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CRM Question at interview

Old 20th Jun 2019, 07:03
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CRM Question at interview

Recently had an interview for a cadet FO position at an airline operating A320s.

Question was:

You are in the descent for approach in to your destination. There is no other traffic and you have been given "free speed" by ATC (so no 250kt limit below 10k feet). Your captain is maintaining 320kt and announces his/her intention to maintain that speed. What would you do?

Any thoughts as to what the "correct" answer might be?
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 07:37
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Only half a speed-brake
 
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There might be more then one.

In class D airspace for IFR aircraft the 250 max speed applies irrespective of ATC suggestions or needs.

In case 250 below 10k is written on your OM-x, depending on the wording, it might be legally binding with same effect as the above.

Is there an AFM limitation for the aircraft model?

Though I understand your question and possibly theirs too was aimed at the communication CRM tools, and how to apply them.

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Old 21st Jun 2019, 01:03
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Well there's nothing prohibiting that from the aircraft point of view... not uncommon to do that in the A320. Good fun, and the FMGC handles it just fine.

However - are there limitations for the company? in which case speak up and say that it's not permitted. (Many companies have speed gates that incidentally seem to cause more problems than they solve)

If not - is the FO feeling out of the loop through inexperience - maybe saying "I've never seen this done before Captain, can you talk me through what you're doing and why?" to keep up with the aircraft and the skipper? After all, the decel point is there to keep you out of embarrassment (provided you are in managed speed!).
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Old 21st Jun 2019, 08:15
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Only half a speed-brake
 
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P.robe
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That is a decent tool, just you do not skip any step in the sequence.

A word of caution beyond the interview panel: nice words usually only work with the nice guys. Be friendly, stay polite but on a bad day stick to the structure. Tenerife lessons.
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Old 21st Jun 2019, 17:31
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Ant
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.... maybe saying "I've never seen this done before Captain, can you talk me through what you're doing and why?"
I reckon that would be a superb reply- its diplomatic, totally non-confrontational, doesn't call into question the competence of the Captain while at the same time prompting him/her to think about and explain their speed decision.

If only I could think like that in moments of confrontation!!
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 05:58
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Thanks - very useful responses!
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 08:00
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Originally Posted by this is my username View Post
Recently had an interview for a cadet FO position at an airline operating A320s.

Question was:

You are in the descent for approach in to your destination. There is no other traffic and you have been given "free speed" by ATC (so no 250kt limit below 10k feet). Your captain is maintaining 320kt and announces his/her intention to maintain that speed. What would you do?

Any thoughts as to what the "correct" answer might be?
Answer: Righto, don't f*** it up.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 19:54
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Any thoughts as to what the "correct" answer might be?
Often with CRM-type questions, there is no right answer and you can end up reading far too much into the question. Alternatively, there is a correct answer but the interview panel will know you're not type rated. Too many pilots feel these CRM questions are about how to handle confrontation, and sometimes they are. But, sometimes they're about seeing whether you're going to make a mountain out of a molehill.

I'm not typed on the A320, so I have no clue what the minimum clean speed is, but I have a general idea from flying in the same airspace with them for two decades. I also know there are aircraft that definitely have minimum clean speeds above 250 knots and either the type or the operator receives a special dispensation from the speed limit orders. So to answer I'd say that if the company has a special dispensation, rock on! Go fast, and show me how to manage the energy in a way we don't have to ride the flight spoilers all the way down. If not, I'd use all the tools mentioned before.
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Old 1st Jul 2019, 12:11
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Seem to remember years ago that speed 250 below 10k had some correlation with bird strikes?
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 06:06
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Parabellum, I found this in the archives at this URL: https://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-134138.html

Canuckbirdstrike
20th Jun 2004, 10:54
To all:

I completed a risk analysis on high-speed flight below 10,000 feet for Transport Canada a couple of years ago. The analysis was commissioned out of concerns over the increasing large flocking bird population numbers in North America and the need to understand the safety risk vs. the economic benefits.

While researching the issues I obtained the following historical background on the 250 knots below 10,000 foot rule:

FAR 91.117 (a) states: Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may operate an aircraft below 10,000 feet MSL at an indicated airspeed of more than 250 knots (288 mph).

As reported in another post, the rule was established after a mid-air collision over Staten Island. However, there had also been two other mid-air collisions around that time period. The FAA originally considered implementing a rule restricting airspeed to 250 knots below 14,500 feet MSL but compromised at 10,000. In fact an early draft called for 160 knots at 14,500.

What is most fascinating is that from this point forward current airframe and engine rules were developed based on this regulatory speed requirement, using 250 kias as a test condition.

My research of the certification standards, the North American bird strike data and the potential efficiencies revealed that 60% of bird encounters above 3,000 feet AGL involved raptors or waterfowl. What is interesting is that as altitude increased the percentage increased. Waterfowl and raptors present a significant risk due to the fact that their mean weights exceed the engine and airframe certification standards for the majority of the current world fleet and for waterfowl these encounters will be with flocks – something that the certification standards do not contemplate. Couple this with the fact that of the birds in North America; 14 species with a mean weight above 8 lbs, 13 have an increasing population trend and for the 31 species with a mean weight between 4 and 8 lbs, 24 were increasing and 5 were stable, and we have significant increasing safety risk.

I then analyzed impact forces based on the FARs and compared the calculated impact force for various bird weights at different indicated airspeeds. The results are very sobering. Due to the fact that impact force increases as a function of the square of the TAS, a constant IAS climb leads to increasing impact forces. In fact if you hit a 4 lb bird at 300 KIAS at an altitude greater than 4,500 feet you will exceed the certified airframe strike impact force for many jet aircraft.

If one examines the potential system efficiencies of high speed operations below 10,000 feet there is no conclusive data to show that there are any meaningful increases in efficiency. The key here is to examine the total efficiency of the traffic system – if a number of aircraft are accelerated above 250 KIAS and ATC requires them to fly the same speed for traffic separation, a number of aircraft may gain slight efficiency advantages, but a number will also incur penalties. This can easily be seen by examining the range of ECON climb speeds that an FMS will generate if the speed limit is removed, they can vary from 265 – 315 KIAS on the narrow body airbus fleet (A319, A320, A321). The net result is that there is limited if any overall system efficiency increase.

When you consolidate all the above information; regulatory history, certification standards, bird strike data, bird species population data, impact forces and limited efficiency gains there is no reasonable safe case to allow high speed flight departures below 10,000 feet.

The preceding information is only an outline of the report. I will try and see if I can obtain from Transport Canada to post the entire report.

If any of you wish to read further information on bird strike issues please take the time to visit the Transport Canada website and download/read “Sharing the Skies” a compendium of bird strike information. It is an excellent resource and safety tool.

The URL is: http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/Ae...13549/menu.htm

Richard Sowden
A320 Captain and bird strike researcher
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 09:45
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I would answer the quation with a question:

“Did the captain specify any energy gates in his arrival brief?”

and then proceed depending on the answer.

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Old 14th Jul 2019, 08:12
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'Run and break to land then Skipper......'
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