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Air France B777 control issues landing CDG

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Air France B777 control issues landing CDG

Old 12th Apr 2022, 18:30
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For clarity LNAV automatic engagement following a go-around is an option but requires Aeroplane Information Management System (AIMS) 05.

It engages automatically following a go-around at 50'RA if the aircraft is manually flown or 200'RA if automatically flown.

Last edited by M.Mouse; 12th Apr 2022 at 23:44. Reason: Typos noticed!
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Old 12th Apr 2022, 18:58
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Thanks for the clarity regarding LNAV automatic engagement on the go-around folks. I wasn't aware it was anything other than standard on the 777. It certainly was a feature on the 200/300 and 300 ERs that I've flown. Interesting that it was an option as to be honest it could actually be a bit of a pain in the arse in the real Missed Approach world which was often 'climb straight ahead, maintain 3000' or something similar.
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Old 12th Apr 2022, 23:43
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Interesting that it was an option as to be honest it could actually be a bit of a pain in the arse in the real Missed Approach world which was often 'climb straight ahead, maintain 3000' or something similar.
In the Boeing 777 QRH section showing various manoeuvres for the go-around the procedure shows, at 400'RA, 'Select or verify roll mode'.

Arguments could be made for automatic or non-automatic LNAV engagement but in a perfect world at 400' the appropriate mode should be selected.

The problem arises, in my view, because most go-arounds often take the crew by surprise unless previously briefed for the possibility due to inclement weather. For this reason, and I see this regularly during conversion courses, go-arounds are generally well flown when expected and less well flown when a crew is taken by surprise.

When I was flying I clearly recall the startle effect when receiving an ATC instruction to go-around on a least two occasions when I least expected it!
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 01:08
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Originally Posted by sorvad View Post
Thanks for the clarity regarding LNAV automatic engagement on the go-around folks. I wasn't aware it was anything other than standard on the 777. It certainly was a feature on the 200/300 and 300 ERs that I've flown. Interesting that it was an option as to be honest it could actually be a bit of a pain in the arse in the real Missed Approach world which was often 'climb straight ahead, maintain 3000' or something similar.
According to my files from that time, the automatic LNAV engagement on go-around feature could be activated as an option with the AIMS BP06 upgrade. The -300ERs operated by CX were delivered from 2007 onwards and came with the feature already activated. The -200 and -300 aircraft in the fleet were upgraded to the same standard ahead of the first -300ER delivery.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 23:09
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"When I was flying I clearly recall the startle effect when receiving an ATC instruction to go-around on a least two occasions when I least expected it!"

"Startle" ??? Why would you be startled? Things happen and you should be ready to respond. Unless you are down to your last teacup of fuel, going around should not startle. Pilots are supposed to be cool and handle the situation.
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Old 14th Apr 2022, 00:08
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Originally Posted by Smilin_Ed View Post
"When I was flying I clearly recall the startle effect when receiving an ATC instruction to go-around on a least two occasions when I least expected it!"

"Startle" ??? Why would you be startled? Things happen and you should be ready to respond. Unless you are down to your last teacup of fuel, going around should not startle. Pilots are supposed to be cool and handle the situation.
Easily said, but when something happens suddenly and unexpectedly, there will always be a moment or two before training kicks in, no matter how experienced the pilot. That's especially true at the end of a long overnight sector, when everyone's tired. It's also the time when pilots are most likely to make a mistake, particularly if the procedure has not been mentally rehearsed in advance. Pilots are human, not machines.
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Old 14th Apr 2022, 09:36
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Smilin Ed: Wow, you sound pretty cool. I must have missed the "don't get startled" module during my training. What's your secret?
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Old 14th Apr 2022, 10:58
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I don't understand this incident because the pilots on the recording sound really stressed - breathing heavily, and not like a well trained professional crew calmly working through a problem.

CDG is not an easy airport at all - it is very complicated. However, during the briefing before TOD, the descent, approach, landing and go-around should have been discussed, programmed and checked. If, during the approach things went wrong and a go-around was required, there should have been no startle, just a reversion to plan B.

But Smilin Ed is right. Being startled means something unpredictable and unusual suddenly happens - like an engine fire or an explosive depressurisation for example. I don't know exactly what happened here but having to go-around from an approach should not be unexpected - especially at somewhere as busy and as traffic-dense as CDG. As pilots we are supposed to have a plan B in our minds, particularly during a busy phase involving a high workload.

If the aircraft suddenly banked when established on an ILS, my instinctive reaction would be to take out the autopilot and manually fly wings level, (or pull heading at least), "whoa there !", and track the localiser manually while we worked out what the problem was. If we could recover the approach, fine, but if we couldn't then we have already briefed the go-around.

Maybe they actually had a flight control problem and even manual control didn't work?

I am just an average Joe, FWIW, not trying to be clever.
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Old 14th Apr 2022, 16:33
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'and even manual control didn't work?'

There is no manual control on the 777.

A couple of spoilers will function via cables and you can also crudely jerk the stab incrementally with cable inputs but Boeing says that these will "allow the pilot to fly straight and level until the electrical system is restarted."

Without electricity the airplane cannot be maneuvered.

Last edited by Dropp the Pilot; 14th Apr 2022 at 16:35. Reason: editing
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Old 14th Apr 2022, 18:51
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From a well known Asian carrier who are not so busy at the moment

"Last week, there was a report of abnormal flight control behaviour on a B777 (not one of ours) arriving in Paris (CDG) while on final approach to land. A go-around was executed, and the aircraft returned for a normal approach and landing. Boeing have completed an initial review of the QAR data and found that the aircraft responded appropriately to the flight crew commands and that the associated warnings received were as expected. Boeing have not made any recommendations or specific actions at this time. Further information will be provided when the investigation is completed"
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 04:11
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
If the aircraft suddenly banked when established on an ILS, my instinctive reaction would be to take out the autopilot and manually fly wings level, (or pull heading at least), "whoa there !", and track the localiser manually while we worked out what the problem was. If we could recover the approach, fine, but if we couldn't then we have already briefed the go-around..
As pilots, we like to think that we will react calmly to anything that comes our way and correctly follow the procedures. However, in the real world that does not always happen when something unexpected occurs, as I’m sure any simulator instructor/checker would attest. During my time as a trainer/checker, I saw a number of stuff-ups occur in the simulator in response to fairly simple failures at a critical time during an approach. The ‘startle’ effect is real and it can affect a crew’s performance immediately after an unexpected event, with potentially serious consequences.

The Effects of Startle on Pilots During Critical Events: A Case Study Analysis

Last edited by BuzzBox; 15th Apr 2022 at 15:05.
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 08:02
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I remember "Sully" had a few choice words to say about "startle effect"

IG
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 11:18
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Yes an engine fire or an explosive decompression - or indeed, a sudden double engine failure - would certainly take a moment to assimilate !

I certainly took a moment to react the first time I practised spinning all those years ago during my ATPL training ! Even though I was supervised and did it deliberately and knew how to recover, it took a moment in an actual spin to assimilate the forward view and the sensations involved. But to me, being startled means rabbit frozen in the headlights, not knowing what to do next. Experienced airline pilots should hopefully be sufficiently practised in our drills that we are not 'startled' but revert to the appropriate memory drill or whatever.

But during an ILS, if the aircraft suddenly banked over, my first action would be to arrest that behaviour by taking control, and when I said manual control, sorry, I meant flying myself rather than using the ILS coupled mode; not mechanical reversion.

This crew were breathing heavily with their finger frozen on the PTT switch, which suggests they had a very severe control or engine problem, but apparently they didn't and landed normally soon after, without declaring an emergency.

If the 'startle effect' is a thing nowadays, then training needs to be adjusted to allow pilots more Sim practise in experiencing sudden unexpected serious events and performing their memory drills. But an ILS deviation or a failure to capture should not result in anyone breaking sweat.
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 12:34
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If the 'startle effect' is a thing nowadays, then training needs to be adjusted to allow pilots more Sim practise in experiencing sudden unexpected serious events and performing their memory drills.
On that, at least, we agree.

Managing Startle: Individual, Crew and Organizational Strategies

Startle Effect Management

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Old 15th Apr 2022, 14:54
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In the end, it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks regarding how pilots “should” react in a given situation; what matters is how they DID react; and why. If we don’t get to the bottom of that, it’ll happen again; I think we can all think of some well-known examples.

Similar incidents have affected experienced crews at most major airlines in the recent past, so maybe we need to re-evaluate our assumptions. We’d all like to think we could handle this but we’ve all also made stupid mistakes due to distraction, tiredness and so on.

Just some thoughts !
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 21:56
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I partially agree, but modern training now encompasses these sorts of things: distraction management, CRM, effective briefing, “caging the chimp”, and so on. Mode awareness is a biggie with heavily automated aeroplanes, and without prejudice to the upcoming incident report, is slated to have a role in the event under discussion?

Autopilot in and not doing what you want? Check to see that the programming is right: if you can fix it by pressing buttons in a reasonable timeframe without dramatic excursions from your desired flightpath then do it, otherwise get rid of it, correct manually and rebuild after. If you need to GA unexpectedly (should you always *expect* a GA...?), then unless it’s really close to the ground there should be time for a little mini-brief and some crew coordination?

Tiredness and unfamiliarity are holes in the cheese, but that’s all part of the game with LH operations, in that you need to ensure a safe operation when only at partial mental/physical capacity. A daylight return to your main base is at the opposite end of the spectrum, but that may cause problems with low arousal and over-familiarity (I think most of us have been there).
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Old 19th Apr 2022, 12:13
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Question from a private pilot (IR rated) not used to CDG ; between 18:50 and 20:10 in the VHF recording, there are 2 airplanes cleared to land in sequence on the same final segment for runway 26L.
At 17:50 Turkish 1NL is cleared to land runway 26L.
At 18:50 Air France 011 is cleared to land runway 26L while Turkish 1NL is 2 nm from touchdown (1 nm from touchdown at 19:26).
At 20:10 Air France RM is cleared to land runway 26L, 5 nm behind Air France 011.

Is it common at CDG to give a clearance to land while the preceding airplane is also cleared to land and on short final ?
I know that this is a common practice in the USA but I was in the belief that, in Europe, the clearance to land was only granted when the runway is vacated.
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Old 19th Apr 2022, 12:53
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Originally Posted by Luc Lion View Post
Is it common at CDG to give a clearance to land while the preceding airplane is also cleared to land and on short final ?
I know that this is a common practice in the USA but I was in the belief that, in Europe, the clearance to land was only granted when the runway is vacated.
Except when low vis procedures are in force, ATC at CDG will grant a landing clearance on first contact with tower, based on 'anticipated separation'. Up to four aircraft can be issued with such a landing clearance. The tower then monitors visually and/or by radar to ensure the runway safety area is vacated by the preceding aircraft.



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Old 19th Apr 2022, 13:06
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Thanks.
I stand informed.
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Old 19th Apr 2022, 14:07
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The startle effect is real, I’ve witnessed a few instances of it. There are obviously different degrees of “startle” . Fortunately, in the last 7 years, my airline has been designing training scenarios to train for startle effect. For example, for years our V-1 cut was between V-1 and V-2, on the runway, now we get the engine failure airborne at different altitudes and configuration levels. One of the best scenarios is applicable to this event. It’s a go-around at altitudes from above missed approach altitude to 1000 ft AGL. It forces you to think about where you are in the approach regime and adjust automation as necessary.
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