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-   -   Transavia (HV5068/TRA3K) emergency landing (https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/565180-transavia-hv5068-tra3k-emergency-landing.html)

the_stranger 31st Jul 2015 12:59

I still say IMHO this is not the way it should have happened. Let F/O be PF so captain can manage the situation and communicate with all parties & agencies, but ultimately the captain should be responsible for the landing, both due weather & especially the non-normal configuration. Otherwise we may as well fly around with SFO's & F/O's. Who needs a captain?
I now fly on an airbus for a couple of years and recently flew with a captain doing his 2nd trip after linetraining, so he had about 6 flights "under his belt".

While I accept he has more experience in aviation, therefor is better to carry ultimate responsibility, do you really think he can handle the plane better?

The only reason there are captains is there needs to be a "boss" to make judgements and decide actions, when there is a difference of opinion. At least in "my" company, FO's (and even SFO's) are selected, trained and used exactly the same as capt's, with the sole difference the last is the deciding factor when there is a difference of opinions.

When I used to be captain on a previous type, I never had "big things" happen, but when the FO would have more experience/handling qualities, I would not have hesitated to let him fly the whole thing.

wingview 31st Jul 2015 15:37

If the CO was a newbie I doubt he/she would have made the return flight anyway. Lots of them have years under their belt already and this kind of weather occurs more often in the autumn period so nothing new. It wasn't the wind that gave them problems it was the many wind shears on final and even close to the rwy itself.

From what I've heard they declared an emergency on the discrete channel but don't know how reliable that source is. About the fuel, they took extra fuel with them but the GA at EHRD and the holding time there gave them less opportunities and therefore EHAM was their last resort. If they didn't had to make the another GA at AMS this topic wouldn't even exist because not being low on fuel and not having a flap problem which probably occurred when raising them during the GA.

This was the know chain of events but with al the stress they had they made a beauty of a landing. Maybe mistakes have been made, they've solved them well!

StuntPilot 1st Aug 2015 08:32

I do not think we know at this point who flew the successfull no flap landing. We know that a female pilot, thought to be the Capt, was handling comms and was PNF in Rotterdam and during the first approach and go around at Schiphol. There is no issue with a Capt letting an experienced FO with many hours on type fly a difficult approach. Whoever has flown it, the landing was clearly performed in a very skillful manner and thus by the right person. I do not think the PF/PNF decision is one that deserves criticism.

RAT 5 1st Aug 2015 09:16

Many year ago, my first airline, had a clear captain's landing policy in their Ops manual. Many years later, and via a circuitous career route, I arrived at a fledgling airline, but with many years in existence of permanent survival. I was a TRE DEC. During a sim recurrency LOFT exercise with SFO as PF we had an engine failure on departure with no option for return, but a 150nm diversion to a not overly long 'suitable runway' in rainy low cloud with CAT 1. I let the SFO continue as PF while I completed QRH and completed all the necessary communications with all necessary and relevant agencies and parties. This was after deciding on our further course of action and choice of airfield.
I told the SFO to continue with the arrival set up and brief for a standard STAR & ILS to a familiar diversion field. I then said that after all management issues were completed I would become PF at FL100 and land the a/c. This caused a raised eyebrow and a hesitant question, why. "Because it's my responsibility."
The TRE was H.O.T. In the debrief he and the SFO asked about my decisions. The SFO was trained to the same standard and was capable. I suggested that they had 3 years experience & I had 25. I explained that IMHO I was responsible for a/c in such a scenario. The XAA, pax & insurance company would expect it. The H.O.T did admit they had never thought about the issue.
A few months later the Ops manual contained a list of Captain's only landings. It included any reason that affected thrust, handling or significant extension in landing distance. Captains should use good judgement regarding weather. The consideration of a G/A in non-normal configuration should also be a consideration.
Every airline I've flown with had X-wind landing limits for F/O's. They were all less than max demonstrated. Common was newbies 15kts and experienced F/O's 2/3rds of any runway limitations including gusts. Any more and it was the captain's.
I understand the thoughts about new captains on type relative to more type experienced on type F/O's. There are merits in it, but ultimately there will be the debate of final responsibility should anything go wrong. I do not know if that argument has been tested by any XAA or insurance company. Should there be any pax injury I wonder what compensation lawyers would do about such a question in their claim against the airline. Has that ever been tested?
The whole issue may not be quite so simple as many think.
However, in a single type airline with a seniority list and little expansion (i.e. no non-type DEC's) it is a given that the captain will have much more experience than any F/O. Thus any argument about experience needs to be relevant to the airline & incident involved.
Sully is not the answer to everything non-normal, but who here, if F/O was PF, would have allowed them to ditch the a/c and not taken over?
To those who think otherwise about this whole issue I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. But it is an interesting industry-wide debate topic. I suspect there will be very different opinions in different cultural areas.

MrSnuggles 1st Aug 2015 10:00

I have noooo idea how the lawsuits regarding BA38 handled the fact that the FO was flying. Maybe that will clear things up a bit?

ManaAdaSystem 1st Aug 2015 10:47

Every airline I've flown with had X-wind landing limits for F/O's. They were all less than max demonstrated. Common was newbies 15kts and experienced F/O's 2/3rds of any runway limitations including gusts.
Except for the newbie restriction, we have no x-wind restrictions for our experienced first officers. And rightly so. Our first officers are selected and trained to be captains. If I have a heart attack, should my first officer not be able to land if the x-wind is inside the recommended aircraft limit?
When he changes to the left seat, do you expect him to suddenly be able to perform max x-wind landings after years of not doing any?

Stan Woolley 1st Aug 2015 12:57

I agree completely with Rat5.

I think (in general) that the guy who's signature is in the tech log should land the aeroplane in events such as these. I could be convinced to change my mind if I really believed I had good reason to let the other guy fly. For example if he was experienced and I was a brand new DECaptain on type.

I only flew as a co-pilot in an airline with a very long time to Command, and would have been amazed if the Captain had deferred to me in such a situation.

There is such a thing as lack of confidence even among Captains, as hard as it is for some here to accept.

PENKO 1st Aug 2015 14:15

The practice of letting an FO land in limiting weather, especially dynamic weather as stormy crosswinds, is flawed in my opinion. In limiting weather the handling pilot must continually make a decision: can I continue to land or is this all getting too much?

If you hand over control to the FO, either because you lack experience on type or because the FO is a better handling pilot than you, you effectively hand over your command. Who is going to make that crucial split second go/no go decision?

If the captain is not comfortable with the weather, he should divert, even if the FO thinks he can get it in. Otherwise he is a effectively passenger on his own ship.

But then again, once we are in the mindset that 'our FO's are future captains' and that diverting to a stormy alternate with limited fuel is acceptable, well, then all bets are off.

PENKO 1st Aug 2015 14:25

Our first officers are selected and trained to be captains.
Why don't you make all your co-pilots captains then, and rotate final responsibility each leg? Lower your salary, raise his..

When he changes to the left seat, do you expect him to suddenly be able to perform max x-wind landings after years of not doing any?
No, I expect him to build up his own comfort zone gradually. I expect him to divert if he's not comfortable with the weather.

Mikehotel152 1st Aug 2015 15:21

PENKO, I don't think I agree. In many airlines it's an established principle that in poor weather the pilots conduct a monitored approach or autoland. Certainly in my airline, in both cases the Captain is the PM until minima. This gives the more experienced and ultimately responsibile pilot the luxury of an overall perspective on the unfolding scenario.

Furthermore, in high pressure stages of flight it is quite common for pilots to suffer tunnel vision. If the pilot battling the wind and rain is also the Captain, what chance has the FO of comprehending impending doom and, more importantly, alerting the Captain and ensuring a safe outcome?

But you're right in so far as any Captain who feels that he or she is personally incapable of completing a safe landing should be diverting rather than shirking responsibility and delogating the task to a colleague. Nevertheless, where a Captain is confident that either they or the FO could complete the safe landing, that's when handing over controls is reasonable.

I will usually choose to be PM on sectors to new destinations or where conditions are such that I will need to retain overall spatial awareness and coordinate the flight with ATC rather than concentrate on the flight path. However, where a landing is likely to be tricky and I either don't know or don't have complete faith in the FO, for the sake of the aircraft's safety, and because I will carry ultimate responsibility anyhow, I will take the controls at the outset or for the approach.

But there have to be occasions when inexperienced pilots are allowed to gain experience in tricky conditions and it's the Captain's judgment call on when this takes place. If you don't do this you may end with a situation where new Captains are flying approaches in bad weather for the first time when the person in the other seat is fresh from training and represents a fairly frail safety net.

Who knows the dynamics of that Transavia cockpit?

PENKO 1st Aug 2015 16:02

Mikehotel, in what way do you disagree then?

And more on topic, I am not saying that the FO should not have been PF on this day, I am purely reacting to the notion that the FO should be allowed to land in any weather condition or when the captain himself is not comfortable.

FS-chick 1st Aug 2015 16:08

does the NG have a flap lock out feature if you overspeed the flap by a certain amount? I have never heard about this. You overspeed the flap, it allows you to retract to up, then shuts down?
The NG does how ever have "Flap Load Relief" , retracting the flaps from 40->30 at trigger speed of 176 kias, and 30->25 at 163 (800-900)

RAT 5 1st Aug 2015 20:22

In many airlines it's an established principle that in poor weather the pilots conduct a monitored approach or autoland.

I think you will find this is when the weather is close to minima and within autoland limits; and it is a excellent policy. I have used in many times, both in airlines where it was SOP and also where it was not but I deemed it the safest manner to execute a successful approach & landing. In this scenario it was not the case.
However, back to Apples & Apples. Poor weather that gives control issues and demands above average skill: captain's judgement if there is no SOP restriction. I would be hesitant to negate responsibility. A/c system failures that induce handling issues and incur extra landing distance. I would be very hesitant to negate responsibility. Add the 2 together and no way. The sim is the place to practice this not a live a/c with live pax on board.

IcePack 1st Aug 2015 22:59

Didn't think there was/is any monitored approaches using Airbus SOP not sure about Boeing.

Mikehotel152 2nd Aug 2015 14:09


Generally, yes, it looks like we agree. :) However, I was specifically referring to your comment

In limiting weather the handling pilot must continually make a decision: can I continue to land or is this all getting too much?
and suggested that perhaps it's often better for the Captain to be PM in dynamic situations where the legal and practical merits of continuing an approach are best assessed by the more experienced pilot without the added burden of flying the plane.



poor weather
I was indeed referring to weather close to visibility limits. This was in the context of the general argument that it is preferable for the Captain to be pilot monitoring in certain situations. This wasn't one of them.

Sorry to confuse you lot! I should have been more clear.

aa73 6th Aug 2015 19:43

PSEU the reason for the lockout of the TRs?

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