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EK 231 20 December DXB IAD near crash?

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EK 231 20 December DXB IAD near crash?

Old 30th Dec 2021, 09:51
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
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Yes, likewise, I cannot believe that even the worst pilot in the World would not pitch-up at the Rotate call.

You don't get onto the flight-deck of a big modern airliner if you can't fly this most basic of manoeuvres. There must have been no call or a late call, or there was a pitch control problem.

No call, or a very delayed V1 and Rotate call could be due to wrong weights being entered and the aircraft believing it was very light, so too little thrust was computed and the aircraft took ages to accelerate to the Rotate speed, or never got there. Took a few moments for PIC to work out the problem and think of a reasonable or fail-safe Rotate speed to get airborne.
Then when airborne, climb thrust - predicated on a very light aircraft - would have been insufficient, leading to poor climb and decaying speed perhaps.

Or, are V1 and rotate called by PM or automatic voice on this B777?
If an automatic voice calls V1 and rotate, then as F-O-R says maybe PIC and F/O both thought the other was flying, and with an auto voice there would have been no call by PM which would have confirmed who thought who was flying.

Or maybe PIC became transfixed by something during the take-off roll, and missed making the calls; or if he was PF, not rotating. Took a few moments for F/O to work out the problem and take over?

Or an airspeed disagree leading to incorrect IAS readout, delaying the Rotate call?

If there was a pitch control problem, or unreliable speed, they would have landed back straight away to have the fault rectified, rather than carry on to their destination, so it must have been some sort of procedural problem which they realised once they got sorted out.


PS @aa73, yes, good advice but what if their airline demands use of the automatics and they get an interview if they take the AP out? Preach to the airlines' safety department and CEO, not the poor schumcks who have to work there.
.

Last edited by Uplinker; 30th Dec 2021 at 10:11.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 10:09
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
No call, or a very delayed V1 and Rotate call could be due to wrong weights being entered and the aircraft believing it was very light, so too little thrust was computed and the aircraft took ages to accelerate to the Rotate speed, or never got there.
If it helps, the aircraft was rolling at 185 kts with around 3,600 ft of runway left.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 10:15
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by zz9 View Post
Different airline, but I noticed when watching this video a while ago that (at 12:45) the instant Rotate is called she looks down and focuses solely on the FD.

https://youtu.be/uEgw2p8J0ZA
To me it looks like an overfocus on pseudo-flight-precision by continuously trying to keep the plane 150%-perfectly on the FD commands. The stick is constantly stirred, which is a form of overcontrolling. Airbus follows a 1g flight path in pitch and roll rate command in bank, so it needs much less input on the sidestick than shown in this video.

For me it is a indication of not seeing the big picture, of not being aware of basic safe envelope parameters - which would be to put the plane to it's initial climb-out attitude, and let it rest there, while regularly checking lateral drift and speed, while scanning the rest of the instruments and the airspace outside. No need to put all your mental power on following an FD, use it for other stuff and let the ship steam along. The PF's hand on the stick has to mostly just lay loose around the stick and do nothing, and only when a trend of unwanted displacement from nominal values happens, you should make an input on the stick.

The whole instrument scan seems very under developed, during the whole takeoff-roll there is never a proper checking of the speed or engine instruments, the wind indicator, nothing, just glances followed by "checked" which are so quick it is hard to imagine there was any real information processing.

I guess that is how you pilot when you never had the chance to aquire and finetune the basics on 1000's of shorthaul legs or you did so in an environment where basic flying was a thing for the devil and only automation and strictest SOPs were considered being good aviating.

Was is not an EK A380 which would divert from Manchester because the ROPS would malfunction? The crew did not dare to declare the system as malfunctioning, try a second approach based on a proper FLD calculation and the knowledge, the the A380 has been going there since years, so obviously the ROPS must have a bug?

Last edited by 1201alarm; 30th Dec 2021 at 10:27.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 10:45
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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1201, that’s a very good summary. Everyone with a pilot’s licence has flown aircraft without FDs but those skills do seem to atrophy and/or the use of them gets discouraged by poor training. The first jet I flew you couldn’t enable the FD below 1,000’, so you rotated to TO attitude, then monitored any trends, adjusting pitch if really necessary. Some of the recent recruits to the industry I fly with aggressively follow the FD at low level when it’s gusty and end up almost in a PIO; it certainly is uncomfortable, even if it isn’t unsafe per se.

Someone well known in the industry (who I have forgotten the name of) used to talk about “low/high gain pilots”, and how the former were much more pleasant to fly with as the control inputs were measured and necessary, as opposed to a continuous stirring of the pudding that didn’t affect the trajectory of the aeroplane.

It would be an interesting experiment in the sim to freeze the flight director on the horizon and see how different crews coped with it on takeoff...
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 11:14
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vilas View Post
I have never disputed anything that you have stated. Only thing is I don't consider rotating at Vr to takeoff attitude as a raw data or any skill. It's very basic and surely these pilots were not doing their first takeoff. They missed setting up the MCP, they didn't include it in the briefing, they didnt check the FMA(unless not required in B777), all this is done on every takeoff day in and day out. I am trying to figure out what distracted them from doing so this one time. This cannot be called a complex automation induced error since automation behaved as programmed but pilot induced error. Offcourse none of us know the details. So we will have to wait.
Fair, of course a proper investigation also has to find out why the MCP was not properly set. However this is not the fundamental problem raised by the incident.

The fundamental problem is that such a minor lapse like wrong values in the autoflight system, that can happen to anyone of us at any time, can lead to such a hairy outcome flying wise.

How comes a crew is unable to perform one of the most basic manoeuvers when the FD does not indicate properly? A manoeuver which is by the way anyways not supposed to be performed according to FD, you only use FD on the initial climb-out once speed and pitch and with it also FD are stabilised.

That is the fundemental question.

When you lose an engine just after v1, the FD takes quite a while to indicate the proper (reduced from normal) pitch target, until it does, you also fly it according pitch and speed, better you not only know your normal climb-out pitch by heart, but also your one-engine-out pitch by heart.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 12:14
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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FullWings: John Farley, in his excellent book, describes the concept of "lowgain/high gain" style pilots. The accuracy may be the same but the effort put in varies enormously.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 12:56
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 1201alarm View Post
Respectfully (I like your contributions which are usually very interesting, detailed and knowledgeable), I feel you have it wrong here.

If there is not something extremely weird and rare coming up as external factor, it just looks like this crew was unable to simply fly their aircraft, which means to steadily pitch up after lift-off to ~15° nose up attitude.

It is completely irrelevant what the MCP should have been set to, what the FD was supposed to indicate, what the PM was supposed to monitor or call out, etc. Once you are past v1 and runway end lights are coming closer, you just fly your aircraft into the air with one hand on the thustlever and the other on the yoke/sidestick.

Such "raw data skills" are absolute basics, which any pilot in a cockpit seat of an airliner needs to be capable of doing at any time, since you can never exclude complex-automation-induced errors. More automation is not the solution, no human being can fix such complex-automation-induced errors within the needed short time frame. Only "raw data skills" of keeping your airframe in a safe envelope by using pitch and power can solve such situations.
Not quite sure what SOP you are following keeping one hand on the thrust levers after V1
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 13:13
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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A bit of a drift but I have also noticed in recent years a tendency to over control when manual flying, particularly in neophyte pilots. The automation is disconnected @1,000ft with the runway straight ahead and there ensues a semi violent waggling of the controls from left to right a bit like Lady Penelope’s chauffeur, Parker in Thunderbirds for those old enough to remember. I oft remarked that if you do nothing the aircraft will still go in a straight line…I don’t wish to bash young pilots because boy have they got a lot to contend with. Ek is a toxic environment. I was there myself in a non flying role and I observed with slack jawed amazement the management’s spiteful and venal treatment of the work force.Pilot wise, everyone running scared of the dreaded warning letter. No thoughts given to remedial non jeopardy training but school type punishment designed to increase anxiety and damage the mental health of the hapless recipients. The Swiss cheese is just waiting to really line up. This incident does not appear good but strange events are occurring post pandemic. With the extensive network, the individual roster issue, why not just for once, consider how this happened, what actions were taken and ensure it does not happen again.I live in hope but the crew will be made scapegoats I am sure.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 13:20
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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I do agree with several contributors here that where possible/conditions permit, raw data flying either from take off to FL200 (for example) or from FL100 to landing should be practised, at least once a month. It may or may not have anything to do with this alleged incident, but it is a very useful exercise, and if done reasonably well, can act as a confidence-booster as well as improving one’s handling and scanning skills (and it keeps the PM awake …)

I appreciate some companies frown or don’t allow this - I think that’s a real shame, and I think it’s wrong. If you can’t fly at all without automation I would suggest something is wrong.

Besides, those of us that fly (much) older Boeings will have probably experienced the FDs (pitch and/or roll) mysteriously disappear at some point during take-off!



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Old 30th Dec 2021, 13:37
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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=DaveReidUK; If it helps, the aircraft was rolling at 185 kts with around 3,600 ft of runway left.

Crikey - that is fairly rapid !
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 14:45
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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How can this company inspired simplified drill operations be best brought back to normal "real" pilotage? Via leasing companies, reinsurers, international organisations or manufacturers?

Last edited by Less Hair; 30th Dec 2021 at 15:25.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 14:47
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
PS @aa73, yes, good advice but what if their airline demands use of the automatics and they get an interview if they take the AP out? Preach to the airlines' safety department and CEO, not the poor schumcks who have to work there.
.
Wow, I did not realize that disconnecting an A/P to do some hand flying lands you a carpet dance??
I knew the ME3 were strict but DAAAAYUM!
sorry to hear that.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 14:51
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Alrosa View Post
I do agree with several contributors here that where possible/conditions permit, raw data flying either from take off to FL200 (for example) or from FL100 to landing should be practised, at least once a month. It may or may not have anything to do with this alleged incident, but it is a very useful exercise, and if done reasonably well, can act as a confidence-booster as well as improving one’s handling and scanning skills (and it keeps the PM awake …)

I appreciate some companies frown or don’t allow this - I think that’s a real shame, and I think it’s wrong. If you can’t fly at all without automation I would suggest something is wrong.

Besides, those of us that fly (much) older Boeings will have probably experienced the FDs (pitch and/or roll) mysteriously disappear at some point during take-off!
Spot on. You ain’t kidding about the FDs suddenly disappearing, has happened to me on occasion and I credit all the hand flying I’ve done over the years in helping to get through it.
Hand flying an approach on total raw data including turns, descents, level offs will build your confidence and aircraft handling in a spectacular way, and prepare you for those days when the gee whiz stuff craps out..
I’m also just blown away by the over reliance on automation, and furthermore , the discipline involved if you chose to hand fly the aircraft! Airlines being run by dictators it seems..
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 15:47
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by aa73 View Post
Wow, I did not realize that disconnecting an A/P to do some hand flying lands you a carpet dance??
I knew the ME3 were strict but DAAAAYUM!
sorry to hear that.
From my time there, close but not quite. When I was there Flight Director and AT usage was mandatory, AP was mandatory above 10,000 (I believe now they bumped it up to 20k). You were free to hand fly up to that but dont drift too far outside of the FD or you’d be flagged, dont screw anything else up either while hand flying or that’s the first question…… Why were you hand flying, and the (perceived) screw up in itself would be evidence of your lack of judgement for what an “appropriate” opportunity to hand fly is. Add to all of that a large majority of flights on the 777 would see you landing in multiple “garden spots” of the world with useless ATC you can barely understand at 3am night after night… Or if you are lucky (like this crew) you are launching at 3am from your homebase for a long haul landing 12 hrs or more later as the sun rises, all that on 8,9,10 days off a month…. Fairly quickly you find yourself clicking the AP off just before that plane starts doing its 1st crab correction lest you get all wobbly. It was a great experience and a good group of pilots (at least in my time) unfortunately prone to rather simple mistakes due to the excessively punitive “safety culture” and vindictive management.

Last edited by VThokie2; 30th Dec 2021 at 16:24.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 16:01
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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There are posts on this thread about looking out of the window during rotation, and then transitioning to focus on the FD.

This doesn't work if a) it's foggy ; or b) if you're taking off over water, at night, with no external light sources for reference.

Boeing occasionally send test pilots to airlines who operate Boeings. They hand out Boeing pens and other goodies to crews, and also suggest the best methods they've found of operating the aircraft. These methods might occasionally conflict with the information in the Boeing FCTM.

The ones I've listened to recommend looking at the PFD at the rotate call, and if you have an engine failure, look at the (inertial) slip indicator.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 17:42
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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I've noticed the "high gain" effect and wonder if it may be something to do with simulator flying where the feedback is different and doesn't translate into airframe motion, also the startle effect may have been a factor where a mismatch between the expected FD command and the actual FD command wasn't recognised quickly enough. There's no training in the sim for this sort of scenario.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 17:45
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Ok,
Can somebody please explain me when PM or automatics call “ROTATE” you would not pitch up 10-15 or even 20 degrees?

Its easy, and should be expected to do every day “in the office”.

To NOT rotate an appropriate amount pitchup but simply following the FD is just plain stupid!

These pilots should be fired just by not following basic airmanship rules….
V1-rotate. To 10-15-18 degrees.

Easy!
Or not in EK?
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 17:59
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
An Air NZ 777 did this in 2019 out of Rarotonga, it was rumoured at the time that it was a miss set MCP and the the aircraft descended to within 400ft of the water on departure. There was an article in the National Business Review saying the CAA had launched an investigation but that was the last I ever saw of it. Air NZ has an excellent control over bad news events getting out.
Slight drift, but might provide context. The Air NZ 777 event was in Narita in 2010. RTO from 180kts. A/P engaged. JCAB/CAA/TAIC declined to investigate. Internal investigation went to CAA and boeing.
No Rarotonga event Im aware of, perhaps you are thinking of the 2006 AIr NZ 767 false G/S capture in Samoa. that was to 400' I think. But well documented, 200 pg report and video on youtube.

So no coverups. Allthough Narita should have got more press.. But dont let the truth get in the way eh.

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Old 30th Dec 2021, 18:09
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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The loss of experience on the Emirates FD post pandemic cull will have been shocking. It appears that ability and experience were not factors that was taken into account, where the bottom line cost was over riding. I wonder what the training record from this captain and FO would show? I have a fare guess however that they either have an exemplary sickness record or were local, the rest being irrelevant.

Last edited by Fired600; 31st Dec 2021 at 03:44.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 19:03
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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he FDs, then build the automation back up, which would paradoxically require a mandatory report and thus invite scrutiny, second guessing and possible punitive action from a rather inhospitable East German. Couple that with varying levels of bone numbing fatigue and you suddenly stop shaking your head at those reports, become less judgmental and realize that may very well be your report next week. Hopefully EK will finally heed these warning signs and change course, expend effort and money in hiring and more importantly retaining experienced crews, producing reasonable rosters, creating a non punitive safety and training culture that actually encourages questions and filling in gaps in knowledge (instead of the “OIC” recurrent). Then again one can dream!
Your naivety is refreshing. To suggest such a sweeping cultural change after working there means you have much more faith in humanity in general, and Arab dictatorships in particular, than anyone else I know. But if they were not so messed up, they would not need us, would they? A dictatorship runs on fear and punishment countered against special privileges for the compliant and connected.

For those who actually trained people there, this is no surprise. Female captain, local FO-flying a perfectly good plane into the ground because the F/D points down? Sure, totally credible to me. Saying nothing as someone drives the plane into the buildings? Hell, yes! Totally expected. Staring straight ahead, glazed look in the eyes, slack jaw, locked out of this world, not responding to a single radio call, not a single SOP, after a minor incident? Hell, yes! It happened to me. Single pilot on a 777. And, to be fair, whacked out of my mind with 50 time zones a month, maybe that guy will be me next time.

Standby for the next one.
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