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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

Old 28th Jun 2020, 00:33
  #1441 (permalink)  
 
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I expected to put to rest some or most of the more disconcerting possibilities once the prelim was released, but if anything I'm now even more astonished after digesting it for a few days! Like a good mystery this one just keeps getting stranger and stranger -- putting aside the tragic loss of life of course.

And I will respectfully disagree with some comments that there surely must have been fumes or some other debilitating circumstance affecting cognitive function. Indeed, it's more than possible the cockpit crew were incapacitated to some degree, but in my travels through several serious, non-aviation incidents I've seen multiple instances of perfectly capable individuals acting in the most peculiar ways when under stress while the bucket is full. Some of the most competent people engaging in their fields of expertise can go completely off the rails under the right stimulus. We've all seen such behavior described here at this site many, many times unfortunately.

It's just my own hunch from the start, but I think I already know why so many mistakes were made (as do most here methinks) and I shall keep such speculation to myself -- for now. My previous attempts to "sum it up" were quite rightly removed and I'd like to avoid adding to my shockingly poor track record for moderated commentary!

Happy vapour trails to you all.

Edited for spelling. The artificial incompetence on my phone keeps changing perfectly good English into gibberish.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 00:40
  #1442 (permalink)  
 
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Check Airman, point taken.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 01:36
  #1443 (permalink)  
 
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giggitygiggity

I don't necessarily disagree, but the problem is that you are usually unaware that your SA has been lowered. It'd require some cognitive dissonance (I hope I'm using that term properly) to realise that your SA is decreased.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 02:43
  #1444 (permalink)  
 
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Absolutely, I wholeheartedly agree; and that is the correct use of that term.

Flying an aircraft is easy, but it should go without saying but CRM training must focus on how we can easily recognise these situations and appropriately apply that cognetive dissonanceaccordingly (it's tricky!). We've all felt a but behind the aircraft on occasions and (hint hint) we all have the power to rectify that situation.The trickiest part is recognising and vocalising that awkward feeling. The best thing I've ever seen in the sim was a Captain saying to the other guy "Sorry buddy, but I've lost my SA a bit here... Can you help me out here?". It takes a lot of machismo to admit that.

My company (Europe's largest A320 series operator) has been giving an excellent brief prior to the recurrent sims for the last few years exactly on this topic. Through a dart board diagram showing the colours, we illustraite three broad levels of Situational Awareness: Green, Amber and Red. The advice is that if you find yourself creeping into the Amber, what can you do to get yourself back into the Green? More severely, if you find yourself creeping into the Red, the situation rearly is a little more dire. Perhaps it's time to start manupulating the controls to get yourself out of there: think GPWS Pull-UP/Too Low.

I suppose I'm advocating for the opposite of the 'Children of the Magenta Line' mantra, but,,,,, In a circumstance like this, they should have dialed-up the level of automation to offload that task to someone else (the A320/FMGC) with a far greater capacity bucket than they currently had. The magenta line video supposes an excellent solution, but frankly, but I'm afraid that it's nearly 30 years out of date.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 03:37
  #1445 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by giggitygiggity View Post
The magenta line video supposes an excellent solution, but frankly, but I'm afraid that it's nearly 30 years out of date.
I'm going to gently disagree with you here.
The point of the children of the magenta line video is that some pilots are no longer as familiar with how to fly the plane as they were before over-dependence on automation became a norm.

Power plus attitude equals performance is shorthand for something slightly more complex, particularly in the terminal environment:
Power plus attitude plus configuration equals performance.

But the other element that CotML addressed is that you need to stay mentally ahead of the aircraft to get it to do what you want it to do-this is true regardless of the level of automation that your particular aircraft has.

Over reliance on automation, which you seem to advocate in that post, trains you in the opposite of that, hence that well known presentation on the magenta line.

It seems clear that this crew could not, and did not, put together how power, attitude and configuration would get them the performance they needed to make a stable approach and a safe landing.
That's a part of the problem.

The other part being (perhaps) that they got behind the aircraft (for a reason not yet specified) and did not get their descent planned and organized before for they hit the gate (ToD parameters) - they got behind the aircraft early (apparently, while at cruising altitude).
I'll hazard a guess (and possibly be wrong) that being used to the automation taking care of a lot of things for them made them more susceptible to that category of error. The CoTML presentation remains a useful word of caution, at the very least.

And it is a caution: most days of the week, that well automated model of aircraft is flown and successfully hits the gates needed to approach and land safely at airports all over the world.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 03:53
  #1446 (permalink)  
 
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Flying cargo in remote areas and out of controlled airspace, a little coloring outside the lines every now and then could sharpen your skills and remind you where the airplane’s limits were. But only if you had the hands on skills, judgment and airmanship to already know those limits. And your own.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 05:02
  #1447 (permalink)  
 
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giggitygiggity

I'm familiar with the green/amber/red system. Nice when you can just say "hey I'm in the amber". If this airline had that system, it seems it wasn't used.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 06:09
  #1448 (permalink)  
 
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@giggitygiggity lonewolf ,

An amateur here but I have seen the CoML several times. I was fascinated by the line: "always use the appropriate level of automation". So as giggitygiggity suggested once they understood they were behind the aircraft asking the autopilot to sort the situation out for them why wouldn't be a rational choice?
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 06:41
  #1449 (permalink)  
 
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You can't get full spoiler extension with the AP on in the A320.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 07:19
  #1450 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by clark y View Post
The preliminary reports that states the during runway contact, reverse was selected and gear was selected down then up. That would indicate to me that the flight deck crew knew they were on the ground. My understanding is both Airbus and Boeing state that you do not go around once reversers are selected.
Speaking of Airbus, your understanding is right. (As of Boeing I couldít say, a too long time Iím not anymore a Boeing jockey, but common sense would say itís the same)
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 07:56
  #1451 (permalink)  
 
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Yes it's the same with Boeing - my baulked landing training emphasised that you could go-around at any stage but not after reverse selection.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 08:06
  #1452 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rwy in Sight View Post
@giggitygiggity lonewolf , An amateur here but I have seen the CoML several times. I was fascinated by the line: "always use the appropriate level of automation". So as giggitygiggity suggested once they understood they were behind the aircraft asking the autopilot to sort the situation out for them why wouldn't be a rational choice?
Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
You can't get full spoiler extension with the AP on in the A320.
+ the automation doesn't ever "sort the situation out" - only the crew do that. What the automation can do is buy them space (capacity) to sort the situation out - but only once they've offloaded basic tasks appropriately to the automation - all of which takes even more capacity to achieve.

In this case, either they were not fully aware of how dire the situation really was or they didn't have the capacity to rationally sort it. Maybe both in this case.

Clearly, they seem to have believed it was all under control as they turned down many chances to throw it away while still on the first approach and have a think before trying a second approach. That's the real worry of it all.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 08:42
  #1453 (permalink)  
 
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@Rwy in Sight, The autopilot won't sort out a bad situation, only the pilots can do that - hence there are two (supposedly) fully qualified pilots on every commercial flight above a certain size.

All the autopilot will do is fly the plane on a pre-defined trajectory. But engaging the autopilot in appropriate situations frees up brain space. Manually flying a plane, keeping to correct level, staying on a heading and speed, takes up a lot of concentration and brain power. If you are also trying to sort out a technical problem, or reset your Situational Awareness, then hand flying the plane as well is probably not the most sensible thing to do.

Put the A/P in, fly above MSA straight and level, or fly a holding pattern, while your PM sorts out the tech problem or your SA. Then continue.

The guy who spoke about Children of the Magenta was saying that Boeing pilots were using automation so much that they were getting very rusty at hand flying, and therefore would not hand fly unless they absolutely had to. This accelerated the rust accretion, and is a valid point. (The guy was old-school and seemed to be wary of automation and obviously preferred to hand fly when he couldn't work the automation, because hand flying is what he understood).

@vilas, regarding discontinuing the approach, you state how that should be done, but it is obvious that this crew were incompetent for whatever reason, so we cannot assume they would discontinue an approach in the correct sequence, or in fact do anything in the correct sequence.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 10:46
  #1454 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
You can't get full spoiler extension with the AP on in the A320.
I went into the sim this week. My partner tried a few different scenarios. A competent crew could get it down in time. We tried AP off, Full Spoilers, Gear down from 15 miles at 250 kt, 10,000feet (if we wanted to exceed 250 below 10,000 we could have done even better at 280kts). It wasn't going to be comfortable for the FAs walking around, but we punched down to below the slope, got slowed configured the flaps and were stable. Also tried configuring to flap full, gear down and slow down then descend at about 170kts with all that drag and again would have been stable, this was a little more comfortable for the aircraft attitudes, but we got stable later.

These guys had no business being in the pointy end of an airplane on a good day, let alone the ability to fly themselves out of a wet paper bag, or the CRM to not put themselves at risk. Tragic for the innocent people behind the FD door.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 13:53
  #1455 (permalink)  
Ind
 
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how about this chain of events?

Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Maybe after it became apparent that reverse wasn't being deployed ?
Bingo! I think we all assume that the approach was something abnormal and causing the crew to stress and overload. However, the way aircraft touched the runway (no excessive vertical speed) suggest that had the pilots not forgot to release the gear down, or check the correct status of the gear lever (in fact that they lowered and raised them up again at 1700ft) that they were expected to have a "normal landing" and were "comfortable" with the manner they approached it, and as I said before this flight never made into the news. It looks like that actual situation did not go to catastrophic until they realised that aircraft is not slowing down, reverse is not activating and plane just glides on the ground effect over the runway and it downed on them that something bad happened and it is time to abort landing. So this wayward approach might not been the first time something like this happened, and hence they were confident it will work again, hence again deliberately ignoring the warnings and refusing the most logical way to do the orbit, etc. This version will fit most of the fact presented so far, without too much of additional ifs.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 14:10
  #1456 (permalink)  

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Here's a pointer towards a possible true root cause:

If the crew were told on that day to miss TOD significantly and then either push the cat back into the bag, land inside the stable approach criteria - or failing that abandon the approach at a responsible and proffesional moment - would they had been able to?

Yes, they would. Although on their own they did not.

It's not the lack of skill, or insufficient knowledge of the regulations that killed that day but ​​​​​improper conduct and derelict of duties.

Why that happens is the life saving question. Similar to the NDB RYR at Bergerac dissused in the next thread.

​​​​​One more thought: A man does not usually choose to make a grave mistake.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 14:25
  #1457 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
-At 15nm to go, they were at 10,000ft at 250 kts. At that stage, a competent crew would see that they had excess energy. The last (only?) logical action of this whole sequence was the disengagement of the AP.
I don't understand your point. At 15nm in that energy state, the only logical thing to do in a passenger jet is to get more track miles. Otherwise the workload will go through the roof and continue to do so as the ground gets closer. As happened. With the result (toxicology reports aside) that the crew become incompetent and put the safety of the aircraft at risk. Taking the AP out would increase the workload further.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 14:33
  #1458 (permalink)  
 
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CanadianAirbusPilot

Is trying that in the sim really good training for crews? It will just make people more likely to press on with a very hot and high approach because 'it might just work out'. I reckon I could get it down, but practising it in the sim with an aim to prove that it is no big deal and possibly a bad idea.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 15:12
  #1459 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ind View Post
Bingo! I think we all assume that the approach was something abnormal and causing the crew to stress and overload. However, the way aircraft touched the runway (no excessive vertical speed) suggest that had the pilots not forgot to release the gear down, or check the correct status of the gear lever (in fact that they lowered and raised them up again at 1700ft) that they were expected to have a "normal landing" and were "comfortable" with the manner they approached it, and as I said before this flight never made into the news. It looks like that actual situation did not go to catastrophic until they realised that aircraft is not slowing down, reverse is not activating and plane just glides on the ground effect over the runway and it downed on them that something bad happened and it is time to abort landing. So this wayward approach might not been the first time something like this happened, and hence they were confident it will work again, hence again deliberately ignoring the warnings and refusing the most logical way to do the orbit, etc. This version will fit most of the fact presented so far, without too much of additional ifs.
However, if the above were true, then surely we would learn of a lot more reports on Non-Compliance of ATC Instructions like the one that was issued on June 7th against the pilots of PK8303. You would not think that non-compliance with ATC only gets complained about when it so happens that the offending aircraft crashes as a result, costing the lives of almost all onboard plus those of innocents on the ground?
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 15:37
  #1460 (permalink)  

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Can someone enlighten me as to whether the Insurers are likely to pay out given what has all the hallmarks of grave Gross Misconduct by the crew.
Add to that, the issue of whether any evidence is uncovered as to whether the licences were issued “fair and square”, and their continuing validity iaw licensing regulations.
Simply asking the question. I have no information one way or the other.
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