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interpreter in cockpits

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interpreter in cockpits

Old 14th Jan 2008, 10:37
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interpreter in cockpits

hi, i was told by a friend of mine who´s working at muc airport that there are still major airlines flying in and out germany with pilots whose english is so bad that they are accompanied by an interpreter/translator. actually he was talking about star alliance member air china.
can that be?
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 13:05
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it happens at KSFO.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 13:17
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Listen to this and you may understand why they may need someone with good English on board. It is always unfortunate to hear anyone lost at an airport but at least when we are all using the same language then at least others are more situationally aware and can raise their guard accordingly.
When I listened to this recording I recall thinking the controller could have been more helpful with his instructions. The Air China crewmember was obviously struggling but the controllers use of non standard terms would not have any impact on someone whose English was already weak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWDEIvjwaFU
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 13:24
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I fly around China with a translator because my Chinese is so bad and their English is questionable! It all seems to work out.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 14:50
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1970s&80's Chi-Comm's were a BIG CUSTOMER !

Picture this: small B737-200 cockpit, full cockpit, only their translator knows a few key words of English (eg, Cleared for ..., takeoff, landing, maybe a few more words).

With the extra men in the cockpit, all equally regarded as equally part of the "people", we get a group-run cockpit. For T/O, they delegate one or two call-outs to the Translator (eg, on takeoff roll "WEE-WON!", later "Mee-too!"); on landing without auto-spoilers, they get the Translator to manually Deploy SpdBrks, another non-pilot makes a speed call-out .

The pilots from CAAC (then six regional airlines) were the only customer who's pilots were permitted to NOT understand English.

Fear among managers at the manufacturer motivates them to send a few North Americans to sit in a CAAC F/O's seat: These poor guys are unable to communicate with their co-worker in the left-seat, near DH, never sure what he might do.
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 03:24
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98% of the flights I do here in the middle kingdom, have an interpreter as part of the crew. The interpreters do not talk to ATC, they just translate between me and the FO. This is due to my lack of Mandarin and the FOs lack of Aviation English. The CAAC has made exceptions (my company) for a couple of FOs whose English is excellent and not because of my improved mandarin:

Cheers
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 04:15
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I could tell it was a question, but I could forgive it being missed.

Frankly, by the time Ground had stopped concealing his questions in a slur--that only the people from his village would have recognized, his irascibility was becoming obvious, which would not have helped to calm the situation.
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 04:37
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I thought you had to speak english!? Obviously not!

I think I would get annoyed if I was the guy in ATC as it was obvious they didn't understand the perfectly english question. Just like certain Ryanair cabin crew
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 05:00
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Well, long ago...

(This "old fart" always has a "long time ago" story)
xxx
With PanAm 707s, we made flights to Moscow... pronounces Moss-kvah...
And the Aeroflot "provided" us with a "navigator-radio operator/interpreter".
xxx
We seated him behind the captain... They boarded the flight in CPH...
These guys were always dressed with a long coat, and all looked like Brezhnev.
xxx
So we made friends with them, always same guys, 4 or 5 of them.
SOP for us was simple. After passing Kaliningrad, they handled the radio.
And told us, "left one zero degrees, descent 4,350 feet" (yes they converted to feet for us).
xxx
Our best looking flight attendant was instructed to be provide friendly cockpit service.
She was instructed to wear her skirt as short as possible.
Never forget to serve Ivan Ivanovitch Ivanov with "tshaii" (tea) and cookies.
And to bring him a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka (Kapitalist Vodka) compliment of the captain.
And a carton of papirossa (cigarettes) "Marlboro" (compliment of PanAm)...
Then we had our cockpit manuals (latest Playboy magazines) he could roll into his coat.
xxx
These gentlemen were flabbergasted by our 2 LTN-51 INS with 9 waypoints.
They were (almost) as accurate as his vectors.
Sometimes he would admit their IL-62s had better "INS" than ours...
But of course, that was privileged information. We agreed their technology more advanced, yes...!
Our pledge was not to inform the CIA about the fact.
And, of course, these good people were not KGB employees... never...!
And after landing, was the big "bear hug" - American captain and Rusky navigator.
Otcheenn spassibo Ivan... y dosveedanya, tovaritchi...
Next week will get the new Hustler magazine for you...
I miss these good old days of "MOCKBA" flights, in a sense.
xxx
The lady (KGB) "floor supervisor" always appreciated 1/2 tube of Colgate and used toothbrushes.
The maid cleaning the room always asked for some shoe polish.
For her, no Playboy, but a Vogue fashion magazine.
I remember a wonderful gift I once gave, a Berlitz Russian/English conversation book for toutists.
She hugged me when she left the room - never saw her again...
Door always wide open, in case of suspicion of making some little Vladimirs or Natashas together.
xxx

Happy contrails
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 05:01
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Lightbulb

Phil:

You are right-and not only about JFK/LGA/EWR etc.

We are just too good to need things to be done the ICAO way. We are just too big, powerful and respected everywhere.

Our industry has grown over the decades by cutting almost every regulatory and safety corner imaginable (...and how about those airlines outside the limelight? Have you flown with guys who flew Lears, Falcons and DC6s for some of the freight operators here?), as the FAA closed its eyes to much of it.

That is the crude foundation which has created the artificially lower costs. To do things right all of sudden would upset the entire airline corporate apple cart-and the FAA Traffic Flow Control Program.
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 08:34
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Genuine question to those who have flown with interpreters. How good are those interpreters' aviation knowledge? Do they understand the intricacies of it?
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 11:38
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What happened to the rapidly approaching ICAO level 4 English requirements?
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 17:09
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BelArgUSA as always ---wonderful and funny flying stories keep'em coming
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Old 16th Jan 2008, 11:33
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The interpreters at my airline in China all went to an aviation university and have to do 4 week ground school for the 737. Exactly the same course as any pilots doing a 737 type rating in China. They do have aviation knowledge although obviously not the same as a pilot, however some of them think they are the same level as the pilots. In my company the translators actually wear the same uniform as the first officer including the 3 gold bars!!! Causes a bit of resentment sometimes, especially from the cabin crew as the cabin crew get paid more, but the interpreters get the same crew meal as pilots etc. Also our interpreters only fly about 40 hours a month; the rest of the time is spent doing office based work. All in all it works out, and as said earlier they don’t talk on the radio, just translate if the crew can’t understand each other.
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Old 16th Jan 2008, 11:37
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Also no need for ICAO English if just fly domestically in China.
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Old 16th Jan 2008, 12:04
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I always carry Nicole as the interpreter on my flights:





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