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

Emirates A345 Tail Strike Captain breaks his silence

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

Emirates A345 Tail Strike Captain breaks his silence

Old 16th Jul 2009, 15:09
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: EGNX
Posts: 1,189
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Super pilot

I don't even think the plane would have to weigh itself. It could assume say an 80% load factor at x kg per pax, it knows the empty weight and it can work out the fuel weight so there could easy be a query raised if the entered weight is out by 100 tonnes.

The largest factor in varying the aircraft's weight is the fuel as most large aircraft usually fly reasonably full.
Doors to Automatic is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 15:13
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A simple backup system perhaps?

PPL(H) and frequent SLF alert....

I don't know anywhere near enough about the systems on modern tin but, would it be possible to calculate, to an acceptable limit of error, how fast the aircraft should be going at pre-set distances down the rwy? It should be with known characteristics of the tin, known thrust, known weight and known ambients?

What I'm thinking is, the FMC calculate 22kts at 100m, 57 kts at 200m etc etc. If you could check actual airspeed at preset points and those preset points were precisely known, then if you arrived at 500m doing 87kts when the FMC says you should be doing 97kts, then you know something is amiss and make the call with plenty of time to call stop or take some other action.

I'm also assuming that in general, the only speed checks are rudder alive, 80kts, v1 and vr?

If that's so, then there are all kinds of possible solutions, one of which would be cheap and easy..

How about marker boards at the side of the rwy, every 100m to 500m then every 500m (or whatever)? The FMC gives several checks, aa kts at xx mtrs, bb kts at yy mtrs and cc kts at zz mtrs. You simply call out the ASI at those points and.....

Or to get technical (and more costly) those boards could be electronic displays programmed by the a'craft at the threshold via a transponder (perhaps the existing transponder could be enhanced to do this?) - at board 1, I should be doing xx kts etc.

Or, you could remove any outside dependency and use the ILS localizer back course to measure progress, in terms of distance down the r'wy...

Or, a simple metre (or yard) counter on the nose wheel.

And a bunch of other increasing complexity, risk and cost solutions but the marker boards should be cheap and cheerful.

Am I missing something? Do I need to get my coat?

Cheers
Simonta is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 15:24
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Herts, UK
Posts: 748
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Am I missing something? Do I need to get my coat?
Too messy..

A stopwatch started at brakes-off and speed check or two should do it - as long as you exclude the use of calculated weight for those figures, so they should be ballpark minima based on runway length KISS

There's probably a dozen ways to catch this, as a final backstop, including better SOPs when Flex is set.
In this case I'd say the laptop calculation check routines were crap, and not progarmmed by an aviation engineer who'd have all the 'what ifs' well lined up before coding a single line!
HarryMann is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 18:03
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In the torpedo tube above!
Posts: 203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rubik & VR-HFX,
I have flown a large number of modern state of the art wide bodies and ALSO some jurrasic narrowbodies.We must remember here that these modern jets are designed to calculate the MINIMUM thrust setting required for the actual aircraft weight,field conditions(length,condition etc),enviornmental conditions etc etc.This MINIMUM thrust setting gives u V speeds for that PARTICULAR field,assuming that THAT field is now a balance field.These are near optimum speeds.Therefore,with correct data entered u will have a V1 speed with just enough runway left to stop should u decide to stop.Same again for all weights.So a miscalculation of say 100T would NOT dramatically affect the V speeds rather would affect the thrust setting to a MUCH greater degree.Cause u simply wouldnt rachieve the calculated V1 by the determined point as per the computers.Only option would be apply max available thrust or TOGA.Now here's what i wonder.I wonder if application or TOGA would give him the absolute maximum thrust or the maximum derated thrust.And then how does one get absolute max thrust in a case like this.
Well,just to make my point,therefore this concept of 'ballpark' V1 speeds just wont work in a modern airplane like say the A345 or for that matter a 777 too.The speeds for say 350T would be very close to those for 250T for the same runway and conditions.The thrust setting however would change dramatically.Which is exactly what happened in MEL.
Like I say,
My 2 cents worth
Flaperon777 is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 19:32
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the Old Folks' Home
Posts: 416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How About Flying the Airplane?

I have a friend who kissed the tail on a widebody Boeing a few years ago with the 100K error. He was on a long runway and knew something was amiss at the attempted rotation. He lowered the nose slightly and tried again and it flew off with a flat spot on the tailskid.
At least, there is someone out there who actually flies the airplane instead of just jerking on the yoke at some pre-determined airspeed. It probably would have saved SPANAIR at Madrid.
Smilin_Ed is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 19:38
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the Old Folks' Home
Posts: 416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Time Distance Checks

I don't know anywhere near enough about the systems on modern tin but, would it be possible to calculate, to an acceptable limit of error, how fast the aircraft should be going at pre-set distances down the rwy?
As a military pilot I did this repeatedly over a 20 year career. One problem is that many civilian fields don't have the distance markers that are on all (U.S) military fields. Nevertheless, I considered it mandatory for all high-temperature/high-altitude/heavy-weight (or all of the above) takeoffs. If you don't have a certain speed by some predetermined distance to go, you stop and find out what's wrong.
Smilin_Ed is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 20:06
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Top Bunk
Posts: 220
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just musing here. Were the crew ccq'd?
330/340 might explain a lot
45989 is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 21:13
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: hong kong
Age: 48
Posts: 116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Crew fatigue

I had a check ride that really needed to be done (GA). I paid for the examiner to attend twice. The first time,I had missed a connecting flight and was shattered when I arrived at the field. I called it off despite the expense. On the second occasion I called it of because I had collected food poisoning in the Philippines. On both occasions, despite the cost ( and in Asia the loss of face), I was in no position to perform as I should have and had no option but to cancel. I have massive sympathy for skilled aviators (especially so called Captains) who feel the urge to bow to corporate pressure and fly ac when unfit to do so.

My heart goes out to the crew involved. No one makes deliberate mistakes in the cockpit. We all fly to the best of our abilities.
subsonicsubic is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 21:13
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: flyover country USA
Age: 80
Posts: 4,579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you don't have a certain speed by some predetermined distance to go, you stop and find out what's wrong.
An old colleague once flew B-47's and B-52's - That was their SOP.

Now, with INS/IRS onboard, the raw data (from accelerometers) is already there. Unfortunately, it's not displayed to pilots - only to accident investigators.
barit1 is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 22:53
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 459
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many many examples of aircraft in poor config, power/flaps/trim etc etc, learning should be the nbr 1, but blame often wins, that blame is more horrible than anyone i know.
.
Humans make mistakes, the crew did a super job from prob point, well done to them, cheers.....
Joetom is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 23:36
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,899
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
At least, there is someone out there who actually flies the airplane instead of just jerking on the yoke at some pre-determined airspeed. It probably would have saved SPANAIR at Madrid.
I sure agree with you on this one. Some of the sim folks seem to teach a 2g pull at liftoff to reach target climb speed because it works in the sim. I always rotate a little slow, try gently adjust for the wind and am in no great hurry to yank the plane into the air unless the runway is short.
Airbubba is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2009, 23:45
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the Old Folks' Home
Posts: 416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SOP

An old colleague once flew B-47's and B-52's - That was their SOP.
I have a tiny bit of time in the B-47. It was SOP for every takeoff, regardless of conditions.
Smilin_Ed is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 00:36
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK.
Posts: 4,391
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you don't have a certain speed by some predetermined distance to go, you stop and find out what's wrong.
An old colleague once flew B-47's and B-52's - That was their SOP.
Yes, as I said, same check as V Force (p.s. the guys in black suits were coming for someone else so it's OK.)

This incident reminds me of an occasion when we set the correct thrust but my Vr bug was 10kn less then that of the FO. His was correct. I was PH. Company SOP was if no 'Rotate' call then rotate as bugged. I did a VERY SLOW rotate halfway through which FO (very competent and experienced) calls "Rotate"

Nothing like as serious as setting wrong thrust but we both learnt about cross checking and FO learnt 'don't trust captains no matter how experienced they are'.
Basil is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 01:04
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK/OZ
Posts: 1,853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
how many $$$ are saved?

What is the a typical $$$ saving gained per takeoff by using reduced thrust?


Mickjoebill
mickjoebill is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 01:15
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Reading
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pardon me for butting in, as a lowly Cabin Crew member,.........but, if the Captain had only had 3 1/2 hours sleep, which admittedly can happen on occasions on long-haul, surely you should either 'go sick', complaining of 'fatigue'......... or raise the point with your colleagues, and make sure you all triple check everything. Or is that being too idealistic?
Andyismyname is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 02:51
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Zealand
Age: 36
Posts: 247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The whole thing makes me angry, and I can see why it often takes an accident (LAX 727 for TCAS etc) to force changes to the industry. As mentioned before the fact that the crew we instantly dismissed is mind boggling. They screwed up, but they also just managed to save the aircraft and passengers. More important than pointing fingers would be to have a discussion like there is above about how to avoid this happening. Its already been suggested that they crew should be used for their experience to construct a system to avoid this sort of thing, and that sort of pro-active response would seem logical to me.
When the airline has a PIC with 3.5 hours sleep to their name there are more at fault than the crew (despite this being common from what I hear).
I know that if I had a problem in my infinity smaller/slower/easier Piper Arrow and I'd only slept a couple hours it'd quite possibly end poorly.
Aerozepplin is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 03:22
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When the airline has a PIC with 3.5 hours sleep to their name there are more at fault than the crew
Nonsense.
The Captain had plenty of time, provided by the company, to rest/sleep.
IF he did not use the time effectively, he pays the price...and he did.
411A is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 03:35
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Thailand
Posts: 942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flaperon 777. Sir, you are talking nonsense. you argue that the speeds would not vary so much to be very noticeable, hidden by the different power settings for take off power.
On a dry runway, in still air at ISA, the difference in V1 for the 737-800 with Flaps five, using the same proprtional difference as the event on the A340, is 121 kts as against 143kts. I wouldn't spot the difference? Then I shouldn't be there.
Reduced or derated power is a red herring of no relevance in this argument.
rubik101 is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 03:56
  #59 (permalink)  
bpp
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Diego, CA., USA
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
runway distance markers, built in weight and balance systems....how about using your approved company procedures! I believe the report stated they missed the weight problem numerous times. Why do we always make excuses for people not doing their jobs? As far as sleeping only 3 1/2 hours, I aggree with 411A on this one.
bpp
bpp is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2009, 04:23
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West Yorkshire Zone
Posts: 976
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But the 'Eggsperts' would say that 'Technically' the pilot would have not been asleep for the 3.5 hours or whatever it was?

Read in the past that there is a timespan before you actually are in sleep mode.

So the pilot would have maybe had less than 3 hours sleep?

Add to that a previous busy sector, A possible rush on the slot time etc, And a 'Rather' long A/c to handle on T/o.

The only person/s who know EXACTLY what went wrong were the crew on the day.

Any other speculation is inevident & meaningless.

And reading some of the previous posts, It is just pure drivel!!

The pilot obviously knew he was tired, So technically should have informed EK asap.

Maybe he did inform EK, But they pushed him around in his wheel 'Again' for another long day's work?

It sounds like EK washed their hands of the pilots as soon as they discovered it was pilot error/fatigue?

Getting rid of them before the media call round.....

But simply getting rid of the pilots who used their training and saved the lives of 280 and a bill pound A345 does not solve the problem.

Maybe if EK concentrated their time & money on their Flight crews instead of their 'OTT Cabin crews' who you see on their OTT adverts are NOTHING more special than any other Airline (They will disagree) then incidents like this may be preventable.

It's common knowledge that when you are in the middle east expect to come 2nd place to a lady!!

So guys if you ever have to repeat this incident - Don't expect ANY form of thank you for it!!

Arabs - They never change their stripes!! Lol.
BYALPHAINDIA is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.