View Full Version : Polish presidential Tu154 poor pilot training standards

25th Mar 2011, 11:43
Not entirely relevant to main topic, but newpapers reported yesterday that during training flight an instructor-pilot very nearly crashed the 102 (second Tu-154) when he set flaps to 0 by accident during approach at EPMM airbase. It seems standards are really low....

A link (unfortunately in Polish, but maybe google translate helps):

Drugi polski tupolew omal si? nie rozbi?. Pu?k chce utajni? raport (http://wyborcza.pl/1,75248,9315248,Drugi_polski_tupolew_omal_sie_nie_rozbil__Pu lk_chce.html)

Funny thing the incident report was given secret status.

25th Mar 2011, 17:09
'Funny thing the incident report was given secret status'

Not just in Poland.

Many moons ago, an Andover (HS748) of the Queen's Flight landed in fog at RAF Lyneham to pick up a certain Royal person and trundled off the far end of the runway, causing (fortunately) only minor damage.

No mention of the incident was ever published in the RAF Flight Safety magazine.

26th Mar 2011, 07:07
Was it like the 146 Islay incident.....same crew or empty positioning...

Tee Emm
26th Mar 2011, 07:16
that during training flight an instructor-pilot very nearly crashed the 102 (second Tu-154) when he set flaps to 0 by accident during approach at EPMM airbase. It seems standards are really low....

You should not read too much into it. At some time in a pilot's career there will be a stuff up during training. Hopefully in the simulator rather than the real thing. It doesn't mean the training standards are necessarily low.

In another life, I was a young flying instructor (QFI) training my new Commanding Officer at RAAF Base Townsville, on a four engine Lincoln bomber. We were practicing touch and go landings on what used to be the original runway 02 before the new runway was built.

The flap lever in the Lincoln was similar to the Lancaster in that it was a vertical "plunger" design. The flaps were selected by operating the lever in the required direction and then watching the flap gauge, one swiftly selected the neutral position as the flaps reached the desired position. In turn this stopped the flaps. It didn't take much movement of the flap lever to miss the neutral detent. In fact I twice had the flap lever break off in my hand and the aircraft gyrations that followed were not funny - but that's another story.

On short final the CO asked for final landing flap which I then selected. When the flap indicator reached full flap, I selected the flap lever back to neutral as SOP.

A few seconds after full flap was selected there was this sinking sensation and the Lincoln seemed to almost drop out of the sky with no noticeable change in airspeed and we were lucky not collapse the landing gear on touch-down except for the CO's fast reaction to hit all four throttles. I hadn't a clue what was happening until the CO said "What the hell's going on" - except the words were a bit stronger.

I checked the flap gauge and to my surprise saw it was showing flaps up. Seems I missed the flap lever neutral detent while selecting it to neutral after full flap was down, and the result was the flaps retracted with a resultant loss of lift. Bad enough in a Lincoln and thank goodness we had instant propeller availibility but in a jet transport we would have been in strife.

I was very apologetic - after all I was supposed to be the hot-shot QFI. Cost me a few beers in the Mess that evening. But I must say the the CO was very kind - he had had worse frights after being shot down by Jap fighters over the Timor Sea while flying a Beaufighter. And the bastards tried to kill him when he swam away from the Beau.

But it would be drawing a long bow to say the standards of training were low.

Super VC-10
26th Mar 2011, 07:38
The Andover incident couldn't have been similar to the BAe 146 incident at Islay. Jug Ears himself was flying the latter (Mummy stopped him flying anymore as a result :ok:).

1st Apr 2011, 05:04
The article doesn't mention that they set flaps to 0. What it does mention is that the instructor set the flaps (I'm assuming that's what they mean by "klapy"), to retract (it doesn't mention to which position), with the gear extended. It goes on to say that the Flight Engineer (technik pokladowy) quickly remarked "what about the gear" which cause the instructor to select a different position for the flaps (no mntion of which position) and retract the gear. In the first paragraph of the article is also says pplk. (Lt. Col.) Robert Kuplacz, commander of the transport squadron, says that it wasn't a situation which he would consider to have endangered the aircraft. The instructor will, apparently, need to undergo a flight check at some point.

To me this seems to just be a situation where the guy had his hands a bit on the full side and moved the flaps instead of the gear. Though I've never seen that happen or done it, I've personally moved and seen the gear moved to "off" without going to "up" first, which makes for a nice christmas tree effect on the panel and someone saying something clever. Nonetheless, something out of the ordinary happened the crew were backing each other up and caught their error in time.

1st Apr 2011, 11:23
- ...na wysokości zaledwie kilkudziesięciu metrów i przy wysuniętym podwoziu "schował" klapy w skrzydłach.

...on hight of only several tens of meters and gears down, (the instructor) "hid" flaps in the wings. (My attempt to a literal translation)

1st Apr 2011, 12:21
To me this seems to just be a situation where the guy had his hands a bit on the full side and moved the flaps instead of the gear. Though I've never seen that happen or done it, ....I have seen such a situation, personally, except that the other pilot retracted the gear, instead of selecting take-off flap, for a touch and go circuit! We were rolling down the runway, I asked for take-off flap (from full landing flap), and he managed to pull the gear up on me! Left engine (large twin-piston radials) propeller smacked the tarmac as I hauled the beast in to the air. Charming! :D Shut down of left engine, and single engine full-stop landing followed. :hmm:

1st Apr 2011, 12:44

That's my point, I speak polish fluently, and my point is that the wording isn't very clear, not sure how the TU-154 is, but he may have selected a "slats" only position etc. etc.

When I read an article like this, written by somebody who clearly has little knowledge of aviation, I try to piece together what the "source" must have said to the journalist to make him write what he wrote.


Source: The pilot selected a reduced flap setting which was less than ideal in the situation, particularly with with the gear extended at such a low altitude.

Journalist: Huh?

Source: In simple terms, he moved the flaps to a lower setting than they should have been.

Journalist: Gotcha, he "hid" the flaps.

1st Apr 2011, 14:11
"schować klapy" = "to hide the flaps" is the normal Polish pilots slang expression
for "retracting the flaps", so the journalist has nothing to do with it.

BTW: I experienced myself a situation with my CFI (ex military)
during my basic training on a SEP, where I completely botched the landing,
and he shouted "go around" some few feet over the tarmac, firewalled the
throttles and at the same time pushed the flaps lever from 40 to 0
with one fast move.
We immediately lost all the lift, I was able to level off just inches
from the tarmac and we eventually got away with it, but it was a lesson
I will never forget.

Until today I am not sure, if he intended to scare the $hit out of me,
or was just so mad at me, that he stopped thinking, what he was doing.
Whatever the reason, we nearly crashed on this day.


3rd Apr 2011, 15:00
"I asked for take-off flap"

This wording is not only prehistoric, it's dangerous...especially when working with multi national crews.

Our SOPs do not allow us to use such terms as "Take-Off Flaps" or "Take-Off Thrust/Power" :ooh: