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Sleepy pilot caused Indian passenger plane crash

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Sleepy pilot caused Indian passenger plane crash

Old 19th Nov 2010, 15:50
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Right on!!

I think it is a big step forward, the FAA wanting to stop this with a minimum of 1500 hrs.
Rubbish!

I love it when people try to hijack threads towards the tedious "300 hours and flying a jet, you must be mad!" when the accident involves an FO with thousands of hours under his belt...
I second that.

I have lots of colleagues who have started flying jets right out of flying school. All of them are still alive and kicking with all of their limbs intact.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 18:18
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Originally Posted by Tom355uk
I believe this was the first leg of their duty. The Captain resided in Frankfurt (or Dusseldorf, can't remeber which) and commuted to DXB on this particular occasion. Whether the FO non-revved on the inbound flight or an earlier one I'm not sure.
The flight originated in Mangalore. Their pattern was IXE-DXB-IXE with an appx 2.5 hr ground halt in DXB
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 19:47
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"was asleep for much of the three-hour flight and was "disorientated" when the plane started to descend, the Hindustan Times reported."
Flight duration was 3hr+
Voice recorder record only last 30 minutes.

Something is wrong here....
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 19:55
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Originally Posted by old fellah
Particularly Arduous Tour of Duty
Mr Wooby. You are joking, surely. Bombay-Dubai-Bombay is at worst six hours flight time. Allowing for 1 hour before departure from Bombay and a 1 hour turn around in Dubai plus 10 mins after arrival back in Bombay that is still only 8 hours 10 mins. Hardly arduous if sufficient rest before departure. Have done it more times than I care to remember and never found it particularly arduous.
Old Fellah. You are joking surely? This is not BOM-DXB-BOM, but Mangalore to Dubai and back which will add about an hour of flight time EACH way over Bombay. Plus 2:30 on the ground as reported makes for a damn long duty...

We do rotations to southern India from Dubai and it can easily be a 12 hour duty - through the NIGHT... (Throw in the monsoon and it can be a sh1te night out) Not easy, even if you're as fit as the Indians think you should be
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 20:38
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Its a real shame that all the blame is going to the pilots. Yes agreed they touched it last and were in a situation which they should not have been. What about all the corporate factors that would contribute to this. The Airline is run by Air India, by pilots who do not fly the type and only sit in offices "trying " to run it. No proper SOP's along with no proper recurrent training program for all the pilots. No separate AOC with a separate head of operations i.e 'Accountable Manager'. If this happened in Europe we would definitely see some heads going rolling.

But this is India nothing will be done and DGCA will not be any more accountable than it is now.

The big question is what has the management done to ensure that this will not be repeated. Do I hear the same answer....... 'NOTHING'.......
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 14:57
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Experience

Interesting that many consider 3,700 hours experienced!
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 21:05
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Yes it is interesting. 3,700 = experienced?
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 01:52
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3700 hours of what?Autopilot flying from 500' to 500'.Let me see now 3400 hours of commercial flying(take 300 from his total for flt school)..divide that by say 2 for his number of sectors or flights.1700 flights.Take away about 500 for his time on no assisted T/L and conservatively you have 1200 flights as operational FO.Halve it for his P1 sector time and you get 600.Im going to be generous and have him "flying" the plane for 1 minute after TO and 1 minute before landing...thats 1200 minutes or 20 hours.Of the 20 hours of actual manual fying,Im saying that 100% will be with aid of a flight director.Of the 10 hours he has "on approach" all of it will be on glide and configured with AT either engaged in MCP SPD or ARM.Of the 600 approaches he actually made,Im saying that he saw a GA for 1% of those so thats 6 missed approaches.Of those 6 GA's,he would have made none of them himself(SOP).I'm saying that in 4 years of flying he probably made 8 recurrency checks of 2 four hour sessions each.Thats 64 hours in sim checks.He is unlikely to have ever seen a hot/high approach in this sim time(not on syllabus)much less been trained for it.The Indian SOP for hot/high is a GA.Nothing technically wrong with that.He is also unlikely ever to have seen a runway GA in this sim time either.
So how could a pilot with such "experience" honestly be expected to take
control from an unstable,let alone an unsafe, approach and command and execute a missed approach?Do you know the level of self-confidence required to actually take control from a Captain?Self-confidence comes from experience,it cannot be faked.As you can see,3700 hours is just a number in some cases.It might indicate a pilot has moderate experience or then again it might not.They may call the Indian First Officer "Captain" from the day he steps onto the commercial flight-deck but theres a big difference between being one and being called one.

The FIRST OFFICER was sadly not equipped to save this flight from a bad decision by the Captain.He is not to be blamed.The system is.

Last edited by caulfield; 21st Nov 2010 at 06:48.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 04:33
  #49 (permalink)  
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Why blame it all on the F/O if he called for a go-around three times? He could have/should have seized control of the plane, but didn't. He paid for it with his life.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 04:39
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caulfield

An excellent post and breakdown, that I guarantee wasn't in the accident report.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 13:34
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Why blame it all on the F/O if he called for a go-around three times?
I wouldn't blame anything on the F/O. What is wrong is the "system" (or lack of it) that allows this situation to come about. If you want to apportion blame then look to the appropriate regulatory authority.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 16:06
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v3m:
Why blame it all on the F/O if he called for a go-around three times? He could have/should have seized control of the plane, but didn't. He paid for it with his life.
This from the original news story:

Voice recordings picked up co-pilot H.S. Ahluwalia saying: "We don't have runway left," seconds before the disaster.
The report revealed that the plane touched down 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) along the airport's hilltop runway, which is about 8,000 feet long, the Hindustan Times said.
It added Glusica was suffering "sleep inertia" and that experts had concluded that the plane would still have landed safely if the pilots had applied the emergency brakes instead of trying to take off again.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 16:34
  #53 (permalink)  
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For everyone who has first hand experience in this incredible country there is only the culture and the corruption to blame, nothing and no one else.

Two expats missed Coimbatore on the JetAirways inauguration flight, immediately the new law issued demanded that at least one Indian pilot has to form part of the crew, result came a few weeks later, a complete Indian crew operated to Hyderabad...but Wing Commander xxx landed on the airbase instead of International...

Now we have a new law for medicals....

There have been incredible actions before and there will be incredible actions following.

And
They may call the Indian First Officer "Captain" from the day he steps onto the commercial flight-deck
is not completely true, I know of at least two Indian First Officers who have changed their passport to include Captain on the data page just after having completed a few solos on the famous single engine trainer....

Incredible? Yes, they even advertise this world-wide.
 
Old 21st Nov 2010, 16:46
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I think it is a big step forward, the FAA wanting to stop this with a minimum of 1500 hrs.
Interesting that many consider 3,700 hours experienced!
Yes it is interesting. 3,700 = experienced?
He's not inexperienced

What's the whole point of having the minimum hours to be a commercial raised to 1500hrs if with 3700 one is still inexperienced and cannot
take control from an unstable, let alone an unsafe, approach and command and execute a missed approach?
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 17:10
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Excerpts of pilots’ conversation
As soon as Pilot Captain Z Glucika got clearance of the ATC, he started descending for landing.

Co-Pilot: (Captain H S Ahluwalia): O My God.

Both pilots: Flight is taking wrong path and wrong side.

Co-pilot: Go around

Though flight is still descending and it tried to touch down in middle of the run way, the co-pilot insists on ‘go around’.

Co-pilot: Pull up. (Repeats six times)

Captain: Only 800 metres left. (in runway) (It was suspected that this time may be the aircraft was trying to take off and pilot found that only 800 feet of run way left)
(These conversation took place within eight seconds)
So to compound his error of not forcing a GA while it was still possible, they tried to do so way too late:
“Despite the high speed and landing in the middle of the runway, had the pilot tried to stop the aircraft instead of taking off after making touch down, it would have stopped at least at the end of the run way averting the disaster,” a Boeing official said. In support of the evidence that the pilot tried a “go around,” the DFDR shows that Glucika activated the takeoff gear and that the engine was in powered to high speed. “During normal touch down the engine speed is always low”, the official said.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 19:56
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This explains a lot of things...

NATION
India Today NATION Story
Rajasthan: Fraud pilots busted

Rohit Parihar
November 13, 2010
Updated 00:00 IST


Rahul Yadav, a pilot with Indian Airlines who claims he has 1,000 flying hours with the country's official carrier, made the worst landing of his life on October 9. The 25-year-old cruised into jail when he was held by the Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on charges of getting a commercial pilot's licence (CPL) with forged documents that show him having flown 200 hours when he has actually done only 22.


The Rajasthan state flying school at Sanganer near JaipurYadav, whose father is an official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), is only one of 14 rogue pilots. The DGCA gave Yadav his CPL on the basis of documents submitted by the Rajasthan State Flying School at Sanganer near Jaipur. The school, though closed for two years now, is being investigated in 14 cases-India Today has the names-where students were falsely certified to having flown as many as 200 hours on single-engine Cessna 152 aircraft, including cross-country flying from places where the aircraft never landed.

While similar cases have been reported from Haryana's Hisar Flying club, Additional Director General of Police Ajit Singh Shekhawat, who heads the ACB, has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the possibility of a national-level racket. "The fraud has shocked us with the ease with which the lives of passengers have been put at risk," he says. The CBI has since started investigations and the scandal is expected to spread to other states.

Another young aspirant, Nidhi Vashist, became a 'pilot' by allegedly paying Rs 11 lakh. Her logbook displays 169 flying hours from the Jaipur flying school and the remaining from Karnal, Hisar and Patiala. Once she got her CPL, Vashist got a twin-engine flying completion certificate from the Philippines and applied for a licence from the DGCA. The DGCA, however, got suspicious when it found a solo flying entry when it should have been with another pilot. Upon inquiry, the centre denied having issued the certificate. This was last year when the Philippines faced many reports about such frauds, leading to a crackdown by the authorities.

Vashist alleged that Mahendra Kumar Chaudhary, chief flying instructor at the Jaipur school, had got her the twin-engine certificate for money. Vashisht demanded her money back and when Chaudhary refused, she went to the police. Chaudhary then issued two cheques for the entire amount to 'settle the matter', which bounced. Vashist then complained to the ACB. A cross-check with air maintenance garage, air traffic control (ATC), fuel records and logbook entries revealed that she actually flew for just 22 hours for which the fee was deposited. "Surprisingly, we found thatthe chief flying instructor of Hisar, Mahavir Singh Beniwal, had also certified her arrival, which points to a bigger and organised criminal activity," says Shekhawat. An arrest warrant has been issued against Beniwal.

Yadav was accorded a similar fake flight in March 2007. In his case, Chaudhary did not even enrol him for the 22 hours that he possibly actually flew. Yadav later did a 50-hour flying course from Canada, which is being looked into as well. Chaudhary has been identified as the brain behind the fake certification racket in Jaipur with the roles of executive and supervisory officers also being examined. He has been arrested twice and bailed out quickly but faces more cases. There have been instances when the ATC recorded 36 flights taking off but the flying instructor showed 178 for the same period. Chaudhary's counsel Ashu Singh refused to comment.

A certificate of certain hours of flying makes one eligible for enrolling at flying schools abroad. "It is necessary to investigate all flying licences issued in India, including those given on the basis of training in India or abroad," says Shekhawat.

The DGCA's certification system needs to be looked into to ascertain whether it makes regular visits and checks to ensure whether a flying school is adhering to given norms. It is surprising that flying data which is maintained at many places manually is not linked via a computer network, making it easy for it to be altered without being detected.

Investigators suspect several dimensions of fraud involving deliberate maintenance of shoddy records at various levels. Most of the 14 candidates identified so far are currently employed with various government and private airlines. The impunity with which rules were compromised raises serious doubts about the DGCA's supervising system as well as the recruitment procedures most airlines follow. With even co-pilots supposed to play a crucial role, the scam may make flying in India more dangerous than it already is."
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 20:15
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Well

Fake Swedish pilot Thomas Salme flies Air One jets for 13 years | Mail Online

Or Thomas Pelazza in Italy
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 20:37
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Well...

Hey flydive, you're not serious about it, right?
The Indian Today report reveals (actually confirm) a totally corrupt SYSTEM, it's not exactly like 2 or 3 exceptions from Sweden or Italy.
Given previous posts from professionals with a lot of experience in India, this is far from surprising.

How many fake pilots are still flying at large, endangering people freely?

What JAA, FAA, ICAO would say at that?

Last edited by fullforward; 22nd Nov 2010 at 00:09.
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Old 22nd Nov 2010, 17:53
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Anyhow, it doesn't really matter whether the captain was fatigued, the weather was bad, the terrain challenging, etc. When a perfectly serviceable aeroplane gets flown into terrain after the FO called go-around three times, the main cause of the accident is company culture. Period.
This may be the ultimate cause, but it is not a sufficient explanation for what presumably happened here. As a physician working long shifts I have had personal experience of sleep inertia, both in myself and in others, on many occasions. An individual who has been deeply asleep for two hours or more and then is woken suddenly to perform a task may look superficially awake and sound awake, but they often are not awake and if so they do not apply the most basic critical appraisal to what they are doing. They are 'going through the motions', but in a remarkably convincing and deceptive fashion.

It can be hard to reconcile inappropriate / irrational behaviour when faced with other aspects of a situation which are normal, in this case a captain who looks awake and is physically doing the right things and making the right noises, in the same way as he may have done many times before. The FO called for a go-around on three occasions, but that action wasn't enough. However, it is worth reflecting that had he attempted to wrestle the controls from an asleep captain, acting as an apparently awake automaton, there is no guarantee this aircraft would not have crashed with both pilots fighting for the controls.

Anyway, should the FO have attempted to take control? Yes. Is it possible, though, to understand the basis for his decision paralysis in this sudden onset bizarre situation and eventual inability to act in a rational, decisive and effective fashion? Yes.

Blaming this accident on potential deficiencies in company culture or poor piloting will not prevent it happening again. Analysing the full interplay of human and psychological factors and using this as a learning event to disseminate information about the insidious dangers of sleep inertia to aircrew may do.

QDM
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Old 22nd Nov 2010, 18:18
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Analysing the full interplay of human and psychological factors and using this as a learning event to disseminate information about the insidious dangers of sleep inertia to aircrew may do.
And that is exactly why nothing will happen. Any normal human knows the outcome of any such study perfectly well, everyone has gone through sleep deprivation and the morning after class, micro-sleeps while driving late at night when the body yells for sleep. We don't need any analysis of simple human nature and design.

On the other hand, every normal citizen of our beautiful modern and capitalistic world will know that nothing will change, because it would have a direct impact on the mismanagers bonuses, the owners dividends and on the bribes to the regulators. As has been shown cynically here, not even a smoking hole wakes up. It is all back to the 'blame the pilot' game, a game that seems to work perfectly throughout all levels: Press, company, regulator, politicians and finally the general public.
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