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Finnair A340 attempts takeoff from taxiway

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Finnair A340 attempts takeoff from taxiway

Old 3rd Dec 2010, 19:13
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. . . err, that'll be 'Don't assume - check' then.

It might sound as if I'm just trying to be smart.

But this has been proven time and time and time again. Someone mentioned above about missing the basics.

The times I've heard that pilots (there are really only pilots left on the flightdeck these days) don't appear to be taught the basics anymore. There is a lot less mental effort required to keep up with (or better, one step ahead) of the aircraft.

Glass cockpits give so MUCH information, it's easy to get swamped by it or complacent because there's little need to think. Ergo, often people (pilots in this case) don't.

You HAVE to check, if you don't - then nobody WILL and we see it here. Fortunately nobody was physically injured here.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 19:35
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This is not a problem that can be solved by technology, or at least not with what we have available now or in the near future. Sure enough there are better aids out there to assist flight crews but I doubt that's what went wrong here.
Technology will fail you at some point, call it electronic hiccup or whatever, but it will happen inevitably.
There is still no substitute for proper training, task orientation, correct attitude and vigilance. If you look sharp enough you will see the holes in the cheese lining up. I've made my fair shares of mistakes and both attitude and vigilance (or lack thereof) took part in all of them. I hope that I'm wiser now...
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 19:44
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And Dengue Dude - agreed. It's almost like a religion sometimes. "magenta, Magenta, MAGENTA!!!"

EFIS is really nice and a very good tool at times but sometimes I wonder if the old school wasn't better as then you really had to think and understand what went on behind the gages and not just follow the line that the GPS or INS or whatever told you to.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 00:27
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I'm only here as a PPL holder, but a couple of things come to mind.

First of all, pilots are not perfect, so we can't expect them never to make a mistake. As with the Turkish 737 at Schiphol, here three professional pilots managed to make the same mistake at the same time...so there must have been a set of circumstances that all added up to give three different people the same erroneous view of the world. And as most pilots probably think in the same way, you can see how that can happen.

In my industry, we had a fatality not so long ago where a highly experienced, highly proficient guy accessed the wrong piece of equipment. No reason could be identified. Procedure had been applied correctly, but it seems he simply suffered a moment of 'brain fade'. Without going into all the details, the HSE gave the company and procedures a clean bill of health. This poor guy had simply got something in his head that was incorrect.

Secondly, what about a GPS connection to the autothrust that would give a config warning (or even intervene) if take-off thrust was applied at a point not agreeing with the FMC departure runway? Surely that couldn't cost too much...
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 00:55
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There is still no substitute for proper training, task orientation, correct attitude and vigilance. If you look sharp enough you will see the holes in the cheese lining up. I've made my fair shares of mistakes and both attitude and vigilance (or lack thereof) took part in all of them. I hope that I'm wiser now...
At last - some reality.

Despite protestations by the perfect pilots of pprune we ALL make mistakes because we are human. I made some real doozies in my day but I learned from them. Picking up on your own errors takes vigilance and a finely tuned suspicion of that feeling that something is not quite right.
Assume nothing, check everything and then check again.

The second pilot is there for good reasons and one of the most important reasons is to monitor the PF. Two heads are better than one.

I often wonder how many of todays perfect pilots would have survived a ten year stint as a single pilot in the african bush. Fortunately the Twotter is a very forgiving big old pussycat..........
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 04:38
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Picking up on your own errors takes vigilance and a finely tuned suspicion of that feeling that something is not quite right. Assume nothing, check everything and then check again.
Absolutely, who could argue with that? But is it possible to maintain such high standards of vigilance 4 sectors/day 5 days/week?

I suspect that not only is it not possible, but also with such concentrated schedules one even risks loosing control of when to apply said vigilance, especially when one conscientiously attempts to be perfect and make no mistakes. I have sometimes wondered the safest pilots allow themselves to reduce their concentration and accept small errors during relatively benign phases of flight to help ensure a sharp mind when it matters most. Would a training department find that acceptable though?
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 07:13
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NigelonDraft, RAAS was a good start but it is a reactionary tool much like the first generation GPWS.

On the other hand, airport navigation dislpays such as OANS give the pilots positional situational awareness all the way from the gate to the runway, not unlike how EGPWS TAD is a major enhancement to GPWS.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 11:46
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Off course it is hard to maintain vigilance for long hours, especially when nothing happens (out of the ordinary that is). But then again that's why some have what it takes to do this job and some don't. It's like excusing a waitress for being rude towards a customer because "it is hard being nice to people all day long". If you can't cope, do something else.
Understanding what is tough is one thing (makes for a good pilot), accepting it for a fact and then using it as an excuse for piss poor performance is another.
I make mistakes all the time but in my defense I seldom make them twice. And every time, every mistake, makes me pissed at myself because I should know better, be better. And as soon as I don't do my best at getting even better at what I do I might as well stop flying altogether since then I have become truly dangerous.
I've flown with colleagues, both left and right, that have had the attitude that "well it's hard so what can you expect - **** happens" and they are not fun to work with at best, although mostly much worse.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 12:56
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On the other hand, airport navigation dislpays such as OANS give the pilots positional situational awareness all the way from the gate to the runway.....
Anyone that needs that stuff to find their way to the runway shouldn't be flying airplanes.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 15:46
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Anyone that needs that stuff to find their way to the runway shouldn't be flying airplanes.
Another perfect pilot with attitude who is too conceited to ever make a mistake. Another accident looking for somewhere to happen.
Get a grip on reality before you end up as another statistic.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 16:12
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The Ancient Geek -
Another perfect pilot with attitude who is too conceited to ever make a mistake. Another accident looking for somewhere to happen.
Get a grip on reality before you end up as another statistic.
Well, I flew everything from Piper Cubs to DC-8's for thirty years WITHOUT even a GPS and NEVER had trouble finding the runway to take off on. I fail to see how that makes me "conceited". It CAN be done; all you gotta do is pay attention to details and not rely on some gadget to do the job for you.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 17:02
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DC-ATE.

OK, let's remove TCAS, EGPWS, Rad Alt, Autopilot, ILS, VOR etc. Maybe even radios. "Anyone who needs that stuff shouldn't be flying aeroplanes". Hell, let's even get rid of that woosy enclosed cockpit: cold air will keep them awake.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 18:55
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DC-ATE had a good point.

All the stuff Herod advocates removing (along with his teddy) makes life safer (and it does), but you forget the basics of respect, concentration and attention to detail at yours (and everybody's) peril.

I don't think anybody is actually trashing the new kit, but for years, we managed to do the job without it. For one, I was happy with EGPWS and TCAS particularly.

GPWS/TCAS have saved a lot of lives, but still, many aircraft have managed CFIT or collisions with it fitted.

Remember your last CRM course, the biggest part of the PI chart was Human Factors. Why is anyone who didn't make a monumental cock-up conceited or 'perfect' (this being a question from a demi-god)?

Too close to home or just plain unpalatable?

Last edited by Dengue_Dude; 4th Dec 2010 at 18:56. Reason: 'Cos I felt like it
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 19:01
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Do you guys have QC sessions? We have sessions were missed cases or wrong diagnoses are discussed. To learn from them. And everyone knows he is not free of mistakes also (but you always hope it is not one of the cases you read coming up that day)... So why not having meetings with airline pilots and even psychologist were they come clean and talk about their errors which maybe did not make it into the news and were they luckily could walk away from to talk about it so others and they themselves can learn and improve.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 19:08
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Herod -

This whole discussion is about trying to take off on a taxiway vs a runway. I only said that all the fancy equipment is NOT needed to get you from the gate to the runway. I wasn't implying that it be removed for other flight purposes.
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 20:30
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This whole discussion is about trying to take off on a taxiway vs a runway. I only said that all the fancy equipment is NOT needed to get you from the gate to the runway. I wasn't implying that it be removed for other flight purposes.
Absolutely. My current machine has a nice fancy moving map to navigate round the field, but from bitter experience in the early days, I still have good old 10-9 hardcopy out and ready. Good thing I still remember how to read it; just got back from a Chinese airport, where for some reason, the moving map for that particular airport was "Not in database". Lot of taxi "hotspots" on the chart as well, just to make life a little more interesting.

Dengue;
Don't assume, check.
One of my favorites, along with "complacency, the biggest killer", and
"Man has oft more need to be reminded than informed". We are forever reinventing the same old wheel, going over the same ground, making the same old mistakes, rather than learning from them.

I guess memories are short.
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Old 5th Dec 2010, 00:34
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Over on "Fragrant Harbour" an ATCer makes the following observation
It amazes me that 07L is probably used for less than 5% of all night time departures here in HK, and yet there has been 4 serious "twy A attempted take-offs". To my knowledge, this has never happened on either 07R or 25L.
That being the case does it not imply that the statistic is trying to tell us something? Certainly can't be that a good many pilots are dumbkofs surely. What is the systemic issue at work?
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Old 5th Dec 2010, 01:47
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Grimmrad
gDo you guys have QC sessions? We have sessions were missed cases or wrong diagnoses are discussed. To learn from them. And everyone knows he is not free of mistakes also (but you always hope it is not one of the cases you read coming up that day)... So why not having meetings with airline pilots and even psychologist were they come clean and talk about their errors which maybe did not make it into the news and were they luckily could walk away from to talk about it so others and they themselves can learn and improve.
We do sort of have such a system, but it depends from airline to airline. In my company we have an open reporting system, where we are encouraged to report any safety or security issues (and anything else we think is pertinant).

The problem is that it doesnt matter how often the company makes the point that reporting would never result in disciplinary action, many pilots dont. I have reported myself several times and results have been between nothing happens, to a phone call or a very positive chat. On one occasion I unwittingly identified a general weakness in procedure and memo was the result.
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Old 5th Dec 2010, 04:27
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Idiotic Airbus procedures probably contributed to the loss of SA in this case.

To have a checklist (before T/O checklist below the line) that cannot be commenced until after a line up/take-off clearance is received, is a human factors nightmare. This part of the checklist may only contain four items, but the checklist is being read at a critical time, often whilst copying a sometimes complex clearance, checking there is no-one on short final and manoeuvering onto the rwy.

I'll take the Boeing philosophy any day, where everthing is done before line up, leaving the crew to concentrate only on the necessary things at this critical time.
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Old 5th Dec 2010, 09:15
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Over on "Fragrant Harbour" an ATCer makes the following observation

Quote:
It amazes me that 07L is probably used for less than 5% of all night time departures here in HK, and yet there has been 4 serious "twy A attempted take-offs". To my knowledge, this has never happened on either 07R or 25L.

That being the case does it not imply that the statistic is trying to tell us something? Certainly can't be that a good many pilots are dumbkofs surely. What is the systemic issue at work?
Maybe there are more "dumbkof" pilots than we care to admit to then. I'm sorry, but I find it inconceivable for anyone but a dumbkof to mistake the taxyway for 7L - even more so on a clear and dry night.
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