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Three Chengdu Airlines pilots probed for ......

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Three Chengdu Airlines pilots probed for ......

Old 19th Apr 2013, 19:08
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Three Chengdu Airlines pilots probed for ......

The mainland's aviation authority is investigating three Chengdu Airlines pilots after they landed a plane using autopilot in poor weather conditions, despite warnings that that would place the passengers in danger.

The "serious violation of landing procedures" occurred on April 5 during a flight from Chengdu , Sichuan province, to Nanning , the capital of the coastal Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing a classified cable.

The report said the Nanning aircraft control personnel repeatedly warned the pilots to delay landing due to poor visibility. But they defied the instruction and landed the aircraft on autopilot.

They were later suspended despite landing successfully.

The airline yesterday said on its website that it had grounded the trio for misconduct.

"We are currently under scrutiny by the industry regulator and will punish whoever was responsible for the incident," it said.

Using the autopilot to land a plane, or "blind landing", is only permitted under strict conditions because not every airport has the necessary equipment to accommodate its use.

The incident prompted the Civil Aviation Administration to send a team to investigate the pilots and the airline.

"The pilot disregarded procedure. His actions showed a lack of regard for the airline and passengers," Li Shuwen, an inspector at the administration, said of the senior pilot on the flight.

Some Chengdu Airlines crew members also criticised the pilots, saying what they did was potentially dangerous, the report said.

"It reminds me of the Yichun flight crash," a crew member said, referring to an incident in 2010. The crash during landing, which occurred in Heilongjiang province, left 44 dead and 52 injured.

The Nanning incident follows China Southern Airlines' suspension in February of a pilot for misconduct after his plane scratched an antenna of a control tower during landing. In 2011, Global People magazine said the mainland was experiencing a shortage of pilots and forecast a national shortfall of 18,000 pilots by 2015 - a problem that could potentially limit the development of the national aviation industry.

That has forced some airlines to offer higher pay to draw pilots, but doing so at the expense of spending on marketing and maintenance.

The problem was partly because the aviation profession was no longer viewed as glamorous, said Sherry Carbary, president of Alteon Training, an independent pilot training school.


SCMP 19/04/2013
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 19:14
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Shoot them quickly.

Oh, hang on. I'm sure we will do that here on pprune quicker than the authorities can.....
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 19:32
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Time for China to get real with today's aviation. One way or another, they'll have to start using autolands on every flight if the pollution levels keep going up, it'll be full IMC most of the time!

While disregarding instructions and deliberately deviating from SOP's is far from commendable, an autoland has less chances of getting a bounce or a hard landing, as it seems to happen quite often with manual landings in this part of the world...

Out of curiosity, any data available on the number of accidents caused by autolands?
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 19:37
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One more thing, Copilots in some Chinese airlines are instructed to use autoland in case of captain's incapacitation. But they have never used it before, and don't what it'd be without an ILS...
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 19:40
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Probably why they are going to GBAS...
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 19:41
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That comment is pure genius Narrow Runway, love it!
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 06:33
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Has anyone asked what their fuel state was before suspending them? I'd rather do an autoland than run out of fuel waiting for the vis to improve, assuming all other options had been exhausted!

despite warnings that that would place the passengers in danger
Running out of fuel would place the passengers in a lot more danger.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 06:57
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Nanning ZGNN has a CAT 1 ILS servicing runways 05/23 with a 200'/800m minima. If the vis is less than that, then you don't do the approach.

Simple really.

If you get caught by unforecast wx then an autoland is a get out of gaol card. In this case it might be a go to gaol card......

Last edited by alidad; 20th Apr 2013 at 06:59.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 08:43
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Notwithstanding that this incident took place in China, if it was in fact in their SOP's NOT to do this under the conditions noted, then it comes down to intentional non-compliance.

One might reasonably replace the nation where this took place, replace it with one's own country and ask, "if this had happened in my country, what would the response be?"
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 09:20
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Notwithstanding that this incident took place in China, if it was in fact in their SOP's NOT to do this under the conditions noted, then it comes down to intentional non-compliance.
The first question being WHY did they non-comply, if it was not for a very very good reason then "shoot em" as Narrow Runway suggested, however a few posters on this thread have already "found" them guilty, just as NR said PPrune would do and without all the FACTS!!
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 12:01
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It was an unfortunate oversight when this site was set up that posting didn't first require every poster to:

A) Post under their real name (I know, but at least I used my initials)

B) Agree to "investigate" under the requirements of ICAO Annex 13

But then, many posters on here would be silenced.

Last edited by J.O.; 20th Apr 2013 at 12:01.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 12:13
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Indeed, one must ask "why" in every instance of intentional non-compliance with one's own SOP's, because no matter how you choose to look at it, the pilot (or crew) made a conscious decision NOT to abide by their company's own procedures.

Would following company SOP's in this case, at that very moment, have resulted in a less safe condition? Did they simply choose to ignore their own operating procedures? We'll have to wait and see.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 06:48
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Captain has got his chinese licence revoked for life.
So long.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 06:57
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LIcense revoked for life? Seems unduly harsh. They dont mess around over there. Total obedience is required.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 07:04
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armchairpilot94116 LIcense revoked for life? Seems unduly harsh. They dont mess around over there. Total obedience is required.
Unduly harsh?
The captain decided to take unnecessary risks for no reason and busted minimums to land(rvr 200 meters) only then to be guided off the runway by a follow me car as he couldnt find the exit.

I dont know about you but these pilots have nothing to do in a flight deck, they are a danger to the public and their licence should be revoked for life.

Do you want your family to travel with such pilots in control?such damn idiots?

Now people making mistakes because a lack of training or lack of skills is one thing,but pilots taking such risks must be dealt in that way.

I hope other CAA would take note of such actions and do the same.

Last edited by de facto; 21st Apr 2013 at 07:08.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 07:25
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Nobody can judge the fairness of revoking the Commanders license until he's proven guilty.
As someone experienced enough mentioned - there can certainly be emergency situations where intentionally operating outside the SOP's at the discretion of the PIC is the best if not only solution - low fuel could be one. Lack of experience makes one jump to conclusions.

On a different note. The ATC in Chengdu is an absolutely mess - they need some serious re-training at that location.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 07:35
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The chinese CAAC obviously found him guilty and they may have bit more info than you,dont you think?

low fuel could be one
Please....he landed at his destination and not his alternate.

Lack of experience makes one jump to conclusions
I would say , lack of of experience makes one defend the undefendable.

Last edited by de facto; 21st Apr 2013 at 07:37.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 07:44
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Any*idea of what aircraft was involved (that apparently requires 3 pilots) ?!
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 07:47
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Some flights have 3 pilots,the jumpseat is for new first officer to watch and learn,most dont...

Last edited by de facto; 21st Apr 2013 at 07:48.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 08:02
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there can certainly be emergency situations where intentionally operating outside the SOP's at the discretion of the PIC is the best if not only solution - low fuel could be one.
Yeah? What does your SOP say in this case? And what does your SOP say if you are in a emergency fuel situation? Just curious...
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