8th May 2011, 10:30
Seen a video of a 1995 crash in Cali Columbia, aircraft flown by two of American Airlines ''most premier pilots'' who lost situational awareness and ended up flying their aircraft into a mountain. CFIT.
CFIT accidents and loss of situational awareness that we hear of shock us, but there must be so many incidents that go unreported and give pilots many sleepless nights after.
Im not saying that its a regular occurence but im just wondering what others think on this matter, and if anybody has had any real life experiences with loss of SA or near CFIT.
"... im just wondering ... had any real life experiences with loss of SA or near CFIT... [?]"
You can collect many exemplars,
-- here's one from ATSB:
Investigation: 200402747 - Boeing Co 737-838, VH-VXF (http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2004/aair/aair200402747.aspx)
-- another collection [50-events] from ASRS data-sets: ASRS - Aviation Safety Reporting System (http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/search/reportsets.html) , "Controlled Flight Toward Terrain, A sampling of reports referencing inadvertent controlled flight towards terrain."
Much has changed in just the past two decades.
Various added safety features now provide pilots the missing "awareness":
-- Map-mode DISPLAY, now showing the RWY position (near or far);
-- Map-mode Display showing TERRAIN along flight path;
-- ENHANCED-GPWS now provides the Terrain Clearance Floor.
Only fifteen years ago, many main-line pilots had NO MAP DISPLAY of the RUNWAY position relative to PPOS.
Over the past two decades, added technology [Engineered Safety Features mostly "hosted" in the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System] has provided a work-around solution, avoiding historic pilot mis-perceptions about TERRAIN ahead, and Runway position, and windshear on departure or approach.
Poke around on the Honeywell website to learn about TECHNOLOGY solutions to historic human-pilot lapses in SA [EGPWS, SAM, RAAS &ct].
Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) - Honeywell Aerospace Engineering (http://www51.honeywell.com/aero/technology/key-technologies2/avionics3/egpws.html?c=23)
General Information - Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System - Honeywell Aerospace (http://www51.honeywell.com/aero/Products-Services/Avionics-Electronics/Egpws-Home3/GeneralInformation.html?c=21)
Honeywell : Airline Solutions (http://www.honeywellairlinesolutions.com/safetysol_sol.php)
Consider that only a mere four decades ago, airline pilots had that new Ground Proximity box installed, sensing downward looking Radar Altimeter, & Air Data -- but there was ONLY ONE generic call-out: For the first few years pilots were forced to operate with that initial GPWS in INHIBIT [switch-position] to avoid too-many nuisance-warnings.
Here's a link to AA's initial consideration of the Allied Signal (pre-merger name for the Redmond WA company) product:
Cali 757 crash speeds American EGPWS trials-20/03/1996-Flight International (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/1996/03/20/17614/cali-757-crash-speeds-american-egpws-trials.html)
Now that old nuisance-box "hosts" a wide variety of safety features [eg, terrain dB], mixing various inputs (eg, GPS), providing safety-advances that todays' pilots seldom reflect upon.
And quite useful especially with some mountains around is the nice additional profile view of your flightpath with terrain indication which gives additional situational awarenes. Vertical Situation Display as boeing calls it, no idea what its called on an airbus.
Things change, if you want to see what might be the future check out GA planes. Enhanced vision, synthetic vision, a mixture of both, HUD PFDs which will enable the pilots to fly heads up with all the information present in their primary field of view etc.
9th May 2011, 01:15
Mr Cessna, from experience there are incidents as you surmise. However, it would be incorrect to say that there are ‘many’ involving serious threats to safety.
Aviation is a very safe means of transport. One aspect which enables this is the reporting and investigation of serious incidents. This is aided by the routine analysis of data recordings and the use of modern alerting systems such as EGPWS to identify high risk situations, but there are still some lesser events which pass unreported.
A professional pilot’s training should instil the need to learn from these events, reported or not. There is no need to loose sleep over something which has passed; the benefit (and sound sleep) comes from the learning extracted from the event, particularly to avoid something similar in the future.
Unfortunately, it is often the weaknesses in human behaviour which lead to an incident and also the occasional failure to report. Most incidents and accidents involve a complex conjunction of contributing factors, which when identified, provided opportunity to provide alternative defences and counters to the necessary human activities. The organisational contributions are often easier to fix than attempting to perfect human behaviour, although human factors training / CRM is still very valuable.
Some near CFIT examples are in Celebrating TAWS ‘Saves’: But lessons still to be learnt. (www.icao.int/fsix/_Library%5CTAWS%20Saves%20plus%20add.pdf)
Few in any of these incidents were reported or identified with data analysis (the airlines did not use the system). Also, note that pilots ignored warnings, perhaps believing that they knew better. This is another human weakness, but perhaps more of a concern with the increasing use of technology which is installed to protect the human from the other weakness such as misinterpreting situations.
10th May 2011, 22:17
Seen a video of a 1995 crash in Cali Columbia
It's Colombia, mate. With an O!
As for that occurrence, it's really easy to hit a mountain over here (South America) if you're not paying attention. Really high mountains, airports in very narrow valleys or otherwise surrounded by mountains.
Be very aware of where you are and what you will do next when you fly over high terrain