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

Airblue down near Islamabad

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

Airblue down near Islamabad

Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:16
  #81 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: My Stringy Brane
Posts: 379









Machaca is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:23
  #82 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Age: 65
Posts: 294
Airblue down near Islamabad

Yes, the FO wouldn' t challenge the experienced Captain; as well he would be a bit " young " in commercial flights to fully assess the danger of the situation.

That's a bit of an assumption. Depends on the FO, how precocious and his relationship with the Captain -- and his training, of course. 'tis FO's training to 'challenge'.

I really think that there might be more to this than meets the eye. This is a modern a/c flown by seemingly experienced crew.

We know that the a/c has an excellent safety record
We have no (obvious) reason to doubt the ability of Captain and FO
We know (at the time of my writing) little about the instructions from ATC
While this forum is all about speculation and so on, I can't see how anyone at this stage can do more than share local knowledge, a/c knowledge and maybe aircrew knowledge.

But accidents do happen -- to the best of us.
Lemain is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:46
  #83 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 33
Are you sure you are quoting me, Sir?

I did not know the DME arc is 12 miles but you may be right. I still don't know if he was approaching 30 or circling for 12. The charts we have here are all for 30. I was hoping someone could find the circling approach to 12. I know there is the back-course (back-beam?) to 12.

I am sure he got a terrain warning -- maybe right after ATC warned him. He apparently said he had the field in sight. He should have been looking at the Margall hills on his right! But we know what happens. Your first reaction to the EGPWS is disbelief (so it must be a false warning); then you wait another five second almost frozen; then you execute an insufficiently aggressive GA and don't clear the ridge-line.
Meekal is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:49
  #84 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 33
Sorry. I did not say. My post was addressed to BOAC.
Meekal is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:51
  #85 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Age: 65
Posts: 294
Airblue down near Islamabad

I am sure he got a terrain warning

Sure? Certain? Would you stake your life on that statement? Equipment failure does happen -- or might be swamped by a whole raft of other information and detail.

Could be that the Captain had a stroke or a heart attack -- Think Staines. Far too early to be sure, yet.
Lemain is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:54
  #86 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UTC +8
Posts: 2,619
Angry Lemain . . .

"We have no (obvious) reason to doubt the ability of Captain and FO"
But yes we do! . . . because the aeroplane would not steer itself off course and into the side of a hill.
GlueBall is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 19:54
  #87 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: No one's home...
Posts: 416
Mekal wrote
Maybe he ignored them. That's what you are inclined to do if you have 30,000 hours
Really? I think we disagree. Most of the high time guys I know are not inclined to ignore things.

I am sure he got a terrain warning -- maybe right after ATC warned him. He apparently said he had the field in sight. He should have been looking at the Margall hills on his right! But we know what happens. Your first reaction to the EGPWS is disbelief (so it must be a false warning); then you wait another five second almost frozen; then you execute an insufficiently aggressive GA and don't clear the ridge-line.
You sure KNOW a lot. Are you in Islamabad?
wileydog3 is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:05
  #88 (permalink)  
Per Ardua ad Astraeus
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 18,584
Are you sure you are quoting me, Sir?
- yes, if your username is Meekal
Originally Posted by Meekal
If he was flying the ILS to 30, he was way off-course.
................................

I would also imagine that if he was flying the DME arc to 12
BOAC is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:13
  #89 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 33
Wileydog,

I lived in Islamabad for 27 years and know that field and the procedures like the back of my hand and know the geography too. Flew in and out about three hundred times in all kinds of weather, encountered a couple of GA's, aquaplaning, heavy turbulence, bad visibility. wind-shear...the works. I know the Margalla hills too. Nice trekking up there and later some nice restaurants as well. So, no, I am not there right now but I keep checking the local Pakistani English newspapers -- like some others are doing. There is such a lot of ill-informed non-sense being spoken and written and tomorrow every idiot and clown including bureaucrats from the CAA of Pakistan will be on the TV -- including actual pilots from PIA and AB, speculating and pontificating. One of them just chipped in and announced grandly that it was "fatigue". Well, it may have been fatigue Sir but why did a 30,000 pilot fly it into the hill? I have already submitted an article which will be published on Friday in the Express Tribune/International Herald Tribune.
Meekal is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:15
  #90 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 15
The eyewitness reports so far include the usual gamut of opinions about aircraft attitude and altitude. What stands out to me is that no one seems to have said anything about how much noise the plane was making which you often hear in eyewitness reports. Hard to believe the engines were anywhere near TOGA without eyewitnesses noticing what would certainly be an extremely loud noise even for those used to low flying planes overhead. Does anyone know if Airblue's aircraft are equipped with EGPWS? If so, is there any reason other than MEL (current database issue?) for it to be turned off going into Islamabad? It seems like they may have had little or no warning from inside the a/c and from what we know of the ATC stuff so far it doesn't sound like there were any EGPWS Cautions or Warnings audible during the crews transmissions granting of course that we don't know if those transmissions were 60s or less from impact. Also there is the question of did they notice their rad alts and/or get any automated callouts based off of them?
PopeSweetJesus is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:17
  #91 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 149
I confirm: for the FO: if you are at your second flight after your line check on an A320/321 you are not experienced on the type, mostly for a circle to land with rain/ clouds and high ground around. Mostly if it is your first position in scheduled, IFR flights. And the A32F are nice aircraft but complex and unless you have 500 hrs you will be a bit behind.
And as said before, crashing the plane is maybe not 100% the crew' s fault but it' s not a very good proof of flying skills. We are normally paid to bring the aircraft safely on ground, even with multiple failures...

fbw390
FBW390 is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:21
  #92 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: moonbase
Age: 51
Posts: 51
As more info is released CFIT looks to be the most probable cause.

As for ignoring or not reacting to a GPWS warning lets look at FlyingTiger Line 66

AUH
auh_to_auh is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:27
  #93 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 33
BOAC,

Sir, if he was flying the ILS to 30, as the chart posted here shows he is nowhere near the hills. Coming in from the direction over-head Lahore (that is the standard J-route from Karachi), he would be vectored to the ILS long before the hills in front of him. He would turn sharply LEFT to capture the LOC and away from the high ground which would then be on his right. So how did he hit them?

If he was doing a back-course to 12, he would be nowhere near the hills either. They would be well to his left.

So, since he did hit the hills, he must have been executing the circle-to-land DME arc for 12. I have done that at least 20 times from the front and the back of the bus.

It is not unsafe per-se but you need to stay alert because you need to approach on 30 and then break away and fly parallel downwind to the Margalla hills and swing around for a back-course landing on 12. No margin for error though.

I hope I am a little more lucid this time. But there is always room for improvement!
Meekal is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:28
  #94 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 266
30,000 hours of flight time. That is really a lot of flight time. But then, the question, does the number of hours make someone a better pilot, wehn it comes to situational awareness? I doubt it though. If yes, then, what is the statistical error behind that?

It actually takes only common sense to realize that the weather isn't favourable to land an aircraft? So, why are we still trying to land in such unfavourable circumstances?

WP
worldpilot is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:33
  #95 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 33
Green Guard, I did not mean any disrespect to anyone here.

Please accept my situation. I am 7,200 miles from the site of the accident. I get up at 5 am as I usually do and get on the inter-net to read the morning papers and I am stunned and filled with fear. Any friend, colleague, classmate, relative, acquaintance of mine?

So if I am being a little cynical about pundits or hyper-ventilating I hope you will forgive me.
Meekal is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:35
  #96 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: No one's home...
Posts: 416
Greenguard, I just found it a bit odd in summarizing how 30,000 pilots ignore instruction and then fail to execute procedures properly. My error.
wileydog3 is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:55
  #97 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London
Posts: 35
An eyewitness who was apparently a commercial pilot told a colleague the engines sounded as though they plane was heading in to land, and the landing gear was deployed. That was when the aircraft was overhead Islamabad.
newjourno is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 20:57
  #98 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: On the Beach
Posts: 3,257
Meekal:
So, since he did hit the hills, he must have been executing the circle-to-land DME arc for 12. I have done that at least 20 times from the front and the back of the bus.
My source for Jeppesen charts doesn't show any approaches or circle-to-land track procedure to Runway 12. Perhaps the official country source has Runway 12 procedures but perhaps in that case Jeppesen doesn't chart them because of source issues.
aterpster is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 21:07
  #99 (permalink)  
Per Ardua ad Astraeus
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 18,584
OK, Meekal -,that's a little clearer, but if you read the thread from #1 you will see that the suggestion is that the a/c broke right OFF the R30 ILS to circle for 12. No-one except for you has mentioned any 'procedure' for R12 - I have asked. It might help if you post any chart you have? But even so I cannot see how you can have a 'circle-to-land' based on a DME arc since it is a visual manoeuvre?
BOAC is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2010, 21:09
  #100 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 33
Aterpster,

I know for sure the procedure existed. I have flown it myself and experienced it from the back with some trepidation because I was never quite comfortable with it. I asked a couple of pilot-friends/former classmates of mine now working for RAM, Qatar, Emirates and so on and they (obviously) recall the procedure too although some said they never had the opportunity to use it.

If there is no published procedure, then the mystery deepens. What was he doing pointing towards the Margalla hills?

The ILS 30 approach is pretty straightforward as all of you pilots can see from the chart. There is high ground around but no big deal. The back-course to 12 is straightforward too.

I know I had the charts somewhere. I should be more careful with memorabilia of days long past except I yielded to my wife nagging me to "clean up this awful mess". Don't we all?
Meekal 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 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.