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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:10   #861 (permalink)
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I disagree with your last comment. I have flown with numerous Chinese FO's who say their love flying with expats/foreigners because they can ask questions and learn a thing or two. They do not ask ANY question during their simulator or line training when the instructor is Chinese, for fear of making the trainer lose face should he not know the answer. They will not challenge any unusual setup during flight for the same reasons, and also because of lack of experience from previous types, so they may not always recognise a situation when it arises.

But give them the chance to shine and many will do their best to please and to show they enjoy learning more tricks.

Unfortunately, the majority of them will loose this eagerness and build the so much discussed high power gradient when they turn captains. And will fly then (for the Chinese at least) only with other Chinese crew. They won't speak again English in the cockpit for the rest of their career.

You say there is no evidence of cultural differences on this event. Likewise there is no evidence that there wasn't any. Live a few years in China or Korea , go by the local rules, learn how people interact and the picture you see so well might turn out a bit different.

Of course the WHY has yet to be defined and presented by NTSB.

Either this or loss of SA of both (if they were only 2 in the cockpit) pilots simultaneously, should it be confirmed that no defects or outside elements could be thrown into the equation.

I make as many mistakes as any other pilot, or more, but especially when flying with crew from different parts of the world, I brief them to voice out anything, even if they think it may be trivial, and ask questions as much as you like. This is the cultural difference that I try to iron out a bit with my own, limited means, not because I think they should forget where they come from, but in the interest of safety.

Last edited by FLEXPWR; 8th Jul 2013 at 14:17.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:14   #862 (permalink)
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rdr: you mentioned the sun in their eyes after a long flight. Look at the time of the mishap, and the direction of the runway: west.
Could there be a respect issue with the FO telling the Captain to go around, thereby delaying the call until it was too late?
If so, there's a possible culture issue, organizational at the least, and not based upon the shape of anyone's eyes. That considered, if it's two rated captains in the same airline, then why was the "A/S off by five knots" call not made sooner? That speaks to a different organizational and cultural issue.
Five knots slow, half-dot low. Standard callouts everywhere I've ever worked. Could've saved them. This approach got messed up long before the 7 seconds before impact call-out.
Scan: inside, outside, inside, outside, rinse and repeat ...
On one occasion I elected to fly a visual approach to 31L in JFK instead of going to 31R, this saved a lot of taxi time after landing). I was called to the office to explain why I flew a visual approach and did not use the ILS! FOQA data was designed to be used as a trend indicator, however Korean used it for punitive measures so it is not surprising that local pilots would take whatever measures were required to avoid exceeding the laid down parameters.
cdogg: Read the bolded part I extracted from one of the posts earlier. That addresses a matter of culture, not "race." I suggest that you learn how to read for comprehension, doctor.

What you describe in the safety arena in your own profession, and its improvement, is also a cultural shift. There is a culture in your profession and in each organization in that profession.

Safety culture in a given organization does not exist in a vacuum. The larger "host" culture will influence it. It has taken "the West" three generations of learning, and many lessons have been written in blood, regarding safety culture, organizational culture, and cockpit gradient. That is in part due to our host culture being one wherein the background conditions are there for change to take place, however clumsily. Your own profession is a fine example. If the base culture does not embrace that form of change, it is harder for the sub elements to do so. (Though as Gladwell points out, not impossible). But in the Korean Air case, there was considerable external motivation to change.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:19   #863 (permalink)
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Dear JARRule,

You just exposed why accidents like this will become more and more common.

Do you even understand why?
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:25   #864 (permalink)
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I notice that flying skills have generally degraded sine the introduction of the Q.A.R.. People don't like the phone calls from Management about busting a restrictive petty parameter. (Big Brother syndrome ) so visual approaches become unusual & so flight safety is degraded. Blame lies with the management. I wonder if this will be part of the NTSB repot?
But then that would show the FAA & other authorities in a bad light, so proberbly not.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:29   #865 (permalink)
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Thanks for your interesting post. Not wanting someone else to lose face is found in some asian cultures to a lesser or greater extent but I did wish to point out that reluctance of FOs to speak up in the cockpit at critical times is by no means confined to asian flight crews, is it? In the case of the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash there was likely to have even been non-pilot interference.

I do think it's much to early even to speculate about the role of this (or any kind) of cultural issue. Do we even know what the culture of this particular operator is? Cultural values can be overridden by operational values, even if the operational values are at variance to that from which most of the members come. What happens if the investigation finds that Asiana in fact takes CRM very seriously? Speculate all you like, but it it worth offending a large part of the aviation community claiming it's in the interest of "truth" even before the FDR and CVR have been opened?

Last edited by DavidHoul52; 8th Jul 2013 at 14:43.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:34   #866 (permalink)
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Quote from the Boeing 777 manual

For those unfamiliar with the Autothrottle system on the B777, here's a quote from the Ops manual:
"With the autothrottle armed, the autothrottle automatically activates if:
• no autopilot or flightdirector active, or
• an autopilot or flightdirector is in VNAVXXX, FPA, ALT, V/S, or G/S,

• speed less than an FMC calculated value for one second
• thrust below reference thrust
• airplane altitude above 100feet RA on approach, or airplane barometric altitude 400 feet above airport on takeoff.
Note: During a descent in VNAV SPD, the autothrottle may activate in HOLD mode and will not support stall protection".
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:36   #867 (permalink)
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- it is readily apparent that they had spoken to the airline fairly quickly or the CEO would not have issued his statement so soon before NTSB arrived..
I've heard no evidence from the NTSB that they've had information from the crew. Everything that Deborah Hersman said seemed to refer to what they've acquired from CVR / FDR.

When asked by the press who was flying the plane, she said that she didn't know, but intended to know by Monday. Since that seems a fairly obvious question to ask had the pilots been interviewed, and since the NTSB can presumably tell from the FDR which side of the cockpit was doing the business on the approach, I infer that a) she hadn't spoke to the pilots or b) the pilots had not disclosed who was sitting where.

Within a couple of hours of BA38, we knew exactly who'd been flying the plane.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:45   #868 (permalink)
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Just my two cents worth and maybe something investigators could consider. Criticise all you like but this happened to me when I converted from AirbusA330 to the 777. ( fortunately in the sim) it may be relevant as the trainee on this flight previously flew a320'and may well have been converting from Airbus to Boeing.

As the thrust levers on the bus do not move throughout the approach until you here " retard" , I used to rest my hands on the thrust levers. When I was converting to the 777 I did exactly the same , being a little tense during one of the sims I held the thrust levers a little tight. Therefore not allowing them to move. As we continued the approach I did not " feel" the autothrottle trying to move against my stiff grip , as I was focusing on other things( fortunately my scan.)I was effectively inhibiting the autothrottle by holding the thrust levers in a position. The next thing I noticed was the speed bleeding off below vref+5 . As l took my right hand off the thrust levers to point this out to the instructor the autothrottle immediately advanced the levers ( as I was no longer inhibiting them physically). The instructor pointed out that it was a common mistake he had seen on airbus pilots converting to Boeing. A valid learning point , learnt where it is meant to be learnt , in the sim.

Could it be that our colleague was so loaded by being hi on the approach that he like me , held the thrust levers too tight , and was unable to feel the autothrottle trying to physically override his grip. If you are not familiar with this , force. Would you recognise it ? Remember it only came up in my training as a result of a mistake.

Criticise all you,like , I am happy to share my screw ups if as an industry it helps someone , just a little bit.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:48   #869 (permalink)
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Ok, I'll be a bit more specific.

Cultural values come for an infinity of different reasons. Overcoming cultural values with "operational values" is al nice on paper.

I have not said the cultural background IS/WAS a cause for the accident.

You are thinking exactly like a westerner: "I can place operational value above cultural values". This is not the case in many countries. Think for a moment that westerners, as a general rule, have the freedom of speech, the freedom to say they think their president is an idiot, and the right to propest and march down the street. Westerners are born with this.

The story is very different when you consider the same situation in China as an example, but former Russia would do as well, there are many countries you can pick from. You do not protest against your government (even social media will be deleted) you do not challenge authority, only if behind closed doors with friends or family, or you might be prosecuted, harassed, or your career might take a turn for the sour. With this in the cultural background, go tell a Chinese/Korean that he/she can complain freely, and watch their reaction.

The unfortunate events in Poland where from a military flight, with military personnel. As above, you do not challenge authority for fear of undesired consequences. Again, cultural background.

To get back to our horses, I do hope they take CRM seriously, but CRM is not just on paper, it has to be explained and applied at all levels, not just in cockpits.

As a side note, the company I'm in has no CRM course, no CRM documentation, no CRM instructors, and of course no CRM accident/incident review... it is just mentionned on ops manual that good CRM should be applied while on duty... and this is one of the top 5 airlines in China.

And I don't see how I am offending anyone here, except you, maybe, feel offended that I disagree?

Last edited by FLEXPWR; 8th Jul 2013 at 14:55.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:49   #870 (permalink)
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"Just my two cents worth and maybe something investigators could consider. Criticise all you like but this happened to me when I converted from AirbusA330 to the 777. ( fortunately in the sim) it may be relevant as the trainee on this flight previously flew a320'and may well have been converting from Airbus to Boeing."

From what I have read so far I had the impression he was in the transition from B744 to B772. But that are only my 2 cents :-).
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:50   #871 (permalink)
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I was an investigator with CTSB. MAny years ago, one of my cases involved a Korean Air 747 that damaged the tail by over-rotating while landing at YVR. I was was shocked to learn that the pilot flying was their "Cruise pilot" and had 150 hours TOTAL TIME and 50 hours (of cruise) on type (747).

The captain decided to give him some pole time but did not monitor closely enough. Over 300 pax with a student pilot at the controls.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:54   #872 (permalink)
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a few pages back it was said that nothing has been heard of from the Cabin attendant side.

form other aviation forums

From NBC:

Flight attendant sensed plane was in trouble, 'felt a bang'
By Jack Chang and Youkyung Lee, Associated Press

The evacuation of Asiana flight 214 began badly.

Even before the mangled jetliner began filling with smoke, two evacuation slides on the doors inflated inside the cabin instead of outside, pinning two flight attendants to the floor.

Cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye, apparently the last person to leave the burning plane, said crew members deflated the slides with axes to rescue their colleagues, one of whom seemed to be choking beneath the weight of a slide.

It was just one of the moments of drama described Sunday by Lee of a remarkable evacuation that saved 305 of the 307 people on the plane that crashed Saturday while landing in San Francisco.

One flight attendant put a scared elementary schoolboy on her back and slid down a slide, said Lee, in the first comments by a crew member since the crash of the Boeing 777.

A pilot helped another injured flight attendant off the plane after the passengers had escaped. Lee herself worked to put out fires and usher passengers to safety despite a broken tailbone that kept her standing throughout a news briefing with mostly South Korean reporters at a San Francisco hotel. She said she didn't know how bad she was hurt until a doctor at a San Francisco hospital later treated her.

It was still unclear if the pilot's inexperience with the aircraft and airport played a role, and officials were also investigating whether the airport's or plane's equipment could have malfunctioned.

Aviation and airline officials said although the pilot had previously flown a Boeing 777 nine times - for a modest 43 hours in total - it was the first time he was landing that wide-bodied jet into San Francisco. Investigators have said he tried to abort the landing and go back up in the air after realizing he was flying too slow and too low but failed.

Lee, 40, who has nearly 20 years' experience with Asiana, said she knew seconds before impact that something was wrong with the plane.

"Right before touchdown, I felt like the plane was trying to take off. I was thinking 'what's happening?' and then I felt a bang," Lee said. "That bang felt harder than a normal landing. It was a very big shock. Afterward, there was another shock and the plane swayed to the right and to the left."

After the captain ordered an evacuation, Lee said she knew what to do. "I wasn't really thinking, but my body started carrying out the steps needed for an evacuation," Lee said. "I was only thinking about rescuing the next passenger."

When Lee saw that the plane was burning after the crash, she was calm. "I was only thinking that I should put it out quickly. I didn't have time to feel that this fire was going to hurt me," she said.

Lee said she was the last person off the plane and that she tried to approach the back of the aircraft before she left to make sure that no one was left inside. But when she moved to the back of the plane, a cloud of black, toxic smoke made it impossible. "It looked like the ceiling had fallen down," she said.

More than a third of the people onboard didn't require hospitalization, and only a small number were critically injured.
The San Francisco fire chief, Joanne Hayes-White, praised the cabin manager, who she talked to just after the evacuation.

"She was so composed I thought she had come from the terminal," Hayes-White told reporters in a clip posted to YouTube. "She wanted to make sure that everyone was off. ... She was a hero."
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:54   #873 (permalink)
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Scan: inside, outside, inside, outside, rinse and repeat ...
Since the thread highlights training deficiencies, I'd like to highlight the above comment as something that lends itself to very little. I'm not having a pop at the poster, however I'm having pop at the commentary which I have experienced from GA right across to simulator and line training in a commercial jet. I've heard it bellowed by line trainers and TRI/TREs for years. Having instructed myself, both in GA and in the simulator of a medium jet transport I have come to the conclusion that the pattering of 'outside, inside' means shag all to bloggs who, in general, hasn't the foggiest what he's meant to be scanning. It's one of these terms that are banded about at a critical flight phase when trainee capacity is close to if not at it's edge. I've even witnessed an instructor being asked what he meant by his 'outside, inside' repeat to fade during an IPC debrief. The answer was rewarded with the most staggering amount of B.S. I have ever heard in aviation training.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:55   #874 (permalink)
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Four golds

Excellent post. Thanks for being so candid. That's the type of post that adds to the debate. A potential gotcha I'd never have thought of. That's the type of minute detail that the NTSB will look for.


You're describing a Chinese airline and this one was from Korea. Sorry I don't get the connection. If I follow your "logic" the culture in BA is the same as AF as LH etc etc.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 14:58   #875 (permalink)
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Sorry, CC just reading in here now, noticed this
CNN is now reporting that at least one and possibly two door hatches malfunctioned and which caused the inflatable escape ramps to open inside the cabin.
Was pretty clear to me from the early pics that the L4 door was off when they stopped, not much you can do except get them to jump I suppose. It has been suggested elsewhere (not confirmed of course) that this may be where the 2 fatalities occurred if not via the hole in the pressure bulkhead- though I wonder about the latter since presumably the galley is fwd of that location?

As for luggage, it's rightly been pointed out that trying to stop it could potentially waste more time than it is worth. Of course as a pax I would actively discourage the people in front of me from doing so. I cannot recall the incident at present but during one evac an FA was qukes it oted as saying luggage was piling up at the exit as it was taken off the pax so they started lobbing it out of the door and away from the slide... however you then risk hurting those who have already left.

Time to re-look at cabin baggage limits methinks! A statement from one of the OZ214 pax mentioned luggage falling over the pax on impact. Thinking of some of the bags I see on a regular basis, does not make me like the odds in an impact. Time to email safety department again I think...

There's a photo doing the rounds of social media showing the FAs assisting pax on ground, one is clearly seen lying on the ground, any word on the condition of the crew? One news reporter made a comment that makes it seem he thinks the injured pax floated off by themselves and had nothing to do with FA J Kim carrying them out on her back! Tsk tsk media make me sick sometimes...

Edit: thanks for the update on the CC. Nice to see them getting some recognition, many of the media seem to be lagging in that department

Last edited by givemewings; 8th Jul 2013 at 15:02.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 15:00   #876 (permalink)
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Aviation is not a place for prejudiced viewpoints.
Yet the sweeping statements about the "media" all being idiots, that journalists are not to be trusted, that "bean counters" are only interested in saving costs, all continue here in abundance...
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 15:00   #877 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SalNichols View Post
As an aerospace engineer and manager, I'm not sure what is scarier: automated systems that are so complex that no one understands their decision logic; automated systems that may not be completely reliable if modes selected are inappropriate for the flight regime...
As a software engineer (albeit not aero/realtime) whose degree course included several modules where civil FBW specification, design and testing were examined in detail*, I can tell you that your first point is invariably a misconception brought about by misunderstandings and stereotyping - in fact both automation/flight management tools and FBW systems were and are designed to be as transparent as possible, with pilot engineers having final sign-off on the latter. Of course mistakes are made and assumptions proven wrong - but that's true of any engineering discipline you care to name. As someone quite rightly said earlier, the technologies are flight *aids* and nothing more. Just as the wonderfully powerful CAD/design packages make the process of aero engineering far smoother, but don't allow a designer to ignore or forget the basic principles of aerodynamics, materials, loads etc.

Also, inappropriate modes for certain phases of flight long pre-date digital technology in the flight deck.

* - and as an aviation nerd, I couldn't help but continue to follow up and maintain an interest in the following years!

Originally Posted by IcePack View Post
I wonder if this will be part of the NTSB repot?
But then that would show the FAA & other authorities in a bad light, so proberbly not.
Hmm... In fact, the NTSB is one of the few big-name investigation agencies that pulls no punches when it comes to holding the regulator to account. Civil service agencies like our own AAIB tend to be more matter-of-fact.

@fourgolds - Most of the reports I've read so far indicate that his previous type was the B744.

@GobOnAStick - While even seasoned journalists are decrying the decline in standards of their profession in today's hyper-commercial world, I don't think I'd go as far as to tar all of them with the idiot brush. That said, due to the specialised nature of the technical side of aviation reporters do tend to make glaring errors more often than not.

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 8th Jul 2013 at 15:06.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 15:05   #878 (permalink)
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If you'd put it like that in the beginning it would have made a lot more sense and a lot more acceptable.

I think you'll find that a number of Asians in this thread have expressed dismay at the zeroing in on Asians by a small group of posters, not your post in particular.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 15:11   #879 (permalink)
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Many Asian airlines have a steep cockpit gradient as a result of national culture but it doesn’t end there. The Asian carriers I have worked for have many problems arising for social norms that have resulted in accidents such as:

Decision making based on fear of repercussion leading to hesitation to go round.
Passing sub standard crew in sim checks to avoid loss of face.
Total lack of curiosity resulting in no interest to learn beyond basic type training.
Unwillingness to rapidly adapt to change in a fluid situation.

Last edited by Zapatas Blood; 8th Jul 2013 at 15:44.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 15:12   #880 (permalink)
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Gob, that would be because so far, the majority of journalists/media/wiki experts have proven themselves to be so with yes, idiotic statements about aviation that could be rectified with a 60-sec Google search. Personally I said "sometimes" but when it comes to aviation it is actually most of the time when there is an accident/incident.
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