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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

Old 31st Jul 2010, 14:04
  #1981 (permalink)  
 
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Capt Fathom

Proper pilot training will obviously provide a safer passenger environment.
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 14:28
  #1982 (permalink)  
 
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protectthehornet

Typical American comment from one who does not have any knowledge of the training these guys went through.

Your so called 'ab initio wonders' had been through a 2 year flying course at a full time College.
A multi-crew training course.
Airline familiarisation training
A full type rating ground course and simulator, with extra details because of the experience level.
Base training on the a/c initially the B757.
As part of a two crew operation the training included all the required Capt qualification exercises, and had to be demonstrated to a high standard of competence. Mostly involving 'hand flying'
Up to 50 sectors under the supervision of an experienced training Capt./co-pilot.
When released for line flying the new co-piots first six months were rostered with experienced Capts. only, ie with at least two years command experience.

The success of this environment is reflected in BA's safety record and the fact that the initial pilots in this scheme are now senior Capts with the airline.

Fying hours only do not ensure a safe operation
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 14:28
  #1983 (permalink)  
 
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I would prefer when I get on an airliner that it is not a training flight for a 250 hr FO. I think the passenger deserves better. It didn't happen like that in the 80's. You had to be qualified to get the FO job. The reason for the increase in total time is the loved ones of this flight that want more experience in the cockpit.
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 14:31
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p51guy

Silly comment. How do pilots new on type get their thousands of hours experience?

All airlines have new to type pilots under training at some point.
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 15:27
  #1985 (permalink)  
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I think P51 is correct. In days of old co-pilots arrived on jets either from military flying or by coming up through the QFI/Air Taxi/Commuter airline route and so arrived 'in the seat' with a basic survival instinct and ability. The 'straight into a jet and you will learn those two important aspects on line (possibly at your expense)' scenario is relatively new. In an airline like BA it is probably quite safe - I flew with many such F/Os and apart from a complete lack of experience they were competent and as said have gone on to make fine Captains. It should, of course, be remembered that not only were they selected as above average candidates but also had a good and thorough training system to aid them on their way (and, of course, outstanding line captains for their formative years..........................) - not always the case.
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 15:59
  #1986 (permalink)  
 
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cessnapete

so, in my typical American fashion, how about this...how about all your training PLUS 2000 to 5000 or more hours already?

sorry charlie, your methods don't impress me one bit. I wonder if an ''ab initio'' captain upgraded through your mentioned set of training made the choice to fly from los angeles to almost london on 3 of 4 engines/?
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 16:08
  #1987 (permalink)  
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B a process of elimination I guess that was for me?

What exactly in your mind is an ''ab initio'' captain? In any case the decision was actually safe and approved by the UK regulatory authority (and well thrashed here)
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 19:57
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BOAC

by ab initio, I mean a captain who has risen through the ranks after starting off as an ab initio cadet... in the aforementioned BA methods.

AS to continuing to almost London and having it approved by UK regulators...I remind you that the Comet was approved by UK regulators and it fell apart in the sky.

Certainly we have our share of regulators here in the US that have made similiar choices.
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 20:29
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Cessnapete, you can do it like we did. Crop dusting, flight instruction, charter, corporate and maybe paying your dues like we did. We didn't expect our captain on our first airline job to teach us anything unless he felt like it. It wasn't his job. We were required to be qualified the first day with no help. My first day as FO I was flying a 737 and was expected to know what I was doing. I didn't even tell the captain it was my first day hoping he wouldn't notice I was brand new. It didn't work but gave him a good laugh when I was frantically trying to keep up. He said you look like me my first day on this job. 250 hrs does not make you qualified to fly hundreds of people on an airliner. It might have worked when the United 300 hr wonders started as FE's. The 1500 hr rule will at least let the new FO get settled down and have some experience in the real world.
You don't need 1500 hrs in type, just 1500 hrs, by the way. Is that silly?
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 21:15
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An AA 727 lost an engine over El Paso quite some time ago and continued to LAX. Our operating manual said it was ok if it was as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport since it had 3 engines. Later after landing they realized the engine had separated from the aircraft and they didn't know it. BA probably has the same operating manual info on aircraft with more than 2 engines. It was probably legal but most guys might have stopped at JFK to get another motor.
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 22:30
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p51guy

That was 1985 IIRC. I was visiting AA (TUL) when it happened, and no one seemed too surprised at the event. Considering its southern route, the driftdown profile for loss of a second engine wasn't much of an issue.

About 10 years earlier I was SLF on a 727-100 on a more northerly route (STL-LAX) and we lost oil pressure in climb; The driftdown issue prohibited continuing to LAX. AA had a 727-200 ready for dispatch at TUL so we orbited to burn down to max landing weight, and transferred to that ship.

(The only gripe was from CC whose contract required an extra FA on a -200.)
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 22:32
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total time, meaningless?
HA!
What I said is "Total Time is a completely meaningless metric" meaning to use it to gauge competency in isolation is unlikely to yield much benefit.

I certainly am not negating the value of experience, but this new 1500hr rule seems to me to really miss the point.

Apologies for any misinterpretation.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 00:47
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ok flash8. anything in isolation is probably meaningless...the paper money is meaningless in less we attach a meaning to it...pounds etc.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 04:09
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At the time the Colgan Dash 8 crashed the Captain had about 3300 hours and the FO about 2200 hours. I fail to see how raising the bar to 1500 hours would've changed the outcome. In fact this accident serves more to show that quality of training and flight crew selection is far more important than hours. Based on hours alone this should have been a safe crew. It seems the FAA are trying to be seen to be doing something.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 14:25
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AerocatS2A:

At the time the Colgan Dash 8 crashed the Captain had about 3300 hours and the FO about 2200 hours. I fail to see how raising the bar to 1500 hours would've changed the outcome. In fact this accident serves more to show that quality of training and flight crew selection is far more important than hours. Based on hours alone this should have been a safe crew. It seems the FAA are trying to be seen to be doing something.
Actually, it is Congress, not the FAA. The FAA must carry out any aviation law passed by the Congress. The law not only increases the time requirements it strengthens training requirements. Both Colgan crewmembers had training issues.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 15:02
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It does seem to be a case of wanting to be "seen" doing something. Raising the minimum hours to 1500TT on its own really does naff all to help safety. As has been pointed out both pilots had well over these numbers so based on the above theory it should have been a "safe" crew. Training is the KEY here. If as aterpster has said they are also making changes to the training process then at least this is a step in the right direction. As other people have pointed to, a lot of this can be tied in with the p**s poor pay that you regional guys get in the US. Unfortunately to help keep costs low something has to be cut/reduced, and training seems to be one of those things.

If this 1500TT rule was enforce here in the UK then I would still be just short. However I do actually have over 1000h on the Q400 and have been flying it for just over 2 years now. The Q400 does have the ability to bite you and the best way of avoiding this is by having a good training structure in place. This is how you prevent (such as myself when I joined) 250h FO's from getting themselves into problems, and by also having the watching eye of a good Captain.

Lots of hours does not always equal safer. As has been mentioned on the AirBlue thread the Captain there had 30,000 hours yet (if eventually shown to be the case) didnít stop the crew flying a plane load of people into the side of the hill in a CFIT whilst trying to circle.

Sometimes complacency which can sometimes creep in and usually happens when people have lots of hours either on type or in total time and start to think they know best is a much bigger risk than low hours.

By raising the minimum hours you are going to now have new low houred pilots out of flight school burning holes in the sky building up their hours as quick as possible yet not doing anything constructive, and if anything picking up bad habits along the way which then have to be un done once they fly commercially. You may also end up with a load of people instructing which don't really want to do so but have to just to get the hours. Are these the type of people you want teaching other people to fly? If this rule ever made it to the UK people would almost only be able to build hours by burning a hole in the sky as unlike the US it is next to impossible to get air taxi work with 250h, and GA is a lot smaller with a lot fewer instructing jobs going and usually not very well paid. Are these types of pilots really safer?


I do however recognise that if someone does do something constructive with their flying time e.g. air taxi work, single pilot IR work then yes this person is starting off in a better position when they do eventually fly commercially and will be bringing more to the cockpit i.e. more experience, seen more things than a new 250h fresh out of school pilot. So maybe there is a positive that could be gained IF it could be guaranteed that any new pilot is actually doing something constructive when building up their hours and are actually becoming better/more experienced pilots.


You will always be a bigger risk in the eyes of the training department whenever you are new on type. That is why we fly with training Captains (I think you guys in the US call them check airmen?) when starting out on a new type whether you be a 250h FO or a 25,000h Captain.

Overall a good training structure is the key to avoiding accidents like this.

I would also like to add that in general there need to be a lot more focus across all airlines in making sure that pilots keep their basic fly skills up to speed. Last time I checked a pilot should be able to actually fly the aircraft and no feel maxed out when they find out they have to fly a raw data departure or that the ILS is not working and the have to do a non procession procedural approach. Or god forbid the auto pilot won't engage...We all learnt it when we got our license and the basics still work the same, just the numbers change. I have seen first hand people frantically button pushing in the FMS when given a change of approach and having heads down when itís a hell of a lot easier just to look out the window, disconnect the AP and fly the approach by hand. Automatics are making people scared of hand flying because they know there basic flying skills have gone down hill. Consider automatics a nicety rather than a necessity. Keep those basic flying skills up to speed.

Last edited by big d1; 1st Aug 2010 at 17:55.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 17:19
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Just a few things I'd like to add here sport. As the Captain, this airplane flies on my ATP. We're not just going to disconnect AP's and fly a procedure without FMC input, it's kinda nice to have missed approach info.

We're not going to start any approach without briefing about it so we are both on the same mental page.

We're going to cover our asses by taking our time and holding if necessary.

Flying raw data is no big deal, know the pitch/att at all flap/slat setting and power required and viola! Decision making is another matter!
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 18:21
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At my airline we are not allowed to engage LNAV for a go around or follow the FMS data. We have to fly it in raw date so it doesn't matter what is in the FMS. As you say itís all about covering your arse. You would find yourself down at the CP's office it you had a miss hap during a go around because you were found following the FMS and not the raw data in front of you. Also we are not allowed to fly the final approach on the FMS either so whether it be vectors to a VOR, NDB, ILS or LOC you could have anything in the box and it won't matter for the final descent as we can not follow it. Raw data only. Every airline is different though.

My point was aimed at people who chose to go head down at the last minute to change the FMS (briefing complete but then realise the FMS has not been updated) when itís not necessary for safe continuation of that specific approach. We are still going to be flying it in raw data anyway. Yes it does help for situational awareness, but not the end of the world if it is not done. We fly into some airfields were there is nothing in the FMS data base anyway. If you are flying the whole approach based of the FMS which I guess you do on the bigger jets every now and again (Im not sure as I fly the Q400) then yes having the approach programmed in is a lot more important. I should have made that more clear in my original post.

I was not implying flying an approach without a brief. One would like to hope that all pilots brief for an approach. I therefore didn't feel the need to make that point. Again same for holding. I would also like to think that any pilot who feels they need more time or they see they are getting rushed takes a step back and enters the hold to get it all sorted. Same with asking for extra track miles or entering the hold to loose the height when caught high. Nothing macho about pressing on and descending at stupid rates of descent just to avoid "wimping out" and asking for extra track miles.

My post was more specifically aimed about the hand flying skills rather than the decision making points in our day to day job, but with that regard to that, yes you are correct. I was trying to make a ruff link between some pilots who have gotten so used to relying on automatics and the FMS that as soon as something chages the first thing they look for is an automatic button and number punching in the FMS. It's all well and good getting the right approach into the FMS but if you forget to actually intercept the start of the approach/over fly a hold because you are both heads down playing with the FMS you will look a bit silly. Flying the plane should always come first.

Finally I do recognise that there is a difference when flying into a busy international airport compared to a small regional airport, with the latter been a more appropriate place to carry out AP off visual approaches. Again there's a time and a place for everything and as you say thatís where the decision making comes in to play. Again I maybe should have made that point more clear in my original post.

Last edited by big d1; 1st Aug 2010 at 19:05.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 19:28
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last time I checked, missed approach information was printed on the approach plate, so why do you need the FMS? oh yeah, this is the 21st century
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 19:39
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At my airline we are not allowed to engage LNAV for a go around or follow the FMS data. We have to fly it in raw data so it doesn't matter what is in the FMS.
So I guess you never go to airports with this kind of approach.
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