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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

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Continental TurboProp crash inbound for Buffalo

Old 1st Aug 2010, 22:39
  #2001 (permalink)  
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Correct we do not and can not in our Q400's in the outfit I work for. We do not have the approval from the authorities to do so. We can carry out the transion in LNAV e.g. into some of the airfields we fly into in Europe but the final approach must be either NDB, LOC, ILS VOR or visual, but NOT via an RNAV approach from the FMS. Would be nice if we could though.


I would completely agree with using all available resources. Nothing wrong with that. The point I was making is that it’s not the end of the world if you don't. You should be capable of flying an approach and go around if need be using all raw data, without the aid of an FMS. Provided you are not going to break any company rules in the process which in your case it seems you would have been. As you have pointed out yourself each company has its way of doing things. Your previous airline it was mandatory, my airline you are not allowed to. Im sure if your FMS decided to give up on you, you would have been able to carry out the MA using good old raw data, or would you have just given up? This was the point I was trying to make. Company rules aside, if a pilot starts to feel that he must have the FMS to back him up to feel comfortable (the example I gave a couple of posts ago) carrying out an approach then he has let his basic flying skills degrade, and I feel this is the result of the ever increasing amount of automation that we have to use and end up relying on too much.

One day someone may end up in a bit of a pickle and the key factor in it all may be the result of following the FMS blindly and not backing it up and noticing that it is wrong by using the raw data presented to them. Modern FMS are very accurate and smart, but it doesn't mean they can't go wrong, just means its less likely.

Last edited by big d1; 1st Aug 2010 at 23:26.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 23:10
  #2002 (permalink)  
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using all resources is just fine. but when someone has to discontinue ''flying the plane'' in order to press buttons, something is wrong.
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Old 1st Aug 2010, 23:41
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Couldn't agree more.

Going back to the Colgan air crash, this aircraft was lost because it was flown incorrectly during an attempt to recover from a low speed/stick shake situation and even stick push. Pilots are gradually loosing the ability to 'fly' the aircraft whether it be through poor training as was provided by Colgan air for the 2 pilots in question on their Q400 TR, or as we have discussed in the last couple of posts by becoming over reliant on automatics and FMS's.

This trend needs to be stopped and prevent further accidents such as this and the Turkish 737 into AMS from happening which were both perfectly avoidable.
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Old 2nd Aug 2010, 00:04
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I think most of us agree that pilots should have basic piloting abilities. Why let them lapse into button pushing autopilot flying abilities? It is unfortunately happening today with more pilots thinking that is the future. We need pilots that can fly without automation to keep us safe. Not all flights will have all automation working during a flight. When it fails you need to know how to continue the flight without it. We could dispatch with no autopilot when I was flying.
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Old 2nd Aug 2010, 00:07
  #2005 (permalink)  
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The new requirement is having an ATP (not just 1500 hours). The Capt went to Gulfstream, which is a B-1900 outfit, where you pay a bunch of money, go through their training, and then get 100? hours as an FO in the plane. They get very new guys.

So, if the new standards were in place, Gulfstream will not be able to do what they are doing, and the Capt may have never made it into Aviation. The 2nd airline the capt was hired into, he did not meet the ATP/1500 hour mins either....Colgan was his 3rd airline, I think...and same for the FO, as she was initally hired with very low time....they never could have gotten a start at a flying career the way they did after this new law goes into affect.

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Old 2nd Aug 2010, 00:33
  #2006 (permalink)  
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atpcliff, that's all well and good but he would've had his career hobbled because he didn't meet arbitrary minimum experience requirements not because he had a poor training record. How many good pilots would also have had their career stall if this was in place previously? It's no good putting rules like this in on the basis that it happens to prevent the odd bad pilot from getting through the system, you need to prevent them getting through the system by directly identifying that they are struggling and either providing support and further training or suggesting they might like to try a different line of work.

What's going to happen the next time an accident occurs and it was flown by pilots who had the minimum ATP and 1500 hours when they flew for their first airline? Is congress going to decide to up the hours to 2000?

Hours and experience are important and any particular pilot who has 1500 hours is probably better at flying than they were when they had 250 hours, BUT the Colgan captain made a fundamental error in stall recovery! It's not like anyone gets much experience at stall recovery while they're building their 1500 hours. I suspect that this Captain would've had the same incorrect response regardless of how many hours he had when he started. What was wrong was not his experience but his training.

Upping the minimum experience requirements is like mandating that no one is to drive red cars after a number of red cars crash. Completely misses the problem all together.
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Old 2nd Aug 2010, 03:51
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I fail to see how raising the bar to 1500 hours would've changed the outcome.
I agree, it's not the amount of time one logs but it's the training one receives. I think quality training is the foundation and should start with primary flight training. Unfortunately training standards from school to school are hard to enforce and can vary widely.
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Old 2nd Aug 2010, 15:22
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I do not claim to be, nor try to be an expert. I leave that to the "experts".

I was not claiming to "know" what happened. The NTSB have written down in their final report what they think were the probable cause of the crash. I was just repeating what they found. The action of the crew was the main cause of this crash. Our company following this accident mad all Q400 pilots carry out a stall exercise based on what happened that night. If flow correctly it is recoverable.

This is the Colgain air crash thread. Therefore when talking about the facts we are going to end up talking about the crew. We would have all liked it to have been different but there is no getting away from the facts. It is up to someone else to decide if the find these "enjoyable". I was just stating some facts not trying to upset or remind the crew's family of what happened that night. This is a thread to gain knowledge from and exchange views. Emotion should be put to one side.

I wish the family of the crew all the best for the future and would not wish their situation on anyone. What I do hope is that we, myself included learn from what happened that night and hopefully prevent the same thing happening again with such terrible loss of life, crew and passengers and people on the ground included.
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Old 8th Aug 2010, 14:26
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Does anyone know if the Colgan Air crew had seen the NASA video on tailplane icing?
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Old 8th Aug 2010, 14:32
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Old 8th Aug 2010, 18:28
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We need a regulation that requires pilots to be adequately trained and ensures the full development of the skill sets they will be required to use to accomplish EACH of the tasks that they are going to be expected to perform … such that the crew will be able to recognize developing circumstances that might or will require diligent application of those skills … and the training should include exposure to the various characteristics of the airplane they will be flying, recognizing the limitations of both the airplane and of themselves (never to exceed either), so that they will have a functioning knowledge of what to expect should the crew or the airplane get into some circumstance that is beyond what they would normally expect. Personally, I don’t care if that takes 250 hours or 2500 hours; and believe me, I’ve seen the results of the full spectrum of training requirements and have seen the resulting skill sets that made it out onto the line. Competence and professionalism are just what those titles indicate, and neither one comes at a specific milestone of “logged hours.” In fact, for some, it would seem that neither comes with ANY amount of “logged hours.” We all should be grateful for 2-person crews, the advancement of airplane technology, and the superb reliability of airplanes and airplane systems. But, I humbly believe it is way past time to start addressing the realities of the following:
1) the purpose of screening pilot applicants;
2) the content of training programs;
3) the competency achieved through that training; and
4) the true cost of such efforts.

We cannot continue to demand more and expect it to arrive with no additional effort or cost. We have to ensure that pilots have the knowledge to understand and correctly respond to situations that they’ve only read about or seen in a video. However, to be able to perform in those situations, the skill sets they have available to call on have to be present, they have to be accurate, and they have to be able to be used without having to analyze the structure of the developing situation and run through a mental checklist to decide what procedure should be followed … all of that can be said by saying we should expect the pilot to “FLY THE FRIGGIN’ AIRPLANE.”

One additional item ... I think its time for the world's regulators to step up to the plate and stop trying to "play nice" or "flex" their collective or individual "muscle." Regulations provide (or should provide) a minimum level of safety. But they also apply a level playing field - giving no one a clear advantage or having no one suffer under a discriminatory issue. We now seem to find ourselves wanting to find "evidence based training" and develop an "advanced qualification program," where everyone gets to develop training that is "specific to a particular operator" and doesn't have to be developed to address "requirements of the rest of the industry, when it doesn't apply to us." Hogwash. Pure and simple. Airplanes are airplanes. I can almost guarantee that not one airplane knows what colors are painted on its exterior and knows, therefore to handle or perform differently. Sure, there are airlines that have particular needs - perhaps high altitude airport operations ... fine ... they should be required to train for that - and not everyone should - again, fine ... put that into the regulatory structure. I completely agree that if we don't see engine failures at V1, we don't need to train for that eventuality ... but there isn't a whole plethora of issues that get into training programs today that are just not seen - ever - in day-to-day operations. Realistic, effective, logical, repetitive training - that demonstrates realistic, effective, logical, and professional behavior. Is there anything wrong with that?

Last edited by AirRabbit; 8th Aug 2010 at 18:50.
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Old 9th Aug 2010, 05:31
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Management have just about convinced themselves & the public that there is nothing special about airline pilots, that they are the same as bus drivers. On that basis they have cut pay, conditions & training almost to the bone. And they continue to this day to put downward pressure in these areas.

This accident is just an example of what can happen when you have 'bus drivers' in the front seats of an airliner. Airline pilots need training, experience & adequate rest. And they need reasonable pay & conditions, security & just a little respect for the profession.

The lesson won't be learnt though. Greed & short term thinking are major factors, but a major problem is that the new breed of 'know it all' hotshot airline management just don't know what they don't know. And they are not interested in finding out either.
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Old 9th Aug 2010, 05:42
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Unfortunately, it works just fine for actual bus drivers, driving buses. We routinely have flaming crashes of buses, often driven by elderly men who have fallen asleep at the wheel, or whatever permutation of incompetence you choose, and people continue to ride buses while assuming that their chauffeurs are skilled wheelmen, since the travel is cheap. Or, perhaps they continue to ride buses while knowing that their chauffeurs are no more skilled than is the average mom-with-three-jobs who drives a school bus. Again since the travel is cheap.

Unfortunately, anyone with a working understanding of the science of statistics knows that you can simply take your chances and you'll be fine.

It's indeed a shame.
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Old 9th Aug 2010, 07:23
  #2014 (permalink)  
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anyone with a working understanding of the science of statistics knows that you can simply take your chances and you'll be fine.
- an accurate summary of the philosophy of risk as applied by regulators, governments and accountants. Cost v lives.
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Old 9th Aug 2010, 11:06
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The arguments here about "flying the airplane", "button pushing", makes me wonder if people are flying full glass aircraft.
All nav info and freqs are accessed through the FMC. It's not available to do setup without said FMC as there are no damn knobs. So this idea of "all data is on the charts" doesn't mean sh@t if the only way to get info is through the FMC.
If runway is changed, I still need to 'button push" to get nav info, unless I'm a crusty old fart that really knows how to "hand fly". That is Old Iron mentality that works in old a/c.
So after you saved the day and and flew the visual to the parallel runway, now you GA and are expected to fly published MA. How's the nav setup? oh yeah, have to get it thru the FMC, so better get vector as I'm a dumbass and planned on landing.
I flew the old ones with knobs and flt eng and the new ones without either and planning is critical on these. Proper use of FMC sec flt plan will help as will briefing well prior to TOD, both of which are too often neglected.
Like it or not, modern day glass a/c require full knowledge of FMC and it's proper use.
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Old 9th Aug 2010, 11:51
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Originally Posted by poina
All nav info and freqs are accessed through the FMC. It's not available to do setup without said FMC as there are no damn knobs. So this idea of "all data is on the charts" doesn't mean sh@t if the only way to get info is through the FMC.
I am genuinely curious, what type are you referring to? The much belittled Airbus concept has all the raw data displays and knobs for chart-reading navigation. In fact, that's what properly trained pilots do all the time, even if they let the machine pre-select the frequencies automatically.

FD (the un-real)
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Old 9th Aug 2010, 12:13
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MD-11, yes you can hard tune vor/ils here also but all selection is through FMC controls. I flew A300/600 before with the knobs and found it much more sensible.
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