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Old 11th Dec 2011, 05:10   #1 (permalink)
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Foreign pilots warn about Turkish Airline in Danish news paper Politikken

13 current and past foreign pilots of Turkish Airline speaks out about the very low profiessional level of turkish pilots in the airline.

Google Oversæt

One quote from a captain:

"It is a dangerous company. I have never in my time as a pilot sitting next to a mate who was incompetent and just let the stick because there was nothing he could not handle. But I have now, "says one pilot.

The paper has also had access to british ATC reports stateing that Turkish Airline was the one with most level busts in UK Airspace

There are two articles and Google gives a good enough translation to english. The other one is here (the headline reads: Pilot of Turkish Airlines, "I never thought I would be afraid to fly" ):

Google Oversæt

Another quote:

"One of the foreign pilots tell of a conversation he had with a Turkish-pilot on a flight. The first officer told that he wanted a job in an airline outside Turkey.

I replied that he first had to improve his English skills. He said that he had indeed passed the internal English test from the Turkish aviation authorities. Next day we had to fly out of a major European airport. It was snowing heavily and there were many delays. In such situations, the air traffic control is busy. There are spoken quickly over the radio and they say many things outside the standard. The co-pilot knew nothing of what was said, so I had to take over radio communication. "


The airline rejects it all and no national or international authorities have noticed any problems (apart from the Amsterdam crash)
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 08:44   #2 (permalink)
 
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That was one of the big issues during the investigation of the Amsterdam crash - the Turks just would not accept that one of their pilots could have been at fault !
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 09:28   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The paper has also had access to british ATC reports stateing that Turkish Airline was the one with most level busts in UK Airspace
And this is NOT a problem ????

as,
Quote:
no national or international authorities have noticed any problems (apart from the Amsterdam crash)
I would say that is a HUGE problem.

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Old 11th Dec 2011, 09:55   #4 (permalink)
fdr
 
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THYred

lovely people, great city.... would rather walk than fly with them, and I have seen spectacularly bad operations... Think this is not the last we will hear about them, unless they truly change their spots.

There are some guys in the company that are aware that a change is needed, but there is a stack of deadwood there, and more on the way. Great food. There are also a lot of ferringhi's there that are trying to make a difference.

My favorite story (first hand) is a friend who was doing OE and was denied the use of checklists by the IP.... "we don't do that here.... " coming about 18 months after pancaking a new twin in the mud, it seems a bit, er, courageous...

'nuff for now, but don't be surprised to get more in the near future, there is activity under the water.

The Aya Sofya is spectacular, and the Bosphorus is a fun day out. The quakes are entertaining, a big one there is going to result in BBQ's all around the edge of the Sea of Marmara, of biblical proportions. Really good food. Nice people. Hope they start flying aircraft instead of whatever they are trying to do now. Lots of pretty cabin crew...
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 10:47   #5 (permalink)
 
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It's time someone speaks up.....
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 13:40   #6 (permalink)
 
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Let’s not forget about the THY A-340 crew that could not negotiate a high speed turn off at Mumbai in this past summer. Runway 27 was closed for a couple of days.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 14:34   #7 (permalink)
 
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They are not the only one with huge safety problems that are endemic to the company. At least it isn't illegal for them to speak out as it is in some places. Notice too, no one has been instantly flamed on here by the rah-rah boys for saying all this, la.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 15:12   #8 (permalink)
 
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Around 3 years ago I presented myself for a screening with Turkish.

The interview was novel, myself & another candidate (only two of us showed up that day) were sat around a big table, drinking tea, with around half a dozen fleet managers/chief pilot/ops director or whomever was in town that day & fancied a cup of chai.
Very convivial, but what struck us was that of all the management wallas present, only 1 spoke English confidently enough to ask any questions, all the others passed through him. This lack of English skills among the senior pilot mangement is undoubtedly reflected in English Level4 being a tick in a box rather than a REAL requirement.
The sim "test", was notable for the total lack of any need to display CRM/use checklists/ follow procedures. Just get in, take off, have an engine failure, turn downwind & shut down the engine yourself downwind on a visual circuit, never mind that engine flmeout is not a Recall item ( the other guy is only there so you have someone to talk to when you are feeling bored ) checklists? Nah real pilots don't need them.
The whole thing was quite a ride & was conducted by 3 of them, jibbering away excitedly behind us in the instructors station. I was told by previous candidates that post-Hudson (but pre AMS ) the favourite laugh was double eng failure, land in the bosphorus, they had dropped that when I attended post AMS, strangely they didn't give me stall recovery in the approach configuration nor auto-throttle failure
I was genuinely quite shocked that this little "intro" might be in fact a heads-up as to how they operated, & wasn't quite sure by the end of it if I really wanted to find out. I wasn't offered the job anyhow, having made the fatal error of asking if the 737 roster would accomodate commuting (it wouldn't , & it seems you weren't meant to ask ) but I did end up working for another Turkish company subsequently.

Some of the stuff I saw there both in the Sim, & whilst line training,in particular the First Officers total unwillingness to point out anything that might offend you/ call into question your performance as a Capt, went a long way to aiding my understanding of the AMS accident.
Big, big cultural problems for aviation in that country,speaking up against your "seniors" just doesn't happen in general life & most of the older generation pilots are ex military & very "old school", resulting in a cockpit gradient that is much too steep to permit speaking up in many cases, regardless of the age/experience in the RHS. The full report of the AMS accident suggested the PIC was not of this mentality at all, & was respected & liked for his fair attitude, but. . . no matter how fair he was, how able did the other two guys feel to intervene / go over his perceived position/authority.
The attitude between pilot managers/office staff, and between Turkish pilots /cabin crew seemed strangely "sixties", to an outsider. If you need further evidence of this paternal/hierarchy attitude that pervades their society, look at the social problems relating to Turkish women, their choice of partners, & the family "reaction".

Would be difficult to argue that ingrained safety problems do not exist in Turkish, the only frightening thing being that many of the same observations could be levelled at countless other carriers (as many of us have seen first hand )
Doubt if any credence will be given to this by anyone who could make a difference, as the Turkish CAA / Turkish Airlines guys will all have flown in the same squadron & will perpetrate the status quo.

Last edited by captplaystation; 11th Dec 2011 at 15:30.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 15:34   #9 (permalink)
 
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Superpilot,
Exactly what I found in another Turkish carrier, so would doubt any of them are significantly different.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 16:31   #10 (permalink)
 
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Sounds like nothing has changed since the days of the DC10 accident.
Seem to recall in the lead up to that, some horrendous stories during their training.
163 pilots and 159 of them Captains-???
MD trainers aghast at the arguments that would break out on the flight deck with the result that one or more of them would leave the cockpit!!!
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 17:19   #11 (permalink)
 
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A friend who worked there told me they have official 'grades' of Captains? An 'A' list and a 'B' list, with certain restrictions on the B listers.
Any truth in that?
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 19:33   #12 (permalink)
 
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Well, it doesn't surprise me.

Just read the CVR transcript of the Amsterdam accident.
The Senior Instructor / captain of that flight was spoken to only with the Turkish word "Hocam".
Apparently it means "master/commander" or similar....
Resulting in a horrendously steep cockpit gradient. Unfortunately this was not adressed in the final report.
Steep cockpit gradients cause unsafe flying environments.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 19:35   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
...the Turks just would not accept that one of their pilots could have been at fault!
In much the same way as Americans at Boeing never admit to having any design faults in their aircraft. However, I think Captplaystation has nailed with:

Quote:
...the only frightening thing being that many of the same observations could be levelled at countless other carriers.
Like UK ones - I can remember being balled out by an arrogant, selfish, over-confident, know-it-all, impatient, ex RAF dwarf because HE overshot the stopping point as HE taxied in (longish story). But I'm afraid he was typical of the fast jet dross we had to put up with. Obviously, there were many good guys and fortunately some are still with us.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 20:54   #14 (permalink)
fdr
 
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Quote:
I was genuinely quite shocked that this little "intro" might be in fact a heads-up as to how they operated, & wasn't quite sure by the end of it if I really wanted to find out.
:Catsplay

Spot on.

The B737 HoT would shut down engines without command as PNF, without using a checklist, without confirmation, without... in fact any common practice being employed (except, this appears to be the common practice at the particular airline...). i saw this first hand, and probably didn't endear myself by asking "WTF are you doing? ", while trying politely to break his wrist.

A candidate was given an single engine flame out, and the support training captain shuts down without command the other engine. The aircraft glides into the Bosphorus, and the candidate fails...

AS CPS has noted, this is not limited to the "Sons of Anarchy"... but it is prevalent and the recent history bodes ill, particularly following their AMS bingle where apparently no one is interested in the learning points. (it took the "Dukes of Hazzard" 25 crashes to become anally compliant and far better at covering up their more recent 3 write-offs as maintenance retirements...). (In a past life in a culture that is rather "straight laced..." an FO tried to shut down the wrong engine without command ina sim session, and I picked his hand off the fuel control switch by the overly large fascia of his "Pilots Watch". Apparently this constitutes a touch in their society. I stopped the sim session and we went outside for a chat. His complaint was I "touched" him, and my response was that in an aircraft if he did the same I would probably "touch" him with a fire axe, and remove his offending wayward uncontrolled appendage from the equation. FWIW, anywhere, anytime, I reserve the right as the responsible party to remove acts of sabotage from the program, and I can give less than a toss for the personal insult that may be implied by the recipients of tough love.

PS, quickest way out of THY apparently was to make a PA and call Istanbul by its old name... For a group happy to be peeved at the characterisation of the treatment of the Armenians (not to mention the more recent dealings with the Kurds) as something less than friendly (genocide)... there appears to be an underlying unresolved issue or two on identity.

Great food, nice people.... lovely city.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 22:33   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piltdown Man
Quote:
...the Turks just would not accept that one of their pilots could have been at fault!

In much the same way as Americans at Boeing never admit to having any design faults in their aircraft. However, I think Captplaystation has nailed with:


Quote:
...the only frightening thing being that many of the same observations could be levelled at countless other carriers.

Like UK ones - I can remember being balled out by an arrogant, selfish, over-confident, know-it-all, impatient, ex RAF dwarf because HE overshot the stopping point as HE taxied in (longish story). But I'm afraid he was typical of the fast jet dross we had to put up with. Obviously, there were many good guys and fortunately some are still with us.
Seriously piltdown man. Why try to defend a useless and dangerous airline and culture with a PC- 'oh it happens from time to time in the UK' story????

The Turks are a mad bunch at the best of times. They fly like crap. The THY sims smelt of p1ss. They crash aeroplanes quite often.

Get over it.......

I'd rather get on any UK carrier than a Turk one. END OF STORY
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 23:27   #16 (permalink)


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I am not a pilot or anyhow aviation related guy. I am a doctor, who is very much interested in aviation. I am truly sorry for interrupting a discussion between airline professionals, but, how acceptable is it, to call a whole culture and people living in that culture, mad, useless and dangerous? What does it tell about you and your culture?

As a person (a Turk ), who is flying with Turkish quite often, I hope, people will investigate this thoroughly and seriously and come up with solutions. But guys, just please try to be nice and civil for people, who you are commenting on.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 23:43   #17 (permalink)
 
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i do not know any actual guy who is flying for turkish so i will not comment explicitly for them but in general many carriers seem to have the unpublished policy that applying for a rightseat job you do not need to know much and will learn it with the years -so its crucial to accept bad pay, bad rostering etc. instead of demonstrating high level skills to get the job.
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Old 12th Dec 2011, 17:20   #18 (permalink)
 
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TK

I have been there for the interview as well and can confirm most of what capt.playstation reported on here. Although there seem to be quite a difference between the Boeing and Airbus fleet. My screening was on the A320
and made sense, no tricks no traps, very professional.

I did not sign the offered 1 year contract because I got my hands on a monthly roster before I went and have to say that these guys work fairly hard. Commuting was and probably is not possible.

Now, one has to see the big picture in Turkey and keep in mind that you can not (!) change mentalities. I would also never ever put my family on an Onur flight (past experiences) and during my time in Turkey I learned the following:

The system is sick. This is why I left. The CAA used to be corrupt, until a few years ago there was only one pilot source (air force). English levels are very very poor and it'll take another decade to improve. They're working on it and much has been changed already BUT most of the CPs and DOs are still from the forces and hire their buddies, wingman or whatever they call them.
TRE/TRIs have grandfather rights and train the next generation the old fashioned way simply because the don't know better.
I've seen guys switching seats after only one season after 22 years of saluting everything that moves in the air force.

I will not list operational things here, although I could probably write a book about it

I don't agree with White Knights (strong words!). I have been in the sim recently in IST (IFTC) and have to say that it's a state of the art sim.center. But again I agree with capt.playstation's comments on the AMS accident that if 3 pilots did not notice a 40kt speed drop on approach, why having pilots in a cockpit than?

To our Danish collegues I like to say that I think it's a good thing that you made your concerns public BUT you did this after your contracts have not been extended (all forgein pilots will have to go as I hear). They will say ' we did not extend the contract - now they're angry and talk about us.'
Shouldn't you have raised your voice (or leave) earlier if you think it is not safe? Conveniently collecting the pay and than 'make up things' after the end does not put you in a good light either.
I've been in trouble for speaking up in the past but know today it was right.

I hope that this will cause a wave of discussions in Turkey although it will be embarrassing for some.

Many will read this forum but will not contribute for known reasons.

Turkish people are to proud to ask for help, they're still living in a 'no blame culture' and (I repeat myself) it is changing but at a very very slow pace.

Turkey is much like Greece, Italy, Spain or France used to be.
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Old 12th Dec 2011, 19:18   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Turkey is much like Greece, Italy, Spain or France used to be.
Well, I am telling it straight.. Turkey is no where near as bad as Greece for these macho men things..Yes is true that many pilots are ex Services, but they have to do 5 yrs in Civil avaition, good flying skills, not just daddy know some fat bloke in airline.like in Greece. Ok CRM with " older " Captains we are told is big problem, but younger ones, no so much big deal..problem is it will be many many years before the old guard retires in both pilots and management..but regarding ATC talking, they do make efforts to speak in " common language" English.. In Greece it is not ths case..
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Old 12th Dec 2011, 22:30   #20 (permalink)
 
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If you look at the totally inexcusable & dangerous bullsh1t that is "Ercan" control (Ha Ha! ) you don't find much excuse for either of the 2 nations you are discussing here.
Europe. . . HA !
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