There are a surprising number in this thread who seem to misunderstand the use of automation in modern aircraft. I base my comment soley on your comments regarding the use of automation, when and how you should use the appropriate level of automation and knowing when it is a good idea to hand fly.
If you presently fly one of these 3rd or 4th generation aircraft you would be well advised to adhere to some rather basic methods of operation.
Might I suggest you apply the following? These Third and Fourth generation aircraft are meant (by the manufacturer) to be flown using the maximum benefit of the automation. Re-read your AFM. In case you missed it there, read your FCTM or FCOM. We have gone from 5 man, to 4 man, to 3 man and now 2 man flight crew aeroplanes. Why convert that into a one man show??? And, yes. Why overload the PNF? Does this really sound safe or wise to you?
I'd also recommend that you become a maestro with the FCP and FMS to optimize that automation well before you try hand flying one of these aircraft from TOD to touchdown. When you can fly the entire profile with automation from cruise to autopilot disconnect on the roll out and disconnect the auto brake approaching taxy speed, then you are proficient enough to hand fly that generation of machine. I wouldn't compare the DC3 or DC6 with any of these aircraft. They didn't fly at 8 nm a minute so the mental processing rates are extremely different. With the automation and navigation equipment in any DC3 or 4 or 6, it would be an unfair comparison.
The reason some of these accidents happened (don't listen to me, read the final reports for yourself) and the reasons for a sudden upward spike in accident rates in recent years, has been due to loss of control and stall. The probable causes vary from mixing autoflight and manual flight, flight mode confusion and inappropriate use of the automation.
We can all get to the point where our comfort level with the automation is sufficient to hand fly on a more regular basis. The experts at A and B will tell you (with a straight face) the pilot is a monitor. Something the human factors experts tell us that we humans aren't very good at.
Could these facts in combination also be a contributing factor in many of these accidents? Including Mangalore.
This is like the Libyan thread. Pilot error there. He descended below minimums while lining up on a road. Manoeuvring got them in the end. Said it early on, but got ragged out and thought the hell with it. Deleted most of my posts. Why be a part of the conversation? But it's happened again, and another airplane burns. The trend is not a good one. This time it's hard to call, but I reckon the probable sequence was this:
1. Hot and high, for whatever reason 2. Carrying speed and/or height over the thresh 3. Touches down in a little, maybe 2500' 4. 50' high is another 1000', minimum 5. Non-grooved runway 6. Lotta water has fallen, maybe > 30mm in the hour 7. Water on the runway is > 2.6mm setting it up for.. 8. Reverted rubber hydroplaning 9. Gets to his 9 times the square root of the tire psi speed 10. One tire stops spinning 11. Steam builds up under the tire 12. The rubber shreds and the tire blows 13. Big swing 14. Pilot knows this is not cool 15. Tries to execute a touch and go 16. Now they're here, on PPRuNe
You may call it a 2nd takeoff, but a missed approach or a go-around it was not. Semantics. But they tend to matter. Whatever. It's easy to be high, but if you're happy to carry, first do the maths. Fifty feet makes a difference. What would 200' high mean? It's scary: 3816' longer than where you should touch down, which might mean touching down 5300' in from the threshold. Not good. Very not good.
I agree with your synopsis. We might also add failing to arm Speed Brakes which wouldn't be the first time on a B737. You could also suggest the crew hit hard, bounced then tried to land 'smoothly' the second time instead of executing a balked or low energy go around. I can see a crew falling behind, rushing things a bit, and just when it should all come together they ended up crossing the fence high and hot and it all went out the window from there.
The automation comment is due to an earlier comment in this thread. I happen to be of the opinion automation DID play a role in this but we'll have to wait and see.
1. Hot and high, for whatever reason They didn't maximize the Automation. VNAV, LNAV and VTK
2. Carrying speed and/or height over the thresh Automation (including A/T) would have hit the crossing height at the proper height and speed.
3. Touches down in a little, maybe 2500' Should have used A/P A&B, A/T
4. 50' high is another 1000', minimum Agreed. But, by then it was too late to stop on what was left.
5. Non-grooved runway Indian DGCA and Federal gov't guilty of not making this airport safer when they had the chance.
6. Lotta water has fallen, maybe > 30mm in the hour Crew evaluation of Threat and Error management upon receipt of ATIS or WX from ATC.
7. Water on the runway is > 2.6mm setting it up for.. Threat and Error management again?
8. Reverted rubber hydroplaning Threat and Error management. Crew should have touched down at the proper point at the correct speed with Auto Brake High and Speed Brakes armed.
9. Gets to his 9 times the square root of the tire psi speed Had at least 45 minutes before the landing to look at that. Threat and Error management?
10. One tire stops spinning I think they thumped it on and bounced. Possibly blowing a tire in the process.
11. Steam builds up under the tire They tried to recover with a slight increase in power to soften the second touchdown and therefore increased their forward speed and touchdown point. I've had a right main tyre blow on landing as it rolled through a large puddle of water. You could be right.
12. The rubber shreds and the tire blows Possibly a tyre blew from the initial thump onto the runway.
13. Big swing Okay. That's likely.
14. Pilot knows this is not cool That's for sure.
15. Tries to execute a touch and go Yup. Below V2 for the go around with an early rotation.
16. Now they're here, on PPRuNe Yes. Now they're here on PPRuNe
Willie P.S. Your opinon DOES matter.
Last edited by Willie Everlearn; 24th May 2010 at 01:52.
At the risk of upsetting some egos here, it is not about how great you are or were. Also, it is not about nationality (although this will shatter the backbone of the many, many xenophobic attitudes in Indian Aviation).
From my direct experience as a TRE at AI (on the 777) we must look at the SYSTEM that is in place there:
1. Rampant corruption. 2. Non-existant training standards: some pilots were failed in the sim yet that paperwork was either doctored to reflect a pass, or, the TRE was called in the justify the fail and pressured to change it to a pass, or, the failed pilot was sent on a route check to DXB within days and passed by his "batch mate", or the said failed pilot bribes for the pass. (All FACTS from my direct experience). 3. Technical exam answers are all known and shared by sms or other means. 4. Ab initio pilots coming from C152 or C210 direct to RHS of B777 without the ground instruction or handling to appreciate what V1 is let alone fly straight and level on downwind for a raw data circuit and approach, let alone land from (raw data) a stable approach, and checked to line by the TRE. 5. All but non existent CRM (mainly) from senior Capts reveling in the archaic bastardry days of a former military existence. 6. FO's too scared, too poorly trained, too inexperienced to challenge a Capt. 7. Capt's too poorly trained to listen to an FO, too ignorant to the low standards they exist within and are promoted from. 8. AI recruitment department not doing their own due diligence on the (expat) pilots that are employed (flying experience and credentials) instead relying on unscrupulous agencies. 9. Sim assessments, line route checks, instrument renewals are more often than not filled out (pass) prior to even beginning the sim or push-back. 10, Sim instructors arriving for the sim over 1.5 hrs late, no briefing, no pre-planned sortie, and only perhaps a block of 2 hrs used form the paid for 4 hours at the 9W sim. 11. Incoherent paperwork that is more important than safety, than standards, than, well, logic. 12. Sim assessment paperwork fraudulently completed: indicating patterns flown, approaches safely completed, (multiple) failures satisfactorilly completed when none were actually performed [U]at all[U] let alone to the safe standard needed (and this includes the CRM component).
So, let's PLEASE stop looking at who is the best stick and rudder pilot, who is the best user of automation, who is the ace of all bases.... Look at the SYSTEM and the airline ENVIRONMENT that allows and promotes despicably low standards and training standards far, far lower than what (we) are accustomed to in other airlines. For example; why only consider the pilot who cannot fly straight and level, or land a raw data approach with a 15 kt crosswind? We should be looking at, scutinising and criticising the training system he/she has come from to allow this, let alone that he/she is then released to line.
These pilots are passed / checked to line. They know no better and believe this is the norm for international or heavy jet aviation. So, when (foreigners) openly question this or expose such issues they are shouted down with great passion due an ill-gotten national pride in their airline (and we can all be guilty of that).
Look at the entire AI / AIE system, training standards and culture.
I had some strange experience training Jet Airways Indian pilots in the 90's, a few so so ones but many seemed to have gotten in through " connections ". There was a major disconnect between what the learn in basic flying school and what they did once they got into the airlines. They could quote the precisely the page number of the FCOM manual regarding an item of interest but could not grasp the application in daily flight operations despite repeated explanation and demonstration. Most have the attitude that airline training was like flight school training. I had a fellow TRE/TRI who was so exasperated that he always began his briefing with this " I am just a B737 type rating instructor, I am here to instruct you on the operations of the B737. I AM NOT A SCHOOL TEACHER, I AM ALSO NOT A FLIGHT SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR; the simulator training and line training schedules DO NOT ALLOW ME THE PRIVILEGE OF teaching you basic flying "
This is like the Libyan thread. Pilot error there. He descended below minimums while lining up on a road. Manoeuvring got them in the end. Said it early on, but got ragged out and thought the hell with it. Deleted most of my posts.
However, I for one, believe you are quite correct. I've completed dozens of NDB approaches to 09 at TIP over the years, and....had several First Officers line up squarely on the road just to the south. I gave 'em the guff, and they thought better of it, and went missed...yes, overshoot old British term, still used in south Asia.
Aircraft automation is here to stay, no doubt about it (and I fly the first of the type that offered true automation, the L1011) however, good basic flying skills are still definitely needed, otherwise....expect more dead bodies.
NB. Been flying to India since 1975, bad ATC/runways/approach aids then...and not much better now, it seems. India today says they are a developed country...might be so, however, sadly underdeveloped ATC/runways etc. Par for the course for this region. IE: more money to be made investing somewhere else...other than aviation and aviation infrastructure.
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Flight Of Accountability[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']There has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding foreign pilots (also known as “expat pilots”) in the aftermath of the tragic air accident at Mangalore. The Minister of Civil aviation, many bureaucrats, airline officials and even a few journalists have gone to great lengths to explain how experienced foreign pilots hired by Air India and private airlines are essential to the Indian aviation industry. A retired spokesperson of Air India, who has no business to speak on behalf of Air India anymore, has been repeatedly appearing on television to painstakingly explain how important foreign pilots are to the company. Clearly the air disaster at Mangalore with a foreign pilot at the controls has made a lot of powerful people worried .Very worried. [/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']The point however is not whether foreigners should be allowed in Indian carriers or not. Some of them are highly experienced and respected professionals who have undoubtedly made a huge contribution to the Indian airline industry. This article is not about them. It is about a shady scheme on gargantuan proportions, backed by government policy and a well oiled system that feeds on unimaginable corruption, on a scale that would astonish every innocent fare paying air passenger.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Air India is a government run Public Sector Undertaking and thus, it is assumed that rules applicable to other government institutions meant to keep corruption under check would apply to it too. The Ministry of Defence, for example has strict rules debarring the involvement of private middlemen or brokers in facilitating defence contracts. Other ministries have strict guidelines on the recruitment of qualified personnel or consultants where a transparent tendering process has to be adhered to.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']In the case of Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express, such rules do not seem to apply at all.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Some years ago, the ministry of civil aviation that ran erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines, cooked up unrealistic passenger growth projections and placed massive aircraft orders for Air India and Indian Airlines. Private airlines only too eager to float shares to rake in public money and capitalise on the hype jumped in the bandwagon. Overnight, hundreds of vacancies for pilots were created.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Air India began hiring foreign pilots in 2003.Other reputed companies like Singapore Airlines and various Gulf Airlines such as Emirates, recruit foreign nationals too but with great transparency. Foreign pilots hired by them are a part of the regular workforce and are directly hired, without involving middlemen, on local terms. European airlines do not hire non EU nationals.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']In Air India’s case, no global tenders were floated for foreign recruitment firms and no advertisements in newspapers announcing vacancies for foreign nationals appeared. Bureaucrats and officials in Air India, hand in glove with their counterparts and politicians in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Labour, Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs and other agencies hastily cleared the proposal to hire foreign nationals and the policy of recruiting foreign pilots was established. Politicians of opposition parties were roped in and a cosy arrangement was made.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']To bypass opposition from its own employees and to circumvent elaborate transparent recruitment procedures and various laws, a defunct subsidiary, Air India Charters Ltd was revived and used as the vehicle to issue foreigners contracts. Hence the hundreds of foreign pilots in Air India and Air Express are routed through Air India Charters Ltd through recruitment firms and then using a legal loophole, deputed to Air India and Air India Express.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Private firms comprising middlemen and brokers, with the respectable title of “Aviation Consultants” were approached and many of these, such as Rishworth Aviation and scores of others appeared out of the wood work. Overnight, new consulting agencies sprang up, some in murky tax havens like the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. All suddenly began to offer “experienced” pilots from all parts of the world. Many of these foreign pilots had and continue to have no clear track record. Some claim to have thousands of hours of flying experience in countries as diverse as Russia and Rwanda. Some of the airlines and countries (such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia) that these pilots flew in do not even exist anymore. No background checks are carried out by either Air India or the Indian Government. Strangely the agency of middlemen, or “consultant” supplying the pilots, is entrusted with this task.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Lucrative contracts were tailor-made to lure foreign pilots in droves. [/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Decades of rules meant to harass Indian pilots such as stringent medical standards were waived off by the government for foreign pilots. Air India’s pilots who are Indian nationals, have to undergo a DGCA medical test known as a Class I medical examination and then are again subjected to an elaborate company medical test known as a Pre Employment Medical Examination (PEME).None of these apply to foreign nationals in India. For example, an Indian pilot may not be allowed fly an Indian passenger aircraft wearing a pacemaker but a foreigner most probably would because the medical standards in his country allow it. There have been cases where Indian pilots who are permanently medically grounded by Indian authorities get foreign citizenship and foreign licences and return to India to fly planes on “expat” terms. Atleast two such “foreign” pilots have served Air India on such a contract.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Infact foreign pilots flying Indian registered aircraft are not even required to have Indian flying licences! All they had to do is produce “proof “of experience and a foreign licence and the DGCA issues a “temporary authorisation”. Such “proof” of experience could be a fake certificate or a fake rubber stamp but nobody carries out a background check.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']A foreign pilot is not legally answerable to the Indian DGCA since he does not have an Indian Licence. The DGCA can neither revoke nor suspend his flying licence. Technically, an Indian Co Pilot involved in a serious air accident may lose his flying licence and his job; whereas the pilot, if he is a foreigner can take the next flight home and start life on a clean slate![/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']To prevent the foreign pilots from coming under the ambit of direct taxes in India, the pilots are “officially” based in foreign countries such as Dubai and not given “local” terms of employment. Every month Air India pays the foreign recruitment agencies the salaries of these pilots along with a commission or “consultancy fees” to foreign bank accounts. This is turn trickles back to the various politicians and officials who patronise the system. Not surprisingly, a foreign pilot who recently approached Air India for a job recently was asked to route his application through a recruitment agency![/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']As a result ,hundreds of crores of income tax that would have normally gone to the Indian Income Tax Department through TDS had these pilots been based in India, is diverted to foreign bank accounts in foreign countries.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']“Liaison officers” and “advisors”, meant to “facilitate” business interests, are regularly appointed by these foreign recruitment agencies to “liaise” with the various ministries and departments. Two of Air India’s senior most executives have retired in the past one year and have joined such firms as “liaison” officers. Another, a retired CMD, continues to show great personal interest in negotiating foreign pilots’ contracts on behalf of recruitment agencies.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Foreign pilots are provided more leave, sometimes upto ten days in a month – the justification being that they need to go home to be with their families. Indian pilots flying for Air India Express are made to go on postings for fifteen days at a stretch and given one day off at their home base. Ironically these Indian pilots spend three to four days every month with their families and the foreigners (who could be from neighbouring Nepal or Dubai) spend more than a week to ten days every month on holiday. [/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Foreigners also get paid a higher salary and are entitled to five star hotel accommodations even when not flying. As a result, hundreds of hotel rooms are booked by Air India at exorbitant rates – a percentage of which presumably flows back to some officials.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']This murky system in Air India of the past seven years has quietly gone unnoticed. As long as flights took off on time and passengers reached their destinations nobody really cared. Unions cried themselves hoarse- only to be drowned in the din of the money power of powerful lobbies and an ill informed media often hesitant to upset a mega industry that generates lucrative advertisement revenue .[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']The air crash at Mangalore need not have necessarily been caused by an incompetent foreign pilot. This article is not meant to disrespect the majority of foreign pilots in India. But the larger issue of rampant corruption and greed must be addressed immediately. Little wonder that all the officials in the dishonest food chain are now working overtime to cover up the issue. Sadly the one hundred and fifty eight innocent people that have been killed cannot speak for themselves anymore.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Therefore we, the rest of the nation, must stand up in one voice to demand a CBI enquiry to unravel the mess. We cannot afford to wait for another air disaster to prove the politicians, bureaucrats and officials wrong.[/FONT]
[FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Because the next time a shady foreign pilot from strange country with a dubious qualification or medical history crashes a plane, you and I could actually be on it.[/FONT]
Possibility of pilots getting distracted inside the cockpit exists too. Has happened in the past. You just get obsessed with the problem and then no one is flying the aircraft, you wake up when the ATC calls you in for the final or changes the runway. You realize its too late to get the stuff in, and you choose to go visual. 99% of the time, nothing happens you land (heavy, hot/high, etc. etc.), and talk about the problem on the tarmac, and go back to your next sector.
I bet my bottom Dollar, that if the crew touched down well passed of the 1000ft marker, it was not because they were hot and high on the approach, but to grease it on in order to avoid a hard landing detection of the performance monitoring system (not sure how they call this system on a 737 in India).
Personally, instead of having a debate automation vs handflying, I would rather see a discussion weather these kind of crew performance monitors have made flying safer. Reason is, and that is why I bring this up: in certain airlines these monitoring systems are not really used to detect certain trends and therefore improve crew training, but rather to punish the crew involved, etc
The result is, that crew feel more pressured. Not only it takes the fun of flying away, but could lead into scenarios where the crew prioritize the wrong things.
Personally I have met crews who in the past hardly -if ever- accepted a visual approach on a calm, beautiful day, because they were afraid that one of the monitored parameters during the approach was triggered (combined with a mandatory invitation for tea & biscuits with the CP the following day). And when the day arrived that there was no (especially precision) instrument approaches available, the crew was nervous as heck.
For a flight from DXB to IXE (4 hrs) what would be the expected fuel load?
As a % of "tank full" what would this be?
Is it a normal practice for flights to tank up cheap in the ME on such routes?
If this was the case how much more runway length would be required for a safe landing?
As posters have noted AI is lax on carry on luggage and weight. Assuming the argument that oversized at 10 kgs extra shoved into the hold at the gate and another 7 kg of duty free that would add up to about 10 kgs more per pax or about 1.5 tons more. How much more would this add?
Unfortunately,most cabin crews only notice over bulky bags in the cabin rather than checking/mentioning the overhead weight limitation... Some airlines have a max of liquor/pax, as too much liquor could become an Hazmat issue.
Waiting for the inbound aircraft in the Company office in New Delhi, Palam Airport early one foggy morning, the inbound Captain called on the Company radio, I took the call and he said that the ATIS was giving 200m. RVR. and he was holding at F/l 200 over the VOR, which was some 14 nm north of the field in those days - if I recall correctly - and it was all Cavok at that location, so what was the vis. on the field really like, as he had about 15 mins left before diverting to Bombay ( not Mumbai )
I replied that it really was very foggy but I didn't know what 200 m really looked like from my position, so would go over to the tower and find out. ( yes, one could ).
Reaching the tower a quasy-digital Indian design RVR meter was showing 200 m as broadcast, but as I looked it increased to 210, then 220 and eventually reached the legal limit - which I forget - but the controller said nothing. Eventually the RVR increased to be of no further consideration, the field became almost Cavok, as being experienced by the aircraft further North, but still the controller said nothing, so I tapped him on the shoulder and asked why he wasn't advising the holding aircraft to commence an approach ? " I cannot transmit an improvement in the visibility until it has been positively sustained for 10 minutes " he said.
I ran back to the office and advised the inbound Captain - a friend, whose voice I recognised - that the vis. was now well above minima - but they weren't going to tell him for 10 minutes, but if he requested a descent, by the time he got on to finals they would have ! A diversion saved.
Maybe the ATC controller was following the book, but my question later was - if the RVR was reducing below legal minima one dark and dirty night, would they not tell me until 10 minutes after I had crashed on the field ?