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Near CFIT because PIC didn't understand FL

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Near CFIT because PIC didn't understand FL

Old 30th Apr 2016, 16:17
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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As per my earlier post, we yet again see the Americans turning this into a peeing contest of how their rules are better and the rest of the world should bow to them.
Most use NADP 2 unless NADP 1 is specified. But hey, lets make up some more rubbish to show how only Americans know how to fly...
No need to feel inferior, you seem to be a little sensitive about Americans for some reason. Lighten up.

Do you ever fly to America? I've been flying to the UK for decades now so I think I can share some thoughts from my perspective. Things are a little different in other countries and the UK has its own peculiarities in ATC just like everywhere else.

NADP 1 has indeed been specified for many international carriers in the UK for a while now as far as I know. Or, maybe I'm just making this up, right?

And sometimes those company notes for a departure noise abatement profile on a particular aircraft type stay in our Jepps long after the requirements have been abolished by local ATC.

Anyway, some of us still have to wait until we hit 3000 AGL to start raising the flaps on those wacky convoluted departure procedures with a low transition altitude.

And yes, there is talk about going back to a lower cleanup height to save fuel and enhance sustainability so I'm sure things will change as they always do in this business.

But the low transition altitude, like the old QFE procedures, is a known gotcha that has been remedied elsewhere in the world.

I have flown with some very professional ex GA pilots. However, from what I saw daily in an airport crammed with G, D and N registered Citations, Lears and Gulfstreams was cringeworthy and infuriating. Lining up on busy runways but not ready, causing landing aircraft to go around, taking incorrect taxy routes, taxying without clearance, pushing back without clearance, level busts, altimetry errors, entering controlled airspace VFR without clearances and generally getting in the way with ridiculous speeds downwind or on base or when taxying... yes, some airlines did it too, and no-one is beyond making mistakes, but with less than 20% of the aircraft at that base being GA but causing 90%+ of the problems, I stand by my remark.
Your observation is consistent with the Pareto principle:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

is the exact wording from the UK AIP - sort of our version of your FAR/AIM. Note the UPPER limit - so in fact you can accelerate and clean up nice and low...
But only if your company procedures permit it. Ours currently do not but as I said, it will probably change, thanks for the cite.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 16:36
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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FL 060 (by definition on STD) could have been far enough above 6000' (the TMA TA) QNH to be a usable Flight Level.

That would be dependant on QNH and thus be a variable day by day. This was not the case but a constant.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 16:40
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Ah OK...some local agreement perhaps?
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 18:37
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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Airbubba, I'm playing devils advocate, now...

But only if your company procedures permit it. Ours currently do not but as I said, it will probably change...
Dare I say it, but that smacks of a fix-all SOP in the absence of truly understanding the individual local requirements? ie. The most limiting (apparently), would be NADP1, and so let's adopt that as our standard.

I've worked in many places where the company standard became a sort of NADP2, unless NADP1 is specified.
1500'/1500'.
And then others where we used 800'/800'
And in North America, frequently 400'

And in a most refreshing case, with my last two operations, what does it say on the charts? (assuming that they reflect the AIP accurately, which is not always the case) If NADP1, we'll fly that. If NADP2, then that is what we'll do. If nothing is stated, then 400'.

There is a very big case for a rationalisation of the rules. For instance, I recently departed an airport where QNH was 1013, and cleared level was 6000'. On handover, two sectors down, we remained at 6000' but belatedly prompted by ATC that we were now flying on Flight levels, so FL60. Easily missed, because it was a slightly unusual circumstance.

It does not negate the point, however, that as crew, either myself or the FO, we are responsible for taking these into account. That's the professional+airmanship aspect.

Some mention has been made about accepting/declining a departure clearance that includes an altitude below MSA.
For descents and approaches, this will frequently be the case. And with upwards of 20+ different national air spaces over here, within the same geographical area as one national air space in the US, some significant consideration needs to be given to the differences.

I alluded to this earlier. Not far from US airspace, there is a very large arena (the Caribbean) where things are very different and varied from home skies.

The risks aren't limited to the lower levels. Internationally, When you start crossing borders where levels are suddenly metric, and RVSM constraints mean going down, not up, being equally unprepared can have equally worrisome results.
The list can go on, as there are a great many issues that we may either take for granted, or dismiss out of simple na´vetÚ through lack of local knowledge.

One or two things this crew will have gained from this is a very valid lesson about complacency, and a good helping of experience, that hopefully will help them going forwards.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 19:00
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Originally Posted by wiggy
Confusing perhaps but certainly not unknown to the locals .

FL 060 (by definition on STD) could have been far enough above 6000' (the TMA TA) QNH to be a usable Flight Level.
Yes, but I have been given FL 50 in the same situation. The reason given when I queried it, is they had someone at FL60 so we were given FL50 for convenience. Might have been convenient, but it was certainly confusing.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 20:39
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Surely much of what is being discussed here comes down to situational awareness?
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 20:54
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If NADP1, we'll fly that. If NADP2, then that is what we'll do. If nothing is stated, then 400'.
Is that a thrust reduction at 400 feet? Sounds low to me, but I can't remember all that stuff about the fifth segment climb gradient. Maybe 400 feet is the minimum for the thrust reduction in the regs but seems like everywhere I've worked we used something like 800 or 1000 feet for the power reduction on the more fuel efficient (and noisier) takeoff profile.

Dare I say it, but that smacks of a fix-all SOP in the absence of truly understanding the individual local requirements? ie. The most limiting (apparently), would be NADP1, and so let's adopt that as our standard.
We do NADP 1 in the UK and Europe for simplicity. It seems to satisfy the requirements for the noise folks at every airport we go to over there. But there is already talk of changing it to something else to save the whales.

In America we figure that simple procedures are best and the most likely to be performed correctly. I realize that some other cultures seem to thrive on infinite detail.

You can get some idea of the cultural philosophical differences by comparing the airport reference pages at LHR and JFK.

Don't know if you fly to NRT but the NADP 1 takeoff profile is still in the reference pages. It's a lot easier for a country boy like me to understand than the LHR writeup about them dBA's and the 4% climb gradient.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 21:09
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Don't get me wrong-

I love the simple, omni departures on vectors. A simplified and consistent transition level would appear to make much more sense. Thumbing through page upon page of arrivals and departures often seems utterly ridiculous. But in the context of this situation, there's little to be gained by not being fully aware that there are big, and subtle/small differences to be taken into account.
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Old 1st May 2016, 00:04
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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Transition Altitude is 5,000 feet for all airports in Ireland.
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Old 1st May 2016, 01:28
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
We do NADP 1 in the UK and Europe for simplicity.
The point being that Carriers specifying NADP1 in UK Airspace are incorrect to do so! Country Rules and Regs should not be over ruled by company policies...

I do agree that having a higher TA and TL would be easier ops wise... It doesn't though deflect from this particular crews lack of SA and knowledge of ops in various Euro countries. And possibly the lack of a preflight brief discussing the lower TAs.

I don't remember the Jepp AOI layout which we used to use but the LIDO CRAR, RSI and airport briefings are easy to use and generally well laid out!
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Old 2nd May 2016, 13:42
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Bubba, you ask what my problem is with American pilots. I don't have a problem with most of them, but I do with a lot on here who adamantly refuse to accept that theirs is not the only way and that they should abide with others' rules and stipulations when abroad. You just made the point for me about US arrogance. Why is it that only Americans on here seem to have so much issue with everyone else's regulations, and why do only they seem to think flouting them is perfectly reasonable? As such superior aviators, surely you have the ability to read the charts like everyone else and the mental capacity to fly in accordance with them?

But once again for the cheap seats, the rules had nothing to do with this case - it was two idiots being gash. Of course, why accept that when you can try to apportion blame on procedures or regulations that had nothing to do with it, just because they were foreign.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 19:09
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Notwithstanding the errors the crew made, the North American System (and others) removes or reduces the transposition error, that the crew clearly made. Ironically (perhaps) the Non-ICAO use of FL two hundred is trying to reduce the likelihood of another error.

The North American Flight crew, would be used to FL being tens of thousands. Perhaps worth asking what mental steps your own mind actually performs from hearing a FL to selecting it, and how you are or aren't protected from making the same mistake.

Last edited by vh-foobar; 2nd May 2016 at 23:37. Reason: grammar
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Old 2nd May 2016, 22:55
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Stipulated, they screwed up, but why?

First, it's not coincidental in happened to a Hawker crew in Ireland. Charter operator and crew from US, who rarely fly outside of North America. Do we know their training? No. Do we know what they flew in Europe prior to this flight and how they performed before this departure? No. They could have never done a crossing until they picked up the plane at EIKY. OTOH, they could have flown around Europe all week with nary a problem until thrown off by FL Two Hundred.

True, they shouldn't have turned a wheel confused about the airways clearance, but flying a crossing from a foreign country, if you rarely do it, is daunting.
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Old 7th May 2016, 14:43
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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No, VH-Foobar, it does not. FL200 is above US and European transition altitudes alike, so I yet again state the different TAs are irrelevant. The Americans refer to Flight Levels as "Flight Level", just like the rest of the world, not as tens of thousands of feet, which is an altitude, referred to as "altitude x thousand feet in both the US and the rest of the non-metric world, so that too is not contributory.

"FL two hundred" was introduced in the UK because of the number of errors of numerical transposition (in fact, it was FL one hundred instead of one-zero-zero, where many pilots then set 110, and the practice since expanded to all the even hundreds). It was nothing to do with transition from QNH to STD.

So, once more, stop trying to make bs xenophobic excuses for two bad pilots.
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Old 7th May 2016, 14:47
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Galaxy flyer, it may be daunting flying in an unfamiliar region, but that is more reason to read the charts and brief properly. That this happened to a US GA crew is not coincidental. That it happened abroad is. It is purely down to pilot attitude and training, nothing more.
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Old 7th May 2016, 15:11
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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It is purely down to pilot attitude and training, nothing more.

Let's put this to bed and stop spinning in ever decreasing spirals. No pilot, anywhere, in any a/c should launch with confusion about what they are going to do. The time & place to sort it out and be clear in your mind is on the ground, stationary. Case closed, please.
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Old 7th May 2016, 15:51
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Originally Posted by Aluminium shuffler
No, VH-Foobar, it does not. FL200 is above US and European transition altitudes alike, so I yet again state the different TAs are irrelevant. The Americans refer to Flight Levels as "Flight Level", just like the rest of the world, not as tens of thousands of feet, which is an altitude, referred to as "altitude x thousand feet in both the US and the rest of the non-metric world, so that too is not contributory.
Thanks for the tips, I think you missed my point completely.
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Old 8th May 2016, 15:29
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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Am I the only one thinking that AS hatred of GA pilots is unhealthy ?
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Old 8th May 2016, 16:57
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No............
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Old 8th May 2016, 17:05
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Universal transition altitude and level is now 18,000-fl180. I fixed it. Btw, Johannesburg is the worst. Their transition levels change in the terminal environment depending on what the altimeter setting is, i.e. U gotta use different approach plates for the same approach on different days.
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