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VFR into IMC ATSB investigation

Old 17th Jul 2021, 09:26
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Report out. https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/577998...nal-report.pdf

“The ATSB found that although the flight crew had conducted a pre-flight briefing, they did not detect the forecast deteriorating weather in the Warrnambool area. In addition, they did not assess the aerodrome forecast for both Moorabbin and Warrnambool to ensure they were suitable destination airports. The aircraft departed Warrnambool in visual flight conditions however, as forecast, the weather subsequently deteriorated and the flight crew initiated a return to Warrnambool. During the return, the conditions reduced below that required for visual flight resulting in the VFR certified aircraft entering instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).
After entering IMC, the pilot requested assistance from the controller and maintained control of the aircraft.”
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 10:18
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Has anyone else noticed the use of the woke pronouns now in these reports.

Your public service at work, they have decided that they have no need to use correct English grammar any longer.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 10:39
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Let that be a lesson to any instructor who expects the student to brief them on the weather. The instructor should already know what the weather is doing especially someone who has a ME-CIR. With the information available at the touch of an ipad including hi res sat pics then there really is no excuse. Hopefully the instructor has learnt a valuable lesson about what PIC means.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 11:53
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Hard to comment on the instructors decision making without knowing all the facts, but from what I've read so far he seems to have done well to extricate them from what could have been a nasty situation.
What's the old quote; "A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill...."

The report highlights that a few errors of judgement led them into the situation, something we can all learn from. Luckily the instructor had the skill set to survive the event and we can join them in hindsight as to what additional precautions one could have taken.

I think one key thing that is not stressed is the build up of delays that led the flight running into the weather they were trying to avoid, it is mentioned but not in the summary. I've seen this a lot over the years even at airline level, a few minutes here and there not accounted for and next thing you are smack bang in a front you were hoping to beat, hopefully in the right equipment to deal with it.

As far as telling pilots not to push weather while VFR, not sure you can do much more, the history is there, statistics are well established, pilots still do it.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 11:56
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Exactly, deja vu. That report is riddled with grammatical howlers and therefore unacceptable.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 00:19
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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One thing that might have been looked at a bit more closely was the weather forecasting.

I am not a fan of the GAF, I find it much harder to interpret than the old area forecasts. I suspect pilots are departing with much less understanding of what weather can be expected than with the old forecasts.

Old forecasts: You knew what weather to expect, but sometimes it was unclear where it would be. GAF: You know where the weather will happen, but not what the weather will be. The report seems to illustrate this point, including the chart from the GAF but not the table with the actual weather.

Also, I have noticed the BOM have a regular habit of issuing a TAF for good weather, and then amending it when the weather turns bad (or just prior). This might be measured in the KPIs as an accurate forecast, but is not much help for planning a flight. That also appears to have happened in this case.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 01:11
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Hear! Hear! andrewr.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 02:21
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Also, I have noticed the BOM have a regular habit of issuing a TAF for good weather, and then amending it when the weather turns bad (or just prior). This might be measured in the KPIs as an accurate forecast, but is not much help for planning a flight. That also appears to have happened in this case.
I regularly ring the BOM if a forecast looks suspect, like fog lingering or METAR disagreeing with the TAF. What I've found is that whatever flags the issues just does not get picked up at country ports, this is even more a problem when they are focused on bad weather at a major port. This is nothing particularly new though, there's a few ports I've flown to that have local conditions that catch the BOM out regularly and are predictable if you have local knowledge.

The weather forecast is an educated guess by professionals trying their best. Always study not only the minimum legal forecasts but surrounding area forecasts and actual condition for prevailing trends, the overall trend picture will be more valuable to planning than hoping on one TAF, it will also show up if the TAF possibly has errors. In this case the weather forecast was not at fault, it was accurate at the time of planning. Possibly there were comprehension issues, GAF issues or not. This was a training flight, the instructor MUST be able to read and understand a GAF, what on earth is being taught to the student if the Instructor has no idea.

The student didn't inform the instructor of the weather from 1400-1500 as they were meant to land and depart before its onset, maybe the instructor had dismissed it in the same way by not reading further on the TAF. The flight ran late an hour or more and because of this omission they ran into the weather. A major part of cross country navigation training should focus on the planning especially in regard to weather. It sounds like this was given a cursory glance and it caught them out.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 02:26
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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One thing that might have been looked at a bit more closely was the weather forecasting.
Forecasting is a problem full stop. Too much reliance on computer modelling and not enough on local knowledge. Agree that the forecast for bad weather usually coincides with the onset of the bad weather.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 02:43
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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There are approximately 18 weather cameras between Warrnambool and and Avalon not inclusive too. I wonder if they used them or just flew into the crud unaware.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 03:02
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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A lack of weather awareness that also stands out is that the showers that grounded them in YWBL were heading East. The same showers would be between them and Moorabbin (and Cobden). Also there seemed to be lack of any real statement that they had much of a look around at the weather around YWBL on arrival. What was the weather looking like to the West, where prevailing weather was coming from on the day.

There are approximately 18 weather cameras between Warrnambool and and Avalon not inclusive too. I wonder if they used them or just flew into the crud unaware.
I agree, however I have been tricked by the cams at least once, where fog lifted, I looked at the cams and departed, only to find out it rolled back in shortly afterwards. No big problem, I was carrying fuel for a good alternate. Cams are a good tool, but use them with caution.
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 02:01
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Forecasting is a problem full stop. Too much reliance on computer modelling and not enough on local knowledge
Tis said a report is a horoscope with numbers. Who hasn't been caught out with an erroneous report? Not knocking the met department, it's just the state of the art, I'm amazed at the work they do.
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 03:07
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Tis said a report is a horoscope with numbers. Who hasn't been caught out with an erroneous report? Not knocking the met department, it's just the state of the art, I'm amazed at the work they do.
Its a very long time since I flew in OZ and so I have no idea about cameras and accuracy of forecasting these days. Certainly back in the 70s/80s you could rely on a negative slant put on each and every forecast as a backside covering exercise. So many times offloading revenue stuff to carry 60 minutes holding only to arrive in CAVOK conditions. Better than the other way around I know. But it did lead to a state of mind suggesting it won't be "that bad".....boy....wolf ....type of thing.
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 04:06
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Tis said a report is a horoscope with numbers. Who hasn't been caught out with an erroneous report? Not knocking the met department, it's just the state of the art, I'm amazed at the work they do.
Ironically when I asked the BOM about my cameras, they said that they use them extensively.
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