View Full Version : snoozyJet over Brussels

Rocco in Budapest
28th Oct 2003, 07:04
Here's a disturbing one: Flightdeck fell asleep inbound to the UK over Belgium only to be intercepted after failing to respond to any R/T's. Dispatched aircraft apparently flew past the cockpit of the passenger jet numerous times in an effort to wake the sleeping crew eventually waking them. The scary thing is a few weeks later the exact same thing happened, same call sign bla deebla...

Anyone care to elaborate or better yet tell me this is a fable?

28th Oct 2003, 11:59
i seriously hope this is a fable!!!

28th Oct 2003, 13:57
Sounds like a load of cr*p. There can be many reasons why crews miss radio calls. However, if anyone has facts to substaniate, bring them on!

Anti Skid On
28th Oct 2003, 14:20
Flightdeck fell asleep inbound to the UK over Belgium only to be intercepted after failing to respond to any R/T's.
They would have been hyped up ready for descent, so doubt it very much; where were they allegedly inbound from?

28th Oct 2003, 15:54
How would flying by wake them up?

The Greaser
28th Oct 2003, 15:54
The scheduling of this particular flight with this particular company has been causing headaches for a while. Particularly as it tends to be put on the last day of our block of duty days. Hopefully the timings will be changed or it will be turned into a nightstop. Otherwise this incident may well be repeated in the future.

28th Oct 2003, 17:09
Are we talking about the night Athens here? That used to be a night stop 2-3 years ago , but it didnt last. If reporting was 5 minutes later (2200 istead of 2155) they would not be able to do that I reckon.

28th Oct 2003, 17:19
There is a well known problem with some aircraft radios which causes them to stop receiving for a while. This is called "sleeping receiver" and is cured by making a transmission. If the crew in this incident were tired they might not have realised that it had gone very quiet on the RT until a F16/Mirage/Sopwith Camel appeared alongside.......

28th Oct 2003, 23:31

Didn't know how clever the engineers have got with carbonfiber now that a Camel airframe can now stay in one piece when closing in on a 737:}

Pretty fancy prop too!

Or did they lift that and the engine from a Tupolev Bear;)

Agaricus bisporus
28th Oct 2003, 23:47
"...is called "sleeping receiver" and is cured by making a transmission."

Wow, that's inventive, but is anyone likely to believe it?

Of course the sleeping bit is cancelled once you've woken up enough to make a transmission. Gawdelpus!

But to blame the RADIO for being asleep!!! If night Athens duties do that to solid state circuitry just imagine the effect they must have on people...


28th Oct 2003, 23:55
Could they miss the radio because it was tuned into the Radio 1
rap show?

fred peck
29th Oct 2003, 00:14
Agaricus....if you are a pilot you should know that "sleeping receiver" is indeed a well known problem, first identified to my sure knowledge about 6 years ago, on comms equipment which was fairly new then.
Put right, as ETOPS states, by momentarily pressing the transmit button, which is precisely what I do if I think there's been a long silent period. Or just call for a radio check.

Rocco in Budapest
29th Oct 2003, 06:13
Although the discussion of the sleeper receiver is quite interesting it does seem that the initial story has some validity. Without going into any alleged details, the company has apparently established that the crew was in fact sleeping in both cases...unfortunately no sleeper receiver theory.

29th Oct 2003, 09:05
We heard a Singapore Airlines 747 go 'missing' on north sea frequency this morning. His colleague (another SQ) was being asked to ACARS his Ops to get them to send a 'Wake Up' ACARS to the missing a/c. Sensed some reluctance to shop his mate to base!
When we were passed on to the next sector we were amazed to hear the 'missing' a/c ask for descent clearance on that freq. The controller went ballistic...bollocking him for being off air for over 80Nm despite numerous calls. He was given instructions to change frequency immediately to the other sector (our previous).

About five minutes later the same SQ a/c asked for descent again on the same freq(!) having obviously never changed over as instructed. The controller practically freaked out.
Sounded to me like a couple of very tired F/O's were making a mockery of running the show alone.

How can people still make this kind of a screw up after 9-11.
Don't they realise they could get shot out of the sky?

29th Oct 2003, 18:39
This happens far too often.

Just the other morning a BAW flew over france and up UB11 to KATHY with no contact.

Now, I don't know whether it was an equipment problem or what. If it was equipment, why the hell did the pilots not squawk 7600?

The 2 Tornadoes that were scrambled were at BKY when said aircraft appeared on freq. If you were one of the said aircrew - have you realised you were minutes from interception?

Must have been costly - wonder if BA will have to foot the bill?

Nevertheless it must have livened up the day of the military aircrew.

29th Oct 2003, 19:21
Perhaps, we should be highlighting the conditions that lead to crews 'dozing off' these days rather than pillorying the crews themselves.

I know we all have the responsibilty not to fly when fatigued, but what percentage of us have actually turned round to our management and invoked this???

We must all keep working at attacks on CAP 371 and indeed try to improve our conditions.

29th Oct 2003, 19:24
A bit of technical input. A 'sleeping receiver' can occur when the relay that changes the antenna over from the transmitter to the receiver sticks or makes bad contact, ie the radio is sitting there with no antenna. A quick flip of the transmit button restores the situation. Pending failure, snag it, change the box.

All fell asleep during pushback once, but never in the air.

29th Oct 2003, 19:40
"Sleeping receiver" was mentioned in a CAA FODCOM last year - 16/2002 (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/FOD200216.PDF)
and the subject of crew "rest" was covered in this recent CAA publication - in-flight napping (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/2003_08.pdf)

29th Oct 2003, 21:45
NOTSOFANTASTIC......Not only in France...Flying a survey a/c up the Gulf of Aqaba en route from Luxor to Tel Aviv... was working Cairo and could here them beautifully but as I was approaching the Zofar beacon I knew they should be handing me over...FL230... they couldn't here me ! Had no onward freq. Now the Israelis can be a bit sensitive about people walking in without knocking so I told my tecnical chap down aft ( single pilot ops ) to watch out for an interceptor while I struggled with the chart to come up with a suitable freq. Almost immediately I glanced down and saw an F16 in a hurry... got a photo of him...dialed up a freq. spoke to a nice lady and was straight away interrupted by the driver of the F16.. actually there were 2 of them..he was a bit terse but we managed to get things sorted out ( after I'd done a 180 )...If I had a clue about computer technology I'd attempt to put the photo on here....

30th Oct 2003, 05:49

when I said that this happens too often - I meant pilots merrilly plodding on without contact - I wasnt suggesting that they were falling asleep too often!

However, I can see that my comment was easliy interpreted as such - so, sorry again.

Mind you, my point still stands - long periods of no contact should at least prompt a "radio check". Particularly when crossing FIR boundaries.

And it really shouldnt be a scramble to find a frequency. Don't you have relevant charts for each flight to hand? Dont they have frequencies on them? If you are stuck - any London frequency will do and you can ask what the correct one should be.