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Old 15th Jul 2017, 13:08   #1 (permalink)
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Incapacitation on take off - A realistic act

At an airline reunion this story was told and made me think. I knew the crew involved. The crew were on a scheduled simulator session. The captain did the first two hours followed by the usual coffee break when it became the first officer’s turn. As the captain received take off clearance, he received a whispered call from the jump seat check pilot via the private intercom, to fake an incapacitation during the take off roll. The first officer was unaware of this.

At 100 knots the captain let out a blood curdling cry and dramatically collapsed sideways clutching at his throat. The first officer was immediately alarmed and reached over to help the comatose captain saying “Christ, Jack – are you alright?” Meanwhile the simulator continued roaring down the runway until the checkie (an angry ant when on duty but an affable social lion at parties) hit the freeze button to stop the session. He shouted abuse at the first officer for not taking over control and aborting the take off.

The first officer, his heart still pounding from fright, apologised for the fiasco explaining he thought the captain had a real heart attack and had not realised it was meant to be a tick in the box exercise. The checkie nevertheless could not contain his temper and refusing to accept the first officer's perfectly honest explanation, marked down the first officer’s assessment as fail.

After the coffee break, the first officer became PF while the captain was PM. The briefed exercise was engine failure after V1. At 100 knots the first officer without warning, gave a loud gasp and slumping over the controls shouted “Help” as his leg stiffened on full rudder. The captain was completely taken by surprise and grabbed the first officer by the shoulder saying “Shit! Are you alright, Steve?”
Meanwhile the simulator departed the runway at full power towards the control tower. . The instructor, initially taken by surprise at this unexpected turn of events, froze the simulator and ripped into the first officer screaming he was just a smart arse and he was not supposed to die on his take off. He said nothing to the captain who sat back bemused.

An interesting point that came out of that fiasco was the training syllabus for the airline applied the incapacitation event only to the captain. In other words only captains have incapacitation – never first officers. In fact it is probable that many operators apply that policy in their syllabus. Both pilots need to practice a incapacitation event - not just a first officer.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 13:15   #2 (permalink)

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A wonderful story, much to learn. Was that a CAAC check-ride?
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 15:17   #3 (permalink)
 
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Interesting insight Centaurus.

For what it's worth. A few years ago during an upgrade process at an Australian charter company (operating multi-crew turboprops), I did a pilot (FO) incapacitation event during the check to line.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 00:38   #4 (permalink)
 
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Folks,
That remind me of a wonderful cartoon in "The Log" years ago.
The Captain is flying rather erratically on approach. the Oh. so proper "Nigel" say: "I say, Captain, are you by any chance having a subtle incapacitation, or do you always fly like this".
Tootle pip!!
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 00:57   #5 (permalink)
 
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The FO, wasn't the smartest bloke by the sounds of it.
The FO, should have noted the time and from that point forward claimed command pay and and logged as command time in the logbook.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 02:50   #6 (permalink)
 
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The FO, wasn't the smartest bloke by the sounds of it.
The FO, should have noted the time and from that point forward claimed command pay and and logged as command time in the logbook.
Yep, FO not too bright, just a bit smarter than the checkie!
Did FO incapacitation in the latest sim session two weeks ago.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 03:58   #7 (permalink)
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Folks,
That remind me of a wonderful cartoon in "The Log" years ago.
I too remember that cartoon in "Log" In fact "log" was a superb journal and I haven't seen it for years. Another cartoon in the journal was the captain and co-pilot on final approach both in the cockpit looking over their shoulders outside of the captain's side window at 90 degrees to the flight path and the captain saying "That's what I call a cross-wind!"

Apologies for convoluted description, proving a picture is worth a thousand words
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 04:10   #8 (permalink)
 
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While I agree simulator training has a place, this little story highlights the fact pilots treat it different to the real thing.

A pilot will not act in a real situation the same way they will act in a simulator as I expect this case suggests - neither pilot would have considered the other pilots imminent death until they saved their own bacon and therefore the lives of the pax.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 07:38   #9 (permalink)
 
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I thought the standard response to a captain incapacitation was to check the seniority list then keep flying for an hour to make sure they are really dead before landing.

Sadly as a captain now, I'm always looking over my shoulder in the car park just in case some F/O wants to run me over.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 07:59   #10 (permalink)
 
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You been reading "She'll Never Get Off the Ground", Robert J. Serling, again Centaurus? Good read as I remember, but soppy ending.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 08:41   #11 (permalink)
 
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If during a Sim session you could smell smoke, would you don the mask and run the drill, assuming these things are getting more realistic by the day... or would you perhaps pause and contemplate if the bloody simulator was actually on fire?

Done incapacitation drills more times than I care to count, some less straight forward than others, but never once did the Pilot feigning death attempt to win an Oscar.

No matter how hard some checkies try to simulate the real world, the fact is, simulators are just that.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 09:22   #12 (permalink)
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If during a Sim session you could smell smoke, would you don the mask and run the drill, assuming these things are getting more realistic by the day... or would you perhaps pause and contemplate if the bloody simulator was actually on fire?

Done incapacitation drills more times than I care to count, some less straight forward than others, but never once did the Pilot feigning death attempt to win an Oscar.

No matter how hard some checkies try to simulate the real world, the fact is, simulators are just that.
You can smell smoke? There is only 1 centre with scenting integrated on their FFSs that I am aware of.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 09:29   #13 (permalink)
 
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do I recall, I think it was a BA FO, getting severely sanctioned when a captain passed out by telling the purser to hurry up and get that bastard out of my seat?
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 14:03   #14 (permalink)
 
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I knew of two colleagues that died immediately after instant heart attacks with absolutely no warning. One in his chair at work and the other in his chair having breakfast. Can happen to anyone at any time. Which is precisely why it is a requirement to cover this event during simulator training.

We can all laugh at the OP story. In both cases described, the PM's momentarily thought it was the real thing. We cannot dismiss this. But thinking about it dispassionately from a legal point of view. Because of the seriousness of this type of medical event we are discussing (i.e. a sudden simulated incapacitation which may or may not resemble the real thing depending on your acting capability) - maybe there is an argument for a call by the simulated victim of "Simulated Incapacitation" as he conks out.

There are many different non-normals practiced during simulator training; all of which pose no danger to the health of the participants if they stuff up. It would indeed be unfortunate if a sudden practice dying event turned out to be the million to one chance of being the real thing. After all, stress in simulators is not uncommon. An interesting legal conundrum for the experts?
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 21:18   #15 (permalink)
 
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You can smell smoke? There is only 1 centre with scenting integrated on their FFSs that I am aware of.
I built a full-size FTD for a school a few years ago. After accidentally letting out the smoke from a component during testing I determined that it was quite easy to incorporate such a facility 'at will'

FP.
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 02:59   #16 (permalink)
 
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Tee Emm, a good point, but wouldn't the sim instructor have set up the incapacitation event so he/she would know if it was faked or real? Probably worth mentioning in the sim brief though.
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 03:08   #17 (permalink)
 
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I knew of two colleagues that died immediately after instant heart attacks with absolutely no warning. One in his chair at work and the other in his chair having breakfast. <snip>
Surely not the holders of Class 1 medical certificates?
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 05:31   #18 (permalink)
 
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Surely not the holders of Class 1 medical certificates?
Then there was the AirNZ skipper who suffered a brain aneurysm during the landing at Perth a few years ago.
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 07:37   #19 (permalink)
 
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Renmark accident ?
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Old 17th Jul 2017, 09:30   #20 (permalink)
 
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The FO, should have noted the time and from that point forward claimed command pay and and logged as command time in the logbook.
Folks,
Again quite a while ago, a QF Captain was incapacitated, the F/O naturally became PIC for the remaining five or so hours of the flight, and sought so to do.
The then version of DCA/D0T/DoT-ATG/CAA/CASA ( I have probably left a few out??) said a very emphatic NO!!, because he didn't have a "first class endorsement", or ATPL, only a ATPL (2nd) with a "Second Class Endorsement to First Class Standard".
This was "back in the day" that a QF F/O doing a sector logged "dual", despite that being contrary to the Act, Regulations, ICAO , the CWA and probably the RSPCA.
So I guess that was five hours dual without an instructor, an interesting concept.
AAaaahhhh!! the wonders of aviation bulldust regulation/policy/bureaucratic buggery in Australia --- we are just so lucky to not be the same as the rest of the world.
As Malcolm Frazer said: "Life wasn't meant to be easy" --- and CAA/CASA took that as S.12 directive.
Tootle pip!!
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