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Old 6th Nov 2017, 23:44
  #83 (permalink)  
Loose rivets
Psychophysiological entity
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 82
Posts: 3,133
I wish I'd remained in the background, but since I didn't, I'll try to clarify my statements.

As strange as it may seem, I've consistently NOT criticised the crew as much as the system. At the end of my career I felt strongly the strangulation of natural talent by the constriction of operational methods. I suppose an analogy would be the plethora of cameras feeding back perhaps momentary deviations to road traffic authorities. One dare not give that last touch of power in an overtake for fear of breaking limits - for a second or so. It's a line that there "is no excuse . . ." for breaking - as the wording on the back of cameras states.

As an oldie I was in an era when the most incredible things happened - without a word of post-analysis. An example might be, nearing V1 in Naples when a bowser appears out of the rippling heat haze. No chance of stopping but if we shoved over a bit, there was obviously going to be room to pass behind it. That was until the second trailer in the train became visible.

More flap and a short flight. A landing. A tucking away of the excess flap and a bit more takeoff roll all lead to a timely lift off. What was so incredible was that there was nothing said about it after the nervous laughter died down. The Palma thing was the same. One day when the entire jet transport training staff were on the flightdeck and the aircraft began to shake there was an exchange of looks, a nod, and we were falling out of the sky with the taps shut and the brakes out. The cause? Not one of the 4 senior guys had ever experienced CAT. Not on a springy wing, anyway.

There was a huge amount to learn and the aircraft and crews were an open laboratory. Now it seems there a book. Oh, great. The answers will be in there.

Fleet manager and senior captain. Full manual reversion landing. Can you imagine this now? All looked good - then not quite as good. The concrete was approaching too fast. PF pulled. Not enough and the other joined in. Together they managed to squish enough hydraulic fluid through the actuators and the nose lifted - I guessed to about 30 degrees with no power on. I think it was me that suggested going for the electric trim, and I was the most junior person on the flight-deck. Come to think of it, I was the most junior person in the quite substantial airline.

The stories could go on and on, but suffice it to say, SOPs were just beginning to evolve and the chances of real hands on handling of extreme situations were becoming a thing of the past. Just as well, statistically, but the chances of having had real aircraft experience in these excursions was fast decreasing to nil.

Back to this instance and Newtonian physics muddled in with meteorology. IF the GS was low, and I think it was, we're down to mass and velocity - with a complex variable thrown in. One could not precisely predict the wind velocity on a time-line either side of the touchdown point. Every pilot would know that but it was all happening when the workload was high and the effects of such WV changes could only realistically be instinctive.

I don't think there is any way one can divorce flying from such basic physics. If the mass was accelerated during short finals and then that accelerative force removed, then it would put that airframe in a most unenviable position.

My entire argument is that the crew should never be restricted by rules that inhibit natural flying. Nothing else, and my argument is that the quote:

Every jet I've flown, from 737 to A320 to 767 I have kicked out the crab starting in the flare and touched down with one wing slightly low, to prevent side gear loading.
was just what I was trying to express, though without the currency or eloquence.
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