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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

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Asiana flight crash at San Francisco

Old 10th Jul 2013, 02:52
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Diff between a/t armed and off?

What is the difference between autothrottle being armed and off?
Reading all the entries in this topic my guess is armed means
its ready to intercept the ILS to activate the autothrottle?

Second question - Why did the first responders need to throw their knives up to the flight attendents to remove the SLF seat belts? Seat belts prone to jam?

Thanks
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 03:01
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Zekeigo,

With that legal deterrent as you quoted , you would think Pilot training and currency in ALL phases of flight would be a priority. It's a pity it isn't.

You can't scare someone into being a competent pilot with legislation. They have to be trained. And sadly if they don't make the grade they need to be let go.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 03:16
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All Quiet

What I find funny around here is the total lack of any input from any Korean pilot, want to be pilot or what ever, to add anything in defense or against standards or what happened. The Korean mindset bashing that has been going on for pages and pages; I would have thought maybe a Korean post? Looking at History, if it's a bent plane say in India, we get posts form Indians either defending the standards or against, same for accidents in Russia etc., we get the locals involved.

With no input from any one in Korea on this issue over the last 60 odd pages leaves me to think, maybe if they ignore it the problem will go away. I just find it a little strange. Maybe they can Photoshop out the bent metal at SFO and all will be forgotten over time.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 03:16
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Originally Posted by eaglespar
What is the difference between autothrottle being armed and off?
Reading all the entries in this topic my guess is armed means
its ready to intercept the ILS to activate the autothrottle?
Auto Throttle really has nothing to do with the ILS. A/T controls engine thrust to maintains speed, or rate of climb and descent in all phases of flight. Sometimes it will command idle thrust during a descent other times it will command thrust to satisfy the speed or vertical profile needed by the A/P or Flight Director.

The A/T Arm Switches are checked in the on position during the preliminary cockpit scan before engine start. (you never really dis-arm them except for unusual circumstances). A/T comes on during the Takeoff roll and generally stays on until after landing.

You can "click off" the A/T by pressing a button on the Thrust Lever but it remains armed and will come back on when you select a "vertical" mode on the autopilot. (Speed, or Vertical Nav, etc)

In flight, if you turn off the A/T arm switch on the glareshield, A/T will be turned off and will not come on again until you turn the A/T arm switch back on, and then select a vertical mode.

EDITED to correct some errors.

Last edited by Lost in Saigon; 10th Jul 2013 at 04:33. Reason: EDITED to correct some errors.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 03:21
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Originally Posted by eaglespar
Second question - Why did the first responders need to throw their knives up to the flight attendents to remove the SLF seat belts? Seat belts prone to jam?
One possible reason is that the chair frame has bent making excessive tension on the belts making it difficult/impossible to unclip or they simply couldn't get access to the buckles....

No doubt this will need to be resolved....

Possibly another example of a real-life incident over a calculated one. There was a lot of side-wards motion in this incident, perhaps that bent the seats differently than predicted as well.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 03:42
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Fuel dump

Apologies for continuing to talk about this. I don't think the "white cloud" was a "rooster tail" because it happened a while after the sea wall had been crossed. At a rough guess, the aircraft might have had of the order of ten or twenty tons of fuel still on board (this is a totally uneducated guess, sorry). From a quick search, I see a B777 will burn 40 tons of fuel per hour at full power, so the low pressure pumps can supply at least 2/3 of a ton per minute. It seems that this would not be enough to generate a really large cloud of fuel in the tens of seconds after the sea-wall impact, but before the astonishing semi-airborne 360 spin (the cloud occurred before this).

But the wing tanks could have been severely ruptured at the time the engines were broken off, or due to the hard landing after the tail was lost. In that case, tons of fuel would be spilt rapidly while the plane was still traveling at speed.

The above is speculation, but the remarkable fact that there was not a catastrophic fire seems worth thinking about.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 03:42
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"If you turn off the A/T arm switch on the glareshield, then Auto Throttle will not come on at all until you turn the A/T arm switch back on and then select a vertical mode."
Besides A/T arm switches there's an A/T engage pushbutton. Today the NTSB said the A/T switches were armed, but did not say whether the A/T pushbutton was on.

The PF was an Airbus captain from 2005 to a few months ago. Does the Airbus A/T activate whether its A/T pushbutton is on or not? On Boeing must the A/T pushbutton always be on for A/T to work? Is it conceivable the A/T switch was off but his ingrained Airbus experience coupled with fatigue made him forget it must be on?
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:00
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However, certainly one hand over the throttle while monitoring airspeed would guard against anything the A/T decided to do or not do...
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:01
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Originally Posted by joema
Besides A/T arm switches there's an A/T engage pushbutton. Today the NTSB said the A/T switches were armed, but did not say whether the A/T pushbutton was on.
You are right of course. I was thinking of the 767 and forgot that there are differences with the 777.

767 Mode Control Panel


777 Mode Control Panel
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:04
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Lost in Saigon: During the Takeoff roll A/T comes on at 80kts and generally stays on until after landing.
Really .... Then what kind of strange magic advances the thrust levers to take off power when you press TOGA prior to the aircraft moving an inch ?

lost in Saigon: You can "click off" the A/T by pressing a button on the control wheel but it remains armed and will come back on
There is no button on the control wheel that "clicks off" the A/T.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:06
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So to me it would be perfectly reasonable for Asiana's bean-counters and risk assessors, to decide an appropriate response to this crash is NOT to increase training for hand-flying, but rather require ILS or other precision approaches for all operations
Theres so much that even reading 10% of the posts I end up reading this....
I guess you are not a pilot,and eventhough wouldnt you feel safer your pilots can actually fly for crying out loud???

Maybe its time to change the blood in those long haul crews,add some DEC from airlines such as Ryan Air,Tui and others where pilots are trained to operate but also to hand fly...
Scan/flying skills is like walking,,,if you practice enough it wont go away,if you dont walk for a long time,a bit of training and your brain remembers...

There is a definite issue of pilots starting their career on a B777 and not having the skills required when automatics fail or misunderstood and try to bite you in the
Automation is a great tool to have your dinner while working but sometimes pilots need to remain pilots.

I feel sincere sadness for the crew of Asiana as I am sure they never dreamt of killing people,but some died,someone must and will be held accountable.
I hope the Airline will take the big hit,it deserves it to allow pilots on line with such poor handling or fatigue.

It is the duty of each pilot to remain skilled and the airline's to allow them to train as necessary.
It is alsomthe pilot responsability to manage his fatigue if he accepts a duty,if you cant make the approach due to fatigue,call in the other crew and decide who is alert enough to have the controls.
It is the Airline duty to make sure their TRE fail whoever is not at the level for his/her position regardless of company needs or politics.

Last edited by de facto; 10th Jul 2013 at 04:10.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:21
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"Normal procedure is to turn both flight director off, then select the PNFs flight director back on. This engages basic modes of heading and vertical speed, and importantly, autothrottles engage in speed mode."
I think they said the PNF FD was on, the PF FD was off. The preceding sequence wasn't specified.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:21
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Manual Flying Skills

As a retired Flight Engineer I may be accused of being somewhat biased and "living in he past", however I am astounded that so many comments on this tragic and seemingly avoidable accident place so much emphasis on the Autoflight aspect. What on earth has happened when pilots loose the manual flying skills which are so essential when the autoflight system is part or totally inoperable? Does nobody monitor configuration, heights, speeds, thrust etc? I have flown into SFO on numerous occassions in B747 aircraft and it seems inconceivable to me that this approach in broad daylight was able to continue, with no apparent concern, to the point were impact was unavoidable.

This accident seems to me to be the result of nobody monitoring what was really happening. It is implied by many that the aircaft was allowed to get well below the glideslope and well below the target speeds on the approach. As some others have asked, "Why did nobody notice that the picture was wrong"?
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:22
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Joema----The only thing the investigators can now "see" on the cockpit panels are switch/lever positions ( landing lights, gear lever, speedbrake, etc ) or latched in push buttons. ( fuel pumps, ADIRU, Gen, beacon etc )

The momentary action push buttons ( such as the A/T momentary action push button ) are obviously un-powered now so you don't know.
You'd have to look at the FDR or listen to the CVR to determine that info.

Last edited by nitpicker330; 10th Jul 2013 at 04:26.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:25
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Lost in Saigon: During the Takeoff roll A/T comes on at 80kts and generally stays on until after landing.
Originally Posted by JPJP
Really .... Then what kind of strange magic advances the thrust levers to take off power when you press TOGA prior to the aircraft moving an inch ?
Sorry, I was confused with A/T "Hold" that comes on at 80kts. You are right of course.

Quote:
lost in Saigon: You can "click off" the A/T by pressing a button on the control wheel but it remains armed and will come back on
There is no button on the control wheel that "clicks off" the A/T.
Right again. I forgot the A/T disconnect button is on the thrust lever and the A/P disconnect button is on the control wheel.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:33
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I've always cringed when people I fly with try to hand fly with the AT engaged. It works OK on takeoff for the most part, but on approach it can get quite ugly. Throw in an engine inop situation and it gets down right pear shaped.

I know the Airbus and 777 are designed so that you always hand fly with the AT engaged, but this is a recipe for disaster. It creates a really bad muscle memory and habit of forgetting about the other crucial aspect of managing your energy. This is done through your flight controls and through your thrust/power.

So either you are managing both, or you manage none. They both go hand in hand, taking one of those out is just opening the door to create bad habits - like not noticing a huge airspeed loss on short final.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating technology is bad. I think Airbus and Boeing both have some great "life saving" design philosophies. I just think that a hand flown approach should be ALL hand flown - not half. You would not attempt to autoland without AT working, it all goes together hand in hand. So why would you not require the same from a human operator?

Would be great to see regulators and maybe labor unions focus a bit more on safety and take a leading roll singling out bad design philosophies before they become standard. Would make manufacturers a little more keen at changing these bad design features. I've never been a big fan of Airbus' zero feedback controls (sidestick and throttles). But Airbus will never change that despite the number of accidents and serious incidents directly or indirectly caused by this feature.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:35
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The FO sitting in the jump seat was probably too scared to speak up about the
loss of Airspeed if he indeed even noticed it.

Lets imagine he did speak up and saved the day, how do you think the two Captains would have reacted later on? I think the FO might have been told off and probably this would have effected his career later on. So he probably saw the low Airspeed and "thought" they had it under control.

I can categorically say this wouldn't be the case in my outfit, our relief guys have spoken up in the past and indeed saved a lot of heartache...

That's what they are there for.

Last edited by nitpicker330; 10th Jul 2013 at 04:37.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:46
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There's a reason no Korean is commenting here.

First time visitor to PPrune due to the Asiana accident.
Quick intro of myself. I'm Korean American, born in S Korea in early 1970s. I finished elementary school there and then immigrated with my parents to CA, US. First I want to make it clear I'm speaking for myself only, not Korea/Koreans/Asiana.



#1247
http://www.pprune.org/7931852-post1247.html

Yes S Korea's educational system emphasizes rote memorization partly because of old tradition like Confucianism/Asian culture. But the REAL reason imo is because of lack of fund when the system was built. You need to remember that the current govt/education/nation of S Korea was formed in 1948, destroyed during the Korean War and slowly rebuilt over the decades. In 1953, S Korea was the poorest nation on the planet. So the nation really could only afford to build the education system with the lowest cost possible, one based on rote memorization. With 1 teacher teaching a class of 60+ kids, there really is no time but simple multiple choice exams. Now I hear S Korean schools have much smaller class sizes, due to more schools (due to richer economy) and lower birthrate. They have been trying to change the culture, but it's hard, just like everywhere else.
Once an institution is built, inertia takes over, just like everywhere else.


About the comment on S Korea having no civil aircraft, yes that is true. There are various reasons, including lack of infrastructure (small nation with lots of hills so land is EXPENSIVE), national security reasons (danger of defection to N Korea, N Korean spy spying from above although Google Earth made this moot, etc), and no reason for using private aircraft for traveling. S Korea built up quite a few regional airports as a result of politicians looking for votes, only to see them become unnecessary due to high speed trains crisscrossing S Korea. Check BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | South Korea's abandoned airports
Who knows, maybe Asiana will 'form' a flying club with a few cessnas and force their pilots to fly them. That'd be nice.


And about the low-skill pilot with thousands of hours, I'm reminded of the American pilot who was in command of Air France 447 at the time of crash. I certainly don't mean any disrespect for him but low-skill, high-hour pilots are everywhere.





#1332
http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post7932452

I think there's no Korean pilot (or wanna be pilot) responding to the Korean mindset bashing going on here because of the following:
1) a mature Korean with competent English skill with real interest in aviation would be gainfully employed (or busy studying) and thus has no time to engage in the debate, especially on a site little known in Korea. If expats/foreigners raised this issue in naver.com, then there might be more lively debate.
2) even if a Korean competent in English had the time, he would be unwilling to engage in the debate because he knows it's already a lost cause. With all the sensationalistic headlines at places like cnn.com (PILOT ONLY had 34 HOURS of EXPERIENCE!) & 60+ pages on this very forum pointing fingers at the Korean mindset, no wonder no Korean has responded. Why bother?



Lastly, if you are interested in more nuanced (real life) discussion of Korean culture/politics/education/etc that is easily accessible to non-Korean, I recommend this blog: 'ask a korea'. Just google 'ask a korean'.
Many here may have already heard about the book 'Outliers' and the KAL story. Well, Ask-a-korean blog is a far better material for understanding how Korean mind works, imho.

He's Korean American, practicing law in DC. A great writer. Many entertaining/informative stories about Korea there. His opinions are his own.

Last edited by dba7; 10th Jul 2013 at 05:21.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:53
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Ok possibly true.
1/ But the Airbus thrust levers are quit a way forward sitting in the CLB detent and not closed. His Piloting skill should have registered that fact.

2/ the other 2 Pilots can clearly see the Thrust Levers in the closed position and should have also monitored the IAS to make sure it was correct.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 04:54
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Seat Belts: I think there is an issue here too, but might best be discussed in the cabin crew forum

White smoke: Could well be 150 tons of Boeing chewing up the concrete.

To the Pilots, from an Avionics guy: I would rather be in the back, with an average pilot that is a little wary of the avionics, than a great pilot that put 100% trust in them. (I know great ones don't) These systems have become so interconnected that a fault in one system can introduce a fault in an unrelated system.
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