Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

EK407 Tailstrike @ ML

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

EK407 Tailstrike @ ML

Old 15th Apr 2009, 17:38
  #621 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: HKG
Posts: 1,391
I agree with you and have to say I'm very disappointed by the apparent lack of support by their colleagues on these threads.
I just hope its not representative of how they are actually being treated in DXB
BusyB is offline  
Old 15th Apr 2009, 18:53
  #622 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: a burst bubble.
Posts: 28
...I'm very disappointed by the apparent lack of support by their colleagues on these threads...

Well, it took me less than five minutes to pull these out:

have flown with the captain in the past. He is a reasonable and capable chap.Cut him some slack.The report will be published eventually.
We are all only as good as out last flight .. I have 5000 hours on the 330/345 and can understand why errors can be made from a pilots perspective that might lead to this event/similar
The jet is not fool proof as AB would have us believe.
Neither is the 777 that I fly now and there have been several cases of 'almost's' with that jet too.
I know at least one of the guys on the incident jet, and cannot be lead to believe that any errors would have been made without mitigating factors - as there always are.
I'm surprised that although most posters here like to be considered the "professionals" that this websites name implies, they are the first to draw guns against another pilot and/or the aeroplane.
Why are so many of us so damned willing - (indeed, almost tripping over ourselves in our eagerness to make our very own accusation)- to "eat our young" in situations such as these?
Posted mostly from EK crew I believe. There are more.

And the following might explain why there are relatively few posts like the above amongst the 30+/- pages:

It is certainly frustrating to see the same points and the same questions arise so early in the thread, when they have been dealt with in one form or another in earlier posts.
some real muppets on this thread..... v biased un-professional comments.
Other than the obviously informed comments here, the rest follows the usual pattern of nonsense we can all expect when reading of incidents and accidents.
brokenenglish is offline  
Old 15th Apr 2009, 19:40
  #623 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Gone Flying...
Age: 61
Posts: 274
In my airline, we prepare our T/OFF Perf. Page with the Estimated Take-Off Weight of our OFP while we have time and are not in a hurry to close doors.

We get an EZFW from our operations in order to correct our Fuel numbers (normally the maintenance guy is waiting for Captains finnal decision to complete the refueling process, that has stoped 2 tons before the initial estimated figure) as soon as we get to the aircraft. That estimate will show us a weight trend (compared to the TOW of the OFP).

When the Load Sheet arrives, the Captain dictates to the Co-Pilot the actual numbers. Actual numbers are therefore compared with the ones we have on our OFP and the Co-Pilot annouces to the Captain when entering the Actual ZFW on the FMGC, that we are "x Tons" below or above the EZFW of the Flight Plan. He goes to the RTOW's and finds the new V1, Vr, V2 and FLEX.

Closes the RTOW Book and hands it to the Captain. The Captain gives him a copy of the Load Sheet and finds his own speeds and Flex on the RTOW to compare with the ones just entered on the FMGC by the F/O.

During our Take-Off briefing we positively identify the aircraft we are flying that day. We fly 3 different types (lato sense) of aircraft: A340-300 and A330 PW or GE equipped (Different weights, different engines). As a general rule, it is a good help to check for two or three limitation items like MTOW, Max EGT, if that particular bird has Brake-Fans (or not) if it has Fuel Dump (or not). It helps you to sit in the right aircraft.

I understand that there is no panacea to avoid accidents. I'm very sorry for our colleagues.
aguadalte is offline  
Old 15th Apr 2009, 20:13
  #624 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: HKG
Posts: 1,391
Yes, there is a few in 638 posts. It would be nice to hear of a groundswell of support to keep them employed!
BusyB is offline  
Old 15th Apr 2009, 20:30
  #625 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: a burst bubble.
Posts: 28
It would be nice to hear of a groundswell of support to keep them employed
It would be a fine thing but any worthwhile action would likely lead to further job losses.

I guess you're not familiar with how things work in the Middle East. But your location suggests you are familiar with the 49ers.

Not everyone takes the moderate view however, the following was posted by a Training Captain at said airline on page 19 of this thread:
I have written several statements and cancelled/deleted them. I wait for the report , but if the guys in the 2 front seats used 100T too little in the comp then good luck in your future jobs but dont make it a career in aviation!!!

Last edited by brokenenglish; 15th Apr 2009 at 22:44.
brokenenglish is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2009, 02:10
  #626 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 665
Two more comments from earlier in the tread that I think many EK pilots would agree with.

I think there'd be very few professional pilots who would not say "that could never have happened to me", even with every safety measure known to man in place.

As someone has said before me, the two operating pilots, how ever badly they may - (stress, at this stage, may) - have screwed up initially, did an excellent job in revovering the aircraft from the initial situation and then getting it back on the ground in one piece without injuring anyone among their passengers and crew, (I'm sure very ably assisted by the B crew).

I'd like to think I would be able to half as good a job as they did after the initial problem reared its head and pray to God I never have to.

I think I speak for quite a few EK pilots when I say that I am deeply saddened if the story I have read here about the way the pilots were invited to resign is true. I would like to think that the management pilots who asked them to do so were doing so on orders from above and acting very much against their will.
Andu is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2009, 15:58
  #627 (permalink)  
Michael Birbeck
Posts: n/a
Msitakes (like that one) can ruin a career.

These posts bring to mind the tragic case of Glen Stewart who was prosecuted by the British CAA after a go around following an approach error at Heathrow. I guess all who read these forums know that Captain Stewart eventually committed suicide and the cause of aviation safety was not improved one jot by that prosecution. Better that a man like Glen Stewart (14000 hrs in command at the time) should have been around to tell up and coming pilots why that approach went wrong as opposed to drumming him out of the industry. We must admit that there are honest mistakes and that a mistake can be made by anyone at any time. We should live, learn and give a little, both in our attitudes and the skills we can impart to others in whatever walk of life we are in. Some understanding for the guys in this case might not go amiss.
Old 17th Apr 2009, 08:37
  #628 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: europe
Posts: 9
Probably one of the most powerful learning techniques is putting a good man in front of a group of peers and have him explain how he came to make a mistake. Organize a structured discussion on the contributing factors and possible mitigating measures. We then all walk away more aware and safer.
Lifting the maker of an honest mistake out of the system and dumping him/her by the wayside will have no beneficial effects whatsoever. Quite the contrary. It demonstrates short term focus and a lack of vision and commitment to systematically improve an operation. Not to mention the destruction of a transparent reporting culture.
sevenfoursharer is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 01:59
  #629 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Accruing MilliSiverts
Posts: 531
Michael Birbeck - quite right and well put.

For airlines to sack/force pilots involved in incidents such as this to resign will do nothing. Perhaps this is the aviation equivalent of lashing a muslim woman because she has been seen in the company of another man. Primitive and ultimately ineffective.

Certainly some retraining and perhaps even disciplinary action may be justified but how will sweeping this matter under the carpet by terminating those involved in any way rectify human-factors based errors?

It never will and employers who use such tactics are simpletons.

Unfortunately their human factors based errors (poorly planned expansion, dismal fuel hedging plans, engaging in illegal freight cartels etc)rarely physically injure people, these employers just tootle off to the next company willing to pay impressive bonuses etc.

About time sime mature and forward-looking tactics were used to try to counter such errors rather than this primitive foolishness.
Al E. Vator is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 04:08
  #630 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 41S174E
Age: 54
Posts: 2,766
their human factors based errors (poorly planned expansion, dismal fuel hedging plans, engaging in illegal freight cartels etc)rarely physically injure people,
I've often wondered if they do injure people .
Here's one example, if an airline schedules a half hour turn-around that can't be met due to taxi times etc, and the crew are always under pressure to depart on time, and one day a crew make a mistake entering data or taxiing or selecting flap or whatever.....isn't that directly a result of poor management? ie if they had an extra 15mins up their sleeve they most certainly wouldn't have felt rushed etc. I think that the workload and pressures in this job are increasing, while the working conditions and remuneration are slipping, and pilots being pilots, cover it up as best they can in their natural desire to perform efficiently.
framer is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 06:42
  #631 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Berkshire
Age: 53
Posts: 8

"For airlines to sack/force pilots involved in incidents such as this to resign will do nothing. Perhaps this is the aviation equivalent of lashing a muslim woman because she has been seen in the company of another man. Primitive and ultimately ineffective."

You're missing the point. The pilots, it seems, made type of dog-up. That cock-up almost resulted in a major disaster. and apparently wrote off an aircraft. Everyone can learn from it but there's no way they can keep their jobs after that. We all make mistakes and we can all sympathise but there are mistakes and there are mistakes if you know what I mean.

From a line manager's perspective, the confidence is blown and the trust is gone. From a senior management perspective they're looking at two chaps who almost cost them their airline.
fastrobert is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 08:06
  #632 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Away
Posts: 300
I tend to feel the same way that there are accidents, and there are accidents. Yet in the drive to remain united as a pilot group, there is pressure to stay with the party line that this could have happened to anyone, therefore the pilots should remain onboard.

As pilots, does anyone seriously expect to remain part of the team if allowing a breakdown in procedure and safety resulting in not just a gross error, which is pardonable, but damage, which is not?

Wilful errors are violations of law. We're not talking about those, which are instances that usually validate instant dismissal. Next down the chain are unwitting errors, which are just that. They are not violations, and would not validate instant dismissal.

Nonetheless, unwitting errors made by a new First Officer are unacceptable in the grading system we use, and will inhibit a First Officer's promotion. We all know this to be true. Been there, done that perhaps.

I suspect we all agree that this was an unwitting error, by a crew, not an individual, and the issue of how it transpired is becoming a question of systemic error or operator error.

For those not in the know, systemic errors are system-based, suggesting the system needs to be changed to capture the error. Operator errors, on the other hand, require further training. Or not, if the error is gross enough.

'There go I but for the grace of God' as a logical approach to this issue just doesn't cut it for me. 'I could have made a mistake like this' is also limited in usefulness. Both are perfectly true statements, but they are not the basis of training a pilot group to ensure accidents don't happen.

Shit does happen.

In the Turkish accident thread, few of the more experienced pilots suggest allowing the pilots in that accident, were they alive, the privilege of retaining their jobs. Why was this accident any different? How? It wasn't systemic, but operator-induced.

Pilots have a very big responsibility involving, amongst many other things, ensuring all errors along the chain are captured and either mitigated or erased so as to have little or no impact on the safety of the operation. That's a big task, and if it means taking off 22 minutes late, so be it.

In the rough and tumble of life, to ignore this truth (at least as I see it) is to ignore reality and, to follow on, what comes with it.

Don't lose sight of the ball.
4PW's is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 10:22
  #633 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: i don't know
Posts: 320
I could agree with the above, however up to a certain point only.
Operator error is certainly present here, but to dismiss systemic error is wrong. As long as only the first and most serious error is looked at, the dismissal of the crew might be sustained. But we have to look further and check if any systemic error contributed or lead to the operators one.
Not pretending all the factors contributed here, we nevertheless have to check:
- fatigue
- distraction in cockpit preparation
- bad place/rest/implementation management for augmenting crew
- company stress (multiple factors)
- MFF problems
- (others I might forgot)

If eventually there are contributing factors, then not only the crew have to brunt consequences, but the company just as much.
If there is no other outcome than losing collegues, if there is no improvement of some blatant shortcomings of EK, then all will remain a farce. One we have seen too many times alredha, ehh, sorry, already.
GMDS is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 10:50
  #634 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK-at times
Posts: 16
Everyone can learn from it but there's no way they can keep their jobs after that.....
Some really good points made, but...............
-do the medical profession castigate for a single, catastrophic failure? Nup- have medicos in the family and this doesn't happen -to this extent at least.
-do the banking/corporate sector sanction error-prone members (no comment required)
-do airline CEO's suffer exile for poor performance and repeated examples of bad judgement? Aahm- do I have to supply names here
-the list goes on.
The critical issue is whether the cause is rationally judged as systemic or otherwise.
Pre-departure cockpit mayhem is something I've watched in Europe for 10+ years of a 30 year career and the common thread to my objection is- 'that's just the way it is!'
I can rest assured there will be some changes resulting from this event-all for the better we hope.
Keep their jobs?
Yes-in an appropriate capacity-because they remain professionals who, we assume, on the day, were striving for a vastly better result.
Word of mouth says the PF did a very cool job trading speed/height until climb away was initiated(that would be an unknown V2).
And- simmers and locomotive drivers/spotters- don't bother replying.....
please re-visit the PPRuNe acronym....-and go back to your day jobs!
No offence intended- but discussing peoples careers is inappropriate unless you are in the industry
vino is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 11:12
  #635 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Away
Posts: 300
You are perfectly correct.

There are many issues involved, and I'm not aware of the intrinsic complications in the EK operation over and above what is obvious. It is very hard, perhaps impossible, for an outsider to make an assessment of the what, where, how and why of this accident. However, there has been an accident.

Whether or not external issues are involved is perhaps where the upcoming Commander's meeting for EK dudes might provide a useful forum. Certainly more so than this one. I hope they are in a position to take up arms against what seems to be a common foe for all pilots in that company, not just Commanders.

It appears, repeating, appears to be an operator error. If that were the case, dismissal is what I would prepare for. The horror of being in such a position must be pretty tough. Which is probably why there's been a lot of responses on the forum. Who would want that to be thrown on a friend or colleague?

No-one, which brings to mind some final points, for me at least:

1. Don't misunderstand the risks involved in being a pilot.

2. Recognise the absolutely critical nature of takeoffs and landings.

3. Force yourself to be sharp in those phases, even if fatigued.

4. Rid the flight deck of identifiable distractions, period.

5. Rest well as you can in the cruise.
4PW's is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 11:30
  #636 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Away
Posts: 300
I've re-read my last post and hope it's not taken out of context.

My focus is on how I will capture the errors on my next start up, taxi out, departure, climb, cruise, descent, landing and shutdown at the gate.

Regarding doctors, bankers & other professionals: guess you may be right in that sense.
4PW's is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 11:46
  #637 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK-at times
Posts: 16
yep-you got the gist of what I am saying.
I think it's an interesting mix of culture, machine and money at the moment.
As I imminently approach an Airbus conversion, I'm even more interested when Mr Cock-up comes knocking!
Just because -I don't have the warm blanket of familiarity to protect me.
And, sorry, we are now way off thread....
vino is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 13:42
  #638 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 459
Lets say crew noticed problem during the early part of the take off run and applied TOGA or stopped and aircraft was not damaged.

1. would they have been sacked/asked to leave ?

I think some of the last 10 posts or so have the correct views on learning and not having the blame culture.

Blame culture just watches time pass by, every event that is not reported and thus not understood/learnt is just the sort of building blocks needed to have a (Blame Culture) Accident.

F1 champ Lewis trashed my car | The Sun |News

The above link shows even the best of us can get it wrong from time to time !
Joetom is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 14:14
  #639 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 99

you mencioned the tragic Glen Stewart case.

Does anyone have a copy of the excellent "Pilot" magazine article on his story?

TO MEMO is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2009, 18:36
  #640 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gulf playing Golf
Posts: 1,141
Bla bla bla... what a lot of fertilizer in this thread. Expert my.....bla bla bla
Bottom line is.
One pilot made a calculation mistake
The other didnt catch it.
6 or 7 people in the cockpit IS distracting..
At high speed they realized it.
Their flying skills and experience safe their lives...and a bunch of others.
Anyone could the made the first mistake.
Not all pilots could have safed it afterwards.
Hope they left with big cheques in their pockets to keep quite

Good wind and gods speed to the crew.....
Payscale is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.