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stationcalling
10th Jul 2008, 16:31
Rumour has it that a fairly senior Captain from easyjet has been sacked for being fast on an approach. Apparently the Flight Data was used to sack him.
Living the Dream

kriskross
10th Jul 2008, 16:39
It wasn't just as simple as that, but although I know more I am not saying anything on Pprune to avoid any sort of embarrassment to all parties.

No-one just gets sacked for a basic Flydras on its own, there is always more to it.

Kraut
10th Jul 2008, 17:01
Well, we EZY pilots know, that there was more than one sacking based on FLIRDAS, of course other contributing points added.
So, for others, following us on final approach, we are always (at least me) looking for the safe (according the EZY books) approach.
Helps to keep the job for longer time!:ok:

Agaricus bisporus
10th Jul 2008, 17:23
I am not over familiar with being an EJ apologist, but feel I have to stand up to some of the implications posted above.

There have been a few pretty serious, and well publicised events recorded by FLIDRAS over the last few years (hardly surprising given the hundreds of thousands of sectors flown each year) and as far as I know none have resulted in the ditching of the crew involved for that event alone - tho I am not privy to the inside info.

I have to say that even as a non-orange EZ pilot I don't believe they'd waste someone for just one error, unless it was so heinous that it simply had to be done, in which case good riddance.

We hear a lot about "blame culture" in EJ, and sometimes they do seem to go OTT on relatively minor matters, (ie cabin crew sickness) but of those pilot "errors" I've heard of there has always been another side to the story. I have faith that on smaller issues they may sometines overreact , but on the bigger matters they seem scrupulously fair.

This may well be down to the bizarre horizontal "management structure" (fnarr!) where there is little ability to pass matters up the food-chain, simply because there isn't one, which might - I say again, might, result in relatively serious matters being dealt with at an inappropriately local (implying personal and erratic ) level due to no vertical structure, whereas the more serious ones do burst through to the top and get dealt with properly. Thus you sometimes seem to attract criticism/censure unreasonably early, but to attract the Company's ire seems a lot harder. Isn't that better than than the opposite way?

Either way, FLIDRAS is surely the biggest advance in Flight Safety, as well as to FO's nerves, than anything that has gone before. I suggest that if you object to the take on safe Ops "according to EJ's books" (the safest I have flown with - by far - in nearly 25yrs Professional Ops) then you are perhaps looking at a standard incompatible with the Company?

Del Prado
10th Jul 2008, 18:03
So, for others, following us on final approach, we are always (at least me) looking for the safe (according the EZY books) approach.
Helps to keep the job for longer time!

Understood but if you will not follow the assigned speeds (eg 160 to 4dme) can you state that to ATC prior to base leg?

Kraut
10th Jul 2008, 18:14
160kias to 4dme on request by ATC (LGW i.e) is an " EZY approved" speed, which will normally assure to be stable at our "gates".
And this is quite commom at LGW, right?

PJ2
10th Jul 2008, 18:45
"160kts to 4DME"? Is that EZ SOP?

....what about (not EZ!) flight data that shows 200kts to 4DME or clean until 800ft?...Is that done, or is that a sacking?

4Greens
10th Jul 2008, 18:50
Can one assume that Flydras is the same as FOQA or Flight Data Analysis?

If it is and this data was used to sack a pilot, then there are serious safety implications.

This is a fantastic safety tool but should only be used to monitor overall exceedences to improve general operating standards. If used in a punitive manner it will be opposed by pilot unions and that will be the end of a great safety system.

If this is not what I think it is, then ignore this post.

AltFlaps
10th Jul 2008, 18:56
Bollox to the unions!:mad:

If an unsafe flight or event has occured that requires an internal investigation because of a flight recorder event (or crew filed ASR), then the data can and should be used appropriately.

All this crap about unions and their objections is straight from the 1970s.

If you are a professional crew and fly in a professional manner, then what's the problem?

Gary Lager
10th Jul 2008, 19:33
Hope it never comes down to your word versus the word of the FDM dept, AltFlaps.

How can you have a 'senior' captain at EZY? Does that mean he was old?

nonemmet
10th Jul 2008, 19:45
The problem is that the way in which EZY operate the Flight Data Monitoring system (FLIDRAS), can amount to catch 22 where confidentiality is concerned.

If you have exceeded a parameter/limitation (or landed off an unstable approach) and do not file an Air Safety Report (ASR) you will receive a 'counselling' phone call from a member of the FLIDRAS team, this is in confidence and provided you are suitably contrite will not go any further unless it is deemed serious. If serious, the union will be consulted and agreement gained before the data is released to management.

The problem lies where an ASR is filed. In EZY that action of filing an ASR explicitly authorises release of the flight data related to the event. It is the duty of the base captain (the pilot's line manager) to investigate all ASR's.

In a nutshell if you file an ASR, management get to see FLIDRAS data, if you don't file management may also get to see it.

ASR's should not be investigated by base captains but by the safety department. IMV the current policy hardly encourages pilots to file ASR's, however don't forget that according to easyjet, safety is their first priority.

kick the tires
10th Jul 2008, 19:59
....what about (not EZ!) flight data that shows 200kts to 4DME or clean until 800ft?...Is that done, or is that a sacking?

Anyone doing that in a medium jet deserves to get sacked. BTW the EZY SOP's state that the aircraft should be in the landing configuration by 1000ft and stable by 500ft, latest.

If it is and this data was used to sack a pilot, then there are serious safety implications.


As a few posters have said, this was not an isolated incident, others dating back years.

Dont jump to conclusions that someone was sacked because of one incident recorded on FLIDRAS - if you do, you are most certainly wrong.

outofsynch
10th Jul 2008, 20:20
Except... I was told only a few weeks ago that management wanted to sack someone for an unstable approach, to get the measure across to crew. This may not have been an isolated incident, but he may still be a sacrificial lamb...

It is very odd that eJ are still allowed to have Base Captains adressing FLIDRAS/FOQA issues as well as being your direct manager in disciplinary issues. Competely contrary to JAR rules as I understand. Why dont the authorities do anything?

beardy
10th Jul 2008, 20:25
Alt Flaps, if any professional crew flew in anyones manor, professional or not, it would probably be considered bad manners; as would breaking any agreement with any professional body, union or association.

I suppose its all about attention to detail.

Airbubba
10th Jul 2008, 20:40
I've heard on this side of the pond that the feds are going to start going after folks on FOQA data, which is supposedly private and legally protected, especially if the carrier has an ASAP program.

The claim is that a non-stabilized approach constitutes a willful disregard of the rules which takes away the protection of an anonymous safety reporting program.

G-SPOTs Lost
10th Jul 2008, 20:53
Had an ezy behind me at AGP today he was being asked to keep the speed up leaving mar on the ILS Y,captain very politely declined blaming SOP and "had to be at 180knts" once on the localiser.

Being that 1/2 scale occurs at around 25 miles out and that he had to be back at 180 knts at that point would it be unreasonable to expect ezy to accept vectors to allow faster traffic to get by?

Once the guy came back to 180, there was a marked increase in vectoring and speed control behind.

How long has this SOP been in place is it new? Havn't noticed the orange chicane before.....;)

INKJET
10th Jul 2008, 21:05
Some of the vectoring at AGP is a complete joke, not helped by the combination of a 3.2 degree glideslope, tailwind over the mountains that becomes a headwind (because of sea breezes once the land warms up) at around 500-1000 above, and that when the radar man is paying attention, what happens when the footy is on is anybody's guess!!

And whilst were on EDI on 06 BHX/EMA on any runway will keep you well high, advice= just ask for extra track miles until they get the message

ukdean
10th Jul 2008, 21:08
ALT FLAPS well said I 100% agree with you. Well said.......

Rod Eddington
10th Jul 2008, 21:12
Thats not an SOP, that capt was probably just a bit of an old woman! Though saying that it's not particularly easy to slow down from much faster than that on a 3.2 degree glide - especially if theres a tailwind as there often is in AGP.

Shaka Zulu
10th Jul 2008, 21:50
Have you ever flown a 73NG with a lightfuel/payload. On a >3deg slope its a nightmare to slow down without chucking the gear out to get the speed back. Old woman is not the term I would use. Anyway its not up to ATC, we tell them what we can do and that should be fine. Particular set of circumstances might have made the decisions far more plausible as alluded to above.

I think FLIDRAS/FOQA/SESMA should be used to monitor the operation and I am sure the data can not be used for an isolated incident unless one can prove gross misconduct and reckless behaviour.
It can be used to identify certain areas for training purposes and awareness of crew.
Something BA does brilliantly with their Flight Ops Newsletter SESMA articles.

One can question why a base captain should have access to the information. I would have thought only the 'gatekeeper' should have full access to names unless an incident is serious enough to warrant a more detailed discussion.

I'm sure that EZY has not sacked someone on an isolated incident without precedence.
They are very much a professional company and have a training department to be proud of.

PJ2
10th Jul 2008, 22:14
AltFlaps;
Bollox to the unions!:mad:

If an unsafe flight or event has occured that requires an internal investigation because of a flight recorder event (or crew filed ASR), then the data can and should be used appropriately.

All this crap about unions and their objections in straight from the 1970s.

If you are a professional crew and flew in a professional manor, then what's the problem?
If it were only that simple!

I understand what you're saying, have heard it from many quarters as we try to establish an FDA Program and I know why you say it.

First, I ask of you the same understanding with the opposite view, for very good reasons with which you may even possibly agree.

It's very easy to say no pilot's data should be protected if, a) if you're management, b) a regulator or a potential prosecutor, c) don't have a FOQA Program, d) don't have a union, e) aren't flight crew flying airliners.

Which is it please, or are you a regular line pilot but still believe that "bollox" is the answer?

Here are some thoughts on this. The following applies to non-Asian countries and any other states including non-ICAO states where we know that FOQA data is used purely for disciplinary measures.

In announcing "bollox to the unions", please consider this: if data loses the protections afforded under pilot/management agreements and is instead made available to those wishing to fire pilots using FOQA data, that door swings both ways. Pilots will instantly begin requesting and using data in all manner of operational, industrial and political battles and it won't stop there. The c/c's will be after the data to "prove" turbulence injury cases. Then passengers...

If the airline management gets the data to do with what they will, so will the courts, the media and the very same pilots' unions which you seem to hate will demand and ultimately achieve the same level of access "in the name of the public good", especially if there is an accident. It will be "no-holds-barred" and "bollox to the unions" may become an embarrassing utterance.

In truth the protection of safety information and flight data gathered under FOQA/FDA Programs is really a lot more complicated than that. It is an old, trite saying now but still applies: Be careful what you wish for.

Edited to add the following:

At the same time, ASRs are not "get-out-of-jail-cards", nor should FOQA agreements be a suit-of-iron which protects pilots against negligence or intentional acts of non-compliance. Perhaps this addresses the point you are making which, if I interpret correctly, I am in full agreement.

Again however, if the data shows intentional non-compliance (and this is not as hard to detect as some may believe), this is not simply a matter of "getting the guy involved and whacking him/her with a rolled newspaper or worse". Do that, and FOQA is out the door or, at best, a sham. This is where agreement with the pilots comes in. Any agreement with the pilots, union or no, that is worth signing will include ways processes and procedures for dealing with such non-compliance as will any safety reporting policy worth signing on to.

That way, if a repeat series of safety events shows up in the data belonging to the same person, the safety problem which clearly exists and which is beyond mere "human factors", is handled according to established procedures. Some advocate showing "such people" the door. Unless the event is negligent in the extreme or criminal, (both of which should be covered in any safety policy and agreement), such an outcome is expensive and produces no solution worth having.

The purpose of the agreement to which both the union and management must be signatories, is to deal rationally with serious safety matters before they turn into an accident. If it's merely used to whack pilots, FOQA as a pre-emptive safety tool is finished and exists merely as a corporate box-tick until the next accident, and, as I have iterated here before, any organization that collects safety data and doesn't do anything with it or merely uses it to punish, is placing not it's pilots, but itself (and perhaps its very existence) in jeopardy should an accident occur. Just ask QANTAS about their Bangkok accident, the antecedents of which were "in the data" years before.

Unfortunately, it is only after an accident that managers, senior executives, bean-counters and perhaps even shareholders, sit up and take notice (if they're not up on charges).

I suspect we're in agreement on fundamentals. But dismissing the union with a "bollocks" would eventually render any data-program ineffective and place the enterprise itself at risk. SMS, such as it is in some locales, is too far along now to return to the seventies, an unenlightened enforcement culture which did not prevent but contributed to the accident rate experienced at the time.

Rananim
10th Jul 2008, 22:49
Had an ezy behind me at AGP today he was being asked to keep the speed up leaving mar on the ILS Y,captain very politely declined blaming SOP and "had to be at 180knts" once on the localiser.


And this is the problem...You just cannot do this in the States.You fly the speed they tell you.You are a pilot and they expect you to act like one.To non-comply with an ATC command because of SOP is a disgrace!Absolute disgrace.ATC wont ask you to fly anything dangerous but they do assume you're a professional with ability.
I know absolutely nothing about the reasons for this dismissal but I do know that data from QAR's should be confidential and not used in this manner.So many variables in flying that exceedances will occur..its only a persistent pattern of high sink rate on final that should raise alarm bells.Everything else can be dealt with by a friendly chat with the CP.

BitMoreRightRudder
10th Jul 2008, 23:51
And this is the problem...You just cannot do this in the States.You fly the speed they tell you.You are a pilot and they expect you to act like one.To non-comply with an ATC command because of SOP is a disgrace!Absolute disgrace.

I'm sorry but it's hardly a disgrace. It is a judgement call for the crew at that particular time on the day. What I don't think you understand is that the ezy "stable criteria" simply cannot be met if we fly the speeds that are sometimes asked. The company has a very clearly defined policy on meeting the criteria by 500ft, and if it is bust and a landing completed from that approach then it is trouble for the crew concerned. So things like 180 to 4 isn't really possible anymore.

ATC wont ask you to fly anything dangerous

Maybe not in the States. You been into Barcelona or Madrid recently? Or Rome Ciampino? To name just a few :eek:

CamelhAir
10th Jul 2008, 23:56
To non-comply with an ATC command because of SOP is a disgrace!

What kind of nonsense statement is this? Who's in command, the captain or the ATCO? Is the ATCO type-rated and command checked? Does he have some kind of greater appreciation of what's required to put the aeroplane safely on terra firma than the crew do?
Remember the S in ATS, it stands of Service. ATS/ATC is a service that stops you hitting the other tins in the sky. The pilots control the aircraft, ATC control you not hitting other aircraft. If the captain wants to fly at 180kts into AGP (which seems reasonable to me given the nature of the place) that's his perogative and shall remain so long as ATCOs are not the legally responsible commander of the aircraft.

ATC wont ask you to fly anything dangerous

Had you ever been to AGP and witnessed the shambles that passes for ATC there, you'd retract this statement!

Airbubba
11th Jul 2008, 00:09
And this is the problem...You just cannot do this in the States.You fly the speed they tell you.You are a pilot and they expect you to act like one.To non-comply with an ATC command because of SOP is a disgrace!Absolute disgrace.

Well, you're between a rock and a hard place nowadays. Many U.S. carriers have raised the stabilized altitude to 1000 feet from 500 and they are cracking down on non-compliance.

I'll try to give the 180 to the marker with a tailwind at JFK and late configuration for noise to the Europeans but if it doesn't work out, I'm going to burn some carbon credits and go around. Big Brother is definitely watching the QAR tape these days.

Rananim
11th Jul 2008, 00:23
Camelhair,
You share the sky with thousands of others.ATC coordinate it all by issuing commands.Speed control(both fast/slow) is one of their best tools.To deny them this is unprofessional.180 knots at 25nm is woefully slow and a disgrace,unless you're on your own on the approach(which is never the case in the States).

I have flown into all the Spanish airports.Their ATC is not the best but it is not deficient.There are no special problems at AGP(cat b?)..simple step down procedure,some terrain.Why would anyone have flaps out at 25 miles unless instructed to do so.This isnt Nepal.Thats where all the turb is anyway,25 miles out for rwy 14.Burns more fuel as well.Might be SOP,but its poor airmanship.

Perhaps the focus on the QAR/SOP is compromising airmanship.Discuss.:cool:

NG_Kaptain
11th Jul 2008, 00:27
On the 340-500 and 600 we are quite often at close to max landing weight, even after a fourteen hour flight, what I do( and many of my colleagues) is select flap 3 early announce "flap 3 non standard", then gear down. The 340 does not like to go down and slow down at the same time, this way we dont get invited for "tea and biscuits" with the fleet manager.

INKJET
11th Jul 2008, 08:03
AGP is often a problem, i have been cleared for the approach on R13 only for us to point out that the ILS is identing for R33, for them to reply " yes we have landing traffic on the R33 ILS at 7 miles" !!

There is no need normally for 180 at 25 miles, but again i have been kept high FL120 at 25 miles inbound MAR cleared for the approach maintain high speed contact TWR who then want min approach speed, they simply don't talk to each other.

East Midlands circuit height? abeam down wind 09 FL060 descend 3000ft?

Time after time you will be in the same ground position no matter that the QNH is way above standard or hoofing Easterly tail wind BHX no better, the best are LGW follow their speeds to the knt and they'll drop you in on profile on the LOC.

Of course recent fuel prices have caused airline to change their FMC cost index, but no one told ATC? so you have Easy going down at 255 baby at 265Ryanair at warp 8 Flybe 145 at 300knts and so on.

It would be far better if ATC just instruct on speed, they have the big picture (unless you are a Spanish ATC in which case its not the big picture its the flat screen (TV that is!!))

Lol

Bearcat
11th Jul 2008, 08:36
ehh ryanair does nt at warp 8 anymore on descents....

lederhosen
11th Jul 2008, 08:48
It is when you get invited in for 'tea without biscuits' that you know you are in trouble!

Telstar
11th Jul 2008, 08:50
Quite right Bearcat, it's 280Kts/.78 and our Chief Pilot has pointedly told us that "we are a 250Kts below FL100 airline"

Del Prado
11th Jul 2008, 08:51
160kias to 4dme on request by ATC (LGW i.e) is an " EZY approved" speed, which will normally assure to be stable at our "gates".
And this is quite commom at LGW, right?

Kraut, I've yet to see an EZY 319 keep 160 to 4 at Gatwick.

F4F
11th Jul 2008, 09:59
Rananim
Might be SOP,but its poor airmanship.
Agree with that... and here lies probably one of the problems at Ez, way too regulated, well let's call it too SOPed. Don't use your head girls & boys, just follow the SOPs.
The upside: apparent safety, management protection as regards to the law
The downside: pilots use part of their concentration on keepin'within SOPs instead of using their heads, specially in situations...

On the other hand, again in eZ, speeds and configs on the approach are recommendations only. The stabilized 1000/500 criterias are the ones that are mandatory. Finally the game for us is to reach these as quickly and elegantly as possible.

CamelhAir
the S in ATS, it stands of Service
Fully supportive :D
Frankly I think the big ATC/PILOTS war has already started. ATC would at best like to remote control us (look for instance at the American terrorist take-over control project), on our side we could do without them using TCAS/free flight concepts.


In conclusion:
I'm paid to follow SOPs and as long as deemed safe will abide to them


live 2 fly 2 live

radar707
11th Jul 2008, 10:04
inkjet:
Time after time you will be in the same ground position no matter that the QNH is way above standard or hoofing Easterly tail wind BHX no better

When was the last time you flew into BHX?

Rwy 33 FL80 at HON passing HON 210kts descent to 4000ft QNH you have about 28 miles to touch down plenty of room for anyone to get the aircraft down. If you want to route HON EBONY GROVE then just let me know and we'll bang you into the hold at GROVE and you can descend with all the miles you think you need whilst we let all the guys and girls that can get their aircraft down 4000ft in 20 miles land ahead of you.

Have you ever been to visit ATC at BHX you would be made welcome and we could explain some of the airspace limitations that we have.

All traffic vectored into BHX now is given a CDA (continuous descent approach) all ATCOs are trained to provide them. If for any reason you are high, it is generally because London have kept you high inbound because the departures to the south conflict with the inbound routes!

SOPS
11th Jul 2008, 10:14
In my past life when I flew 737NGs into AGP I was always slowed to 180 knots by 20 miles...if not there can be big problems trying to stop the olg girl at the bottom!!! A few people that I was training wanted to show me that I was an"old women" and how you could "keep it up till close in"....was always good for a goaround practise!!:ok:

Wingswinger
11th Jul 2008, 10:17
Kraut, I've yet to see an EZY 319 keep 160 to 4 at Gatwick.

Thats's because the teaching is to maintain the "selected" speed i.e. 160kts to 5dme then go "managed" and select the gear down. It generally takes a mile for the speed to drop to 150 kts so we have maintained 160+/-10kts to 4dme.

The aim is to be stable and in landing config by 1000ft above TDZ. What works in still air is 180kts to 6dme, 170kts to 5dme and 160kts to 4dme. Observing those rules of thumb should have the aircraft stable and on approach speed at 1100ft.

mr.777
11th Jul 2008, 10:28
That's all well and good Wingswinger and I take your points on board. However, 160 to 4 is a standard ATC assigned speed on final approach. Everybody gets it unless requested otherwise...BA 737 fleet have cottoned onto this and routinely ask for 170 to 5 when they are on the downwind leg. This is not a problem for us as long as we are told well in advance.
The reason it is a standard speed is to ensure we achieve the correct spacing requested by the tower in order for them to get a deaparture away. More importantly, it is sometimes an issue of maintaining the correct space between a pair of a/c for vortex reasons.
If the assigned speed is a problem then we need to know sooner rather than later.It is not acceptable to just read back "160 to 4DME" and then batter on regardless flying your own speed. There are moves afoot to make 170 to 5 the standard final approach speed for everybody, which will hopefully improve things. :ok:

A4
11th Jul 2008, 11:04
Hmm, Interesting discussion. I don't have AGP plates to hand but I'm sure that somewhere on 10-4 or 10-9 (it used to be on the airfield plate????) it states that aircraft should maintain 180knots when established on the LOC and then 160 to the marker. All the comments regarding the ILS at 3.2° are correct. If you hit the glide in Flap 1 (Airbus) around 200 knots you will not be able to slow it down with out taking the gear first to get Flap 2 (not good practice to take F2 at VFE next -1 knot anyway.) So F2/180 actually works very nicely.

I cannot understand why people get so uptight about people decelerating. I'll admit 180 at 25 is a bit conservative - but that's the Commanders choice. Who knows it may have been his first sector after Command check. I always constrain my speed and profile at MAR - because often you get cleared direct to the 17D point (straight over the high ground....) and I don't want a high ROD trying to make up for a lost couple of miles - I'd rather they just let us fly the procedure - you probably only save <1 minute with the direct. So for me it's 220/FL65 at MAR - I'm then in a position to start configuring/decelerating and I can V/S the steps without any drama. It's worked for the last 10 years - and I don't plan on changing.

I like a simple(safe) life. :O

A4

Just found it:

250 <FL100
Reduce to 210 final turn to intercept LOC course when within 20 nm
180 when crossing 12D
160 when crossing GM Lctr

So, 180 from 12 is "standard" - not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

A4

outofsynch
11th Jul 2008, 11:59
Its just like on the roads.... having some consideration for those behind you, if you chose to travel slower than 'average'. 180 at 25 miles may not be dangerous, or illegal, but it is inconsiderate, if you have been put at the front of a queue.

Too may people are not familiar enough with how fast you can slow the aircraft with gear. eJ over-SOP's philosophy denies most new recruits the concept of using gear gear before flaps if it helps in the optimum descent. I get really frustrated when FO's fart round with speedbrake at 180/190 (A319) when dropping the gear is an instant cure.

fiftyfour
11th Jul 2008, 12:19
Ezy are keen to get the 'stable approach' (as measured by Flight data analysis) because there will be a reduction in Insurance Premiums if they can prove compliance in 9x.x% of approaches. Quite difficult to do sometimes as the average Airbus autothrottle has real trouble keeping the speed within the mandated parameters. Nothing directly to do with flight safety. There are all sorts of ridiculous things that go on in Ezy, but it's when something costs money that the full weight of their effort comes to the fore.
Having said that, I don't condone silly or dangerous flying - if that's what the sacked pilot did.

almost professional
11th Jul 2008, 12:34
Inkjet-if you can find the time to drop in I will show you why we are using that technique at NX and explain the reasoning behind it!

BitMoreRightRudder
11th Jul 2008, 12:38
I don't condone silly or dangerous flying - if that's what the sacked pilot did

It's open for debate as to whether what he was sacked for was silly or dangerous. Ezy obviously had their opinion of him, those of us who know him better would certainly disagree.

Whatever the reasoning behind his departure I enjoyed flying with him and he will be missed.

M.Mouse
11th Jul 2008, 12:50
Interesting discussion.

In BA we have had SESMA for years and I believe BA were the first airline in the world to implement a monitoring program. Both pilots and management have the utmost faith in the system and it has most definitely proved its worth many times over.

The system is anonymous. If during the SESMA review process the joint panel which examine events that are triggered by the system would like to know more then the ONLY person authorised and able to obtain the flight crew names is the appointed BALPA SESMA rep. He will telephone the pilot(s) concerned and discuss the event.

In reality BA has a very open and non-jeopardy safety culture and providing a pilot has not been wilfully negligent NO disciplinary action is taken should I or any other pilot walk in to the office and admit to making an error of judgement.

Such is our trust of the safety culture that if we suspect that we may have triggered a SESMA 'event' we may telephone the SESMA rep. to tell him or even walk in to the office to explain the situation. The pilot may be offered further training but the end result is no shame, no disciplinary and, hopefully, a safer operation. Safety, of course, being the whole point of the expensive system!

On the subject of SOP 'gates' EZ appear to have adopted the stabilised approach criteria which BA have been using for years. i.e. at 1000' RA an aircraft will be:

in the planned landing configuration, on the correct vertical profile, have approach power set, be at a speed no more than target approach speed +15kts.

If those criteria are not met at 1000' RA then CONSIDERATION must be given to a go-around. If the criteria are not met at 500' RA then an immediate go-around MUST be made.

At many US airfields with the shambolic, multiple and often totally unrealistic speed instructions it is difficult to comply with those approach criteria. Many years ago there was liason between BA and ATC at London where our requirements and theirs were discussed and suitable mutually acceptable speeds were agreed. Notwithstanding the slight difficulties of '160 to 4' in certain types I believe the speeds requested at the London airports and the above stabilised approach criteria work well.

Oh that such speed requests were as consistent and practical elsewhere in the world.

G-SPOTs Lost
11th Jul 2008, 13:53
Quote Shka Zulu

Have you ever flown a 73NG with a lightfuel/payload. On a >3deg slope its a nightmare to slow down without chucking the gear out to get the speed back.

Whats the problem with lowering the gear when as an aicraft commander you feel it prudent to do so for any number of reasons.

Some posters on here have been well and truly SOP'd. I fully understand a stable approach criteria and the need for regulation to account for a broad spectrum of command personalitys and abilitys, but inflicting your speeds on other operators to keep your insurance premiums down is just a bloody p*ss take!

People go on about pressures of command and decision making, when its seems to me that captains are in effect having these decisions made for them in a windowless head office somewhere regardless of the conditions on the day. Where will we be in 10 years?

Im not ATC but imagine trying to facilitate everybodies SOP on a daily basis and trying to get maximum runway useage (to avoid delays) with 20 airlines having 20 different ideas of how to do it safely.

one post only!
11th Jul 2008, 14:10
I totally agree bitmorerightrudder. Guy was a legend and I will miss flying with him. Personally I always thought he was a good operator but what do I know......

mr.777
11th Jul 2008, 14:13
Im not ATC but imagine trying to facilitate everybodies SOP on a daily basis and trying to get maximum runway useage (to avoid delays) with 20 airlines having 20 different ideas of how to do it safely

You have just summed it up better than I ever could.

Del Prado
11th Jul 2008, 14:13
Thats's because the teaching is to maintain the "selected" speed i.e. 160kts to 5dme then go "managed" and select the gear down. It generally takes a mile for the speed to drop to 150 kts so we have maintained 160+/-10kts to 4dme.

Wingswinger, there is no +/-10kts. Speeds should be flown as accurately as possible. Having said that, a good start would be if all the Easy 319s were 160 at 5 and 150 at 4, in my experience very few are.

AFAIK, BA and Easy have broadly similar SOPs (should be stable at 1000', must be stable at 500') so why are BA 319s so much better at it than Easy?

BYALPHAINDIA
11th Jul 2008, 14:50
Shouldn´t think it will be hard for him to find other employment.

Easyjet´s loss really.:ugh:

Shaka Zulu
11th Jul 2008, 16:47
@ G-Spot
you must have misinterpreted my posting. i certainly do not have any issues getting the gear out. in fact when i used to fly into turin, i didnt hesitate to ask for the gear at 8000' and 200kts to get it in. the point i was making is that there might have been factors on the day that made him slow down sooner rather than later. who am i to sit here and judge what happened??? all i know is that the guys flying for ezy are well trained, perhaps a little over sop'ed, but in general it is very very sensible and safe

AAA737300BF
11th Jul 2008, 16:51
AFAIK, BA and Easy have broadly similar SOPs (should be stable at 1000', must be stable at 500') so why are BA 319s so much better at it than Easy?Maybe there is the few kg pocket fuel for the Uncle and the 10kts for Grandma and the extra mile for Grandpa and the 5 minutes for the FMC Kids ... :ugh:

BitMoreRightRudder
11th Jul 2008, 18:31
Del Prado if we really are so poor at maintaining given speeds compared to other operators and are causing problems how about NATS contacting ezy flight ops management to discuss the problem? It might help us all out.

PJ2
11th Jul 2008, 18:48
M.Mouse;

Your SESMA Program is a model for all those wanting an effective and appropriate flight data monitoring system. You are correct - BA began doing data monitoring on the BAC111 in the late 50's. The program, and your safety culture, grew out those early processes.

As we built ours, we spent time at your Compass Center viewing the facilities, guided by Mike Holtom. Your safety culture remains a model for all others, notwithstanding differing views offered here. Among notable others such as Lufthansa, QANTAS was (and hopefully remains) such an example.

It is heartening to hear such observations about one's own company which are backed up by independant, experienced observations by outsiders. Yes, it is expensive and today that is all the executives and accountants are looking at. I post what I do about FOQA/FDA precisely because FDA is NOT expensive "on balance" and that it does indeed work.

It is starting to work at our organization in spite of, not because of management because it is the pilots, who want the program and not the executive or Flight Operations management who are anything but overtly supportive or even knowledgable about the program. We've been at it ten years now and they still have no clue, no comprehension and thereby no basis upon which to champion the program. It is as though we don't exist - all we are, are "expensive resources" and, frankly, an unwelcome intervention in their operation.

The safety culture is admirably "non-punitive", they have an excellent safety policy, ASR reporting us shooting up but they simply don't know what to do with FOQA data and when something serious did happen, they didn't believe the data. There are varying degrees of "buy-in" of course, the where it counts - at the executive and the senior management levels, there is no formal "push" and no overt, "public" support. They don't think anything can happen. They seem, as Pink Floyd's lyrics go, "comfortably numb".

Thanks for your post.

Wingswinger
12th Jul 2008, 08:18
Del Prado,

AFAIK, BA and Easy have broadly similar SOPs (should be stable at 1000', must be stable at 500') so why are BA 319s so much better at it than Easy?

EZY and BA have quite different SOPs but the concept of aiming to be stable by 1000ft and it being mandatory to be stable at 500ft is now virtually an industry standard.

As I wrote in my first post, it's the company's teaching. We start the reduction to V approach at 5dme. If there is a problem as far as ATC is concerned (I assume you are a controller at LGW) then perhaps you should let EZY know via the LGW Base Captain. He can then feed it to the Standards and Policy Captain and a change to the training may be made.

There is no difficulty with maintaining precisely 160 kts to exactly 4dme given benign weather; it is quite simply that EZY, given the low level of experience of some crews, wishes to have an extra margin in a few areas. Another example of this is the 180kts on base leg instruction from the Director. It is EZY policy not to fly below 'S' speed (Flap 1 speed, to the non-airbus people) without selecting the next stage of flap despite it being perfectly safe to do so. This often means that in order to fly 180 kts, flap 2 has to be selected which means extra drag which means more fuel burnt. Not economic. The upshot is that cost-conscious EZY pilots will fly 'S' speed on base leg and LOC intercept which will generally be anywhere between 180 and 190 kts depending on the aircraft's gross weight. Only if the aircraft is very light will 180kts be flown in flap1 configuration.

BA Airbus pilots (I used to be one until I hit 55) are probably better at it, if that is your perception, because they are used to LHR where shorthaul aircraft come down the slope 2.5 miles apart. Precise speed control is critical. The other thing to bear in mind is that there has been a huge amount of EZY training going on at LGW - pilots are sent there from other bases to do line training and there may be some EZY crews operating from day to day who are not LGW-based.

If you'd like to discuss it further, PM me.

rebellion
12th Jul 2008, 09:17
M.Mouse etc the system easyJet used was taken onboard when easyJet bought Go-Fly. Go used FLIDRAS when it was owned by BA so it's very similar.

People know they can't pass 500 feet unstable without a good reason (i.e on fire!). The company have made it very clear that a unstable approach is not acceptable.

Sorry, but I'm glad this Capt is not in our company any more, we strive to be a safe and efficient operation- cowboy's aren't part of the team.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
12th Jul 2008, 14:06
<<160kias to 4dme on request by ATC >>

It is not a "request" but an ATC instruction. If you are unable to comply you must warn ATC in good time - and that doesn't mean when the instruction is given!

His dudeness
12th Jul 2008, 16:13
"and that doesn't mean when the instruction is given!"

HD - my native language is german, so forgive me if I ask you:

you actually mean us pilots have to apply black magic during final approach or

is second sight a new requirement for the medical ?

Being a clairvoyant is not in my jobdescription....

Now, seriously: if that is a published requirement/constraint, then one clearly

have to tell ATC ASAP. Since Easy is not an adhoc charter organization I´d

think they and ATC now what to expect from each other...

Dogma
12th Jul 2008, 16:57
HD old fruit its Aviate Navigate Communicate! Given the less than accurate, track miles, "land afters" and other traffic management solutions I think we can apply what is considered as the safest option.

You would be surprised how often the Pilots amend the plan to compensate for other traffic departing and arriving.

Sometimes I think you guys work for the airport owners, otherwise UK ATC is the best in the world.

Airbubba
12th Jul 2008, 17:10
EZY and BA have quite different SOPs but the concept of aiming to be stable by 1000ft and it being mandatory to be stable at 500ft is now virtually an industry standard.

In the U.S. the trend is to mandatory stability at 1000 feet, not 500 feet as many carriers did it for years. If the approach is not stable at that point, or the captain feels that it will not be stable at 1000 feet, a go-around must be performed, according to the ops manual at many U.S. carriers. This and the recent FAA interest in QAR tapes certainly tightens the screws somewhat in the real world ATC environment.

Defruiter
12th Jul 2008, 18:17
What HD is saying is if you know you won't be able to do 160kts to 4, then tell us before we give you the instruction (i.e. whilst downwind so that we can build in some extra room). If you only mention it once you're on final and you can't fly the speed, then you either fly the speed or we break you off the approach and start again. We are quite happy to accomodate people as long as they inform us in good time.

Del Prado
12th Jul 2008, 20:23
Del Prado if we really are so poor at maintaining given speeds compared to other operators and are causing problems how about NATS contacting ezy flight ops management to discuss the problem? It might help us all out.

I've tried that. I don't think it's fair to give the details here but the discussion was broadly similar to many of the previous posts. (and Wingswinger, the answer was from flight policy and standards)

I should add I have nothing against Easy, in every other aspect they are a great operator and when it's quiet I offer 160kts to 5d and if they want to fly 185/190 on base leg (and ask) I'll always accommodate it.

After being suspended from radar a few times because of losses of separation caused by pilots slowing early, catching many go arounds because the one in front slowed down and having to take remedial action on a weekly (almost daily) basis to resolve conflicts caused by pilots not obeying speed instructions, it is a mystery to me why pilots will readback a speed clearance they have no intention of following.
I don't just want compliance for the sake of it, I do understand the problems you have with the 319s but if this is a conversation we need to have, why are we not having it? And why don't you tell us on base leg?


Sometimes I think you guys work for the airport owners

If we use the airspace and runways as efficiently as possible then your airline saves money-lots of it. Do you want an extra 10 minutes in the hold everytime you arrive because the aircraft ahead are all doing their own thing?

Doug the Head
12th Jul 2008, 21:52
I really wonder if the way EZY uses confidential flight data monitoring is still in the spirit of the way the CAA intended FDM when they made this mandatory for airlines... :confused:

Regarding this whole 160/4 discussion: I see more and more colleagues flying with FDM and the price of fuel in the back of their minds instead of sound airmanship, which might explain why people fly 185 kts in flaps1 and not the instructed 180kts in flaps2, or why pilots start to reduce before 4nm as many are scared to end up flying Vref plus 11 kts at 1000'. :(

Bellerophon
13th Jul 2008, 00:00
...if you know you won't be able to do 160kts to 4, then tell us ... We are quite happy to accomodate people as long as they inform us in good time...

Exactly.

As you did, so well, for many years, when we flew 190kts to 2.5 miles. ;)


Best regards

Bellerophon

BitMoreRightRudder
13th Jul 2008, 10:59
After being suspended from radar a few times because of losses of separation caused by pilots slowing early, catching many go arounds because the one in front slowed down and having to take remedial action on a weekly (almost daily) basis to resolve conflicts caused by pilots not obeying speed instructions, it is a mystery to me why pilots will readback a speed clearance they have no intention of following.


That's bad. I didn't realise that a loss of separation caused by the crew not carrying out an instruction you have given them can lead to an ATCO being suspended. If you have issued the instruction surely it is our responsibility to carry it out and any loss of separation that results would be our fault? Are you able to directly inform the crew involved when this happens?

I think the key to the speed control issue is more feedback, and it needs to be given to the people who make flight standards policy. I've noticed more and more guys are flying very conservative approaches as a direct result of having their arses spanked by the FDM team for "FLIDRAS events". Now ezy have made their stance clear - one too many of these events and you will lose your job.

tom775257
13th Jul 2008, 11:32
What is hard about 160/4 in a A319? Occasionally tricky in the A320 and the A321 with some tailwind, never had a problem in an A319?? Gear down at 4.5 manage speed at 4.0? I am surprised that this causes an issue. Just my experience.

HundredPercentPlease
13th Jul 2008, 11:58
The problem is we must be fully configured by 3.3 miles, and most people give themselves a little margin, maybe a mile or so.

There is also a training/operating concept that you fly the maximum speed you feel safe at, and ATC should not bully you into something you feel is unsafe, or going to lead to a bust of the stable approach parameters.

What is not happening though, is "negative, it will be 160 to 5", which will prevent all the problems.

I have very very very rarely seen a genuine 160 to 4 flown, because it is too close to getting a phone call. The standard method seems to be managed speed and gear at 5 or just approaching 5.

Rananim
13th Jul 2008, 13:17
There is also a training/operating concept that you fly the maximum speed you feel safe at, and ATC should not bully you into something you feel is unsafe, or going to lead to a bust of the stable approach parameters.


ATC dont bully you.They command you.What you fly into some Greek island is your business.But at a busy airport,fly the speed they give you.They rely on it for separation.Its not a game.Sounds to me like this pilot who was dismissed values airmanship and will be much better off taking his skills to someone else who appreciates them.

Justin Cyder-Belvoir
13th Jul 2008, 13:45
Well my chum is being disciplined by his company for not flying a stabilised approach.

He was instructed to maintain 180 to 4 by ATC then couldn't get configured by 500ft; fully configured by 390 RA in an empty aircraft positioning for servicing on to a 13000ft long runway with a planned exit at the end. Weather was cavok.

The management are doing him for gross professional misconduct.

Where's the sense or fairness in that?

fox niner
13th Jul 2008, 14:05
Hmm...To me that does not sound as fair.

given these numbers

He was instructed to maintain 180 to 4 by ATC then couldn't get configured by 500ft; fully configured by 390 RA in an empty aircraft positioning for servicing on to a 13000ft long runway with a planned exit at the end. Weather was cavok.


I would not expect to get fired. A grilling by the chief pilot certainly; perhaps re-training session in the simulator. But fired? Nah...not at my company.

(major continental European flag carrier with global network)

HundredPercentPlease
13th Jul 2008, 14:16
Rananim,

ATC dont bully you.They command you.

Well I for sure thought I, as the commander, was responsible for the aircraft. I really hope that I'm not in the back of yours when ATC command you into the ground.

If I'm not happy with an ATC instruction, I'll let them know.

Doug the Head
13th Jul 2008, 14:22
Where's the sense or fairness in that? There is no fairness, and no common sense either.

What some airlines want you to do is switch off your brain and p!ss away some of that precious $146/barrel oil, instead of landing on a 13000' dry runway in an empty aircraft. :ugh:

The airline brass probably thinks that they'll recuperate the wasted fuel flown in go-arounds when it's time to negotiate the next pay deal with braindead pilots.

It's like that Pink Floyd song: Comfortably Numb.

fatboy slim
13th Jul 2008, 15:20
If its so important to be configured at 1000' and on speed why not fly 160kts with gear and Conf 3 or Conf Full and just push for managed at 4D. Might not be the best for fuel economy but you wont get a phonecall.

HundredPercentPlease
13th Jul 2008, 16:20
You might....

When requested to maintain 160 kt until 4 miles adopt the following procedure;

Fly selected speed and Flap 2.
By 5nm latest, push managed speed and select the gear down.
When the gear is down and below VFE Next - select Flap 3.
When Flaps are at 3 and below VFE Next - select Flap Full

The approach should be stable by 1000ft above TDZE, the approach must be stable by 500ft RA.

This technique may be adapted to comply with maximum requests of 170 kt until 5nm or 180kt until 6nm. In all cases relevant conditions must be taken into account, the request should be declined if conditions are not conducive to achieving stable parameters at 1000' above TDZE. Tailwind on the approach or reduced flap landings will increase the difficulty of achieving stable parameters.

ATC must be informed if speed restrictions are not able to be complied with.

PJ2
13th Jul 2008, 17:54
Justin Cyder-Belvoire;
He was instructed to maintain 180 to 4 by ATC then couldn't get configured by 500ft; fully configured by 390 RA in an empty aircraft positioning for servicing on to a 13000ft long runway with a planned exit at the end. Weather was cavok.

The management are doing him for gross professional misconduct.

Where's the sense or fairness in that?
Over-reaction to FLIDRAS/SESMA/FOQA/FDA data is as serious and ineffective (and therefore wasteful) as under-reaction, (the issue with which we are wrestling). Your question is rhetorical for most here who have some form of healthy safety culture - there is NO sense or fairness in this wasteful act (of firing) whatsoever.

Rogue pilots come along in extremely rare cases. Most of us may get caught high or fast once in a while, - we may make an assumption, (cleared direct when we thought we were going to follow the STAR routing), we may be a bit behind the airplane once in a while due tailwinds or delayed descent clearance, we may have accepted an ATC clearance which later proved difficult to comply with, etc etc.

None of this is "rogue pilot" territory; -that is what the "negligence or criminal behaviour" sections are for in any good company safety policy - it isn't for firing on a whim or a bad approach well outside the FLIDRAS and airline SOP policy. That is a crew-contact matter for the Association FDA Pilots; if that meets with a certain resistance or "chip", that is a sign that the matter may have to go further - but that is rare in our experience.

The other side of the coin on your example however is this: My airline has stated quite clearly to the FOQA team that "long landings" (outside the touchdown zone) on "13000ft runways" are not a problem, and have implied (but not stated) that "idle thrust across the fence if one has speed" is similarly not a problem...they dismiss the FOQA data.

Those habits, practised sufficiently and without intervention, may be fine when one has 13000ft on a clear day but as we all know, runways are also 6000ft and contaminated. I think we'd all agree that keeping up skills and habits gazumps fuel conservation any day. Incidently, I believe that that is the kind of thinking which "permits" crews to take liberties with an empty, placement airplane "when no one is watching". How many accidents have been caused thus?...

White Knight
13th Jul 2008, 18:06
HEATHROW DIRECTOR - gee, I'm sorry but I'm flying to so many different places around the globe that I can't always remember what speeds to expect when I'm flying into that mess they call Heathrow - so if you tell me 160 to 4, and I decide that I can't do it, then tough 'cos that'll be exactly when I tell you - NOT BEFORE....
I'll do what I can to help - but hey, it's my aeroplane!!

Ranamin, ATC offer us a service, which the airlines pay for - but just remember who's the guy carrying the can. It's not the chap in the tower...

Defruiter
13th Jul 2008, 18:22
Prepare yourself to be broken off and repositioned then, so that we can allow for it :ok:

captjns
13th Jul 2008, 18:35
Don't be afraid to use the term "UNABLE" if not in position to configure and fly a safe stable approach. Works good and lasts a long time. Averts unnecessary paperwork.

Agaricus bisporus
13th Jul 2008, 18:51
Rananim, whilst there must be allowances made for cultural differences between operations on either side of the Atlantic I think you are tipping considerably too far towards - and, I think, past, the American style. ATC do NOT "command" us any where in the ICAO world, whatever are you thinking of??? Who is the Captain of the aircraft??? Not the poor ATC Officer, that's for sure. I'll be thankful not to be SLF on one of your flights...

As far as 390ft, 19 miles of planned exit configured runway positioning excuses

STOP!!

Bolleaux!

Company SOP says "Should" be stabilised by 1000', and "MUST" be stabilised by 500ft. "Must" is an imperative. There can be no exceptions.

Let's go on, shell we? SOPs continue by saying that if the a/c is not configured by 500' then the (PNF) "Must" say, "Captain You Must Go-Around!" What is ambiguous about that?

Clearly this did not all happen.

The next call by SOP's is along the lines of (PNF) "I have control. GO AROUND Flaps 15!"

Clearly this did not all happen either, or there would have been a go-around.

Red hetrrings about empty 19000m planned exits just don't apply.

This is beginning to sound like the line being drawn, or, as Voltaire once (almost) put it,

"De temps en temps il faut tuer un Capitaine, pour encourager les autres."

The SOP is unmistakeably clear. You may well think that airmanship might might allow a variation, but then again might airmanship not have made him go around according to SOP?

And, as has been said before, I'd be very surprised if this was the sole event leading up to this result, unless there is a lot more here than we are privy to.

Del Prado
13th Jul 2008, 19:18
What I'm getting from this is if pilots are not conservative enough with speed reduction they're in the sh*t but if they're too conservative the ATCO is. Easy should have a 160 to 5 agreement for the 319s and if that means extra spacing and a reduced capacity so be it but none of us (pilots/ATCOs) should be trying to work around this problem and carrying the can through personal responsibility.

To have an SOP insisting speed reduction is at 5dme at the latest which is quite clearly at odds with ATC procedures encourages a culture of routine rule breaking at odds with the safety culture we strive for.


I didn't realise that a loss of separation caused by the crew not carrying out an instruction you have given them can lead to an ATCO being suspended. If you have issued the instruction surely it is our responsibility to carry it out and any loss of separation that results would be our fault?

After a loss of separation it's fairly standard to be suspended until the radar and RTF recordings are played back and all the forms are filled in which usually takes between 1 and 4 hours.

Rananim
13th Jul 2008, 19:20
100%PLease,
Facetious argument.The issue here is not descent below min radar altitude(which of course you refuse) but speed control in busy airspace.Pilots and ATCO's must help each other out.Unwritten gentlemen's rule.We need each other.Its more important than any phone call,any FDM unit,any SOP or any other such nonsense.160 till 4 is very conservative anyway.Live with 180 till 4
most of the time with no problems but of course I dont fly Airbus;)

Agaricus bisporus
13th Jul 2008, 19:37
160 till 4 is very conservative anyway.Live with 180 till 4


Pal, this is getting tedious.

This fella's SOP says he should be in landing config and speed by 1000ft. That leaves you just one mile to get from intermediate config, gear up 160Kts to 125ish Kts all configured at 1000ft, 3 miles.

How is that conservative? On this side of the pond 180 to 4 is regarded as downright cowboy in this field of aviation, and would make even the mandatory 500ft fully cofigured gate nigh-on impossible.

Just what do you think you are achieving (apart from an almost total loss of options) by screaming around like that on late finals. It might save you 3 or 4 seconds over a sensibly measured approach, and blatantly busts your Company SOPs. Impressive!

This, or something like it, cost this poor bugger his job.

Can you argue the Conservatism of that?

Sunfish
13th Jul 2008, 20:07
With respect, I suspect that what might solve all of your problems is some good old fashioned statistical quality control since it appears your companies have exactly the sort of digital data to do it easily. Statistical QC will distinguish between what is a natural deviation from the mean and an actual departure that indicates something is wrong with the piloting. In fact I'd be surprised if most airlines aren't doing this already if they have the digital data.

What gave me the clue is in the "stabilised by 390 ft RA" comment.

Are you safe if your data indicates that you were stabilised per whatever your company's manual say at 501 ft, but not safe at 499 ft?

Are you safe if your manual says 180 knots and you fly 178 or 182 knots?

Safety is not a Yes/No thing unless you can prove that what has happened is unsafe.

You cannot make any determination about whether a pilot is doing the right thing unless you can determine that he is doing something statistically different from his peers.

For that, you need to determine the mean and standard deviation of speeds and heights for each of your aircraft types at each "gate" and across your entire pilot workforce. I imagine your digital data can do that easily.

Once you have that information it is a simple matter to determine if non-conformance to the "book" figure is a matter of normal random variation or a statistically significant deviation from the rest of the Pilot population.

You can also look at the personal mean and standard (statistical) deviation for each pilot, and analyse it any number of ways to work out trends and spot problems before they cause anyone grief. Might also show a few surprises too.

Furthermore, if you really have all that data and can do the above analysis, then you ought to make sure your airlines share it between themselves and benchmark their performance.

It would also end the eternal arguments about who are "Cowboys" and who aren't.

Stick Flying
13th Jul 2008, 20:53
Agaricus bisporus

Just to clarify things. This guys SOP's say he needs to be in the landing config by 1000'. Not on speed as well (otherwise there would be a few more headed into muddy waters).

I feel for the poor sole but there by the grace of god go us. I hazard a guess, from what others say, that he did not intend to go out that day and become a rodeo rider. But at the end of the day burning a further 500kg of more and more expensive comodity is now the ONLY option. Not the time for deviation from the norm if ever there was one.

PJ2
13th Jul 2008, 21:47
Sunfish - I think you make some very valid and important points that are worth thinking about over and over again. There is a lot there to unpack.

Indeed, the kind of data collection done in such programs lends itself very nicely to such statistical analysis. I understand and know exactly what you are saying.

That acknowledged, some considerations are in order. First, one would expect that a statistical approach is one part, perhaps a large part, but not the only part of a thorough approach to flight data analysis. We know this untuitively even though most outside the cockpit of an airliner do not.

I say this, because a statistical approach can have unintended responses and can mask "once-of's" which may highlight a latent problem but which occur rarely.

For example, in trying to advance our flight data program, some non-flying, non-safety managers and executives have suggested (and so far, their views have prevailed, much to our great frustration and concern), that only a "representative sample" of airplanes need be equipped with QAR recording equipment.

Further, they have suggested that one fleet type is a sufficient sample of the operation and further installations are all but unnecessary or at least should wait. It has also been suggested that further installations weren't needed until they could be shown to be "commercially viable". You could have heard a pin drop...

Such a response is financially driven of course and has nothing to do with thinking about flight safety. "Not knowing" for a company's leadership in today's environment is a demonstrably high-risk approach to both financial and flight-safety due diligence but it flourishes as seen, nonetheless.

Also, (and I suspect you know this intuitively), statistics such as averages, means and deviance are right out the window if "you're it" and you've had a crash, (or worse, are in one). There is no such concept as an "average" or "risk", after an accident. It is antecedents, pathways, "why-because" analysis and "was it in our data?" from that point on. Much more could be said...

The other mask which statistics may apply in an unintended fashion is, what if your pilots are simply very good at "rescuing" non-stabilized approaches and achieving successful, touchdown-zone landings 100% of the time? Indeed, some non-flying (and some flying!) managers ask, "If you're saying these approaches are 'high risk', where are the over-run accidents?"

The notion of "stochastic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stochastic)" may be useful in thinking about both the great value of flight data analysis as well as it's "problems". The term means, very roughly (because I am neither a mathematician or a statistician), "(Greek stochazein, to shoot with a bow at a target; that is, to scatter events in a partially random manner, some of which achieve a preferred outcorne). If a sequence of events combines a random component with a selective process so that only certain outcomes of the random are allowed to endure, that sequence is said to be stochastic." - Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature, ca 1960

An example would be, (keeping in mind how accidents happen in our industry), a person running across a fairly busy road or non-rushhour freeway will likely make it first time, second and perhaps a dozen times. But ultimately, done enough times, that person is going to be hit. There is both randomness and a "preferred" (by the process, NOT by the person!), outcome. THAT it is going to happen, of that we are certain. WHEN, cannot be said, nor can flight data tell us which approach will end up as an accident.

In doing their "best" for the organization so that it and it's owners "prosper", the ubiquitous bean-counter, senior airline executives, non-flying managers and those managers who fly but who have lost their way on the way to management, use this sleight-of-thought all the time to justify cost-cutting in flight safety areas and programs. We produce nothing measurable so can it be so bad to cut, or with-hold supporting resources?

Will flying 182kts or 178kts get you a "pull-up and go-around" from ATC? Will 160/4 make you safer? Obviously it depends on a lot of things, very few of which are secure predictors of an accident.

The key in any risk-intensive enterprise is finding the balance and using what data is available intelligently. While this is a black-and-white view which demands a far more subtle approach, at precisely the time when their services and their work are needed most, these days flight safety departments and their programs are seen as expensive impediments whose conservatism is counter to "efficient" use of resources such as fuel, people and airplanes. The natural tension between these two forces is in danger of being overtaken by commercial side.

The call for SOP adherence throughout this thread is both freshening and heartening, for again, if ever there was a time....

This is one of the most important threads on PPRuNe at the moment. It goes to the heart of what makes this business, in all its aspects, so fascinating.

Agaricus bisporus
13th Jul 2008, 22:09
SF, in this case "stabilised" refers to several criteria and on speed is, of course, just another one of them. There are more.

lurkio
13th Jul 2008, 22:54
Doug the Head please, please, do not associate anything as crass as airline management with something as wonderful as Comfortably Numb, I'll forgive you this time.

160 to 4 is not a problem, the problem is when certain people high up the chain decide to publish in detail a procedure for just about everything. Frankly, if we cannot find a way to fly 160 to 4 and get it configured by 1000' then we should not be doing this job.

As for arguing with our ATC colleagues about who is God today this has got to stop. We all have to work together to make this system work, ATC tell me to do something, I then as aircraft commander decide if that is a safe and viable course of action. If it is then it gets done, if not we try to find another way. We do this all the time and don't have protracted discussions about it so why get all upset about 160 to 4?

Of course safety has to be number one but the FDM or whatever we call it today has shifted people's focus away from the runway to 500' above it and we have an almost manic focus on the 500' gate and the parameters that have to be satisfied. Just the thought of getting that phone call is pre-occupying guys attention way out on the approach. Not a good thing in my book. Sure, monitor what is going on but try not to be as draconian with the data usage. A phone call for bug +12 knots passing the gate and then landing safely on speed is getting a bit too anal. Especially when we know the autothrust can be a bit wide of the mark, especially with flap 3 landings and tailwind on the approach (A319 that is).

Justin Cyder-Belvoir
13th Jul 2008, 23:01
Ag Bis

I wasn't remarking on the breach or otherwise of SOPs, the company in question has a 500ft stabilised requirement, but no SOP 500ft Go Arround / continue call.

My observation was based on the dynamics of that particular situation: a positioning flight, no pax or CC. Landing on a very long runway at a very light weight with a planned ( my emphasis ) exit at the end. Instructed by ATC 180 to 4 and the instruction not cancelled and then having to decel and configure a very slippy jet in 2 and bit miles.

Firstly the use of FDM data in that situation to achieve a dsiciplinary kill is, in my opinion, over the top: no one was hurt, the jet landed safely and my chum isn't given to random acts of cowboy behaviour.

Having decided to use the FDM as a big stick it would, in my opinion have been more sensible to simply have him in for tea and biscuits, ask for an explanation, and tell him not to try that on a revenue flight or he will have his legs slapped.

Proportionate response to FDM data is what is needed: if it is used as a preventative tool, i.e. any minor trangression results in a slapped wrist rather than sacking it serves it's purpose. If the transgressor repeats the "offence" a closer examination of their operating technique may well be required. However, using it as a Sword of Damocles is hardly what it was designed for!

411A
14th Jul 2008, 01:18
160 to 4.
Oh my goodness, everyone quite upset, it seems.
Some can, some can't, and if you do it wrong, tea and biscuits in the head shed.

Lets see, in January, the approach controller wants to know if we can do 200 to a five mile final.
I tell him...absolutely, not a problem.
Of course we are an adaptable type (TriStar -500) and heavy.
What's more important is...the head shed is manned by folks who put their trust in the pilots, not in some tattle-tale box.

What a shame others aren't the same.

lederhosen
14th Jul 2008, 06:51
Excellent post 411A, as ever you manage to capture perfectly the essence behind the debate. By the way interesting report in D&G on an unstabilised approach in Darwin for those interested in what alse can happen when you get it wrong.

Stick Flying
14th Jul 2008, 08:04
This chap has apparently made an error of judgment. Now there are not many who I would think would go to work intent in deviating from SOP's to a point that puts you out of a job. For that reason I sympathise with this guy/girl. But I am not aware of the case or details so perhaps my sympathies are unfounded. At the end of the day it appears they (the captain) did not follow SOP and paid the ultimate price.

Now for your purposes. Let's go on, shell (sic) we? SOPs continue by saying that if the a/c is not configured by 500' then the (PNF) "Must" say, "Captain You Must Go-Around!" What is ambiguous about that?

I would suggest you keep up to date on your SOP's. The March 08 Boeing ops manual did indeed have the command "Captain You Must Go-Around". Now in your defence this would probably have been the governing authority in use at the time of the event (only a guess, please forgive me if this is in fact incorrect). But the update effective 10th July does not differentiate between who is PNF and merely states "Not stable go-around". I must say I prefer this later one as I think the previous SOP was rather vague. This is now quite clear and succinct. But to conclude, "ambiguity" is sometimes not as straightforward as it seems when dealing with complex manuals.

fiftyfour
14th Jul 2008, 09:30
Unfortunately the companies that rely on FDM and a big stick approach are not helping to create a culture where general airmanship is of high priority. It will breed pilots who get all the monitored parameters right but who neglect the unmonitored parameters (like what is said on the radio, interaction with other crew members etc) because their jobs depend on it.
In this respect I would say the BA way is far superior to the EZY way.

BOAC
14th Jul 2008, 10:01
Once again we are losing sight here of reality, with spelling police, Tristar sales and sniping in flow.

Main points, I feel:

As said on the many threads here before on the 'speed on finals' topic, IF you cannot accept it, tell ATC EARLY. Likewise they need to tell you EARLY, either by Notam/chart or R/T pre-notification before finals. It is no good suddenly asking at 7 miles, (or requesting a 'new' specific exit as we bravely wrestle with the controls at 100kts on the runway, avoiding the orphans' school and housing estate).

To me, there has to be more to this 'sacking' than we see here. While '180 to 4' is just NOT practical in anything but a Harrier or prop, ONE whoopsie should NOT result in a sacking.

Nearly ALL of us have to adjust our planning to 1000' stable now-a-days whether we like it or not - fact. I came from an environment where it was 'throttles closed, on speed on the numbers or you are a pansy' to airlines and made that adjustment (well, most of the time:)).

If EJ are making life impossible, as BA tried to do at Brussels for example way back (another thread), tell them! ASR/Flight report. Make a FUSS. If the management wet dreams are making life difficult/impossible for ATC, take action, be it reports/filings or even send arounds if you have to (the latter rapidly focussing bean-counters' attention).

160 to 4 is not impossible, but it needs a bit of work. On a previous thread we established that a pre-requested 170 to 5 was 'manageable' for ATC but would reduce the rates.

My experience of FDR monitoring has been positive. The 'cowboy' element can easily be identified. If this guy was not such, and had just this one 'event', the decision is bizarre and in my opinion could easily have been handled differently.

A4
14th Jul 2008, 12:49
170 to 5 is now "standard" at ESGG (STN) and I think it works very well compared to the "old" 160 to 4. Conf 2 selected 170. If a tail wind, manage the speed at approx 5.1-3 and configure with gear flap. If a headwind , managed at approx 4.6-8 and configure. Usually you are decelerating nicely through 160 as you pass 4 D and are stable at 1000'.

I did hear that BA have stopped doing F3 landings on their A319's as it is difficult to get stable (if no real headwind component). Anyone care to clarifiy if that's the case?

A4

nonemmet
14th Jul 2008, 14:16
It seems to me that it is ATC that must give way on this one - and that is what it amounts to. The focus by airline management on stabilised approaches is relatively recent and pilots must comply, understandably allowing themselves some margin. Rather than glibly state that pilots should inform ATC if they are unable to comply, would it not be better for all concerned if ATC were to recognise that their 160/4 ( or variants on) procedure is no longer practical and change it.

Del Prado
14th Jul 2008, 15:38
Nonemmet, I don't have a problem with that but we should sit down and talk about it rather than an airline publish an SOP which flies in the face of current ATC practise and let the pilots and controllers try and sort it out.

And there will have to be a change in spacing and therefore a reduction in capacity because the Easy 319s cannot conform. Are the airlines happy with increased delays and is the airport authority happy with a reduction in runway movements?

White Knight
14th Jul 2008, 15:48
Well defruiter - I've never been broken off when i've told ATC I can't comply!! As I said, I'll do what I can to help out, fly the speed I'm asked to - but if I can't then I won't... If YOU can't sort out the traffic behind then that simply is not my problem:rolleyes:

Besides - if you did break me off to fit in someone behind and above then I'd be on the blower to your boss fairly pronto:ugh:

kick the tires
14th Jul 2008, 16:02
To me, there has to be more to this 'sacking' than we see here. While '180 to 4' is just NOT practical in anything but a Harrier or prop, ONE whoopsie should NOT result in a sacking.


There is a lot more to it than this one incident.

If you are on double secret probation you tow the line and are conservative.

You certainly DONT give the management any cause to issue a P45.

Merchant Navy Class
14th Jul 2008, 18:08
The joke of this all is if the poor chap who was busted for being stable at 390ft had made his approach into BRS (with a much shorter runway), 500ft rad alt just so happens to be around 270ft AAL.

If it really was a "saftey" issue it would be based on AAL not rad alt :confused:

Ashling
14th Jul 2008, 18:41
A very valid point

mr.777
14th Jul 2008, 19:21
White Knight
Your attitude is really quite disappointing. If I can't "sort out the traffic" behind you because you tell me at the last minute that you can't fly an ATC assigned speed , then believe me if it results in a loss of separation it'll soon become your problem when the CAA are on the blower to you.
Furthermore, if you are broken off because your actions endanger other a/c, then please feel free to phone in because you'll get pretty short shrift form the controller involved, the Airports Supervisor and most probably the Watch Manager. You getting put at the back of a queue of traffic will really be the last thing we care about if we have just prevented an incident. Maybe you're one of these guys who thinks they're the only a/c in the sky. Funny how nearly all of them all like that until they plug in with us and see the consequennces of their actions.
Comments such as yours really don't offer anything to this discussion. As has been said on here several times by myself, Defruiter, Del Prado and others....if we can help, we will help...but we need to know in advance! What part of this has been lost in translation? :ugh:

411A
14th Jul 2008, 19:49
All this intense discussion is pointless, anyway.
Airlines are reducing schedules/flights due to the high(er) price of avtur.
Less capacity requires fewer runway requirements.
Which means... fewer arrivals.
IE, more distance to work with for the ATC folks (who are already worked to the max, I'm sure).

Problem solved...in the short term.

Longer term.... airline managements need to wake up and smell the coffee, for it is THE FOLKS UP AT THE POINTY END WHO MAKE THE DECISIONS.

In other words, stop this nonsense of secong guessing.
Full stop.

NB.
In the small carrier I work for, it is the FD crew who call the shots, and the head shed backs us up...totally.
Without reservation.

Doug the Head
14th Jul 2008, 20:06
This whole thread so far is mainly focusing on only partly relevant details, 160/4 or 180/5, who cares?! IMHO we should focus more about the big picture: who is now in charge of the safety of an aircraft and is FDM the correct (legal?) tool to prosecute and fire pilots?

If this captain in LPL did something 'unsafe' (i.e. against SOP's) by busting the 500' gate then so be it, but did he/she almost crash an aircraft? Was it really a close call (long landing, nearly an overrun etc) or was it just a bureaucratic decision to fire this person for not sticking to the SOP?

When is common sense, airmanship and thinking outside the box allowed? Is it only allowed after the crash, when the company/managers need a scapegoat? :hmm:

J.O.
14th Jul 2008, 20:48
Firstly, there is not nearly enough information about this particular situation for me to pass judgement directly. Those who are passing judgement really aren't helping, IMHO.

At my company, the FDM agreement with our pilots union is pretty solid in terms of protecting pilot identity. Union gatekeepers are the only persons who have access to crew identy in our program. While I believe we have a management commitment that would "do the right thing" when the crew of a significant event were identified, I also understand why our pilot group wants nothing to do with that in our FDM process. Past performance by past management probably has alot to do with that perception, and only through a long term management commitment that is truly non-punitive, will that perception ever change.

In my opinion, pilot unions, operations managers and even FDM programs themselves should not be in the business of protecting or sheltering rogue pilots. But I also believe that the number of rogue pilots is a very small percentage of the total. The vast majority are professionals who take their safety commitments seriously. So, when events are discovered (through FDM or any other means) that point to a possible deficiency in skills and/or knowledge, the program should be focussed on helping the individuals involved to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to prevent a recurrence of the event. But if that process identifies an individual who feels they haven't done anything wrong; who refuses to change; or who is un-trainable; there has to be a way to prevent that individual from being in a position where they could threaten the safety of the operation. IMHO, the only way such a process could ever be accepted is if it included peer involvement (i.e. the union sits at the table) from the outset to ensure that the process is fair and reasonable. It most certainly requires a delicate touch if you're going to do it right. But for the sake of all concerned, it's also important that it be done.

PJ2
14th Jul 2008, 21:10
J.O.

Precisely, and I hope this re-focuses this important thread on the original topic of how FDA is used at various carriers. I, and I suspect many, are deriving great benefit in this "general meeting", comparing others' programs and issues. Gentlemen?...

At our airline we have an agreement between the airline and the pilots' association which has provisions for dealing with those very rare cases which can come along, and which you cite. Very definitely the matter is one for peer review/counseling and the airline management trusts this process.

In fact, generally if it gets to this stage, (either via FDM, ASRs or pilots coming in to talk), it is an HFACs problem and not merely a flight safety issue.

The union too, is fully supportive of the process. Notwithstanding our frustrations with support and involvement in terms of what the data is telling us (and which we convey to our operations people on a regular basis), our airline is very supportive of this aspect of the program, which, as you probably well know, obviously involves a great deal of trust between the two groups.

I can say with a high degree of confidence that our airline would never use the data in an inappropriate manner. Firing a pilot using FDA data would finish the program but that doesn't mean we are gun-shy with the data - where appropriate, the crew is contacted, discussions had, explanations offered and, again where appropriate, we create animations and presentations of the event and use them in recurrent training sessions and other venues appropriately discrete and de-identified.

At the same time, Flight Operations expect that the issues, as they arise in the data, will be dealt with as per the agreement. That is where the resources and support issues begin to get difficult as there just aren't the people to do the work but we're slowly making progress.

In fact, it is the pilots who desire and use the program (in terms of calls to the association FDA reps) - quite a reversal from the usual, I understand.

Kind regards,
PJ2

anartificialhorizon
15th Jul 2008, 06:30
Apologies if this has been posted earlier.

Found within the public domain.

EASYJET PILOT GETS SACK FOR SPEEDING

13 July 2008
People

AN easyJet pilot has been sacked for repeatedly flying too FAST. The senior captain is believed to have had a string of warnings about breaking strict speed limits. He was axed when a routine check of his flight records by bosses at the budget airline exposed yet another breach.

An easyJet source said: "It wasn't for just one mistake - because like anyone else pilots sometimes make small errors. "But if the very strict speed restrictions are continuously broken it stands to reason that safety may be compromised."

The pilot, who has not been named, was booted out last week after the latest incident when he landed a holiday jet in Spain. Officials said he was speeding when his plane with up to 100 passengers arrived at Malaga. It has not been revealed how fast the shorthaul aircraft was going. News of the dismissal was the hot topic for discussion on a pilots' website.

One easyJet flier hinted that more than one speeding pilot may have been fired recently. He wrote online: "We know there were more based on flight data recorders." The airline source added: "Some pilots are not happy about his departure but the rules are there for everyone's safety. "The company has an excellent safety record and the last thing it wants is to be known as 'SpeedyJet'."

one post only!
15th Jul 2008, 07:20
Some really bad examples of CRM here. To the ATC guys, do you think it’s fair to come on this website and put pressure on the pilots to maintain 160 to 4D. No. We (at EZY) are doing EXACTLY what our company tell us. This thread was started to say what happens if you deviate slightly from SOP. If you deviate and are not stable resulting in a few G/A's you have not got a leg to stand on. We are all quite keen to stay in employment!

This is not the place to sort out procedure, you may be putting pressure on guys. If it’s a problem (clearly it is) please please please go through the official channels and speak to the company(s). This way the company can turn round and say our aircraft will be flown like this.....!

This gives you lots of notice. Telling us that when you issue an instruction it’s too late for us to turn round and tell you that we cannot follow it isn’t helping. These instructions vary every day. 160 to 4d. min clean now. 180 to 6D (same thing) etc, glideslope U/S can you continue visually..... Do we have to phone ahead at push back to see what we are going to get!!?!?!?

Little threats of “well if you don't comply we can always break you off and bring you round for another go” are not professional and a little smiley face after doesn’t make it ok. You know that we don't carry sh*t loads of fuel and we don't need this.

We are doing as we are told. End of! The company dictate these rules for safety but also for financial reasons (to my understanding). We get reduced insurance if we can show that a high percentage of approaches are stable at 1000 feet. Apparently it’s a significant saving.

The company dictate the rules for good reason. We stick to them for good reason (mortgage, wife, kids!!). We are not doing it to be difficult. We don't sit there thinking lets slow now it will really fu*k ATC off and the company traffic behind who happens to be a mate!

I am disappointed that guys on here from UK ATC (generally thought of as the best in the world) have posted without thinking how their comments may apply pressure. Think CRM next time please!!!!

Once again please don’t have a go at the FD on here, pass your comments on up the line and we can get it sorted out. Don’t target us, the last thing we need is on approach after already holding for a while due to heavy traffic etc is, right I’m sick of this, this will teach him. “Right 90 degrees hold at XX for 10 mins for re-sequencing ”....””pan pan”

And while I am ranting typical gutter press reporting on last post.

rubik101
15th Jul 2008, 07:24
Just what is an 'Holiday Jet' I wonder? Wearing a silly 'kiss me quick' hat and sunnies? Factor 15 slapped all over its bonce?
Journos.....?????
The rest of the information would certainly lead the airline to take the action it has done. If he was warned and still continued to fly outside SOPs then he deserved what was coming to him, imho.
People have been sacked for much less serious incidents, to my certain knowledge.....

fireflybob
15th Jul 2008, 08:18
). We get reduced insurance if we can show that a high percentage of approaches are stable at 1000 feet. Apparently it’s a significant saving.


Really? Seems like the tail wagging the dog if this is true!

eagerbeaver1
15th Jul 2008, 09:05
I find this all rather odd. I am regularly in amongst ezy of arrival and if anything in my opinion they fly quite slowly. I am often having to slow a few miles earlier.

I was talking with one chap, he explained about the new econ flying mentality resulting in cost index 20 and a subsequent econ descent speed of 265 kts IAS?

Ezy you need to fly faster.

Shaka Zulu
15th Jul 2008, 09:37
@ eagerbeaver: Why?

If ATC tells them to speed up they will otherwise they'll default to their econ descent speed, whatever that may be!
I think that's entirely appropriate. When I flew for them the econ descent spd on the 737 was less than 280kts. We regularly did less unless a specific speed was requested by ATC.
What's the problem?
We are all aviators and I'm trying to do my bit for the company. If ATCO units have an issue let them liaise with our Management, there are appropriate channels for this sort of thing

BitMoreRightRudder
15th Jul 2008, 09:38
CI 10 to be precise. On transition unless otherwise asked the econ descent IAS is usually no higher than 255kts. (on the 319. The boeing is sadly a distant memory).

Airbrake
15th Jul 2008, 09:39
Current 737 cost index is 10. This equates to 250 IAS from about FL340 but if ATC ask you to fly quicker for sequencing just do it.

The irony is that most of the time London want 280 or 300kts so we will probably burn more fuel in the descent than if we had kept using the old Cost Index which had a more practical descent speed.

Airbrake
15th Jul 2008, 09:52
er82.

If we all flew at the same CI this would not be an issue. Slowly but surely all companies will reduce their cost index to save fuel. Easyjet are just leading the way!

SR71
15th Jul 2008, 09:59
If the thrust levers are at idle it doesn't matter what speed you're doing in the descent, the burn is the same...

Sounds like a classic case of the company looking for an excuse to get rid of a guy....its been done before...

My $0.02.

BANANASBANANAS
15th Jul 2008, 10:07
SR71, At risk of sounding like a pedant, not exactly correct. Idle thrust and flying faster = higher rate of descent = sooner level off = more time in (low lvl) crz = more fuel burn.

Sadly Cynical
15th Jul 2008, 10:15
BANANAS - all correct apart from the fact that you start your descent later because of that higher rate of descent and therefore level off at the same point. Result - less fuel burnt.

Stick Flying
15th Jul 2008, 10:15
With lower descent speeds the rate of descent is lower, therefore the time spent at lower fuel burn is longer (and less time spent at cruise fuel flow settings). The FMC thinks it is more economical to do it that way.

But Airbrake has hit the nail on the head, if we descend based on CI 10, we start down early but are then asked to speed up which is generally in the lower levels. Here the fuel burn goes through the roof, nullifying any gain we would have made.

edit Sadly Cynical:- Also not quite correct as more fuel burnt at top of descent due to descending later with cruise thrust fuel flow for longer (see above).

ItsAjob
15th Jul 2008, 10:25
I too find myself being held up a lot behind those guys drifting down.

While they might like going down at 250 kts we try to keep a sensible speed, and so are often given stepped decents and often left high.

250 below ten, not fl 380. Nobody likes the little old lady doing 45mph in the middle lane on the motorway do we?

The managed decent is not at idle either!

Sky Pilot
15th Jul 2008, 11:31
I know this is contributing to thread creep...but late (ie high speed) descents do not save fuel!

Even at idle a jet engine requires fuel to keep it lit. This is directly related to the mass of air flowing through the engine. More speed = more air = more fuel. The fuel saved by extending the cruise, typically 20 to 30nm is outweighed by the extra fuel burned in the high speed "idle" descent. In the 737 it's not unusual to burn an extra 100 to 200kgs in a high speed descent. The most economical descent is to trade time for fuel and descend early and slow, which is exactly what the FMC does when you change the CI.

Chesty Morgan
15th Jul 2008, 11:51
It's quite simple really. Fly at the speed you, or your company, prefer until given speed control by ATC. Then you fly at that speed.

All aircraft can fly at 160 knots to 4 miles, you just have to configure for the speed. The only real reason you should have for refusing an ATC request is to preserve the safety of your aircraft. If you find that your SOP's are too restrictive for Gatwick then get the SOP changed. Remember Gatwick and 160/4 was here long before easyJet and there are hundreds of airlines flying into Gatwick who can do 160/4 without any problem, why should that change?!

Remember SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure. They can be departed from or even adjusted slightly if required. 'Phone the Chief Pilot if you find yourself continually having problems with an SOP and he can and will change it if he thinks it's appropriate...and in the 160/4 case it would appear to be so.

BANANASBANANAS
15th Jul 2008, 12:07
Afraid not Sadly Cynical. Min fuel burn (in this descent context) = max time spent with thrust levers at idle. Less time at idle (hi spd descent) = more time with them open - be it prior to TOD or intermediate level off - it still means more burn.

Think about it, if you start your descent later you are spending a portion of time in the crz (with thrust applied) prior to a hi spd descent which could all have been spent at lower speed descent with thrust levers closed.

Now, back to the thread?

SR71
15th Jul 2008, 12:13
For the pedants, assuming your airline has done the analysis and considered the fuel related costs and time related costs, moving away from the official CI in either direction, will increase the total cost of the trip...thats the point.

Once in the descent, the burn is the same regardless of speed...have a look at the FF and see if there is an appreciable difference dependent on speed...

If you arrive at TOD with a certain amount of energy, you've got a choice about how you dissapate it.

The difference between idle descent and stabilised final approach FF on the 73 Classic is ~2400kg/hr...from memory. Thats about 40kg/min.

Therefore if your thrust levers are coming up more than 2.5 mins i.e., ~7nm prior to the 1000 AAL gate, you've just cost yourself >100kg of fuel...

My guess is that is where the extra burn derives its origin from as I know very few pilots who, even when given the opportunity, can consistently arrange their descent with such precision.

Maybe the EZY skipper concerned was trying to?

I have to say, as a crew we've stabilised below 500 RA, filled in the paperwork and still have jobs...

BANANASBANANAS
15th Jul 2008, 12:52
Totally agree with you as far as you go Blackbird but remember, in the descent it is Fuel FLOW that is the same, but at slower speed the descent lasts longer (therefore a small increase in TOTAL DESCENT fuel burn in a slow speed descent) but that extra fuel burn is more than saved by starting the descent earlier than you would for a hi spd descent - thereby saving the fuel that would otherwise be burnt with the thrust levers at crz power prior to TOD for a hi spd descent - a significant net fuel saving. The whole point is that the position of TOD is affected by planned descent speed. At a planned Hi spd descent you have already burnt your 'extra' fuel prior to TOD. Ergo, planned slower speed descent = earlier TOD point = less time spent with crz thrust applied = fuel saving. Total cost is a different argument completely. For instance, tankering fuel. We do it to save money but it costs extra fuel.

SR71
15th Jul 2008, 13:21
Without wishing to further hijack the thread, total cost is exactly the point of the argument in this day and age....

Speeds should be adjusted via use of the CI to reduce trip cost to the minimum. The speeds the CI throws up are incidental to the argument.

Having reached the CI computed TOD point and started your descent, if you choose to adjust the speeds, what happens to the total burn from that point on?

BANANASBANANAS
15th Jul 2008, 15:06
Having reached the CI computed TOD point and started your descent, if you choose to adjust the speeds, what happens to the total burn from that point on?

Then you are deviating from your plan. No reason though why you shouldn't manually insert a manual mach/ias (for known speed requirements etc) prior to TOD if speed control is expected in the descent. That may well save you from being forced to alter your speed in a descent to comply with ATC requirements - thereby trashing your profile if you didn't plan for it prior to TOD.

End of the day, Plan the flight sensibly/practically and try to fly the plan. Of course I agree that total cost is important (though the tree huggers might argue wrt tankering which saves money but burns extra fuel) but I was responding to a specific question/comment about fuel burn, not total cost.

Min fuel burn = max time at idle thrust in descent!:ok:

5150
15th Jul 2008, 15:49
http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_2_07/AERO_Q207_article5.pdf

Article for all you armchair experts on Cost Index . . . :rolleyes:

Caudillo
15th Jul 2008, 15:57
Is this not all largely academic (especially in relation to a skipper getting the sack)?

I understand the theory behind low CI, early descents and the rest - but to work properly it requires an idealised non or low traffic environment. The realities of airspace structure and traffic often render these early descents less efficient than might be imagined.

Get the earliest possible descent a couple of hundred miles out the second you're prompted by your box? Fine. They just let you down a couple of thousand feet and hold you there. With the end result you're spending time lower down than you otherwise would have, burning a little extra fuel and a hole in your heart. It's a net loss.

It's an idealised solution and you have to account for the environment in which you find yourself. Controversially, this would require some awareness and perhaps even some thought. Given that one can't magic away the traffic, and that you're looking to save a few drops of fuel, would it not be more sensible to descend - yes, at the slowest speed and at the earliest possible - at the earliest point at which you're likely to be able to complete the descent and arrive at the last possible moment? It's not necessarily where the arrow sits on the line.

SR71
15th Jul 2008, 16:38
5150,

Oh please, that link is only 3 pages long.

Why not this one: SmartCockpit - Airline training guides, Aviation, Operations, Safety (http://www.smartcockpit.com/pdf/flightops/aerodynamics/23)

Its 108 pages long.

:rolleyes:

Caudillo,

Absolutely agree. We're talking ideal world here. In reality, I personally think its best to stay high for as long as possible because chances are if I'm track-miles challenged, and ATC can see that, I figure I'm less likely to be held up at low level.

My $0.02.

AAA737300BF
15th Jul 2008, 16:47
How about speedbrakes?

If speedbrakes are used in decent, that means there is fuel wasted earlier in cruise, so if the decent is planned carefully and optimized, no speedbrake should be used.
This also increases comfort for your paying passengers, as it feels terrible in the cabin with speedbrakes extended. (IMHO)

I personally prefer to decent a bit early, there is always a chance for a nice shortcut and technically, it is much easier and safer to add a little thrust then destroying energy, be it altitude or speed, with extra track miles or speebrakes or some other manouvers.

BANANASBANANAS
15th Jul 2008, 21:36
Is this not all largely academic (especially in relation to a skipper getting the sack)?


Have to agree.

Over to Tech Log if anyone wants to continue the semantics of descent planning?:ok:

mr.777
16th Jul 2008, 14:00
And why are you asking for 160 to 4 when the next traffic is 20nm behind you and there is nobody in front or to depart????

In short,

A) Because its the "law"...or rather in its MATS 2 local operating instructions.

B) There may be nobody in front or behind you or no departures but you flying 160 to 4 means the tower know exactly how much time they have to do, for example, a runway inspection/cross a towing aircraft/route a VFR heli through the overhead etc etc etc.

Airbrake
16th Jul 2008, 14:07
LYKA.

Please answer this. You are in the cruise at FL370 and are really tight on fuel.

Assuming an optimum descent profile which would get you on the ground with the most fuel remaining with the same starting Mach No.?

1. 250 IAS
2. 300 IAS

eagerbeaver1
16th Jul 2008, 14:59
Airbrake, I would not know exactly but I would bet 250Kias.

I was stitched this morning, an aircraft decided to fly 180Kias from approximately 20-25 track miles from touchdown. This incured a penalty to me (no.2 behind) and the four aircraft behind in the sequence.

My point is nothing to do with which CI or which speed is best but airmanship/professionalism. When someone is flying slower it will inevitably cause a bottleneck and result in a fuel penalty. (I could not care less about the 1 or 2 minutes extra flying time)

I try and keep the thrust levers closed from TOD to four miles as much as possible - this in my opinion burns the least amount of fuel. I dont roar around at 320Kias + and I do ok.

For the sake of argument and this thread if Ezy want to plan for a slower descent, no problem

Airbrake
16th Jul 2008, 15:15
Eagerbeaver you are right the answer is 250kts. Once you have started any descent at a pre planned speed if you then have to increase speed you will burn more fuel because of the simple fact you will gradually go low on the pre planned profile and have to increase thrust at some stage.

I think some people here are showing some confusion about the implications on total fuel burn with changes of speed in the descent.

Doug the Head
16th Jul 2008, 15:37
Except for a few people, most seem to miss the point of this whole thread and instead prefer to be distracted by trivial details like 160/4, Cost Index, use of speedbrakes etc... :ugh:

PJ2
16th Jul 2008, 17:10
Doug the Head;
most seem to miss the point of this whole thread
Yep, and I'm outa here; there's no further point.

The whole point is the firing of a veteran airman using what is supposed to be a safety tool. I would like to have seen contributions from those who have agreements in place, how such agreements are respected/handled, what new endeavours might be derived from FDA programs, (we have the capability of enormously detailed analysis of fuel-use including single-engine taxi's, fuel used while waiting at the gate for the ground-crew, as well as all phases of flight). The paucity of imagination is disappointing but hey...it's an anonymous rumour network not a collegial setting where common interest must focus towards anything specific. The distractions on this thread mirror the way most discussions tend to go. Hopefully a few derived benefit.

Cheers.

Gary Lager
16th Jul 2008, 17:57
Maybe the 'veteran' airman was fired because the safety tool did its job?

As has been mentioned on here, this does not appear to have been an isolated incident. If so, then the system would appear to work. I have been a 'victim' of FDM - and whilst it seems an intimidating process at first, I discovered the attitude within EZY to be constructive and focussed on training, not punishment - but I was left in no doubt what the outcome would be if violations are persistent or negligent. (My incident was high speed below 500', but during a low go-around with flap problems - FDM didn't tell the whole story and our report was an adequate resolution)

There is no way that any EZY pilot could claim ignorance of the emphasis which the company puts on the stablised approach criteria, especially if they had already experienced the 'system'. There is always the option to go-around at 500' - if not, then one is already at a point where a MAYDAY call should be considered. To all those who have remarked that avoiding a go-around even though 'a little bit' unstable saves fuel (and hence costs) - EZY is not the only company receiving a massive insurance premium reduction on the basis of the 500' policy, and associated proven flight safety benefits.

If it is recognised, as by some folks on here, that Flap 3 approaches are often a little more 'slippery', then surely the answer is a no-brainer: plan to begin configuring earlier (with advice to ATC if under proessure to keep high speed - I have never had any grief from ATC by giving them timely notice of extra track miles or speed reductions required, even in France!). Some of the posts on here crying 'airmanship' or going on about the divine right of the pilot to ignore a clear, safe, straightforward company policy smack more of ego than an attempt to operate in the safest possible manner.

I will keep my aircraft safe, but once that is achieved - it's not my train set, and I will operate how I am required to by my boss.

(btw, don't our training dept and management get some credit for their 'experience', in the same way that this individual is assumed innocent because of his?)

LYKA
17th Jul 2008, 04:32
73 Yes I understand exactly what you (and others) aret talking about, however I think this isn't really the right place to be dicussing the in's and out's of descent and fuel burn techniques - hense I removed my post.

All the best.

Wingswinger
17th Jul 2008, 06:34
Actually, the most fuel efficient descent would be at min drag speed = green dot in a 'bus.

BANANASBANANAS
17th Jul 2008, 10:04
As I said in post# 125 regarding descent fuel burn:

Min fuel burn = max time at idle thrust in descent!

Isn't that the same thing?

Tech Log anyone?

kick the tires
17th Jul 2008, 11:30
My guess is the company wanted to set an example and this captain happened to become the scapegoat.


Do you really think that in todays climate of employment law/BALPA representation that ANY company would be allowed to sack someone without just cause?

fireflybob
17th Jul 2008, 11:55
Do you really think that in todays climate of employment law/BALPA representation that ANY company would be allowed to sack someone without just cause?

Well agree (partly) but maybe he/she will sue for wrongful/constructive dismissal? Not saying whether that would be successful but you never know!

Kraut
17th Jul 2008, 15:20
..............employment law/BALPA representation .........?

Maybe he is not a BALPA member?:eek:

Airbubba
17th Jul 2008, 16:56
Actually, the most fuel efficient descent would be at min drag speed = green dot in a 'bus.

Are you sure? Green dot doesn't see wind does it?

I think a lot of this 'theory' posted here is being made up on the fly.

Anyway, I'll leave it to the geniuses here to figure out how fast to descend if we didn't have ATC.

I'm more concerned about the use of QAR data and other sources to hang a guy. Any more details on how the 'evidence' was generated and whether it can legally be used in a termination hearing?

Any how this entire issue about flidras is highly dissappointing. Guess a lot of people will now start to think twice about raising an asr (read: giving management permission to look into flidras)


I sure think twice, I'm not as likely to confess to an error that may go unnoticed otherwise.

Gary Lager
17th Jul 2008, 17:53
If we are supposed to be cowering in fear for our jobs after being set this 'example', how come we have heard nothing from the company? Sure, we may wait with bated breath for the arrival of Phillip-news (I thought that's what it stood for. Really.) every month, but EZY have never missed an opportunity to send through umpteen e-mails every day for a week saying the same thing.

This forum is home to stories of various EZY incidents, as they have occurred over the years - and the only bit of p-news worth reading is the month's ASR summary. Those incidents are not always handled ideally, but our crews, in the vast mjority, are professional enough to allow others to share their experience so that we can all raise our game. If FDM is used punitively then that culture stops, we run the risk of serious incidents going unchecked and more and more crews tripping up on the same things. No-one wants that.

Has anyone here wailing about FDM actually visited their company's department and spoken to the people who run it about how the system, procedural and managerial, actually works? Or just made their own minds up after reading one-too-many Daily Mails? Come on.

I believe that covering up an error or deliberately neglecting to file an ASR because they thought that it was more important to 'get away with it' than create an opportunity for their colleagues to learn from their mistakes is unprofessional at best, negligent at worst.

If you can't shoulder the responsiblity for your decisions and actions, and admit to your mistakes, step aside for someone else actually suited to command.

silverknapper
17th Jul 2008, 18:50
There is always the option to go-around at 500' - if not, then one is already at a point where a MAYDAY call should be considered.

I may be reading your post out of context Gary, But am I correct in construing from this that if an EZY a/c does not meet the stability criteria, and perhaps this has somehow gone unnoticed until say 400' you are advocating the declaration of an emergency?

Rananim
17th Jul 2008, 19:03
Is it airmanship to follow SOP's someone asked?Not in itself no,although many of the principles are coincident.
You must have all flown with pilots who say and do things on the flight deck in a very dogmatic way.Passing x thousand feet,they do z and say y,and this is so engrained in them that they'll even sub-consciously disregard a call from ATC just so that they can repeat this little routine at this set time.When the descent starts,they put the signs on precisely at that moment.They do things in a very set regimented manner.They always brief at the same time and they say the exact same things in the exact same order.Or the guy/gal who sits there twiddling their thumbs waiting for transition altitude before performing the after takeoff checks.The procedure says when altimeters are set,perform the checklist and by God thats what they're going to do.Or the guy who accepts immediate takeoff clearance behind a 757 just because the Company SOP screwed up and classified at as medium.Or the pilot who taxis at 29 knots when asked to expedite a backtrack for landing traffic.The manual says max taxi speed is 30 knots so thats what he does.This is the "Pavlov-dog" type pilot;they need a manual for everything,even what time of day to take a sh*t.I recognize many of this type right here on this forum,they're not easy to miss.

kuwaitlocal
17th Jul 2008, 19:25
Wether this guy deserved to go or not, I don't know. One thing is certain is that our union, BALPA, should be asking a lot of questions. We all know that two trainers decided to ignore the go-around call from their f/o, are they still employed or are they still training? Take a guess. Our colleagues in Dortmund are concerned about their jobs, yet Easy are sellng sectors to those who have the money. We all are expecting no offer in October, but the least we can do is protect the professionalism and integrity that Easy, after a long struggle, became synonymous with. Lets not let the airline slip back to the MK days.

layinlow
17th Jul 2008, 19:29
In the US it is illegal for a company to use recorded data or CVRs for disciplinary action. I thought that was world-wide. Evidentally not.

Gary Lager
17th Jul 2008, 20:06
silverknapper - that isn't what I meant; if you are unstable at 500' and don't notice (why? how?) until 400', GO-AROUND.

If you have reason to continue and land knowingly unstable beow 500', then there'd better be a very good reason indeed - i.e. where to go-around would result in compromising the safety of the aircraft (e.g. severe weather/fuel exhaustion/imminent security breach of flight deck etc etc).

Ultimately, as with any command decision, you'd have to be prepared to stand up in front of the BOI/Management and justify your action. "I thought it'd be alright" is not adequate...!

We all know that two trainers decided to ignore the go-around call from their f/o, are they still employed or are they still training? Take a guess.So they should be sacked? Or should context/history/outcome of the de-brief be taken into account and the chaps who erred allowed to continue flying, wiser for their experience? Take a guess. How do we know that hadn't already happened once or more times in the case of the pilot in question?

No actual facts concerning this incident have appeared on here, just people assuming either innocence or guilt, and nerds talking about descent speeds. Until we know the background, no conclusions can be drawn. I have taken exception at the (unfounded) criticism of FDR safety monitoring systems.

I know that the next negligent decision I take could result in losing my job or worse - and I accept that responsibility along with my salary.

kick the tires
17th Jul 2008, 20:13
If you have reason to continue and land knowingly unstable beow 500', then there'd better be a very good reason indeed - i.e. where to go-around would result in compromising the safety of the aircraft (e.g. severe weather/fuel exhaustion/imminent security breach of flight deck etc etc).


Be careful here Gary, this exact situation led to this chaps first encounter with Management! (the severe weather bit, or at least that was his defence)!

Airbubba
17th Jul 2008, 20:15
In the US it is illegal for a company to use recorded data or CVRs for disciplinary action.

I like your thinking but that data has been available and used at most recent incident hearings in my experience.

Once the company or feds are aware of a reportable incident, recorded data is fair game in the U.S. as far as I know. There are limits on dissemination but it can and has been used to nail a crew that had a bad day from what I've seen. Remember the 'good old days' when we erased the CVR after something unusual? That action will now get you another month off if they catch you. Or so I'm told.:)

Fishing expeditions though the data for other than 'safety' purposes are not (yet) allowed but I see them coming.

QAR data used in ASAP programs is deidentified but there is a big gotcha in the feds' ASAP handbook:

2) Violations that are not inadvertent or that involve an intentional disregard for safety are specifically excluded from the program and any enforcement-related incentive will not apply to these violations.

We have been put on informal notice by the feds that unstabilized approaches may be considered 'an intentional disregard for safety' and filing an ASAP report may not give you the get out of jail card.

Craggenmore
17th Jul 2008, 21:09
Which base was this guy from? Ive not heard anything about this down at LGW...

rubik101
18th Jul 2008, 17:06
737Jock, you know as well as I do that there is also a list of mandatory events which MUST be reported as an ASR.
These include, but are not limited to, such events as Engine fire or failure, systems failures, Go-around below 500', bird strikes, lightening strikes, any damage occurring during flight, injury to crew or passengers and so on. Therefore, neglecting to file an ASR when you land and relying on the fact that the initial discussion will be between yourself and the analyst will only be seen as you trying to avoid the consequences.
Hence you will certainly be invited for tea and biscuits by your Mngmnt.
My advice to all Captains is that if you have encountered any of the events which need reporting, do so as soon as you land. Not when you get back to base, but as soon as you land. If you're in Berlin, Budapest, Bombay or Birmingham, no matter where, do it straight away.
Both EZY and RYR have an almost 100% recovery rate of data from FLIDRAS so you will not escape detection by simply ignoring it.
Responsibility is something you earn with your fourth stripe. If you need to use it, do so in a responsible manner, not by trying to duck the issue.

st nicholas
18th Jul 2008, 17:41
Not knowing the chap in question and not privy to the exact reason for his dismissal but employed by same company, I am sure there was a sound reason for the sacking.

I am also sure that BALPA would only help you if there was a question mark over the cause or the method of the disciplinary process .

If there was no doubt to the cause and the process was followed correctly BALPA are not interested.

I have always been treated fairly and I err as often as most. If you are honest open , have a bit of integrity and stay within the bounds of SOP,s you will be OK

frontlefthamster
18th Jul 2008, 18:00
Just to clarify one thing...

If during flight, there has not been an event which has led to an investigation by a state investigator (AIB), then under law (derived from ICAO annexes), there is no protection of the recorded data. The company may, then, listen to any CVR and examine any FDR data from a flight which has not involved a reportable occurrence or otherwise caught the formal investigative interest of the state investigators.

In some companies, agreements (often involving unions) restrict this.

rubik101
19th Jul 2008, 09:42
And to clarify another; the data we are talking about is from the flight data monitoring system. In the most modern systems, this data is transmitted by mobile phone to the collection centre, generally a company not directly connected to the airline but an independent body employed by the airline. They then analyse the data and report any exceedances, deviations etc that fall outside the designated parameters to the moderator within the company.
Flight data recording is stored on the hard memory within the 'black box' in the aircraft. This data will is accessed directly after each flight or when the aircraft transits through a base where engineers have the equipment to retrieve and transmit the data.
Both EZY and RYR have the data transmitted automatically after every landing so walking away after your arrival and hoping the company will not find out about your +30kts at 100' or the two dots low at 800' is a false expectation.
If a particular pilot has more than his fare share of Class 1 incidents and a regular smattering of Class 2 then he will surely be invited for further training, interviews, warning letters and ultimately dismissal.
You cannot escape the long arm of FLIDRAS (or whatever your system is called) and nor should you be able to!

goeasy
19th Jul 2008, 11:46
Exactly a good reason to sill use CVR erase button after each flight. (assuming no incidents of course!) It amazes me that crew can be so naive to think no one 'may' be interested in the last 2+hours of communication.

Or am I just paranoid?

Pugilistic Animus
19th Jul 2008, 13:25
Perfectly stabilized at 500---in a jet on a non-precision approach w/o a VDP--no divin' and drivin' to get low because the MAP is half way down the stupid RWY:suspect:---yes we use the gear:cool:
I hope all the procedures contain a glide slope or many folks I know [myself included] would get the sack:E

I mean a jet should never be allowed to veer too far from certain parameters from TOD---to touchdown---anyway


I'm rereading many post because there's so many interesting topics here:8 [on Pprune]as of lately so I may have missed some points as each thread has been getting a frantic skimming---but I do feel bad for the Guy

SR71
19th Jul 2008, 14:45
Which is more unsafe:

1) 500RA at Vref+20 (i.e., unstable) but lands at Vref, or

2) 500RA at Vref+15 (i.e., stable) but lands at Vref+15?

How many times do you see pilots fail to bleed the correction (gusts notwithstanding) off?

More often than they bust the "stable" criteria?

:rolleyes:

frozenboxhauler
19th Jul 2008, 16:02
AltFlaps, I hope you never make a mistake. I can be a very lonely feeling standing at the table by yourself. Unions ARE a necessary evil.
fbh

stev
19th Jul 2008, 16:53
frozenboxhauler i think your right a point but if the union becmes too strong i think it sometimes undermines the management of an airline and their ability to weild the axe. But your perfectly right, i fly for an airline that has no representation (unuion wise) and i'd always err on the side of caution f##k them. But your only one minor mistake away from a dismissal. in any regard unuion or not were all human and i wish all the best to this aviator im sure he/she could be any of us..

frontlefthamster
19th Jul 2008, 17:39
You should never be 'a mistake' away from dismissal.

The commercial aircraft's flight deck operation is designed to be error-tolerant. You may be 'a deliberate foolhardy act' or 'a disobedience of the rules' away from dismissal, but 'a mistake', never.

stev
19th Jul 2008, 17:53
quite right leftfronthammer forgot we're all infallibal but true to your speak if you follow the letter to the law you shouldn't get yourself into that situation

Gary Lager
19th Jul 2008, 18:51
SR71:
Which is more unsafe:

1) 500RA at Vref+20 (i.e., unstable) but lands at Vref, or

2) 500RA at Vref+15 (i.e., stable) but lands at Vref+15?Thing is, you never know whether today is going to be the day that your brakes/reversers/runway drainage/brain fails...so whilst one may be able to lose 20kts in the last 500' (N1 might be a little low for 'safety' though), how far will you push it to see? You have to put a 'gate' in somewhere.

The fact that the 'gates' we use are usually manufacturer-derived from decades of accident statistics aside, as a Captain you'll appreciate how nice it can be sometimes for someone else to have made the decision for you, from the peace and quiet of an office; so you don't have to do so at 500'.

However, I assume you're not arguing against the stabilised approach concept itself but rather the draconian application thereof. Consider, though, if you were a Chief Pilot, what would you do? Think back to some of the Captains you might have flown with earlier in your career(!) and whether you could sleep easy at your desk in the knowledge that their discretion to apply safe judgement was all that was preventing the next runway excursion.

And was that last sentence a statement or a question? Maybe you've been getting a few too many management e-mails recently..

Frontlefthamster - Perhaps the 'mistake' was to fail to pay sufficient attention in the debrief the last time...

frontlefthamster
19th Jul 2008, 18:56
Stev,

I speak with kindness when I tell you that you don't understand what you're talking about.

frontlefthamster
19th Jul 2008, 19:00
...and now that someone has pointed out that your profile says you're an engineer, I am sorry that you have embroiled yourself in this pilots' debate. I hope you're better with a spanner than you are with a keyboard...

Gary, if the debrief was well-founded then you may be right on target...

Your attempt at a grammatical poser falls foul, however, as any fule no that your sentence is what we might term an optional imperative, and thus both of the proffered options are invalid.

siftydog
20th Jul 2008, 20:20
Just to put a little balance into this debate...

remember; it's a 'crew' awareness thing, this 500' stable gate.
I'm not it any way admonishing responsibility of the crew for spotting an ommision at 500' (which besides the way was 15kts fast), but ask yourself why no ASR was filed? - could it be because on 5th censec early neither pilot due to extranneous factors actually noticed?
Now, not to finger anybody, but why would the F/O now be firmly entrenched as a captain with EJ, and the captain himself be summarily sacked? No disrespect to F/O involved, (a thoroughly professional chap with the upmost integrity), but perhaps just a teeny bit of company personal retribution against a forthright individual who has stood up to EJ in the past?

It's not nice to see fellow professionals go down no matter what the circumstances. It could happen to any of us.

albertofdz
21st Jul 2008, 00:04
EZY's sops are very good if you are flying into a very busy field, however, this is not always the case.

Say, for instance, an EZY aircraft is flying into field were there is not much traffic, whats wrong with starting to extend flaps at 10 or even 9 DME out for example?

As long as the airplane crosses the threshold at the CORRECT speed and path and with an APPROPRIATE power setting, then we can all affirm that the flight has been conducted in a safe manner. More so, plenty of fuel can be saved in these ever so difficult times.

These days, operators are shoving too much stress onto pilots back, which quite frankly have enough as it is.

FOQA is a very powerful tool if used correctly and "fairly". Pilots should be given talks in their yearly courses, and should be invited to debate about FOQA events. In this way, operators learn about their pilots needs and thoughts, and pilots become more aware of risks. I.e. use FOQA to teach pilots, not the scare them (more stress by the way).

I believe this is as simple as it should be.

SOPS should be known by heart and followed NEARLY at all times, this includes bad weather, whenever we feel tired etc etc; But lets not obsese, visual approaches are healthy, fuel efficient, they teach you how to fly the airplane in nearly any scenario and excuse me, but they are also extremely fun and fulfilling

These are my conclusions: Bad weather, tired, heavy traffic = SOPS
Good weather, relaxed, traffic permiting = extend flaps and gear later than normal, fly a visual approach when posible, enjoy your job because you have a damn good on!

Sorry about my grammer and spelling, i'm not an english speaking person and this is not my native language!

Pugilistic Animus
21st Jul 2008, 00:12
Albertofdz

That just made made too much sense:ok:



Mucho Gusto

PA

45989
21st Jul 2008, 01:02
Alberto Coud'nt agree more but you hark back to days when we used to fly rather than push buttons

frontlefthamster
21st Jul 2008, 06:39
Alberto, your sentiments are commendable, and clearly find favour with others.

However, all of the work on approach and landing accident reduction tells us that a sensible gate at 500 ft will dramatically reduce the accident and incident numbers.

I agree absolutely that pilots should feel able to fly the aircraft with some flexibility, make visual approaches when weather and traffic permits, and so on, but to suggest that the only 'gate' should be at 35 ft would be to go back to the old statistics, with many more 'events', broken aircraft, and losses of life.

One other thought... The more often that an able pilot feels he needs to disobey the SOPs, the worse the SOPs...

LYKA
21st Jul 2008, 09:26
The OM criteria for a stabilised approach represent our Company's tolerance for risk. When you exceed the criteria, and simply accept the deviation and tell yourself, "It's okay; I still feel safe," you are betting the Company's future.

Read through the link and consider: http://www.nlr.nl/id~2612/lang~en.pdf


What would you do? Would you be willing to accept these risks for your Crew, your Passengers, and your Company? Remember, our OM guidance
and required PF/PNF interactions are in place to mitigate the daily risk we face on the line, at the end of the day it isn't our call, is it?

Brgds

Airbrake
21st Jul 2008, 09:42
Alberto I have to disagree.

I have seen some shambolic approaches that come across the threshold on speed with a sensible power. Also, pilots have different opinions of what is good/bad/marginal weather. What happens when the FO is tired and the captain is fresh? Does he turn to the FO and say "it will be alright" and apply his particular stable approach criteria? Stable approach gates are there for good reason, some maybe on the cautious side but they protect pilots from each others differing views on what is and is not acceptable.

Bokkenrijder
21st Jul 2008, 10:27
....but they are also extremely fun and fulfilling

But remember, EZY is NOT a fun airline. You're a bus driver (quite literally!) and thinking outside the box and/or applying common sense seem to be a qualities most people in the UK don't posses. :sad:

Ashling
21st Jul 2008, 11:07
Well I fly for EZY and regularly fly visual approach's and often take the first stage of flap at 10 miles or less if conditions permit.

However IAW SOP the gear is down at 1500 AAL and I am fully configured at 1000 AAL (usually fully stable) and stable at 500'.

You can still fly your aircraft within the SOP, enjoy your day out, be fuel efficient and safe.

Stable approach's are now a basic tenant of SOP and safe flying. They allow the other crew member to intervene, based on objective parameters, in order to prevent a potentialy dangerous situation. They prevent arguments on the flight deck about what is or is not acceptable and as we can see from this thread there are many diverse views on that.

Companies must pay insurance premiums so if the insurance companies measure risk in a certain way then the airline will do much the same in order to reduce its premium. Nothing wrong with that.

albertofdz
21st Jul 2008, 11:09
I'm affraid a disagree with Airbrake and LYKA! Let me explain my self!

It occurs that even though i strongly beleive SOPS are designed to be followed at all times, we may also divert from them in the scenarios I posted on the previous one. When I stated that the crew felt fresh, I obviously meant both, CRM.........

I beleive that if a first officer allows his captain to make a visual, or divert from an SOP when he doesn't feel comfortable, that is a very dangerous and irresponsible thing for the FO to do, obviously if anything goes wrong he will be "out of the loop" and that is the real danger, not the fact that a visual approach is being flown.

About the NRL report, well, apparantely a DC10 glided over the threshold at nearly 40 kts above VREF, if i´m not mistaken my thoughts were about croosing the threshold at the proper speed power setting and path, wit NO exception.

In order to cross the threshold with these parameters, the approach configuration MUST be started at a suitable distance, 10 DME or so is what I beleive i suggested, right?

If you made a mistake and at 10DME your too fast to lower flaps, there is still time to conduct the rest of the approach in a safe maner, IE LOWER THE GEAR!

If you are still too fast or unstabilised, I agree G/A!

I don't mean to go against anyone or cause an arguement, all i'm saying is that some companies are to harsh and they don't let the box "think out of the box". What will happen when multiple malfunctions occur? Are the pilots still to expected to follow certain procedures? Is this always appropriate?

As you can see, dear forum readers, there is much more into flying than SOPS.

Just to remind: Feeling fresh, comfortable, good conditions...... go ahead and even if you fly a bus, enjoy the bus.

ANd just one last thing, lets all remember that there are 2 of us in the flight deck, desitions are made together that is why the pair of us are put into the pit. If you feel unhappy with something, say it, and dont allow your collegue to put you in a delicate situation.

PS, I thought this needed not be mentioned, though since a CRM factor (even common sense if you like) was pulled out in an earlier post, this is my honest reply.

Please, no hard feelings, its just my opinion!

LYKA
21st Jul 2008, 11:19
You're a bus driver (quite literally!) and thinking outside the box and/or applying common sense seem to be a qualities most people in the UK don't posses

The issue is not whether you can apply common sence. The issue is whether you can successfully manage your aircraft condition to fulfill the directives stated in the OM. It paints a disturbing picture when guys only see problems in Company directives they clearly cannot deliver.

The stabilised approach criteria are not designed to keep the approach safe. They are designed to preserve the safety margin between an unsafe approach and the Company standard for a stabilised approach. That safety margin is a carefully crafted condition that the leaders of this Company want us to deliver. These criteria are written to describe the conditions of a safe entry to stabilised approach and landing. If a crew cannot achieve the entry to stabilised conditions by 1,000 feet, the PNF is required to direct a go-around at 500ft and the PF is directed to initiate a go-around

We do not have separate manuals for gifted aviators and average aviators. Everyone on this team uses the same rulebook.

You may not agree with the guiding concepts of the procedures, but our boss has. As the old adage goes, what interests my boss fascinates me.

albertofdz
21st Jul 2008, 11:29
I couldn't agree with you further, that is exactly the reason why if both of us feel safe about it and both of us are sure the airplane will land at the TDZ at the correct parameters the Boss will be ever so happy to see that loads of fuel has been saved and that the flight was perfectly safe.

I'm no rebel believe me, neither do I consider myself a "gifted pilot" but when conditions don't permit I have no doubt that the airplane has to be established AT THE LATEST at 1000'AGL! Otherwise, I always configure late but safe, saving a lot and not risking insurance premiums.

LYKA
21st Jul 2008, 12:20
but when conditions don't permit I have no doubt that the airplane has to be established AT THE LATEST at 1000'AGL! Otherwise, I always configure late but safe, saving a lot and not risking insurance premiums. This may have been lost in translation, please forgive me if I have misinterpreted what you have said - but sorry but we don't get to pick and choose what conditions 'permit' and those that don't.



Secondly wasting fuel: This statement is not true. Second, it’s not your call. The leadership has stated that the OM is the way they want everyone to fly the aircraft. It is an economic and risk management decision that they have made using lots of information that none of us worker bees has full access to. If you think that $140/barrel oil price is hurting the share price, imagine what front page pictures of twisted orange metal would do. I hear consistent reports from pilots who fly by the book, on the economy profile, and in compliance with OM procedures, who continue to under-burn fuel and operate on time. If we are wasting gas, it is by doing wasteful things like cruising/descending well above ECON speed when not required to do so etc. Remember, if you have a better mousetrap, make your case with the leadership. Enough!

albertofdz
21st Jul 2008, 13:22
Orange, green or blue rubble, any of these would be a terrible news paper front page.

I think i'm not getting to you, so i'm going to be as plain as I can.

In all of my posts I have discussed possible ways to conduct a flight, but ALWAYS in a safe and fuel efficient way. Of course this includes flying at optimum levels, descending at the correct point, asking for short cuts etc etc.


My main worry is the way that certain approaches are flown.

There are some cases were pilots start to configure the aircraft very far out in order to be established at 500'AGL minimum. (Even though I don´t agree with the 500'AGL criteria in all cases, sometimes it is necesary, asi I said before, weather etc!). But there is no need for configuring 15 NM out at 2000'AGL, it doesn't enhance safety, and yes, it wastes alot of precious fuel, its just a nuisance to everybody else and I don't beleive you will disagree with me in this fact. So if you still want to tell me about leadership, feel free, but you know fully well my ideas carry no risk what so ever.

rubik101
22nd Jul 2008, 08:57
albertofdz, you have said, amongst other things;

As long as the airplane crosses the threshold at the CORRECT speed and path and with an APPROPRIATE power setting, then we can all affirm that the flight has been conducted in a safe manner. More so, plenty of fuel can be saved in these ever so difficult times.

Also,

SOPS should be known by heart and followed NEARLY at all times, this includes bad weather, whenever we feel tired etc etc; But lets not obsese, visual approaches are healthy, fuel efficient, they teach you how to fly the airplane in nearly any scenario and excuse me, but they are also extremely fun and fulfilling

These are my conclusions: Bad weather, tired, heavy traffic = SOPS
Good weather, relaxed, traffic permitting = extend flaps and gear later than normal, fly a visual approach when possible, enjoy your job because you have a damn good one!

albertofdz, your views, and a few other misguided posters on here, on SOPs are about twenty-five years out of date. You seem to have a pick and mix attitude which many learned people have been trying to prevent for many years now. SOPs have been developed and tuned after many millions of flights to be where they are now.

As a flight safety tool they are probably one of the most significant additions the industry has evolved, along with such things as ILS/Autoland, EGPWS and TCAS, amongst others.

Crossing the threshold with the aircraft fully configured with the power at an appropriate setting at the correct height and speed is what we all aim to achieve. You seem to be of the misguided impression that selecting gear down at 3 miles, landing flap at 2 miles and power on at 1 mile, achieving your criteria, is so very slick but it is a recipe for disaster. If you don't believe me then simply go back over all the data from the last 25 years that led companies to implement their current SOPs.

There are many thousands of good reasons why SOPs insist, INSIST, that you must be fully configured and stable at 1000' in IMC and at 500' in VMC. They are the bodies of the unfortunate victims of all the accidents that have occurred because aircraft were not in the correct configuration and stable at these heights on many hundreds of previous approaches. There must never be any leeway in the interpretation of these SOPs, never, for the simple reason that no one of us is more informed or better able to fly than any of the people who wrote these procedures on the back of all these deaths.

Fly the SOPs or buy your own aircraft, simple, no deviations, not NEARLY all the time, always. Every approach, every time. Stable at 1000' IMC, 500' VMC or you MUST Go around.

End of story.

Anything else is dangerous.

Dangerous.

Re-Heat
22nd Jul 2008, 09:45
As long as the airplane crosses the threshold at the CORRECT speed and path and with an APPROPRIATE power setting, then we can all affirm that the flight has been conducted in a safe manner.
Somewhat simplistic - many have achieved this following an unstable approach.

The heart of the stable approach is the concept that repeatedly performing the same task makes the pilot ever safer in performing the stable approach, eliminating the risk - however good one is - that a gross error results.

Heightening stability of the approach, resulting in ever more precise landings would probably save more fuel across the fleet as a whole, than permitting deviations from those procedures that with the slightly less capable pilot will occasionally result in a go-around. Furthermore, you eliminate the chance of the one-off gross error by a huge factor.

As ruibk very correctly points out, we live in a safer era than ever before - even still, the vast majority of disasters are human-error induced. It amazes me that some people think they are better than the collective body of knowledge accumulated over 100 years of experience.

williewalsh
22nd Jul 2008, 10:20
Albert,

This is not meant to be a dig just an observation.

I'll wager you are not very experienced and by that I mean 1000 to 3000 hrs. Probably an ex cadet, probably about to get command or just got one.This margin of hrs is proven to be one of the danger zones for ego exceeding ability. I hope you are because if not you express some bizzare interpretations of your mandate for an experienced pilot.

Older wiser owls than you have been thru all this before and someday when you will start to realise that the hundreds of people in the back have a right to expect you to perform to the safest standards as determined by your qualifications and company proceedures not your version of events. They dont get on an aircraft for you to ad lib or decide when it is time for a bit of ego salving by rewriting policy. If you want to change proceedure send an email to your fleet manager and include your wisdom and back it up with some data and facts that will outweigh the collective knowledge of the rest of your management team.

You want creative flying go to the bush, you'll love it, all the room in the world to express yourself. :=

rubik101
22nd Jul 2008, 13:17
737 Jock, you seem not so humble, in my opinion. I see you joined not long ago and yet you are quite happy to nay say the posts written by members of much longer standing and presumably, experience.

You write;

IMHO the 1000' landing config rule is utter tosh. It is absolutely no problem (on the boeing) to select the last stage of flaps at or even slightly below 1000' and be fully stable at 500RA.
This is the reason why ezy cannot do 160 until 4dme, unless you want to stress the flaps.
In my view doing a go-around at 1000' because the flaps are still moving is total fuel wastage!
But hey that's what the company wants plus I don't want to embarace my captain, so this is what I do

When you go for an interview with a proper airline, and here you would be wise to include easyJet, BA, Virgin and even Ryanair, and they ask you your opinion on stabilised approaches, I trust you will give the answer as written by the people you choose to ignore.

Your opinion, that it is utter tosh, will get you out of the door before you end the sentence.

It is the only, I repeat, the ONLY proven and well established way to prevent unprofessional and slip shod behaviour leading not only new and inexperienced pilots, but also those who have flown for many years, into unsafe and unstable approaches. Get used to the idea that in the real world of aviation, all safety conscious airlines use these criteria to prevent pilots with your attitude from endangering the lives of those on board the aircraft.

They don't do it to take the fun out of flying as you seem to think. They do it because it saves lives. Nothing about your views and attitude to SOPs leads me to think that you will ever pass a command course with any airline, never mind the ones I mentioned above.

Ashling
22nd Jul 2008, 13:25
Albertofdz

I would suggest that a chap who is configuring 15 miles out at 2000' is not doing it because he is worried about being stable at 500'.

He will be doing it at ATC request or because he simply lacks the experience, ability or SA to do otherwise. Some F/Os get amazingly touchy when you intervene to prevent such madness which then mitigates against Captains intervening.

Stan Woolley
22nd Jul 2008, 14:36
Rubik

Why are you giving the guy such a hard time with the above quote when the company SOP's that you follow agree with him? (In VMC at least)

To doubt his ability to pass a command course on the basis of his posts is ridiculous!

And being so pedantic about every last foot is fine but how on earth does the Radalt make any sense for the 500' cutoff? (I believe someone mentioned this a lot earlier)

Easy used to require 170knots for LOC intercept so I suppose some individuals interpret that to be a requirement at any distance. I wouldn't but then again I'm a bit of a rebel - does that make me gash?

albertofdz
22nd Jul 2008, 14:49
I understand all of the more experienced and sensible views and I appreciate the opinions of the wiser!

Though I still defend that in certain occasions landing flap extension can be selected later on, but still with a safety margin, this is all i'm saying! No camikazee approach, just a smooth, stable and perfectly safe one were landing config is reached later than normal, where i'm pretty sure we can all agree on the fact that this does not supose a threat towards the passenger or air frame.

Obviously I don´t aim to rewrite proceedures nor do I intend to cultivate a proceedure evading religion, really, even though i'm less experienced than many on this forum!

I hope my views are seen in a positive way, and not mistaken for someone who thinks better than the aircraft manufacturer and company policy designers, this is by no meens my intention.

SR71
22nd Jul 2008, 15:19
No one answered my previous question (although I suppose it was rhetorical) so I'll try another couple:

If you're stable at 501RA, was your approach "safe/not dangerous"?

If you're stable at 499RA, is your approach "unsafe/dangerous"?

Some contributors appear to have a notion that risk is digital.

These might be the same kind of people, who, when queried about whether their feet were on the rudder pedals for the duration of a particular flight, might argue that because there is nothing in the flight manual advising such action, they ought not to be chastised for not doing so... After all, an engine failure is only an issue at V1 surely? (if you have a rudder channel, lucky you.)

They'd also find the Oscar Wilde quote:

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

abhorrent!

Unfortunately, you do have to have a gate, I agree, but one ought to look at excursions with a degree of common-sense.

You mean you haven't seen whether you can stay in ground effect (4' RA) for longer than XX seconds onto 18R at AMS?

Or was that memo apocryphal?

:}

LYKA
22nd Jul 2008, 18:09
IMHO the 1000' landing config rule is utter tosh. It is absolutely no problem (on the boeing) to select the last stage of flaps at or even slightly below 1000' and be fully stable at 500RA.
This is the reason why ezy cannot do 160 until 4dme, unless you want to stress the flaps.
In my view doing a go-around at 1000' because the flaps are still moving is total fuel wastage!


We are not challenged to squeeze performance from the aircraft. We are challenged to achieve precision in flying the aircraft as closely to the OM as conditions allow. The OM is crafted to balance both economy and risk management. Perhaps its a slow creep of procedural ‘disregard’ born of years of successful flying. We are so good at flying the aircraft that we are slipping on the standard of precision required. Pilots who have become so confident in their ability to fly the line that they feel empowered to interpret the OM based on their experience level instead of the word and intention of the SOP. It is both possible and desirable to fly "by the book" every day.

Chesty Morgan
22nd Jul 2008, 20:25
If you're stable at 501RA, was your approach "safe/not dangerous"?

If you're stable at 499RA, is your approach "unsafe/dangerous"?

Not enough information. But I'll have a go.

- Possibly, possibly not.
- Possibly not, but then again...possibly.

:cool:

Ashling
22nd Jul 2008, 22:56
500' aal would make a great deal more sense but I suspect that FLIDRAS cannot really measure that and so the insurance companies look for 500' RAD ALT. Get enough approach's stable and your premium goes down.

Clearly the line has to be drawn somewhere. You could call it 100' and the same argument would apply ie is an approach that gains stability at 99' any more unsafe than one that gains stability at 101'.

I rather suspect that common sense is applied and the whole approach is looked at and environmental factors are taken into account as per SOP.

45989
22nd Jul 2008, 23:34
It's really terrible to watch this discourse ... err well total drivel really.
Do some of you actually fly or just push buttons?

Cough
22nd Jul 2008, 23:43
If you're stable at 501RA, was your approach "safe/not dangerous"?

If you're stable at 499RA, is your approach "unsafe/dangerous"?

A line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere and this is where it lies. In your above examples, you are a better man than me to judge that the aircraft was stable within +-1ft! The safe/dangerous thing is not for us to judge, it is simply a question on whether you follow SOP's or not.

BitMoreRightRudder
23rd Jul 2008, 08:03
I'll wager you are not very experienced and by that I mean 1000 to 3000 hrs. Probably an ex cadet, probably about to get command or just got one.This margin of hrs is proven to be one of the danger zones for ego exceeding ability.

Interesting. I must have flown with over 100 different captains over the past few years. Thankfully the vast majority of the LHS occupants at ezy are top blokes/ladies and allow their F/O the freedom to fly the a/c as they see fit and make their own mistakes. That would include allowing the likes of 737jock and albertofdz to configure late if they so wished, providing they weren't taking the p*ss.

But I've flown with a few who display complete arrogance, total disdain for the F/O (I'm there to get him sacked), and a deluded and completely misguided belief that they are beyond making a mistake. They have way too much experience to do something like that. You know the type, they went solo as a foetus and had their first jet command at the age of 7. And not one of them was anywhere near as good as he thought he was.

I could easily try and pigeonhole these characters by saying they probably have 10,000-15,000 hours, their second wife has long since taken the house and the SLK etc but all I could conclude is there doesn't seem to be any "zone" with guys who act like this. The only consistency amongst them is that they are all t*ats. So I would make a humble suggestion that it isn't really about hours' brackets. If you're an arse at 1500hrs then you're going to be an arse at 10,000hrs.

I should warn you I am an ex-cadet (:eek:) and I'm just coming up on 3000hrs (:uhoh:) so I am probably writing cheques my A319 can't cash.

But I always aim to be stable by 1000ft.

joe two
23rd Jul 2008, 10:13
Any more childish / foolish / simple remarks ?
Or are we all done now more or less ?

LYKA
23rd Jul 2008, 11:27
Let me repeat what I thought I said on many previous posts. First, the stabilised approach is the nexus of any discussion of procedure and process at the airline. The people of our airline have spent more time cussing and discussing the stabilised approach than any other facet of our flight operation. They are more committed to the collective vision of what we all know characterises a stabilised approach. Face it, we are not trying to describe a sunset to a blind man. We all should know when an approach is stabilised and when it is not.

Second, we will probably never get the language quite ‘right.’ It is a compromise of perspectives – and like all compromises, it is viewed as equally imperfect and objectionable in opposite directions by both viewpoints.

Thirdly, Whatever your reason, I ask you, in the future, lets limit our sarcasm and attacks to our haircuts and not distort the facts of this very important subject.


Fuel - Do you feel/think/know we are burning more fuel with the procedures?

- It is operationally irrelevant whether each of us ‘think’ we are burning more or not. The question is answered by empirical fact and determined by our actual fuel burn, not by what each of us think. I cannot spend money that I ‘think’ is in my wallet. I can only spend what I actually have. Let the bean counters answer this question.


lastly, Our boss, has set the standard at 1000 feet, i.e. "Should". If you can convince him to change the language and remove the MUST to SHOULD by 500 feet, be my guest. Until then, 1000 feet is it, not 950 or lower. If you don’t like 1000 feet, the problem is not with the OM.

If you disagree with their solution, then sadly you disagree. I am afraid that's life! In the end, you STILL have to manage your aircraft to arrive stabilised at 1000 feet.

Let’s “get real” here. Is there anything in the OM that prevents you from flying a stabilised approach by 1000? Is there anything that keeps you from meeting that standard? I’m sorry that this continues to be the nut that you break your teeth on.


Lets not beat each other up on this - in the words of Jerry Springer "Take care of yourselves and each other"!

SR71
23rd Jul 2008, 11:31
Ashling,

I rather suspect that common sense is applied and the whole approach is looked at and environmental factors are taken into account as per SOP.

Lest we forget the whole point of the thread, the argument is about whether or not the powers that be used some of that common sense judgement you suggest they should in the particular case of the Captain concerned...

What we know from the thread suggests they didn't and they made a crass judgement based on some flight data, an arbitrarily chosen "gate" and a hidden agenda...

Even if they didn't its a good topic for debate.

I suggest, with one eye on the New View of Human Error, that engendering a feeling amongst flightdeck crew that there is a possibility of flight data being used against you in an unreasonable fashion is creating systemic organizational dissonance...

I just hope that those who defend the SOP in this particular case with such unrestrained vigour never rail at the institutional stupidity that clobbers them with a fixed penalty for doing 61 in a 60...

:ok:

Pugilistic Animus
23rd Jul 2008, 14:46
Read 'Handling the big stupid Jets---:ugh::*

Sheesh

williewalsh
23rd Jul 2008, 15:29
Bitmore rightrudder.

The data speaks for itself as does similar data about pilots in higher time brackets as you mentioned but for different reasons.One arrogance bought about by over exuberance and ego and othe other arrogance brought about by complacency and ego.
The trick is to find the middle ground. Using artistic licence SOP during normal ops under either criterea is not the way to find the middle ground.
Its a cylclic thing.
Thanks for warning me about your cadetship. I must warn you I have 15000 hrs.(the first 9000 or so were spent in pretty much unregulated flying and I know alot of dead pilots)
That would make both of us emerging safely from data defined amber zones and therefore more mature and professional pilots.I have passed thru more cycles than I care to remember and despite many a close call ( usually of my egos making) it has been without so much as broken wiper blade . I wish you the same unblemished career.Happy flying and dont take the hump so easily. :ok:

Pugilistic Animus
23rd Jul 2008, 15:56
I'd hate to see what happen if someone afraid of being sacked--becomes really destabilized in speed due to attempting to have untenable 'criteria' , requires a go around---- but is afraid to execute it and crashes:*


Your aim with a large aircraft is to ALWAYS be trimmed and stabilized---during all phases of flight--furthermore---the most important aspecdts of being 'stable' seems lost in certain SOPS

you should be able to:

Arrive over the threshold at Vref [in most case] at the correct height---in such a manner as to assure a touchdown in the TDZ---

and maintain a thrust setting that allows full thrust to be available before contacting the ground--- i.e a missed approach or landing climb---i.e spooled up in time to avoid a crash!!!

---AND---

if it is gusty or you're on a NPA then you can't always ride on rails to the TDZ

----------------AND IF-------------

following SOPS and arriving consistently too fast or too high to maintain some artificial concept of 'stable' as that's NOT stable--then the SOPS are wrong and the problem needs addressing and if just addressing it puts your job in jeopardy then find a new company---


CP: Why did you choose to continue so high and fast while the RWY was contaminated?

You: because we were stable according to the SOPS you wrote mister CP sir---I swear:\

YOU: Sacked!!!


I'm a crazy maverick though:E

BitMoreRightRudder
23rd Jul 2008, 17:11
Thats fine willie. I'm not suggesting you were in the "arrogant" bracket!

One arrogance bought about by over exuberance and ego and othe other arrogance brought about by complacency and ego.


I'm sure, and I would hope that just as I have found very few captains to be in the complacent and arrogant camp you hopefully find relatively few guys of my experience level to be over-exuberant and ego driven. :ok:

The widely varying experience levels on the flight deck at ezy makes the need for a clearly defined policy on stable approaches and adherence to SOP important, but I can't help thinking the management were looking for a "victim" with this case. FDM data alone without extensive investigation into the other variables is surely not enough to terminate someone's employment.

The captain who is the subject matter of this thread was neither arrogant or complacent, and I always found him to be a safe operator.

misd-agin
23rd Jul 2008, 19:01
Whew...

Glad I'm at a U.S. carrier, with a union, that has a union rep as one of the 'sh*t screens' that evaluates the data before a decision is made.

Ashling
23rd Jul 2008, 19:12
SR71

For that to be true BALPA would have to be complicit in things as they have to give permission before the specifics of any violation can be released to the company. The exception being if an ASR is filed for said incident.

I have gone through 500' at bug plus 15 before due to environmental factors with the throttles close to the idle gate and never had so much as a phone call which to me suggests some degree of common sense applies. Of course prior to that the approach had been sensably managed and was not rushed. I am also aware of several other significant incidents which could have led to an individuals demotion or sacking when common sense was applied.

If this chap has been the victim of some sort of vendetta by senior managers (which I personaly find hard to believe) then he will have grounds for constructive dismissal in which case the Flidras data and the handling of previous incidents would work in his favour and I'm sure BALPA would take his case up as they would have been fully aware of the proceedings.

For my money one of two things has happened here

1 The incident was so serious the company had no real choice.

2 The Captain was asked to attend a debrief of the incident and selected the wrong attitude in the debrief which then led to concern over the way he would operate in the future and therefore dismissal.

kick the tires
25th Jul 2008, 14:20
BitMore...

FDM data alone without extensive investigation into the other variables is surely not enough to terminate someone's employment.


You are obviously well informed on this case. Do enlighten us.....

Or are you just making wild guesses based on nothing coming anywhere near factaul evidence?

Or perhaps arguing for the sake of it!

rubik101
25th Jul 2008, 16:00
The 1000' IMC and 500' AAL are ICAO recommended figures. The Blue Book.
Airlines follow these recommendations in the same way that they take a certain amount of fuel as reserves or avoid obstacles by a certain minimum amount. These airlines are following 'best practice' as detailed in the ICAO document.

Those airlines that choose not to follow these recommendations are simply choosing to ignore what has become the industry standard procedures to improve flight safety.

The use of the OFDM/FLIDRAS data to initiate contact, through Base Facilitator, with an individual is also 'best practice' and is used in the event that a pilot has exceeded a Class 2 limitation or regularly exceeds the same limitation. To allow the pilot to continue flying in the same manner after this knowledge has been unearthed would be foolish in the extreme.
It will only be a matter of time before the pilot exceeds the limitation to such an extent that recovery will be a matter of chance or damage or destruction will occur.
If a pilot has been warned, perhaps more than once, that his flying is outside the accepted norms and then chooses to ignore that advice and once again triggers the FLIDRAS/OFDM then his actions will finally be made known to the airline management.

If this sequence of events takes place then it is almost certain that he deserves no more than his P45 and a view of the door.

I am certain that this is the procedure followed here by easyJet.

Rananim
25th Jul 2008, 18:27
The 1000' IMC and 500' AAL are ICAO recommended figures. The Blue Book.
Airlines follow these recommendations in the same way that they take a certain amount of fuel as reserves or avoid obstacles by a certain minimum amount. These airlines are following 'best practice' as detailed in the ICAO document.

Those airlines that choose not to follow these recommendations are simply choosing to ignore what has become the industry standard procedures to improve flight safety.

Agreed.All good stuff.

The use of the OFDM/FLIDRAS data to initiate contact, through Base Facilitator, with an individual is also 'best practice' and is used in the event that a pilot has exceeded a Class 2 limitation or regularly exceeds the same limitation. To allow the pilot to continue flying in the same manner after this knowledge has been unearthed would be foolish in the extreme.

Might be best practice in easyjet.Best practice is to encourage a culture of safety through slightly less-objectionable means like all airlines used to.Trust between a CP and his pilots should be implicit.The use of QAR's certainly implies otherwise.However,if this proves unworkable(mostly due to logistics)then QAR's are an acceptable replacement with important provisos such as:
i)the purpose of QAR data retrieval must be to detect persistent occurrences and not isolated incidents.A pattern must be proven.
ii)all data confidential in accordance with union rules
iii)right to appeal

It will only be a matter of time before the pilot exceeds the limitation to such an extent that recovery will be a matter of chance or damage or destruction will occur.

I disagree strongly.You make an assumption.Breaking company limits persistently does not necessarily lead to "damage" or "destruction".Breaking ones own limits does this.If a pilot breaks the company rules,he's a maverick,a bit of a rebel as they say.If the same pilot flies beyond his own limitations or capabilities,then he becomes unsafe.However,I am not saying that breaking company limits is not a reason for dismissal.It can be.

If a pilot has been warned, perhaps more than once, that his flying is outside the accepted norms and then chooses to ignore that advice and once again triggers the FLIDRAS/OFDM then his actions will finally be made known to the airline management.

Are you saying that he should be fired after the second infraction(not enough to prove a pattern)or that the initial warning was made after a pattern was established?

If this sequence of events takes place then it is almost certain that he deserves no more than his P45 and a view of the door.

Providing the right to appeal is respected.Mitigating circumstances should be heard.What is being flouted here?And why?ie,are there any problems with the company SOP in the real dynamic world.On paper,lots of things look very workable.What implications does the type of infraction have on actual safety or airmanship.Major or minor?If major,the pattern is proven and the appeal is unsuccessful,then I agree he should be shown the door.

I am certain that this is the procedure followed here by easyJet.
I dont know the facts of the case so cant comment.I will keep my suspicions about this company private.

srjumbo
25th Jul 2008, 19:48
737 Jock

It's an aeroplane, not an airplane. ps Douglas Bader not me. xx

BitMoreRightRudder
25th Jul 2008, 21:02
kick the tires

I know the guy well, in my opinion he didn't deserve to be sacked. Simple really. I'm hardly going to give the finer details in a public forum. That's not up to me.

Besides which, your posts on the matter indicate you have some knowledge of the individual concerned, and you feel his termination was justified. I happen to disagree with you. I think we should leave it at that.

PJ2
25th Jul 2008, 23:04
Rananim;

Quote:
It will only be a matter of time before the pilot exceeds the limitation to such an extent that recovery will be a matter of chance or damage or destruction will occur.

I disagree strongly.You make an assumption.Breaking company limits persistently does not necessarily lead to "damage" or "destruction".Breaking ones own limits does this.If a pilot breaks the company rules,he's a maverick,a bit of a rebel as they say.If the same pilot flies beyond his own limitations or capabilities,then he becomes unsafe.However,I am not saying that breaking company limits is not a reason for dismissal.It can be.


I agree with your assessment re "personal limits" and company limits but in an FDA Program how is one to know those personal limits and how is one to assign high risk to one operation and low risk to another if not by company limits only? I actually agree with the first poster who merely expresses what FDA Programs are all about in the first place, but that said...such limits can be exceeded for years without result but the risk is higher. The term I used for this phenomena was "stochastic" which means "a high degree of probability but with one outcome more likely than most others".

We all know pilots with great hands and feet and superior thinking skills which likely permit broader personal standards. In fact, I've seen such flying in the data...way outside the SOPs but actually flown quite beautifully...what is one to do with such data and information? We know of others who, at one time or another are less endowed but do a credible, safe job and we may know one or two who should find other work. We see all these in the data. We train rather than fire but that does not mean firing is out of the question; we have a policy for this- it's called the Safety Reporting Policy and one loses ones job for egregious, negligent or intentionally illegal acts, not for lack of competency or ability nor for SOP violations although if such violations fall into the above category, all bets are (and should be) off.

Regarding firing, (I have written this here earlier in this thread but now that it's back on track I would like to re-emphasize), we have a solid management-pilot agreement which provides for "mavericks" and others who's flying indicates untoward trends. Firing is not among them, but peer-intervention and training certainly are. As you know, the way our industry works, (like most professions) is, that almost certainly by the time a pilot is "noticed" in the data by the FDA pilots, his/her reputation is already known and flags are up, and it is no longer merely a flight safety problem but a human factors problem with much broader implications and solutions.

I hasten to add that none of this is to comment on the EZ firing; that is their own internal affair and while I have strong opinions of such use of safety data, each airline must establish what best works for them.

kick the tires
26th Jul 2008, 07:26
PJ2

An excellent post that sums the whole thread up!

(If Bitmorerightrudder will allow me to have that opinion!)

one post only!
26th Jul 2008, 08:19
Few more pages and this thread will be nearly as long as some of the pmails......:)

rubik101
26th Jul 2008, 10:11
Ranamin, your post served to flesh out a few elements which I perhaps glossed over. However, I did not assert or suggest that a single event should lead to sacking.
Having said that, in one case I know of, a pilot was sacked after a single Class 2 event. This was because he asserted to the Chief Pilot that his way was better and that the company SOPs were rubbish. A little humility and a less abrasive attitude would have led to a sim session and a line check and back to work in a week, but he was sacked, and rightly so.
If the event occurred because of an error and is not intentional then the normal course of action would follow as I have outlined above.
If a pilot repeatedly and regularly flags up Class 2 events then there are only so many times you can talk to him, put him in the sim to ensure he knows the SOPs or line check him to see that he follows SOPs before you have to ask yourself why him and why so often.
If the only way to stop the pilot from persistently triggering Class 2 events is firing, then so be it.
How many mavericks or cowboys do you want flying in your airline?

crewcostundercontrol
26th Jul 2008, 10:28
would someone be kind enought to set out:

1. what the pilot did that was wrong?
2. what the action did the company take?

rubik101
26th Jul 2008, 15:13
As Max Mosely would say, it's none of your business.
What went on is between the pilot concerned and the airline concerned. The details of which should and indeed must remain, confidential. That is the whole basis of FLIDRAS/FOQA and long may it remain so, otherwise it will lose it's value.

PJ2
26th Jul 2008, 20:43
rubik101;
from post #214, The use of the OFDM/FLIDRAS data to initiate contact, through Base Facilitator, with an individual is also 'best practice' and is used in the event that a pilot has exceeded a Class 2 limitation or regularly exceeds the same limitation.
If I might enquire regarding how you do FDA and crew contacts...

How many "Base Facilitators", who are authorized to examine and use FLIDRAS data for crew contact, do you have? Are they non-management pilots? Are they volunteers or do they get a certain amount of time away from flying duties to do this safety work? How is your FDA information communicated to management? Are they supportive, involved and interested or do they dismiss FDA information?

I have many more questions but don't want to take up bandwidth - If you're inclined to pm, (and I am very interested), I would very much like to know more about how your airline does FDA work. Many thanks in advance.

rubik101
27th Jul 2008, 09:19
PJ2, I will put this reply on the forum as it seems that many people have little idea of how the reporting system works.

This is how the system works in the airline I work for but I am assured by other colleagues that this is the industry standard here in the UK.

The data from the Flight Data Monitoring Equipment is downloaded in different ways. The older systems record the data onto a disk or hard drive and this is then accessed by an Engineer either after every flight or a series of flights when the aircraft lands at a base. The most modern systems have a bank of mobile 'phones in the E&E bay which transmit the data after every flight.

The delivery point of all this data is an independent and specialist data analysis company or in-house department, generally run by ex pilots and engineers. These companies or departments are charged with analysing the received data. Bear in mind that there are often a hundred or more parameters being monitored continually during the flight. The system is generally started when oil pressure registers on the first engine started or 'brakes on/off'.

Class 1 events, such as a momentary overspeed in flight or taxiing at a few knots over the recommended speed or small deviations from the ILS will merely be registered and added to the huge mass of events already collected. No further action is taken.

Class 2 events will trigger an 'alarm' and be investigated. Class 2 events include such things as Terrain warnings, flight below MSA, TCAS events, attitude exceedances, Take off or landing configuration warnings, large deviations from the Glideslope or Localiser below certain heights and prolonged overspeeds, amongst many others.

This event is then communicated to the airline, to a small group of pilots, generally two or three, who are responsible for investigating, analysing and reporting the event to the management. It may be that the Localiser and G/Slope deviation was caused by the aircraft breaking off to do a circle to land and so no further action will be required. (Some of us do actually do 'circle to land' approaches!)

However, if the event merits further action then the Base Facilitator, a non management pilot, will be given the details and he will then contact the pilot concerned. If it is determined that the event is a one-off, momentary lapse in concentration leading to a mistake, then perhaps a brief visit to the sim or a line check or maybe even no further action will be taken. The management will not have any knowledge of the name of the pilot but will be made aware of the actual event.

There are events where management will be informed immediately, these will include hard GPWS warnings, landings with the wrong Flap setting or greatly excessive speed on touchdown. These events are considered near-accidents and need to be investigated thoroughly. Generally the pilots will be suspended until the results of the investigation are known.

If a pilot repeatedly triggers events and further investigation, training and instruction reveals that his attitude or ability or lack of knowledge is the cause then he will be told that he is under observation. After two or more further events then it may well be decided that further remedial action is fruitless and that the pilot will be sacked.

The data is not meant to be routinely used by management to monitor the behavior of pilots, nor should it be. Used correctly this system is a very effective and useful tool which has greatly enhanced flight safety in all the airlines that have a robust and well run structure in place to run their FLIDRAS/FOQA or whatever you want to call it.

Elephant and Castle
27th Jul 2008, 09:34
A good description Rubrik however in EZY this all comes with a HUGE caveat. If the crew files and ASR or writes a coment on the journey log about the incident the data is inmediately released to management. All confidentiality is lost and this data will then be used by the base captains in his tea and biscuits chat.

In fact there is no confidentiality unless you keep your mouth shut and hope for the best.

rubik101
27th Jul 2008, 11:09
I think the 3rd from last paragraph covered that point, though not well enough, it would seem.

You are right to point out that filing an ASR will cause the Flight Data to be collected to establish exactly what happened, as is the case in the airline I work for.

If you have an 'event' which you know will have triggered a Class 2 report then you would be well advised to file an ASR as soon as you land.
Owning up, so to speak, will be seen by the management as the first and correct reaction to such an incident. Failing to file the report and keeping your mouth shut will not enable you to avoid the consequences. Data collection rates are over 98% so your indiscretion will almost certainly not go unnoticed.

Far better to own up, discuss why it happened and ensure that it won't happen again, if at all possible. If done properly then you may just get away with a slapped wrist and a gentle reminder not to do it again. Ignoring it will be seen as deviousness on your part and frowned upon, and quite rightly so.

There must be a 'no-blame' attitude to the use of this data until and unless it can be proved that the event was caused by flagrantly disregarding SOPs or a deliberate and reckless action. If this is subsequently proved to be the case on two or more occasions then dismissal is the only safe remedy left to the airline.

PJ2
27th Jul 2008, 13:24
rubik101;

Many thanks for your thorough and very helpful reply. In my view you describe a system which is healthy, robust and does it's job in terms of raising and/or maintaining an acceptable level of safety at your airline.

If I might be permitted a few supplementaries...

Would you consider that either non-pilots or retired pilots who were not on the equipment being monitored would be able to do as effective or accurate a job of analyzing the daily flight data? I assume they're different than the base facilitators or would I be incorrect there? Either way, do they fly most of the time and volunteer their time for FDA work or are they provided with time away from flying duties to do this work, (supported by management).

Given the 98% fleet coverage indicated, if two or three base facilitators are able to handle the Class 2 events including investigation, the crew-contact process (which is not always straightforward and can be quite time-consuming) and, where indicated, time to coordinate with management, would it be fair to say that the fleet size is such that 2 or 3 pilot-facilitators handle the work-load well enough or is there always a need for more resources given the importance of the work?

Do the pilots support the approach taken (use of data) or do they have a choice? In a situation where the pilots' union is strong, there is a need to bring and keep the union onside and even take some of the responsibility for the program including handling Class 2 outcomes such as retraining and so on. Is this the case at your airline?

I assume the facilitators are "in for the long haul" and neither rotate through a larger roster or leave the job after, say, six months as it takes such a long time to gain the experience necessary to make the judgement calls required. Is this the case?

Your comment regarding ASRs is valuable and of great interest. For the most part we have kept the two separate to prevent identification of the crew by management (who receive all ASRs but which are all de-identified). We have recently altered that approach such that FLIDRAS data is provided to both management and union safety investigators in an incident (such as a tail-strike or turbulence event etc), but we still do not coordinate ASRs with "Class 2" type events.

In any situation where the pilots' union is relatively strong there is the twin responsibilities of protection of the crew member and the need and responsibility to deal effectively and clearly with safety issues where competency and/or "maverick" behaviour is indicated. Such twin roles are difficult to balance and execute but that they must be, with safety taking priority.

Again rubik101, your willingness to engage these questions publicly is of enormous value to all simply for reasons you state and is of benefit to me through comparisons with our own approach and set-up. It has been an exceptionally difficult task to establish at our airline not because the pilots are not onside but because, from all evidence, management is not. After a decade, only two of five fleet types are monitored and one of those fleet types is monitored at a rate of less than 60%, the "statistical" method being seen as a viable, acceptable way to do flight data analysis. A popular commuter-level jet is our new-hire entry and main captain-promotion airplane but it is not monitored at all; similarly, two wide-body fleet types are not monitored. We have been lobbying for 100% coverage since the beginning but were told data analysis would be expanded onto other fleet types when it was "commercially viable", whatever that meant.

The value of this forum is admirably demonstrated in the direction this thread has ultimately taken. Information about a very valuable but little-understood flight safety program is here for all to read, passengers and journalists alike. For a professional aviator (40 years, 35 at a major carrier) and flight data specialist, to be able to compare approaches at different carriers, in confidence but in public so that we may ourselves make progress in our own data analysis work is very valuable indeed and I extend my thanks for your candidness and time once again.

rubik101
27th Jul 2008, 16:34
PJ2, you would do well to try and find someone in BA who deals with their system. It was the first airline in the UK around 15 to 20 years ago to introduce such a system and has been very well tried and tested. BALPA (The pilot's Union) and the BA Pilot's Council were heavily involved with the introduction of the system, as you might imagine when a pioneering system is about to be thrust upon the pilot community in BA. I think you will be able to find the history of the introduction as it was all well documented and quite public.

When the equipment was first installed on the whole fleet in our company, the data was collected and analyzed but no actions taken until the whole system was thoroughly checked over a period of many months.

Once education, instruction and information were given to the pilots the rates of such things as late configuration, ILS deviations, speed deviations, flap speed exceedances and many others, fell quite dramatically, some by a factor of 20 or more!

Further experience and settling of the system over the past few years has seen events reduce to a consistently below industry average. Incidentally, ICAO is provided with the data collected in a graphical format, with no identification, simply to provide operators with a comparison to the industry averages. They also have data on such things as bird strikes, TCAS events, level busts and many others.

The company that collects the data in our case is an independent company who analyse data from several airlines. Most of the analysts are ex pilots, ex mainly through loss of license on medical grounds.

The facilitators at each base tend to be Captains who have been with the company some time. They are not always Training Captains, though some are.

The benefits of such a system in the interests of flight safety cannot be over-emphasised.

If you have any influence within your company then you would be well advised to push for the introduction of a comprehensive and complete system. The benefits might never be seen in the happy and ideal case that your company never has an accident. However, what such a system will most certainly do is to increase conformity to SOPs, hence raising safety standards within the company and a marked reduction in the events that might be seen as 'dangerous' by a very wide margin.

I commend the system to the house.

PJ2
27th Jul 2008, 16:51
Again, many thanks rubik101 - very helpful.

Elephant and Castle
27th Jul 2008, 21:02
Your paragraph Rubrik relates to very serious breaches and there is no question that if the incident is serious enough the data should be de-identified. In Ezy however any ASR will de-identify the data even if unrelated and this means that even though you may file an ASR for a TCAS event you may end up having to explain why you did not descend at econ speed later on in the flight. In practical terms this means that for most folk (ie most of us that would file ASR when needed and not only in extreme cases) the data is not protected. You may be surprised to hear that some people even file an ASR for very minor excedances (Vref +12 at 500´ on a turbulent day and after a fully stable approach from 1000´).

A different issue that comes up in your post is who manages the system. In Ezy we have a couple of young FO´s as well as a number of captains. While I am sure they are very bright and able pilots I feel that this is a job where some extra experience will be quite beneficial.

Fifty Above
28th Jul 2008, 16:48
Sometimes though all the FLIDRAS data in the world won't protect people from themselves.

We had a case a couple of years' ago at one of our European bases when a Captain decided to carry on his day after a weather related incident required that he get the aircraft checked over.

He thought he knew better and didn't get it checked - he got the proverbial boot. In this case I believe that his attitude was as much the cause of his demise as the incident.

Willy Walsh
28th Jul 2008, 18:21
We'll give him a job!!:ok:

rubik101
30th Jul 2008, 16:59
Does Willy Walsh's post make anyone else wonder quite why anyone with a brain cell would bother to register with PPRUNE simply so that they can write a post saying' We'll give him a job.'?
I am astounded at the idiocy of the comment and also at the thought process that prompted the totally inappropriate post in the first place.
If the mods find that I have insulted the idiot that wrote it, please delete my post, but if you do, please delete his idiotic post too!
There had been some interesting discussion on this thread until WW's stupid post brought it to a frustrating halt.

Arthur Dent1
11th Aug 2008, 01:57
Not sure if Rubik 101's faith in the system is entirely rational. Sometimes in flying all Professor Reason's holes line up, we then have to be very unequivocal and direct indeed to save the situation.

Not always that easy on day1 after stars removal with a pilot of dubious ability sat next to him. Still, at least the brand protected its own ego.

kick the tires
11th Aug 2008, 08:06
Not sure if Rubik 101's faith in the system is entirely rational. Sometimes in flying all Professor Reason's holes line up, we then have to be very unequivocal and direct indeed to save the situation.

Not always that easy on day1 after stars removal with a pilot of dubious ability sat next to him. Still, at least the brand protected its own ego.


:confused::confused::confused:Does anyone understand this posting??:confused::confused::confused:

rubik101
11th Aug 2008, 08:34
Well, I don't.

icarus sun
11th Aug 2008, 12:30
Each company makes its own SOPS some good some bad.The main rule is the GOLDEN rule,he who has the Gold makes the rules.:ok:

rubik101
11th Aug 2008, 23:26
737 Jock, why so angry?
Your EZY procedures are not more strict than the recommeneded, merely different.
If Big Orange wants you to use 1000' for every approach, so be it.
I was merely trying to explain the use of the system to those who evidently have little or even no knowledge of the system. This forum is an ideal medium for spreading information so why do you spend your precious time trying to shoot people down? Ridiculing posters for no apparent reason seems counter productive to me but you obviously have your own agenda here.
The pilot in question must have tansgressed the limits on one or more occasions or he would still have his job. You seem to know everything so perhaps you could enlighten us as to what it was that he actually did wrong.
Until then, stop slagging me off for writing what most others seem to think is good information.
Happy Christmas to you all.

pitotheat
19th Aug 2008, 14:33
PJ2
It might be worth pointing out to your company the huge savings in insurance premiums that are possible with a proven and effective FLIDRAS system. I know at my company these savings have, over the last few years, offset a large part of the cost of the system. In addition, it means trends can be very quickly identified and be addressed through OPC/LPC training cycles. Rubik's description and particularly his attitude to this system reflect, in my opinion, the attitude of most current line pilots. We have to squeeze out of the system all those pilots who for the sake of their own ego ignore SOPs and regulations that have been developed through years of experience, sometimes tragic, to enhance flight safety.

Capt Hook
19th Aug 2008, 16:18
"PF will request the After Start checklist only when all ground personnel and
equipment are seen to be clear of the aircraft" Ops Manual B

I would be interested to know how the GB data compared with EZY before you start slagging the SOP's! I used to fly the monitored approach procedure on the VC10 many years back and never rated it!

Gary Lager
19th Aug 2008, 17:35
The other point that needs mentioning is that the blame culture at easyjet has reduced voluntary ASRs by 75% from the levels we enjoyed during the GB days.

What? Sez who?

Ah, the good old days of GB. Those 'GB' pilots have decided to leave professionalism at home now they are working for EZY, have they? Give us all some credit.

There's no checklist item for "Take off clearance...obtain" or "Coffee...checked not too hot" but most pilots seem to manage OK.

I have filed ASRs at EZY, some involving errors on my part, but not been disciplined/sacked for being honest (yet). I have found the culture at EZY open and objective, and have been here longer than most. Still, I never worked at GB which was obviously the greatest airline in the world. I shall just have to manage for myself the cockpit gradient and CRM issues that our sub-standard SOPs cause, oh what a strain. :ugh:

Airbrake
19th Aug 2008, 18:00
eezeegeebee.

I will not pick at your post, but the attitude it conveys discredits the majority of your Ex GB colleagues who are carrying on with the job and getting used to the different ways Easyjet does things.

As for your concern about the Ground Crew after engine start, I suggest you have a look at part B before you next act as PF. Your post only displays your lack of SOP knowledge on this matter.

Airbubba
19th Aug 2008, 18:08
By the way, its only a matter of time before a ground crew guy gets dragged under the nosewheel because there's no checklist item for "Ground Crew Clearance ..... Received"

There's no checklist item for "Take off clearance...obtain" or "Coffee...checked not too hot" but most pilots seem to manage OK.

These are in some cases cultural differences. Some folks think the more callouts, the more complex the checklist, the better things are. These wacko monitored approaches are sure to catch on worldwide someday just like the QFE altimeter.:) Now, if we can just get the commies to quit using metric altitudes...

I remember riding with some Deltoids on a 767 a while back. They had about twenty items on the Before Takeoff checklist, they must have got it from a DC-8 or CV880. The Boeing company manual 76 Before Takeoff checklist has one item.

Caudillo
19th Aug 2008, 19:11
At GB, we followed the BA SOPS

No, you didn't, you followed your own. Some of your SOPs were based on some of theirs but, alas, you were not a sun and spade version of BA.

The monitored approach is the safest way to fly as it ensures that both pilots are "in the loop" from TOD to touchdown

No, it doesn't. I'm as capable of falling asleep during a monitored approach as I am now during a conventional one (both as PF and PNF)

If one pilot is losing the plot, the other can always say, "OK, thanks, I'll take it from here".

Whereas in a conventional approach, and we've all seen it time and time again, one guy just lets the other guy fly them both into a smoking hole? There's nothing to preclude you from intervening in a balls up aside from yourself.

The other point that needs mentioning is that the blame culture at easyjet has reduced voluntary ASRs by 75% from the levels we enjoyed during the GB days.

So you're saying that three quarters of safety-related incidents amongst your fleet now go unreported? I wonder what your erstwhile colleagues at British Airways would make of such an attitude.

By the way, its only a matter of time before a ground crew guy gets dragged under the nosewheel because there's no checklist item for "Ground Crew Clearance ..... Received".

You've already been given the quote from OMB. Perhaps you're concerned too that one day somebody might ditch in the sea through fuel starvation caused by a failure to retract the gear and flaps on your sortie to the Canaries? No checklist for that either, or a dozen other things. Funnily enough, a lack of checklist verbosity doesn't appear to have bent much metal.

PJ2
19th Aug 2008, 22:51
pitotheat;
Thanks very much - we pointed that out years ago but in fact any flight operations management worth their pay would/should already know that fact - maybe they do, maybe they don't - I don't know.

We have a program in place, (a superb one - highly detailed and capable) but the other aspect of data collection is using it, presumably to advantage. I don't think it is too cynical to observe that the insurance company almost certainly doesn't know what is actually done with the data in fact, likely hasn't a clue what "FOQA/FDA" is or how it works. They just know what they hear (I doubt if they read) so, so long as the box is ticked which takes about 30 seconds from question to response in the forms, there may be a reduction in premiums. Someone from a suitable and knowledgeable insurance company involved in insuring airline assets can correct me (and I welcome such correction) but if they really know more than what I've said here, then they're not looking after their own risks very well and someone else is cheating. In fact we've been trying to get this program going for a decade now and it has been a tremendously tough, uphill battle with logs thrown in front of our horses at every turn, even today; when inconvenient, the data isn't believed and when it is, it's either a maintenance item or the exceedance(s) is/are "normalized" so it can be ignored. This issue is so pervasive as to be institutional rather than related to any one (or group) of individuals. I don't think the draw of cheaper premiums will resolve that issue.

rubik101
20th Aug 2008, 07:53
eezegeebee, your opinion that BA SOPs are by far the best implies that everyone else's are inferior, a grandiose and somewhat arrogant assumption, in my opinion.
Having used BA SOPs for a few years some time ago, I agree that they are different but I cannot see how anyone would consider that they are better.
They seem to be different only on the basis that conformity is for others.
Boeing/Airbus SOPs have been proved to be quite acceptable and satisfactory for many thousands of operators, apart from BA.
When there is one soldier out of step with everyone else in the squad, it is somewhat arrogant of him to express the opinion that everyone else is out of step apart fror him.
Monitored approaches, the primary difference to 'mainstream' SOPs have their place on our operations but only in marginal weather conditions. To force a hand-over of control from PF to PNF and back again at minimums, when you can see the runway from TOD, is simply pedantry.
In my opinion, of course.

BOAC
20th Aug 2008, 07:59
To force a hand-over of control from PF to PNF and back again at minimums, when you can see the runway from TOD, is simply pedantry. In defence of BA SOPs (yes, I know.....), there is (or was up to 2004) no requirement to wait until 'minima' to hand over in that situation. In fact, hand-over of control to PNF at 10mins before TOD, visual with airfield, and crying "I have control" 3 seconds later would have satisfied the SOPs in my day:)

LYKA
20th Aug 2008, 08:45
Engine Mode Selector - As Required

Best take that one up w/Airbus, I believe that is a standard Airbus item. LPC...thats a C.A.A one I am afraid.

At the end of the day its different strokes for different folks...not something to get too worked up about.

brgds

TeHoroto
20th Aug 2008, 10:56
ezygb,
There are many ways to skin a cat.
It makes it easier to transit to a new company if you accept that the different SOP's are just that - different. You are also paid to operate to said SOP's, so just take a deep breath and get on with it, you may even get to enjoy it!

hec7or
21st Aug 2008, 12:22
As an ex Bluestar, I'm sure you'll also be aware of the cockups made by our guys in the slavish pursuit of the monitored approach.

The Cat 11s flown in Cavok to allow for a late landing clearance down to 100Radio, or conversely the go rounds flown from from Cat 1 DA before a late landing clearance had been given, much to the despair of ATC!

The complete lack of a coherent SOP for a monitored circling or visual approach also didn't help because a handover at MDA was mandated! What MDA would you use on a visual?? I could go on, but life's too short!

rubik101
21st Aug 2008, 12:42
And who flys the circling approach?
Oh, I forgot, you don't do those in really Big Airlines, or maybe even in ezygebe!

Screwballs
21st Aug 2008, 13:01
Can we get some examples of the "wide-open doors" in the easyJet SOPs please? I honestly would like to know them so they don't bite me in the behind.

hec7or
21st Aug 2008, 22:09
I flew the 1-11, the CRJ and the 737, yes the P1 could take control whenever he wanted but was reluctant to do so, as it was drilled into the guys that the P2 flew the approach with the sole aim of doing a go round and the P1 took control only to land. It was getting the P1 to take control at an appropriate point before MDA/DA when the weather was nice that proved to be the problem.

There was one distinct advantage to the monitored approach though, so I must accept it had some merit! I could finish my breakfast on an early AMS while my coleague flew it for me.

Happy days!

rogerg
22nd Aug 2008, 07:52
If the weather was fine and I had finished my breakfast I just used to say "have control" in a nice way. Works in either seat!

hec7or
22nd Aug 2008, 11:34
Yes, it worked that way round, but I got thoroughly sick and tired of flying the aircraft to cat 1 minima when conditions and airmanship dictated that the other bloke took control early to get the power and trim sorted.

You often got the P1 waiting till DA on a gusty day and then getting all out of shape with big thrust and trim inputs before crashing on with rudder, aileron, elevator and thrust levers all in the wrong place!

I don't think the rationale behind the monitored approach covered this type of scenario as it was really intended for LVOs and not for other types of weather.

My current operator encourage handing control to the other pilot when the workload is high, but emphasize that reducing the workload first may be a better option.

hi Map Shift

Yup, right on both counts!

rubik101
22nd Aug 2008, 18:16
Many years ago, using BA SOPs with GO, bless her, I did my initial line check to CPH with a very experienced ex-BA trainer in the right seat.
Having handed control over to him at TOD he somehow managed to position the aircraft high and fast on the approach. As it was CAVOK he muttered something about me taking control at around 500'. When he tried to hand over control to me I told him to Go-around and called ATC and told them we were going around.
He was not impressed having to fly toe missed approach and subsequent radar circuit but said nothing when we got back to STN. He even signed me off.
To my mind there are too many variables, the gusty conditions being the other major situation, where monitored approaches are less than ideal.

LYKA
24th Aug 2008, 10:15
intervention of CAA SRG

Would be interesting to know how many ASR's have been raised at a result of the percieved lack of training for the ex. GB pilots. Lets hope that the Company have had lots of good feedback to improve everyone's lot and not just a few with loud voices who might have taken a 'back door approach' to address their personal misgivings about the training that has or has not been provided.

Viking101
24th Aug 2008, 16:14
The company culture in England is somewhat different than other places.

Almost everyday colleagues remind me to keep my back free, which means "flidras" is watching you. It very much feels like being monitored for the wrong reason. Company says "its for safety", whilst other say its a tool "so the company can kick pilots around". Well the tea and wafer-meeting ends up without the wafer and then you are in trouble. You dont get fired just because one incident, of course. But the company starting to use the flidras in a wrong purpose is bad. It makes the day out less relaxing and thus more tense.
Lots of colleagues are scared to make a small mistake and thus somewhat uncomfortable in some situations where you, for example, end up hot and high. Thats not necessary at all but the system makes it like this.

But hey- just accept it and continue I guess. And like it when you get shouted at.

:oh: