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What If- A319-111 Bristol

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What If- A319-111 Bristol

Old 18th Dec 2015, 19:39
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What If- A319-111 Bristol

The December AAIB bulletin includes the report of an incident that occurred on the night of 13 May 2015 on approach to Bristol. The full text of the report may be read at :

https://assets.digital.cabinet-offic...EZDN_12-15.pdf

There have recently been discussions on the forum regarding accidents where shortcomings of crews without the assistance have been factors in major accidents.

Does this incident not emphasise the need to strictly adhere to automation and revert to manual control only when automatics have failed.

Moreover, what if it the FO had not spotted the lit masts or had not been familiar with the local terrain.
The discussion on this forum would have been one of a typical CFIT for loss of SA.

What has been learned from this incident. Why were the three safety recommendations of the operator`s internal procedures not published. Surely these may have been of some use to others.

Does it have to be a major crash and burn accident for all to get back in the classroom and wait to be taught so it does not happen again. There is a lot more to learn from what if or to put it another way as it was once referred to as I learnt about flying from that.
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 19:50
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"Does this incident not emphasise the need to strictly adhere to automation and revert to manual control only when automatics have failed."


In my opinion to the contrary: it is because many operators discourage visual approaches/manual flying that we are not able to do them...

When you did your first solo, you did a visual approach....it shouldn't have been to challeging in the end.
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 20:07
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Originally Posted by REMAX11 View Post
"Does this incident not emphasise the need to strictly adhere to automation and revert to manual control only when automatics have failed."


In my opinion to the contrary: it is because many operators discourage visual approaches/manual flying that we are not able to do them...

When you did your first solo, you did a visual approach....it shouldn't have been to challeging in the end.
But if only we told what the recommendations were, we might then know what was encouraged and what was not. Furthermore if they were discouraged from attempting the type of approach they did, then why did they do it knowing they could not do it or that the bus is built for automation and all must adhere to it.
By the way was the first solo done at night.
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 20:47
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Why must "all adhere" to automation in "the bus"?

I don't think it would have made any difference in this case. They were flying a visual approach so there was no ILS to guide the automatics. If they'd used the automatics they would have been flying HDG and still wouldn't have aligned with the centerline.

Sometimes manipulating the automatics is more work than just turning it all off and hand flying. This was one of those times in my opinion. The fact that they got it wrong was not an automatics vs hand flying issue.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 01:40
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Chronus - There is a lot more to learn from what if or to put it another way as it was once referred to as I learnt about flying from that.


I have always said:-

Experience is learning from mistakes, preferably those suffered by others, friendliness is making sure others know about your mistakes.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 05:05
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Some of the information available is very useful and in the interests of safety, it should be used. If an approach to 27 had been input into the FMGC, the an approach centreline from 5 miles would have been seen on the ND, the donut will have given them a vertical profile and GS Mini would have been active. This would have taken moments and would have prevented this incident. The information is there. Even if you think you are familiar with the approach, it can still catch you out.

it's interesting that although this was the 4th sector of the day and late at night, fatigue was not mentioned. Perhaps it's a bit of a dirty word with the new Euro FTLs approaching.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 11:26
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The section of the report published above is very brief. It mentions that the crew requested a 'visual' approach to RW27. It was approved subject to noise abatement procedures. This is stated as maintaining 2100' until on finals and not flying below the glideslope.
No where does it mention that the crew confirmed they had the airfield 'insight'. It mentions both pilots lost SA until the G/A was called.

How do you request/plan a visual approach without having the airfield or known surrounding terrain positively in sight? Why descend below the noise abate altitude before being on finals? Why disconnect the automatics when you do not have 100% SA? Surely, at the very least, the ILS 27 was selected; but this is not mentioned. IMHO this is a classic case of the Swiss cheese model, and has some less critical similarities to B757 in Cali. Last minute RW change causing rushed approach and inappropriate selection of a/c systems with significant loss of SA by both pilots. Step by step the holes were lining up. It is definitely not a debate about manual or automatic flying; it is about the 'management' of the approach and all that that entails. Sadly the link to the report above gives such a diluted review of events. Very good that the F/O called G.A., but I'm curious what he was thinking, as he made the visual approach to ATC, if he could not positively identify the RWY or its environment. If so, I'd be questioning the captain about his plan and if he could see the RW. It does mention the Captain, later, thought what he believed to be the RW threshold when on base leg; but what about the F/O? The start of 'endangering the a/c' came when they descended below 2100' without being established on finals, whether visual or on ILS. Does BRS not have radar? Could they not just have asked for vectors to ILS27? Unfortunately the report leave too many questions unanswered.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 21:15
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I'm not going to comment on the flying aspect here, as I only fly privately. What does shock me though, is this para from the report:

The ATC Tower controller and the Approach controller were discussing that the aircraft’s approach was not in accordance with their noise abatement procedures and that a violation would be unavoidable.
I mean - really? Two ATCOs watch an Airbus fly towards a ridge and all they think about is noise abatement? Methinks these people haven't quite understood their roles. Scary.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 23:59
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Hmmmm, and what are your ATC credentials, @172driver?
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 00:46
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LTP,

He has a point.
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 11:14
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He has a very valid point
It seems ATC were fixated with the noise abatement violation and thus oblivious to any imminent danger
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 13:13
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Remind me again what kind of approach they where on?

It is NOT uncommon for crews on visual to fly (controlled) closer to terrain than 500ft, even in darkness! (The world is after all not flat.....)

At what height (bear in mind that ATC does not typically have terrain contour displayed on the scope) should the controller intervene? 1000ft? 800ft? 700ft? 500ft?

Do tell......
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 13:22
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Really, it is not the job of ATC to fly the plane safely.
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 14:39
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Bristol

Gentlemen,having flown DC-3,Viscount,Bac111 into Bristol almost every day of the week, based Cardiff,but certainly knew where the terrain was.Please please all you young pilots start flying the aircraft, not operating the aircraft,look out of the cockpit windows Technology is good but please do not let it take away YOUR AIRMANSHIP CSman Terry Morgan Cambrian BA
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 16:15
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No it is not the job of ATC to fly the aircraft.

As a recently retired NATS Atco perhaps I can comment.

I was based at Belfast,which as some on here might know,has a significant chunk of high ground to the south east. It was common practice to check with aircraft that they had "masts and high ground in sight" before allowing any visual approach to 25. It mattered not a jot that it was a freighter in to us every night if the year(yes,we DO recognize your voices) or that you lived in Ballymena and knew the geography as well as us we would ALWAYS put that reminder out there.

It served as another potential stopper in the holes.

The ATCO also has the option of instructing the aircraft to go around if it appears to be dangerously positioned on approach. Why they were fixated on a spurious problem and failed to notice what was going on I gave no idea.
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 17:06
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With regards to levels of automation this is an excellent video, even though old now very applicable.

https://youtu.be/pN41LvuSz10

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Old 20th Dec 2015, 17:35
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EGPWS ??

Are the masts in the EGPWS terrain database; was the add-on obstacle database fitted, was it up-to-date?

See other night visual incidents in http://www.icao.int/safety/fsix/Libr...plus%20add.pdf
Several US operators have prohibited night visuals because of their experiences of near misses.

EGPWS is an instrument of darkness and an error detector.
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 17:37
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Originally Posted by donotdespisethesnake View Post
Really, it is not the job of ATC to fly the plane safely.
So, you see an aircraft about to crash and you do not say anything because is not your job?
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 17:53
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He appears to be ill informed SLF.

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post8636681
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Old 20th Dec 2015, 18:10
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CS man,
At last A bit of common sense!
Rarely used here. Most of the time its armchair experts or trainspotters.
Shame, it used to be a profession one time, now its just 'drivers'..............................
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