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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

Old 15th Jul 2013, 20:31
  #2141 (permalink)  
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As regards changing procedures at SFO. I do not think it is necessary. Thousands of approaches were flown before this without accidents and thousands of approaches will be flown after this without accident.
And as several have explained, it is the pilots job to override the automation if needed and fly the plane.
And an inexperienced crew should not be flying 300 people around
I've followed this entire thread, and I've read every post. These three points become painfully clear.

So many people have disagreed, usually allowing for pilot fatigue or a lack of hands-on skill. But, when I buy a ticket to fly, what I DON'T see in the fine print is the following:

"The ticket purchaser agrees that flying an airplane is demanding work, and crews may be fatigued or may lack the ability to manage the aircraft without anticipated computer assistance. Therefore our passengers are reminded that, from time to time, aircraft may stall and crash into the Atlantic Ocean or smash up whilst landing on a bright sunny day in San Fransisco. Should you be on such a flight, and should you thusly be killed or mangled, or should your spouse, parents, or children thusly be killed or mangled, we ask you to bear with us. Thank you for your understanding in this matter."

I think apologists should ask themselves whether such a caveat would seem quite okay and reasonable. Maybe in bright red, on their ticket.

Similarly, other professionals, from your friendly brake-repairman to your surgeon, might also like you to be so understanding. They, too, might be tired or new at the job.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:31
  #2142 (permalink)  
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This is an interesting phenomenon in this thread. It was established very early on, within a day or so of the accident that there was nothing "slam dunk" about this approach.
A Squared: I was merely trying to point out that approaches into SFO are not always as 'easy' as some of the jocks on this forum seem to allege.

Having now had the time to trawl back through over 1,000 posts, it seems the flight in question was vectored in down the coast to join left base for 28L. That brings its own difficulties due to the high terrain to the south of the airport. The aircraft might have been 'aligned on final by 14 NM from the runway threshold at 4300 ft', but what speed was it doing? The Flight Aware data seems to suggest it still had a ground speed of around 230 knots. That's not an impossible situation to be in, but nevertheless it presents a challenge in achieving a stabilised approach if not handled correctly. Again, a reasonably fresh crew at the top of their game might not have a problem, but it's a different story altogether for a tired long-haul crew.

Why they didn't recognise the situation earlier and do something about it (ie go around) will no doubt be a focus of the investigation.

I think apologists should ask themselves whether such a caveat would seem quite okay and reasonable.
Bill: Nobody, including me, is 'apologising'. Most of us are merely trying to understand how this happened in a bid to find ways to prevent it happening again.

Last edited by BuzzBox; 15th Jul 2013 at 21:40.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:38
  #2143 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PEI_3721
I would add / ask that the differences between previous A320 experience and the B777 may also have had influence, e.g. A320 autothrust when engaged will maintain speed without thrust lever movement, as in this accident.
What are the equivalent correct/incorrect A320 autothrust annunciations?
Does type training pay enough attention to these differences?
The really big difference between Boeing and Airbus is that the Boeing gives a tactile feedback by moving the controls and thrust levers, while the Airbus does not give any tactile feedback.

Thus, flying an Airbus, it is required to check always visually, what the bird does => change a parameter, then see on the instruments what the bird does, even (especially) on a visual approach.

That in turn means, as a former Airbus driver, at least this pilot should have been used to checked more often the instruments and so he should have detected the airspeed / N1 / EPR disagreement very soon, just by checking his instruments. Basic jet flying.

Regarding the training issue, see my post #1794.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:50
  #2144 (permalink)  
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16 yo victum/vechicle investigation?

Something is bothering me terribly: is there going to be an internal investigation of the run over girl...or is it this going to be sweeped under the "FOAM"?

Last edited by jack11111; 15th Jul 2013 at 22:05.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:59
  #2145 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by suninmyeyes
Being high and fast at 1000 feet led to idle thrust. This led to a decelerating speed.
Well, and what should have happened at 1,000ft if the aircraft was too high and too fast?

Most operaters I know call this an unstabilized approach and require the crew to GO AROUND!

Originally Posted by suninmyeyes
The landing checklist was not completed until 500 feet.
So to recap, although at 500 feet height and speed were ok the thrust levers were at idle, the alignment was not right and the nose was then raised with the speed decaying rapidly.
The aircraft was not stabilized at 500 ft either, another chance for a GO AROUND missed, not even the checklist was read at 500 ft nor adequate power set!

That has nothing at all to do with not understanding automatics or changing to a new type or having two guys in a new role or on a new seat or lack of a bloody glideslope.
That is nothing less than (multiple) disregarding SOP by not performing a GO AROUND at well predefined points for an unstabilized approach.

And, btw, the Airbus has an electronic landing checklist as well, so the trainee was familar with that.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 22:19
  #2146 (permalink)  
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I'm sure there will be, the fire service debriefed any event like. The NTSB will probably include some of the findings in its report. But, by then, it will be page 3 news.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 22:33
  #2147 (permalink)  
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Enough bullsh1t from general public and 100 hr private pilots
I have flown into KSFO numerous times with 21 years flying Boeing a/c, stated only to advise that this is not ill informed comment. Whilst the traveling public and pvt pilots are entitled to their opinion, this wild speculation does nothing to get to the crux of the accident.

1. The a/c was NOT given a slam dunk approach. Aligned on final at 4000 odd feet at 14 miles is not a slam dunk.
2. 230 kts at 14 miles is NOT a challenge.
3. Stabilised approach criteria was NON existant.
4. The a/c was on profile at 400 ft..... but with a ROD at close to double the stabilised equivalent, way outside the ballpark.
5. The 3 muppets up front said NOTHING. (I won't honour them with the term pilots)
6. A/T hold is a normal A/T sub mode. It only becomes a "trap" when you don't know what you are &^%#& doing.
7. It is preferable that the guys up the pointy end know what they are *&$^ doing !
8. All ULH operations have a fatigue element. It is a professional's responsibility to mitigate that fatigue element by inflight rest, professional competence and knowing your game. The last two items were NON existent.

These morons masquerading as pilots deserve jail time, the charge professional incompetence.

Last edited by fire wall; 15th Jul 2013 at 22:39.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 22:33
  #2148 (permalink)  
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14 DME, 4300', 230kts, or even 250kts, is now being presented as some sort of tricky arrival?

It isn't. Period. Routinue arrival trying to save time is 250kts to 10 DME @3000'.

And every long haul crew is tired. Most are lucky if they get 2 hrs of sleep during a long haul overnight flight. Three hours of sleep, unless on a four man crew, is rare.

Four man crews are the most rested. Asiana was a four man crew.

Last edited by misd-agin; 15th Jul 2013 at 22:36.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:03
  #2149 (permalink)  

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Try 2-crew long haul ops, and you'll know what tiredness is. UK charter companies are specialists in this exquisite form of cost-saving torture. Cheap tickets, exhausted pilots, no rest areas for 3-crew when they happen.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:09
  #2150 (permalink)  
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Firewall ,Good post ! True indeed.

On another note , regarding speed brakes , i am wondering what is the likely hood the approach was flown with the speed brakes up ?
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:18
  #2151 (permalink)  
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Manual flight with autothrottle/ thrust is not a good idea, and I do not practice it, neither does my company. either all ON or all OFF. combining makes things jot only more complex, it confuses both the aircraft and the crew.
It seems more and more likely that this is one of the contributing factors.

Over and over, I see Captains and FO's blindly relying on the autothrottles, never putting their hands on the thrust levers to feel their reaction ( Boeing here) or at least monitoring the thrust trend and value ( on AB).
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:32
  #2152 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BuzzBox
The Flight Aware data seems to suggest it still had a ground speed of around 230 knots. That's not an impossible situation to be in, but nevertheless it presents a challenge
Yeah, that's about what I see on Flight Aware also. Now I don't fly the 777, but a little googling leads me to believe that 230 knots is slow enough to extend the first two increments of flaps and extend the landing gear.

So, you're saying that being lined up on final 14 mile out, on a 3 degree glide, and slow enough to a) throw out the gear, and b) start throwing out flaps, is a "challenge"?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing the challenge. If you're not high, and you're slow enough to start configuring, and you've got 14 NM to go, it seems like easy money to me.

Last edited by A Squared; 15th Jul 2013 at 23:37.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:40
  #2153 (permalink)  
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I don't know the 777 but in the 737/757/747 manual flying an approach with the A/T on worked well for me. It took a little while to get used to the effect on pitch, but I always held on to the throttles so I got advanced notice of the changes as the throttles moved before the actual thrust changed.
I was very easy and not confusing at all.
Very comforting in fact, knowing that the airplane was responding to the changes and maintaining the selected speed to a very close tolerance..
What was the benefit? It gave me very good speed control, especially in gusty conditions, and allowed me to use Vref+5 as the target speed vice Vref +5 +gusts. Especially on short runways it was a bonus.
Not of much use in calm conditions, so I did not use it all the time and some airlines I worked with banned it as a practice although I don't remember if Boeing did allow it.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 00:07
  #2154 (permalink)  
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So, you're saying that being lined up on final 14 mile out, on a 3 degree glide, and slow enough to a) throw out the gear, and b) start throwing out flaps, is a "challenge"?
That's exactly what I'm saying, in this case. It probably wouldn't be a challenge for a 737, but a new 777 pilot doing it in an aircraft weighing 200-odd tonnes probably would find it a challenge, especially without strong direction from the training captain, and if a breakdown in situational awareness got them to that point in the first place.

I'm not saying this was the cause of the accident, simply that it COULD have been a contributing factor. It's fairly obvious they should have been monitoring the speed and thrust more closely, and gone around much earlier in the approach when it was obvious they were unstable. I guess we'll have to wait for the NTSB report to find out why that didn't happen.

Last edited by BuzzBox; 16th Jul 2013 at 04:51.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 00:15
  #2155 (permalink)  
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180 to 5

phil gollin

[QUOTE]There is a majority (but not universal) feeling that the ATC advisory "180 kts to 5nm"/4-degree approach was a possible contributory factor./QUOTE]

I'm not sure where you get the 4-degree approach thing from..... that wasn't in the instructions they were given and wouldn't be a normal thing anyway.

But I believe the 180 to 5 miles instruction might have contributed to an unstable approach, but it was not insurmountable. Ms. Hersman indicated that the speed limit for a 777 to select full flap was 160 kts. If you comply with the 180 till 5 instruction then you are accepting that you will not be in the landing configuration until quite late. In other words, you fly to 5 miles at 180 kts, then slow to below 160, then select full flap, then slow to target speed (in this case 137 kts). Only then, with the engines spooled up, and maintaining a stable target speed, on a stable glidepath to the touchdown zone with a rate of descent less than 1000fpm, can you consider the approach to be stabilized....my words are approximate, each company's SOPs will be very specific, but they are all similar.

But different companies specify differences in WHEN this must be achieved by. Some have a blanket "stabilized by 1000 ft" for ALL approaches, some say "by 1000ft in IMC, and by 500 ft in VMC." I don't know what Asiana's rules are, no doubt it will come out in the investigation.

Here are some standard references that pretty much ANY commercial pilot will know and rely on..... if you are on the desired 3-degree nominal glidepath, at 5 miles you will be passing 1500 ft, you pass 1000ft just outside 3 miles, and 500ft at just under 2 miles.

So, to comply with 180 to 5 and be stable by 1000ft in this case would require losing 43kts while continuing a steady descent and configuring in the middle of it, all in less than 2 miles and less than a minute (180 kts is 3 miles a minute). This would require some pretty aggressive handling by someone very familiar with his plane, not someone still trying to get a feel for his new plane. Stable by 500ft would be a lot more do-able but still a challenge for a new-on-type pilot. In any case, some of the plots I've seen, if accurate, show that at 5 miles they were faster than 180kts and higher than 1500ft so it may have been nigh on impossible to be be stable at either gate. The question will be, why did the flying pilot elect to continue, and why did the instructor allow it to continue?

As many have said, saying "unable" might have helped although if they were already too high and too fast it wouldn't have made any difference and this is all moot anyway.

In the past when given a "180 kts to 5 miles" instruction I have said, "Unable, but I can give you 180 to 7 miles and 160 to 5," or similar and the controller has accepted that, but that might not be quite so easy for a non-fluent English speaker to do.

[QUOTE]I am sure that ATC did not impose this as a whim, in fact a couple of people have indicated that it is a common call for noise abatement reasons.
Well, where does that policy come from ?
Is it an airport operating requirement ? Is it just something that they would prefer ?/QUOTE]

It's not noise abatement. It's because there is following traffic that is catching you up. If they get too close, they will have to go around adding one extra plane to an already busy arrival pattern. This is probably not intuitive to non-pilots, but on approach the planes behind you are always catching you up. Why?..... because you always get the the point where you have to slow down before they get to their point where they have to slow down. Why doesn't ATC slow them all down at the same time?... Sounds like it might work, but it doesn't. You end up with a massively long conga line of planes flying slowly, wasting gas, and causing more delays. It's ATC's job to try and manage the problem efficiently, sometimes it doesn't quite work out for all sorts of reasons, hence the requests to keep the speed up. But ATC doesn't know the particulars of your plane's limitations and capabilities, that's the pilot's job and it's up to him to say "unable" when it's just not practical.

Last edited by Bob Zuruncle; 16th Jul 2013 at 01:07.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 01:33
  #2156 (permalink)  
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You've obviously never flown a 777 or a A330 then.
250 kts at 3000' at 10 DME IS A PROBLEM. ( yes the 777 is a lot better than the 330 but even it would be a handful trying to fly a 3 deg slope and slow down at the same time from 210 kts back to VRef and stabilized by 1000' )

180 kts to 5 DME IS A PROBLEM.

In my outfit we would say "negative cannot..." To such a request. We could not lose 45 kts AND be configured and spun up in only 2 nm ( by a minimum of 1000' which is 3 nm ) IMPOSSIBLE.

Last edited by nitpicker330; 16th Jul 2013 at 01:36.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 01:38
  #2157 (permalink)  
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It's been mentioned earlier, just start slowing 2 miles before the slow down fix. ATC knows what you are doing and why.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 01:42
  #2158 (permalink)  
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Yes that's what would most likely happen in reality.

We could hold 160 to 5 just.....
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 01:45
  #2159 (permalink)  
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Hey Firewall - stop mincing words and tell us how you really feel

Question for you Airbus drivers:
I'm somewhat familiar with their non-moving throttles - so what do you do in 'manual thrust' mode (or is there such a thing). Do you have to manipulate those little throttle nubs to control thrust? Does type A have something equivalent to throttle 'hold'?

Just wondering if the pilot flying was sufficiently tired/stressed and reverted back to what he was used to rather than flying what he was in.

Still wouldn't explain why the 'pilot monitoring' didn't notice that the throttles were at the idle stop while airspeed was decaying

BTW, I've never talked to a pilot that 'liked' the non-moving throttles (and had several tell me that's the only thing they dislike about the Airbus flight deck). Lots of pilots on this list - any of you actually like the non-moving throttle?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 02:00
  #2160 (permalink)  
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In manual thrust you have to move the thrust levers just like a Boeing.

Yes I don't like the fact they don't move when you are using A/T. I don't like there is no feedback in the Sidesticks either.......

But the table is good
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