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Dallas air show crash

Old 15th Jan 2023, 15:37
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From an ATC point of view this audio is horrible to listen to .
This Airboss acts as if he is a veteran controller , but he lost it, and badly. I would like to see has an Tower ATC licence , since how long and if he was rated for that airfield.


Next nobody seems to be supervising him In such a situation , issuing instructions to the show, taking over TWR ATC control, including taxi instructions and pyro, all at the same time ? No supervisor would let his happen at the briefing stage. . There should have been a ground controller assigned prior to the show already prior to the start of the show.


Then lletting outside aircraft land during such a complex display with 500ft overflights above the runway ? Crazy.Never seen this before.
Then , during the display it was obvious that things were not working as planned and that the Airboss was losing it ( an experience controller can spot this in a few seconds) then help should have been available , i.e. giving advices, transfer aircraft to another frequency etc.. Was he really alone ?


And finally he should immediately have be relieved after the accident , and definitively not continuing issuing instructions as he did , as after seeing such accident you are 10 times more likely to make more errors.

From a display pilot and having controlled a few air shows in my former life, the briefing is gold and is the key, as Blancolorio rightly points out, here the Airboss appears to be making the plan in real time, you never do that. Not in my part of the world anyway.

I hope there will be good lessons learned from that accident. And that the fact that , as Blancolorio said, this Airboss was the son of the guy that used to do it has nothing to do with it.
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Old 15th Jan 2023, 17:36
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Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post
Isn't that a bit like speeding through an intersection without looking - there is only a probability I will hit someone?
When there is a fly-over, one can do so.....
Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post
Sure, if you're using the data plots after it happened, you can construct something which doesn't involve two aircraft at same point in space. Or am I not following you?
Let me try again ;-)
There are 2 (tilted and bent) planes, one for the Bombers, one for the fighters in which the aircraft fly. For the area these aircrafts use, there is no overlap/crossing of the planes, so no (potential) conflict for the aircraft. The fighters are in the "upper" plane, the bombers in the lower one. At least, when you assume 2 display lines, which is now assumed, after the audio emerged.

Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post
Now it so happened that probability positioned two aircraft at same spot in space, at the same time, and that probability could've been reduced to almost zero by better coordination of lateral and vertical profiles to be flown. Yes, the direct cause so happened to be the P63 (or the B17, but arguably the P63 was late) was at the wrong spot at the wrong time, but there was a good chance of that happening with the way it was set up.
With one display line, there would be a problem, though with separate display lines for bombers and fighters, there is separation in space and time.

Of course, when it turns out with further investigations, the mechanism of 1000ft and 500ft display lines are invented on the spot and only used by part of the display aircraft, tja, things will change......
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Old 15th Jan 2023, 17:51
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@ATC_Watcher: While I agree with all your comments, it looks like this whole show/airboss happening is fundamentally set up as a one-man-show, no separation/delegation of tasks, or whatever. Gives me the impression, this whole did grow organically, over the years, to the current chaos. Becoming more and more complex, to please a more and more demanding public. And nobody dares to say "stop, this can not continue like the way it goes", because of hurt souls, when things are changed.

Whenever references are being made like "good guys", "wonderful people", etc, I immediately get scratchy about the real professionality of the whole (organization). Far too often, these terms are being used to cover up the underlying amateurism, things arranged at the BBQ, with one or many more beers (or at least to be consumed later on).
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 03:19
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It's several years since I have been to an airshow anywhere and more years than I care to remember since I went to one in the UK.

I would be interested to know how the "air boss" runs things at a big show in the UK, Duxford for example. Is it pretty much radio silent?

PS I have to say that if I was one of the formation leads at Dallas, I would have been tempted to call "Knock it off".
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 08:37
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Can't speak for Duxford but at Old Warden the only role for the FISO on the radio is to advise pilots if the show is on time and acknowledge calls such as start up calls and radio checks. Aircraft will often call "final pass" etc. to advise that their display is completing. Aircraft occasionally make calls which help co-ordination during multiple aircraft displays.

Thankfully I have never been present at an accident so no idea what happens then. I imagine there is an accident plan. have been present at a land out when the call was simply "Gladiator landing out".

US radio practice is a bit different to the U.K. where I adhere strictly to be the CAPs (413 and 452 for me as an A/G operator). It tends to be a bit more relaxed.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 09:38
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@ widescreen :
Whenever references are being made like "good guys", "wonderful people", etc, I immediately get scratchy about the real professionality of the whole (organization). Far too often, these terms are being used to cover up the underlying amateurism, things arranged at the BBQ, with one or many more beers (or at least to be consumed later on).
Yep. agree. I have no idea if that was the case here , but you might be hitting the nail here as indeed I have seen this a few times. and even been caught once in one of those . Not an air show but I was asked to come to help to tow gilders up during a major competion ( 60 gliders to lauch up within 1 hour using 4 different aircraft with different performances. All gliders to be launched in the same area at the same altitude. : It was a total mess on the day , with an older authoritarian take off "coordinator " who lost it, already during the briefing ,and later on the frequency, but he was the President of the organing club, there,and nobody dared to contradict him. After 3 launches I decided to call it a day and left. They are still mad at me in that club as I ****** up their sequence. and the result of the competition. I was told later that " we always do it like this " as some form of justification that it was OK. Tradition above safety management.

@ india 42 :
​​​​​​​I have to say that if I was one of the formation leads at Dallas, I would have been tempted to call "Knock it off".
Yep, me too. Never heard such a mess on a air display frequency before ( in Europe that is )
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 14:09
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
And that the fact that , as Blancolorio said, this Airboss was the son of the guy that used to do it has nothing to do with it.
It pretty much has everything to do with it.......that's the CAF way of doing things.

There's the correct way, and then there's the CAF way. Tragically, people have finally paid with their lives for years of doing things the CAF way.







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Old 16th Jan 2023, 15:07
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Anyone who has flown in the US, especially at airfields that have a high GA proportion, will recognise the monotone babble, and periodic shrieks, from whoever is on the other end of the radio.

Is it taught there that "Aviate - Navigate - Communicate" means that Communicate comes third ?'
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 16:26
  #289 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 22/04 View Post
Can't speak for Duxford but at Old Warden the only role for the FISO on the radio is to advise pilots if the show is on time and acknowledge calls such as start up calls and radio checks. Aircraft will often call "final pass" etc. to advise that their display is completing. Aircraft occasionally make calls which help co-ordination during multiple aircraft displays.

Thankfully I have never been present at an accident so no idea what happens then. I imagine there is an accident plan. have been present at a land out when the call was simply "Gladiator landing out".

US radio practice is a bit different to the U.K. where I adhere strictly to be the CAPs (413 and 452 for me as an A/G operator). It tends to be a bit more relaxed.
UK airshows are relatively quiet. When the Mig 29's crashed at Fairford the airwaves were still pretty quiet. All I remember hearing (and it was a while ago now so forgive me) were requests from some SAR helo's offering to lift to assist and ATC.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 18:40
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How this person came to be declared a qualified air boss is a fundamental question for the investigation.

Second is how experienced air show pilots accepted him in the role.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 19:16
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
It's several years since I have been to an airshow anywhere and more years than I care to remember since I went to one in the UK.

I would be interested to know how the "air boss" runs things at a big show in the UK, Duxford for example. Is it pretty much radio silent?

PS I have to say that if I was one of the formation leads at Dallas, I would have been tempted to call "Knock it off".
As an aviation fan I go to RIAT every year for the 4 days and I listen to the tower on my scanner. I've never heard even a fraction of the commentary heard in this released portion of ATC comms.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 22:57
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One day us lowly Americans will be as good as you guys…seriously, I’ve been on and off this website since the early 2000’s. It’s a great website, but you guys have such a superiority complex when it comes to aviation.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 23:16
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I think US culture is just different regarding ATC . Traffic density tends to be higher in the US.. There are very different interpretations of clear to land for example here and there.

having attended air shows in both places they are different too. What will happen now I am not sure in the U.S - but if it is like what happened here after the 2015 Hunter crash be prepared for a big change in terms of regulation of the shoes and the pilots flying them.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 03:29
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Originally Posted by Chiefttp View Post
One day us lowly Americans will be as good as you guys…seriously, I’ve been on and off this website since the early 2000’s. It’s a great website, but you guys have such a superiority complex when it comes to aviation.
I am not sure, whether there is spoken about superiority here. What is spoken about is, whether the implementation of the concept of airboss is suitable for large scale events like this. The Dallas event audio does raise serious doubts about that.

Though, feel free to shoot the messenger and joint the rows of "good old fellows", having a history of brave actions and ignoring the current actuality around real professionality.

You know the good-old mandatory warning around stocks/investments ? It's applicable in more areas than only the stock-exchange.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 12:37
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Another thing to consider in all this radio chatter is the reality(at least in my experience and discussion with others) of poor ability of pilots to hear and therefore understand transmissions due to bad radio set-up. It is not unusual to have a warbird with garbled radios, loud static noise, noisy cockpits combined with improper fitting headsets/helmets. And the transmission from the other aircraft may be poor. Such an issue is unlikely to get fixed in the short term before the next airshow(or the end of the year). And how many organizations hav an avionics technician.

I have experienced this as recently as this past year in warbird operations. I encourage any other warbird pilots on this forum to let us know if that has been your experience too. Yet, in flying well over a hundred different transport category aircraft for commercial operations, radio reception is virtually always loud and clear.

To be honest, I found it difficult to understand what the air boss was saying much of the time(slack radio-telephony makes it even more difficult) Then there is the reality of concentration just to fly the aircraft in such a situation of formation flying or having to fly a certain pattern at an air show where there can be multiple restrictions to avoid or be punished by the FAA. It can be overwhelming.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 10:50
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I’ve been involved in a few of these type of air shows (old vintage aircraft, mixed with modern military jets) I flew a demo, but I was solo and there were no other aircraft near me. The guys who fly these multiple warbird shows, like Tora,Tora, Tora, design them to look like chaos to the crowd, but are actually strictly choreographed and deconflicted. The Briefings I attended were professional, detailed and rivaled most military briefings.
The big difference in this event is, as most of you remarked, this Airboss, seemed like he was directing the show “on the fly” . I agree there was a lot of extraneous talking and confusion. The Airboss’s I dealt with did talk more than most, but that’s because the shows are pretty complex with a lot of aircraft in the same slice of airspace. At no time were we ever confused or unsure of our plan. The CAF folks are a small community who know each other very well. The P-63 pilot had 30,000 hours! And had been flying these warbirds for decades with no issues. The mix of familiarity, complacency, and the ill advised need to change the plan and shift the bombers and fighters paths, for reasons I don’t understand, led to this accident. When I participated in similar shows, we knew the plan.and flew the plan…period.
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