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Erebus 25 years on

Old 1st Dec 2004, 08:48
  #61 (permalink)  
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So, tell me, prospector... which airline was it that hired you with a CPL only?

And why is it that you still have a CPL only?
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Old 1st Dec 2004, 08:56
  #62 (permalink)  
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Amos 2,
Imperial Airways, been retired for a number of years now.

Old 1st Dec 2004, 08:56
  #63 (permalink)  
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Prospector, the problem with 'thoughts', 'assumptions', and 'mistakes' is that those who have them don't generally know it. The differencing between thinking something and knowing something is that in the later case you can not be wrong. A person who thinks something based on assumptions most likely is under impression that he knows it until something shakes his mindset. This makes it exceptionally hard to guard against.

One thing you can do to guard against it is to have a set of clearly defined SOPs and a company culture that makes it clear that these are to be followed. ANZ appears to have had the SOPs in place, but no one was following them. This is not to say that the pilots were blameless but that they had been setup as the last line of defence in the error chain. As the last line, they screwed up, but they should never have been put into that position in the first place.

Deadhead, you said:

The Captain’s decision to descend below the route MSA of FL160 was probably flawed, since under an IFR flight plan the only two ways you can do that is by descent under radar (or DME step or similar) OR by conducting a visual approach. (Of course you could cancel IFR as well). None of these things actually occurred, since a descent “VMC” is clearly not the same thing as cancelling IFR and proceeding VFR, and neither is it the same as conducting a visual approach. A descent maintaining own terrain visually still, as I understand it, requires a radar service. You cannot do that in a non-radar environment – you have to formally cancel IFR OR fly a visual approach.
Are you sure that you can not cruise below LSALT on an IFR flightplan in NZ? In Australia you can (in day VMC) but I accept that there are different rules for different countries.
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Old 1st Dec 2004, 09:29
  #64 (permalink)  
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Your second paragraph says it very succinctly, no one party was completely responsible.

The Chairman of the ANZ Board, Bob Owens at the time, if I remember correctly,said something like 60% Company 40% aircrew, and those percentages should be the only thing that is up for discussion. And that will never be answered to the satisfaction of everybody.


Last edited by prospector; 1st Dec 2004 at 09:44.
Old 1st Dec 2004, 11:18
  #65 (permalink)  
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So, tell us more about Imperial Airways, prospector!

Like, is this heavy jet stuff? Or perhaps light aircraft stuff?

Or, perhaps, pre 1940 stuff?

Last edited by amos2; 1st Dec 2004 at 11:50.
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Old 1st Dec 2004, 12:41
  #66 (permalink)  
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looks pretty old to me - well before the jet-age.....have a look

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Old 1st Dec 2004, 20:26
  #67 (permalink)  
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I think that we've done this one to death!
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Old 6th Dec 2004, 06:14
  #68 (permalink)  
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Does consipracy theory affect facts of crash?

I would like to say straight off that I am not a pilot and that I do have a vested interest and inside knowledge that leads me to be on the side of the crew.

Prospector said in an earlier thread/posting that he did wish to get into the whole "conspiracy" theory as it was not relevant. However if there was a conspiracy that destroyed evidence, and intimidated witnesses, is it not possible that if there had been no conspiracy there would have been more evidence on the side of the pilots - to show perhaps that flying at such a low level had been discussed verbally in their briefing for instance...I'm not saying that that is the case, by the way, but just pointing out that notes from a briefing were one of the main things that seemed to keep disappearing.

I'm sorry but you can't separate the two. And just because a conspiracy can't always be proved, doesn't mean that it hasn't happened. That's kinda the whole idea of the people behind it...

If anyone does know of things that happened in this way, they are more than welcome to private message them to me. I am afraid that one day all that information will die away with the people who knew...perhaps one day the history books will read more accurately...

Oh and I'm not sure if I would agree that Ron Chippendale could be seen as "independent" as stated in one posting and so therefore indisputable. An air inspector should always remain afar from all culpable parties. My question would be, how far removed did he remain? I could refer you to articles over the years that have been less than flattering on this point. I think you'd agree it does undermine your confidence in that "independence".

Even though I am on the side of the crew, it would be nice to think there was something they could have done differently;defy their bosses of the only large commercial airline they had in NZ by not descending to an altitude that EXPERIENCED antartic pilots had descended to over the past two years, been suspicious of seeing white (light) where they expected white (ice) to be, been suspicious of their computer, listened to a man on a radio telling them he was in whiteout and go elsewhere when they could see sea, and ice, and cliffs clearly...but to do this, they would have had to have made assumptions...that the airline was acting dangerously in suggesting that height, that all the previous pilots were acting dangerously, that the computer was faulty, that the man on the ground knew the weather better in his little hut then they at 6000ft with a birds-eye view...and I guess we've acknowledge how dangerous assumptions can be...quite deadly in fact...

Its funny, as many people as there were, 257, when you're involved, it just comes down to one, the one you knew that died.

Last edited by SeekingAnswers; 6th Dec 2004 at 07:35.
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Old 6th Dec 2004, 07:47
  #69 (permalink)  
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When the employee of a company flies one of its perfectly good aircraft into the ground, it is called "Controlled Flight Into Terrain".

The reasons are many, but mainly a lack of situational awareness. The world has moved on from the Erebus CFIT accident and the thousands of others and has produced TAWS.

When humans are involved you will always be potentially seconds from disaster.

No airline would ever let one of it's aircraft fly without insurance, even if the pilot was "ACE OF THE BASE", simply far too risky.

Put this one to bed and thank technology for TAWS. The next step will be taking the pilot completely out of the picture as an added safeguard.
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Old 6th Dec 2004, 08:01
  #70 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
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man I hope I live long enough to see pilotless planes...finally we'll actually see how many accidents are avoided by fallable human pilots...then the beancounters, and computer nerds will finally be put back in their box fact as a show of faith in their infallable machinery 30% of all pax should be beancounters, and computer nerds, 30% should be Lawyers, and 30% should polliticians...the remaining seats can be used by deathrow inmates.

Might as well put the technology to good use!!
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Old 7th Dec 2004, 08:05
  #71 (permalink)  
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The old story of the pilot and the dog on the flight deck. The dog bites the pilot if he touches anything.

Technology has replaced the navigator, the flight engineer and so will go the pilot. When?

When the baby boomers are long gone and the next generations have taken over. The ones that have been raised on Microsoft Windows, cellphones and American fast food. Their life expectancy will be nothing so risking a ride on a pilotless plane won't be much of a concern.
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Old 7th Dec 2004, 10:48
  #72 (permalink)  
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Chuckles and Far Canard; Gentlemen that sounds somewhat cynical coming from you both.
However you had better move over a bit because I tend to agree with you.
One day someone may indeed invent some piece of technology that may replace the PIC of whatever passes for an aircraft in the future. However I'm bloody sure of one thing; It won't be in any of our lifetimes!!

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.
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Old 15th Apr 2005, 08:12
  #73 (permalink)  
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FLT TE901 - (Mt Erebus) -Crash Investigation

There are significant anomalies in the appendices of "Impact Erebus". The reconstructed track from TOD with marked CVR notations does not accord with the time signatures in the CVR transcript. The photographs recovered from the cameras of one or more passengers and the captions in the book to some of those photos are also markedly at odds with actual terrain, as a close study of local charts shows. It is not possible to raise questions arising with the author as he is indisposed and likely to remain so indefinitely. Any light that can be thrown on this by anyone who has gone over the published material thoroughly, or who has specialist knowledge, would be welcome. [COLOR=blue] [email protected]
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Old 14th Nov 2005, 22:58
  #74 (permalink)  
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Bit thick here, eh Bert?

Or putting it another way.

If captain prospector had been in charge of 901 with that flightplan, I suppose he would have tooled around at 20000ft for a while and then flown back...knowing that you can\'t trust the flightplan or INS. Just like no captain should ever trust ATC in case they give you a wrong heading or FL.

Those guys were doing a job, and that was sightseeing, not IMC training.
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Old 15th Nov 2005, 06:43
  #75 (permalink)  
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i have no doubt that Aircraft will be far more automated in the near future, HOWEVER

There will always be 1 or 2 guy's that are professional aviators in the cockpit monitoring the systems just as there is today...whether the conditions have got so bad that they are offering to work for free is another thing.....
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Old 15th Nov 2005, 07:46
  #76 (permalink)  
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The only thing you know for certain about any accident is that there is never a single cause.

As an additional factor, it may be worth remembering that there was a conflict between safe operations and the need to show the passengers something to make the trip worth while.
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Old 15th Nov 2005, 14:36
  #77 (permalink)  
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single cause

Thank you 4greens, that was what I was trying to say.

I crashed an aeroplane once...don't 'arf ruin your day!

It was my fault, because I was PIC, but then again, I didn't know something that I should have known, which was not my fault. etc etc right down the chain of contributing factors...

I think the lasting taste from Erebus is the discussion about the way that they jump on pilot error. In my case, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who realised that it could have happened to them, and the whole thing was dealt with in a gentlemanly (not sexist, I hope. Is it stewardesses or cabin attendants, or passenger management consultants we have these days? I should really get back in the bit behind the cockpit more often!) way.

That is, I was lucky enough to have the opposite treatment to what the capt and fo get when there is money involved; and I'm sorry - we are not talking about deaths here - 6000 people or so die on the roads in the UK alone every year! - we are talking about MONEY.

It is why they put the cockpit in the sharp end... the pilots are to first to know if they are "negligent".
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Old 19th Nov 2005, 19:22
  #78 (permalink)  
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There are certainly some great posts in this thread.Prospector,I reckon you have done the thread proud mate!!!.My only hope is that for all that have posted ,you have also read the book.I believe we have learned much from this sad affair....arohanui
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Old 31st Dec 2005, 03:37
  #79 (permalink)  
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DEAR MEGAN . . . .

. . . . . your post last month. . . five or six back from this . . .in which you write that "given all the factors at play in this accident. . .(I cannot say). . . it would not have happened to me. . .", I'm sorry, but as we do not know, and are unlikely to ever know, all the factors that caused that DC10 to crash, it is simply not valid to draw that conclusion in those terms.

On the evidence, Captain Collins, despite his exhaustive preparation, undoubted competency and superior airmanship, was deceived by more than the wrong coordinates.

For there are aspects of the final report that warrant further judicial examination, regardless of the passage of time. For one thing, the sequence of events from top of descent as detailed in the time-line tabled, taken from CVR and FDR, have significant anomalies that are minutes out of whack. How did that miss the scrutineers and those highly qualified to comment, such as Gordon Vette?

(The quotes you give from Mike Mullane, et al, are spot on, and despite my quibble with your initial assertion, I support fully your sentiment that you would not want to fly with the silly prick who thinks he's infallible.)
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Old 3rd Jan 2006, 06:45
  #80 (permalink)  
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Re: Erebus 25 years on

Megan . . . not implying you were critical of Captain Collins, just that as "all the factors at play" will never be known I took (rather petty) issue with your opening sentence.

Far more to the point, I raise again the question of significant anomalies in the final report. These were carried over into the studies by Mahon and Vette. That Gordon Vette did not twig to these is extraordinary.

What I would like to see is someone truly full-bottle on the accident and financial enough to conduct the required research do what Tom Frame did for Voyager and that mob. I'm standing by with some pointers, but without holding of breath.
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