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Foreign pilots warn about Turkish Airline in Danish news paper Politikken

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Foreign pilots warn about Turkish Airline in Danish news paper Politikken

Old 17th Dec 2011, 13:52
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As far as I am concerned the biggest aviation disaster that was directly affected by CRM has occured in Tenerife, so personally if I were Dutch I would strike a more modest tone regarding such topics. (Toch RJ?)

I've personally flown in Greece and can imagine that their mentalities (THY vs OA) are the same (Although their fatality rates are not), because as much as they don't want to admit it; they're very similar in their culture (southern macho) and it does reflect in the cockpit. Very nice country, very nice food and people, but still a long way to go in the CRM aspect of the operation. Turkey is not alone in this area so our colleagues in THY shouldn't feel too disenfranchised. Let's not forget, not all accidents are due to pilot error.

As far as I understand it both Olympic and Turkish are doing a lot to improve their CRM situation. It's not going to happen over night, but I'll happily take my chances both with OA and THY.

Last edited by drfaust; 17th Dec 2011 at 14:16.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 14:13
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As a Turk my opinion is,
There are constructive discussions as well as the racist ones but welcome, we are used to hear those ,
Let me share my two observations with you as a passanger,
1. Flaps extended in the first quarter of the takeoff run ( brakes, deacceleration followed by extension of flaps, then takeoff, thanks god, runway was long enough), years ago,
2. One and half years ago, during taxi yabanci pilot made an announcement with his perfect accent , bla bla, there is a technical problem, we will be here 15 more minutes waiting for the technic guy, so you can use your mobile phones while waiting, but following was weird , someone from the cabin following the captain spoke into mic, bla bla, due to company rules mobiles are not allowed, and only in Turkish, she tried to override the Captain,and succeded,
But, almost 50 years i have been living in this country and we all love our countries we are born like anyone else, making critics and racism is likely different things,
Sorry for my broken English, please do not highlight my grammer mistakes,

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Old 17th Dec 2011, 14:49
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What an asinine and irrelevant comment drfaust. The tragedy that occurred in 1977 (34 years ago) brought about a revolution in all practices within that airline. Since that time that mainline airline has not had a fatality. The list of accidents for THY in the past 34 years makes for very sad reading, and sadly there are many airlines (some considered very reputable) that can be put on that same list.

In relation to the THY accident in Amsterdam the very legitimate question can be asked: what lesson is this airline taking away from it? They have had enough accidents to make one wonder how many will it take?

THY is the fastest growing airlines in the region, and that brings with it many challenges. The former and current pilots that have sought publicity are concerned enough (some undoubtedly care enough, and some probably have other motives) to try and bring about an environment that allows this growth to occur safely. If the end result helps to provide an impetus to this very necessary change it will be a good thing.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 14:59
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In support of otterman's post, in my opinion the major difference between KLM and THY is that KLM learned and took effective action from that tragedy (a long time ago). THY don't seem to be learning or attempting to take any significant and effective action at all following a series of fatal accidents.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 15:57
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I worked for 2 years in Turkey as a First Officer "Yabangi"
I've seen both good and bad...and for my sake most of them were good.
The only CRM problems I had was with an old ex-military cpt.
They are a very proud people. As long as I wasn't hurting their pride I was fine
The big problem I noticed there was the lack of SOP's. Each cpt has his own way of conducting a flight and how to operate. I was the one responsible of keeping everything in the loop and safe.
For me it was a very good and maturing experience: I increased my diplomatic skills with those bad CRM cpt's and I learned better how to manage stressfull situations in cockpit
For the rest I think Turkey is a beautiful country, I keep going there for vacation, good weather, good food, beautiful beaches...
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 16:37
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Mrs J-Class is Turkish by origin and travels to IST several times each year. I haven't let her fly on Turkish Airlines since the Amsterdam crash. Nothing in this thread changes my view. (For what it's worth, I also try to avoid Air France and any Russian-certified carrier - but these last two aren't an absolute rule).
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 19:05
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In relation to the THY accident in Amsterdam the very legitimate question can be asked: what lesson is this airline taking away from it?
..apparently that made THY reduce Turkish military jocks influence in flight operations, and begin hiring many "Yabanci" (non Turks) pilots.
Old 17th Dec 2011, 19:42
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The outside guys are there because of the growth that they are going through. No other reason. And these pilots will be gone the moment they are no longer required to meet the growth target. The unions will make sure of that (this is perfectly understandable, that is what they are there for).

Many of these foreign pilots have decades of managerial, TRI and TRE experience at some of the World’s best legacy carriers. But they are only there to fly the iron. They were not brought in, as is being implied, to change the company culture. This is perfectly understandable. You don’t see Air France trying to sort out their issues with outside talent.

Many of the world’s top carriers have gone through these types of transitions and have done it with their own people. But make no mistake, it hurts, and requires a radical shift in thinking. It also means that the pilots who can’t make the transition will have to leave the company. It all starts with management. And I am not sure if THY has the political independence at the managerial level to allow it to do what is required. It is much easier to stick you head in the sand, but in the long term you will pay the price.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 20:54
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The post by Kirks Gusset shows a complete ineptitude with regard to basic maths that should form the basis of any pilots ability. The link in the post covers fatalities in pure numerical values. Not per flight, not per 1000 passengers, so any of the larger carriers, or those with high passenger numbers will be skewed.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 21:55
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It might be asinine and irrelevant concerning this topic, however it is in its place regarding the previous post by the person i'm referring to. No one is implying that the Dutch did not learn from it, KLM is a fantastic airline.

The thing I am saying is that it wasn't all gold and glitters over there either, until a radical change of thinking was introduced because of that disaster. The price has been paid and it has been learned from. So let us at least remember why and where it (CRM) all started in the first place and try to keep arrogant attitudes away from aviation.

The god syndrome was the root of the problem and men are prone to it, whether they're Dutch, Turkish, French or from anywhere else.
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Old 17th Dec 2011, 22:10
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THY no, but one of the other Turks, PGT tried at ENGM in 2005
And the Aeroflot A320 succeded taking off from twy Mike on 25 February 2010. The captain was a CRM instructor at Aeroflot, 38 years old, no military background and pilot flying. Even the best pilot can make mistakes.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 00:43
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Anybody can muddy the water with statistics, or point fingers at ancient accidents that occurred with other flag carriers to prove how they're "not the only ones".

The issues raised in the "politikken" are concerned with the here and now and they are to do with English language, CRM skills and safety culture. These things aren't directly measurable, like lives lost or $damage caused, but they are no less important in terms of measuring the unmeasurable "how safe is an airline?" In fact they are the most important of all, because they indicate the present and near-future risk levels, as opposed to statistics which by their nature are rooted in the past.

Unfortunately because those things are judgments based on values, as opposed to quantifiable numbers, it's much easier to dismiss them or declare people expressing their concerns as gossip mongers / trouble makers / racists / whatever.

Senior captains don't speak out about this stuff in papers without very good reason. I've never flown Turkish but I don't think I will any time soon, based on what I read.

Surely the best way for them to put this to bed one way or the other, would be to voluntarily submit to a large, no-holds-barred independent safety audit from their fellow Star Alliance members, kind of like Korean did with Delta back in the day (which seems to have brought a great improvement to that airline, in terms of hull losses at least compared to their terrible '90s).
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 03:09
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Instructor in Turkish Airlines watched porn during pilot test

New stuff from Danish new paper Politiken:

Google Translate

The headline translation is not that good. Should read "Instructor in Turkish Airlines watched porn during pilot test"
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 14:14
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Just to remind you Guy´s here.. Yabanci´s are already reduced. The promise to extend the contract from one year to additional three was not kept. Many Guy´s recently got either no extension or just one more year. A clear sign inside THY that they are not welcomed in many ways. F/O´s been "told" they are not longer needed as Turkish Guy´s can do the job now. Exactly as forseen earlier here, just to fill the gap !

Istanbul great City, good food, good people, no doubt. I had many nice Colleagues but that is not what the Thread is all about.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 17:23
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Allegedly came very close to being banned from UK airspace not so long ago...I'm uncomfortable with this concept of THY eventually 'paying the price' and as this price would inevitably involve fare paying passengers I will refrain from putting myself and family on the bill.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 17:47
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John R and others.

Even if that leads him to stall a perfectly serviceable aircraft on approach, for example? Unbelievable.
During recurrent training we briefed and flew the NG accident into Amsterdam. I was shocked at how difficult the scenario was to fly out of – even having briefed it beforehand. I am not interested in rearguing all the aircraft (multiple write ups regarding a failed radar altimeter) and crew failures leading up to the accident.

Duplicating the scenario in the simulator was an “education” for me.

With the trim rolled back and the airspeed so low when one mashes the power the beast wants to stand on her tail. It took both hands shoving on the yoke to keep her from going vertical, momentarily I was frozen by what I was seeing that I was overloaded (even after having briefed it). For me it wasn’t salvageable until I “remembered” the trim. With both hands shoving the yoke and the trim rolling away she began to behave like an airplane again. I was so shocked by what I was presented with I insisted on flying the same maneuver three times. If you haven’t actually flown it I would strongly recommend you do-just for the “experience”.

For many reasons; I say the following with regret and respect some were self induced, that crew faced a very difficult scenario. When I first read the report I was puzzled why the crew did not “just recover from a nose high stall”. Now that I have flown the scenario I appreciate the difficulty that they faced in a very different way.

You pilots and managers in the rapidly expanding nations are in an enviable position in that you have the opportunity to take the best of what has already been learned by the manufacturers and legacy carriers and improve upon it yourselves. The challenge is being willing to change, recognize and then not repeat the mistakes we in the “west” have already made.

For example KLM/Pan Am; it is not enough to bring that event up only to serve as a rebuttal to somebody in the West criticizing a CRM or steep cockpit gradient. “Look your boys killed a whole bunch of people, so you are not better, therefore shut up and do not disrespect us” may be emotionally satisfying but not to apply the lessons learned is truly tragic.

The Canadians have a wonderful safety publication that runs one of my all time favorite sayings: learn from the mistakes of others, you will not live long enough to make them all yourself.

To those of you laboring at Turkish, and other carriers around the globe, to improve the carrier by every means possible, including painful self critique if necessary, you have my upmost respect. Best of luck to all of you!
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 22:30
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Watch out!

I have spent a few years based in Turkey. Indeed I agree, great country, food etc but that is not what this is about. I have been on the third seat and had to scream “Climb, Climb!” as, in the landing lights, I saw a pole with a ceramic insulator carrying the wireless aerial of a small farm pass just below us, this as a result of an old fashioned captain telling me to speak when I was spoken to, and not before. You can imagine the atmosphere on that flight deck! I have observed a captain ignore instructions to continue downwind until advised and thus cause considerable chaos at a major international airport. Also, approaching another major capital city airport at 5,000ft still at 300kts I have had a response from a trainee captain to whom I have posed the question as to what the controller will say next – “I don’t know. I am not the controller.” I have had to take control at 500ft when an F/O insisted on flying an IMC VOR approach with MAP displayed (although there was always a map shift at that airport) and I have witnessed actual violence on the flight deck from an old fashioned ex-military captain. I could go on but I expect you have all got better things to do. All these incidents were reported and acted upon. They were nothing to do with Turkey or THY and they ALL occurred in a well known western legacy carrier – so be careful if you want to throw stones!
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 00:35
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All very nice stories, but in the end, look at the accident rate. I believe the record of Turkish Airlines will speak for itself. If a three times as large carrier has had twice as many incidents, which one is safer?
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 01:27
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Gender gradient?

this is just a gossip that 13 girl has spoken that's all
i meant they are more talented than 13 gossip girl
It was said it'll take a decade or so for the cockpit gradient to decline.

How long will it take for the gender gradient to decline?
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 06:28
  #80 (permalink)  
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Just to remind you Guy´s here.. Yabanci´s are already reduced.
Just a 2 simple questions:
1. How many non local language speakers fly in any EU country National Airline ?
2. How many EU born Turkish pilots fly in any EU country ?

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