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-   -   CHINA. Fear and Punishment. (https://www.pprune.org/terms-endearment/525792-china-fear-punishment.html)

flite idol 20th Oct 2013 03:17

safety wise my airline(a chinese one) has no expense when it comes to safety.
I really hope that was a lost in translationmoment:rolleyes:

de facto 20th Oct 2013 03:31


Don_Apron 20th Oct 2013 03:40

They have certainly raised the bar as "affordable safety" is concerned!! :}

de facto 20th Oct 2013 04:13

I wish i were 30 years younger:E

Alexander de Meerkat 21st Oct 2013 07:04

Anyone going there needs to have their eyes wide open. I realise that many foreign pilots there have no choice for one personal reason or another, but if you do have a choice, choose somewhere else unless you want a very short contract. This is a Country with rampant racism towards non-Chinese and the day they can dispose of you then you will be history. If you think you are going there as anything other than an annoying but necessary foreign servant, you will soon be very disappointed. Do not say you were not warned.

Wickusvandemerwe 29th Oct 2013 06:23

thank you for the excellent post. Yes, china is becoming more and more risky for the foreign pilot. Id like to reinforce your points below with my own observations..

Punishment Culture:
I have heard of numerous punishments lately:
$3000 for late gear up selection at BCA (Capital airlines)
$3000 for selecting flap above 20000ft (BCA)
$12,000 loss of safety bonus at Spring Airlines for FO performing 2g landing
$3000 for activating 'SPEED SPEED' warning
Grounding of expat capt for over 3months with loss of pay for lost coms incident of around 10mins duration (BCA)

The list goes on and on, BCA seem to be just as bad as Spring airlines for dishing out punishments. This type of management style seems alien to foreigners but its embedded in chinese corporate culture. All chinese companies issue fines and punishments to their employees. The chinese are only motivated by the stick, not the carrot. This will never change.

Now airlines are bringing in Fines for things that were previously let go. Eg. Being late, Not doing online flight prep by cut off time. Excuses are not tolerated in China.

Chinese airlines are not interested in mitigating circumstances for any errors by the foreign pilot. They often schedule duty with complete beginner FO's with marginal english. When a mistake is made then by the 'crew', its always the captains fault in spite of the extra workload and zero backup.

Only the really brave allow chinese FO to land the aircraft…..enough said.

Chinese ATC act more like police than anything and are without doubt the most badly trained, rude, aggressive and unprofessional ATC I have encountered in 20yrs flying.
If you dare to refuse an instruction they will go after you personally, either by reporting you to your airline or to CAAC. They will bark orders and expect instant compliance, and the instructions have to be heard to be believed; descend to a level below me, while I'm still in the climb : descend 1000ft at 3000FPM : always expedite,expedite,expedite!!!
Forget about ATC assistance in times of bad weather, forget about pulling the tapes if there is an altitude bust or similar and you are sure of your position. You are foreigner, YOU will be blamed, YOU can be got rid of easily to save a chinese ATC's guys ass. Count on it…

They are now increasingly micromanaging all airlines operations. They are carrying out spot checks on aircraft at numerous airfields all over china. I have experienced several of these inspections and they are not pleasant. They are definitely there to catch something and make you pay. Make sure your ass is covered in the tech-log with any defects, make sure you carry what you are supposed to carry e.g..second pair of glasses. You will be fined if anything out of place. Be aware that they will often sit back and watch out of sight, then spring on to your aircraft suddenly if they think they see something. You are hereby warned….

Medical issues:
We all know the ridiculous standards for the annual medical so I won't repeat that but be aware of the new tests we must go through to continue working here. Now they introduce MRI scan (very unpleasant ) heart echocardiogram, and carotid artery echocardiogram. If there is the SLIGHTEST thing wrong with you they WILL find it here in china. Do not consider coming here if you have ever had any medical issue however slight. Those of us here know only too well that despite what your contract says this job is a 6 month contract based on the high likelihood of being grounded due to some medical issue. I have seen many cases of groundings with loss of pay and expenses incurred, only to have the issue cleared up later by real doctors in a real hospital as being misdiagnosed by CAAC "doctors".
Also, from speaking to colleagues in China, I note some airlines now introduce MANDATORY breathalyzing for alcohol before every duty, irrespective of reporting time. If you fail this test you will be banned for life from flying in China as recently happened to a HAINAN airlines captain. Im sure arguments about the calibration ,maintenance and testing of such machines will fall on deaf ears.
Also, some airlines introduce blood pressure monitoring before each flight. Expect to be grounded if you pop this one too.

Flying (and living) in China means taking on an extremely high level of risk. There is a feeling here that somebody is always out to get the foreigner….the company, ATC, medical or CAAC. I think eventually EVERYBODY working here will at some stage fall foul of some rule or regulation, be diagnosed with something terrible or just get tired of the huge amount of bullshit that can be encountered in everyday life.
Is the money currently being offered enough to compensate for this risk?
NO! absolutely not…..
Those of you looking at a job in China, I honestly say to you, the money looks good, but you will pay for every extra penny in compromises you will have to make in both your personal and professional life. If you can keep your nose clean here, you might spend a few years, save some money and get out with your sanity intact. However the odds of that are decreasing every year as they increase the rules, pitfalls and traps.
Good luck to all!

LLuCCiFeR 29th Oct 2013 11:54

Punishment Culture:
I have heard of numerous punishments lately:
$3000 for late gear up selection at BCA (Capital airlines)
$3000 for selecting flap above 20000ft (BCA)
$12,000 loss of safety bonus at Spring Airlines for FO performing 2g landing
$3000 for activating 'SPEED SPEED' warning
Well, looking at these :mad: ups, I'd say that they've gotten off mildly! You can say what you want about a "punitive" culture, and quite honesty I'm no big fan of flying in micromanaged China either, but honestly what did you expect? Speed warnings, selecting flaps above 20000 feet, 2G landings, forgetting to select the gear up? Altitude busts because people are having problems looking at a conversion table? Seriously, what are these people doing in the cockpit?

These are all pretty serious incidents if you ask me, and I'm pretty sure that you'd be invited for some serious tea & biscuits (if not fired on the spot!) in any European, Asian or US airline.

As for the stoic way of the Chinese...well...I guess a lot of people simply get blinded by the promise of a big pay check, instead of doing some due diligence and checking things out before going over. You see the same thing over and over in our industry, people flocking to China or the Middle East, only to find out that a big sexy airplane in combination with a big pay check is not the golden recipe for a long term satisfying career in aviation.

EverythingWeMake 30th Oct 2013 07:39

The entire premise behind my post is to highlight China's complete disregard for Just Culture, SMS (reporting culture) and accepted safety management.

There will always be people like LLuCCiFeR that believe in the "stick" despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The safety community moved on from that model decades ago through evidence based reform.

China is taking modern safety auditing tools designed for training and putting them to use in a highly advanced punitive regime.

A phrase that made me laugh out loud during ground-school here was "we have a no blame culture, but that does not mean no responsibility; you will be punished".

but honestly what did you expect?
This is not the point of my post. I knew they had a dysfunctional safety culture. What I want to highlight is the extent to which this goes and the long term effect it is having. Even Just Culture allows for punitive measures at the severe end of the scale for intentional deviation from SOP's, reckless behavior, etc.

China is a very sizable and rapidly growing part of the international aviation community. Unless we want to see them drift off into a shadow culture of fear and punishment, efforts should be made by industry partners to address this now.

Any ICAO/IATA/Oneworld/Skyteam/Star Alliance safety auditors out there? Maybe invite the CAAC to take the floor at your next meeting?

Mikehotel152 30th Oct 2013 07:55

China is such a huge existing and potential market for air travel that these warnings will fall on deaf (regulatory) ears.

Those pilots making a lot of money out in China, who are indifferent to the inherent risk and latent danger of a safety culture that seeks compliance through punishment and fear, will not listen either.

kick the tires 30th Oct 2013 09:47

Wickusvandemerwe:Punishment Culture:
I have heard of numerous punishments lately:
$3000 for late gear up selection at BCA (Capital airlines)
$3000 for selecting flap above 20000ft (BCA)
$12,000 loss of safety bonus at Spring Airlines for FO performing 2g landing
$3000 for activating 'SPEED SPEED' warning
Grounding of expat capt for over 3months with loss of pay for lost coms incident of around 10mins duration (BCA)
How late was the gear? few seconds, forgotten completely?

Why would ANYONE select flaps above 20000? That is a serious mishandling of the aircraft, but you seem to think its justified - please explain.....

2g landing, was it a windy blustery day or was it mishandling?

SPEED SPEED SPEED - that takes some doing!

I am not defending the Chinese culture, far from it. However, you have put some throw away lines here in an attempt to add to the debate. They need some detail to be rewarded with a degree of credibility.

de facto 30th Oct 2013 10:53

I know some very good and capable pilots who have enjoyed working in China (usually as an early retirement gig) and never really felt mobbed or harassed, but then again, I seriously doubt if these people got a "SPEED SPEED SPEED" on their resume
Exactly,many younger ones too..:E,for the rest there is always PPRune to :{

Elephant and Castle 30th Oct 2013 13:50

I have had a "speed speed speed" call. We where 6 or 7 knots above VLS on a turn towards the localizer. Autothrust and autopilot on, speed managed, level flight. Ie.- a completely standard setup. Really you do not how the system works if you think that:
A. It cannot happen to you
B. It is a BIG deal
C. It should be financially punished

el caballero rojo 31st Oct 2013 09:20

SPEED SPEED SPEED - that takes some doing
Well, If you are on a heavy A321 Enhanced at Max Landing Weight with the latest FMGC software and have to disconnect the A/THR to be able to decelerate below VFEnext; then with the speed brakes, above profile,.... once at Flap 1 trying to go below VFEnext for Flap 2 you end up fast into VLS and then the SPEED SPEED SPEED caution comes way faster then on the old A321´s.
I never had this problem on a 320 or 319 but if you fly heavy 321´s you will sure understand what I mean. (7500 hours on Airbus FBW)

The other items are a bit more serious. But non punitive flight data monitoring works. I seriously doubt the other method:=

Fact is, all those European pilots quiting for a Job in China (I know 3) all wake up when it is too late.

Dualbleed 31st Oct 2013 10:10

SPEED SPEED SPEED - that takes some doing
on 737 NG with flaps 5 and engine anti ice on the amber band goes all the way into the bug speed for F5. and the slightest turn will result in speed speed.

Garuda1984 31st Oct 2013 17:24

This is an extremely serious issue and I am pleasantly surprised that it has been raised in such a sober manner.

While I am not in China and do not profess to know how the safety system in that country works; but I am closely involved in the safety management system and the flight data quality assurance program in my organization; located in Asia.

I am providing this back ground so everybody understands the system wide perspective I am writing from.

First and the most critical is to understand that the output of the QAR analysis is not infallible. That it is a tool meant to not just detect what happened; but why is occurred and how recurrence can be prevented.

Secondly, For those commenting that any events can only occur to incompetent pilots display an utter and complete lack of appreciation of human factors, environmental issues and aircraft system design.

For example, to address a comment above with regard to the flap altitude Exceedence: the reason it is fixed at 20,000 ft is not structral but related to the minmimum mach meter reading. I know this will be taken with a pinch of salt but this info is straight from the manufacturer.

Secondly, QAR monitoring programs do not take into account any altimeter error or the soft altitude hold mode. I.e. if the ac is at FL 200 the QAR FLAP altitude Exceedence will be triggered even at 20,0050 ft. Another issue is change in QNH SETTINGS which can be upto 15 to 18 hpa. Resulting in the altimeter readings changing by upto 500 ft. I.e. changing from QNE to say 1020 hpa QNH will result in an altitude change of between 170 to 200 ft.

Imposing punitive action on the pilot for a 'speed speed' or for Vfe altitude is evidence to me that no rigor is being applied to understand the underlying causes or risk factors that result in such events. Which means the root cause is not identified and it will happen again & again & again ........

Garuda1984 8th Nov 2013 09:31

The handling skills conundrum
Continuing on from my last post; the most dangerous issue arising out of this lack of rigour in the QAR analysis is that since the root cause is not identified it leads to half baked corrective actions which tend to have an extremely detrimental effect on the safety culture and the risk level of the airline.
As a result line crew resorts to butt covering behavior such as not giving flying to FO's or ap off at minimums etc.
As a result fo development is stunted and when they go into the 6 monthly check ride, they cannot even fly a half decent raw data ILS.
These fo then straggle along till they become captains, that are exceptionally safe in the eyes of the company because they have no exceedences.
Then they straggle along to be exceptionally safe check pilots that manage to crash (in one case stall and another Land short of the runway) a perfectly good aeroplane, in benign weather.

springaviator 22nd Nov 2013 18:03

Spunk Air
Little else to add, but to underline the importance of your importance, as an individual or professional:
Gent in Sprint Air dismissed close (6 mths) to the 36 month bonus. The big bonus left in coffers.
Reason: Nearly broke the rules as per QAR.

No other known issues in performance nor personality with this individual. Such is his persona, he did not even tried to argue, he leaves with his head held high in front of his colleagues but shamed (reasons to be posted) from the airline side.

Yes, quit your job, bring your families chaps! It will all work out...

Take it for what it may be.

goodinchina 22nd Nov 2013 19:22

It must be fair, a company that has so much on the line needs to show off to those calling the shots.
Spring Air is fully committed to their China IPO, this will make a hefty bonus to those that keep the machine running as is.
Spring has run on this for the last 4-5 years.
From what I understand, ALL of the upper, and a good % of middle management has a share in this company, catch is, those shares are passed from one to another as they gain/loose their post depending on performance or willingness to follow orders.

Still, Spring Airlines has had quite a history when it comes to following and implementing rules.
IE: local capts shutting engines at touchdown >130kts (word is over +40 times) to cater for Spring Airs fuel saving policy. Mind you, that same Capt is, still today, a Capt at Spring! and nearly just as bad, none of the F/O's were un-intimidated to report such incident, none were reprimanded for their inefficiency to report such actions, yet they are today encouraged to report on foreign Capts whenever they feel like it and behind their back.
Other local boys have had set off the cargo fire extinguisher during a de-icing procedure, and the office has had the balls to send an email to airbus asking them to change the configuration and wording of the over head panel as it confuses crews. Yes, de-icing and cargo fires are obviously similar at Spring.
No wonder Airbus is cranking out production!

Yet, expats get triple emergencies on their recurrent line checks.
It must all be about QAR's.
Big stick, small carrot.

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