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Air France does a 'Memmingen'.

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Air France does a 'Memmingen'.

Old 17th Jun 2013, 11:50
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The DFDR printout looks a moderate approach in an HS121, the difference being the HS121 would have got in easily...
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 11:57
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He realised they were above profile and made the captain aware of this fact twice, but having been commander on other aircraft types before he did not want to encroach the captain's decisions.....Following the flight he believed he confused sympathy and cockpit resource management, which prevented him to fulfill his role as pilot monitoring.
This extreme politeness and unwillingness to challenge another crew-member seems to me to be similar to what we know of AF447. What's the cockpit culture in AF?
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 12:40
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Looks like CRM has a dark side which is much darker than expected.

(Too much) democracy in cockpit might work on the ground when you can freeze and reset the simulator but in critical situations when someone basically tries to kill you (and what's behind your back), other solutions could provide better outcome.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 12:47
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@AlphaZuluRomeo

CVR erased ?

This is in the first page of the report !

Note : les éléments suivants sont issus de données enregistrées dans l’enregistreur de
maintenance (QAR), de témoignages et des communications ATC. L’enregistrement phonique de
l’événement (CVR) n’est pas disponible.
L’équipage effectue le vol AF2184 entre Paris Charles de Gaulle (95) et Tunis Carthage.
Le briefing est réalisé à 5 h 00, le décollage a lieu à 6 h 53 min. Le commandant de
bord est pilote en fonction (PF).
Note: The following information was developed from data recorded in the recorder
Maintenance (QAR), testimonies and ATC communications. The sound recording
Event (CVR) is not available.
The crew takes flight AF2184 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (95) and Tunis Carthage.
The briefing is conducted at 5 h 00, the take-off takes place at 6 h 53 min.
The commander is pilot flying (PF).
Do you think the CVR is not available because someone from BEA had destroyed the CVR by mistake?

overthewing
This extreme politeness and unwillingness to challenge another crew-member seems to me to be similar to what we know of AF447. What's the cockpit culture in AF?
Report page 7
DEROULEMENT DU VOL
Le PNF a rapidement détecté les écarts par rapport au plan de descente, en a fait part
à plusieurs reprises au PF puis a renoncé à lui proposer une alternative. Son respect
de la fonction du CDB a pris l’ascendant sur son rôle de surveillance et de support.
CONDUCT OF FLIGHT
The PNF quickly detected deviations from the glide, has expressed
repeatedly PF then withdrew to propose an alternative. his respect
the function of the CBD took the ascendancy over its oversight and support.

Last edited by jcjeant; 17th Jun 2013 at 12:57.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 12:52
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What's the cockpit culture in AF?

Similar to the culture in France.

Those who believe in these national comparisons will know that the French rate strongly for both Individualism and Power Distance, quite an unusual combination.

In other words big egos (I don't need help) and undue respect for hierarchy (I dare not help).
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 12:53
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Sounds very familiar. Working as a controller in Oslo I have seen a very similar incident involving AF back in 2004-2005.
We just changed runways from 19 to 01 and AF was coming in from the south. On initial call they were given information on runway change and to expect vector to RWY01R. My plan was to give them a proper dogleg to loose altitude and sufficient time to set up for a new approach.
To my suprise they requested direct 10 mile final, when they were roughly at FL180 with 35 miles to go IIRC.
I ask them if it will be sufficient distance to loose altitude and they say no problem.
I keep monitoring the flight and as they're about 20 miles out at FL 110+ I offer them a dogleg or orbit to loose altitude, and again they reply that it's not needed.
They intercept 10 DME hot and high and again I ask if they want an orbit. The reply: don't worry we'll make it.
The end result is a late go around and a crew not very happy that they now have to enter holding to sort out a problem with their flaps. (Flap overspeed, aircraft spent an extra day in oslo)
All of this is from memory and happened some years back, but it tought me to take action whenever I see something that is clearly not going to work. Since then I have on a few occations just given vectors without saying why and then given own navigation direct final when I know it's within reasonable parameters.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 13:07
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short-fuel are you an AF pilot? If the answer is yes. RUN!!!
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 13:11
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@jcjeant

"L'événement n'est pas disponible" does not mean that the crew erased the CVR.

According to the MEL, the aircraft is not dispatchable with the CVR operative and the breaker pulled.

So I suppose that AF allowed the return flight with the CVR operative.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 13:55
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I thought it had been discussed many years ago and decided that the 'macho right stuff' was not the most desirable in a commercial airliner flight deck. More years ago, operating at Schiphol. Arriving from the south west with duty landing rwy 19L and a gentle SW breeze. F/O flying on a nice VNAV/LNAV path to 6nm finals 19L. Cabin crew given 15mins to landing and all was good with life and the flying world. Being AMS, and wanting to be nice to the locals, both for noise and crews, the APP controller asked if we wanted 06 straight in. It was a clear VMC night and field insight well below the nose. Without consultation the macho F/O said yes and hauled the speed brake from its slumbers and pointed the nose a la Stuka style. Wow, I cried, as I hung from the straps. I think, forcibly, that we stick with plan A. A miffed F/O asked why? It would be alright? No? We'll save 10 mins and all the taxi time.
Well, look at the tailwind: look at the DME and altimeter; look at the perspective of the airfield and your speed; consider the cabin crew who will now lose 10 mins preparation; consider the pax staggering white faced off the a/c after their holiday vowing never to fly with us again; think of explaining to DFO why it went wrong; and think about your command assessment; and think about me having to explain why I let you do it. The answer's No.
There was some reluctance, but acceptance. OK, there were the smarties who used to descend early just incase the straight in was offered; that's OK; it's called planning. It might cost a little fuel if the longer route is required, but there are options. Sometimes I wondered if ATC at some airfields like to play a game, but our friend in Oslo seems to have an admirable duty of care philosophy. There's a time and place for 'expeditious' arrivals, but often tower does not have all the info to hand, e.g. winds, Gnd Speeds, height, a/c performance etc. They are free to offer just as we are free to refuse. I sometimes wonder why an invitation is often perceived to be a request. CALI is a great case in point and let us never forget it. Plan A was safe and relaxed; Plan B was sad. I see too often the new brigade that allow ATC to fly the a/c and not have the nouse to say "no thank you; can we do XYZ."
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 14:42
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Do you think the CVR is not available because someone from BEA had destroyed the CVR by mistake?
I think someone around here has no clue that a) CVR nowadays record in two hour loops b) if there is no limitation exceeded and everyone is happy with making return flight, it will be done c) by the time investigating bodies get notified about incident, aeroplane can have a couple of dozen hours on totalizer more than at the occurrence, which is usually perfectly legal and fine.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 14:51
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With you on this one RAT - boring, predictable, safe and stress free. I declined a similar approach on behalf of the FO once (because I was concerned about tailwind) to much derision/pi$$ taking as we trundled downwind. At 30' on final, I casually pointed out the 20+ knot wind we would have had up our backside had we opted for the straight in. Surface wind was reported as "calm"......

Save the exciting stuff for a Pitts or an Extra - not when you've got 150+ punters in he back.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 15:00
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+1
Originally Posted by A4
boring, predictable, safe and stress free
- which does not include a screaming dive from 20,000 at 30nm, with, as pointed out, cabin being prepared for landing. No problems for the forward galley trolleys, of course........................
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 15:26
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Its hard to identify whether this was poor macho attitude or weak decision making in the face of commercial pressure.
The latter is understandable to a certain degree in the modern day and can be addressed through development and maybe by taking a hard look at air frances general safety culture. However if it was a result of machoism........then i am speachless!!!
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 16:07
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Either way it says nothing for command skills!
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 16:50
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Save the exciting stuff for a Pitts or an Extra - not when you've got 150+ punters in the back.

No problems for the forward galley trolleys, of course........................Either way it says nothing for command skills!


Been there, done that, and had lots of fun doing it. Different mind set, and I wonder at some of the cadets these days who go into airline flying because they like flying.

Upsets the Co' G and make the loops oh so difficult. Then again, in the fun a/c there's only one voice to listen to. Perhaps two; and CRM with God is optional.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 19:25
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Originally Posted by jcjeant
@AlphaZuluRomeo

CVR erased ?

This is in the first page of the report !
The first page of the report doesn't state that the CVR was erased by the crew as you wrote it. And I'm aware of what is in the report, thank you, I you read my previous post.

[edit] I erase willfully my subsequent prose, as LEXAN and Clandestino already made my point, better than I did myself in the first version of this post.

Please note, jcjeant, that I do not pass judgment on the merits of taking off again without having pulled out the CVR, I just say that this scenario is not necessarily a willful destruction of "evidence" as you seem to want to believe.

Last edited by AlphaZuluRomeo; 17th Jun 2013 at 19:30.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 20:20
  #77 (permalink)  
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the hang'em high and shoot'em brigage are adding nothing to safety
Never a truer word spoken in aviation.

With you on this one RAT - boring, predictable, safe and stress free. I declined a similar approach on behalf of the FO once (because I was concerned about tailwind) to much derision/pi$$ taking as we trundled downwind. At 30' on final, I casually pointed out the 20+ knot wind we would have had up our backside had we opted for the straight in. Surface wind was reported as "calm"......
The term "I declined on behalf of the FO" implies a certain amount of narcism which is really not the done thing in aviation. I am sure that less smug phraseology and attitude would be apo pro.

Last edited by fmgc; 17th Jun 2013 at 20:21.
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 21:18
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@FMGC

I can see that the turn of phrase I used comes across as smug (not the intention) and I can assure you there is nothing narcissistic about my attitude.

If you want the full version, we were offered a straight in at about 3am with strong tailwinds forecast throughout descent and already a little high on profile for the offered runway. The FO, quick as flash said "tell them we'll take it" - or words to that effect. I asked ATC to standby, expressed my concerns of energy/current profile and pointed out the likelyhood of excessive tailwind on short final. FO still wanted to go for the straight in but as Commander, and ultimately responsible, I decided we would take the normal approach. It added about 8-9 minutes to the close to 4 hour flight. IMHO that's why we are paid to be in the LHS - that's doing my job not trying to point score, belittle or be "superior".

The FO had a slight attitude problem generally (hence the sarcasm as we went downwind) and, incidentally, failed Command selection - twice in the next two years (nothing to do with me!)

The point I was trying to make with this anecdote is that there are individuals out there who just sometimes seem to not "get it". The "straight in" offer immediately becomes all consuming, a challenge and destroys their overall SA with disregard for the potential pitfalls they're setting themselves up for. Worrying.

Despite some of my comments on here, I don't subscribe to the "hang'em'high" ethos - but it seems that the airline in question IS NOT learning from previous episodes. The question is why not? Two similar events in 6 months. Is it because the info is not disseminated to crew? Is it because NOTHING is done to retrain/educate crews who deviate (massively) from SOP's? Do crews think they can get away with it without sanction? I don't know - but something's not right
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 22:03
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A4 - Fair enough.

In response the general query of your post, how do you change an airline's culture and how long does it take?

I would suggest with a great amount of difficulty and a long long time. Are they actually trying to?
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 04:12
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how do you change an airline's culture and how long does it take
20 years minimum at least I would say based on my exeprience in a multinational environment .(not airline but very close)

A very surprising ( for me it was at least) feature about culture : you see older generation passing it on to younger ones who were reluctant at first, but when 15 years later those young guys are replacing the old ones,they keep applying the old culture and teach it to the younger ones below them.

In the case of AF, the problem is complicated because you have to add a internal very powerful Union plus a long tradition and culture of doing things differently.

How to do it ? ask companies who managed it successfully recently : Emirates, Etithad, Qatar, Bristow helicopters, etc.. It is painful and not very democratic.
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