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TransAsia in the water?

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TransAsia in the water?

Old 3rd Jul 2015, 17:06
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Originally Posted by susier
After the crash, Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration put TransAsia's ATR pilots through oral proficiency tests on how to handle an aircraft during engine failure.

All but one of the pilots passed the tests, although some needed more than one attempt. The lone failure was demoted in rank to vice captain from captain.



This sounds a little off to me. Surely you don't get to be even a 'vice captain' if you can't handle a flame out situation?


Is there a desperate shortage of pilots in that part of the world? (Forgive me for asking)
As one who pays to sit in the back, this does not fill me with confidence.
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 19:28
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As a matter of fact, what is a "vice captain"?

I kind of doubt that this is an intermediate flight crew rank. Could it be that this is what Googoo Translate made of the Chinese word for a First Officer?
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 02:12
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On a turboprop, it is not that simple. You need to make sure that the dead propeller is feathered, or else You will not get the required performance and might not even reach the 400ft AGL in Your suggestion. In fact, if You have not flown a turboprop in real life, I invite You to try a ATR or DH8 sim when You find the opportunity. Then You will see the difference: a failed jet simply stops pushing while a failed prop starts braking.
You will get even less performance by shutting down the live engine! Even with an unfeathered prop the aircraft climbs better than without any working engine.

Thus i completely agree that you should take your time to properly analyse the situation before rushing to action.

The turboprop myth of having to feather in a heroic blink should not be upheld religiously by proud prop drivers, it misleads others.

By the way, if you have not flown a jet: Even a jet engine has quite some braking action when severely damaged, especially on the big twins ....
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 03:43
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NTS or Autofeather systems work far more reliably than pilots under stress. Even in an engine fire scenario the biggest risk is arguably the pilot rather than the fire itself. And in the real world what are the chances that performance is really critical?
Sure, pilots need to know how to handle the worst case but change the emphassis to leave the damn thing alone until you're good and ready to attend to it properly.
The prevailing training system is not based on sound risk vs. reward analysis but ego driven, outdated belt and braces dogma rooted in piston era instruction techniques and empire building.

About time it was taken outside and given a good kick up the arse.

Last edited by HPSOV L; 4th Jul 2015 at 03:54.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 06:11
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TransAsia in the water - British Midland B737 into ground.

It is not only TransAsia pilots, or turboprop pilots generally, who mistakenly shut down the wrong engine. BM Flt92 accident at Kegworth also involved the crew closing down the wrong engine in a B737-400.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 08:19
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Oakape, I think the point of my pointing out that starting to shutdown the wrong engine is perhaps the most common mistake in twin-engine training, was not to suggest we all just have to accept it. The point I was hinting at was that it suggests this pilot was not proficient or had not mastered operation of his aircraft. Asian airlines are expanding at fast rates and it's not impossible for a fast-growing airline, in a fast-growing region, to not train as much as others or hold on to less than stellar pilots once hired. Reliance on automation and turbine reliability can cover for a lot of underlying pilot deficiency. We don't have info if this accident pilot ever had a genuine engine failure outside of a sim. Of course he had the license, and the training, and should have been proficient at the procedure. In every field, at all levels of proficiency, there are common mistakes. Decade after decade in field after field many of these items are persistent. It never helps to have fewer pilots than you want, or access to less-experienced pilots than you wish. Nobody suggests we should accept this.

The accident pilots may have been the best in the fleet/region/world and just had a bad day. I'm sure the accident pilots were much better pilots than I am. My background is in training and my initial thought upon seeing the video of the last moments of this crash were that it looks like a classic twin-engine flip after speed decay below Vmca. It turns out, as it often does, to have been crew screwup. The transcripts turn out to show it was a screwup AND not following procedures. Nearly all pilot screwups could be prevented by following procedures, which would catch screwups if followed. If the accident pilot had waited to pull the throttle/power lever back until the PNF confirmed which engine was failing and which throttle was to be pulled this accident would not have happened. Nobody is suggesting anything is acceptable.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 08:52
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The Capt. had almost 5000 hrs on type.
This is no peanuts. I would expect such mistakes to be made by noobs and trainees, not Captains with this much time.
Bad training or selection process?
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 09:31
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The LH seat pilot came from the military where I am guessing he flew single engine jets, then transitioned to civilian flying in 2009. 5000 hours on type is just doing the same routine hour 5000 times. In a modern turbine transport* most pilots will never see an engine shut down, so the only practice people get is in their sim rides...so after training you see a failure what? twice a year?

Maybe it was a bit of both: weak candidate/mediocre training. Its not like there is a vast pool of qualified candidates to choose from in that part of the world, and training programmes are only as good as the most knowledgeable and experienced pilot WHO IS ALSO CONNECTED POLITICALLY TO SENIOR DECISION MAKERS, as distinct from the ideal.

*contrast that to the big pistons which failed often...the world Constellation fleet for example had >1 shut down every day, and that was fewer than 500 aircraft in daily use.

Question for the ATR experts: Does the yaw damper agressively compensate for engine loss? What indications of yaw are displayed on the EFIS, and how prominent is such indication, if any? Is torque displayed for each engine? Or any other reliable power indications beyond just N1, N2 and temperatures?
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 10:38
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Sitting in the cockpit hours is a lot different from 'flying' hours. I often wonder how many of the thousands of hours credited to individual pilots are ones actually flying an aircraft?
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 12:26
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funfly,

Then it could me more interesting to note how many emergencies they have handled.

Rwy in Sight
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 13:29
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I don't think it comes down to how many hours or experience someone has, to me someone flying 10 hours across the pond for 20 years is not really flying experience, its system management experience

End of the day these chaps unfortunately made an error from an event that probably took them by surprise, i don't think any experience in the world can stop you making a mistake, its all about training and procedures and it seems Transasia's is not up to the mark.

Sometimes in a TP EFATO there is not too much time to sit and look at things initially there is quite a bit that has to be checked, my Type will not achieve a climb at max weight with an Auto Feather failure so the prop has to be feathered fairly quickly sometimes you cannot get a confirmation from the other guy as he is maxed out controlling the yaw

There's a moment where you look down at the CL and just have a 3 second mental check yourself...easy to C*ck that up
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 13:38
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Shutting down the wrong engine is not a unique event. I would have thought that in the event of an engine fie there could be a bloody big hand pointing to the lever saying "it's this one - shut me down"
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 19:19
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No Funfly even if you mounted one as big as the one Kenny Everrett, may he rest in peace, used on his shows it would not work. If it has to be some kind of human appendage, much better to use big feet, the bigger the better.
Surely you must remember the drill for twins, " dead leg dead engine ". Is this no longer valid, has it been replaced with chimes, gongs, bells and whistles. If it has to be so, then what about an ambulance siren.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 21:50
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contrast that to the big pistons which failed often...the world Constellation fleet for example had >1 shut down every day, and that was fewer than 500 aircraft in daily use.

Things have changed sisnce then.

Firstly, we had a flight engineer on the DC7, whose primary job was looking after the engines. And flight engineers were a special breed, manufactured in a biological facility in Arizona. It was physically impossible to get them to break into a sweat, because it was not in their programming. If an engine was on fire, they would go back and check, rather doing something as stupidly rash as wrongly loosing 25% of our power, when we could only climb at 500ft/min on four.

Secondly, when something is an everyday event, you deal with it as such. Another day at the office. Another engine symbol in the logbook, to go alongside all the others. The real surprise was when you got to 10,000 ft with all four still running. That was a cause for much celebration - coffee with a booster and high fives from the loadmaster.

The only reason they built the Connie and -7 with four engines, is because there was no room on the wing for six. Modern engineers and accountants have forgotten that truism, and seem intent on hanging 400 tonnes on just one live engine.

A good idea? I think not.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 22:02
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Surely you must remember the drill for twins, " dead leg dead engine ". Is this no longer valid?

Again, most avaition logical thinking has been thrown out of the window by the accountants. EFATOs don't appear on the bottom line, or the shareholder's report, so it is a trivial matter of little importance.

In the old days they knew such things were important, and so the 737 had the fire warnings and handles on the coaming, in the central field of view. But then they started adding MCP automation at the cheapest price possible, which meant no major redesigns. The result was the fire warnings and handles were moved to the aft center console, underneath the fuel cocks, where it is all but impossible for the PF to see what the hell the PNF is doing.

Was this a good idea? No, it was cheap. That's what the passengers want, and that is what the passengers have got.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 04:33
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I significant issue is still being overlooked. Why was a global restriction (quietly) issued in December 2104 on 'Engine Out Training, Testing and Checking associated with DC Gen fault on remaining engine' on 72-600 FSTDs?, subsequently (quietly) rescinded in April 2015!
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 05:16
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Early in this thread there was a FDR sequence posted. If that one indeed was for this flight, it shows the event on engine #2 about 30 seconds after the Ground/Air switched to Air. It shows over 1000 feet at the time of the initial event. This event happened well after rotation and lift off. It has yet to be suggested as to the cause of #2 feathering and sitting there with an 80% NH. This was not an Engine Flameout at Take Off. Indeed it appears it was not a Flameout at all. It also does not show the spiked torque that accompanies a uncommanded PCU feathering, instead it looks like any ATPCS triggered event. But why?
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 10:33
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In the old days...
...people died far more frequently and pilots opposed the introduction of cockpit voice recorders. Things have changed for the better since then.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:04
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funfly Sitting in the cockpit hours is a lot different from 'flying' hours. I often wonder how many of the thousands of hours credited to individual pilots are ones actually flying an aircraft?
Too true.

As well as flying hours, I keep a record of how many landings* I've done, which as you imply, does at least give an idea of how much actual manual handling I've had.

Having said that, don't discount the planning work one does while sitting in the cockpit: to avoid CB's and considering escape routes from high ground or oceans etc. in the event of emergencies.



*Obviously the number of landings should be the same as the number of take-offs, but owing to the occasional bounced landing, I probably have slightly more landings than take-offs !!
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:08
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Military Pilots only flying single engine jets.

Australopithecus, not all Military pilots fly only fast pointy nosed aircraft. As a former Military and Civil Flight Engineer I flew with many Military and ex-Military pilots in both turboprop and turbojet aircraft. Some had flown only fast jets prior to joining the airlines. None of those with whom I flew ever gave me cause to question their competence or their professionalism. We certainly saw many more than "twice per year" engine failures in the Simulator. Engine shutdowns were more common on the turboprop aircraft but not exclusively so. Well trained professional crews, regardless of whether they are ex-military or only ever civil, will generally have the capacity to handle any emergency which is able to be resolved. "Hasten slowly" has always been the norm in any outfit with which I have been associated.
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