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Air France does a 'Memmingen'.

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Air France does a 'Memmingen'.

Old 23rd Jun 2013, 01:51
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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AF447 and this flight show a lot of problems with some airlines needing more aggresive and competent junior pilots to not let the pilot flying put the flight into jeopardy through poor decision making and aircraft management.

It wasn't a problem during my career because our airline hired captains with experience and confidence in handling situations as FO's. We didn't let things get out of our comfort zone like we see some new pilots doing today with low experience. Unfortunately you get what you pay for.
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 09:13
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Guys...

What do we have here?

A one-year old incident, with a grossly unstabilizes approach and go-around 100 feet below the gate, crew intervied and managed, report issued and transmetted to the authorithy and the AF pilot community, corrective actions taken.

On the other hand, 7 pages of one-year behind schedule internet flame fest of what I understand as "AF pilots ( read : french ) have a cultural problem ( read: don't know how to fly )"

I do not deny there was some work to be done within the airline ( work beîg done, believe me ), but it smells a bit like french-bashing here...
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 10:56
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Has Nothing to do with french bashing... AFbashing maybe, but with cause! There seems to be a new one-year old report every 3 months or so. Other european airlines including KLM and the lowcost airlines (which AF crews like to bash on the frequency) perform a lot better!

I really have zero respect for this cockup, sure we all get high and nobody really likes to ask for extra trackmiles (I do it, but I don't like it if it is a result of my actions, I don't like speedbrake either but use it if needed).
But when ATC swapped the runway, they gave this crew the perfect excuse to request extra trackmiles without denting their precious ego's!

And yes AF has to many rotten apples anongst their crews with ego's that are too big! That is based on their comments in French about other airlines which they believe don't understand their insults/slang and general whining!
Other French airlines don't act like this, not do French pilots in lowcost companies.

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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 11:18
  #124 (permalink)  
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It's not French bashing. The B738 over-run at Thesaloniki thread has similar views being stated but that crew were not French (as far as we know).

What cannot be denied though is that AF appear to have had more instances when things have gone way outside the envelope of normal operation. Some they got away with, some they didn't

A340 overrun landing during a TS in Toronto. Hull loss, miraculously all survived.

A330 - AF 447 incorrect reaction to unreliable speed and subsequent stall. All lost.

A319? - go-around at LFPG mishandled by Capt resulting in aircraft "porpoising" down the runway at very low RA - 76' with gear UP!

A340 - approach into LFPG earlier this year(?) with similar characteristics to the one this thread is about i.e [email protected],000', [email protected],700'.....and subsequent 26 degrees pitch and low speed after false glide capture

A320 - AlphaFloor activation during visual approach into MRS.

These are factual incidents. There's probably more but I can't remember them. All airlines have their moments when things go a little awry be it ATC, weather or self induced. This is not French bashing - it's just stating a fact - and we're only discussing 1 year after the event because its only just come to light.

You say that work is being done within AF - well that's great news - let's all hope it has the desired affect and prevents a repeat of the above incidents
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 12:05
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Assuming that the PF misjudged the situation (variable human performance), then for other than probability, what would indicate that the PM understood the situation any better than PF, and thus could have chosen to intervene.
Both pilots were in the same situation, thus their perception and understanding could have been similar, as we expect in everyday normal operations. But without evidence we cannot tell – probabilities or otherwise.


This statement, from your HF references, could, by your theory, also be applied to the TSL incident. However, at TSL they were visual and PM sat and watched, passively, for many minutes, as the captain was trying to kill them all. It was not a THY AMS surprise scenario. It was not even an AF CRZ stall with a 'what's it doing now?' conundrum. From the video it seemed like a nice long straight in visual finals. A G/A can still be made at any height, even from on the RWY up until TR's are deployed. As they floated down the rwy searching for the ground with too little flap and too high a speed, it was perfectly obvious to PM that this was not a good place to be. The hole was deep and getting deeper. After all the world incidents/accidents of this nature that have been spread around the aviation industry why are PM's still allowing this to happen? If the F/O had been PF would the captain have sat back, dumb? Jeez I hope not; but then it was the same clown who put them in this hole in the first place.
Same with AF. If PM could not perceive that they were getting into a deep hole that was getting deeper they shouldn't be at the sharp end. PF might get mentally fixated on the mission and tunnel vision. I doubt there was much explanation from PF about what he was doing and how he was thinking it was going to work out. I suspect he was fixated and moving hands and eyes rapidly searching for the golden key. PM should have been thinking his own thoughts and feeling very nervous for his own survival. I don't get it that he might also have been unaware that things were going wrong. His brain was on a different channel to PF and receiving different inputs and making different calculations: I hope.
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 13:03
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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QAR

I'd be interested in the extent to which regulars think that the BA pioneered QAR system, with post flight analysis (I've seen the system and found it mind blowing) has been responsible for changing culture and attitudes, and weeding out persistent flight envelope busters.

Although AF have the QAR I notice in the Tunis report they refer to it as a "maintenance recorder".

Does that mean they only use it for maintenance related purposes or do they have a program, like BA, of flight envelope data sampling, analysis and confidential reporting of parameters when exceeded? If not, would the unions permit it?
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 14:08
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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A4,(#118) Not attempting to justify, but trying to understand, and to learn.
No psychobabble, just a humble pilot who during a long and varied career had opportunity and interest to ask why; primarily about self.

IMHO I see ‘anger and bluntness’ as issues of hindsight. “Any pilot with any NORMAL, EXPECTED "cognitive recognition" would …”, is an assumption, because it is difficult to establish what demands were placed on the incident crew at any stage of the approach. It was their view of the situation which gave them a unique (and possibly flawed) understanding; and like all experiences these cannot be relived exactly or simulated. It is similarly difficult to define a ‘normal’ pilot, let alone their cognition as a measure for everyone; thus what is the scale by which to judge others, and again what is on/off limit.

Everyone’s view is important as they bring different understandings to incidents and the safety of our industry, but we must separate biases such as hindsight, explanation before understanding, cherry picking events, or ill-defined statistics from ‘fact’ and understanding, however strongly we might feel.

In this incident the crew ultimately went around; why. Whatever ‘view’ that ‘caused’ the pilots to change their intent – a process, was probably similar (but probably a converse view) to that which got them into the situation in the first place.
We should ‘celebrate’ the success of the GA (in a very small way), understand why, and from that identify what we might learn.
Isn’t that the point of Ut Sementem Feeceris ?
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 14:43
  #128 (permalink)  
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Alf - I will preface this by saying I know you have had 'a long and varied career', which I readily accept and respect but I fear you have now been 'seduced' by what is known here as psychobabble.

""Any pilot with any NORMAL, EXPECTED "cognitive recognition" would …”, is an assumption," I suspect 99% of pilots, certainly A4 and I, would say it is a fact.

"difficult to establish what demands were placed on the incident crew at any stage of the approach." as A4 said, the only 'demand' at runway change was a challenging vertical profile, not enough to cause mental panic, and when they realised they had been in V/S it would have been READILY apparent that more track miles were needed. No question. So I see no demands that could not be readily handled.

"It is similarly difficult to define a ‘normal’ pilot, let alone their cognition as a measure for everyone; thus what is the scale by which to judge others, and again what is on/off limit." in this case not - see reference to 99%

"In this incident the crew ultimately went around; why." do we need to ask? Does that need 'analysis' too?

"Whatever ‘view’ that ‘caused’ the pilots to change their intent – a process, was probably similar....." ???? Probably the 'view' out of the window showing no runway to land on? Let's not get TOO carried away with 'the mental processes'.

"We should ‘celebrate’ the success of the GA (in a very small way)" well, yes, in a very big way, actually, a small straw to clutch at and one that no doubt 150 odd pax and crew, not to mention family, friends and Air France, appreciate too.

As far as "Ut Sementem Feeceris" is concerned, the best thing to do is not to sow the seed in the first place, which is, I believe, what Captains, like you and I were, are paid to do in the trust that they are "pilots with any NORMAL, EXPECTED "cognitive recognition ." Cogita ante salis or Caveat emptor seem appropriate?
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 15:56
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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In this incident the crew ultimately went around; why. Whatever ‘view’ that ‘caused’ the pilots to change their intent

Crew = more than 1 pilot, and the pilots confirm who you are discussing. I would suggest that only 1 pilot = PF was involved in executing this scenario. Was the G/A initiated by PF or did PM at last wake up? I don't know, but I have a strong gut feeling that the start and end of this semi-suicidal escapade was not a 'crew' matter. I very much doubt if PF turned to PM to enquire of his opinion if the subsequent approach might be executed successfully & safely. I suspect PF plunged the a/c towards the rwy and PM was trying desperately to catch up with what was confronting him and hanging on. I hope it was PF who finally decided to bail out of this imminent train smash, and the relief on PM's face improved the smell in the cockpit.
I would be ver curious what the F/O said after the engines were shut down. I've missed if they flew back together and what the atmosphere must have been like. I wonder the same questions of the TSL incident. There have been many other averted disasters where the F/O had a chance to say his piece, but I wonder if they ever did. There is one story I know of where the captain on a severe clear day executed a high energy visual and ended up with a glide landing at F5/10. Flap limits had been exceeded. No entry in the tech log etc. etc. No engineering inspection, even though they were available. Yet the F/O stayed on board and flew back with the clown, probably very silently. It was automated data retrieval data that blew the whistle a few days later. Amazing. The question people often ask is 'what would you do to force the G/A?' I can understand that; let's try and learn; but to say nothing to management about your concerns of the captaincy/piloting skills of an employee who might then go out the next day and do the same only worse; that I find also lacking in judgement. If we're dealing with HF matters in the build up to the incident, I think we can also consider the HF matters afterwards and ask why the silence. I know it is easy to ask and very difficult to blow the whistle, but just give it some thought if it happened to you and your wife & kids were booked on his a/c the next day.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 05:21
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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I didn't mean to bash anybody but an FO's job is to make sure the flight is conducted safely and to intervene if necessary. I have done it on very rare occasions because it is my responsibility, not my loyalty to my captain or whoever is PF. I guess when I took over a 4 engine jet from my chief pilot and went around with him trying to land long on a wet short runway with no chance of stopping is when I realized having a job is not as important as doing your job as a pilot. I thought I was fired but he thanked me for what I did. Never let your flight you are responsible for as a crew member be compromised by letting another crewmember put it in jeopardy.

Last edited by bubbers44; 24th Jun 2013 at 05:28.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 12:20
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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A philosophy that prone SOP absolutism is even worse than a despotic Captain that is wrong. It locks absolutely the other crew members. This is true everywhere in the world. Europe is looser and so absolutist as counterpart. Freedom is not a luxury but a vital necessity. Bubbers44 your freedom vs SOP did your decision lucky.
I realized having a job is not as important as doing your job as a pilot. I thought I was fired
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 14:19
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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An airline flight is all planned and conducted on the underlying assumption that it will go ahead and fly to completion.

One person is designated as Commander, and that Commander has one responsibility -

That is to say "no", when everyone else is saying/assuming "yes".

Last edited by Checkboard; 24th Jun 2013 at 14:19.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 14:42
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Suggest thread title change to "Air France does a Air France"
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 18:44
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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BOAC, you provide important views of these issues (#128).
Seduced by psychology? I hope not; just one of many alternative views that I strive to understand.

Your post reflects many others in this thread, with the apparent inability to define ‘facts’ such as normal or expectation. Also note the lack of explanation as to how pilots might avoid these unwarranted situations; but that everyone else can*; e.g. “I would have known”, “it’s obvious”, “would be readily apparent”, “do we need to ask” – not just your words.
The words (feelings) indicate aspects of knowledge and particularly the application of knowledge. These identify with ‘tacit knowledge’. In aviation this is often described or included within experience, airmanship, or professionalism.

Thus we all know what should be done or what not to do, but have difficulty in explaining it. This suggests problems in training, but we should not overlook cognition; “the idea that certain cognitive processes and/or behaviors are inaccessible to consciousness.” – see web links.

The words associated with tacit knowledge might provide further insight. Note that these aspects also appear in the thread, often veiled under ‘the individual’, ‘nation’, ‘organization’, or ‘culture’:-
Perceptions, ideals, values, emotions and mental models so ingrained in us that we take them for granted.
Individual experience, intangible factors, personal beliefs, perspective, subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches.
Though they cannot be articulated very easily, this dimension of tacit knowledge shapes the way we perceive the world around us.


Earlier I recalled being taught 'airmanship' but knowing how; this is typical of tacit knowledge. Thus we might consider what form of training enables the necessary understanding and if that still applies today.
Does the industry have an ‘apprenticeship’ scheme; do experienced pilots mentor junior ones, do we always brief / debrief, or question ourselves. How long does it take to become experienced; is there time.

“Effective transfer of tacit knowledge generally requires extensive personal contact, regular interaction and trust. This kind of knowledge can only be revealed through practice in a particular context and transmitted through social networks. To some extent it is "captured" when the knowledge holder joins a network or a community of practice.”

IMHO the issues underlying this type of incident are in these areas; modern operational scenarios are more resource demanding, require greater awareness, there are more limits and procedures, less time both in the air and on the ground.
Problems thrive on change, thus we could focus more on what has changed, particular the gradual aspects, which we might not have noticed or fully understood the consequences.

Knowledge
http://proceedings.informingscience....4/050maqso.pdf

* I exclude the tools such as rules of thumb, gates, alt/distance tables, assuming that there are known, and focus on the mental process which enables their use.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 20:23
  #135 (permalink)  

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My own experience from a dark and stormy night going onto 06L in PMI is that it is quite possible to get in off an approach with (2 x Height) in Track Miles to run.

In this particular situation we predicted the event as a result of multiple TS's in the vicinity with some nasty returns delaying our descent, briefed the cabin on the eventuality so they were all secure before we reached the intermediate descent stage, and deployed the gear at limit speed minus a few knots from FL160, fully cognisant of the fact we might have to throw the approach away if we were unable to satisfactorily manage the energy equation.

I honestly don't remember it as that much of a deal except that we were at FL160 with ~30 miles to run. I fully accept this isn't a "normal" approach and is probably pretty uncomfortable for passengers, but it wasn't your normal night in PMI.

The headwind component will have a significant effect on the outcome but I can't remember what it was....
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 21:29
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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A humble 737 (well maybe NOT a 738WSFP. .that is a bitch ! ) can easily do the equivalent of 6 degree approach I.E 10 miles 6000', but. . that is assuming you drop the gear & all the flap right through to 40 at the limit & then fly at the limit for F40-5KTS (either manually or automatically if you can REALLY use that MCP . . & so few can regretably ) till the 1000' or 500' gate. Done it a few times due either my own, or ATC's misjudgement, but always with a defined moment to say "game over", and always keeping my colleague in the loop.

These AF Jokers were so far out of these parameters that they were not operating to any pre-rehearsed "recovery scenario". . they were just hoping that Physics were somehow having a "left-field" day.
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Old 24th Jun 2013, 22:04
  #137 (permalink)  
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Yes SR - but you BRIEFED (including the CC), PLANNED, MONITORED,were ENERGY AWARE and accepted you may have to throw it away. BIG difference. You didn't continue to < 500' with the GPWS shouting!

Alf - I can see what you're getting at BUT this was not an inexperienced crew (Capt 10,000TT with 2,600 on type, FO 1,700 on type). The FO should be past the mentoring stage and the Capt....well.....I'd like to think he should be all "tacit'd up" by now!

.....modern operational scenarios are more resource demanding, require greater awareness, ......
The Airbus PFD, ND, FMGC PROG Page are very useful Resourses and are there to enhance awareness. We are spoiled today with the sheer quantity and quality of the information presented by a modern airliner FMS - but you've still got to be able to do the basic mental maths to back it all up. IMHO this crew didn't.

Whatever the reasons - be it arrogance, inability, culture, cognitive overload, weak FO, dominant Captain, fatigue, (lack of) Training - there was a near lethal cocktail on the flight deck that day and they only just got away with it.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 01:41
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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but always with a defined moment to say "game over", and always keeping my colleague in the loop
And that is the the big issue.

What's wrong with the culture when 2 men who are responsible for hundreds of lives cannot - or will not - err on the side of caution.

Courage is where you find it, and you won't usually find an opportunity to be courageous by taking the riskiest action.

Usually, courage is quiet and is the result of applying one's knowledge in an unexpected way.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 03:09
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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The captain should always make the decisions and the FO should always as 2nd in command support him unless he can't because it puts the flight in jeopardy, then it is his job as a crew member to protect his crew and passengers to do what ever is neccesary to protect them. Never let another crew member put your flight in jeopardy. I don't care what country you live in. This is a pilot's responsibility to his crew and passengers, not to his airline.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 09:20
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rottenray
but always with a defined moment to say "game over", and always keeping my colleague in the loop
And that is the the big issue.
Agreed.
That are the conclusions of the report, too
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