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Boy pilot died after tower gave suprise instruction

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Boy pilot died after tower gave suprise instruction

Old 17th Jul 2007, 13:28
  #121 (permalink)  
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The point is, would a 747 pilot ever be asked to complete this type of manouevre for another, faster, aircraft on finals, behind?
The point IS, it wasn't a 747, that is point you are missing, the controller made a decision to send a trainer around so a non-training aircraft could land, might not have went down like that had the controller been informed of the students experience level, the controller did nothing abnormal IMO.
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 14:18
  #122 (permalink)  
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Just to throw another squib in.
ATCOs have two masters, one the CAA and the rules they enforce and two the airport authority.
The airport authority determine who will operate at their airport and they will also determine priorities regarding training flights.
If the airport make it clear that trainers have the lowest priority then so be it.
Provided flight safety is not compromised we comply with what the airport authority dictates when it comes to training priorities.
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 15:29
  #123 (permalink)  

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Dreamland, actually, no it's not a point I'm missing. Read back a couple of my earlier posts, please. My reference to a B747 was only because someone else referred to that type in a response to me.

Again, a normal "go-around" situation would have been forseen (again, it's in the syllabus) and every student trains for that. Unfortunately, he wasn't given a "go-around" in the normal sense, either in the terminology used or the actual directions given.
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 17:52
  #124 (permalink)  
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the controller made a decision to send a trainer around so a non-training aircraft could land, might not have went down like that had the controller been informed of the students experience level, the controller did nothing abnormal IMO.
I think that you will find that the controller did not make a decision to send the trainer around but gave the trainer a vector from final approach away from the aerodrome. I really hope that this is abnormal.

Incidentally, does anyone know if the Southend Aerodrome controller has access to a surveillance display of any sort?
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 18:27
  #125 (permalink)  
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One point which I believe was very much overlooked in this whole accident was the matter of ATC not being willing to turn the long way round because of unknown aircraft.
Once again we have an IFR flght operating in Class G airspace getting a higher level of separation than is required in class D or E controlled airspace.
Would the same situation have occurred if Southend had Class E airspace since all other IMC flights in that area would be known to ATS and all unknown aircraft would be VFR and thus leaving ATS with no requirement to separate and with no RAS available in class E we would not have as one poster commented a high workload in the event of a missed approach by the IFR flight.
The other point little commented on in the report is the fact that once electing to complete a visual approach and being given traffic information on a preceeding VFR flight it is the responsibility of the NUmber 2 pilot to arrange the appropriate separation.........and if they muck it up go around. Not to penalise the number one aircraft for poor positioning by ther number 2.
Where I come from solo students must be established on final no lower than 400ft AGL and must not turn croswind below 400ft AGL or when in the clean climb configuration whichever is later. They are well trained in missed approaches which must be straight ahead until above 400ft AGL and clean.

In simple terns a missed approach involves a climb straight ahead while the aircraft is reconfigured to the clean climb configuration at the appropriate speed. Only after that is completed can any tought of turning be made.

If ATC request something different, they are politely told negative. Students at qualification are reminded that they can at any time tell ATC negative and it is up to ATC to come up with an alternative safe clearance that can be accepted.
They are also told to just because ATC say something silly they should not assume it is a student or low time ATCO
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 23:25
  #126 (permalink)  
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Single Spey
Chiglet - confirm please then that the B744 was instructed to 'just take a left turn and fly south' followed 30 seconds later by 'Virgin x just to confirm turn southbound now'? Note - no instruction to go around.

Somehow I seriously doubt that this was the way the incident you refer to was handled. If it was then I would have major concerns about the standard of ATC at MAN.

Incidentally, have you read the AIB report?
Standard G/A at Manch is s/a then Right turn..[can't remember headings or altitude] I was the Air Assistant when the Dash lost the donk. After the Mayday call, the Dash was given any runway, any turn. Air 2 [24L] Departures told Air1 24R Arrivals what was happening. The Virgin 744 was told to execute a non-standard go around and make his heading 180 degrees, as was the a/c behind and no 3. The Dash flew a right hand circuit and landed on 24R
That is to the best of my knowledge what happened that day. If you think that makes Manch ATC a poor standard, then that is your perogative.
If you mean the AAIB report on the Dash, no I haven't, but I contributed some photos for it
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Old 18th Jul 2007, 08:54
  #127 (permalink)  
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Aviator 84, IMHO, if your instructor says that you are ready to solo, then you're ready. I taught primary instruction for over 1,500 hours and never killed a student. Getting hired by (your favorite airline name here) would be a bit of a problem if you had had your licenses revoked for incompetence.
If you're not willing to solo when the opportunity is given to you, maybe you should take up a new hobby. Wishing you many years of blue skys and tail winds.
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Old 18th Jul 2007, 16:11
  #128 (permalink)  
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Yup true, "If the pilot is unready for this, why is he going solo?" i know air law is done prior to solo but perhaps some multiple choice flight proficiency exam should be introduced on the day of solo to cover all aspects and eventualities that may occur on the flight?av84
Well let's think about this for a minute. I have never really understood the reason why the student has to pass air law before solo yet, because of the CAA interpretation of Rule 5, it has become almost impossible to teach Engine Failure After Take Off and comply with Rule 5 yet EFATO is (quite rightly in my opinion) in the PPL Syllabus.

I ask you which is more important, having a knowledge of the Quadrantal Rule or having the actual skills to deal with an EFATO and walk away from the wreckage?

I repeat what I have said earlier on this thread that this accident was caused by the student failing to recognise the signs of an approaching stall, the symptoms of the full stall and failing to recover. Yes there were extenuating circumstances and maybe he inadvertantly put the aircraft in a situation where it was about to stall BUT he failed to recover at the incipient stage (assuming the stall warner was operating correctly). As an instructor of some experience I find this hard to say but this points to a lack of training in stall recognition and recovery.
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 11:33
  #129 (permalink)  
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As with many incidents (and "nearly incidents") it seems to me that this incident was one of those where no single occurrence was the underlying cause, but perhaps one single thing being done differently may have avoided "the straw breaking the camel's back".
Perhaps the controller ought to have realised the existence of the second aircraft earlier, so that the student could have been instructed to orbit whilst on the downwind or base leg - something that became second nature to me when learning at a small-but-international airport, as it's quite busy. Similarly, perhaps a more conventional go-around could have been issued - again, something that I did plenty of times as a student and with which your average student should have no problem.
On the tuition side, perhaps the student could have been held back a little from his first solo - but given the apparent experience of the instructor, there's nothing to suggest that the decision to send the student solo was the wrong one, and of course the only (clearly impossible) way to avoid the obvious added risk of sending a student solo is never to send him or her solo. Perhaps more stall/spin awareness or slow flying could have been covered, but even if this had been the case there's a world of difference between your instructor "surprising" you with a wing-drop into a spiral dive at 3500' and the circumstances in which this aircraft entered a spin. (And I've sort-of been there. On my QXC I inadvertently entered cloud, got disoriented and diverged well and truly from straight-and-level; thankfully the time my instructor had spent showing me IMC paid off, but my goodness, it was a whole lot more stressful than doing it "for fun").
On the communication side, perhaps there could have been better communication between the club/instructor and ATC with regard to the pilot's experience. For instance, at the airfield where I learned to fly you always give ATC a bell to book out, and in my early solo hours, my instructor would generally let ATC know my level of (in)experience whilst on the phone. In this case the fact that the pilot was in a club aircraft on a circuit-bashing exercise may have implied to ATC that he was relatively inexperienced, but of course ATC couldn't be expected to assume that (it could equally be a 200-hour guy filling in the last hour for his experience-based SEP renewal, for instance).
What we have, then, is a series of relatively small problems (deviations from correct RT phraseology, a lack of timely spin awareness, etc, etc) which, unfortunately, led to an incident whose magnitude, it could be argued, was out of all proportion to the events leading up to it.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and sadly we can't change what happened. However, sad though this incident was, I am confident that generally speaking procedures, both formal and informal, will improve as a result, and the skies will become safer to some degree.
David C
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 20:53
  #130 (permalink)  
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I was taught to go around well before my first solo, and my instructor sprung them on me at least three times. I also did all of the flying to and from the training area once "effects of controls" had been taught. I recall going around on my third solo of my own volition because things were busy and I didn't have a clearance by about 100'.
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 22:11
  #131 (permalink)  
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What a sorry tale.

Recognizing several names on this thread, and fully acknowledging the VAST amount of experience behind them (some inherited in the genes?), I feel most strongly that whilst the stall spin was the event that directly caused the crash, the position he was put in by those awful go around instructions where the key. They where the ones that overloaded him.

For those of us with experience it would have been a simple matter. For someone at that level it was obviously totally beyond his capabilities. A tragic and needless waste.
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 03:56
  #132 (permalink)  
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I was very frustrated when learning because my instructor didn't let me solo until 30 hrs. In retrospect, he was a very wise man (still is actually). He wanted to be sure I could face anything that might reasonably happen, including diverting to another airport (in case the runway was blocked or closed). Maybe in the UK there's a lot of pressure due to the cost of flying to let people solo early, I don't know. He also taught me to say "unable". Luckily. I was in a similar situation to this unfortunate pilot - as I was on final in a 172 there was a Lear coming up fast behind me. Tower (at Hayward, CA) told me to "make it a touch and go" but I'd been instructed to make it a full stop. So I said "unable". I cleared the runway with the Lear practically over the threshold. Everyone was happy, except my poor instructor who had melted into a pool of sweat over the whole incident.

I've been asked to do all sorts of wacky things in the pattern and on the approach - 360s from just about everywhere, return to downwind, short approaches, you name it. I think though that it's a bad idea to add to the stress and unfamiliarity that an early-solo pilot feels by asking them to do these things.

My home airport (Palo Alto) has had exactly one fatal, which was a newly-minted PPL who was asked to make an early crosswind. He stalled, spun, and killed himself and his girlfriend.

I think though that it would be a revelation for some of the contributing ATCOs to spend time at a busy GA+commercial airport in the US. Statements like "it's my airspace and if you want to mix it with the jets in your 172 then you'll have a tough time" (paraphrasing but that was the gist) wouldn't go down too well, at, say, San Jose or Oakland. Even at LAX I've been slotted in among the jets in my 182 with no fuss or trouble for anyone. Or maybe they should try Livermore on a Saturday morning, everything from ultralights to warbirds to jets, with runways busy and a dozen aircraft on frequency. I'm sure Southend is a pretty sleepy backwater compared with any of these places, or indeed Palo Alto which averages one movement every 20 seconds at busy times.

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Old 20th Jul 2007, 06:57
  #133 (permalink)  
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Far too many people on here fighting their corner instead of using their brains to suggest (just suggest,) ideas for amelioration. They would not all be good suggestions but one or two might come to something.

1. Perhaps a good part of the answer is already on here. The student is paying for instruction for the whole hour? Then maybe the instructor for early solos SHOULD attend in the tower to guard his students flight path and if necessary proffer the calming voice. (Mine did, but I did not know till after.)
2. We might recognise that student's behaviour during practice go arounds may not translate into clear thinking during an actual solo go around. Reaction during initial solos may be entirely different and it is really important not to deviate from practiced manoevres in these situations.
3. The removal of the PPL training for ATCOs in training seems incredibly shortsighted. There can be no better way to understand the environment, and in particlur how it feels for a student, that being one. Same thing for PPLs attending in the tower. Yes, I know it may be a distraction, but somehow those guys seemed to manage before.
When I was training at Kidlington there was a whole bunch of ATCOs doing their PPLs. We all used to wander up to the tower and watch the controllers and one of the ATCOs even took me to the LHR tower (they were encouraged to visit all the towers they could, including such as LHR,) ) I did not go on to a CPL but if I had I would have had some understanding of how airpspace worked and the incredible pressure in the tower. I think a few hours a year watching in various towers should be mandatory for, say, first officers and maybe even captains. OK it is creeping here a bit but I think it is relevant.)
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 09:22
  #134 (permalink)  
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On PPL flying for ATCOs.....

As I have said before in this thread, NATS ATCOs who have been posted to work at an airfield, or have done the Approach Radar rating and will will at a Terminal Control unit, do still get the 15 hours of flying.

Those who do the area course now spend an extended visit to the BA simulator facility at Cranebank, learning how multi engine jet a/c fly.

Some pilots on this thread appear to think that all UK ATCOs used to receive PPL training. Incorrect, only those employed by NATS. The majority of ATCOs who work at non-NATS units will not have done any PPL training as part of their ATCO training, unless they are ex-NATS.
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 09:36
  #135 (permalink)  
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I've read the report and most of the comments here.

So we have an in experienced pilot at just about the most stressful point when he's thrown a curve ball. Is it possible he mentally handed back control to the higher authority? I'm sure there are good examples of this happening to experienced pilots in "Aftermath".

I recall an incident in the USA where a large plane went down after running out of fuel. At several points the experienced pilot accepted instructions from ATC that he should have rejected given his fuel situation. He felt that he was being "taken care of" and that "ATC knew best".

In this case the pilot had already been corrected (on the ground) so may have felt more inclined to follow instructions carefully in future. Later he's told to go around and might have followed that instruction perfectly when he was told, in effect, not to carry out the go around proceedure but to turn and fly north instead.

Please note that I'm not pointing the finger at ATC or the pilot here.
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 10:52
  #136 (permalink)  
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I haven't read every single post 'cause it would take me all day!
However, from reading one of the first posts it seems that there was a change of controller after the student was "sent solo", and the second controller was not informed of the situation.
Surely it is this alone that started a tragic chain of events?
I can't believe for one minute that anyone would seek to deliberately complicate a first solo in this way, and am sure that if the second controller had been made aware of the student's status, he would never have done so.
A first solo is ALWAYS going to involve a high workload for the student. It doesn't matter whether he's done 10 hrs or 100 hrs.
Forgive me if this has already been said somewhere in the middle!
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 11:05
  #137 (permalink)  
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Stickandru....etc etc
Read all the posts if you must point a finger. It was his second solo. Not that it makes much difference, the poor lad still came a cropper. The end result is that there are a few factors which all contributed to varying degrees which resulted in this incident. Each one, in isolation, would not have had such an unfortunate result.... its just that on this occasion the holes in the cheese all lined up. Instead of blaming any individual, we should learn from this and perhaps amend our practises to try to prevent this happening again. As an atco (and ppl), I've learned something. I certainly hope low hour students and also instructors have as well.
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 11:37
  #138 (permalink)  
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Oops sorry, that was a bit ambiguous. What i meant was ATC should be able to send anyone around without worrying about the capabilities of the pilot.

And i still don't agree that there's a "race" to go solo, i never sent a student solo who wasn't absolutely ready for it, whether it was at 6 or 25 hours.
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 20:06
  #139 (permalink)  

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Well said, bottom rung.
I worked at Southend at the time of the accident, though not on watch that day. I knew everyone involved well. It also happened to have been me who was controlling the lad's first solo.
Needless to say, everyone there was deeply affected. It has been very hard for me not to react to some of the posts on here, given that I have a deeper knowledge of events and personalities than those given in the report, particularly as many of the comments have been so wide of the mark.
The bottom line is, there are elements that EVERYONE can learn from, and I sincerely hope we do.
Please stop pointing fingers. Trust me, those involved have done some serious thinking. No-one can blame them more than they have already to themselves.
Time to leave it alone.

Last edited by Foxy Loxy; 20th Jul 2007 at 21:05.
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Old 20th Jul 2007, 22:04
  #140 (permalink)  

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Foxy, I feel very sad indeed for everyone involved in this tragedy.
However, we must not forget the factors that led up to the accident lest they recur.
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