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Air India Near Death Incident

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Air India Near Death Incident

Old 16th Oct 2010, 10:44
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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And the SLF down the back haven't a clue which is probably just as well.
It is actually about time that the SLF get a clue & perhaps they need to be gently pushed in the right direction.

Nobody is listening to the warnings given by pilots regarding training, fatigue, safety & just where this industry is heading.

Perhaps some well directed pressure from accurately informed SLF may be just what is needed to get the government regulators up & running in the right direction, to bring the almost out of control airline management back into line.

Before the industry goes completely down the drain!
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Old 16th Oct 2010, 17:44
  #102 (permalink)  
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Oakape;
Perhaps some well directed pressure from accurately informed SLF may be just what is needed to get the government regulators up & running in the right direction, to bring the almost out of control airline management back into line.
Well, I think many in the industry would like to see/have such advocacy because, as with most industries, few listen to those within said industry, who know. We've been saying this for a very long time now but sadly it is headlines that change attitudes, not information.

The only thing almost all passengers think about and consider in their travel plans is price and their entitlement to service at $39 fare levels. The deregulated commercial environment and airlines have taught consumers that flying can be done safely on a shoestring budget. It can't.

"Safety" is one of those amorphous concepts which, while expected, is not understood. Indeed I agree that the safety of any transportation should be transparent to the user - that the assumption that it is looked after should be realistic and for the most part it is.

Maintaining perspective is also needed - aviation isn't "going to hell in a handbasket" - the industry is extremely safe - far safer than the health-care or automobile industry, which the public should truly be railing against but isn't.

At the same time, the quality and nature of aviation accidents has changed, just as some, in 1995 and earlier, said it would. I said ten years ago that owing to the way flight crews have been treated, young people who possessed the desire, intelligence, discipline and talent to fly commercially would examine the industry's prospects and go elsewhere. They have.

Pilots have witnessed stolen pensions, poor pay, atrocious working conditions, a bottom-line mentality, and management attitudes that airplanes "fly themselves" and pilots are characterized as "expensive, whiny redundancies" by mentalities that don't understand aviation; - the results are easy to understand.

For those that still choose to come into the profession, the prospects for sustaining enthusiasm over a career are "challenging".

For passengers, price is everything - "what the market will bear", we are told. But again, the results are easy to understand. In fact, if you look on the bookshelves these days, there are a number of books saying that "cheap is not good". "Best price" is reasonable but not "any price".

What "the market" does not take into account and seems to willingly accept without comment or change, is the results of "cheap" and we are seeing it today, in headlines.

Passengers can demand of airlines all they wish but airlines cannot provide it all and continue to lose money at the same time. Something had to give, and has.

PJ2
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Old 16th Oct 2010, 21:51
  #103 (permalink)  
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Safety Standards

PJ:

my irritation is with the moral vacuum that exists in respect to duty of care within aerospace institutions.

recall the Alaskan Airlines maintainer who tried to intervene on falsified maintenance of MD80's including stabiliser screw jacks? Says volumes re Alaskan's concept of a just culture or SMS principles as per DOC 8958....

The industry is approaching a point where the box ticking of audits is taking over from the expensive program of competency training. Not saying that there is a massive loss of skills in the current generation of crews, but it does appear we regularly lose the plot within automated systems, a failure of SA for various reasons. If the processes were implemented with the intent to gain the value from such methods, then there would be some benefit to operational safety. Compliance is however, IMHO seen as a bar to jump, and once "cleared" the applicable concepts, processes and procedures are placed back in their boxes until the next pre audit event nears.

It is unusual that the AI issues raised in this thread actually are supported by the failure of AI in their recent IOSA audits. Kudos to the AO concerned. Perhaps there is a sea change on it's way...

Safety programs treading water, are effectively losing ground on their task of managing risk, as the environment is not static, the risks change with each procedure, and technological change that occurs within the industry. Voluntary reporting systems provide a mechanism for the management of risk, but require buy-in by the prospective reporters. Apathy or disinterest, abuse or similar behavior by the system to reports is counter productive, and tends to limit the volume of reports, and certainly changes the nature of reporting to those aspects of the operation that are not human factors centric.


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Old 16th Oct 2010, 22:51
  #104 (permalink)  
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fdr;
Superbly thought and written.
my irritation is with the moral vacuum that exists in respect to duty of care within aerospace institutions.
I understand. I have lost many nights' sleep knowing what's in the data but ignored or not believed; denial is a powerful human trait.

I recall the Alaska item very well. Southwest and American are other examples. We have them in Canada but nobody knows yet. There are a few courageous POIs but they're told to keep hands off and let SMS work.
Safety programs treading water, are effectively losing ground on their task of managing risk, as the environment is not static, the risks change with each procedure, and technological change that occurs within the industry. Voluntary reporting systems provide a mechanism for the management of risk, but require buy-in by the prospective reporters. Apathy or disinterest, abuse or similar behavior by the system to reports is counter productive, and tends to limit the volume of reports, and certainly changes the nature of reporting to those aspects of the operation that are not human factors centric.
All of which goes to provide an answer for Oakape's question and any passenger who may be wondering about where the industry is trending. The NTSB preso on Colgan hints, (all IIC presos collected into one PFD here), at the sea-change to come but the trend has just started and is only getting traction now.

PJ2

Last edited by PJ2; 16th Oct 2010 at 23:06. Reason: Add link to NTSB preso
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Old 16th Oct 2010, 23:31
  #105 (permalink)  
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fdr

Re: your post # 54 in which you write:

Raise the matter with DGCA-I. I think without having the data to support your allegation that the authorities would not act further, and if they did a white wash would be in order form (sic) the DGCA and AI anyway.
Iíve just received a note from another friend and ex colleague from Air India days who, a number of months ago, submitted a confidential safety report direct to DGCA in Delhi. Unsurprisingly, he heard nothing further on the matter but some weeks later an AI order was published strictly prohibiting flight crews from contacting DGCA directly on safety matters. One assumes that this is all part of the Air India Safety Management System?
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Old 17th Oct 2010, 07:46
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flaps were oversped during the recovery (since there was no Autothrottle protection
Did this lodge as a FDE? Otherwise the idiots in control flew the aircraft within it's operating limits. Automation=button pushing aircraft operators, not pilots...

Air India is not the problem, general rule of manufacturers and governance is.

This is why we dumb down people and push forward automation, simple logic could prevent this event.
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Old 17th Oct 2010, 07:57
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Perhaps some well directed pressure from accurately informed SLF may be just what is needed to get the government regulators up & running in the right direction, to bring the almost out of control airline management back into line.
Ha, the only SLF (Refered to as by smug professionals) information that is effective.... is by those who represent the deceased pax in court...
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Old 17th Oct 2010, 11:17
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Air India near death incident

Several comments on this thread about SLF input. As SLF with around 100 hours pilot expirence around 55 years ago, and generations of aircraft equipment design experience, I have no idea whether the FO has 10 hours or 10,000 hours on type. All we can recognise is smooth flight, lack of massive corrections on final approach and a good landing. The only occasion I have had worries was in an Air Malta flight when I could see were approaching a Cu Nim and the seat belt lights were not on, subsequent turbulence made the food trolley take off and injured one of the cabin staff.
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Old 17th Oct 2010, 11:17
  #109 (permalink)  
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DGCA-airline response

Not surprising. Having had the mildly nauseous experience of working as a team leader doing remediation of airline and regulators, I have found that it is hard to underestimate the performance of the programs. It is also a pleasant surprise to find an operator or regulator that exhibits integrity. (not at the personal level, there are good people say in the FAA, stuck in Houston being hamstrung by the FAA's organisational structure in taking action against recidivist illegal operations).

If I sound annoyed, I am. Frankly I think the industry is being sold short, and is trending down towards the lowest common denominator, which is probably an AN-26 operating somewhere with illegal guinea registration, turbine disks removed from some poor schmuck who offered engines on lease and got junk back, with a captain on welfare, FO on food stamps while paying off his JAA medical fees in installments. Local CAA will sign it off as being fine.... now the passenger and you may not be directly affected by this, but if you are in the industry or use a component of the industry, then you are affected indirectly by the impact of the asymmetry of cost base in competitors.

Economic theory generally prevails in a mature industry, and overall the aviation market is stabilising at an average zero economic profit (short term is often worse...), which means that changes to cost base as a result of variable costs of standards maintenance impacts heavily on the viability of a carrier. While not a fan of regulation, the failure to demand equal safety levels being implemented, not just expected impacts all, including naturally the poor SLF who is under the illusion that their ticket buys some level of assurance of their safety.

People wanted cheap air travel, they got cheap and nasty.

"If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion". G.B. Shaw (1856-1950)


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Old 18th Oct 2010, 04:21
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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jstars the event has reached a logical conclusion. Other issues the captain might be facing are related to admin and NOT ops. I have sent you a detailed note, please do take a look at it.

And hey the expat-captain is still alive, so you can tell him that reporting incidents works for everyones benefit.
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Old 18th Oct 2010, 06:23
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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what if the independent media is involved in the matter so as to start an investigation. it is the traveling public which keep the company alive.
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Old 18th Oct 2010, 10:16
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i don't have the charts at hand right now to confirm it, but the published SIDs from RW29 have some pretty nasty speed restrictions which can't be met with a widebody, at least not with the 777. IIRC its 160/1700 to the 1st waypoint and 180/2800 after the turn to next waypoint. These restrictions are set in the FMS when the DEP is loaded, so if they are not cleared, this is what the A/C will fly after VNAV engages passing 400ft. So actually its pretty clear what happened:

High climb rate after lift off followed by Autopilot engagement, in 400ft VNAV engages and immediatly captures the 1st altitude while trying to maintain FMS speed = 160kts! So no wonder the Throttles went to idle... What helps? Speed intervention and select an appropiate speed! Quite easy actually.

When we operate from DEL back to europe (777f), our V2 is typically around 170kts so there is no way we can meet this silly restrictions, we brief that accordingly and clear the speeds from the fms.
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Old 18th Oct 2010, 18:21
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fly the radio Nav SIDs

How come you are using the RNAV SIDs?
Delhi does not use these or the STARs which were badly designed and are likely to be revised.
Everyone uses the Radio NAV SIDs which are in the A/C Nav data base and can be flown "managed".
They dont have any speed or low alt constraints.
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Old 18th Oct 2010, 20:04
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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@MD83FO

Actually in this particular case it is not the traveling public that keep the airline alive. Air India is kept afloat by huge financial bailouts from the indian tax-payer!
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 02:17
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I don't have the DEL charts at hand but from what I understand there are limitations in these SIDs which can not be met by wide body heavy aircraft? This begs the question: why are 777 crews accepting these SIDs? Is it because there are no other options available to them? And of course not to be overlooked: incompetent Indian ATC clearing aircraft for departures not designed for those types...
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 09:36
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Test Anyone?

They are used blindly by both controller and pilot/crew alike since neither has ANY comprehension what they mean other than what
a) the controller has been told what to say;
b) the pilot blindly follows as per the FMC without any comprehension.

For those at AI (& others??), try this experiment please:

Ask your FO or other pilot to please calculate the climb-out performance (fpm) from the required min climb gradient (as per the Jepp SID chart min gradient required) from the aircraft's expected climb out speed. This asks the question, how do you know if you're aircraft is performing under OEI or MTOW / high density alt conditions (if following the SID)?

(The SULUS 4, if my memory serves me correct, from rwy 18 departing FRA is a prime example where this is required to be known/used by AI -200LR crew).

More over, this is what ANY CPL holder with an I.R. should know as their bread & butter. If not, how can they hold a multi engine I.R.?

Any takers willing to ask on their next flight? Results will be interesting.

(Now, let's not even go into the 4 stages of a take-off which should be minimum knowledge also).

Last edited by TopTup; 19th Oct 2010 at 09:55.
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 14:07
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for starters, flight to europe (at least ours) are routed via BUTOP and then via ASARI to SAMAR (Pakistanian border). If you care to look up the charts you'll see, that while from RWY27 (standard DEP RWY) there is a BUTOP Radio NAV Departure available, that is not the case for RWY29 (standard ARR RWY), there is only the RNAV ERVAX SID, BUTOP Transition available. And this specific one has 160kts/3600ft to ERVAX as a restriction, both on the charts and in the FMS.

So if you're simply to heavy to operate out of RWY27 and you need to use RWY29, you're left with two options: accept the RNAV SID or ask for an individual DEP Clearance. But lets face it, as long as it is such a major problem for DEL ATC to even coordinate a simple but necessary request for 29 as DEP RWY half an hour before STD, which always results in at least 45mins delay, are you really going to ask for an individual clearance or are you going to sort it out yourself? I would do the latter anytime, especially when you know from experience that you'll get a revised clearance while still on the ground or vectors after departure anyway. But still, when the SID is loaded in the FMS, the restrictions are still there and you if you plan to use VNAV, you either have to clear them or use speed intervention to fly at an appropiate selected speed for your weight.
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 15:02
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Having operated a number of times out of Delhi, in my experience it has always been that when the rwy in use is 27 and we are too heavy, as is usually the case since operating long hauls primarily, a simple request for 29 at the time of requesting clearance, has never been denied and have not heard other long haul carriers being denied either. Sometimes a delayed expected airborne time is given as it is primarily the arrival runway. And in my i have always been given a radar departure by the ATC with a level clearance to normally 2600 ft. or higher.
If one is unhappy about the level clearance it should not be accepted as ultimately the safe operation of flight is determined by the crew.

Toptup:
Your unhappiness with AI and the indian dgca is heard loud and clear by everyone thru your 200 odd posts. In this particular case the incident if not reported was detected during FOQA analysis and the crew suitably counselled as would be the case in any company. So if you devote some time in your life to things other than AI bashing, maybe you would be a happier. Your test question is like you said answerable by a cpl holder with IR and stuff and you could post it in the Tech Log if you need it answered for yourself. U call ALL AI pilots aggressive but you seem to full of it to realise how repititive and condescending some of your comments are.
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Old 19th Oct 2010, 23:04
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Beeps........FOQA........and then what? Counseled = payment?

Sounds like Snow White relishing in the apple. Enjoy. Always comforting to know that the inherent corruption, bribery, cover-ups and nepotism has AI's back. You argue "any company" No. To save my time and to enhane your reality (denial) here are a few things frm a previous post that any REAL airline would find case for IMMEDIATE dismal (cut & pasted form previous thread):

NB: it was also verified by several other pilots with AI experience.

[U]"From my direct experience as a TRE at AI (on the 777) we must look at the SYSTEM that is in place there:

1. Rampant corruption.
2. Non-existant training standards: some pilots were failed in the sim yet that paperwork was either doctored to reflect a pass, or, the TRE was called in the justify the fail and pressured to change it to a pass, or, the failed pilot was sent on a route check to DXB within days and passed by his "batch mate", or the said failed pilot bribes for the pass. (All FACTS from my direct experience).
3. Technical exam answers are all known and shared by sms or other means.
4. Ab initio pilots coming from C152 or C210 direct to RHS of B777 without the ground instruction or handling to appreciate what V1 is let alone fly straight and level on downwind for a raw data circuit and approach, let alone land from (raw data) a stable approach, and checked to line by the TRE.
5. All but non existent CRM (mainly) from senior Capts reveling in the archaic bastardry days of a former military existence.
6. FO's too scared, too poorly trained, too inexperienced to challenge a Capt.
7. Capt's too poorly trained to listen to an FO, too ignorant to the low standards they exist within and are promoted from.
8. AI recruitment department not doing their own due diligence on the (expat) pilots that are employed (flying experience and credentials) instead relying on unscrupulous agencies.
9. Sim assessments, line route checks, instrument renewals are more often than not filled out (pass) prior to even beginning the sim or push-back.
10, Sim instructors arriving for the sim over 1.5 hrs late, no briefing, no pre-planned sortie, and only perhaps a block of 2 hrs used form the paid for 4 hours at the 9W sim.
11. Incoherent paperwork that is more important than safety, than standards, than, well, logic.
12. Sim assessment paperwork fraudulently completed: indicating patterns flown, approaches safely completed, (multiple) failures satisfactorilly completed when none were actually performed [u]at all let alone to the safe standard needed (and this includes the CRM component).

So, let's PLEASE stop looking at who is the best stick and rudder pilot, who is the best user of automation, who is the ace of all bases.... Look at the SYSTEM and the airline ENVIRONMENT that allows and promotes despicably low standards and training standards far, far lower than what (we) are accustomed to in other airlines. For example; why only consider the pilot who cannot fly straight and level, or land a raw data approach with a 15 kt crosswind? We should be looking at, scutinising and criticising the training system he/she has come from to allow this, let alone that he/she is then released to line.

These pilots are passed / checked to line. They know no better and believe this is the norm for international or heavy jet aviation. So, when (foreigners) openly question this or expose such issues they are shouted down with great passion due an ill-gotten national pride in their airline (and we can all be guilty of that).

Look at the entire AI / AIE system, training standards and culture."


So, the question is directly relevant to this thread. And trust me, I would expect 99% of those on the tech Forum to do it in 5 secs, not 500 Rps.

(make that 201 posts?)

Check your PM's. Argue me privately, not here. Bring FACTS, not opinion.

Last edited by TopTup; 20th Oct 2010 at 03:44.
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Old 20th Oct 2010, 01:13
  #120 (permalink)  
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Fly your aeroplane.

You'll be glad you did.

Last edited by BarbiesBoyfriend; 20th Oct 2010 at 01:42.
 

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