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S211 Down Port Phillip Bay

Old 30th Nov 2023, 02:24
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Originally Posted by megan
The big fellas drop stuff on the suburbs as well up to and including engine pods, most damaging was a 747 shedding two pods then the airframe crashing into a block of apartments resulting in a large death toll, should ALL aircraft be banned from over flying the suburbs on that basis? More to worry about is a motor vehicle parking in your bedroom, happens on a regular basis.Particularly when that command decision produces an outcome of no consequence, I can't believe the Avalon discussion going on here, I'd expect better from experienced aviators - sorry.
Have a look at the FAA's aircraft type certification process and perhaps some of the risk-assesment processes described by ICAO. The aircraft type certification process attempts to catch out things like engines falling off airplanes. If, however, an engine does fall off then there's usually an investigation to prevent that happening again. And all of those safety systems require the pilot to be doing their best to prevent an accident from happening.
An airplane that has been in a midair would probably not comply with the airworthiness standards that it's type certification was based on. Then it is up to the PIC to take that into consideration, and if there is an option that can avoid flight over built-up areas then the PIC better have a good reason for not taking it. In the case in this thread, the PIC got away with it. But that doesn't mean we collectively as professionals cannot be considering the alternatives. I can't believe that experienced aviators want to shut down such a conversation.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 03:30
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Originally Posted by georgeeipi
My heart sank when I read Ruprecht's post. It seems he shut down part of a really good process. In medicine they have the concept of the scientist-practitioner. Every medical specialist at some point has done a research project and knows how the scientific process works. What a pity we don't do that in aviation.
Maybe rather than shutting down a really good process, he was facilitating a more practical and workable approach.
Of course there’s a place for the scientific process in aviation safety, but when my wingman loses contact, I don’t want a scientist-practitioner. I want a simple, practical solution. Right now.

In any case, we’re some way off topic (again).
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 03:50
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Originally Posted by georgeeipi
My heart sank when I read Ruprecht's post. It seems he shut down part of a really good process. In medicine they have the concept of the scientist-practitioner. Every medical specialist at some point has done a research project and knows how the scientific process works. What a pity we don't do that in aviation.
Just to be clear, the problem wasnít with the identification of all possible permutations and combinations - thatís what study is for.

The problem was he was treating them all as discrete responses, and it was taking too long to identify which situation he was in and then waiting several seconds to figure out what to do as he mentally rifled through his 16 pages of notes.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 04:15
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Originally Posted by itsnotthatbloodyhard
Maybe rather than shutting down a really good process, he was facilitating a more practical and workable approach.
Of course thereís a place for the scientific process in aviation safety, but when my wingman loses contact, I donít want a scientist-practitioner. I want a simple, practical solution. Right now.

In any case, weíre some way off topic (again).
Interesting.
A scientist-practitioner in an aviation context is someone who is an experienced aviator and can be a scientist on the ground. The scientific investigation is in slow time, such as enumerating the possibilities of a particular scenario. The key is to find ways to apply the findings of the science in the air as a practitioner which often operates in fast time.

Is a rule-based approach that requires 16 cases to be memorized practical? Perhaps, if the rules are simple and the scenario can be practiced in the air or simulator and become a natural response. But if not, it's important to enumerate scenarios anyway and then attempt to find ways to compress the rules into a manageable format for use in the air. Ruprecht suggested a principles based format. Then as an instructor, he could use an enumeration as a way of testing his principles. If that has never been done before then it becomes an important publishable article. A scientist-practitioner would know that.

As for "we're way off topic", there are a lot of aviators on this thread suggesting we shouldn't consider the scenario of this thread because it is a criticism of a perfect pilot. Humans are not perfect, so the system has to be error tolerant. So how do we achieve this error-tolerance? The frequent argument in this thread seems to be that flight scenarios are too complex to be analyzed. But isn't that what an accident investigation is? We learn incrementally by considering things that have gone wrong in the past and consider new ways of doing them better, on the ground, in slow time. What we learn even goes into the analyses that go into designing new aircraft types and the certification process that tests the new aircraft in lots of scenarios, including the potentially catastrophic ones. That's why type certification includes so many hours of test flying and requires many thick documents. Those aviators wanting to shut down the conversation in this thread seem to be advocating that none of this would be of any use. Yet the checklists and memorized items they use in the air have come from exactly the process they want to shut down in this thread.
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Or have I missed something and the new norm for aviators is they are perfect heroes and so any critique needs to be cancelled? Sounds like the opposite of CRM.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 04:39
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Originally Posted by ruprecht
Just to be clear, the problem wasnít with the identification of all possible permutations and combinations - thatís what study is for.

The problem was he was treating them all as discrete responses, and it was taking too long to identify which situation he was in and then waiting several seconds to figure out what to do as he mentally rifled through his 16 pages of notes.
Agreed, your student did a great job of studying.
The question then is could the permutations be simplified? There are techniques for doing that, perhaps Karnaugh maps used in computer-science. Not saying you should know that, but that's where a collaboration with a scientist in an appropriate field may help. It also addresses your concern that there is no pathway from an enumeration to something useful in flight. There often are solutions to what looks intractable on first inspection. But that means remaining open to the possibility.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 04:57
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Originally Posted by georgeeipi

As for "we're way off topic", there are a lot of aviators on this thread suggesting we shouldn't consider the scenario of this thread because it is a criticism of a perfect pilot.
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​​​​​Ö
Or have I missed something and the new norm for aviators is they are perfect heroes and so any critique needs to be cancelled? Sounds like the opposite of CRM.
No, I think what youíre missing is not that people should think the pilot was a perfect hero and canít be criticised. Itís the fact that people who are unfamiliar with the aircraft type, unfamiliar with that type of flying, werenít there at the time, and have no idea exactly what those pilots experienced (either during the collision or subsequently) feel entitled to repeatedly question and criticise those pilotsí actions (while disingenuously denying questioning or criticising), while having absolutely no idea what options and thought processes were actually in play at the time.

By all means wonder if Avalon mightíve been a good option and if it was considered. No problem with that, itís a reasonable discussion, as long as we keep in mind that thereís a huge amount we simply donít know. But go back and look at the substance and tone of Wet Compassí posts. Thatís the sort of thing people are taking exception to. (And donít get me started on the ridiculous nonsense about the Mayday call.)
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 05:13
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Originally Posted by itsnotthatbloodyhard
No, I think what you’re missing is not that people should think the pilot was a perfect hero and can’t be criticised. It’s the fact that people who are unfamiliar with the aircraft type, unfamiliar with that type of flying, weren’t there at the time, and have no idea exactly what those pilots experienced (either during the collision or subsequently) feel entitled to repeatedly question and criticise those pilots’ actions (while disingenuously denying questioning or criticising), while having absolutely no idea what options and thought processes were actually in play at the time.

By all means wonder if Avalon might’ve been a good option and if it was considered. No problem with that, it’s a reasonable discussion, as long as we keep in mind that there’s a huge amount we simply don’t know. But go back and look at the substance and tone of Wet Compass’ posts. That’s the sort of thing people are taking exception to. (And don’t get me started on the ridiculous nonsense about the Mayday call.)
You're arguing exactly what I said some aviators are arguing. You're arguing the decisions all require the minutiae, the detail, down in the weeds, no principles to be learned.
Ok, so if I'm in a midair in my little C152 with a big jet, over the middle of Port Philip bay and the big jet goes down in the bay and I'm flying but with a crumpled wing, where do I go? Moorabbin or Avalon? Or Essendon? Or I'm in a big jet with a heap of passengers down the back and I collide with a little C152 and the C152 goes down in the bay and I am left flying but with a crumpled wing. Where do I go?
What sort of detail causes a difference that leads to a different decision?
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 05:33
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Originally Posted by georgeeipi
You're arguing exactly what I said some aviators are arguing. You're arguing the decisions all require the minutiae, the detail, down in the weeds, no principles to be learned.
No, Iím not arguing there are no principles to be learned - donít put words in my mouth. (In fact I believe that sound basic principles might sometimes be more useful than 16 pages of exhaustive analysis Ö) Iím arguing something completely different - that if you want to repeatedly question and criticise the actions of someone whoís dealt successfully with an emergency, you need a solid understanding of what they experienced, what options they considered, and why they chose the course of action they did. That understanding has been absent here.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 06:15
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Originally Posted by itsnotthatbloodyhard
No, Iím not arguing there are no principles to be learned - donít put words in my mouth. (In fact I believe that sound basic principles might sometimes be more useful than 16 pages of exhaustive analysis Ö) Iím arguing something completely different - that if you want to repeatedly question and criticise the actions of someone whoís dealt successfully with an emergency, you need a solid understanding of what they experienced, what options they considered, and why they chose the course of action they did. That understanding has been absent here.
A solid understanding because there may be some minutiae that can rise up and require a completely different decision?
I'm putting it to you that following a midair collision there is no way a pilot can ascertain the extent of the damage to the airframe and the degree to which the airworthiness has been compromised.
In that case, and with an abundance of caution, the PIC, should consider avoiding flying over built-up area if there is an airport that allows that.
Now what minutiae will rise up and change these 2 principles?
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 08:23
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ad nauseam
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 01:29
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Aiyaaaaaah

Itsnotthatbloodyhard, I applaud your measured, reasoned attempts at illustrating the paucity of rationality in some of the armchair experts' criticisms on here, I really do.

However, I do feel your efforts maybe as wasted as those of an Aerospace Engineer attempting to explain gyroscopic precession to room full of flat Earthers 😀


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Old 1st Dec 2023, 01:40
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Georgee - its not true that following a midair the pilot cannot forecast the damage to his airframe. BS - he gets hit on a wing, he feels it and looks out and sees a dent in his wing. If he knows he was hit on the wing and he sees nothing but a dent, I think we can safely assume he knows the damage and therefore risks to those on the ground. A dent doesn't make things fall off. And if he assures himself the only damage he has is a dent, then its up to him, not you, not Squawk 7700 and certainly not up to Wetdream, to determine the state of his aircraft and where he should put it.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 01:50
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 01:59
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Originally Posted by rodney rude
Georgee - its not true that following a midair the pilot cannot forecast the damage to his airframe. BS - he gets hit on a wing, he feels it and looks out and sees a dent in his wing. If he knows he was hit on the wing and he sees nothing but a dent, I think we can safely assume he knows the damage and therefore risks to those on the ground. A dent doesn't make things fall off. And if he assures himself the only damage he has is a dent, then its up to him, not you, not Squawk 7700 and certainly not up to Wetdream, to determine the state of his aircraft and where he should put it.
When is a dent only a dent?
Sure, it may be only a dent. But the best the PIC can say is they are now flying an aircraft that is unairworthy. At worst, if the aeroplane is still flying after the collision there may be a fracture in the airframe and the potential for imminent break up. So we have a potential spectrum of possibilities, all of which fall into the unairworthy category and possible inflight breakup. How exactly can a pilot tell where they are on the spectrum? To say they can but without explaining how a pilot would do that is at best disingenuous and at worst malicious to the writer.

If we accept the pilot can't tell where exactly they fall in the unairworthiness spectrum then the 2nd principle applies, proceed with an abundance of caution. Which then means if there is an alternative airport that doesn't risk those on the ground then take it.
All the attempts at counter arguments I have seen so far, throw out one or both of these two principles without justification and often with attacks on the writers.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 02:04
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Originally Posted by Booger
Itsnotthatbloodyhard, I applaud your measured, reasoned attempts at illustrating the paucity of rationality in some of the armchair experts' criticisms on here, I really do.

However, I do feel your efforts maybe as wasted as those of an Aerospace Engineer attempting to explain gyroscopic precession to room full of flat Earthers 😀
Except you have the players the wrong way around. I'm the engineering-scientist-pilot and the others are telling me I don't know my professions.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 02:09
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Maybe the PIC should have zig-zagged until he crossed the coast clear of any ground structure, then ditched it in the outback on a saltpan somewhere, clear of all obstacles of course. Then the ATSB could relocate a team to investigate the airframe for hairline cracks in the airframe. 3 years later, when that investigation is done, they can investigate the incident itself. So I reckon the final report should be done by 2029-ish. In the meantime, CASA can ban any civil ops in close formation. Australians have proved they will blindly do what they are told despite facts/evidence etc.

Everybody will be kept safe by CASA, and they will like it.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 02:22
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Originally Posted by Mr Mossberg
Maybe the PIC should have zig-zagged until he crossed the coast clear of any ground structure, then ditched it in the outback on a saltpan somewhere, clear of all obstacles of course. Then the ATSB could relocate a team to investigate the airframe for hairline cracks in the airframe. 3 years later, when that investigation is done, they can investigate the incident itself. So I reckon the final report should be done by 2029-ish. In the meantime, CASA can ban any civil ops in close formation. Australians have proved they will blindly do what they are told despite facts/evidence etc.

Everybody will be kept safe by CASA, and they will like it.
And then there are the malicious Strawman arguments. I'm willing to wager that you know you were being malicious. All we're talking about is a diversion to an airport with excellent facilities. What is your problem exactly?
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 02:44
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Originally Posted by georgeeipi
How exactly can a pilot tell where they are on the spectrum? To say they can but without explaining how a pilot would do that is at best disingenuous and at worst malicious to the writer.
That's easy: (a) Training and (b) Experience. And, so far as we know, the pilot in this accident had plenty of both.

As is often stated regarding military and ex-military aircraft: "If it's still flying, there's a checklist for that!"
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 03:14
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Originally Posted by PiperCameron
That's easy: (a) Training and (b) Experience. And, so far as we know, the pilot in this accident had plenty of both.

As is often stated regarding military and ex-military aircraft: "If it's still flying, there's a checklist for that!"
a) magic training
b) magic experience

You've just given an answer without actually stating how any pilot can be trained or what experience they will get that will enable them to tell if the airframe has suffered something like a major structural failure, like a dangerous fracture. I can tell you what they'll do on the ground after any sort of inflight impact, they'll run through a barrage of non-destructive testing and visual inspections of the structure. What is the equivalent in the air? There is none.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 04:05
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Ok George, letís say youíre right and that after any mid-air collision, the aircraft might break up in mid-air, or pieces could fall off, even if the collision seemed to involve no more than a small dent. I hope thatís a fair summary of your position, without any strawmanning, ad hominem, etc.



But we canít just draw the line at a mid-air, can we? What about a birdstrike (or suspected birdstrike)? Weíre just talking small dents, after all. Sure, the spar mightnít fail, but maybe pieces will fall off. It mightíve been a big, heavy bird - weíre not really sure.

Or what about severe turbulence? Perhaps itís overstressed the airframe. Pieces might fall off, or the entire structure could fail. We really donít know.



So there you are, George, in your 200t airliner planning an approach to 16R in Sydney. But youíve just had a suspected birdstrike or flown through some nasty turbulence (you choose). By your own reckoning, you simply canít guarantee that pieces wonít fall off or the structure wonít fail. Are you, the scientist-engineer-pilot, going to continue your approach over a highly-populated area in a 15 kt headwind to the longest runway in the country, or are you off elsewhere? By your own logic, I donít see that you have any option but to divert, after your suspected birdstrike/spot of nasty turbulence.



Letís take another example. Can you absolutely guarantee that the aircraft youíre about to fly has never had another pilot overspeed it/overstress it/do a hard landing, without reporting it? Unless youíre the only one whoís ever flown it or itís straight out of an inspection, I donít think you can. In which case, you simply canít be sure of its structural integrity, and you shouldnít be flying it over a built-up area. In fact you probably shouldnít be flying it at all. It gets a bit tricky, doesnít it?



This doesnít prove anything, but might be of interest:

Iíve known quite a few people whoíve been in mid-air collisions; witnessed one from the ground; and known of numerous others. In each case all the structural damage and separation of parts happened at the time of impact, not subsequently.

Iíve also known two pilots who died when their airframes failed without warning in flight, in separate incidents. They hadnít overstressed or oversped, nor collided with anything. So you can never really be sure, can you?
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