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"Radio Altimeter Alive" call

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"Radio Altimeter Alive" call

Old 30th Apr 2018, 23:51
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I guess because ive been flying for so long, I just assume all pilots would know the history behind the need for SOMETHING to be said (and why) upon the radio altimeter coming alive.This is variously responded to with a call such as "terrain" "radio altimeter alive" or "twenty five hundred" or even "check" but not "checked".The reason for this is as always, situational awareness.Are you expecting terrain as this point? If not then this may be an early warning of something bad about to happen.It seems that this type of call became common place after the Air New Zealand DC10 accident, where no action was taken by the crew upon noticing the RA coming alive.Also the accident itself if I recall correctly was the reason why the GPWS response became what it is today.It is possible, just, that if that crew used todays GPWS response the accident may have been averted thus saving nearly 300 lives.

Many times in the SIM when I notice crews ignoring the RA alive call I later give them a hard GPWS out of nowhere and many many times they have crashed.Lesson learnt hopefully.
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Old 1st May 2018, 02:02
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Not looking at the actual radio displacements and height
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Old 1st May 2018, 08:12
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting subject

OK I have a related question, Whatever the callout is do we have to say it right when the aircraft announces "2500" or when it actually starts to show the reading?
because often there is a few seconds gap there.
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Old 1st May 2018, 08:57
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Talking for Airbus, I never noticed such a delay. In any case, the call out by the crew should be made when the reading is displayed.
in the other hand, I noticed sometimes the RA comes alive but no auto call out at 2500 AGL. Don’t know why.
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Old 1st May 2018, 09:20
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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SOPs aside; It is good airmanship to acknowledge the 2,500’ RA autocall, then look at your own RA display and then the other side RA display.

You want to be sure both Rad Alts are working; that they are sensible and reasonable and have ‘woken up’ about where you would expect them to - you are approaching the ground, after all*

You want to make sure both Rad Alts are giving the same measurement - odd things might happen with a Rad Alt disagree that could compromise your approach.

It is a good point at which to check the other pilot is still OK and has not passed out or anything, during or before your approach.


* ”poor man’s GPWS” - well said.
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Old 1st May 2018, 09:37
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Now what's the bet that each airlines call out mentioned here claims they're doing "airbus procedures"
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Old 1st May 2018, 09:57
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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The reason BA have put so much mouth music into this is because it is your last chance to trap the threat of flying a beautiful 3 degree non precision descent into the undershoot with the wrong qnh set. EGPWS will not save you for a 10hPa error. Agree it can be overkill on a glide path, but is still useful for SA. Most CFIT occurrences I read about seem to involve crews that thought they were in the slot. I quite like the 'if we get it beyond 9Dme or above 3000 ft, we've made a mistake, or we're not where we thought we would be" approach.
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Old 1st May 2018, 11:08
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
Talking for Airbus, I never noticed such a delay. In any case, the call out by the crew should be made when the reading is displayed.
in the other hand, I noticed sometimes the RA comes alive but no auto call out at 2500 AGL. Donít know why.
Well, I've noticed that in the A320 I'd say it happens in 2 out of 10 approaches, maybe it depends on type or the A320 generation or some other factors IDK

So true about the No auto callout, I'd like to know the reason too
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Old 1st May 2018, 11:38
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RAT 5 View Post
The BA SOP might be 'over the top' in that it is spoken out loud. However, it is quite obvious from flying with numerous cadets in another airline, that when the RA chirped up at 2500' their response had no SA awareness whatsoever. I used to encourage them checking it against baro and confirming to themselves it made sense. It was not taught/mentioned as an airmanship SOP; the response was a piece of parrot mouth music to satisfy SOP's. Going into AGP RW14 and cutting the corner to the LOC it was not unusual to have the RA alive at 30nm from touchdown. Descending IMC that needs some understanding, good SA and confident awareness of where you are. However, there did not seem any curiosity that this triggered so far from the runway; just the parrot response. I'm sure there are many more airports where you are descending on procedures below MSA & IMC where the RA will be triggered early.
Yes. I'm sixteen years out of date with BA call-outs but, FWIW, when I was on the A320 fleet (and we were a joint launch-customer for the type) our calls were carefully designed to avoid an unnecessary plethora of verbage. Also, each was designed to elicit a reasoned response from the other pilot, rather than the knee-jerk "checked." The pilot who initiated the call did not state the particular datum, but simply invited the other pilot to announce it. In the event of the other pilot being overloaded (or interrupted by an R/T call), the call would be postponed or cancelled.

IMO, any call that does not require a thoughtful response from the other pilot is no more than occupational therapy for the caller. Good CRM demands mutual understanding and cross-checking. One crew member must not spoon-feed or sucker the other into adopting his/her mistake or misunderstanding. Calls should also assist each pilot to identify subtle incapacitation or overload in the other. However, calls must not be allowed themselves to exacerbate overload.
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Old 1st May 2018, 19:10
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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AF makes the call checked the twenty-five hundred call, at least so it seems...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=97s&v=F7D33_u9DE0
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Old 1st May 2018, 20:33
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Originally Posted by Pugilistic Animus View Post
AF makes the call checked the twenty-five hundred call, at least so it seems...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=97s&v=F7D33_u9DE0
That video, per se, doesn't differentiate between that being the SOP and the PM being the annoying guy who says "checked" unnecessarily at everything.
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Old 1st May 2018, 20:44
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Vessbot it is illegal not to call checked less than 10 times in any large transport category airplane...
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Old 1st May 2018, 21:08
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Just watched the whole video that didn't seem like That many callouts, really
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Old 1st May 2018, 21:53
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Way back when Airbus still made jets with wire connecting the yoke (What is That) to the control surface and me sitting between two great aviators, the second officer called out 50, 40, down to touchdown. I'd often call "five, ten, five, four, eight, nice one number one!"

Maybe may be we should be more serious......
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Old 1st May 2018, 23:51
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Its not such a silly idea.Many times ive seen in the SIM with certain failures that fail the radio altimeter, many pilots have quite a hard time timing the flare, and getting the PM to call out the heights near the ground helps a lot.On the other hand on some types not fitted with auto callouts, Captains have asked for the calls from me in poor visibility, greatly enhancing their ability to make a safe landing.Good airmanship.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 10:20
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Having had a GPWS failure in a 773 a few months back, I just asked my partner in crime to call “50” and flared based on the view out of the window. Result (in benign conditions) - my best landing of the year. The main thing I missed was not so much the call outs but the cadence of the call outs giving an extra cue to the rate of descent and progress of the flare.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 10:57
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by piratepete View Post
This is variously responded to with a call such as "terrain" "radio altimeter alive" or "twenty five hundred" or even "check" but not "checked".The reason for this is as always, situational awareness.Are you expecting terrain as this point? If not then this may be an early warning of something bad about to happen.
Like on Descent into Shiraz (OISS) at night and/or in cloud, when passing FL130 and you get the Radio Altimeter Callout. Weren't expecting that. Was not expecting the Captian to tell me the R.A must be broken so he will write it up at the end of the sector. The 11,000ft mountain we just passed over would not have had anything to do with it?

The standard callout is entirley dependant on YOUR company Standard Callouts. Its at the back of the SOP section in your FCOM, for those who have never seen it.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 00:55
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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IBE thats an interesting situation indeed.That is a good example of using an appropriate call to bring attention to the terrain.The part of the Boeing/Airbus FCOM (or FCTM) that lists recommended standard callouts is well known by most pilots, however , as is always the case, these aircraft are under the control of the operator and as the postholders (DFO Chief Pilot Training Manager) have the final say with respect to what goes in the OM(A and B), this opens the door to many many different ways of presenting this part of SOPs to the crews.I know this well as I have been a postholder several times and must admit that the first time I had this responsibility I went overboard with standard callouts.Over time I have toned this down and now, if I had to do it again would use the manufacturers calls with minimal changes.However there are a few variations that are just too important from a safety perspective to not use, and the call after the radio altimeter comes alive is one of them.Around the world there are countless versions of standard calls in use some of them quite bizarre, but this is done because IT CAN BE DONE......
A question for you.Can you explain the reason for one manufacturers call at DA "continue"? Why not " landing or land" What is the purpose of this call and when should it be used?.....Peter.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:42
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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"Continue" seems more accurate to me, because that's what you're doing. But you don't know yet if you're landing.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:19
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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The call "Landing" was changed by airbus to "continue" because it became like a commitment to land and the only decision you take at minima is go around flaps or continue. Even below minima GA possibility exists. This is subtle change some airlines still use landing.

Last edited by vilas; 3rd May 2018 at 13:38.
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