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Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

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Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore

Old 30th Dec 2014, 23:43
  #641 (permalink)  
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crHedBngr - whether you are an Airbus pilot or not is extremely important. It is a bit like having a discussion on a medical forum about the merits of forceps deliveries. I may have a view, but it is frankly not really worth a whole lot as I am a guy who will neither be the recipient of or participate in such a procedure. My point to you is this - fun and entertaining as conjecture like yours on a public forum may be, your comments will be read by many people who have no professional ability to process them meaningfully. If you are not an Airbus pilot, you yourself cannot really know the entire significance of your own comments. The problem is that many of those reading this will be family members who have just lost loved ones and are looking for answers, when in reality there are none right now. Like you, I too am keeping an open mind, but I am keeping my thoughts to myself for fear of saying something foolish or harmful to the aviation community or indeed to cause pain to those who are grieving. You will note that there are only a handful of Airbus pilots writing on here with any degree of conjecture, and that tells its own story. I have flown many thousands of hours in the A320 series, plus spent thousands of hours teaching and examining other pilots in the simulator - I would personally not say anything here because there really is not enough genuine knowledge yet to voice a credible opinion.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 23:44
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Count of Monte Bisto:

Whether I am an Airbus pilot or not doesn't matter. There are Boeing pilots here, as well as other technical and non-technical personnel. I'm asking a valid question. This is a situation that could very well have affected the flight's outcome, and could be very similar to AF 447.

Let's keep an open mind, shall we?????
Agree...
While everyone is most familiar with what they're typed and current on, weather is weather, aerodynamics are aerodynamics, and decisions are decisions.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 23:48
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Count of Monte Bistro - crHedBngr - whether you are an Airbus pilot or not is extremely important. It is a bit like having a discussion on a medical forum about the merits of forceps deliveries. I may have a view, but it is frankly not really worth a whole lot as I am a guy who will neither be the recipient of or participate in such a procedure. My point to you is this - fun and entertaining as conjecture like yours on a public forum may be, your comments will be read by many people who have no professional ability to process them meaningfully. If you are not an Airbus pilot, you yourself cannot really know the entire significance of your own comments. The problem is that many of those reading this will be family members who have just lost loved ones and are looking for answers, when in reality there are none right now. Like you, I too am keeping an open mind, but I am keeping my thoughts to myself for fear of saying something foolish or harmful to the aviation community or indeed to cause pain to those who are grieving. You will note that there are only a handful of Airbus pilots writing on here with any degree of conjecture, and that tells its own story. I have flown many thousands of hours in the A320 series, plus spent thousands of hours teaching and examining other pilots in the simulator - I would personally not say anything here because there really is not enough genuine knowledge yet to voice a credible opinion.
Perhaps, but unfortunately for your point of view, this is an open forum and the word "Rumor" is in the title.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:02
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Murexway - whilst yours is a mature and considered view point, airline pilots do not have a monopoly on aircraft crash investigations. A whole range of skills are involved. Even when there is no evidence, brain storming often helps those concerned to think of something that never occurred to them. A necessary element of brain storming is not to criticise contributions. Of course on an open forum like this you will get teenagers coming in and making silly comments. Those are easy to spot, even for journalists. The problem with some journalists is that they lack ethics and will print anything but that should not discourage debate.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:09
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Count of MB:
My point to you is this - fun and entertaining as conjecture like yours on a public forum may be, your comments will be read by many people who have no professional ability to process them meaningfully.
"Fun and Entertaining conjecture 'like mine'" are obviously the LAST thing on anyone's mind right now, including my own and including the poor families affected by this tragedy. I sure as hell didn't intend them to be "fun and entertaining" - that was YOUR take on my comments!

I think the poor families are much more upset by all of the media references to the bodies supposedly floating around out there and the condition of them, as well as dealing with the loss of loved ones. I can't even begin to imagine the horror and shock of their lives at this point. Thank God at least this aircraft was found. The poor Malaysia Air Flight 370 families are still dealing with the unknown.

And as to processing things meaningfully, anyone reading this thread will see and process all other speculation, including the countless references to weather, the actual details of the flight itself, are we dealing with a "coffin corner" situation here . . . on, on and on it goes.

Last but not least - this forum can also be seen as a teaching forum; inquiring minds want to know. That is why I provided links to my reference material, so that anyone wishing to know more can simply look it up, consider it, and come to their own conclusions. I've learned a lot from this forum, as well as books on aviation, math, physics, etc.

BuzzBox: My thanks. You hit the nail on the head - that's exactly what I was doing, asking a question.

Last edited by crHedBngr; 31st Dec 2014 at 01:32.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:10
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Count of Monte Bistro: "...there really is not enough genuine knowledge yet to voice a credible opinion."
Very true, but crHedBngr was asking a question, not voicing an opinion. I'm curious to know why you are so vehemently opposed to that particular question.

(and yes, I am an Airbus pilot...)
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:10
  #647 (permalink)  
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Count - you are saying more by saying to say nothing. If you and most the other Bus pilots, have the same suspicion on what may have been contributing here - then maybe you should have all filled out defect form and submitted them to local authorities by now - not wait for a CVR to confirm what you think/know is a fault.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:25
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Since the pilot asked for a change in flightpath can it be assumed that the pilot didn't realize the danger the TS posed?
I agree with the fact that the PIC has the right to make decisions in order to save the aircraft but the PM needs to notify the atc before the decision is carried out or in adequate time. Otherwise their could be risk to other nearby planes.
"XXX Center, Air America 123 is turning to heading 270 and climbing to FL 380 for weather avoidance due to urgent conditions" is a far different statement than "Air America 123 requests a left turn to 270 and a climb to FL 380 for weather avoidance."

What I'm trying to get at here is the need to be assertive with authority (in this case ATC) when there is a possible danger to the aircraft. We will get the answer soon enough as to whether the Air Asia flight knew that there was a danger due to weather or whether they flew into it by accident; the latter case being well within the scope of possibility. In the meantime, what I'm suggesting here is the need to use one's authority as PIC to do what is necessary to keep the flight safe. With ATC informed and TCAS, the risk of a mid-air is low.

What I don't know is whether deference to authority is part of the culture in this part of the world and whether it may have played a part in how events unfolded. Here in the US, I view ATC as an asset, albeit one that I can override if need be, which is admittedly a very rare circumstance. Pilots in other parts of the world may have a different view of ATC.

Noting your location, you probably have more insight into this than I do but your initial response seems to indicate a different view of how to handle an urgent situation by suggesting that a request indicates a recognition of urgency.

I'm open to correction if I'm wrong in my assumptions here; I'm here to learn rather than pontificate.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:36
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Automation saves lives. A system can be programmed to handle 99% of eventualities but it is always that 1% that catches designers out. It is a human condition that we only focus on the mistakes. In fact it is human beings who make the most mistakes. No matter how well you train them, individuals will often respond differently under real stress (i.e. not in between coffee breaks in a simulator) and not perform as expected. Computers will always respond the same way. Of course, like people, computers need valid data to make a correct decision so keeping sensors clear of obstruction is important. That goes for humans too, and the inner ear for instance can misinterpret which way is up when other sensory data is missing. But even if data inputs are correct, if an external force is applied which pushes the aircraft outside its flight envelope then that is the fault of whoever exposed the aircraft to the risk. That could be the pilot, weather men, ATC, loaders or equipment - and its usually a combination of more than one of these - so don't blame the automation.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:40
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It's simply erroneous to form opinions about perceived performance of airlines, regions and cultures without a detailed, scientific review of incident data, not least taking into account the significant number of confounding variables associated with aircraft incidents.

In particular, the obsession on this forum with targeting one or two asian cultural attributes as if they are ubiquitous overriding causal factors is tediously simplistic.

Last edited by bud leon; 31st Dec 2014 at 08:57.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:41
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The same thing was said about AirFrance, so the bodies not having any clothes etc may not mean much
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 00:43
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I am not sure how many of you have read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell but one chapter is devoted to this very thing. He made a distinction that US Pilots have a much higher safety record because they will aks ATC, but ultimately will take action themselves if need be, where in other cultures, they are more subordinate and wont deviate without clearance as an example.

Just some food for thought
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:03
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"I am not sure how many of you have read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell but one chapter is devoted to this very thing. He made a distinction that US Pilots have a much higher safety record because they will aks ATC, but ultimately will take action themselves if need be, where in other cultures, they are more subordinate and wont deviate without clearance as an example.

Just some food for thought"
Malcolm Gladwell is not the person I turn to when seeking expert analysis of human behavioural factors.

If you want some other food for thought read this: Gladwell's Stickiness Problem | Psychology Today, one of many justified criticisms of Gladwell.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:07
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ekw: ....airline pilots do not have a monopoly on aircraft crash investigations. A whole range of skills are involved. Even when there is no evidence, brain storming often helps those concerned to think of something that never occurred to them.
My point exactly. I wasn't arguing against a free exchange of ideas on this forum, but rather encouraging it. Being human, unfortunately airline pilots are sometimes the cause of crashes, while those skilled in scientific disciplines save thousands of lives through painstaking analysis that prevents future accidents.

We all learn from others in a variety of fields, especially folks from ATC, weather, engineering, design, maintenance, cabin crew, and accident investigation. However, the name of the forum is "Professional Pilots" and it's a distraction to have to explain the basics to those lacking even a peripheral connection to aviation.

But we should not become so insular as to suggest that only pilots who are typed and current on the specific model as the accident aircraft have anything to offer in a thread such as this.

As for reporters, the general public, and anyone else including families who might read these comments, the internet is open and if we're to be constrained by having to consider misinterpretations of what they might read here, then there'll be no forum at all.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:21
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Automation saves lives. A system can be programmed to handle 99% of eventualities but it is always that 1% that catches designers out. It is a human condition that we only focus on the mistakes. In fact it is human beings who make the most mistakes. No matter how well you train them, individuals will often respond differently under real stress (i.e. not in between coffee breaks in a simulator) and not perform as expected. Computers will always respond the same way. Of course, like people, computers need valid data to make a correct decision so keeping sensors clear of obstruction is important.
That's a gross oversimplification. Yes, air travel today is safer for use of automation. However, there are a lot of areas where the limits of automation may be due not to technical ability but to liability concerns (disagreement on airspeed indicators, obviously flying pitch and power is an easy out but instead let's switch off autopilot, switch to alternate law and give the pilots 30 different error messages to let them figure out what's wrong!).

So I think it is a mistake to be for or against automation. But I think we should be critical of how it is done.

This is also an area of significant ongoing research and development, both in terms of what to automate but also what not to, but when you see a possible stall of an aircraft in bad weather, it's important to ask how the systems and automation played into the disaster. Otherwise we are stuck with just "blame the pilots."
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:21
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Originally Posted by ekw
Automation saves lives. A system can be programmed to handle 99% of eventualities but it is always that 1% that catches designers out. It is a human condition that we only focus on the mistakes. In fact it is human beings who make the most mistakes. No matter how well you train them, individuals will often respond differently under real stress (i.e. not in between coffee breaks in a simulator) and not perform as expected. Computers will always respond the same way. Of course, like people, computers need valid data to make a correct decision so keeping sensors clear of obstruction is important. That goes for humans too, and the inner ear for instance can misinterpret which way is up when other sensory data is missing. But even if data inputs are correct, if an external force is applied which pushes the aircraft outside its flight envelope then that is the fault of whoever exposed the aircraft to the risk. That could be the pilot, weather men, ATC, loaders or equipment - and its usually a combination of more than one of these - so don't blame the automation.
1 in 100. That's great odds, isn't it?! The designers/automation failed in AF447. Unfortunately, so did the humans who were there to save the aircraft after the automation/design indequacy failed.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:26
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einhverfr - good points indeed. But I think the automation will perform as designed if the aircraft is not exposed to extreme risk. It is always humans that put it there. Once the automatics can no longer cope of course they disengage which unfortunately comes at the worst time for the pilot as he is often distracted by the initial upset. Bottom line is that humans often take more risks than they should, often driven indirectly by the profit motive.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:26
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The same thing was said about AirFrance, so the bodies not having any clothes etc may not mean much
If I remember correctly, the AF447 thread it was postulated that a body found in that state likely arrived without the benefit of an airplane surrounding it.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 01:27
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JoeyBalls:

I am not sure how many of you have read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell but one chapter is devoted to this very thing. He made a distinction that US Pilots have a much higher safety record because they will aks ATC, but ultimately will take action themselves if need be, where in other cultures, they are more subordinate and wont deviate without clearance as an example.

Just some food for thought
Excellent food for thought!
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 02:04
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Please refer to post 641. On other occasions it may matter and it certainly matters in terms of asset usage and human discomfort for relatives. Positioning should NOT be measured in days but an earlier poster decried the initial 50 minute delay. I am honestly unable to understand the attitudes here.
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