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Emirates A345 Tail Strike Captain breaks his silence

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Emirates A345 Tail Strike Captain breaks his silence

Old 20th Jul 2009, 09:26
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someone mentioned its 14hrs enroute, so the crew should divide that 14hrs into 2, as they can not operate, by regulation, more than 10hrs or more than 12hrs for some. So the 2nd half of the flight will be by the 'augmenting' crew.
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 09:57
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"After already the second similar incident, they had to blame the pilots."

The other incident was not take off weight, but the unstick technique, AFAIK.
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 10:08
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So, someone tell me...

just how does the 'augmenting crew, augment' (add)...

to the operation?
I hope this helps to understand augmented crew in a more simpler way.

Augmenting crew:

Long haul sectors two man crew over 7 hours:-

When a flight is scheduled for more than more than say 7 hours with two man crew, a multi sector table is used which all depends on the sign on to duty time. This may mean that a single sector for two man crew showed a duty of say 11:15, however, as the scheduled flight is over 7 hours, a multiple sector of 3 on the table used. This then reduces the two man operation to say 9:30, which would prevent a two man crew doing a 9:45 sector, THEREFORE, the Company arranges a 3rd pilot on the flight deck, which eliminates the clause of a two man operations and now the operation retains its original 11:15 operating AND NO ONE relieves NO ONE.

It is not requirement to relieve anyone. This 3rd pilot acts like and old flight engineer sitting sideways in a 3 man crew operation. If it is a first office being augmented, then he may relieve the F/O, but is is not a requirement. The captain will sit the entire flight without being relieved as it is not a requirement and visa versa if it was another captain being called out on the augmented crew.

In short, Augmented crew just relieves the table from being seen as a multiple entry and shortened duty, but no one is required to leave the cockpit for rest anywhere or at anytime.

In-flight relief is something different which is used to extend the 11:15 duty, thus by now resting the 3rd man in a bunk or cabin seat.

Last edited by Jetjock330; 20th Jul 2009 at 14:30.
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 10:41
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Augmented crew also discussed previously,
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 11:04
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on most flights, i have noticed skippers keeping the loadsheet to themselves, as if to protect the crown jewels. rarely do they xcheck the numbers on a manual loadsheet, and even rarer, is there an attempt to concur or physically show the f/o, the numbers in question. mostly he will blurt out the numbers, followed by the f/o calculating the required data. the pressure on making schedule plays a part too as invariably, the loadsheet appears a minute or two before departure time. lmc's notwithstanding, there is a general rush to close the doors and get going.

unless there is a strong SOP, a mistake can be made at the 3 areas of required reference, namely the loadsheet, rtow charts/opt (on board performance tool), or FMC insertion.
and the unfortunate recipent of any penalty is quite correctly, the professional who signs above the dotted line. the buck has got to start, or stop somewhere.
True, the loadsheet appears just minutes before pushback, but the numbers are already briefed and shown to the operating crew one hour, maybe more, before they enter the aircraft, as all of this are also in their FPL. Also, it's true the PIC signed all the required docs, yet copies are also provided for all other crew.
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 11:45
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard that Emirates does the performance calculation with the help of lap tops. They only use one when there are two available (spare). I've flown the A-320 and we used both laptops where at the same time the captain and the co-pilot independantly performed the calculations with data obtained from the load sheet and the ATIS. Then the FMS (performance part) was programmed by the captain and again checked by the co pilot. Seems to me that there something wrong with the SOP's regarding performance calculation and data entry. Still, also on the 747-400 it is possible to insert the ZFM where the GW should be entered, and although equiped with a Mass an Balance system (ERF) there is no comparison to trigger an alert should faulty entries be made. Hope you did the maths with the proper GW so you "önly" end up with wrong speeds but thank god with the right amount of thrust. It happens more often then described in this thread that a take off is made with faulty numbers punched in the box. It can happen to all of us, hope the emirates crew will be allright regarding there jobs careers etc. Good luck to all of them.
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 12:17
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Similar incident - did Thomson fire their pilots also or deal with it differently?

Crew's data-entry error led to laboured 767 take-off: inquiry
David Kaminski-Morrow, London (20Jul09, 12:24 GMT, 233 words)

Incorrect data entry during take-off calculations has been identified as the reason that a Thomson Airways Boeing 767-300 laboured to become airborne from Manchester last year, and suffered a tail-strike in the process.

After receiving the loadsheet the crew had inadvertently entered the zero-fuel weight, about 118t, into the computer-based system for calculating take-off speeds, instead of the proper figure of 172t.

This data-entry error, says the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch, would have generated "significantly slower" take-off speeds than required. The calculated velocity for rotation was 21kt lower than the true figure.

During the take-off roll for the flight to Montego Bay, however, the captain felt the aircraft might be heavier than calculated, and delayed the 'V1' call by around 10-15kt after sensing "sluggish" acceleration.

Nevertheless, as the aircraft rotated, its tailskid struck the runway. The captain - while not the flying pilot - applied full power. In response to a brief stick-shaker activation, the co-pilot reduced pitch and the 767 climbed away safely, although the crew opted to dump fuel and return to Manchester.

The AAIB indicates that the crew may have been distracted by taxiway works in progress at Manchester as well as time pressures from a 15min pushback delay.

Since the 13 December incident, it adds, Thomson Airways has instructed pilots to extract take-off weight data from loadsheets independently, and reminded crews that checking loadsheets for "gross errors" remains "good practice".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news
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Old 20th Jul 2009, 12:56
  #128 (permalink)  
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To follow on from a few previous posts (and will require input from Emirates pilots as the ones in the know);
- there were 4 qualified, paid-as-professional pilots in the flight deck, yes??
- Emirates as procedure (and legally as per their rules and regs) expects the additional crew to sit there, shut up and do/say nothing??
- do Emirates P&P manuals/Ops manuals have any directions/notations about qualified crew, if not operating but in the cockpit during prep and takeoff, having no part or, more importantly, being forbidden from ever speaking as they are not the "official crew" for that portion of the flight??
- do Emirates P&P manuals/Ops manuals require the PIC/Captain as part of his total crew brief to tell augmenting crew, who are seated in the cockpit although they are only augmenting crew (augmenting the take-off?? just how exactly??) to sit down and shut-up...just in case they say something that resonates and turns a possible disaster into an oversight that was corrected...but might create a duty limit problem??

Just asking - and not that evil word 'RESPONSIBILITY' anywhere insight until 4 words ago!

GMDS - love your "sublime wisdom" lead-ins, go over the top of some in general, over the top of most yanks, damn fine job there!!
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Old 21st Jul 2009, 03:38
  #129 (permalink)  
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More people WILL die untill the lawsuits get to expensive, only then will the airlines/goverments change the rest requirements................. it's a problem anywhere in the world, not just in the UAE.
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Old 21st Jul 2009, 05:43
  #130 (permalink)  
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Has the aircraft reached Toulouse? Anyone have any idea of how much fuel they burned getting there?


Edited to add: Jetjock330, your summation of three pilot ops may be true for airlines like SQ, (where with only one captain on board, he must remain in the seat at all times except for short "physiological breaks").

However, in EK, FOs are checked out for cruise PNF duties from the left seat and the captain can leave the cockpit to take his rest - (in the 777, in the roof and about as far from the cockpit as it's possible to be, and not a lot less remote from the cockpit in the 345), leaving the FO occupying the RHS in charge.

The captain MUST in fact take his rest in the very remote location, as he is forbiddden from taking it in an empty seat in Business of First Class, probably because the company would get only 1/3rd the rest taken in credit to extend the flight duty rather than 1/2 the rest time for rest taken in a bunk.

At least one of the FOs took great exception to some captains suggesting that having the only captain on board, (in some non normal situations, almost certainly not able to get back to the cockpit for quite some time if at all), might not be an ideal situation. He felt this was an insult to his and his colleagues' professionalism.

(The FO who made that comment on the company chat site is a captain now. I'd be interested to know whether a year or so in the LHS has changed his then very strongly held opinions on the subject.)

Last edited by MTOW; 21st Jul 2009 at 06:02.
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Old 22nd Jul 2009, 05:28
  #131 (permalink)  
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A/C is in TLS and a.f.a.i.k. the entire tail section (from the rear production join) is being replaced, including the rear pressure bulkhead.

I heard (from a reliable source in eng.) the plane was fully fueled with approx. 204 tons of fuel before the transit to DXB. Dunno how much it burned en-route. Dunno how much fuel it had when transiting from DXB to TLS

This will cost EK a few Dirhams...!
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Old 22nd Jul 2009, 08:22
  #132 (permalink)  
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Concerning this FO and his feeling insulted or how strong he feels as skipper today:

It has been discussed ad infinitum and has nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with FO's capacities and how they or others feel about it - please!
The only and most important issue here is, that EKs FOM states that under certain emergencies the captain HAS TO BE IN THE LHS and consequently how and whom the ratpack of lawyers will sue in a incident where the skipper could not make it to the cockpit due to our mighty managers foresight to place us in a coffin, some 100 meters away from the grandstand with 350 panicking passengers in between.
The skipper signed responsible for the whole flight. Now just who will be held by the ba;;s in front of the judge with any screw up? Will EK back you up??
The answer lies in MEL ....
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Old 23rd Jul 2009, 10:00
  #133 (permalink)  
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Should have........

Easy to say Cactus.....have you been there? - Other than maybe in a SIM?
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Old 23rd Jul 2009, 15:09
  #134 (permalink)  
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it was good reaction
try to be more perfect
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Old 23rd Jul 2009, 16:38
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204 tons?

Desert thingy ... Max TCAP on a 345 is in the high 170s. The other 30 tons might have been high octane duty free items?
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Old 23rd Jul 2009, 19:32
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The pilots involved with the Manchester incident were given more training on the computerised take-off performance then some line training. They are now back at work.

A more enlightened management!
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Old 23rd Jul 2009, 21:00
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Just two type of persons will point fingers to the unfortunate Captain:

Those who don`t fly and those who fly but are stupid.

The problem is that pilots are the cheapest part of the system.

When a pilot doesn`t die in an accident or incident , investigation will kill him.
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Old 23rd Jul 2009, 21:53
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He said he had been in Melbourne for 24 hours before his flight.

If he was in Melbourne 24 hours before, why just 3 hours sleep?
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Old 24th Jul 2009, 05:40
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GMDS, I suspect you misread what I was trying to say. In short, I believe we both hold exactly the same opinions of TC's rather 'unusual' decision to put the resting crew about as far away from the cockpit as is possible, particlarly with EK's use of a three man crew.

No reflection on the abilities of my FOs, but I pray to God I never find myself the bunny who's signed for the aircraft and unable to get back to the cockpit until it's far too late to have any say in what immediate course of action should be taken after a major emergency.

There's only one thing certain: some poor sod of an EK captain WILL one day find himself in that situation, as sure as God made little apples.

Oh, and of course the other certainty - that the outcome, if not perfect, will be 'spun' to high heaven by the EK PR machine to ensure no ca ca adheres to EK. I leave it to the imagination of the reader as to who the ca ca will therefore be stuck to.
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Old 24th Jul 2009, 06:47
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Originally Posted by Cornelis
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard that Emirates does the performance calculation with the help of lap tops. They only use one when there are two available (spare).
that changed rapidly after the accident - now two are used and cross-checked.
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