View Full Version : Korean Safety Audit

15th Aug 2006, 09:40
Anyone know where I can find the Delta Airlines safety audit of Korean Air?

15th Aug 2006, 09:50

The Delta Audit of Korean Air has never been published.

The report you are seeking is a set of observations of two unqualified auditors, appointed to report to Delta, along with a bunch of others. The real Delta report was an internal document which highlighted various deficiencies which have been addressed in the ensuing 6 or 7 years.

If you wish to give credance to the report you seek, consider the worth of such comments as, "the pilot had his armrests down during takeoff" (or words to that effect). Coincidently, I have audited the author of that little gem, and guess what, he had his armrests down during takeoff. But who gives a ****.

Caveat Emptor


15th Aug 2006, 12:44
The report you are seeking is a set of observations of two unqualified auditors, appointed to report to Delta, along with a bunch of others.

Yep, the "report" that was circulated was some Ozmate's inputs about how they did it back in his day. You could tell that a Deltoid didn't write it from the trivial pursuits, like when to put down the armrests on your seat as mentioned above.

These days, Delta giving advice on how to run an airline is kinda like AFAP giving advice on how to run a union:).

18th Aug 2006, 02:08

Nearly correct.

Report was penned by two from the dark continent, to whom race could be an issue.

Oz mate managed to get hold of it and published it without authors' specific consent as I understand it. For some reason best known to himself AP seems to want to keep it public, despite its misrepresentative title.
Doesn't do his credibility or cause any good.


18th Aug 2006, 02:50
For some reason best known to himself AP seems to want to keep it public, despite its misrepresentative title.

Looks like he's finally removed it from his web site.

Was one of the authors KD from NBO by any chance?

18th Aug 2006, 05:22
Not him. GD and JW


18th Aug 2006, 05:27

18th Aug 2006, 09:58
We are all relieved to read that report published on the internet was all rubbish and biased and best of all that Korean Air is squeaky clean in all departments. Thank goodness for that. Now about that hilltop at Guam....

18th Aug 2006, 12:55
Thanks for the input. Point taken!!

18th Aug 2006, 14:39
If you want the real deal on KE, best to have a chat with some of the FSB guys that were there just a few short years ago.
Things like selecting takeoff flaps only after having the takeoff configuration warning horn sound might get your immediate attention.

Far too many of these types of stories for them all to be confined to the rubbish bin.

18th Aug 2006, 15:58
The ICAO audit, completed by inspectors from the CAAs of several Western nations, is the report that would be worth reading. It was the impetus for the hiring of many of the expat pilots that are/were at KAL. At least one of those inspectors was later hired on, only to be made to feel less than welcome for much of their stay.

19th Aug 2006, 17:30
Is this ICAO audit available online?

20th Aug 2006, 05:52

As an Australian I would have assumed that you understand the english language. Pray tell from where in the previous posts do you draw the conclusions you have facetiously assumed in your previous post.

The issue canvassed was the integrity of a report that purported to be the product of a reputable carrier. It wasn't penned by them was never endorsed by them. Do you understand!

True, it was the input to Delta of two of 20 odd (informal/unqualified auditors) contributors to the final document which has remained confidential. If you have read the report you will recognise that it was strongly influenced by the previous experiences and prejudices of the authors rather than being an objective analysis of the system of operation and the auditees compliance therewith.

Things are far from perfect but they are light years ahead of the times you are talking of. For some reason persons such as yourself and 411A have a great deal of difficulty accepting that organisations can and do make serious efforts to correct the errors and ways of the past. I have little difficulty in suggesting that you would not treat a "western" airline in the same manner.

411A Your information is so far out of date I am surprised you cling to it. FSB haven't been on the scene for 5 or 6 years. The event you are talking of occured at least that long ago. Other incidents continue to occur but at least the company is proactive in trying to identify the areas of concern with a view to rectification. The FOQA program is vigorous, argueably too much so, in that some guys adversely modify behaviour out of fear of FOQA.

JO. If by ICAO audit, you are meaning IOSA audit. They passed first time. (more than can be said for a certain airline depicting a rat on their tail). If you are referring to an audit by Transport Canada/Canadian CAA, on behalf of several ICAO contracting states, they were put on notice for several items that were addressed to the satisfaction of those authorities, such that no penalties or restrictions occured. The myth about the "torture" of one of the inspectors, is exactly that, myth, but it makes a good bar story.

Gents the bottom line is, it is an organisation that has a less than desireable past, has had it's failings pointed out, and has taken action to address those short comings. This stuff doesn't happen overnight but at least they are trying. Give them a break.
If you want to rant or malign take the time to update your knowledge base rather than sprouting stuff that was relevant nearly a decade ago.


20th Aug 2006, 12:16
The myth about the "torture" of one of the inspectors, is exactly that, myth, but it makes a good bar story.


Talk to the person involved and you might feel differently.

Have they improved? Yes, definitely. Would I fly on a KAL aircraft? Definitely. Do they still have some deep-rooted cultural issues? Yes. As you said, it takes time. In terms of culture, at least one generation, and usually more.

21st Aug 2006, 05:56

Just think about it. :=

A guy is involved in an audit which raises some issues.
Subsequently he applies for and is accepted to work for that airline as a line pilot.

He applied because:
A) He wished to assist the wayward to mend their ways, thus benefitting all mankind, or:
B) He saw an opportunity in a place that was acceptable. (remember he did an audit and was a lot better informed than most applicants) or:
C) The visage of the local ladies made him so randy he had to try his luck:ok: .or;
D) The Koreans are so vindictive they coerced him to apply, and deliberately hired him so that cost notwithstanding they could inflict a bit of retribution.

Subsequently he decides it is not for him in the long term, and severs his contract prior to its full term.

His reason for this is either
a) He made a mistake and the expat life in Asia is not the way he wants to run the remainder of his working life, or:
b) He has a hissy fit because he is passed over for various positions suited to previous experience (I imply nothing in that respect, I think he would have been an asset.)

In any combination of the above (C,b excepted) he has a face saving problem as he parts company. (Not an entirely Asian trait)

How do we save face?

A good bar story.


21st Aug 2006, 21:28
There are some facts that simply don't match up. Obviously we're talking about different people, and I stand by what I said. Knowing the integrity of the person I'm talking about, I also have every reason to believe what they've said.

21st Aug 2006, 23:45
J.O. & Maui ...

As you both know me (in one way or another) and we all know the individual involved let's see if I can resolve the conflict.

You are both referring to the same individual.

He did join on the basis of item B) on maui's list, BUT the actual circumstances in terms of the welcome from the locals was nowhere near as friendly as his experience while conducting the audit had suggested. On this score I know of where I speak as the same check pilot YTH did his very best to sewer both of us during line training.

To know all of his reasons for his leaving I suppose you would have to actually be him, but the reason that triggered his pulling the pin was neither a) nor b) on maui's list. The final straw had to do with KE's failure to honour the terms of his contract regarding family travel entitlements.

As maui should well appreciate, the honouring of contracted terms by KE and the contracting companies has been a sore point for pretty much every expat that every dragged his bag up to the 8th floor of the OCC. This was the case for this individual as much as any of the rest of us, and he decided that he'd had enough of being lied to.

As for torture, I guess that is a subjective assessment, but having spent time in the environment and now out of it in a more congenial environment I can tell you, maui, that it is amazing how much extra stress we carried each day at KE that you almost stop noticing or thinking about until you move on and realize what you were carrying on your back every day you went flying in Korea. Since you are still there you might not yet be able to appreciate this perspective. Though you might not consider it torture, there are many who would, and I have no doubt that J.O. is accurately quoting the individual of his opinion on this score.

KE is way ahead of where it was when we started. But then simply to still be in existence after DG & GS's memorable speeches on the 5th floor in 2000 has to be considered success. It still has a long way to go and there are still many issue left to resolve, particularly cultural ones, before KE will be able to look at itself and see an airline that makes safety it's first priority, or even a priority that always supercedes ethnicity or culture.


PS - The IOSA audit is a perfect example of the problem that remains. KE can check all the boxes and yet the week (or two) before the audit the ex-CP on your fleet broke every company directive on night circling approaches at KIX and almost dropped a B777 into Osaka Bay ... and that was hardly the first time it had occurred. Audits check procedures and processes, not operating cultures.

22nd Aug 2006, 01:33
Thanks ELAC. I trust you're finding the new surroundings somewhat more palatable. Different spices, same heat level, I expect. :eek:

It's clear you know the individual of whom I speak. And for the record, he is not the only person who has related to me stories of significant cultural issues which still make the KE experience far from ideal, even with the amount they pay. I don't begrudge anyone who is trying to make the best of it there, including our man maui. Good on them for going over there and helping to make KE a far safer operation than it was before. There is honour in their willingness to make the significant personal sacrifice.

I hope my career luck is better than some have had, and that I'm able to continue saving for my retirement such that I won't have to make that sacrifice some day. I have no illusions that the day may come when I'll have to consider it, because it would be nothing more than luck to be employed where I am now when retirement day comes, given the history of this crazy biz.

22nd Aug 2006, 05:20

There is no sacrafice in it. I know of no-one who is here because he wants to better mankind. We are here for various reasons and we have all come here voluntarily. Some to get a few more dollars at the end of a career, some who for various reasons, had (at the time) few viable options. Some just get on and do the job they were hired for, and some take the opportunity to assist in change. Some others decide for various reasons, some of which ELAC has touched on, that a long term future here is not for them. Others who have somehow managed to upset the locals (often unintentionally and most times unknowingly), have found their career a little shorter than desireable. No shame, in any of that. Move on and do something else.


There are those that remain, that have to continue to work in this sometimes less than friendly environment and those that feel compelled to continue to strive to improve that environment. None are served well by comments such as "torture" or the publication of petty personal observations, such as parts of the subject "Delta report".
There are proper channels and ways of bringing to relevant persons/authorities anything that is out of whack. This forum is not one of those.

Consider the feelings of those many good and earnest Koreans who read on these pages constant villification of their culture/training/standards. There is a very strong possibility that some will use such attacks as justification for withdrawing and putting up the barricades. They know there are differences. Some they wish to change and some they consider need none. Thats their choice, it is their train set after all. It's up to those of us here to try to ensure that their desires are modified to align with worlds best practice. ELAT has had cause (justifiably) to take someone to task over derogatory comments about Canadians. Should the Koreans not feel the same outrage.

I have no problem with the gentleman of whom we have spoken. I have enjoyed his company and I wish him well. I have on more than one occassion recommended him for positions suited to his significant background and skills. Unfortunately my recommendations were discounted.

I am sorry if he feels he was tortured, but in my 10 plus years here I have yet to experience such. Unsatisfactory behaviour, yes. Vindictive behaviour, Yes by a few misguided individuals, (tell me where that has not happened). But torture, gimmee a break. The door is always open and he choose to walk through it, (both ways).


Greetings. Always wondered who you were in the KALIOnU days. Now the pieces fall into place.

BTW had breakfast this morning with a guy recently from another Asian carrier, who considers he has died and gone to heaven. Horses for courses I guess.


22nd Aug 2006, 12:16

Point taken, and the use of the word "torture" was mine and not his. I'm big enough to admit that it was inflammatory and I have ammended the posting accordingly. FWIW, I do not think it is "petty" to voice one's displeasure when someone changes the rules mid-game, regardless of who owns the train set. To hear the experiences of several expats about the treatment they've received, it's hard not to view it in the way that I did, coming as I do from a culture where such treatment is considered unprofessional and not conducive to making the operation safer. The use of FDM data for punitive purposes does not make an operation safer either, it just makes some people afraid to exercise reasonable command authority.

Where I come from, the vast majority of trainers, check pilots and line-flying colleagues receive you with the assumption that you are a professional who is there to do your very best, but that you're also a human being who can occasionally experience a helmet fire. Being called "stupid" for making an honest human error isn't my idea of a good time.

22nd Aug 2006, 12:44

It would seem that curries tend to agree with me. I'm very much enjoying my experience on the sub-continent and am finding my hosts to be exceptionally friendly and welcoming.


Greetings to you as well. Yes, I can imagine that for some KE is like heaven compared to wherever they worked previously, but equally for others it may be hell. The truth is it's neither but there are significant challenges attendant to the job whichever your viewpoint.

I would agree that the word "torture" is somewhat inflammatory and is damaging to the reputations of the many good and earnest Koreans at KE. But that such words accurately reflect the opinions of some who worked there (and the individual in question was actually well thought of by most locals and not an axe grinder) is in good part a reflection of the fact that there are those at KE who are neither good nor moral, who have unambiguous agendas to diminish the terms of employment and get rid of foreign pilots, and who are quite willing to carry out acts of personal vindictivness which they are not called to answer for. These malign characters damage honest individuals and reputations and poison the environment to the detriment of all at KE, and they do so without the slightest concern for the truth or any shred of personal integrity. We only need to look back to the attack on the ACP's in the thread you cited to remind ourselves of what it can be like.

Unfortunately, when such invidious individuals do what they do, the good and earnest Koreans who you and I have respect for are generally nowhere to be seen on the battlefield. Though they are good guys, they are, in my opinion, unwilling to defend a truth if doing so involves putting themselves in conflict with the machinations of those less honourable. Until they are willing to do so they will have to bear the weight of words like "torture" that the less worthy in their group bequeath to them.

I have in the past been a defender of the many good guys, just as you have, but until those good guys are prepared to stand up and say that they will not accept such behaviour from either local or expat, they will not be fully deserving of the defense you are providing them.

As I know you will appreciate it, I offer a final thought from the bible which I think is relevant:

Matthew 12:33
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Best wishes,


23rd Aug 2006, 02:20
The “petty” I was referring to was some of the content of the “Delta” report over which this thread was sparked.
I come from a similar background to you (speak a bit different but essentially the same) so I know of what you speak.
The curry muncher has said most of what needs be said.

In days gone by, even when I started this job, fora such as this were non existent, how quickly we have come so far. (Or am just an old fart who didn’t notice the years go by). Whilst the internet and fora such as this are a tremendous asset, they do have their draw backs and use thereof requires some degree of discretion and responsibility. Where once we could mouth off about all thing that displeased us safe in the knowledge that it would not go far and consequences were unlikely, such is no longer the case. Everything that is written here and elsewhere is read and scrutinised by some who do not necessarily have a grip on the nuances and inflections intended by the authors. As such misinterpretations occur sometimes with undesirable consequences. In no way do I suggest that factual information should be censored or that informed constructive debate should not occur, but we should be very careful about subjective and inflammatory comments. I believe you have reflected, and appreciate that sentiment.

The bottom line is that: Change be it at Korean, Asiana, CAL, Emirates, Ryanair or whomever, can be achieved in either of two ways
A) under threat of punitive actions from regulatory authorities. Most times does not occur. FAA wanted to roast KAL but State Dept (US) told them to pull their heads in. (democracy in action great isn’t it) or :
B) by encouraging the target to want to change, so that ultimately they can stand up and say we wanted this we went about it and we achieved it.

Inflamatory, bigoted, misinformed chit chat does nothing too further the cause, in fact it sets the process back ‘cos if you throw enough stones people will retreat behind a wall they feel comfortable with and say screw you.

There are a lot of people here local and expat, trying to get some meaningful change. To a degree they have been successful, but there are many more yards to go before the touchdown. Please do not make the job any harder. Remember one day it may be you who wishes/needs to be here. We wish it to be here for you. It’s potentially your nest or the nest of someone you care about, too. Don’t **** in it.

Centaurus/411A/Kimchi kal/etc etc do you read!

Maui out

3rd Sep 2006, 14:58
Been there, done that and guess what? I would gladly go back. The moment we expats understand that is their country, their company and their culture, we enjoy. I did. The famous audit that triggered this discussion was a start and was performed as it was done then by any company on a code share business. Today it is the IOSA and that is IATA and not ICAO, ICAO do safety oversight of the Convention signatary countries and not airlines.

3rd Sep 2006, 18:33
Too bad the document no longer seems to be available on the web. It was a fascinating read. Remember, it was years before DL would codeshare with KE even though they were all in SkyTeam together.

The report was exhaustively detailed in terms of what was wrong and how to fix it. I believe it was the Guam 747 CFIT accident which triggered the study.

28th Sep 2006, 21:06
Is this the one everybody's talking about?


29th Sep 2006, 00:36
Yep, that's the one, altho eight years old now.
I wonder if the situation has improved since then?:}

29th Sep 2006, 07:37
At last!
Many thanks:ugh: