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Old 19th Sep 2017, 13:14   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UAE
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Emirates: New "Acid" test after Recurrent SIM!

Ladies and Gentlemen

STANDARDS ON THE LINE

You will be aware that we have experienced some poorly managed events on the line over the last few months; unfortunately we experienced another one last week. In Training we promote the fact that we are driven by evidence, well the evidence indicates that that these events can no longer be viewed as isolated events, therefore it is imperative action is taken to stop the onset of a potential trend. We need to raise the levels of airmanship, awareness, suspicion and professionalism across our pilot community. Let me state that we are of the firm belief that the vast majority of our pilots are professional, proficient, efficient and effective. Unfortunately, the evidence indicates there is still work to be done to bring a small minority of pilots to this standard. The acid test, as always is, if following any training/checking session you would not be confident with the pilot flying your loved ones into some of the demanding destinations, terrain, weather and ATC environments which we operate into, then you have to flag those concerns to Training Management by accurately grading and reporting your observations.

In reviewing the events of the last few months we have asked ourselves what are we doing wrong? What are we missing? What’s the root cause? Why is our training and checking not able to identify those pilots who underperform on the line? Whilst the PFs and PMs in each case demonstrated failures in one or more of the pilot competencies, it was the loss of Situation Awareness and ineffective Pilot monitoring which were so concerning; we therefore need to enhance our training with regards to both. We have already started this in the current round of RTGS, where we present the Flight Data Monitoring playbacks from some of the events in question and then facilitate a discussion on what went wrong and what could have been done to prevent the situation from developing. However it is obvious that we need to do more, therefore in cooperation with Fleet we have decided to introduce the following changes:

· Trainers are to re-emphasize the importance of Pilot Monitoring duties during all Training and Checking events; this is to happen with immediate effect.
· Recurrent training to include a manually flown (Auto Pilot/Auto Throttle off) short sector, focusing on SA and Monitoring. We already cover this on Day 3 on the A380 using NCE; Boeing will introduce something similar on Day 2, this will be effective from 1 Oct this year. Emphasis is to be placed on the Pilot Monitoring making timely exceedance calls and demonstrating a satisfactory level of monitoring throughout the session. Please continue to insert ‘distractors’ during your sessions to mirror the distractions encountered on the line. The PM is to prioritise his workload to ensure his own SA and the safety of the aircraft are never compromised.
· We have re-written the word pictures for the Communication and the Leadership, Teamwork and Support PAMs to include more focus on PM skills. The FCI detailing these changes will be published shortly and will be effective immediately on receipt.
· During a training/checking session should a pilot miss a number of radio or SOP calls which might jeopardise the safety of the flight, or if their attitude or professionalism is called into question then the pilot is to be graded a ‘1’ for Leadership, Teamwork and Support. I accept this is subjective and whilst I would not expect to see a trainee fail because of a ‘few’ missed calls, several missed radio and/or SOP calls could be indicative of capacity or SA issues, so additional training is entirely appropriate.
· Any commander who is graded a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ for any competency during Day 1 or 2 of their recurrent simulator session will continue with their remaining simulator sessions, unless they are removed by a Training Manager. However, on completion of their recurrent training sessions a review of their performance will be conducted by Training/Fleet management prior to the commander being released back to the line; this is effective immediately.
· We will develop learning modules to improve knowledge and understanding of Auto Flight Systems modes. In the interim it is vital that you not only train Automation awareness but also the understanding of the modes.
· 25% of line checks will be planned as ‘No Notice’, this will be effective from the next planned roster. If you are rostered for one of these No Notice line checks, it is important you do not make the rostered crew aware – we are trying to get better visibility over our crews’ standards and level of preparedness – a true No Notice line check will give us that.
· Safety will provide Training with a list of our most challenging destinations and where possible Line Checks will be planned to these destinations going forward.
· There will be an additional 1-week ground school introduced for all new conversion courses to enhance/refresh fundamental ATPL knowledge; date for implementation TBD.
· Starting 1 Feb 2018, Day 3 of the recurrent PPC will be separated from Day 1 and 2. This will give trainees more regular exposure throughout the year to manual flight in the simulator as well as the opportunity to practise their monitoring skills. This initiative will also address the negative feedback we have received relating to 3 x deep night duties in a row and the limited training value gained from the 3rd night.
· We will be working with a third party research team to trial ‘eye tracking’ functionality in the simulator. We will use the results of the trial in the following RTGS phase to demonstrate the effectiveness, or not, of some crews’ scanning techniques during various stages of the flight.

In conclusion, the recent spate of poorly managed events on the line is deeply disappointing. Inaction on our part was simply not an option; as a result I hope you understand why these actions are being taken. It is vital that as trainers we lead by example and we demonstrate the standards others wish to aspire to. We recognise that ‘change’ can lead to uncertainty, especially if that change is introduced quickly. Therefore, if you are faced with a situation during your training and checking sessions over the coming weeks and are unsure of what is expected of you, please call your training management team who will be happy to assist.

As always thank you for your continued support.


SVP Flight Training

Last edited by 777747; 19th Sep 2017 at 13:51.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 13:16   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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I dont suppose it has anything to do with driving off your experienced crew, fatigue and stress culture? Oh, and the primary factor.. Greed.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:10   #3 (permalink)
 
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What's going on and on? More and more pressure on pilots by all this coming? Did you see also the captain roster who was involved in DME?
All of us flying too much since months with jetlag and accumulating of fatigue. Please lighten the hours per month,this will NOT work on a long term basis...the human body can just not cope with such an amount of work and stress(fear factor reinforced by the company ). I think I am an average pilot,not top notch but for sure safe from A to B in all the different environment EK flies to and prepared enough for each flight,try to be rested as much as I can, prepared for line and sim checks but that goes too far!!!
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:43   #4 (permalink)
 
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777747 ME forum perhaps?
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:54   #5 (permalink)
 
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I think this is relevant to all of us as a whole, to compare and contrast the hands we're dealt. It's certainly worrying that EK are taking this line.

It flies in the face of an open safety culture where individuals feel comfortable to admit mistakes so that an airline can monitor trends and train them out. Blaming pilots rather than looking at all the factors involved is merely laying the foundations for the next accident.

This email will serve to increase stress levels, push mistakes to be covered up and make for a worse place to work. It's arse covering of the higher order, managers threatening pilots so they can report to those above that they've 'dealt' with the issue. It's merely compounded an existing issue.

I feel for the guys involved as no one makes mistakes on purpose or sets out to have a bad day. Being PM and monitoring effectively is hard enough when fully alert, but when flying through the night becomes that much harder. Add to this now the complete b******s in the email above, the stressors are heightened.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:57   #6 (permalink)
 
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Waht's an "ACID" test?
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:06   #7 (permalink)
 
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And all this training / checking to be done by a training dept which has lost and is losing many experienced trainers due to increased workload, increased pressure and little or no support. It now has to resort to trying to recruit new trainers from new upgrades with pitiful experience levels (400 hours command on type etc etc) but a wish for a star! A pitiful situation and missives from MM like this one really don't help. I wonder if he really believes what he wrote or was told to write something like that.
It wouldn't surprise me if he leaves soon too!

PS Mods this would be better on ME forum I agree!
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:20   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearlever View Post
Waht's an "ACID" test?
LSD
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:26   #9 (permalink)
 
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Aah, that's what I expected
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:30   #10 (permalink)
 
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gearlever

Forgive me if you know this but just in case... "acid test" is a colloquialism (vernacular) used in English to describe what test/decider you are using, above all others, to decide the result of something..

e.g. Following a check ride: "Never mind that he flew the instrument rating within the numerical limits, the acid test here is would be you be happy with this individual flying your family from A to B in bad weather?"

Hence the comment in the original post-

Quote:
The acid test, as always is, if following any training/checking session you would not be confident with the pilot flying your loved ones into some of the demanding destinations, terrain, weather and ATC environments which we operate into, then you have to flag those concerns to Training Management by accurately grading and reporting your observations.
'Acid test' - the meaning and origin of this phrase
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:32   #11 (permalink)
 
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A test to show presence of gold.

This is a rather interesting letter and speaks volumes on the company (the caveat applies: if it is genuine).

The incident is a few days old and certainly not yet investigated, but already they are springing to action. Not by asking questions both to the crewmembers and to the organisation behind them, but by increasing pressure on the crews and maybe most shockingly also introducing a non-equal treatment of crew members. The assignment of surprise line checks that only 25% of the crews are subjected to will likely not increase trust and confidence in the group of pilots. Such a policy may be a powerful weapon for the company to weed out people it considers unwanted, seeing that the fail quota will necessarily be higher than with openly rostered line checks.

Or am I misunderstanding this? Does such an unannounced line check come with a different, less harsh failure policy?
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:33   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
thx wiggy
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:34   #13 (permalink)
 
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The End of TRAINING in the Airline...
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:35   #14 (permalink)
 
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Can anyone vouch for the authenticity of this ?

I muss say it would be extremely concerning if true.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:38   #15 (permalink)
 
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Gone are the days when a recurrent was a "fun" exercise to brush up on procedures not done routinely on the line. Whilst i agree with as much manual flying practise as can be accommadated, what is being done to find the route causes of recent incidences. As correctly stated, fatigue must come near the top. What about the selection process? What about training? Are the pilots happy? An unhappy, stressed and fatiqued pilot will make more errors in operating including judgment, as anyone with any signicant experience will be aware.

So you are called upon to rat on a fellow aviator. Sums it up.

Last edited by Dan_Brown; 20th Sep 2017 at 15:36.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 19:26   #16 (permalink)
 
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EK will never get it
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 20:54   #17 (permalink)
 
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Why are you posting this on PPRuNe and not an internal memo ?!
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 21:59   #18 (permalink)
 
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I did not get such an email "STANDARDS ONTHE LINE". Is that a joke or did you wrote [email protected]
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 23:56   #19 (permalink)
 
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Surely this is a wind up, right? Would be massive warning flag if not.
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 00:39   #20 (permalink)
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When it got to the "No Notice' line checks I gave it up as a well written spoof, it is a wind up, I believe. The No Notice check of 25% would be similar to a CAA inspector check, not looking for individual performance, more looking for team work all carried out SOP, more a standardisation check for the company.
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