window.
Another points ,when it passing over head the engine power was increasing and the gears were in up position...both normal i think,because the plane was very low.

BOAC
19th Sep 2010, 07:32
the gears were in up position - this is getting weirder and weirder, since the last sighting of the a/c was supposedly gear down over Islam. If these facts are correct it would hint at total spatial disorientation, such that some sort of 'downwind' checks were done while heading for the hills which would suggest the Captain was 'certain' he was in the circling pattern and certain that he 'knew' where he was..

aterpster
19th Sep 2010, 14:31
BOAC:

- this is getting weirder and weirder, since the last sighting of the a/c was supposedly gear down over Islam. If these facts are correct it would hint at total spatial disorientation, such that some sort of 'downwind' checks were done while heading for the hills which would suggest the Captain was 'certain' he was in the circling pattern and certain that he 'knew' where he was..

That is a very big IF. Facts are always correct or they aren't facts.

BOAC
19th Sep 2010, 14:40
Thanks for a useful contribution:ugh:

Fawad
19th Sep 2010, 15:06
The map was just for illustration purposes and a rough sketch, but you get the idea.


Originally posted by JalalUmer
There are no anti aircraft guns near margalla hill.


There certainly are. There are multiple anti aircraft guns across the city. Even the chief of Islamabad Police admitted that publicly on TV.

Originally posted by BOAC
pure guesswork on the part of the media


The "media reports" I am talking about includes interview from airport authorities, CAA chief, and Airblue CEO. In fact, no one has mentioned the story of a "missed approach" or another attempt at landing. They all maintained it was its first approach.

TamairTarmac
19th Sep 2010, 20:29
Is this something that happened? UFO? Misreport of Islamabad crash? what?


US aircraft makes emergency landing in Islamabad

URL (http://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/pakistan/US-aircraft-makes-emergency-landing-in-Islamabad/Article1-601429.aspx)
A US aircraft made an emergency landing at the international airport in the Pakistani capital after it was hit by an unidentified object while in flight, TV news channels reported. The plane was airlifting flood-affected people from the northern city of Skardu, reports said. All crew members and
passengers in the plane were safe, the Geo News and ARY News channels reported.
There was no word on the incident from Pakistani aviation authorities and the US embassy.

The US has sent several heavy lift military aircraft for flood relief operations in Pakistan.

TamairTarmac
19th Sep 2010, 20:40
As Emily Litella would say, Nevermind.

It is most likely this. Welcome to Daily Regional Times Online Newspaper (http://regionaltimes.com/18sep2010/frontpagenews/usarmy.htm)

Back to Airblue
Delete the lapse if you want. Pardon for the interruption.

So much misreported.
So little time.

BOAC
21st Sep 2010, 11:04
More woes on the history of PIA forum - 'Account suspended' (probably the English cricket team's fault.........:))

Edit: 22/9 - Blimey! It's back again. What do they say about a 'whore's drawers on boat race night'?:D

Fawad
5th Oct 2010, 20:10
Margalla plane crash caused by pilot error: CAA

ISLAMABAD: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has presented the investigation report of the Margalla plane crash incident to the Ministry of Defense, revealing that the crash was caused by the pilot's mistake.

According to sources, this important information has been extracted from the recording of the black box; the control tower repeatedly told the pilot that he is heading in the wrong direction. The pilot, in reply to the control tower, said that he can see the hills.

The CAA investigation report, based on the recording of black box, further reveals that the co-pilot also repeatedly asked the pilot very loudly to take the plane up, but it was very late before he could had done it.

On July 28, an aeroplane of a private airline, Air Blue, crashed into the hills of Margalla in Islamabad claiming lives of 152 passengers, including crew members.

.:: SAMAA - Margalla plane crash caused by pilot error: CAA (http://www.samaa.tv/News25912-Margalla_plane_crash_caused_by_pilot_error_CAA_.aspx)

Not exactly amongst the most reliable sources of information but I am posting it here just anyway.Basically, its just repeating what we have been discussing already for quite some time now.

flyawaybird
6th Oct 2010, 19:58
Besides the very sad loss of 152 lives:sad:, I must say this topic has been very impressive and goes a long way to show that majority of pilots are very knowledgeable of flying, of what might and might not cause an accident, of what to do in case of eventuality. I have followed all different contributions and aruguments to the above topic, which I felt were quite interesting arguments. Ofcourse the technicality of the language is difficult but nevertheless found in the topic of aviation. I salute you all.:D:ok:

PJ2
6th Oct 2010, 21:08
flyawaybird;

FWIW, the aviation industry generally deals right up front with the nasty and ugly bits because it keeps people alive. The auto industry began doing this when mentioning safety was no longer "bad advertising". However, the automobile still kills approximately 45,000 people a year in the US alone, or in our terms, about a fully-loaded B747 fatal accident every 3 days. Placed in those terms, the difference in approaches and outcomes is stark.

The health industry fatality rate is, by most accounts, much higher but there are significant human factors issues, (diagnoses, treatments for complex diseases vs ILS approaches and weather...no comparison), which aviation has but to a much lesser degree. Still, medicine is slowly adopting aviation's approach to keeping people alive by modifying CRM - Cockpit/Crew Resource Management techniques of communications which raise awareness of risk or of impending failures of understanding. It is the equivalent of the scrub-nurse speaking directly to the doctor-in-charge about something she has noticed but the head surgeon in the OR hasn't, etc, etc.

There are no public doctor/lawyer/CEO forums such as we have here in which everyone with a keyboard has a say, nor are any of those professions subject to the intense scrutiny through recordings and detailed data collection which can be examined after the fact in which the only goal is to avoid untoward outcomes. The enlightened goal is prevention, not avoidance of blame at all cost; the fatal accident rate over the past 50 years tells us that this has been the correct appoach.

In general, there does not seem the willingness or even the pressure to accomplish this kind of record in other industries. In the face of relatively simple solutions, (talking to one another honestly, for example), it remains a mystery to me why acceptability of fatality rates differs so significantly from industry to industry and why such simple solutions are monumentally difficult to implement.

That said, the entire aviation community is still waiting for something official from Pakistan's investigative body regarding the basic issues and circumstances surrounding this unfortunate CFIT accident.

PJ2

BOAC
6th Oct 2010, 21:20
Pilot error caused Airblue down near Islamabad- to expand on PJ's last para, fab, I trust you realise that this 'finding' is really the start of the investigation for the pilot community and there are many questions that need to be answered as to how it could have happened?

PJ2
6th Oct 2010, 21:30
Precisely BOAC, thanks.

PJ

Fawad
7th Oct 2010, 07:17
Originally Posted by PJ2
That said, the entire aviation community is still waiting for something official from Pakistan's investigative body regarding the basic issues and circumstances surrounding this unfortunate CFIT accident.

I'm afraid given CAA's history, the community will be in for a long (maybe infinite) waiting for something official except "it was pilot error". One can hope that CAA enters into an era of transparency now with a free media in pakistan putting a lot of pressure but that could be just my wishful thinking.

It's hard to believe the story if all the rumors are correct. Captain was warned that he's going too far, that he's nearing the Margalla hills. Captain says he can see the airport, that he can see the hills, and still crash? rumors of a "third person in the cockpit", etc.

Something's missing the links all the (rumored) events that have been reported so far.

BOAC
7th Oct 2010, 07:36
I cannot believe you are surprised? The history of government in Pakistan tells us that truth is a far from common visitor. This and the other forum are unhelpfully littered with misunderstandings by so-called 'experts' of the way circling approaches are flown and aircraft approaches operated in general and the only way the 'mystery' will be solved is with release of a CVR transcript and FDR details - which I doubt we will see. To date we do not know for sure how many 'goes' had been made at this circuit, how the aircraft routed to the crash site, what calls were made by ATC/aircraft/crew or what the final manoeuvre was - it is all supposition and rumour.

Obviously 152 or so families would like to know what happened: whether the rest of the country cares - who knows?

I fear this will go down as 'unknown' and will be put down to mishandling by the PIC and hierarchical problems on the flight deck brought about by Pakistan 'cultural' influences. I cannot see any reason to place any significant blame on ATC or the aircraft for what was a supposed visual manoeuvre.

Luckily we in the west are more pro-active in trying to sort out aviation safety as PJ says.

ManaAdaSystem
7th Oct 2010, 10:21
Proactive?

Letting over 60 year olds into the cockpit is not proactive. So much for having a 30000 hrs, know-it-all pilot behind the controls.

CRM 411A style! Gear up and shut up! :E

PA-28-180
7th Oct 2010, 10:55
M.A.S. (perhaps we could somehow change that last initial to 'D'...)

Give it a REST, would you?! :eek: :)

ManaAdaSystem
7th Oct 2010, 11:12
Why? Is his age and experience not something we should consider? He flew a fully serviceable aircraft straight into a mountain even after several warnings from ATC and the Effoh. He was familiar with the area and the airport. You think CRM, or lack of, had nothing to do with this accident?

What was happening (or not) between his ears is of vital importance.

BOAC
7th Oct 2010, 11:26
PA-28 - be gentle with manada - he/she obviously missed

Luckily we in the west are more pro-active?

ManaAdaSystem
7th Oct 2010, 11:40
No. The same age rule applies in the west.

flyawaybird
7th Oct 2010, 12:24
PJ

Sorry for being misunderstood. I was merely commenting on Fawad's post and forgot to put the above topic in quotes:O. I believe you, PJ that the fatality on our roads everywhere in the world, is much more higher than in Aviation. For if we had as so many air crashes as we have auto crashes on our roads, we would indeed have a much decreased population in the world today. Luckily this is not the case:):)

However, I do understand and sympathise with pilots over 60s being laid down just because of the pilot who crashed the Airblue jet was 62. I am one person who believes that "experience is the best teacher", and that comes too with, the age. I am sure if I was cut out a pilot after reading all pilots' comments:ok::D on this website, I would definitely fly an aircraft.

All said, I do appreciate your comments to my post.:ok: :D Thank you and keep it up!:ok:

aterpster
7th Oct 2010, 14:34
BOAC:

This and the other forum are unhelpfully littered with misunderstandings by so-called 'experts' of the way circling approaches are flown and aircraft approaches operated in general...

I have yet to meet (or read) the singular authority (on this forum or elsewhere) on how circle-to-land maneuvers are to be expertly flown.

HundredPercentPlease
7th Oct 2010, 17:56
I have yet to meet (or read) the singular authority (on this forum or elsewhere) on how circle-to-land maneuvers are to be expertly flown.

Indeed - but now may be the moment to show what the current Airbus SOP is for a circling approach. Approach is flown with A/P at Conf 3 - about 140 or so knots. Maybe less.

http://i55.tinypic.com/2nak3zl.png

PJ2
7th Oct 2010, 18:18
flyawaybird;

No misunderstanding...just telling it like it is.

Many passengers who's sense of entitlement extends to cheap air fares at all cost never give this kind of stuff a second thought. Most treat getting on an aircraft that takes them from continent to continent in comparative safety with the same attitude as getting on an elevator and pushing a button.

Airlines, rather their marketing departments, have participated in the illusion, wrought principally by "deregulation", that this kind of robust safety and low fatality rate can be taken for granted. It can't. Every once in a while when a chance to say this arises, I take it as an opportunity to educate - that's all.

PJ2

aterpster
9th Oct 2010, 01:12
HundredPercentPlease:

Indeed - but now may be the moment to show what the current Airbus SOP is for a circling approach. Approach is flown with A/P at Conf 3 - about 140 or so knots. Maybe less.

It looks great on paper. And, I have no doubt that is a great pattern for a crew that practices it to proficiency, most likely in the sim.

But, what about minimum visibility (or less) with ragged ceilings (or obscuration) and driving rain (or worse, moderate snow)? How about moderate snow at night?

In the U.S. we have visual approaches, and then we have contact approaches (left over from the 1930s). Most U.S. carriers are not authorized to fly contact approaches these days, although they were for many years. I am not sure which is worse under the weather hypotheticals I stated above, a CTL or a contact approach.

The pattern you show could perhaps become a great low-level IMC RNP procedure, with visual reference not required until after roll-out on final and perhaps at a 300 foot "DA."

I don't believe the ICAO/FAA RNP folks are quite there, but they could get there, but only for advanced aircraft, though.

iceman50
9th Oct 2010, 05:00
aterpster

You are forgetting that to be able to circle there are minimums stated and if the airline is anything like mine it also has minimums stated for circling and you take the highest. So your dramatic comments on visibility etc do not apply - you have to have the required minimums.

My A330 / A340 flies the airbus procedure very well, but in this case the Cat D circling minimums on the Jeppessen chart of 2510'(842') and 3600m, at Islamabad, would have been replaced by the company minimums of 2656'(1000') and 4600m. The only headdown part of the procedure is the activation of the secondary which has been already loaded and checked.

BOAC
9th Oct 2010, 08:43
But, what about minimum visibility (or less) with ragged ceilings (or obscuration) and driving rain (or worse, moderate snow)? How about moderate snow at night? - indeed, as Iceman points out, a strange question from one with your 'experience' since hopefully even a PPL should have the correct answer.http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/confused.gif

The pattern you show could perhaps become a great low-level IMC RNP procedure, with visual reference not required until after roll-out on final and perhaps at a 300 foot "DA."

I don't believe the ICAO/FAA RNP folks are quite there, but they could get there, but only for advanced aircraft, though. - this has been 'dismissed' before - we have the technology to design a system which will let an aircraft fly safely over any terrain at any height and on any path, so why on earth bother with a 'circling procedure' when 90%+ of the time you can just design a proper approach onto that runway? Of course there will be runways where terrain bars a 'direct' runway approach, but for places like Islamabad and many others there would be no need at all for such a 'circle'.

aterpster
9th Oct 2010, 09:57
BOAC:

But, what about minimum visibility (or less) with ragged ceilings (or obscuration) and driving rain (or worse, moderate snow)? How about moderate snow at night?
- indeed, as Iceman points out, a strange question from one with your 'experience' since hopefully even a PPL should have the correct answer.http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/confused.gif


My experience with CTL was primarily reading accident reports. I did a few in light aircraft. TWA prohibited them after American Airlines crashed a 707 during CTL. I wish you and the expert PPLs well.

The pattern you show could perhaps become a great low-level IMC RNP procedure, with visual reference not required until after roll-out on final and perhaps at a 300 foot "DA."

I don't believe the ICAO/FAA RNP folks are quite there, but they could get there, but only for advanced aircraft, though.
BOAC:this has been 'dismissed' before - we have the technology to design a system which will let an aircraft fly safely over any terrain at any height and on any path, so why on earth bother with a 'circling procedure' when 90%+ of the time you can just design a proper approach onto that runway? Of course there will be runways where terrain bars a 'direct' runway approach, but for places like Islamabad and many others there would be no need at all for such a 'circle'.

Once again, you miss my point. The gentleman presented a nice, crisp diagram of CTL, which makes it look like a routine operation (in spite of the accident statistics). Much earlier in this thread I expressed my dismay at the lack of a straight-in approach to Runway 12 at Islamabad.

aterpster
9th Oct 2010, 10:02
Iceman 50:

My A330 / A340 flies the airbus procedure very well, but in this case the Cat D circling minimums on the Jeppessen chart of 2510'(842') and 3600m, at Islamabad, would have been replaced by the company minimums of 2656'(1000') and 4600m. The only headdown part of the procedure is the activation of the secondary which has been already loaded and checked.

That's called "1,000 and 3" in this part of the world. A ceiling is required, which the FAA normally does not require for minimums on straight-in IAPs. At a familiar airport and lacking significant precip it does work (barely). At 1,500 and 5 and no precip it works quite well...and so forth.

BOAC
9th Oct 2010, 11:22
My experience with CTL was primarily reading accident reports. I did a few in light aircraft. - didn't realise that! Then for you the answers to your previous question (you know - driving rain/snow/dark etc) are:

1) You don't attempt it if the weather is too bad or
2) You break it off when the conditions render it unsafe

That is how we are trained.

A PPL told me that:)

Once again, you miss my point. - no - your 'point' was incorrect. Why drag your arse in on the wrong runway and drag around a CTL when the magic kit would take you straight in in the first place?which makes it look like a routine operation - and so it should be.

aterpster
9th Oct 2010, 16:58
BOAC:

no - your 'point' was incorrect. Why drag your arse in on the wrong runway and drag around a CTL when the magic kit would take you straight in in the first place?

My primary point throughout this thread is the missing straight-in IAP at Islamabad where terrain would not prevent a straight-in to Runway 12. I guess we agree on that primary issue.

Phantom Driver
9th Oct 2010, 20:16
I am reliably informed by an old timer that radar will provide you with a perfectly acceptable vector to 5 nm finals for straight in Rwy 12. Apparently stays well clear of any terrain.

HundredPercentPlease
9th Oct 2010, 20:58
aterpster,

As BOAC points out, a CTL is a routine procedure. That pretty picture I posted which makes it look routine, is in fact what we fly and why it is routine. We do them quite regularly, at airports that preclude a straight in instrument approach due to terrain. Split and Pisa are my regulars, but there are many more.

The Airbus CTL is very straightforward, and very low risk. You have two systems (visual reference and track/time) so if they stop matching up you know something is wrong and you go around. The two of you work together to execute a pre-defined and discussed plan. One mostly eyes out, and the other mostly eyes in. You are both looking for a deviation or a mismatch.

Like all approaches, the risk is increased if you fail to prepare properly. Maybe a CTL is particularly prone to this, because they tend to be done less often and they all seem to vary a little. So gash crews will experience high risk CTLs. Typical mistakes include (but are not limited to):


Not briefing (an ILS suddenly turning into a CTL due to a wind shift).
Poor allocation of duties (PNF not briefed what to expect and look out for).
High cockpit gradient (FO not able to speak up about "unexpected" flight path).
Hoping you will become visual again shortly.


All of these can be avoided, even if you have to abandon the initial approach and go away and prepare for the CTL.

If an airline has crews that are not good enough to achieve all of this, then it is the crews that need attention, not the whole CTL concept.

aterpster
10th Oct 2010, 12:51
HundredPercentPlease:

If an airline has crews that are not good enough to achieve all of this, then it is the crews that need attention, not the whole CTL concept.

I would rephrase that: training and airport familiarization, not crews "that are good enough."

Also, it is a far different issue in TERPs minimal CTL areas than it is with PANS-OPS.

GerardC
10th Oct 2010, 14:41
to show what the current Airbus SOP is for a circling approach. Approach is flown with A/P at Conf 3 - about 140 or so knots. Maybe less.
http://i55.tinypic.com/2nak3zl.png

My A330 / A340 flies the airbus procedure very well, but in this case the Cat D circling minimums on the Jeppessen chart of 2510'(842') and 3600m, at Islamabad, would have been replaced by the company minimums of 2656'(1000') and 4600m. The only headdown part of the procedure is the activation of the secondary which has been already loaded and checked.

Once again, there is a misconception here (and in the shown Airbus SOP) : be your minimas 842'/3600m or 1000'/4600m, you will NOT have "runway in sight" at the MDA if real visibility is 3600m or 4600m.

CTL is not a visual approach, it is an IFR procedure :
- between MDA and final descent, all you need is to see enough of the ground to be certain to positively identify the approach area ;
- you MUST see the runway to continue below MDA ;
- as stated by 100%pls, it IS a routine procedure IF properly briefed and IF flown according strictly to the SOP .

BOAC
10th Oct 2010, 14:47
You do not need "airport familiarization" to successfully complete a CTL - it is, of course, a bonus. Knowing runway QDM and keeping the 'runway environment in sight' are the 2 prime requirements. It appears AirBlue knew (did) neither.

TERPS is not particularly relevant here - 100%Pl refers to Pans-Ops as does this thread topic. If the FAA wish to pursue a bizarre system for extremely dubious reasons, so be it (I think you would like if differently). Yes, it is not so easy. QED?

- you MUST see the runway to continue below MDA - actually, Gerard, I thnk you will find this is not so - although once you descend more than xxxft below CTL MDA (insert Terps/Pansops figures as appropriate) you may be 'in uncharted territory'. Where you can CONFIRM your flight path is clear of obstructions you may indeed leave MDA on base - take a CTL in 30k vis? Where it becomes crucial (and should make you seriously consider the wisdom of a CTL) is where the weather is marginal, in case there is an unexpected pile of granite or metal in the way - then the 'local knowledge' certainly helps - take CMF for example. From base to touchdown there is nothing in the way.

aterpster
10th Oct 2010, 17:00
BOAC:

TERPS is not particularly relevant here - 100%Pl refers to Pans-Ops as does this thread topic. If the FAA wish to pursue a bizarre system for extremely dubious reasons, so be it (I think you would like if differently). Yes, it is not so easy. QED?

TERPs CTL criteria have been debated for 15 years. I was part of that debate. New, more PANS-OP-like CTL criteria have been adopted by the FAA and will slowly find their way into TERPs IAPs starting sometime next year. The process will take years to complete.

Having said that I would far rather fly an RNP AR IAP to a runway such as 22L at LIRP than CTL in "adverse" wx conditions. Both Boeing and Airbus have the same viewpoint as I do, as do many others with whom I work.

BOAC
10th Oct 2010, 17:14
Having said that I would far rather fly an RNP AR IAP to a runway such as 22L at LIRP than CTL in "adverse" wx conditions. Both Boeing and Airbus have the same viewpoint as I do, as do many others with whom I work. - no dispute there - just nice to have a ship that can do that!

GerardC
10th Oct 2010, 20:03
you may indeed leave MDA on base...

Sorry, BOAC, not with my airline SOP's.

"final descent [below MDA] shall only be started with runway threshold in sight and identified".

I readily admit that :
1) SOP vary from airline to airline ;
2) if real visibility is 3600/4600m you will have a hard time to complete your approach.

BOAC
10th Oct 2010, 20:43
Gerard - 4600m (remembering that is 'IFV') should be enough, though?

(I apologise for the 'CTL in 30k' bit which was totally irrelevant to your post - I was on another planet thinking about descending on base:ugh:)

aterpster
11th Oct 2010, 15:34
no dispute there - just nice to have a ship that can do that!

My hunch is that a significant percentage of the large air carrier birds that fly into Pisa today have the airframe equippage to do RNP AR.

Nevermind
11th Oct 2010, 16:29
GerardC

I wouldn't normallly get involved in these sort of debates but a circle to land is not an IFR procedure beyond when you become visual with the runway.

You'll notice that the diagram says maintain visual contact with the runway. In our company SOPS if you cannot keep runway or approach lights in sight then you discontinue the approach.
The only exception if you have a separate visual approach chart that you can use to be certain of your position.

Humblest apologies if I have the wrong end of the stick here.
But I would not want to be a passenger on a plane that was at at circling MDA, flying downwind and the pilot could not see the runway or approach lights.

PBL
11th Oct 2010, 20:00
Nevermind,

are you perchance confusing Instrument Flight Rules, which may contain details of manoeuvres in strictly continual VMC, with manoeuvres in Instrument Meteorological Conditions?

A (U.S.) contact approach is an IFR procedure which requires continual VMC. You don't cancel IFR when performing a contact approach, and if you are doing it into a non-tower airport you still have to close your IFR flight plan after you land. CTL strikes me as similar.

BOAC
11th Oct 2010, 20:40
My understanding too, PBL, as with a visual approach - still conducted under IFRules unless 'IFR' is cancelled with ATC

Zeffy
11th Oct 2010, 23:11
GerardCSorry, BOAC, not with my airline SOP's.

"final descent [below MDA] shall only be started with runway threshold in sight and identified".


And how does that instruct or even imply that the descent from MDA may not commence on a base leg?

BOAC
16th Oct 2010, 18:30
681 posts to wade through, so - has anyone posted a link to the preliminary report? They have made one, haven't they - 30 days and all that - FDR and CVR available................

mm43
16th Oct 2010, 20:51
BOAC;

- has anyone posted a link to the preliminary report? They have made one, haven't they - 30 days and all that - FDR and CVR available......You'd be joking?! The answer can be found in the Pakistan CAA wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Aviation_Authority_of_Pakistan#Failures)

PJ2
16th Oct 2010, 22:09
Why, one wonders then, is Pakistan remaining as an accepted member country of ICAO? Blacklisting is effective as it goes directly to the bottom line.

BOAC
16th Oct 2010, 22:10
Yes, mm - it was a rhetorical question.:)

flyawaybird
17th Oct 2010, 15:17
PJ2
Indeed, why does ICAO not suspend Pakistan for failure to provide air investigation report accordingly?:( How long will this go on before ICAO actions?:confused: Or is the process too complicated?
I'd believe transparency is lacking on the part of Pakistan CAA, where the above case is concerned.:bored:

STBYRUD
17th Oct 2010, 17:46
I would hazard the guess that as with any UN entity the ICAO is crippled by its elaborate bureaucracy.... how often does the ICAO intervene in these issues, how often do they ever respond to current events?

PJ2
17th Oct 2010, 18:27
...how often do they ever respond to current events?
I hope often enough to maintain their credibility in flight safety, and industry confidence in their guidance to member nations.

mm43
17th Oct 2010, 20:09
Blacklisting is effective as it goes directly to the bottom line.When did you last hear of a Nuclear Power being "humiliated and isolated" by the international community? No, the international political niceties of "back-slapping" and "humbug" dictate that safety not only comes with a cost, but only when it suits.:\

Fawad
10th Mar 2011, 17:55
KARACHI: The investigation into the Airblue plane crash that killed all 152 people onboard is complete and a final copy will be submitted to the authorities by March 6, 2011, an official in the inquiry team said on Tuesday.

“I can’t tell you the reasons behind the accident, but it has been established that the aircraft was absolutely fit for flying,” he said, requesting anonymity. Airblue’s Airbus-321 crashed on July 28 into Margalla Hills near Islamabad. It was Pakistan’s worst aircraft accident involving a private carrier.

The official said that a key meeting is being held in Karachi on Wednesday (today) to finalise the report. “Only the formatting is left and grammatical corrections need to be made.” Report into the crash will be submitted to Acting Director General of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Riazul Haq, he said. “He will then send it to the Ministry of Defence, which has the prerogative to make it public.”

The investigators have looked into every aspect including the ‘absurdities’ like the plane being brought down by a rocket, sabotage and possible pilot’s fatigue because of his praying the whole night before the accident, he said.

The probe team will also suggest authorities to hold a press conference to ensure that the report is transparent and remaining concerns are addressed, he said. It remains unclear whether the government will make the findings public or withhold certain points as a matter of national interest, which has been the case with previous aircraft accident investigations.

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus had already said that nothing was wrong with the plane. This leaves the pilots, the airline or the flight controllers to be blamed. The enquiry team lacked any independent experts and was headed by officials of the CAA, a party in the case.

Continue with news item (http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33754&Cat=3&dt=3/2/2011)

Apparently, the report has been submitted.

Unfortunately, it looks like we wont be finding out the truth anytime soon and even the media has lost interest in it.

aterpster
10th Mar 2011, 23:22
It would seem we will be free to formulate any reasonable probable cause.

BGG
11th Mar 2011, 13:47
It is all very strange as to why they won't make their findings public. I came across an article a couple of days back and can't seem to remember where (but will look again). The general gist of the story in that article was that 'apparently' somebody involved closely in the investigation had anonymously disclosed that pilot and atc error were to blame for the accident. The pilot was already flying off-course as we all know but the controller who noticed he was doing this delayed his call as he was busy with another take-off and thought he had time to deal with this before giving his attention to the airblue flight. If the reasons were along these lines or similar, it is a shame that such a huge loss was sustained due to such small negligence. Why Pakistan's CAA has such a policy of not giving closure to all those who will have been waiting for it is beyond me. I hope somebody changes their mind and does the right thing.
The details above may already have been discussed but I haven't read the rest of this thread and just came across it today.

RoyHudd
11th Mar 2011, 15:46
If this report is kept private, some legal action should be taken by the authorities who permit Airblue to operate into their airspace, for example the CAA. This suggestion may result in exoneration of the Pakistani airline. Or otherwise. No information is unacceptable, and is a typical example of an action of a corrupt country, whose authorities choose to ignore the modi operandi of civilised nations.

patthecat
11th Mar 2011, 16:38
"and is a typical example of an action of a corrupt country, whose authorities choose to ignore the modi operandi of civilised nations"

You 'civilised' people make laugh...

Fawad
15th Mar 2011, 14:15
well, its not surprising at all. CAA has never published a complete report.

@<hidden>

What I have heard from my personal sources is similar. The reason for the distraction is claimed to be a NATO plane (a C-130 I think) that was being handled at that time.

Its understandable why they are trying to hide this. Anything and everything related to US and/NATO is not received positively in the public. Also since air traffic is being handled by the airforce, they don't want to look bad either.

But even if we are to accept this, the question as to why the pilot made the error in the first place does not get answered.

Apparently, all questions have been answered in the report and different aspects have been examined. The CAA will (and does) learn the lessons and make the necessary modifications in procedures (if any) but people won't be told these are being made because of this crash. But the report itself is not made public..well at least not in its entirety.

The only way this can be made public is if the media or one of the political parties create an issue out of it. But even that looks unlikely given Airblue is owned by a member of the opposition party.

BOAC
15th Mar 2011, 14:23
Ah good! Another conspiracy theory - it has been a bit quiet of late:ugh:

denlopviper
15th Mar 2011, 15:08
when 12 is in use, they dont allow traffic to depart until the aircraft on approach lands. think about it, the runway in use is 12 and the arriving traffic is on the ILS on 30. your asking for a collision here if you allow a departure while and aircraft is on final.

its just a theory since no story is complete without either a US or Indian hand involved.

flyawaybird
16th Mar 2011, 18:18
patthecat

Civilized or uncivilized nations. The truth should be told so that people stop rumour-mongering the wrong way and secondly for learning purpose so that whatever error by pilot or control tower may not be repeated. This is purely for safety purpose.
If on the other hand Pakistan as country hides this error then she should be expelt from CAA and ICAO membership. And I am sure they will learn the hard way, if this was done.:sad: about the untold lies.

Cuban9
17th Mar 2011, 15:54
Flyawaybird: I agree completely, but as others have said, it won't happen due to politics, both national & international.

some clarity over the squabbles that break out over this would be helpful. Issues like the failure to report are cultural issues, not to be confused with racial or national issues. The Cork crash recently shows that dodgy cultures exist in Europe as well here in this case.

any culture - company, national, political etc - shold be hit in its wallet or it will just continue.

Chances of that actually hapenning? Answers on a postcard.........IE None.

aterpster
17th Mar 2011, 16:55
Cuban9:

The Cork crash recently shows that dodgy cultures exist in Europe as well here in this case.

I think you are comparing apples with oranges. The Irish are conducting an open, honest, and thorough investigation.

Safety Concerns
17th Mar 2011, 17:01
we all know whats going on so why do we always have to wait for an open, honest and thorough investigation following accidents.

Why don't we stand up and be counted prior to the accidents?

Aviation is slowly turning rotten at the core.

Fawad
17th Apr 2011, 10:30
Airblue crash: PHC issues notices to airline, govt and CAA

PESHAWAR:
A two-member bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has issued notices to Airblue airline, the federal government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to explain their positions in a writ petition filed by family members of the victims of the fatal crash of an Airblue plane in Islamabad last year.

Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) MNA Marvi Memon and family members of the air crash victims prayed that the PHC ground all domestic and international flights of Airblue, in public interest, till the findings of an independent board of inquiry are made public and a definite declaration is made that the aircraft are safe to fly.

On Tuesday, the petitioners’ lawyer Omer Farouk Adam said that the petitioners first wanted interim relief in the case. However, the chief justice observed for interim relief, the hearing of all respondents was necessary before passing an order. The bench adjourned the hearing till April 19.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2011.


Let's hope they succeed and end up forcing the CAA to release the investigation report.

PJ2
6th Feb 2013, 20:53
Final Report (http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/downloads/Investigation%20Report%20-ABQ-202.pdf) issued.

Thanks, wozzo & Machdiamond! - a copy-paste typo.

Also, "comments" from the NTSB etc. Available on the Pakistan CAA (http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/investigation.aspx) site.

Easy Street
6th Feb 2013, 22:07
“Sir we are going down, Sir we are going da”

Dutiful to the very last.

Capn Bloggs
7th Feb 2013, 03:30
Been said before but to turn the HDG knob long-way round to the left, past the 6 O'clock, and then have the AFGS turn shortest way to it when HDG is pulled, is illogical.

Why did the pilot turn the HDG bug to the left in the first place? Why does any pilot turn a HDG knob all the way around, past the 6o'clock? Because that's the direction he wanted to turn. When he finally realised his error and pulled, the aircraft went the other way, straight into the hills they would have (just) missed had it turned left when he belatedly pulled.

And another thing...the captain did the right thing eventually; he disconnected the AP when it wasn't doing what he wanted (it turning right instead of left). Unfortunately, he was unable to manually control the aircraft after that. Automation dependency strikes again?

Easy Street
7th Feb 2013, 07:14
the captain did the right thing eventually

Disagree - doing the right thing would have been flying the 'Pull Up' drill first instead of trying to navigate his way out of the situation.

aterpster
7th Feb 2013, 13:12
Wasn't that "confidential" report posted her a long time ago?

Clandestino
7th Feb 2013, 14:22
Been said before but to turn the HDG knob long-way round to the left, past the 6 O'clock, and then have the AFGS turn shortest way to it when HDG is pulled, is illogical.A lot of things have been said before that caused considerable amusement on the part of those who know generally a bit about AFCS. Activating the HDG mode will always turn the aeroplane nearest way to heading bug on anything. To turn long way around one goes into HDG first.

the captain did the right thing eventually; he disconnected the AP when it wasn't doing what he wanted (it turning right instead of left). Unfortunately, he was unable to manually control the aircraft after that.
So after he used inappropriate procedure, lost contact with runway in visual circling, he was right in disconnecting the a/p just to find out he couldn't fly?

Automation dependency strikes again? How come 25 000 TT pilot is automation dependent? By reading PPRuNe, one would assume that automation dependency is something reserved for the newbies.

Sciolistes
7th Feb 2013, 15:23
How come 25 000 TT pilot is automation dependent? By reading PPRuNe, one would assume that automation dependency is something reserved for the newbies.
Newbies only really know hand flying, they struggle with decisive and appropriate A/P decisions.

JammedStab
7th Feb 2013, 20:59
Am I missing something? This report came out at the end of 2011, did it not? :confused:

Yes, I remember downloading it well over a year ago. There is a thread about it somewhere. Oh well...better discovering late than never Mr.PJ. Thanks.

CONF iture
8th Feb 2013, 21:04
Also, "comments" from the NTSB etc. Available on the Pakistan CAA site.

One BEA comment
The time reference is local time, whereas it is in UTC for the rest of the chapter 8.
The BEA suggests referring to UTC time only.

All very nice. BEA can now make some explanation why they used no less than 5 different time references in the report on Ste-Odile ...

PJ2
8th Feb 2013, 22:20
aterpster, JammedStab;

"Wasn't that "confidential" report posted her a long time ago? " & "There is a thread about it somewhere."

Thanks guys, I would have looked for the final report in the original thread. I don't know how I missed the new thread but I probably didn't do the usual search first.

Regarding the other thread, a gentleman by the handle of "maajam" provided first looks at the "confidential" report. The report's formal availability from the Pakistan CAA site is first mentioned on January 15, 2012 by stealthpilot, post #240 (http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/472370-air-blue-crash-caused-captain-12.html#post6960730).

JammedStab
9th Feb 2013, 17:43
All very nice. BEA can now make some explanation why they used no less than 5 different time references in the report on Ste-Odile ...

Don't know. But seeing as no one has bothered to translate it into english, most of the world knows nothing of it anyways, and that is the biggest problem. Any care to translate in detail?

CONF iture
10th Feb 2013, 00:59
But seeing as no one has bothered to translate it into english
That was the BEA job, but they are certainly not interested in doing so, same story for Habsheim or the 346 in the wall in TLS.
French only, not a necessity to provide the International version for all to have the opportunity to study and question those reports.
The Ste-Odile report is voluminous but repetitive and empty. I have no intention to translate it, but just confronting the numerous time references is enough to question the BEA credibility.

We have translated the Toulouse 346 report here (http://www.pprune.org/4676966-post467.html) here (http://www.pprune.org/4705627-post484.html) and here (http://www.pprune.org/4705627-post485.html).

Capn Bloggs
11th Feb 2013, 22:28
A lot of things have been said before that caused considerable amusement on the part of those who know generally a bit about AFCS. Activating the HDG mode will always turn the aeroplane nearest way to heading bug on anything. To turn long way around one goes into HDG first.

You're the one providing the amusement... When you fly a real aeroplane designed for pilots, you'll find the 717 (and, I assume the MD11) allows the HDG (or TRK) to be preselected the long way round, and will turn, long way round, to the bug when selected. It even has dots around the ND that show which way the aircraft is going to turn when the knob is pulled. :cool:

So after he used inappropriate procedure, lost contact with runway in visual circling, he was right in disconnecting the a/p just to find out he couldn't fly?
That's what I implied. Thanks for repeating it. :D

How come 25 000 TT pilot is automation dependent? By reading PPRuNe, one would assume that automation dependency is something reserved for the newbies.
Pity you obviously don't have much of an idea of the concept of automation dependency. :rolleyes: