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B-738 Crash in Russia Rostov-on-Don

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B-738 Crash in Russia Rostov-on-Don

Old 20th Mar 2016, 08:47
  #241 (permalink)  
 
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It's a dark and stormy night, not a time to exercising your hand flying skills.
So during severe turbulence very close to the ground one should use the A/P ?

@weatherdude: I was told by a russian guy that this has to do with liability. I do fly a lot into Russia and the forecasts are just a joke.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 08:53
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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If the autopilot isn't coping with it, fair enough, but not as a matter of course.

Sorry, I see he was probably visual, so PFs choice.

Didnt realise the autopilot would be lost after a single AP approach. Is there a reason you would do a single AP approach over a dual approach on an ILS? Apart from a US autopilot.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 09:26
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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Just trying to understand 737 ops.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 09:39
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Single a/p is standard for a cat 1 approach. Duel channel is used for autoland. In fact FD don't use duel channel landings at all they fly cat111 using the hud.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 09:49
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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Just decided to sign up to inject some extra weather information into an already compelling discussion, and to back up some of weatherdude's input.

I am an amateur, not a professional, and do not hold any kind of pilot/aviation credentials.

The METAR report is a good source for surface conditions and observations from there, and I'd like to add that the CB report is quite likely correct. Any cumulus cloud (Cu) that rains is by definition a cumulonimbus (Cb), the discriminator for a thunderstorm is in METAR code as TS, with +/- for each to indicate rain rate. The reason for this is that any Cu is technically convective and thus can cause upset, with TCu also used to warn of non-raining but potentially strong updrafts. The METAR reports around the accident time correctly state showers and broken low clouds, hence CB's, with stratiform cloud cover at 10k ft. Given the immediately pre-frontal nature of that night's weather at Rostov this is a likely cloud pattern.

A better source for weather conditions, if you can find one nearby to an accident time/location, is a sounding; it just so happens a balloon was launched from Rostov-on-don at 00z (likely just prior, so perhaps 1hr before accident). The lowest levels up to 700mb are available here: 34731 URRR Rostov-Na-Donu Sounding in which on either side of the diagram you can see the height of a recorded measurement and wind information (bearing, strength) from this you can infer a wind shear difference of 40kts within ~600m of the surface. Additionally, there is slight vertical directional shear (difference in wind bearing with height), both of which would suggest shear-induced wave action, ie: turbulence. This amount of low level shear is quite extreme, and on an airfield already known for turbulence.

The synoptic scenario on the night was a strong frontal zone advancing from the NW that had just reached the Black Sea area at 00z, and was at it's strongest point for that location. Here is the 850mb wind chart for that part of Asia taken from the initial chart of the GFS model (note: this would be mostly assimilated actual data, just gridded, before the model started to compute anything): http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analy...850_asia_1.png A quick look on Google maps at the local terrain shows that the wind fetch was coming straight off the Black Sea up into a valley where Rostov is with an elevation change of 78m. Adding to the vertical turbulence effects would have been the possibility of further horizontal eddying from orographic wind effects of the valley coupled with the approaching front maxima. All in all a very bad weather situation to head into.

As for icing, the complete diagram for the 00z Rostov sounding shows saturation between 0C and -20C: 34731 URRR Rostov-Na-Donu Sounding (note for non-weather folk, that diagram is a skew-T which means temperature on the x-axis relates to the blue lines that are the most skewed to the right from immediately above their labels, the black lines are the instrument measurements so to read off the temp see where they intersect at your chosen height) which means riming was possible. It also shows that at above 5.5km there was less saturation (separation between the lines of temp and dewpoint measurements), so quite possible there was minimal icing risk in the hold (esp being off to the SW of this reading) but perhaps some icing in the descent to the 2nd attempt.

brb an associate is running a GFS-WRF simulation at 2km grid scale
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 09:59
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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Spanish ATCO here. If the guy speaking at 5:55, 6:27 or 7:14 was not a spaniard (or heavy cultural influence from Spain as a newzealander mentioned), I shall personally eat my tower.
I wouldn't be sure only from the "going around" but the rest is 100% sure.


Edit: this refers to post #230 http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post9316157
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 10:03
  #247 (permalink)  
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Magplug, read the whole thread before posting

They stated they would climb to FL80 in event of a go around,
also no weather report or METAR (for what they are worth in this
part of the world), showed viz anywhere near minimums.

As Pete says, let's wait for some official response.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 10:06
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Plenty of time to engage the auto pilot
Here we go all over again. Why the blinding hurry to engage the autopilot when a competent pilot (not too many around it seems) could easily manually fly on instruments until it was an appropriate time to engage the automatics.

The question is why, after a successful 'practice' 2 hours earlier, would the 2nd one be type of dog up?
No correlation at all. Just because you do a greaser landing on one landing doesn't necessarily mean you will do a greaser an hour later.

And indeed this crew did one with no problem
Just because the first go-around was successful (it didn't crash, that is) only the CVR/FDR read-out will prove "no problem". There could have been almighty stuff ups in the first go around but the crew got away with it on that occasion.

there needs to be some digging into company culture, and not just a stupid discussion of how dangerous the 737 is in the Go Around!
Right on, that man..

Years ago I was told by a "Chief Pilot" of a major, "flying skills are not a priority in our airline.
At least he was up front about it. "Flying skills are not a priority in our airline" is almost certainly true of all major airlines along with the vast majority of other operators of jet transports. Lip service is almost invariably paid by ops management to the desirability of maintain instrument flying skills, but they don't really believe it of course. The term `Technical Corruption` comes to mind. As one Boeing 787 test pilot was heard to say: "We built the 787 with the assumption it will be flown by incompetent pilots".

Last edited by A37575; 20th Mar 2016 at 13:23.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 10:33
  #249 (permalink)  
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The first go around may have happened to be on an autopilot. It may have disconnected on the second go around.
The chances of being competent in manual flying on the instruments in an airline environment is slim. Once in 6 months training, will make people legal, but not competent.
And most people do not manually fly on the line. There is of course few, who do that. But airlines generally discourage their pilots from practising on the line to keep their competency. So it is a vicious circle.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 10:49
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Nice work MICROSCALEWX.....professional
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 11:03
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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I think we are seeing lack of manual flying skills coming to the fore yet again, if my gut feeling is correct. Not the crews fault, as they aren't allowed to practice on the line.

As mentioned previously, once in 6 months is defiantly not enough to practice what normally, should be a routine procedure.

We have been for sometime now and will be paying a very high price, for allowing "operators of automatics", who are almost totally reliant on such, to excel in the airline environment, rather than pilots who are able to fly the aircraft, first and foremost.

To make sure the aircraft is flown, if not by the automatics then manually, must take presidence over all else IMHO.

Years ago I was told by a "Chief Pilot" of a major, "flying skills are not a priority in our airline".
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 11:28
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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microscalewx thats a really useful and well constructed post - rare on here. I will be really interested to hear the results of the enhanced grid. Are you a colleague of Nils Widi? he used to explain all this stuff to me and make me feel really thick..
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 11:45
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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Live ATC comms with the flight

http://youtu.be/-4m0FcsLnEg
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:11
  #254 (permalink)  
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Listening to the ATC tape, I can't understand why one of the pilots asked the controller to look out the window, to tell if the weather looked better or not. The first landing attempt was 1:41AM local time and the second attempt 3:43AM local time, so the sky would have been pitch black. How can a controller look at a dark sky and say "oh yes, the conditions look better now". To me, the fact that the plane made this call suggests the pilots were already fatigued, perhaps disorientated, and desperate to get the plane on the ground.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:16
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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FZ staff page says Capt. first flgt to URRR.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:19
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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cumulonimbus

From the U.S. Federal Meteorological Handbook Number 1 - Surface Weather Observations and Reports:

FMH-1

cumulonimbus. An exceptionally dense and vertically developed cloud, occurring either isolated or as a line or wall of clouds with separated upper portions. These clouds appear as mountains or huge towers, at least a part of the upper portions of which are usually smooth, fibrous, or striated, and almost flattened.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:27
  #257 (permalink)  
 
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Once in 6 months training, will make people legal, but not competent.

Or in the case of some airlines (including the one which I recently retired from), once every 12 months,


More training but less often, just happens to be a cost saving too
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 12:54
  #258 (permalink)  

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Or??

Reluctant to even suggest this, but could the rapid descent have been caused by a deliberate input of one of the pilots? Most unlikely, I think.

The FDR should reveal all, assuming the recording is intact. But never take anything for granted in this business, until a proper analysis and report are undertaken.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 13:05
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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No. Just no.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 13:15
  #260 (permalink)  
 
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Just thinking about their flight duty.
This was a BIG day, even as rostered. Two long 4 hour sectors and a report, one turnaround and a check out.

Now this crew held for two hours, so they were now looking at 10 hours at the controls, plus their ground duties before they get to go home in DXB.

I don't know their start time, but wouldn't they have been out of hours to fly the return leg anyway, after that 2 hour hold? And if so, why not divert? Why persist with trying to get in at Rostov, only to be stuck there anyway?

Also, who the heck waits for two hours in the air for weather (that's not clearly transient- like a Cb over the field) to improve?

I expect it will all be clear soon enough....
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