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Tail strike crew swap seats

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Tail strike crew swap seats

Old 6th Apr 2020, 14:49
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Tail strike crew swap seats

Is this true?

Accident: Shanghai B738 at Shanghai on Jan 3rd 2020, tail strike on landing, captain and first officer swapped seats in flight


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Old 6th Apr 2020, 18:07
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Swapping seats before tail strike?
For what reason?

Last edited by gearlever; 6th Apr 2020 at 19:15.
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Old 6th Apr 2020, 18:36
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I suspect that someone was going to catch a rocket and a decision was made to place responsibility where it belonged.

the captain occupying the right hand seat (although not licensed as an instructor) was pilot monitoring. Following the balked landing the crew engaged the autopilot, and while the autopilot was active, swapped their seats, the captain returning into the left hand seat, the first officer into the right hand seat, both leaving their seats at the same time. In addition, the captain was required to wear far vision correction according to his medical, but did not wear his vision correction.
IG
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 08:24
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Wow. It amazes me that things like this still happen. Apart from the obvious stupidity of a non-TRE PIC allowing seat swapping on a revenue flight, this shows that motor responses of the left and right sides of the brain are not equal.

The right side of the brain controls the left limbs of the body, and vice versa. Swapping seats means swapping the sides of the brain in control of the thrust levers and the yoke. Also, the view of the landing from the other seat will have the various visual cues during the flare flipped left to right.

Any motor control within in the brain requires practice and repetition to develop and produce the fine hand-eye coordination required with flight control. Just try writing with your other hand to show that.

Allowing an untrained and unpractised person to swap seats in flight and then attempt the fine control needed to land is such utter stupidity.
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 13:29
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Instructors fly and are annually checked on operating from both seats. Never pleasant!
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 14:22
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
Wow. It amazes me that things like this still happen.
Those unauthorized seat swaps were common at some carriers years ago. It was considered 'cool' to put the flight engineer in the FO seat to give him or her a landing.

About three decades ago in MIA the 727 captain did the seat swap at the gate. The FO had been at the panel before so he remembered enough to run the plumbing for a leg. The FE in the right seat briefed the taxi, takeoff and departure as a jumpseat rider was waiting to say hello at the cockpit door. You know where this one is going.

The jumpseat rider was an FAA inspector with his form 110A onboard to observe the sector. Things went well, the FE got a little coaching from the captain and made a good landing at DCA. The fed said 'good job boys! and got off.

A couple of weeks later the fed was back in MIA talking to the base chief pilot. He said he had line checked an FO who had the same last name, he flies the plane well. The chief pilot said 'Yeah, he's my cousin. But he hasn't upgraded to FO yet.'

The FE with an FO line check in his training folder ended up at ValuJet/AirTran/Southwest. His chief pilot cousin went to United I believe.

Some airlines allow two captains to fly together under some circumstances so all captains are theoretically trained to fly in the right seat. I was never keen on this concept even though the guy in the right seat usually got hefty premium pay under our contract. The few times I ended up in the right seat as a captain I agreed to buy dinner if the colleague in the left seat would make all the landings.
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 14:54
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That something went wrong does not surprise me in the slightest. My only question here is why on earth they’d swap seats. Never have I been in an airplane and wondered what it’d be like to fly from the other seat.

Why on earth would you switch seats?
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 15:07
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This is unbelievable. How did they know they'd swapped seats though...?
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 16:17
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Pointless as the CVR will pick up the voices on different channels!
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 23:02
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When it was decreed that FO's would have to do their P1 u/s flying from the right, there was a colossal hugh and cry about it. We FO's wanted that left seat experience, though swapping headsets with a captain that smoked 60 a day was a tad off-putting. I recall French pilots saying in a UK national paper that they wouldn't get the skills they needed. About this time someone suggested I got the Viscount on my PPL. I looked recently, not being sure, but it's on my PPL and there were a few hours logged as P1. Empty sectors, I assume.

Any time spent TREing would soon dispel any concerns about swapping seats, but the concept of relying on an autopilot is horrifying. An awkward movement - stabbing one's head on the overhead buttons and ewwwww. Doesn't bear thinking about.
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 23:19
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post

Some airlines allow two captains to fly together under some circumstances so all captains are theoretically trained to fly in the right seat. I was never keen on this concept even though the guy in the right seat usually got hefty premium pay under our contract. The few times I ended up in the right seat as a captain I agreed to buy dinner if the colleague in the left seat would make all the landings.
We had an F/O doing upgrade assessment ( usually done from his normal position- the right seat ) . This particular training Captain decided to put him in the left seat for some of the sectors . Rather brave , as that particular mark of the 76 had no nosewheel steering tiller on the right side . Of course , this news got back to Fleet Office pdq and said Captain found himself warming the right seat permanently for another year while he served out his demotion .

On later outfits with the arrival of long range flights and augmented crew , it was normal to have 2 Capts and 1 F/O on some sectors . Actually preferred this to the other option used when we would have 1 Capt and 2 F/O's , one being a "cruise Captain" . Never really felt comfortable being back in the bunk with 2 other guys in charge of a ship with my signature in the logbook .

Agreed , right seat ops in the 2 Captain scenario was never comfortable either . You had to do a right seat check in the bi-annual sim , ( not something we looked forward to ; V1 cuts and manual approach to minimums and an engine out G/A flown from a strange seat always required a lot of work remembering which hands and feet did what .. It was also a fail item if you didn't get it quite right , and some checkers didn't even let you have a practice beforehand ; " not enough sim time left " was the usual excuse ).

Fortunately , the powers that be decided that we were not allowed to land from the RHS on actual ops unless you were a qualified training Captain . No arguments with that
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 02:21
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The right side of the brain controls the left limbs of the body, and vice versa. Swapping seats means swapping the sides of the brain in control of the thrust levers and the yoke. Also, the view of the landing from the other seat will have the various visual cues during the flare flipped left to right.

Any motor control within in the brain requires practice and repetition to develop and produce the fine hand-eye coordination required with flight control. Just try writing with your other hand to show that.

Allowing an untrained and unpractised person to swap seats in flight and then attempt the fine control needed to land is such utter stupidity
In our operation on an extremely rare occasions we had two captains fly together, night flights always, whenever in the co-pilot roll I refused to assume the PF role, was so uncomfortable in that seat, had always flown the aircraft single pilot previously before two crew were dictated. Following is an extreme example of Uplinker's thrust.

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Old 11th Apr 2020, 05:39
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Swapping seats inflight is total madness, I agree. But flying in the L or R seat is not all that different.
Example: why don’t I totally crash a rental car in south africa/the UK/australia? Doing the clutch or steering wheel my other hand does not cause such a short circuit as riding the bike in the YouTube shown above.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 06:00
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But flying in the L or R seat is not all that different
I don't know about you, but sitting in the other seat, rather than automatically being able to lay your hand on a particular switch etc I had to stop and think about it and eyeball where in space the desired item resided.

A rather extreme example was an F-16 instructor being checked out in a PA-28, on approaching touchdown the instructor called for a go around. The F-16 chap pushed forward with his left hand and pulled back with his right as he would in his fighter, would have been OK had he been sat in the right seat, but not the left where he was.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 06:39
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I never found it a problem stepping from a chopper (cyclic right, collective left) into a Navajo or Aerocommander an hour later ((wheel in left, throttles right) but I DID have a problem alternating between a Navajo and a Baron, as the machines had swapped the gear lever for the flaps. (After-landing checks, retract flaps...that flap lever feels funny, like it's got a knob on it .. oops..)
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 09:45
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Originally Posted by fox niner View Post
Swapping seats inflight is total madness, I agree. But flying in the L or R seat is not all that different.
Example: why don’t I totally crash a rental car in south africa/the UK/australia? Doing the clutch or steering wheel my other hand does not cause such a short circuit as riding the bike in the YouTube shown above.
A car is moving very slowly compared to an aircraft as it lands, and the car only needs to be controlled in 2 dimensions, without any yaw to consider. The car is not pushed off course by the atmosphere. So there is more time and capacity for your conscious brain to control the unfamiliar motor movements of an opposite drive car. The equivalent of mishandling aircraft thrust levers is to miss a gear in a car, but you would just slow down, (or over-rev the engine), neither of which are fatal in a car but could be in an aircraft.

You never have to land a car at 140 mph...... !

Having the visual cues reversed left to right can be really tricky in an opposite drive car - roundabouts and turning into side roads can be very awkward because the brain will try to revert to what it is used to.

It is not impossible with practice, and TREs and some flight deck practise operating from the other seat. The problem in this thread is that both pilots swapped seats with no training or practise, and then attempted a highly critical manoeuvre, demanding fine motor control and instinctive dexterity with everything crossed left to right.

megan's point about which hand pushes and which one pulls is also very valid, when an instinctive reaction is required.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 12:46
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Flying heavies in the USAF, I was amazed at how difficult is was to to Air Refueling from the right seat versus the standard left seat position when I upgraded to AR Instructor. It took awhile to adjust.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 12:58
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If a car had the gas pedal on the left and the clutch on the right, it might be pretty dangerous. But luckily they don't. It's pretty hard to mistake the door handle for the gear shift, so about the worst that can happen control-wise is signaling a turn with your windshield wipers.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 13:22
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Originally Posted by fox niner View Post
Swapping seats inflight is total madness, I agree. But flying in the L or R seat is not all that different.
Example: why don’t I totally crash a rental car in south africa/the UK/australia? Doing the clutch or steering wheel my other hand does not cause such a short circuit as riding the bike in the YouTube shown above.
Try driving the car at night with little visual clues.
It's easy enough during the day with something to follow but very easy to make a mistake when you're in the middle of nowhere at night.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 19:28
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Originally Posted by Chu Chu View Post
If a car had the gas pedal on the left and the clutch on the right, it might be pretty dangerous. But luckily they don't. It's pretty hard to mistake the door handle for the gear shift, so about the worst that can happen control-wise is signaling a turn with your windshield wipers.
My uncle spent 4 years in Japan driving from the right seat. When he came back he attempted to drive a car from the left seat. On the first try he hit his head on the left window quite hard, when he attempted to look back while reversing the car. He gave up and said he will try again next day when his head stops hurting.

Also, I drove my first 250k miles in a car with manual transmission. After switching to an automatic, it took me about a week to get used to not having a clutch pedal. Whenever I didn't focus hard enough I would end up braking with both legs on the brake pedal, and way too hard. At some point I almost caused an accident as a result.
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