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Non Standard communication

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Non Standard communication

Old 25th Apr 2018, 06:41
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
Or one last people who will call the check list in a non standard way: Before start checklist down to the line instead of the correct shorter way: Before start checklist .
How would you call for the checklist if you wanted it read in its entirety, above and below the line?
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 06:52
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Speaking of non-std things and overly prescriptive SOP, our SOP is to point to the altitude when cleared to a new altitude.

It doesn't say what we should use to point to the altitude though. We just spent the past 2 days using elbows, pens, pencils, knuckles, napkins and whatever else I could find to point to the altitude.

On another occasion, it was noted that the "line" on our before start checklist was actually a row of dots. On that trip, the callout was "before start checklist, down to the dots"

Nice when you can fly with someone who's got the big picture, instead of worrying about when to turn on the anti-ice during engine start.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 08:10
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post


How would you call for the checklist if you wanted it read in its entirety, above and below the line?
Good question. Its true sometimes we are clear for push back and we did not do the Before start checklist down to the line yet. In that case I expect my partner to read everything as its pretty obvious IMHO. Some guys will say: Before start checklist all the way to make clear his intention.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 08:20
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Dear Killaroo,

I understand and agree with what you are saying; SOP vs. AIRMANSHIP. When the doo-doo hits the fan prioritizing the golden 3 are paramount. Missing the forest for the trees can be problematic.

Many times I have used the analogy of not falling into the trap of the cockpit robot, doing and calling without thinking or understanding. All the reasons you have stated are valid in today's overly obtuse organisations standards.

Fortunately or not, in this day and age of low hour pilots coupled with highly automated aircraft have set forward a reliance on standardization over airmanship. Although the adherence to SOP's should not be underestimated. Do not let ego and complacency be used as an excuse for good airmanship. Studies have been done on the effects of the "Normalization of complacency and deviation" Adhering to SOP's, whether it be checklists or standard callouts are there for this very reason.

Last edited by jimmyg; 27th Apr 2018 at 05:10.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 08:22
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post


Good question. Its true sometimes we are clear for push back and we did not do the Before start checklist down to the line yet. In that case I expect my partner to read everything as its pretty obvious IMHO. Some guys will say: Before start checklist all the way to make clear his intention.
It's obvious to you, but perhaps not to the other party. One could also mage a safety related argument about you assuming the other person to know what you want. See the problem?

My point is, there's nothing wrong with adding "to the line". He's making sure that you're aware of where he intends to stop. I'd rather a non-standard unambiguous call, than a standard, ambiguous one. I put that in the "airmanship" category.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 08:30
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On the topic of calls for deviations. Here in the US, the companies that I've seen simply say to call out the deviation, followed by a list of examples.

It goes without saying (here, at least) that the list of 4 or so things is not meant to be exhaustive.

It's interesting that in one thread, some people lament the overly prescriptive SOPs, while others seem lost without guidance for the most trivial of things.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 09:35
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I undestand your point. But saying that extra bit is non standard. Some guys will say that all the time even when it’s not ambiguous. I agree in that particular case, it makes things more clear. But 95% of the time it’s standard ops and if I ask for the “before start checklist” They should reply ” before start checklist” only and read until Down to the line” as per SOP. I’m not going to break their nuts if they say more, I just think it’s unnecessary.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 12:06
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Which is more important - super accurate ‘Standard Calls’ or CRM?

The reason I ask is that I’ve worked in two different types of airline. One with excellent CRM (but not so rigid adherence to STD Calls), and one which at least pushes rigid STD Calls but has crap CRM.

What I found was the team with good CRM were always great at trapping errors.

With the other lot, the ‘enforcement’ of petty SOPs (Clear LeftSIDE, not Clear Left!) had awful CRM, and silly mistakes were common.

I quickly realised that this obsession with ‘the mouth music’ was often in fact just a weak pilots way of proving his ‘ability’.

I flew with many FOs who treated these verbal gymnastics (check to the line/down to the line, whatever) as a competition. Most often these were the guys who had sat in the RHS a year or two longer than they felt they should, and you could feel the resentment oozing out of their every pore. They might have spent a week or two recently flying with a Captain who they felt ‘wasn’t as good as them’, and the frustration at their misfortune was palpable.
Their mouth music adherence had little to do with accuracy, it was intended to boost their fragile ego, and weaken and undermine the guy in the LHS. All done at the expense of the CRM in that cockpit.
I’m sure many Captains have met these types and faced such naked challenges to the cockpit gradient. A basic breakdown of CRM.

I sat in a Jumpseats once and watched an FO playing that game, until the Captain blew his top and issued a screaming tirade at the (suddenly cringing) FO. And that was just the Before Takeoff Checklist! Nice way to start a 14 hour night flight.

Seriously - there are bigger threats to safety than a less than perfect checklist responses.
Think about keeping the lines of communication open first.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 12:30
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Killaroo I hear you. I totally agree with you. But the subject was about non standard communication. I never picked an Fo because he was not saying things exactly by the books. Actually I never had any kind of arguments since I was released in June last year. I used to hate when captains will give me inputs every 2 seconds for anything I won’t do the way he wants things to be done. For me, as long as I can undestand what my colleague is saying, that’s good enough for me. I remember as an Fo, I reported Pin in sight and the captain got pissed off at me cause I did not say SAFETY Pin in sight Lol. So annoying. And yes he was one of the guys always nervous while flying.
But you have to admit that guys doing the checklist by memory is disrespectful or the ones who have been flying for a decade and still does not know how to properly read a checklist that’s kinda amazing. Just saying it here, but never bullied anyone about it. I let the instructors do that. If one thing I learned when I was an Fo is not to do the same annoying things that captains do to the Fos. I could also write a book about it. xD
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 12:36
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From my experience the problem is systemic and cultural. The prime example is RT. When I, and I assume many others started at the flying school, academy or where ever, we learnt our RT from the instructors we had. We learned the CAR's on VFR and IFR flight, the AIP, the privileges and limitations of our licenses but never was the CAAP or ICAO docs studied on correct RT.

Last week I flew with one of the airline's cadets. His entire career from 0 to ATPL wide body SFO has been with this airline. On the topic of SOPs he advocated quite confidently how he can't stand "those guys" who follow "all" the SOP's. "I mean, you don't want to be so rigid where you follow all of them! How annoying would that be!? It was an easy going conversation but I asked him which of the SOPs does he deem important to enforce and which of them he doesn't? I also asked which of the SOPs related to safety and security were the ones he preferred over others? So my point is, this kid is a direct product of the system and culture of training and those experiences. It has formed his traits as a "pilot". And he is the future? Doing the wrong thing has become the "cool" thing or the norm because trainers, training departments and line pilots accept it or want it so.

There are plenty of documented studies from prominent CRM academics on SOP compliance and why pilots and crews deliberately breach them. Interesting reading, unfortunately!

Killaroo & Jimmy - I get where you're coming from however therein lies the issue. One Capt, TRE/I believes it must be done one way, another differently and another different again. FO's are scratching their heads. And this culture or attitude is transferred on to them, and so on. I've learnt that being the super cool easy-going guy willing to let it all slide too far is fraught with more troubles than not. I'm a firm believer that training starts off as pure black and white. Many disagree with me, and I get it. In fact a few years ago I would have too! I believe it should be "flapS" or "SAFETY pin in sight" if that is what is written. Over the top? Perhaps. But how can we know what grey is if we don't appreciate or define what black and white is first?? Build (train) from a strong foundation then go from there. Day to day line flying allows for the grey as airmanship allows. But when we start with grey it becomes so mirky in that SOPs may as well not even exist.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 25th Apr 2018 at 13:03.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 13:57
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Chinabeached: Last paragraph some excellent points, especially in this day & age where there re many more cadets entering RHS than ever before, and guys moving over to LHS so much earlier than before. The amount of experience/airmanship in either seat, at the start of their careers, is much less than was.

from earlier:
He was asked why he didn't say anything.
His reply was he couldn't remember the correct Standard Callout.


I flew in an airline which was very pilot/airmanship orientated, but also where SOP discipline was strict. After rotation the call was "positive rate" by PM and "gear up" by PF. I then went to an airline where it was "gear up" by PF and "positive climb" by PM.

Then I used to train experienced pilots coming into the 2nd airline from others. I learnt a myriad of calls for this simplest of manoeuvres. However, in the early days some guys' memories blanked out and you could see the wheels grinding. Meanwhile the wheels were still dangling. I suggested prioritising and to say something that made sense such the the wheels were retracted. Their eyes lit up like stars in a, "are we allowed to do that" moment of joy.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 14:07
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In our SOP, we have a chapter dedicated to standard call out from the moment we arrived at the aircraft until the securing. Pretty much everything is written black and white and yet some people are unable to comply with it. I mean come on how difficult it is to remember standard phraseology that you are using every day?
@ChinaBeached: I had the same problem when you say some Instructors will say one thing and the next day you fly with another instructor who will say the opposite thing. Lol. As a Fo it’s hard work as you have to adjust yourself for every flight to please the guy on the left who has his own way of flying. Fortunately those guys are a minority.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 15:33
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
In our SOP, we have a chapter dedicated to standard call out from the moment we arrived at the aircraft until the securing. Pretty much everything is written black and white and yet some people are unable to comply with it. I mean come on how difficult it is to remember standard phraseology that you are using every day?
I would suggest that's part of the problem. I'm mot an actor rehearsing lines in a play. I'm an airline pilot working in a dynamic environment. Standard calls are very important, but to prescribe every word that comes out of my mouth is counter-productive.

The guy who came up with that chapter has lost the plot.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 16:17
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Let’s agree to disagree then. I actually really like the fact that most call outs are written black and white. This way, there is no argument possible and less chance of confusion. We have more than 30 nationalities in my company, with some people including myself with a strong accent; It’s very easy to missundestand each other. To give an example, we had an incident where the PF was an instructor with an average english level doing line training and did a non standard call out at acceleration altitude : Speed Two Five Zero . The Fo with only few hours on type, undestood Flaps Zero but the speed was below S speed so asked the captain: are you sure ? and the captain firmly replied: Yes! then you had guessed what went wrong. He retracted the flaps. This would have been avoided if the instructor were using standard phraseology. In that case, no speed call out should be made since it’s not part of the FMA. But if you want to call the speed, by our SOPM, it’s : Two Five Zero KNOTS . That extra word would had prevented this incident. It’s not complicated to comply with the standard call out. It’s not like there is hundreds of them. When you know them it’s natural. Now lots of people deviate slightly from the callouts, fair enough, I don’t mind as long it’s clear, I really don’t care. I’m trying to stick as much as possible to what’s written in the books cause that’s what my colleagues expect to hear. Of course we don’t have call out for every situation. That’s impossible. For the rest, I just use good airmanship and that’s it.

Last edited by pineteam; 25th Apr 2018 at 17:45. Reason: Adding info & typo.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 18:17
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post


How would you call for the checklist if you wanted it read in its entirety, above and below the line?
PNF: "Checklist complete to the line."
PF: "Through the line."
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 19:36
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I flew with a B737NG operator. The acceleration call was "Bug UP." There were many cadets in the mix, but the error was not limited to them. You guessed it; there were enough Flaps UP selected (F1 takeoffs) that the SOP was changed. F5 was the new standard and the call changed. I can't remember what to. Previous types in the company had fixed speed schedules and so the call was 210kts on previous types.
I then went to another growing airline which was in transition of models in exactly the same way, even F1 takeoffs. I told my earlier story and was met by black stares. Hm. The Boeing SOP ws "Bug UP" so that was that. I wonder why Boeing didn't think of an alternative e.g. "UP speed."
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 19:50
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Ah. Well when you mention the language barrier with 30 nationalities, it certainly makes more sense. Here in the US, we generally don't have that exception (unless you're flying with someone from the South &#128540.

Instructors who harp on (what we consider) small things like that don't last too long in the training department.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 15:56
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
Ah. Well when you mention the language barrier with 30 nationalities, it certainly makes more sense. Here in the US, we generally don't have that exception (unless you're flying with someone from the South &#128540.

Instructors who harp on (what we consider) small things like that don't last too long in the training department.
You should try a Cathay course. If the checklist says 'Flaps 20' and you say 'Flap 20' then that is unacceptable.
I was going to print a but their reasoning is that they employ a range of different first language speakers, including Chinese, and it is for the avoidance of confusion.

I'll refrain from any more little CX training stories
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 04:45
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Well, while I do like the fact that the usual everyday callouts be set "in black and white", after all that's why they're for, i.e. a "standard operation", I have my own naggings too, which due to some reason or another have sort of propagated. We do have the "clear righ/left side" chap/gal every 10 seconds even when both of us can see the "affected area", that one annoys me quite a bit, but not as much as the one who thinks this should get a response! One captain asked me if I heard them call clear left/right because I didn't say anything back. Well, first of all, if we're getting THAT rigid, I don't have to by SOP, second of all, it's of no use calling clear if we can both see that side. I had this very same captain coming up with a funny "reprimand" of having me on comms while I did the approach preparation (instead of him taking both controls and comms) because when I transferred over to him I said "you have controls" and he was adamant it was "control", singular. Give me a break...

While the adherence to standard calls is quite helpful in standard and non standard situations, and I do try to be as standard as I can within reason and practicality, both to my fellow pilot and to ATC, these kind of things do nothing for CRM and instead you break it down by annoying the other person with such trivial things (even if trivial can be relative). Clear communication is the basis of mutual understanding and I've found that in moments of stress/high workload, just mentioning the particular situation in a clear way gets the job done, and an extra S in "control" is not going to cause mayhem. But I have, however, as some has pointed out, noticed that these rigid and by-the-book 110% types can take longer to get out of a mess (sometimes even agravating the situation by misscommunicating or at least failing to communicate clearly or as intended) than the more "practical" guys. Airmanship takes precedence over anything (as has been pointed out in the thread about OEI+loss of cabin press) and I'd rather have a "non standard pilot" telling me things like they are in a clear manner and not a "standard pilot" confusing the calls for abnormal situations, as it is often the case.

Someone asked about a call for low/high on the PAPI. We do have one: "Above/below profile". I think it was Check Airman who asked for how we would call for "complete" before start check. While I reckon it's not the usual way to do it, hence the lack of a call for that, when we do have the particular case where it is practical to read it all the way, I've heard it being called (being in a Latin outfit) "Leamos Before Start completa", which would literally translate to something like "let's read Before Start check fully". I've also heard "Before Start check including below the line". Regardless of the way being called, in this instance I do call "below the line" and carry on reading without instruction . Personal habit maybe, and perhaps it wouldn't make a difference if I skip the line call altogether, but I like reading the whole checklist as usual, just skipping the confirmation for the "below" since I was already instructed to skip it.

Oh and about the centerline call on a visual I'd just say with a lot of sarcasm and a big grin and excited eyes "oh cool, I've always wante to land an A320 on the grass!" If that doesn't get your attention, no "track" or whatever call will
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 05:07
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Hahaha Escape Path! Your comment about “clear left side” and the guy nagging about “ You have control” with no “s” I encountered the exact same situation! Looks like those guys have nothing better to do! xD
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