View Full Version : SilkAir In Full Flight? I Think Not...

Moral High Ground
19th Jul 2001, 18:47
Recently, a Professor in Psychology from the US was invited to Singapore to present his groups findings of an anonymous pilot survey conducted on SilkAir pilots.

The results were frightening. The Professor indicated that morale was at rock bottom and that the vast majority of pilots believed that management were completely ineffective.

Why is this? The airline has many well trained and very professional pilots amongst it's ranks yet the vast majority of them despise management intensely.

The answer I think is relatively simple.TRUST....or should I say the lack of it. How can the pilots believe and trust the management when they do the following;

1) They say openly in court that despite Tsu Way Ming scaring co-pilots, the incidents referred to were at most errors in Judgement and were not safety concerns.

2) They say in court that the incidents referred to were no more than administrative oversights and were of no safety consequence.

3) They do not heed the numerous complaints and recommendations from other pilots regarding Tsu Way Ming and another pilot (HL).

4) They continue to employ newly recruited, substandard staff on top contracts, whilst many long serving, local guys get nothing more than empty promises and even more emptier pockets.

5) They 'enlist' spies amongst the pilot ranks to try and keep track of pilot sentiment. JL, PL and HS are perfect examples of this.

6) They focus too much on reports, memos, circulars other administrative detail to the detriment of the training department and good old common sense.

7) They are quick to chastise the pilots for administrative oversights yet they never acknowledge their own failings when they do the same. Not acknowledging or failing to act on pilot voyage report entries is a perfect example.

The list goes on and on.

HERE's what I think...

***Scaring copilots is a safety concern.What happened to human factors?
***All 3 incidents with Tsu Way Ming were safety concerns. S-Bend manoeuvres, pulling CB's, not getting T/O thrust and continuing are all safety concerns!!
***Numerous complaints about TWM and the other pilot (HL) should have promted the management to act earlier.
***Give the local terms guys more of a chance at moving to SIA without the LearJet hanging over their shoulders.Reduce the pay gap between expat and local terms to more equitable terms.
***Be upfront and honest. The necessity to acquire information via the 'spies' would soon become obsolete.
***Get the management instructors out on the line more often. These guys do not inspire confidence in the copilots when they only fly once a month. How proficient do you think they would be in an emergency?
***Cut out the pettiness of the 'Be more mindful in future' letters and other admin correspondence. Of course, feedback to crew is important if something is not right, but remember this...the pilots are not school children and should not be treated like such.

Whew...I feel better already.

[ 19 July 2001: Message edited by: PPRuNe Towers ]

[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: Moral High Ground ]

Poke Guy
19th Jul 2001, 19:03
Why is S-Bend manoeuvre a safety concern?

20th Jul 2001, 17:23
do you know how many aircraft belonged to SIA group crashed in the recent years?

THREE! in a row. sadly to say more are expected. :(

21st Jul 2001, 06:12
Stop being such a pessimist.SIA or any airline, it's not the airline that suffers but HUMAN LIVES. So do not harbor such thoughts or predict such crap.

21st Jul 2001, 08:15
Poke Guy. Surely you must be attempting a wind up? It is difficult to believe that anyone flying airliners would pose such a question. As described in the SI 185 current court case, the "S" bend manoeuvre carried out by TSU was a full left and right aileron manoeuvre carried out with harsh control movements which actuated the spoilers and caused mighty concern among the passengers and cabin staff, let alone the first officer.

I might add, that the evidence given in the court by the first officer who was in the aircraft when TSU threw the aircraft around, was given in a calm, steady and unexaggerated way.

The approach attempted by Tsu which included the so called "S" bend was nothing more than a completely badly judged, poorly executed unstabilized approach which contradicted the parameters of a stabilized approach as laid down in the company operations manual. To bash the ailerons from side to side may be acceptable to a RSAF ex fighter pilot, but it shows gross ignorance of the basic principles of flying a jet transport and a complete disregard for passenger comfort. For that manoeuvre alone, the man should have been booted out of his job. From what came out in the court case, I am staggered that management so blatantly covered up his litany of transgressions.

Now about "S"turns or bends. In light training aircraft they are sometimes called a double base leg and may be used during a forced landing after engine failure in order to correct for a misjudged or poorly executed final approach. The dangers of this manoeuvre is that high angles of bank often follow in order to tighten the turns and we all know that the stalling speed increases in a turn. The "S" bend manoeuvre is rarely seen in flying school syllabus.

It is unheard of in B747, B767, B737, Airbus operations. But then,Poke Guy, you were winding us up, weren't you...

[ 21 July 2001: Message edited by: Hudson ]

Moral High Ground
21st Jul 2001, 16:01
Thank you Hudson.

I thought it was a wind up as well...But if it wasn't, I hope you understand now POKE just how dangerous and irresponsible these S-Bends must have been.

22nd Jul 2001, 01:43
Not being a pilot, I cannot comment on the use of S turns as being standard practice or not. It would appear that it is not common practice however..

Fortunately for those onboard, the aircraft landed this time around. !

Anti Skid On
22nd Jul 2001, 11:18
At least they let the Professor air his views, rather than supress them. Suprised it ain;t hit the media! :eek:

22nd Jul 2001, 15:18
Anti Skid On. The media gave a fair run to both sides. For comments on the Professor's evidence have a scroll through the other Silk Air posts in Rumours and News. No point in repeating them here. The Prof was a nice old chap who was contracted(?) by Silk Air to say the things they wanted him to say.
I must say though, that practically all of his perceived wisdom was actually very effective red herrings. For instance, have you ever heard of a "progressive electrical failure" theory in an almost new 737?
The Professors technique was to throw the old hoary term of "Anything is possible" into the evidence.

When pressed for an explanation of why the Silk Air 737 went in, the Prof replied that the pilot probably rushed to conclusions and went into a dive forgetting that he should close the thrust levers and extend the speed brakes.
Then when asked why full power all the way in the dive, he replied that high power will raise the nose. Half truths but very effective to a judge that knows zilch about aeroplanes.
But yes - the media reported the Professors words quite accurately.