PDA

View Full Version : The Axe Man of Apia


Centaurus
22nd Feb 2010, 12:07
BEWARE THE AXE MAN FROM APIA

Once again the airlines are recruiting pilots already experienced on IFR light twins. Regional airlines pilots are also moving up the food chain to JetStar, Virgin Blue and Tiger. As part of induction training, pilots will undergo lectures and briefings on airline specific SOP, cabin emergency equipment, passenger evacuation drills and other regulatory requirements. Each airline runs its own specific CRM and TEM course. The JetStar interview, for example, accents conflict resolution on the flight deck and in later paragraphs we shall read how one first officer used a unique but effective technique to sort out a difference of professional opinion. Hence, the title of this story.

After simulator endorsement training, each new pilot will be rated to take his place in the right hand seat, often sharing the flight deck with a recently promoted captain or others with more seniority. Personalities differ; but the new first officer must be prepared for multiple flights each day with the same captain. Mostly this will be a happy event with the captain setting the scene from the first meeting in the crew room.

The new first officer must remember to balance his natural enthusiasm and keenness against the realization the captain is ultimately responsible for running the show. While definitions of CRM vary, one thing is for sure. And that is, CRM is not carte blanche permission for the first officer to play the blue-arse fly or multi-fingered switch flicker who tries to be ten miles ahead of the captain. Think changing radio and navaid frequencies without reference to the captain, turning off the seat belts sign without first getting the a nod from the left seat, or alarming the captain with poorly planned PA announcements and dinging away at the FA call button for refreshments at inappropriate times. All the time presuming the captain is watching with admiration at these displays of initiative.

It must be sixty years or more when someone penned a ditty called “The Copilot’s Lament”. He was probably a first officer of long seniority. It epitomized the early post war days when DC3’s were the mainstay of airlines and pilot seniority in the airline ruled inviolate. After the war, thousands of military pilots came home to no jobs and the airlines were full. Twenty years as copilot before promotion to captain, was ops normal in many US airlines. On layovers at Guam, we saw ancient looking PANAM crews and imagined them walking wearily through the foyers of Hilton Hotels around the world. Many of the captains were John Wayne look-alikes. Most first officers were over 50. Mind you, their uniformed regal presence certainly engendered confidence among their passengers. Not like now, when a Chinese 300 hour second in command and not long out of flight school, walks smartly through the terminal building to his A340 in Hong Kong.

Who in the hell was John Wayne, I hear you say? Well, he was the silver screen archetypal Hollywood hero of the Fifties who fought Red Indians, and single handedly beat the fanatical Japanese in battles of World War Two. As a two-gun cowboy with a big hat, he sat tall in the saddle of a huge horse while a million kids tried to emulate his slow drawl. Meanwhile, read on.
The Copilots Lament

I’m the co-pilot, I sit on the right
It’s up to me to be quick and bright
I never talk back or I’ll have regrets
And I must remember what the captain forgets.

I make out the flight plan and study the weather
Pull up the gear and standby to feather
Make out the mail forms and do the reporting
And fly the plane when the captain is snoring

I take the readings and adjust the power
Put on the heaters when we’re in a shower
Tell we are on the darkest of night
And do all the bookwork without any light.

I call for my captain
And by him Cokes
I always laugh at his corny jokes
And once in a while when his landings are rusty
I come through with “Gawd, but it’s gusty!”

All in all, I’m a general stooge
As I sit on the right of this overall Scrooge
But maybe some day with great understanding
He’ll soften a bit and give me a landing
……………………………………………

A long time ago, I was a second pilot (first officer) on Lincoln bombers. An updated Lancaster with four Rolls Royce Merlin engines, they had no air-conditioning or pressuration and were designed to be flown by one pilot. For long flights we normally carried two pilots, two navigators, several signalers and gunner or two. On arrival at Townsville as a twenty year old, I was interviewed by the splendidly mustachiod Commanding Officer – a Wing Commander, who welcomed me by saying: “Sergeant Centaurus – you will be a second pilot for nine months or 300 flying hours, which ever comes first. During that time, you will not be given take-off’s or landings. You are there to watch and learn from the captain. Later, depending on your captain’s reports, you may be checked out as first pilot for local flying only. After 18 months and if you qualify for war operations, you will eventually be given your own crew and become a maritime captain.
At least, I knew where I stood – or rather, where I sat.

I flew with pilots of all ranks, addressing them as Sir, Skipper - but never as Captain. Some were former wartime bomber pilots who had fought over Europe and witnessed terrible events. A few drank heavily off duty. I soon learned not to offer un-solicited advice unless it was essential to the operation. There was little casual light-hearted chit-chat. Unlike now, one never addressed the captain or other crew member as “Mate”. There is little doubt that today the low cockpit gradient encouraged by some airlines has resulted in less respect than desirable for the authority of the captain.

The shattering and almost painful noise of four Rolls Royce Merlins – the inboards being a mere twenty feet away with open exhausts – discouraged chatting. Everything you might say to the captain was heard over the intercom by the other members of the crew including the tail-gunner cooped up in his gun turret between the twin tails.

Yet, despite Service rank, there was cockpit etiquette. It may sound quaint and old-fashioned now, but in those times, if the captain gave you the landing it was considered good manners to afterwards thank him. In retrospect, it was probably a nice touch which rarely happens now. There was no company or God-given right that required the captain to share sectors. In fact, the co-pilot wasn’t given a “leg” as we know the term. He may be offered the take off or the landing – but not a “leg”. A copilot did not get psyched up simply because he was given a departure. In the airlines now, the equivalent of a White House Press briefing is needed so the first officer can prepare and brief the captain for his leg. But then, in those days there were no SIDS and STARS or special engine failure procedures where a proper briefing is required.

The copilot’s turn would come down the track later. Meanwhile, he was the copilot who sat on the right, whose job was to support the captain when required. There were no SOP’s like today. But it was almost a chargeable offence to back-chat the captain in the course of his duty of flying the aircraft. Of course the copilot would speak up if things were going very wrong like below MSA’s in IMC. The navigator would be quick to say something, too. Nowadays, their personal interpretation of CRM has some first officers stretching the friendship too much when it comes to aggressive questioning of a captain’s decision – rather like the ABC’s Kerry O’Brien getting stuck into Liberal Party ministers on TV! It can often result in a battle of wills and personality conflicts may arise which in turn can compromise flight safety

Of course, this is old history and mentioned only for the inevitable amusement of Pprune readers. The introduction of CRM and it’s offspring TEM, has seen a new generation of pilot actively encouraged to challenge the captain where perceived necessary in the interests of flight safety. But co-pilots and captains must be wary of excesses that can irritate the other crew member. One man’s understanding of CRM may be another man’s poison - particularly, when forced to share the flight deck during several sectors over several days. It is clear that the niceties of cockpit etiquette are not discussed during airline induction training. And that is a great pity, because latent hostility on the flight deck can often be traced to lack of grace, good manners, or basic commonsense by one or other pilot.

For instance, take the case when a Boeing 737 was descending to land at Apia, the capital of Western Samoa. The captain, a former US Navy combatant in 1942 against Japanese, was a heavily built man with a blunt and sometimes aggressive manner. He was respected - not for his flying skill - but because it would have taken three men and a pit-bull to bring him down in a bar fight. Moreover, he showed no respect for his first officers. The copilot, also a war veteran, had been a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam. Younger by many years than his American captain, he was well aware of the captain’s reputation as a one man band in the cockpit. He had also flown into Western Samoa many times - having worked there for several years.

High terrain on a volcanic island 20 miles from Apia’s Faleolo airport, meant the descent was restricted to 7000 ft until inside 20 DME. After that distance was passed, descent was authorized to 4000 ft for the VOR instrument approach.

While there was no company specific SOP pertaining to the descent and approach into Faleolo, good airmanship dictated setting the en-route lowest safe altitude of 7000 ft in the altitude alerter until passing 20 DME from the airport, when it would be safe to continue to 4000 ft. Instead, the captain over-rode the copilot’s advice and at top of descent set 4000 ft in the altitude alerter. Although the 737 was descending in IMC, there was no doubt the captain was aware of the 7000 ft limitation beyond 20 DME from Faleolo. But he was determined to set 4000 ft (the initial approach altitude for the VOR approach).

Concerned about this, the copilot continued quite reasonably to prompt the captain to set the alerter to the 7000 ft. The captain brusquely told the first officer to button his lip. The first officer was no shrinking violet and while he knew of the terrain ahead, he had no idea of the captain’s intentions in terms of safe altitudes. Was he going to stop at 7000 ft until 20 DME - or was he going to keep going to 4000 ft? The captain didn’t say and the first officer therefore didn’t know.

As the captain leveled at 10,000 ft to reduce speed from 280 to 250 knots, the copilot asked him once more re-set the altitude alerter back to 7000 ft MSA. And again the captain told the copilot to shut up. With that, the copilot reached back and unlocked the crash axe located on the cockpit wall. Holding the axe in view, he quietly directed the captain to maintain 7000 ft until 20 DME - or wear the axe. Sensing the copilot was deadly serious, the captain wisely twirled back the altitude alerter to 7000ft whereupon the first officer returned the axe to its leather holder. The flight arrived without further drama and neither pilot reported the incident. There is no doubt that CRM is generally considered a useful flight safety tool. In this case, so was the crash axe.

While cockpit etiquette is the real subject of this story, the lack of it by the captain caused the first officer to be driven to potentially homicidal action when the captain deliberately used ridicule as his method of communication. So, for new first officers may I offer the following snippets of advice on cockpit etiquette. Keep in mind these are personal opinions only and readers are welcome to have a go at them. Be my guest.

First of all, arrive at flight planning on time. You are on duty so don’t start reading personal emails that cut into planning time. It shows ill-discipline and lack of good manners. The captain is not addressed as “Mate”. That is bogan-speak. Same advice applies to the captain addressing the first officer. It is also shows lack of respect for each crew position.

At flight planning, the captain is responsible for deciding fuel uplift. He will do that after consideration of all relevant factors. As first officer, avoid making unnecessary remarks about the amount of fuel the captain may choose to take. As long as it is legal and safe then most pilots will have slightly different opinions on fuel uplift. Keep your opinion to yourself – the captain is not required to explain his decision. However, you are certainly entitled to question his decision if the fuel uplift is contrary to company SOP. Do it tactfully.

If the captain asks you to decide the fuel uplift for your leg, don’t be offended or argue the toss if decides to change the figure. While he may be happy with the uplift you have selected, for personal reasons based on his experience, he may decide to add or subtract from your figure. That is not implied criticism of your decision. Remember, he carries the can and it is unfair for him to have to haggle with you or bend over backwards to accommodate your wishes or decisions.

Don’t greet the captain with: “which sectors do you want?” It is presumptuous, and invites the retort of “all of them”. There may be occasions because of crosswinds or stormy weather, where the captain decides to assumes control on “your” leg for the approach and landing. Don’t go all quiet on him and say “don’t you trust my flying?” He could tell you what he really thinks, which may further upset you. So don’t ask.

While most airlines permit the first officer to make PA calls to the passengers on their “leg”, it is not a God-given right. For new pilots, PA’s can be a nervous time. There is no dual instruction on how to talk as part of your induction training. There should be – but mainly you are stuck with on the job training with the captain and flight attendants praying you don’t stuff up. One Australian airline took this so seriously, a professional radio announcer was brought in to teach crews how to make proper PA’s. Judging from some of the PA’s I have listened to as a passenger, the policy should be revived.

Practice your PA’s at home on a tape recorder listening to your rate of speech and enunciation. Write the words down first and until you are confident with public speaking, refer to your cheat sheet before you open your mouth. Avoid clichés, Aussie slang and rambling on. Avoid at all costs starting a PA with “Gooday Ladies and gents, boys and girls. You sound a bit stupid if it’s a suits flight with no ankle-biters aboard. Plus it sounds contrived and insincere. Once you open your mouth on the PA, the captain is helpless to prevent you making a twit in front of the passengers. So, speak carefully and clearly, know exactly what you want to say and remember you are the voice of the airline – just as the PA by cabin staff also reflects the airline.

Where possible, avoid starting any cockpit scan without first advising the captain. He may have his attention momentarily elsewhere but still needs to be in the loop. Your area of responsibility is fine but so is his double checking you have done your job, too. Don’t be a “Hoverer” To some pilots it can be distracting (and annoying) to have an eager beaver PNF reaching towards the gear or flap handles in anticipation of the captain’s order. Same advice applies to the heading knob on the MCP. Hovering over the heading knob with a great big fist is annoying to some while not worrying others. When someone is concentrating on handling, a creeping hand seen out of the corner of one’s eyes is off-putting. Don’t do it and keep your hands on your knees. It takes less than a second to make selections so don’t pre-empt the next direction or order. Do not change radio or navaid selections without first advising the PF. Not only it is bad manners but can be distracting to the PF to see the RMI needle moving to a new position for no apparent reason. Don’t pull out the checklist from it’s holder and nonchalantly wave it around in instant readiness for the captain’s command. That’s called “hovering”, too. Adjusting the cabin temperature control? Let the captain know.

During the takeoff run the captain controls the thrust levers. They won’t slip back and therefore there is no need for the PNF to have a hand backing up. A rapid abort, may not allow time for the captain to politely ask you to remove your hand and you could sustain lacerations if your hand gets jammed between throttles and start levers in the 737. We had real blood in the simulator once when it happened. If thrust lever adjustment is necessary at any point during the take off run, make it swiftly and then remove your hand.

If a flight attendant brings food or drink, respect for the captain’s position suggests the copilot should wait for the captain to decide first. When offering an old lady your seat on a tram, it is a sign you have been brought up to respect age. It’s not the same of course, but you get my drift. Always thank the cabin attendants for food and drink. Again, this is normal good manners.

Now, a message for new captains. There is nothing more annoying to the PF than have you fiddling with the thrust levers under his hand on final approach. It displays lack of confidence or worse still, twitchy. Either say something if essential to the conduct of the approach, or take over control and discuss later. Similarly, you don’t need two pilots handling at the same time. Pilots should be not be surreptitiously hovering their hands on or very close to the control wheel while the other is taking off or landing. Same with rudder pedals. It is annoying, unnecessary and displays a nervous disposition. With hands on knees, it should take less than a second to take over control, so keep your fingers, hands and size tens to yourself. Remember, this is all about cockpit etiquette.

It is the captain’s responsibility to decide on automatic brake setting and reverse thrust policy. Always remember he carries the can. If the copilot is handling, he should check with the captain during the approach briefing which settings the captain prefers. This is not fawning to the captain’s authority - but is normal good manners.

Regardless of whose “leg” it is, weather and thunderstorm avoidance is the captain’s responsibility. If the copilot needs practice using the radar in bad weather, then he should clear it with the captain first. Return the radar to previous settings. Politeness and tact will often defuse areas of potential conflict on the flight deck. For new first officers, put yourself in the shoes of the captain; because one day you will be. It is better to keep youthful enthusiasm under control rather than be perceived as someone who sees CRM as an excuse to harangue the captain.

And for captains, remember this: People may forget what you said or forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel. Sarcasm and verbal abuse has no place on the flight because one day it may come back to bite you. Remember the axe-man of Apia

Oz_TB10
22nd Feb 2010, 17:11
Centaurus,

Thank you for that! I really did learn a lot from the article.Please do post more should you have the articles and time to do so.

Regards,
Oz_TB10

PLovett
22nd Feb 2010, 20:28
Centaurus,

A brilliant post. Unfortunately, for many flightcrew, from what I have seen, it will be like casting pearls................:sad:

flyby
22nd Feb 2010, 21:45
Hi there Centarus,

Interesting muse , there are a lot of very valid observations for all new FO's and Captain's.
I would like to point out that thanks to robust sop's some of these unspoken grievances can be mitigated and thank god for that.

One observation i would make after reading and digesting your post is that although there is plenty of wisdom there also maybe a overtone of ambitious
cockpit gradient, for example thanking the captain for a landing or sector is a bit steep. As a captain who clawed his way through the ranks enduring years of personality differences and similarities i would never expect recognition for the sector unless i gave it up for the other blokes recency or similar .

Lets face it it is no longer the captains right to fly all the sectors otherwise half the crew would be unable to operate due lack of sector and approach recency , especially in a long haul environment.

As Captain i felt no malice when addressed by my name or rank , but use wisdom when referring to your peers as mate.
I never had to assume control for a landing in crosswinds or stormy weather
i preferred to assist the FO in conducting the approach , tactfully of course,
this is when your captaincy is used assist your follow colleague in learning the ropes so to speak encouraging profession development. How else is he supposed to learn , there is only so much watching you can do , the best learning is doing.

Overall a great post though and i entirely agree on your last statement on how your crew members impression of you will stick.

squidward
22nd Feb 2010, 21:49
Guilty as charged, your honour..... :}

Ex FSO GRIFFO
23rd Feb 2010, 01:56
Please do come on Mr 'Squidward', and tell us some of the stories behind your comment.
I note from your stated age that you are retired(?) and would have a wealth of anecdotes to be shared......:ok::ok:

Please....:)

Well done Mr Centaurus, thoroughly enjoyable, and the 'visual impression' of the actual axe incident is very striking....pardon the pun.... well done.

It brings to mind what should have happened to the arrogant B-52 commander who so 'foolishly' thought he was far better than he actually was when he overbanked the aircraft at an airshow no less and, tragically, took everybody else with him....

Cheers:ok::ok:

gunshy67
23rd Feb 2010, 01:58
Centarus Centarus ...Goodness goodness me.

What do you think Cat D simulators are for?

That's where the Co-pilot (AKA First Officer) can keep up his handling skills. Not that they handle anything but the autopilot, FMC and MCP.

No sectors for FO's. Just sit on your hands and be very quiet and one day when you step across the aisle and emulate me, then you can play God too.

Oh and no females please unless they are long-haired blondes and "co-operative".

Am I serious??????? You decide.:D

The Voice
23rd Feb 2010, 02:00
ahh Griff .. it's a bit of the pot and kettle syndrome. You can tell a few war stories yourself! :}

Anthill
23rd Feb 2010, 02:04
Lets face it it is no longer the captains right to fly all the sectors otherwise half the crew would be unable to operate due lack of sectors especially in a long haul environment.



I cannot let this pass. This attitude is a myth and you are sadly mistaken. The Captain has every right to operate the aircraft as is seen proper within the constraints of the Air Navigation Act. Please review the CAR 224 for an appraisal of what the Captain can and cannot do. As a Co-pilot, you have no "rights" to anything.

Regarding the Gradient of Authority, this is variable in its application. Under some circumstances, a flat gradient works best. Under others, a steep gradient is required. It all depends on the situation and to infer that a 'flat gradient of authority is always safest' is to fail to understand the basis fundumentals of leadership. followership and effective CRM.

Ex FSO GRIFFO
23rd Feb 2010, 02:08
Hi 'Voicie'.....

Yeah, but THIS one sounds as if it might even be TRUE.......:ok::ok:

Warm Regards....:cool:;)

balance
23rd Feb 2010, 04:19
Anthill, I think you might be taking flyby's comments a little too literally.

I'm pretty sure he knows that particular CAR that you refer too. In the company that I work for, to take this attitude and enforce your right as a Captain to fly all sectors would not be viewed well, and your capability as a Captain would be considered suspect by both F/O's and management. Rightly so. There is an obligation as a Captain to teach by example, to mentor, to demonstrate, and to show good judgement. Good judgement involves giving away sectors, whether you like it or not.

Centaurus' post was a good one, however I too felt overtones of "superiority" as a Captain creeping though.

I overheard at an ISASI conference many years ago, a thesus by an honours student arguing why Qantas was such a safe airline in comparison to others. His research indicated that QF's operation was no different to any other airline in the world. What was different, is the Australian culture. We have the LEAST subservient culture on earth, and this serves us well as airline pilots. I'm sure that this is true for any Australian airline...

Lets not have this change by promoting a steeper gradient eh?

psycho joe
23rd Feb 2010, 04:43
The captain is not addressed as “Mate”. That is bogan-speak. Same advice applies to the captain addressing the first officer. It is also shows lack of respect for each crew position.

I must admit that I'm a serial "mate" offender & had no idea that it was so offensive to some. :O

As a civvie I have never refered to a co-worker by their rank nor would I ever do so willingly. It's dehumanising at best and cringe-worthy at worst. Removing the human element in a command structure has it's place in a war environment but not in a benign airline cockpit environment.

Who in the hell was John Wayne, I hear you say?

gmxiZZZ-2_4

He was the "Duke". An F/O who never took no sh:mad:t from no Captain....Pilgrim.:D

Dehavillanddriver
23rd Feb 2010, 05:03
If this First Officer The copilot, also a war veteran, had been a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam is someone who spent time in PNG, Air Pacific and is now (or last I heard anyway) in Jetstar, then I flew with him when I was an FO out there and he is a great guy to fly with.

OhSpareMe
23rd Feb 2010, 05:40
My dyslexia is getting the better of me again.

I started out reading the post because I thought it was The Axe man of AIPA and was wondering who it would be referring to.

noip
23rd Feb 2010, 05:49
OSM,

Me too .... but whilst I'm here .....

In another life a similar situation occurred in PNG on Caribous ... the Loadmaster (Mongo) disagreed with the Captain's course of action (climbing in cloud), so idly stood behind him with the Axe lolling in his hand ... his logic? If a Mountain appeared, the Captain would die before he did...

......or so the legend goes.


N

flyby
23rd Feb 2010, 06:08
Hi Anthill,
I seem "fail to understand the basis fundumentals of leadership. followership and effective CRM."
Gee thanks for pointing that out i had no idea.
Come on you must be reading a different post.I was not infering that any sort of cockpit gradient was preferable only that having to thank the Captain for letting you do the job for which you were employed is a bit rich.

By the way i was not referring to the captains right's to operate the aircraft as see's fit, merely commenting on the rather outdated philosophy that the Captain is God and every one else who gets to fly along side him or her should feel priviliged to even touch the controls, God forbid.
By the way to say the FO has no rights is rather left wing , everybody deserves to be treated with respect , yes even a FO.

Mach E Avelli
23rd Feb 2010, 07:48
Normally I considered it good management to give the F/O the more 'difficult' legs - on the basis that they probably needed the handling more than I did and it left me free to 'manage' the show. They got at least half the flying, but I got to tell them which half - for their own good.
Occasionally I would (and still) take a really tricky sector just to show the tyros that old age, bastardry and rat cunning can still overcome youth, exuberance and enthusiasm in most endeavours short of iron-man competitions.
But one particular smart arse F/O really got under my skin. Because he had more FMS time than me, he could beat me hands down in the green machine stakes and lost no opportunity to get in there first and type our way through the sky. Shame that his stick and rudder work was pretty ordinary but he didn't see that as a problem in his automated world. To show me how good he was, he would have most of the landing card filled in before top of climb - even on a 4 hour sector. And talk about 'hovering' with gear and flaps, checklists etc! Of course the more he did that, the more I delayed actions just to piss him off. One day he went a bit too far with the suggestions and pre-empting. I had done the 1st sector, and when I got back in the cockpit it was all set up with the flight directors transferred to his side. So, I flicked them back to the left. He asked 'Isn't this my sector?' to which I just grunted 'nope'. As it happened we were paired for several days and I kept this up until he cracked and asked why I was hogging all the flying. To which I replied 'Well, you have made it quite clear that you think I need more practice, so I will practice until such time as I reach the standard you require'. CRM old-school.

Anthill
23rd Feb 2010, 08:25
Flyby,


"fail to understand the basis fundumentals of leadership. followership and effective CRM."



This was not aimed specifically at you and if I have caused offence on this I extend my appologies. I agree that it is important to treat all coworkers fairly and with respect. However, this does not extend to uspurping the authority of the Captain.

I give as much of a long leash to my subordinates so as they can develop professionally. However, if I wish for a course of action that is safer or more efficient, I will insist on that action being taken. That is what command is all about. I do not insist on enforce(ing) your right as a Captain to fly all sectors . That would be ludicrous and certainly invoke bad feeling. However, if I feel that the conditions are too demanding, I will (nicely) suggest/(insist) that I do the flying. When the FO acts as PF, they are in essence 'borrowing' the Captain licence for that sector.

Remember, too, that the Captain is ultimately responsible for the stuff ups made by the FO.


Anthill, I think you might be taking flyby's comments a little too literally.



Yes, I have taken a literal interpretation because I can only interpret what is writen, not what was intended to be meant.

For a start, CRM entails the safe and efficient use of all available resources. This is an ICAO definition. It is not one that I have made up. Whilst good CRM implies safety, excellent CRM also implies that decisions are efficient as well.

Let me be crystal clear on one thing: Good CRM is not some warm-and-fuzzy-feel-good-Dr Phil-meets Oprah-in-a-hot-tub kind of I’m ok/your ok-psycho-babble, good CRM is a tool that allows the decision makers to make good decisions. This means that input from subordinates is encouraged and where this input has validity, it is to be accounted for. When it does not have validity, it can be safely ignored. How a Captain goes about doing this a called command style. Remember, a flight crew is not a democracy.

Command decisions are not put to a vote and are not about making people ‘happy’. Command decisions are about safety and efficiency.CRM training is (or should be)about reinforcing this concept. Unfortunately the trend in recent years has been to misinterpret what CRM training and philosophy is all about. The blame for this trend falls squarely at the feet of CRM program developers and trainers (of which I am one). The contemporary outcome of many CRM courses is that subordinate crew members feel that they now have a licence to usurp authority belonging to the Captain. That is a million miles from the desired outcome.


Hmm.. Quite. An FO is there to support the process of making decisions, not to be a decision maker in themselves. The Captain, under law, is the only decision maker on the aircraft. Some crew may feel a sense of entilement to make decisions and this should be permited on the FOs sector to the degree that the Captain agrees with that decision as being safe, efficient and lawful.

I overheard at an ISASI conference many years ago, a thesus by an honours student arguing why Qantas was such a safe airline in comparison to others. His research indicated that QF's operation was no different to any other airline in the world. What was different, is the Australian culture. We have the LEAST subservient culture on earth, and this serves us well as airline pilots. I'm sure that this is true for any Australian airline...

Lets not have this change by promoting a steeper gradient eh?

What is being refered to in this citation is that a less subserviant culture should promote freer communication. This is what leads to enhanced safety. It is quite true that the egalitarian cultural factors within the Australia national pysche support freer commuication style and there is nothing wrong with that. However, I do not back away from my assertion that the gradient of authority must be varied at times, depending on the circumstance. For example, a steeper gradient of authority would be appropriate when the subordinate crew member is inexperienced or during an emergency.

Some instances where I have steeped the "gradient of authority to vertical include:

An FO who thought that is safe to proceed with the WX radar in AUTO and refused to deviate around a CB that I had detected by varying the gain and tilt.
An FO who tried to continue a 'visual' approach when lawful visibility was lost.
An FO who could not self-separate from traffic OCTA and was setting us up for a TCAS RA..On the otherhand, there are instances wher in the name of crew cohesion, I did not assert my view of what was the most safe/efficient plan of action and had to settle on a second best 'plan B'-all because the FO lacked the technical knowledge to understand that what I was proposing was safe, efficient and lawful. Because the FO was lacking in these areas, effieciency was compromised, however safety was not. FO was less than pleased when I told him to have a closer read of his books.

Centaurus' post was a good one, however I too felt overtones of "superiority" as a Captain creeping though.

Not sure what you mean by this. I Think that Centaurus' view was quite balenced. Maybe I'm just an old pr!ck.

FOCX
23rd Feb 2010, 10:53
psycho joe (http://www.pprune.org/members/109385-psycho-joe)

That's how every uppity captain needs to be treated!:E

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was also going to respond to the original post, but after seeing all the self serving, full of self importance posts, I just couldn't be bothered. Instead this is my response:yuk::yuk::yuk::yuk::yuk::yuk::yuk::yuk:.

For all those self important captains I hope you are Qantas as that would at least explain why you have such feelings of self importance, if you're not you should stop posting like [email protected]!!

We lowly effos are so privileged to have such highly self rated captains to guide us:D

Don't bother with any response as I'll ignore your drivel.

Back Seat Driver
23rd Feb 2010, 11:18
Quote Anthill The Captain has every right to operate the aircraft as is seen proper within the constraints of the Air Navigation Act. Please review the CAR 224 for an appraisal of what the Captain can and cannot do. As a Co-pilot, you have no "rights" to anything.

1988 NO. 158 CIVIL AVIATION REGULATIONS - REG 224
Pilot in command
224. (1) For each flight the operator shall designate one pilot to act as pilot in command.

(2) In addition to being responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time, the pilot in command shall be responsible for the safety of persons and cargo carried and for the conduct and safety of the members of the crew.

(3) The pilot in command shall have final authority as to the disposition of the aircraft while he or she is in command and for the maintenance of discipline by all persons on board.

I see you interpret "final" as "every". Maybe you are, as you yourself suggested, "an old pr!ck" :E

Jet_A_Knight
23rd Feb 2010, 11:24
You live or die as a crew!

Having said that, a pain in the arse is a pain in the arse - regardless of how many bars they're wearing.:{

Tmbstory
23rd Feb 2010, 13:54
Centaurus:

As usual a fine thread and worth a good long read. Congratulations.

Tmb

waren9
23rd Feb 2010, 14:25
With the greatest respect, much of the OP's post comes from views bourne out of wartime aviation and aircraft designs therein.

Modern multicrew airliners are certified for and require 2 or more pilots to operate.

The operation of which, (in both normal and abnormal) situations require the successful integration of the efforts of 2 quite seperate and distinct roles.

In reality, modern airline pilots are trained to fulfill either role. Especially Airbus pilots who are either PF or PNF and it is the responsibility of the FO to know his place and the Capt to either respect and use the knowledge his FO may have or delegate a role.

In my current airline FO's are graded in the sim on their ability to manage normal and non normal situations.

Having said all that, its up to the Capt to set the tone and ultimately as an FO, if you're not happy with proceedings then there's the "Capt you must listen" line (or whatever your airline uses), the axe, engine master switches off, or if it gets really bad- park the brakes, blow a slide and off load yourself.

Edited to add:

As an aside, wartime avaition never witnessed industrial situations that have occurred in the last 20 years or so :eek: that have resulted in situations nowadays where quite often the FO is frequently often older and more experienced with significant heavy jet time compared to the 30 year old A320 Capt on his left.

Tmbstory
23rd Feb 2010, 15:06
Centaurus:

A long time ago I used to have the odd beer with a senior Captain in Air Niguini who when he listened on the radio to the " Mates Chatter" would make a response " Yor are no Mate of mine, thank God, so use proper terminolgy or shut up. His other hate was crew members who turned up at the Ground bus with unpolished shoes.They normaly only did it once!.
I agree with both of his "hates", at the time he was well up the ladder on the A310.

Tmb

sparcap
23rd Feb 2010, 15:27
Amen warren9.

Some interesting and perhaps scary insights shared above.

balance
23rd Feb 2010, 19:33
Anthill, I really suspect that you are taking this authority issue too far, and I am getting some vibes that you are a little underconfident in your position as a Captain, if indeed you are.

Yes, there are rules and regulations which support your position. A good leader though, doesn't need them. He or she does so by example and good leadership and management. If you have to resort to quoting law then you have lost the battle.

As a Captain, I have flown with FO's who are undoubtetly better pilots than I. As an FO, I have flown with Captains who are worse pilots than I. So what? I don't care as long as the punters get from point A to point B safely and comfortably. If we, as operating crew, can get them there whilst we are comfortable in our little office, then we have done a great job.

An FO is there to support the process of making decisions, not to be a decision maker in themselves. The Captain, under law, is the only decision maker on the aircraft. Some crew may feel a sense of entilement to make decisions and this should be permited on the FOs sector to the degree that the Captain agrees with that decision as being safe, efficient and lawful.


Wrong, wrong, wrong. You have missed the point of the thread that centaurus started. Sorry fella, but I want any FO who flies with me to make decisions for themselves. The FO flying with the Axe Man of Apia made a decision, and it likely saved the aircraft. FO's MUST make decisions for themselves, and if they don't then they have no right to be sitting in a cockpit. They must be encouraged, guided, trusted, mentored and respected. One day, a FO will likely pull me out of the sh1t, and I will owe him or her big time. Anthill, perhaps you should remember this.

If you as a Captain state that an FO can only make the decisions that you allow him too, then you are no better than the Captain who had the Axe held to him, and you have completely missed the point of good CRM.

Some instances where I have steeped the "gradient of authority to vertical include:
An FO who thought that is safe to proceed with the WX radar in AUTO and refused to deviate around a CB that I had detected by varying the gain and tilt.
An FO who tried to continue a 'visual' approach when lawful visibility was lost.
An FO who could not self-separate from traffic OCTA and was setting us up for a TCAS RA..
On the otherhand, there are instances wher in the name of crew cohesion, I did not assert my view of what was the most safe/efficient plan of action and had to settle on a second best 'plan B'-all because the FO lacked the technical knowledge to understand that what I was proposing was safe, efficient and lawful. Because the FO was lacking in these areas, effieciency was compromised, however safety was not. FO was less than pleased when I told him to have a closer read of his books.


Quote:
Centaurus' post was a good one, however I too felt overtones of "superiority" as a Captain creeping though.

Not sure what you mean by this. I Think that Centaurus' view was quite balenced. Maybe I'm just an old pr!ck.




I'm not sure how you expect that you can vary the cockpit gradient. The FO is what he is, and you are what you are. I'm guessing that you suggest that you vary your tone, and whilst you might think that this varies the gradient, it most likely doesn't, it just irks the other pilot.

This is where respect and management comes into play. Instead of standing your ground and demanding that your FO comply with your requirements, as you imply, how about skillfully guiding your "mate" to what you believe to be the best outcome? This is good leadership, not just making demands.

The most surprising part of your post was this:

FO was less than pleased when I told him to have a closer read of his books.


I'm not surprised at the FO's reaction. If I were the FO I'd likely politely tell you where you could gracefully bend over and place the books! Are you a training Captain? Do you have the right to make a judgement? Did you politely discuss the issues first? Did you get out the books ytourself and show him or her with a degree of respect?

You have overtones in your post of superiority mixed with inexperience, Anthill, and I dont mean to critisise, but a little introspection prior to critisising someone else is a good thing.

Respect is of course, a two way street, and FO's should be mindful of this. So should Captains. I believe that this is the point of Centaurus' post, not CAR 224, and not the degree of the Captain's authority.

Fantome
23rd Feb 2010, 20:19
You have overtones in your post of superiority mixed with inexperience

Not that I am able at present to contribute in any useful way to this debate, although, as one who has had a few years of the two crew business , right seat and left seat, I do applaud the quality and insight of Centaurus's opening article, here's a rather flippant aside to the above remark, as it puts me in mind of what Berlioz said about the young Saint-Saens -

'He lacks everything but inexperience.'

Might also have been uttered by one of those hard bitten men that EKG so well portrays in "FATE IS THE HUNTER", no?

p.s. FOCX - give over with all those emicons, or you won't get your camel stamp.

maybegunnadoo
23rd Feb 2010, 22:47
1. "Good Landing Captain"

2. "How do you like your coffee Captain"

3. " I think the ugly one likes me"

4. "Its my fault Captain"

:}

waren9
23rd Feb 2010, 23:50
You forgot

5. Yes, its my round Capt. What are you drinking?

FlareHighLandLong
23rd Feb 2010, 23:52
Are you suggesting the FO shouldn't be adjusting radios and Navaids without running it past the captain first?

If this is the case there is surely no point in having multi crew cockpits. The captain could just do it all themselves.

Is this a wind up??

Tee Emm
24th Feb 2010, 00:30
As a matter of historical interest, The Copilot's Lament first appeared in "The Airline Pilot" (Monthly journal of the US Air Line Pilots Association) in October 1942, after having been written in 1941 by Capt. Keith Murray, Eastern AL retired

Centaurus
24th Feb 2010, 00:41
The FO flying with the Axe Man of Apia

I should apologise for not making the story clear. The Axe-man of Apia was the first officer because ,like, you know,yeah - he had the bloody axe - not the captain.:ok:

Brian Abraham
24th Feb 2010, 03:39
Are you suggesting the FO shouldn't be adjusting radios and Navaids without running it past the captain first?
Pay attention and learn. ;) Centaurus said in his OP
Do not change radio or navaid selections without first advising the PF. Not only it is bad manners but can be distracting to the PF to see the RMI needle moving to a new position for no apparent reason.
Especially when one is approaching the minima on a non precision and see the needle moving to a new position for no apparent reason, because the other seat thought it a good idea to set up the nav for the next leg. To quote Fantome "He lacked everything but inexperience."
If this is the case there is surely no point in having multi crew cockpits. The captain could just do it all themselves.
Its not a one man band, its two (or more) people working in a coordinated fashion. Think teamwork.
Is this a wind up??
Hope you get the idea most definitely not. Reread the OP.

balance
24th Feb 2010, 04:51
Thanks Cantaurus. I actually thought you were clear, so perhaps I wasn't.

For clarity - the Axe Man of Apia (read the F/O) did make a decision, in that he retrieved the axe and used it as an incentive. This was his decision.

Further, this should be viewed as an innovative technique, a bold new step forward in CRM, and a further useful tool for later on in the bar!:}:E:ok:

blueloo
24th Feb 2010, 05:12
Are you suggesting the FO shouldn't be adjusting radios and Navaids without running it past the captain first?

This one is relatively easy to get around. (Well I think anyway - for Boeing at least)

Boeing produced a book - (Normal Procedures part of Vol 1) - it tells you the areas of responsibility for PF and PNF. If the radios come under the PNFs responsibility then I don't really think he (if PNF is F/O) needs to request the Capts permission.


Can you imagine the flight deck.

XXX contact BNE centre 132.75. "Capt they have asked me to contact BNE centre - can I change COM1 to 132.75? "


Bwhahah.......bet you if you did that for every frequency change - you would no longer need permission!


Seriously some of you guys are so full of yourself.

Its flying a jet - it requires some common sense and a reasonable degree of intelligence. You are not launching a space shuttle. Some people are just put on this planet to make life difficult for others - must be some part of human nature or just a genuine desire to be malicious and boost ones own ego.

NO LAND 3
24th Feb 2010, 05:44
I liked this post, although I think it appears to fit in the context of the type of career Centaurus has had (and no disrespect intended). Specifically the FO is characterised as someone in the early stages of their airline career who has no or limited experience as an airline captain.
The FO I last flew with is older than me and was previously a TRE on L1011s and 737s . The usual political and economic factors mean RHS rather than LHS.
He might be forgiven for a ruefull smile at Centaurus's post though would probably agree with the central point. I respect his experience and support and he respects my role as having the ultimate responsibility. And we both know that the way aviation goes those roles could be reversed next time we meet!
Could some of the old captains on this forum perform as well if circumstances put them in an FO position?
I know from experience that most are very cool, but the biggest point scoring, pain-in-the-arse, call-you-mate FOs I ever flew with were EX TRI/Es from dunnunda!

Anthill
24th Feb 2010, 07:34
Balence:


I'm not surprised at the FO's reaction. If I were the FO I'd likely politely tell you where you could gracefully bend over and place the books! Are you a training Captain? Do you have the right to make a judgement? Did you politely discuss the issues first? Did you get out the books ytourself and show him or her with a degree of respect?


[/quote]
Yes I did. Firstly in the air prior to TOPD and then also after shut-down. FO still refused to even consider what was printed in the manual. Case was refered to CP who agreed with my position.

I dont care how politely you were in telling me where to "place the books", Such a response would certainly get you Tea And Bikkies with the boss at any airline.


[quote]
FO's MUST make decisions for themselves, and if they don't then they have no right to be sitting in a cockpit. They must be encouraged, guided, trusted, mentored and respected. One day, a FO will likely pull me out of the sh1t, and I will owe him or her big time.


I agree with you. However, this does not in any way discount the issue of the burden of command. The FO has a worthy role in using innovation, intellect, experience and tact in supporting the Captain of making sound decisions.

If you as a Captain state that an FO can only make the decisions that you allow him too, then you are no better than the Captain who had the Axe held to him, and you have completely missed the point of good CRM.


I'll throw this back at you: Do you, as a Captain, allow your FOs to make operational decisions that you don't agree with? If so, you have a reversal of the Gradient of Command and this is a demonstrated safety threat.


You can hold any suspicion of

overtones in your post of superiority mixed with inexperience

However, they are not the foundation of sound arguement, have no rational or intellectual validity and add nothing to the debate.

BSD
I see you interpret "final" as "every

Oh? I didn't know that there was another way to interpret this. Does not the Captain have the final authortity on every aspect of the flight? Are there instances where the FO has 'final authority' on a flight that is being conducted in a lawful manner?

southerner
24th Feb 2010, 08:06
Thanks Centaurus was a good read for me, something to think about for the future! :ok:

Capt Claret
24th Feb 2010, 10:09
Are you suggesting the FO shouldn't be adjusting radios and Navaids without running it past the captain first?

Some times it's a good idea. A mate was passing about 2000' on an ILS, in the gloop, when the ILS display in the Boeing failed.

Unbeknown to him, F/O Bloggs had decided it would be a good idea to detune the ILS in favour of the VOR, and did it saying nothing until after the apparent failure.

Cravenmorehead
24th Feb 2010, 10:27
Same thing happened to me on approach one time albeit we had come visual. Suddenly ILS flags came up. The F/O had decided to retune the ILS frequencies to VOR. Very distracting as I was flying the Glide path not the VASI. A simple do you mind if I reset the frequencies would have been nice.
As far as the axe man goes having flown with a few Samoans in the past it does not surprise me one bit. Sometimes a Tad emotional and prone to rash reactions. Generally good value tho'

Centaurus
24th Feb 2010, 12:51
Unbeknown to him, F/O Bloggs had decided it would be a good idea to detune the ILS in favour of the VOR, and did it saying nothing until after the apparent failure.

Thank you. It was precisely what I was getting at re un-announced navaid frequency changes. Of course I didn't mean the PNF had to ask for the captain's approval every time he wanted to make a radio call. Thinks! I really must edit my contributions to avoid misconceptions..

During my command training on an F28 (first civil jet I'd operated) we were descending into Melbourne from Sydney and I was all at sea trying to work out the descent profile DME versus Altitude.

I was never much good at mental maths and it didn't help that the check captain in the jump seat was jumping down my neck every few miles of the descent demanding to know what height I should be at the next DME check point. "Come on" he said - "you should bloody know this by now - what height should you be at 40 DME and why have you got the speed brake out now - you don't need it - come on now for Christ's sake -smarten up".

The ADF was on Epping NDB and I think in those days we back-tracked from Eildon Weir VOR to a turning point called Kinglake and then at Kinglake you turn a bit right towards EPP NDB which was on the Melbourne 27 localiser.

The F/O kept silent no doubt in sympathy at the squawking from the jump seat. I knew EPP NDB needle should show about 10 degrees right until we were at Kinglake, but I was surprised to see the ADF needle showing dead ahead instead of off to the right. The jump seat check pilot was still impatiently demanding to know what should be the height NOW at 26 DME or some useless figure. It was then I looked across and saw the ADF was actually on Plenty NDB (situated on Essendon extended centre line) and not EPP where it had been.

I asked the F/O if he had changed the ADF to Plenty NDB and he said yes. He said he found it was better to have the NDB on PLE as it gave better tracking than Eildon Weir which was steadily going away from us behind us and that he was only trying to help.

If he had suggested that, I could have either accepted his suggestion or not. But his silent changing to another NDB without asking first, really upset the apple-cart along with the screaming skull in my right ear. I snapped, but that is of no consequence here. That was the point I was originally trying to make about PNF's that change frequencies without reference to the PF. It can be very distracting.

Tmbstory
24th Feb 2010, 17:22
Centaurus:

Re post no:44.

I hope the FO had more than "tea and biscuits".

The 300 feet per nautical mile always helped me to keep tract of the descent , at the TOD multtiply the flight level by 3 and the answer is the desired level, allow 10 nm for slow down from 250 kts to approach speed. It worked pretty well for me.

Tmb

High 6
24th Feb 2010, 18:45
ahh, the F28, my first jet command and an absolute pleasure to fly. Could be flown from TOD to a 1000ft AGL spool up entirely on numbers, even in the terrain and weather of PNG.

As for the F/O changing frequencies, why not just incorporate the correct procedures into the company SOP's and then enforce the same. :ok:

balance
24th Feb 2010, 18:58
Ant, my friend, you still seem to have missed the point.

You say that the F/O still refused to listen to you even though you got out the books? Well, I wasn't there of course, but it sounds to me that the F/O had already WITHDRAWN his or her support from you. YOU have LOST the battle!

The point is this - a good leader wouldnt need to get out the books - they would guide the subordinate skillfully to do the right thing themselves. The fact that your situation was raised to the CP reflects poorly on you as a Captain.

Ahhh - I can see that I am wasting keyboard characters here, but I must say Centaurus - best thread on Prune for a while... :ok:

Anthill
24th Feb 2010, 20:36
Balance, you tenor has now become condesending and it is pointless to continue. Your stance is that a Captain should command by charisma alone; I wont waste my time debating further.

If anything, I admire the FO for sticking to his guns, even if he was dead wrong.

Centaurus
25th Feb 2010, 09:31
they would guide the subordinate skillfully to do the righ

The subordinate? Jeez! Now that is an inflammatory word indeed and I am sure would cause raised eyebrows as well as raised hackles from the gentleman/gentlewoman in the RH seat. The word might well be legally correct but politically incorrect to imply it.

balance
25th Feb 2010, 21:55
Uh-huh. :hmm:

Centaurus, you are a hard man to please. You don't like the term "mate", but on the other hand you are offended by the term "subordinate". I'm not saying either is correct here, because there is a time and place for everything, but you cant have it both ways.

This becomes a little like the recent Tony Abbot gaff, where he referred to "housewives" in reference to ironing. Now - we all know what he means, but there are those who choose to feign outrage in the name of political correctness. Spare me. This was not an inflamatory word, because it did not refer to any particular individual, simply a rank. Are you so outraged when you read a textbook?

Are you seriuosly telling me that F/O's should be offended and their hackles raised by being called subodrinate? The term refers to rank, not skill, ability, intelligence, fitness or good looks. If you refer to my previous posts I think you might just understand that.

All right then oh wise one, what SHOULD we call each other then?;)

Horatio Leafblower
26th Feb 2010, 01:43
The man with all the gold braid is "Captain, sir".
The man with slightly less gold braid is (when the Captain, Sir speaks to him) "First Officer", or if familiar, "First".

The boy in the Captain's Wife's seat is "Second officer", "Second" if familiar or "Boy" if he's good looking and the captain is that way inclined.

Please remember that one does not "tell" Captain, Sir anything but the First Officer may, if very senior, "humbly submit" a question or a suggestion.

The bloke looking at all the dials sitting sideways is "Engines" and the fellow down the back is "Tail Gunner", although one may find the modern Admiralty frowning upon the term :ooh:

ozbiggles
26th Feb 2010, 02:42
Ah a good, mostly civilised discussion.
Having sat in both L and R seats in various roles and currently in the right seat my policy has always been to show respect to the captain, until he proves he doesn't deserve it, a very rare event in deed.
My policy is at least once during the trip to refer to him/her as captain or boss early on to set a good tone, ie I understand its his signature on the paperwork. In the company I work for now so far I haven't flown with a captain I woudn't want to fly with again.
I understand it doesn't always happen everywhere for everyone but I find it works for me

A37575
26th Feb 2010, 12:23
Centaurus, you are a hard man to please. You don't like the term "mate", but on the other hand you are offended by the term "subordinate".

I could be wrong but I read the intention of Centaurus "subordinate" post, as a gently wicked sense of humour; sometimes called pulling one's pisser. Some people get too serious about such things:ok:

balance
26th Feb 2010, 21:17
Hmmm...

Not funny then Centaurus. I'm very fragile right now... Might go off into the corner and have a little cry. :{

:ok:

JohnnyK
27th Feb 2010, 00:29
Centarus,

Great post. I have recently begun my first foray into multicrew flying and found it extremely challanging. Attempting to find the right mix of being respectful/friendly/professional/appropriately deferential without crossing into the murky waters of being a generally walked over, obsequious,brown nosed,over familiar smart arse towards very strong charactered left seat types whose experience exceeds mine by about 5,000,000 hours whilst trying to do a circling approach at foul weather at night in a machine that was twice as heavy and twice as powerful with many more switches and buttons than anything I was used to just about drove me(and them) to very long sentences and a drink or two. Unfortuneatly, or fortuneatly depending how you look at it, the dynamics and chemistry of human relationships dictate that the combinations of any two,randomly chosen, personalities flung together by time and circumstance into any given cockpit will result in an inherently unique atmosphere of moods,ego, expectations and expertise. Some combinations are,literally, explosive whilst others are made in heaven-who wouldnt want to fly with somebody they considered their mate as long as it can be done in a safe and professional manner. However, this will always be the exception rather than the rule and it is the measure of the individuals involved in ensuring that personal tensions are made subservient to the infinitely more important task of flying the aircraft. Anger and its close relative, abuse, are not welcome in any cockpit. Respect,diplomacy and professionalism certainly are. However, when all else fails, I guess you can always break out the axe, fix the bastard in the eye, and say " for the last time Captain, set 7000 feet"

Capt Claret
27th Feb 2010, 02:08
JohhnyK, the most important word in your post is respect.

It's a two way street though but if you've got that, then all the rest just follow naturally.

C441
27th Feb 2010, 04:45
Half a lifetime ago, as a new S/O, I flew with a Captain who's attitude and words remain etched on my memory chip.

- Firstly, he said, "My name's Graham. If you call me Captain I'll suspect something's wrong."
- Secondly, "We treat everyone with respect unless they prove not to deserve it."
- Thirdly, "If you think somethings not right, say so. If you think it's not right, it probably isn't. If it is right, you've just learnt something."

"Now lets go and have a good time."

....and we did.

framer
27th Feb 2010, 08:55
Firstly, he said, "My name's Graham. If you call me Captain I'll suspect something's wrong."
- Secondly, "We treat everyone with respect unless they prove not to deserve it."
- Thirdly, "If you think somethings not right, say so. If you think it's not right, it probably isn't. If it is right, you've just learnt something."

And the scene was set to let info flow freely both ways thus making the flight safer.

Centaurus
27th Feb 2010, 10:49
Not funny then Centaurus. I'm very fragile right now.

Balance. We all have different sense of humour. Sorry if I got up your nose.

I have enjoyed reading the replies to the original post and learned from them. The purpose of starting the subject of cockpit etiquette was to persuade airline management people - some of whom presumably do read Pprune under the blankets at night - to realise that harmony in the cockpit is important to the flight safety ethos of each airline.

Induction training is the logical starting point. That said, the accent should be on practical examples - similar to those described on Pprune. Whatever form of induction training takes place, new hire interest however will fade to boredom and apathy if psycho-babble replaces clear concise English. And that is my fear.

For example, the following excerpts were lifted from a current Australian flight safety magazine:

"Leaders rely on team members when time constraints or workload do not permit the synergic process. The leader's style of leadership or the personalities of the team members can also favour this type of collective decision making...A leader may rely on team members for hypothesis confirmation to define new alternatives or resolve doubts...the collective decision process is actively managed by everyone - leader and team members. Initiatives for beginning collective action are shared among all members of the team...the synergic process can be applied only when time stress is low...most of the time the team-functioning rules are already known by members...the leader seeks consensus and checks that every team member agrees with the collective decisions..for example, goals, situational awareness, courses of action..."

I wonder what the Axe Man of Apia would say about that lot?

Capt Claret
27th Feb 2010, 11:25
Centaurus,

If you can translate that babble into English, I'll take a guess at what the Axe Man's response might be! ;)

porch monkey
28th Feb 2010, 07:51
As a latecomer to the multicrew system, I was worried about fitting in so to speak. I can safely say that so far, 2 years later, I haven't flown with a captain I couldn't get along with. Of course, I am a bit older than the usual F/O I guess....... Seems to be at my company there is acceptance of each others positions, there is encouragement and help given, and an expectation that as F/O, when it is my sector, that I will make the appropriate decisions as required. Always of course subject to the overall agreement of the PIC. One of the captains I fly with has a saying to put the overall responsibility issue into perspective, he sums it up with - "Your cock-up, my arse!" I've never forgotten that!

tpad
3rd Mar 2010, 01:43
A very wise old eagle once said to me

" You should always be nice to your F/O for two reasons ...

1/ Because one day he might be your check captain.
2/ Because one day you might want him to lie through his teeth for you "

The same gentleman said

" Son, it matters not which in which country you night stop. You only need to learn three phrases of the local language."

" Two beers ... a woman ... my friend will pay "

Great advice ... thanks CS

Naughty S
4th Mar 2010, 01:46
The saying I remember from a checkie:

"When you're with an FO that knows what their doing & understands the aircraft/systems & can fly well it makes the skippers job easier, when you find one who knows how to lie, cheat & steal, then you know you've got a good one"

By the last bit he meant cause I was always chasing clearances for direct to or track shortening, poetic license for ETI when asked & things were busy :E, cancel speed restrictions etc.
:ok:

Northbeach
18th Apr 2010, 00:34
Going through this thread reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with a Captain about the difficulties he was having with his son. The son in his mid 20s was unmotivated. The Captain had trouble understanding the son’s lack of initiative. The Captain compared himself to his son, when the Captain was the boy’s age he was flying combat missions in jet aircraft off the pitching deck of a carrier in the middle of the night. The kid, decades later the product of peace, security and prosperity still didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life.

Collectively we are products of the time and events we are born in. I remind myself that some of the “retired” posters here on Pprune likely flew the missions over Europe and the South Pacific in the 40s or flew with those individuals when they were starting their careers. Events and places such as the Bataan death march, Auschwitz - Dachau, and the horror of bombing of London or the Dresden firebombing are realities they lived through. It was a different world and it produced different men and different cockpit cultures. The 1,000 hour 23 year old CFI of today would bear little resemblance to the 1,000-hour 23-year-old “Old Man” commander of a bomber squadron or the fighter group that rose up in defense of their respective home cities in 1944.

My point is this; cockpit atmosphere and expected proper conduct varies tremendously depending on the age of the pilots, background and type of operation, as well as airline and national culture. One person’s friendly greeting may be view as terribly boorish and rude behavior by another. We are never going to reach a perfect consensus. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” comes close.

Reading through these posts visions of demographics, ages and experiences vividly come to mind. It would be interesting to see how accurate my assumptions regarding the posters are.

Respectfully,

Northbeach