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UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

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UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

Old 8th Sep 2013, 02:38
  #821 (permalink)  
 
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aterpster

agree...if you are flying a localizer on an HSI always put in the front course.

there is an odd sort of departure out of roanoke...flew with a nice guy navy p3 guy and he didn't know how to set the HSI to track the departure course based on a localizer

I told him and he said: HOW COME I DON'T KNOW THAT?

I said, well I was an instrument instructor, maybe you can pay me to brush you up.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 03:42
  #822 (permalink)  
 
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This was another completely unnecessary accident.

All things considered:

1. It is completely inappropriate and unnecessary to still be flying "Non-Precision" approaches in 2013 with big jets. There are vastly better ways to land, using means via FMS, RNP, and GLS (while ILS is OK in many places as an interim aid, it is far too expensive and technically difficult and electronically sensitive to put ILS everywhere, and be sustained for the indefinite future).

2. Properly implemented RNP, FMS, VNAV (and especially GLS) can fix this decades long chronic issue, virtually 100% of the time.

3. No pilot (short of a willful act) wants to end up where this crew ended up. Hence, to varying degrees, a lot of other people, including authorities (flawed or obsolete policies and criteria), OEMs (lack of adopting and updating better methods and techniques), ANSPs (failure to implement modern SIAP types and systems), and even the airline itself (using less than modern or optimum policies, training, and equipment) perhaps helped them get where they ended up.

4. Let's just see where the NTSB ends up on this one now.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 05:46
  #823 (permalink)  
 
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There are a lot of really complicated issues being discussed in this informative and insightful thread that amount to a human factors "rabbit hole" that probably has no bottom. The more complex systems become, it seems the more automated the deck gets. The more automated your machine, the less you are in touch with it as the pilot, and the result IMHO can be catastrophic when the time comes to resolve an immediate, emergent discrepancy in the human/machine interface. We have no idea still if this is a human factors accident that UPS had, but if we jump the gun and discuss it as such as a means to air theories and learn what others have to offer on the subject, well, if you step back a minute and see the forest through the trees I think you can see the pattern.

In my end view, you have an approach with several dimensions: course-line, altitude(s) and distances/times. These dimensions are present in precision and non-precision approaches. In fact, for n/p approaches, course and speed as dimensions should be established and constant from outside the FAF to the threshold and simply something to maintain in a real-world wind situation rather than modify by definition like altitude and distance; precision approaches have the added benefit of a g/s. Yet, if one conducts a constant descent profile to an MDA, then vertical speed should be a nearly constant dimension too (which is why I agree dive-and-drive may not be the best solution).

If we reduce the technical jargon of FMS this and RNAV that to these dimensions (altitude change, distances/times, course, speed) some of which should be constants, then we might have a starting place to examine IF technology is getting in the way. This is my opinion, and resonates with some of the comments made along the way ("...we need to bring back pilots who know how to fly" etc.).

If the technology is getting in your way as a pilot, you need to be able to shed it and use your hands and feet to bring things back to where they belong. Until aviation goes all UAV we must act like the humans we are and get back to basics when it's called for. We all have some kind of 6-pack with attitude, speed, altitude, heading, VS, ball, course etc. and we were all taught how to do an instrument scan. If you are flying a big fancy jet and have lost your edge with the instrument scan, you've lost the art of your profession. I see it with guys I'm paired with all the time, and it scares the heck out of me. Get back in there and fly. Don't let George do it all for you.

If there was a systems malfunction and human factors is only contributing or not a factor at all, then the whole story about UPS at BHM changes. But if it is a HF accident, I'm inclined to point my finger at over automation and a larger trend of losing touch with your machine. But, that's my opinion so add it to the pile to be burned when the NTSB issues their findings.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 06:59
  #824 (permalink)  
 
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Machinbird:

I would also add experience as an attribute, as in the experience to anticipate before the fact. How many times have you seen something coming and not had an appropriate reaction from a less experienced pilot?
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 12:25
  #825 (permalink)  
 
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Tom Imrich:

All things considered:

1. It is completely inappropriate and unnecessary to still be flying "Non-Precision" approaches in 2013 with big jets. There are vastly better ways to land, using means via FMS, RNP, and GLS (while ILS is OK in many places as an interim aid, it is far too expensive and technically difficult and electronically sensitive to put ILS everywhere, and be sustained for the indefinite future).
RNP AR does a nice job of getting around difficult terrain to a given runway end. But, it doesn't provide low minimums essentially because the vertical guidance is not very good, and the lateral containment area is much wider than ILS or GLS. Plus, the cost of entry into the "RNP AR Club" is too high and very difficult unless it is a giant airline. The benefit of RNP AR is for terrain avoidance more than a mile or so from the runway. Many locations, including BHM, do not have such terrain issues, thus RNP AR is being greatly and unnecessarily overused.

2. Properly implemented RNP, FMS, VNAV (and especially GLS) can fix this decades long chronic issue, virtually 100% of the time.
But, not nearly 100% of the runway ends meet the glideslope qualification surface (FAA) requirements (GQS.) Runway 18 at BHM cannot meet GQS requirements, thus it cannot have any FAA sanctioned vertically guided procedure.

3. No pilot (short of a willful act) wants to end up where this crew ended up. Hence, to varying degrees, a lot of other people, including authorities (flawed or obsolete policies and criteria), OEMs (lack of adopting and updating better methods and techniques), ANSPs (failure to implement modern SIAP types and systems), and even the airline itself (using less than modern or optimum policies, training, and equipment) perhaps helped them get where they ended up.
In the case of BHM the ill-fated crew's best solution was to insist on the ILS runway. Perhaps better training about the issues and limitations of a Runway like 18 would help. Even more so, with the high MDA for either of the two instrument approaches to Runway 18, the mere sighting and use of the PAPI once descending below MDA would have easily avoided the accident. The pertinent procedural data note implied that was a legal requirement for either Runway 18 IAP at night.

4. Let's just see where the NTSB ends up on this one now.
Indeed, let's.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 13:38
  #826 (permalink)  
 
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when gadgets fail.

many years ago (over thirty), I had complete RNAV charts for the USA...enroute and approach.

I'm sure you all remember the old RNAV systems, so I won't explain them here.

Flying the RNAV only departure from a difficult mountainous airport, the RNAV quit working (not pilot mistake). So I did my best dead reckoning guess and am here today.

ANYTHING that requires ''magic'' or automation must be able to be failsafe or correctable by a human being.

Oh, by the way, it was 75 years ago , this year, that the first scheduled commercial flight landed safely off an ILS (during a snow storm in Pittsburgh, PA.) ILS...not bad for an interim solution!

the thread has become so long...I am pretty sure a VDP was not included in the apch...indeed they may now be obsolete, but the way non precision approaches have been taught at our airline for the better part of a quarter of a century is: if you don't see the runway by the VDP, published or estimated, you will not be able to land SAFELY from the NP apch.

Last edited by flarepilot; 8th Sep 2013 at 13:44.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 18:01
  #827 (permalink)  
 
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TERPS is still outdated and flawed

@ aterpster - TERPS is still severely obsolete and conceptually flawed, including the GQS (and CRM). [Real] RNP, properly implemented, is most capable of addressing KBHM 18, and virtually every other jet air carrier runway globally. RNP's VNAV can provide safe aligned guidance all the way to the to the TDZ, and back out, 100% of the time, even after a first engine failure and 1st nav failure. It is sad to see the ways that some [perhaps well-meaning] authorities have now corrupted [real] RNP with unnecessary and inappropriate criteria baggage being added or modified from the original intent. That regulatory authority criteria "fault" is still unnecessarily putting at risk air carrier operations globally, just as we've now seen at KBHM. There is absolutely no valid scientific reason why a 200' HAT DA(H) couldn't be achieved on KBHM 18 with [real] RNP, and an appropriate application of the VEB. In Australia recently it was even successfully used in Cat III conditions to a safe landing, under non-normal circumstances. [Real] RNP now, and soon GLS, can fix all this to at least lowest Cat I minima, and with GBAS, to Cat III minima, even at KBHM 18.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 18:34
  #828 (permalink)  
 
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Tom Imrich:

TERPS is still severely obsolete and conceptually flawed, including the GQS (and CRM). [Real] RNP, properly implemented, is most capable of addressing KBHM 18, and virtually every other jet air carrier runway globally. RNP's VNAV can provide safe aligned guidance all the way to the to the TDZ, and back out, 100% of the time, even after a first engine failure and 1st nav failure. It is sad to see the ways that some [perhaps well-meaning] authorities have now corrupted [real] RNP with unnecessary and inappropriate criteria baggage being added or modified from the original intent. That regulatory authority criteria "fault" is still unnecessarily putting at risk air carrier operations globally, just as we've now seen at KBHM. There is absolutely no valid scientific reason why a 200' HAT DA(H) couldn't be achieved on KBHM 18 with [real] RNP, and an appropriate application of the VEB. In Australia recently it was even successfully used in Cat III conditions to a safe landing, under non-normal circumstances. [Real] RNP now, and soon GLS, can fix all this to at least lowest Cat I minima, and with GBAS, to Cat III minima, even at KBHM 18.
You need to convince the FAA of the many errors of their ways.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 19:45
  #829 (permalink)  
 
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You need to convince the FAA of the many errors of their ways.

Like when they and the other xAAs signed off the DC10 cargo-door design.........

Like they etc signed off the CFM56 not requiring testing "on the wing"...........

Like they signed off the 737/300-500 EFIS as suitable for airline use..............

Like they signed off the dreadful "Eros" O2 masks as suitable...........

Like they signed off the MD11 IFE cableworks...............

Like they permit 2/2 engines to have critical work performed at the same time........

Like they signed off the V2500 engine cowl fastening design..................

Like they signed off the A330 pitot tube design & continued use til..................

Like they will sign off the latest FTLs under industry pressure.............

Like they signed off the multitude of Airbus quirks ad nauseam.............

Like they signed off Li-Ion batteries as primary DC supplies........................

Like they signed off cross-wireable engine fire extinguisher systems...............

And so on, doubtless other contributors wll be able to add to the *hit list?

Hello manufacturers/airlines, why are you bothering to pay for the rubber stamp when there's obviously not a lot of work being put into it's verification?

Unless you aren't particularly interested in a proper job being done in the first place?
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:16
  #830 (permalink)  
 
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The VEB gets you to 250, best case.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 23:40
  #831 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
I got this on a diversion from Nogales and was confused until I realized there was no reverse sensing on my HSI. I hadn't flown a BC in about 25 years :-). There are none in the northeast US where I do most of my flying.

Front course inbound in the OBS?
Yep, I figured it out in a hurry as the diversion was because of ice. Last time I'd flown a LOC BC was in training with raw data (and reverse sensing). Somewhere in the deep recesses of memory was "with HSI always set inbound course", but in a stressful situation while also searching for the correct plate, it took a minute for brain to process. Stress compounded by the fact that Garmin didn't have this plate in their database. As I was about to confess to the controller that I didn't know the MDA, we broke out.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 23:59
  #832 (permalink)  
 
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You hit Tucson on one of the very few days of the year they have instrument weather.

Ice there is more commonly found in frozen margaritas.

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Old 9th Sep 2013, 00:00
  #833 (permalink)  
 
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Ice? In Nogales? In September? There's a story here.

OK465 True, Friday before Memorial Day weekend, 250 SCT, TANG closed due to weather.

Last edited by galaxy flyer; 9th Sep 2013 at 00:02.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 00:57
  #834 (permalink)  
 
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You hit Tucson on one of the very few days of the year they have instrument weather.

Ice there is more commonly found in frozen margaritas.
Happened in March. Spent the the night in a nice warm hotel room and rode the crew bus to the airport with a WN crew whose flight was cancelled due to no deicing available for frost on wings. Proceeded to MMPR uneventfully...
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 01:13
  #835 (permalink)  
 
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ATerpster
Quote:
2. Properly implemented RNP, FMS, VNAV (and especially GLS) can fix this decades long chronic issue, virtually 100% of the time.
But, not nearly 100% of the runway ends meet the glideslope qualification surface (FAA) requirements (GQS.) Runway 18 at BHM cannot meet GQS requirements, thus it cannot have any FAA sanctioned vertically guided procedure.
So despite not meeting the FAA GQS requirements for a 'vertically guided procedure' it is fine to do a 'visual' approach at night? There would appear to be mixed messages on the safety of approaches to 18.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 01:55
  #836 (permalink)  
 
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Something Being Overlooked

This IAP has been in use for some time and has been flown probably thousands of times by a variety of aircraft including heavy jets without mishap. So you tell me, where is the problem?
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 02:05
  #837 (permalink)  
 
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Long past "Time for change".

I fully concur... but that is a job for all of us, ...who are out there dealing with the uncertainties and threats of real world global aviation every day.

We have unnecessarily lost far too many colleague crew members who would likely be here today, had we just had the courage to not let obsolete and counter-productive authority and ANSP policies and criteria stand beyond their useful lives.

We need tools like RNP and GLS, and be able to beneficially use our FMSs, and VNAVs, and data links, and sensible ADS (not some authority's vastly over-specified NIC, NAC, and NUC WAAS based ADS) right now, not two decades from now.

Many of the systems we need to more safely fly are already in production, if not even already installed in lots of aircraft... we just need to be able to use them as they were intended, and not with or be held back by ridiculous obsolete 1930's legacy procedures like NPAs, or obsolete criteria such as the still conceptually flawed TERPS or PANS-Ops (which as the original authors fully intended, was just a simplification for convenience, and DOES NOT now, nor ever was intended to comprehensively deal with rare normal or non-normal ops, as [real] RNP now does).
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 02:12
  #838 (permalink)  
 
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VEB is much better than that

Not so... properly implemented, VEB can be good down to about 150' or 160' HAT if scientifically applied and not subject to politically based constraints. It is only because of outdated policies and "Kentucky windage" that these higher VEB values became limiting. In fact decades ago, we even did air carrier Baro based Cat II, in the 707 DC8 era, before RA was in widespread use. And further, for GA, we had 61.3(h) baro ops that were good to 100'HAT without even dual systems or RA.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 02:43
  #839 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OK465
and an appropriate application of heavy earth moving equipment.
I knew I got out of the dirt moving business too soon. 100 feet tall by 300 wide by .5 miles sounds like a pretty good project.... but on the other hand I didn't do so hot at the last Birmingham Airport Authority bid opening. Maybe my company was behind on the club dues or we weren't minority enough, I but seem to remember some guys in some sharp looking pin striped suits got that bid.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 04:31
  #840 (permalink)  
 
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Time for a Change... VEB, RNP [Real], TERPS/PANS-OPS etc

@Tom Imrich:

A/ I think when you're referring to RNP [Real], you're really talking RNP AR, which is quite different from the RNP in other PBN specs, including many which include RNP in their titles. Further, RNP AR/SAAAR also doesn't necessarily take into account non-normal ops. Designs like that are typically done by the likes of GE (ex Nav-R-us, and whose criteria are corporate and not actually compliant with any international or FAA standards); are very tightly linked to the relevant acft/config and pilot training; and are subject to special approvals by the relevant authority. And as Aterpster pointed out, this is why the specials fall into the (initial and ongoing) high cost category. Companies like QAL, Sth West etc use them for operational benefits (flexibility, transitions from ENRT, higher weight allowances for DEPs, etc) as much as they do for low approach minima.

B/ Aterpster is right about the VEB, according to ICAO and FAA criteria. And note that the standard criteria for approach designs must necessarily be based on some rules taking into account categorisation of aircraft and some factors for lowest common denominator.
Re the latter point, this is one of the reasons that the VEB is still possibly constrained, partially due to more work needing to be done to assure all (including Kentucky windage and Montreal bureaucrats) that modern baro altimeters are better than those of the 1930s. Some work has been done on this to enable RVSM, but not sufficient for assuring all and sundry that the results are suitable for lowering the fat in the VEB calcs for approach criteria (specials are always another story). Understand that this work is continuing by FAA and with international cooperation (never fast). I personally think that the PBN specs should allow for assumptions of better altitude "containment" on the VNAV path - so as to provide benefit for modern/capable aircraft. How this then info survives the publishing process and loading in to the NavDBs (some of which are already quite tight for space), and how operators/pilots know whether they can fly which procedure is a further complication.

C/ I'd suggest the "air carrier Baro based Cat II, in the 707 DC8 era" were done with very well trained pilots in an organisation which had an appreciation of risk that was very different from that which would be regarded as acceptable for RPT and even freight dog operators.

D/ The future will incorporate RNP (with or without the RF turns and with or without AR component) approaches to xLS (also with or without curves). This is what will provide best outcomes in terms of lateral and vertical precision (approach, early missed) and minima.

E/ Agree long past due "Time for a change", but it is happening (albeit too slowly).

F/ In addition to ANSPs and AIS/charting/briefing organisations, airports and local municipalities need to be part of the total equation in terms of maintaining suitable landing (and nearby) environments - eg, working VGSI, trees and other obstacles. Further, the lower the minima, the higher the total operating requirements - more and better the equipage for all acft that will use such approaches, better trained pilots (hopefully those who also know how to fly by the seat of the pants as well as knowing how to follow troubleshooting checklists, tight(er) SOPs, and more knowledgeable and competent FOPs ppl in the regulators so they can help assure that all operators are just as good as yours.
In all, sometimes the minima comes down to what risk is everybody prepared to take.

Finally, this thread drift, interesting as it is and hopefully educative for some, it should probably go to (be continued in) a separate post not specific to the BMH issue.
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