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View Full Version : Same old story re unstable approaches


sheppey
5th Apr 2017, 07:21
Safety message included in ATSB Report involving Airbus A330 9M-MTA hard landing at Melbourne.

Quote: "A stable approach significantly reduces the risk of a hard landing.

If an approach does become unstable, a rushed attempt to recover the approach may produce an undesirable aircraft response. There is also a risk of breaking down the shared understanding between the pilots, which in turn limits the opportunity of the other flight crew to detect or react to inappropriate actions.

When landing, pilots should maintain a safety philosophy of “if in doubt, go around.” Unquote.

http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/5772618/ao-2015-032-final-report.pdf

............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ .............................................

All of the above merely states the bleeding obvious and has been regurgitated hundreds of times in similar landing incidents over the years. What is significant is the aircraft was on automatic pilot down to 700 feet when the pilot disengaged it and attempted a manual landing. He stuffed it up big time and landed so heavily a complete undercarriage change was the result. Once again the entirely predictable result of an airline philosophy of actively discouraging manual flying until the last few seconds on final. And this type of accident is increasingly common given the well known issue of automation dependency encouraged by various operators around the world.

Capn Bloggs
5th Apr 2017, 09:35
Hmmm. Methinks ATSB doesn't fly big aeroplanes. PAPI use at 125ft?? I do but... Pitch changes +/-2.5°? Not especially bad. Not good, but not really bad.

Reason? Can't fly. As Sheppey said. No amount of stabilised approach stuff is going to save an aeroplane from a cruncher if it isn't flown properly.

"Glide Path". No! No ILS! Approach path.

Cralis
6th Apr 2017, 02:10
With regards the “if in doubt, go around.” quote, when a pilot does initiate a go-around, is there a chance of bad reprocusions from the airline?

I'm guessing all go-around are costly and investigated. So are pilots sometimes "worried" about it and err on the opposite side of caution?

The Bullwinkle
6th Apr 2017, 03:41
With regards the “if in doubt, go around.” quote, when a pilot does initiate a go-around, is there a chance of bad reprocusions from the airline?

I'm guessing all go-around are costly and investigated. So are pilots sometimes "worried" about it and err on the opposite side of caution?

At least one of Australia's major airlines has a fuel policy that has their aircraft arriving with such a small amount of fuel that if they were to go-around, it would put them into an emergency situation .
This airline has also tried in the past to bully their Captains into only taking the amount of fuel that the company has planned for them and to not carry any additional discretionary fuel.
Therefore, the "safe" course of action (executing a go-around) could ultimately lead to an even more "unsafe" situation (emergency fuel state).
The airlines can't have it both ways and thankfully most Captains are wise enough to carry additional fuel, despite the pressure applied by their company.
Unfortunately, some Captains do take only the flight planned fuel quantity and it is those Captains who will be forced into making an unpleasant choice as to which situation they want to be more accountable for. Continue the unstable approach and face disciplinary action, or execute a go-around and potentially run out of fuel.

piratepete
6th Apr 2017, 04:17
fifty feet call.....look down the runway end.twenty feet call just pull back a bit and idle thrust at the same time.This isnt hard is it?

sheppey
6th Apr 2017, 04:40
fifty feet call.....look down the runway end.twenty feet call just pull back a bit and idle thrust at the same time.This isnt hard is it?

Bit late if the rate of descent is still 1000 feet per minute at 50 feet and the PM is a fraction slow in calling 50 feet..

maggot
6th Apr 2017, 04:46
Yeah, gross oversimplification pete

coaldemon
6th Apr 2017, 05:15
All the major Airlines I have dealt with note go arounds in their Data but don't call the Pilots involved unless grossly mishandled. Can't speak for overseas Airlines.

Not sure which major Airline it is with the minimum fuel story but it ain't the one with the V in the name.

maggot
6th Apr 2017, 05:42
Nor q ime





123456

emeritus
6th Apr 2017, 06:20
Its all part of long term policy by Airlines and Manufacturers. As automation increases and pilot skills decrease it then makes it easier to start saying that its safer to design the pilot out of the equasion altogether.

Whats the bet that will start with freighters to get everyone used to the idea and iron the bugs out without killing too many people.

Emeritus.

C441
6th Apr 2017, 06:35
At least one of Australia's major airlines has a fuel policy that has their aircraft arriving with such a small amount of fuel that if they were to go-around, it would put them into an emergency situation .
Probably should heed the wind-up alert going off…...but here goes anyway.

You're probably referring to the Roo branded airline. If so, the fuel policy doesn't always/often plan as much fuel as other airlines, but to suggest that carriage of "Flightplan Fuel" means any go-round would lead to an emergency fuel situation is just plain wrong.

This airline has also tried in the past to bully their Captains into only taking the amount of fuel that the company has planned for them and to not carry any additional discretionary fuel.

Replace the word bully with 'encourage' or even 'nag' :) might be closer to the mark, but again I've never been questioned on the amount of fuel I've carried….not once and there have been many occasions where we've felt the need for significantly more than the 'min required' on the plan.

Any airline management that is not reminding pilots of the cost of fuel doesn't have fuel cost as a significant expense in their operation.

mustafagander
6th Apr 2017, 11:05
When we talk about the fuel policy at the Q airline, from the author of this policy, WFK, it is the absolute minimum you can take. Himself used to take a bit more without fail - we flew together a bit so we got to chat about it. Those cpts who took absolute min were, I hear, counseled over a bevvy that it might not be such a good idea.

bazza stub
6th Apr 2017, 13:29
After all your safety is our first priority. Unless it involves fuel, then fuel is our first priority.

Derfred
6th Apr 2017, 16:06
If you're referring to Q then that is absolute crap.

Yes, management will write memos about fuel costs, so what's new?

I've never heard of a QF Capt being taken to task about ordering extra fuel. If you want to discuss certain other airlines in the world, then you may hear a different story.

Centaurus
7th Apr 2017, 02:55
Once again the entirely predictable result of an airline philosophy of actively discouraging manual flying until the last few seconds on final. And this type of accident is increasingly common given the well known issue of automation dependency encouraged by various operators around the world.

Suggest refer to original post as above. Thread drift on to QF bashing seems to have got more attention than the hard landing at Melbourne..
While there are enlightened operators who encourage their crews to keep their hand in by switching off technically non-essential automatics for the task in hand, they are probably in the minority. Conversely there are those operators who actively discourage any sort of hand flying and are known to impose severe penalties for those who genuinely would like to keep up manual flying skills. It seems to be a culture thing.

In the case of the incident involving the hard landing by the A330 at Melbourne - the subject of the first post - it seems evident that the pilot left the auto throttles to do their own thing while he (or "they" the political correctness term beloved by ATSB but not by overseas authorities) thrashed around his control stick to such an great extent that he assaulted the runway with the A330. The A330 lost the battle with the runway as evidenced by the landing gear severe damage.

I would have thought it would be common sense for a pilot when switching to manual flying on final approach to simultaneously turn off the auto-throttle so he is completely in the loop so to speak, rather than half-automatics and half manual flying.
Maybe that is inadvisable in the Airbus series because of various PFM inputs by computers that are in place to minimise pilot incompetency?
Not having flown an Airbus I wouldn't have a clue. I do know that Boeing advise (for example) in their 737 FTCM: " To simplify thrust setting procedures, autothrottle use is recommended during takeoff and climb in either automatic or manual flight. During all other phases of flight, autothrottle use is recommended only when the autopilot is engaged."

That said, it is common practice by some airline pilots to conveniently disregard that Boeing advice and leave the autothrottle engaged (when Boeing advise it should be switched off) because of lack of confidence in their own ability to handle the aircraft manually with the autothrottle switched off.

The Green Goblin
7th Apr 2017, 03:06
Suggest refer to original post as above. Thread drift on to QF bashing seems to have got more attention than the hard landing at Melbourne..
While there are enlightened operators who encourage their crews to keep their hand in by switching off technically non-essential automatics for the task in hand, they are probably in the minority. Conversely there are those operators who actively discourage any sort of hand flying and are known to impose severe penalties for those who genuinely would like to keep up manual flying skills. It seems to be a culture thing.

In the case of the incident involving the hard landing by the A330 at Melbourne - the subject of the first post - it seems evident that the pilot left the auto throttles to do their own thing while he (or "they" the political correctness term beloved by ATSB but not by overseas authorities) thrashed around his control stick to such an great extent that he assaulted the runway with the A330. The A330 lost the battle with the runway as evidenced by the landing gear severe damage.

I would have thought it would be common sense for a pilot when switching to manual flying on final approach to simultaneously turn off the auto-throttle so he is completely in the loop so to speak, rather than half-automatics and half manual flying.
Maybe that is inadvisable in the Airbus series because of various PFM inputs by computers that are in place to minimise pilot incompetency?
Not having flown an Airbus I wouldn't have a clue. I do know that Boeing advise (for example) in their 737 FTCM: " To simplify thrust setting procedures, autothrottle use is recommended during takeoff and climb in either automatic or manual flight. During all other phases of flight, autothrottle use is recommended only when the autopilot is engaged."

That said, it is common practice by some airline pilots to conveniently disregard that Boeing advice and leave the autothrottle engaged (when Boeing advise it should be switched off) because of lack of confidence in their own ability to handle the aircraft manually with the autothrottle switched off.

You are right. Airbus is different. It is very rare to turn the autothrust off unless it is for manual practice. Most approach and landings are done with autothrust on.

It is a very good system in the Airbus, it has a few catches just like the Boeing, however if you're aware of its limitations and use appropriate automation for the task - then it works well.

Pitching +/- 2.5 like this pilot did will cause the autothrust to exacerbate the pilot induced occilations. the secret to the bus is 'small' control inputs and maintain the body angle from 200 feet.

maggot
7th Apr 2017, 04:03
Suggest refer to original post as above. Thread drift on to QF bashing seems to have got more attention than the hard landing at Melbourne..
While there are enlightened operators who encourage their crews to keep their hand in by switching off technically non-essential automatics for the task in hand, they are probably in the minority. Conversely there are those operators who actively discourage any sort of hand flying and are known to impose severe penalties for those who genuinely would like to keep up manual flying skills. It seems to be a culture thing.

In the case of the incident involving the hard landing by the A330 at Melbourne - the subject of the first post - it seems evident that the pilot left the auto throttles to do their own thing while he (or "they" the political correctness term beloved by ATSB but not by overseas authorities) thrashed around his control stick to such an great extent that he assaulted the runway with the A330. The A330 lost the battle with the runway as evidenced by the landing gear severe damage.

I would have thought it would be common sense for a pilot when switching to manual flying on final approach to simultaneously turn off the auto-throttle so he is completely in the loop so to speak, rather than half-automatics and half manual flying.
Maybe that is inadvisable in the Airbus series because of various PFM inputs by computers that are in place to minimise pilot incompetency?
Not having flown an Airbus I wouldn't have a clue. I do know that Boeing advise (for example) in their 737 FTCM: " To simplify thrust setting procedures, autothrottle use is recommended during takeoff and climb in either automatic or manual flight. During all other phases of flight, autothrottle use is recommended only when the autopilot is engaged."

That said, it is common practice by some airline pilots to conveniently disregard that Boeing advice and leave the autothrottle engaged (when Boeing advise it should be switched off) because of lack of confidence in their own ability to handle the aircraft manually with the autothrottle switched off.

Modern boeings (ie not the 737 in any variant) recommend autothrottle use during manual flight, look at that 777 pranged in dubai...

The a330 flies very nicely with manual thrust and I practice it regularly. Its good to also practice and fly with it in on approach as it is a little different and better at some things like when I'm tired as all shit. Flying a mix of domestic and long haul on it allows me the luxury of picking and choosing good opportunities for this.
I've also recent experience where that is certainly not the case.

BPA
7th Apr 2017, 08:23
Modern boeings (ie not the 737 in any variant) recommend autothrottle use during manual flight, look at that 777 pranged in dubai...

The a330 flies very nicely with manual thrust and I practice it regularly. Its good to also practice and fly with it in on approach as it is a little different and better at some things like when I'm tired as all shit. Flying a mix of domestic and long haul on it allows me the luxury of picking and choosing good opportunities for this.
I've also recent experience where that is certainly not the case.

Not just modern Boeings, but other modern jets such as the Embrer 170/195 family also recommend auto throttle use during manual flight and most also recommend it during OEI.

The B737 family is the odd one out with regard to auto throttle use.

Pastor of Muppets
7th Apr 2017, 10:04
737. The last aeroplane you'll fly.....

By George
7th Apr 2017, 11:17
Boeing 747-4 manual flight, manual throttle as well. With the auto-throttle left in I always felt it closed a little early. (but then again I flew the 727 where you never closed the thrust levers until you were finished with the wings).
This business of disconnecting low to the ground to manually fly is alien to me. Give yourself room to gain the feel and trim.

Capn Bloggs
7th Apr 2017, 11:42
Give yourself room to gain the feel and trim.
Well said, George. :ok:

A37575
7th Apr 2017, 14:12
Then there are some pilots who engage both autopilots in the 737 when doing an ILS in Cat 1 or better weather instead of just one autopilot. Their reasoning is that an automatic pilot go-around is available in case they have to go-around. The problem there is when they disconnect both autopilots after becoming visual and intend to land, they are faced with bags of back trim already set by the autopilot at 400 ft AGL and they have to hastily correct the ensuing pitch up that occurs with AP disconnect.

And all for what? The answer is they are worried about their ability to do a normal manually flown go-around. :ugh:

Lookleft
8th Apr 2017, 06:34
bags of back trim already set by the autopilot at 400 ft AGL

There was a particularly obnoxious pilot in Ansett who would apply bags of back trim at 400' to assist with the flare! His reasoning was that if the AP did it then it must be ok.

piratepete
9th Apr 2017, 18:49
OK I agree my post was an oversimplification.However if your descent rate is 1000 fpm not the usual 700 fpm at 50 feet, something is wrong and you need to either flare a bit earlier otherwise pull back (flare) a little more.The point is, if you just fly it like a robot (autoland style), you are highly unlikely to smash it on.Pete.

Dora-9
9th Apr 2017, 19:06
but then again I flew the 727 where you never closed the thrust levers until you were finished with the wings).Ah George, as always your posts make me smile. Do you recall the Ansett captain who insists on pulling the thrust levers back at 50 feet because "that's the way Boeing certified it"? A desperate search through the memory bank can't produce a name, but the FE's all called him Evil Kaneval ("takes off like a rocket but lands like a bag of s**t").

Centaurus
10th Apr 2017, 01:33
Ah George, as always your posts make me smile. Do you recall the Ansett captain who insists on pulling the thrust levers back at 50 feet because "that's the way Boeing certified it"? A desperate search through the memory bank can't produce a name, but the FE's all called him Evil Kaneval ("takes off like a rocket but lands like a bag of s**t").



I am sure every airline has one of those characters. Former Air Nauru pilots (and passengers) from the late 1970's will remember Joe Z, a 737 captain hired directly from Boeing. Joe flew U.S. Catalina amphibians in WW2 and used the same flare height in the 737 with teeth rattling results

Pearly White
13th Apr 2017, 07:52
Its all part of long term policy by Airlines and Manufacturers. As automation increases and pilot skills decrease it then makes it easier to start saying that its safer to design the pilot out of the equasion altogether.

Whats the bet that will start with freighters to get everyone used to the idea and iron the bugs out without killing too many people.

Emeritus.
How many is too many? Conversely, what is the right number of people to kill?