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View Full Version : MD11 Hong Kong Domicile


jetkid
04-02-2010, 04:51 AM
Paul Cassel's letter just came out mentioning the possibility of a MD Hong Kong domicile. This base will be so junior in both seats. Talk about the company NOT wanting to crash any more MD's. This can NOT be good. Do you really think they care, or is it about $$$$?


727C47
04-02-2010, 04:56 AM
IMHO ,just an outsider,and former freightdog,every decision is always about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ !

Kooky
04-02-2010, 05:33 AM
Paul Cassel's letter just came out mentioning the possibility of a MD Hong Kong domicile. This base will be so junior in both seats. Talk about the company NOT wanting to crash any more MD's. This can NOT be good. Do you really think they care, or is it about $$$$?
Whats junior got to do with crashing planes? I bet a majority of those hired into those seats had just as much if maybe more time than YOU. Those flying 80 RIP, had alot of experience. I feel your comment is off base.


jetkid
04-02-2010, 06:07 AM
Not on the MD11 they didn't, and it is not as forgiving as other jets. It's got different landing characteristics and a "bounce on landing" could be the end all. Couple that with a junior crew and the results could be catastrophic.

Kooky
04-02-2010, 06:46 AM
Not on the MD11 they didn't, and it is not as forgiving as other jets. It's got different landing characteristics and a "bounce on landing" could be the end all. Couple that with a junior crew and the results could be catastrophic.
I agree with the landing characteristics. However, rather your a new hire or senior moving into the MD your still a junior FO or CAPT if you havent flown it before! The Captain had flown it for years as an FO and the FO had many years of heavy flying experience. How is it going to be any different with an MD FDA base? It appears your assumption was based on having no "clue" about FLT 80's crew.

jetkid
04-02-2010, 06:55 AM
Oh, I'm sorry. 25 years with the company and 10 years as Capt on the MD-11 does make me incompetent. I knew a lot about the crew and they were both excellent pilots with excellent flying skills. Stick to the facts and consider someone with less experience and limited time on the jet going to HKG.

Kooky
04-02-2010, 06:57 AM
Oh, I'm sorry. 25 years with the company and 10 years as Capt on the MD-11 does make me incompetent you arrogant s.o.b. I knew a lot about the crew and they were both excellent pilots with excellent flying skills. Stick to the facts and consider someone with less experience and limited time on the jet going to HKG.
NICE! now you know ALL!!

Dakota
04-02-2010, 07:01 AM
I honestly believe crashing an airplane ever now and again is an acceptable cost of doing business to Fedex.

vagabond
04-02-2010, 07:21 AM
Mom Note:

I read the first post several times and still not sure about the relationship between a Hong Kong domicile and the unusual characteristics of the MD-11. So unless the OP (that would be you, jetkid) can rationally explain this rather tenuous relationship, I will not hesitate to close this thread.

And please do not call people names on the forums. It is a violation of the TOS and will get you reminders/infractions, enough of which will cause a severe restriction in your ability to participate here. Flamebait or what appears to be flamebait is not nice either.

FR8Hauler
04-02-2010, 07:24 AM
I honestly believe crashing an airplane ever now and again is an acceptable cost of doing business to Fedex.

That is about the most insane thing I have heard in a while.

jetkid
04-02-2010, 07:37 AM
The relationship is merely this. HGK domicile = Junior Captains. Good for the junior guy but bad for the already tainted safety record of the MD-11. If you put a inexperienced MD pilot in the left seat of this jet, in a already complicated theater (China RVSM, controller issues, weather, etc), the occasional characteristics of the jet may compromise safety. You may agree or not, but ultimately the company needs to make this assessment. I believe they already have. They have just not run the numbers yet through the CBO.

Gunter
04-02-2010, 07:47 AM
We have a unique situation at FDX right now.

Quite a few MD CAs, and FOs, have been excessed. Many of these guys are itching to get back to CA and, I think, the company counts on them choosing HKG. Some of these guys are hurting financially and will take the unpleasant move for the $$.

Then there are the very experienced MD11 FOs that thought they were close to CA only to see their possible upgrade date moved years into the future. I think these two factors will make the domicile more 'senior' than you think.

If junior guys hold CA they'll cancel the bid. Perhaps if one guy they don't like holds CA and/or guys without MD11 time hold FO they'll cancel the bid. The company has no problem canceling a bid at the last hour for whatever reason that suits them.

jetkid
04-02-2010, 07:51 AM
Interesting. Sounds very plausible. I can picture this.

BTW, this post was never intended to insult anyone's intelligence. I am 52 with 25 years at FDX. This is not a dig at any seniority level. Not intended to play senior against junior etc. The age 65 thing is behind us. We need to get over that. Lets just stick to getting the next contract fixed and consider above ALL flight safety.

Huck
04-02-2010, 08:23 AM
The relationship is merely this. HGK domicile = Junior Captains. Good for the junior guy but bad for the already tainted safety record of the MD-11.


I'd put money down that the junior guy in the left seat MD11 will be a 12 year plus pilot. Probably senior to the junior guy in ANC.

Look at the aborted second Paris bid. Those guys were all senior enough to hold 757 left seat.

The world has changed since you came up. Anybody hired in the early naughties is looking at 13 years or so to narrow body captain. HKG widebody about two years after that.

And anybody hired in the mid-late naughties could be 10 years getting off the panel.

Tell us again to put it behind us. Feels great.

MaydayMark
04-02-2010, 08:36 AM
I would REALLY like to believe that Vacancy Bids and FDA bids were well thought out and well planned at our Fortune 100 company. Truth be told, I believe it's a TOTLAWTRS (turn-on-the-lights-and-watch-the-roaches-scramble) management technique. We (and the company and stock holders) deserve better :eek:

DaRaiders
04-02-2010, 08:53 AM
I'd put money down that the junior guy in the left seat MD11 will be a 12 year plus pilot. Probably senior to the junior guy in ANC.

Look at the aborted second Paris bid. Those guys were all senior enough to hold 757 left seat.

The world has changed since you came up. Anybody hired in the early naughties is looking at 13 years or so to narrow body captain. HKG widebody about two years after that.

And anybody hired in the mid-late naughties could be 10 years getting off the panel.

Tell us again to put it behind us. Feels great.

I totally agree about the captains. Look at the second HKG bid, too. Fairly senior. Right seat will go way junior again. Just my .02.

U2FDX
04-02-2010, 10:12 AM
Will HKG be MD10 or MD11 ,if it is MD10 would that not negate the Md11 issues?

jetkid
04-02-2010, 10:22 AM
It will be MD-11. Company is doing it to save money on current CBA scheduling requirements whereby a reset is needed. This would ultimately shorten layovers and save big $$$ for the company by increasing productivity.

Wildmanny
04-02-2010, 12:04 PM
I'd put money down that the junior guy in the left seat MD11 will be a 12 year plus pilot. Probably senior to the junior guy in ANC.


Really? I realize this is a different time than with the first HKG bid, but the junior captain on that one was relatively pretty junior (I believe around the 5 year point). I'd make a guess that unless the LOA is redone, there wouldn't be a major reason that it would be all the much different, unless we assume there are all those displaced Capts who are missing that paycheck and want to commute halfway around the world to get it back.

I guess we'll see...

WM

Gunter
04-02-2010, 12:26 PM
Will HKG be MD10 or MD11 ,if it is MD10 would that not negate the Md11 issues?

Doesn't matter. Might get both in the same pairing now so we should anticipate the same in HKG.

Not sure what issue you think might be negated. There will be hints at mostly MD10 flying if those are the birds sent there. But the reality is scheduling mixes up domicile flying all the time.

Good luck with any sample pairings or lines. Does 777 flying look like it did then? How 'bout HKG Airbus?

Dakota
04-02-2010, 02:56 PM
That is about the most insane thing I have heard in a while.

Alrighty then.

FR8Hauler
04-02-2010, 03:29 PM
Alrighty then.

Last time I checked we were not conducting combat operations.

Dakota
04-02-2010, 05:29 PM
Last time I checked we were not conducting combat operations.

How's that cool aid dude? I guess they better get serious about safety then!

FR8Hauler
04-02-2010, 06:20 PM
How's that cool aid dude? I guess they better get serious about safety then!

I think the trademark is Kool Aid. I don't believe that thinking you made a ridiculous statement makes me a drinker. Yes, we need to get serious about safety.

Adlerdriver
04-02-2010, 08:06 PM
Not on the MD11 they didn't, and it is not as forgiving as other jets. It's got different landing characteristics and a "bounce on landing" could be the end all. Couple that with a junior crew and the results could be catastrophic.

:rolleyes:Here we go again with the big, bad MD-11 monster.
I've spent some time flying 737s, 757s, 767s and A320s. Now I've been flying the MD-11 since 2003. They've all got quirks and unique characteristics but they’re just airplanes. Any one of them will react poorly if you put cross wind controls in at 100 feet with no power correction, let the auto-throttles come back to idle at 50’ as a sink develops and then try to put the nosewheel on the ground from 30 feet in the air after the huge bounce.

IMO, we need to stop trying to convince ourselves that the MD-11 is so hard to fly. Enough of this self-fulfilling prophecy. I flew it elsewhere for 2 years before coming to Fedex. That company operated a fleet of MDs about 75% smaller than ours but flew worldwide and had flying as challenging as ours if not more so at times. They hired guys from across the spectrum, trained them in less than 2 months and had them flying the line within 3 months of DOH. They also have plenty of Captains who got that left seat in less than 10 years. They’ve been flying them since the early 90’s too and they’ve never lost an MD-11.

Looking back on my time there, one of the most glaring differences I noticed (besides getting my type rating in 7 weeks vice 3 months), was that no one in management or training/standards ever sent the crew force a bunch of emails telling us how hard the MD-11 was to fly and land. They expected us to fly it well and didn’t waste a lot of time trying to come up with a bunch of reasons why we couldn’t. The pilots didn’t bother trying to tell each other how hard it was to fly either.

As far as juniority in HKG goes, jetkid, you’re painting with a pretty broad brush. Just because someone is junior at Fedex, doesn’t necessarily mean they are inexperienced or unable to handle the demands of the MD-11 in HKG. I know it’s hard to believe, but many of our junior pilots actually had other more challenging flying jobs BEFORE coming to Fedex. They might actually be more prepared for the challenge of HKG than some senior pilot who’s been sitting on DFW O&Bs or their hometown layover for the last decade.
Experience is nice, but it’s not the whole enchilada. There needs to be some hands to go along with all those years in the seat and that ain’t an automatic thing just because someone has X years with the company.

MaxKts
04-02-2010, 08:31 PM
Thanks Adler

I agree with you 100%

starlifterplt
04-02-2010, 08:39 PM
Thank you Alderdriver. I can't agree more. I was a MAC pilot flying C-141s to 7 continents for 20 years and was an international heavy captain there when I was 25. That was much more challenging than what we've got at FedEX...I've only been at FedEx for 5 1/2 years and that wouldn't be senior enough for some for me to be a successful captain. The MD-11 isn't that hard to fly, you just have to pay attention to it, like any other airplane. And being a FedEx captain isn't that tough to figure out.

A guy who's been here for much longer isn't automatically better qualified for anything due to his seniority.

MrSuupafly
04-02-2010, 09:56 PM
I usually don't post on this board much, but I had you let you know Adler that I agree with you 100%.

skypine27
04-03-2010, 01:33 AM
I usually don't post on this board much, but I had you let you know Adler that I agree with you 100%.

Me too. Hardest plane I've ever flown. And that includes two lunar landings!

FR8Hauler
04-03-2010, 08:28 AM
Well said Alder. It is just not a big deal. If you bid stuff where you only fly the jet once a month or less don't expect to be the ace of the base. Same is true with any airplane, car, bicycle...

990Convair
04-03-2010, 12:06 PM
....why are we crashing airplanes then? We have one of the worst safety records in recent years and I'm curious to know why this is?

Looking all the way back to the 747 crash (Tigers/Fedex) we seem to have gotten away with band-aid fixes until our most recent loss of lives accident.

It's time to figure this out.

HazCan
04-03-2010, 12:25 PM
Well said Alder. It is just not a big deal. If you bid stuff where you only fly the jet once a month or less don't expect to be the ace of the base. Same is true with any airplane, car, bicycle...

So what do you do when you have no choice but being on reserve and the only thing you get are RFO trips? This is a huge problem up in ANC.

FR8Hauler
04-03-2010, 12:30 PM
So what do you do when you have no choice but being on reserve and the only thing you get are RFO trips? This is a huge problem up in ANC.

You are preaching to the choir. The reserve situation is out of control. My point is if you fly the airplane it is not that hard.

HazCan
04-03-2010, 10:19 PM
You are preaching to the choir. The reserve situation is out of control. My point is if you fly the airplane it is not that hard.

I'll agree to that. If you fly it regularly, it's not too shabby. I just wish I had that comfort level all the time. Cheers!

AFW_MD11
04-03-2010, 11:58 PM
sin....why are we crashing airplanes then? We have one of the worst safety records in recent years and I'm curious to know why this is?

Looking all the way back to the 747 crash (Tigers/Fedex) we seem to have gotten away with band-aid fixes until our most recent loss of lives accident.

It's time to figure this out.

Allow me answer your question with another question....

(I don't know the answer to my question either)

What is our overall accident/incident RATE compared to, say, frequency of takeoffs/landings?

Is it within the statistical average rates for all MAJOR airlines or all CARGO airlines that operate worldwide? or is it so far outta whack (statistically) that it is a HUGE/glaring problem that needs to be somehow "fixed" yesterday?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MD11 isn't the only airplane that we've "crashed" (or hull loss or major damage) here at FedEx, is it? (727, MD10, Airbus?)

And...FedEx isn't the only airline that has "crashed" MD11's either, are we? even recently (Shanghai on takeoff)

so.....I don't know/have the stats, but maybe all our MD11 "problems" that this first-time-poster/highly experienced/has-it-all-figured-out "jetkid" is blaming on our FedEx MD11 crews' "juniority" and "lack of experience on the jet" aren't even significant (statistically)

(with all due respect to FX80 crew and their families - of course that single event is/was significant to them)

JetJocF14
04-04-2010, 06:31 AM
....why are we crashing airplanes then? We have one of the worst safety records in recent years and I'm curious to know why this is?

Looking all the way back to the 747 crash (Tigers/Fedex) we seem to have gotten away with band-aid fixes until our most recent loss of lives accident.

It's time to figure this out.

Grinding our crews into the dirt with little time to rest does not help. Interesting in each one of our accidents the Company never seems to take any blame or ask themselves what can we do to help our crews. Please not another procedure from our leader sippiping coffee at Starbucks writing emails while our crews are gutting it out in the trenches...... JMHO

hyperone
04-04-2010, 11:47 AM
sin

Allow me answer your question with another question....

(I don't know the answer to my question either)

What is our overall accident/incident RATE compared to, say, frequency of takeoffs/landings?

Is it within the statistical average rates for all MAJOR airlines or all CARGO airlines that operate worldwide? or is it so far outta whack (statistically) that it is a HUGE/glaring problem that needs to be somehow "fixed" yesterday?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MD11 isn't the only airplane that we've "crashed" (or hull loss or major damage) here at FedEx, is it? (727, MD10, Airbus?)

And...FedEx isn't the only airline that has "crashed" MD11's either, are we? even recently (Shanghai on takeoff)

so.....I don't know/have the stats, but maybe all our MD11 "problems" that this first-time-poster/highly experienced/has-it-all-figured-out "jetkid" is blaming on our FedEx MD11 crews' "juniority" and "lack of experience on the jet" aren't even significant (statistically)

(with all due respect to FX80 crew and their families - of course that single event is/was significant to them)

AFW, according to JP, our new Safety Managing Director, Fedex has the worst accident and safety record of any airline in the world. So yes, it is "statistically significant", and it is a "HUGE" problem that needs to be fixed. I'm not sure what the causes or solutions are, but there's no denying our safety record is atrocious.

HazCan
04-04-2010, 12:18 PM
Grinding our crews into the dirt with little time to rest does not help. Interesting in each one of our accidents the Company never seems to take any blame or ask themselves what can we do to help our crews. Please not another procedure from our leader sippiping coffee at Starbucks writing emails while our crew are gutting it out in the trenches...... JMHO

Amen brother, Amen!!

FDXFLYR
04-04-2010, 04:16 PM
You would be better equipped to know the problems, possible solutions and be part of the solution if the company had shared the results of the Enders safety audit with us. But management chose instead to hide it from their own employees--especially the only ones whose lives are at risk--and we all just sat back and let it happen. The day after the company announced they were withholding the results of that report, our MEC should have stopped flying and we should have all followed in lock step. Take us to court for an illegal job action? Maybe, but management would never have followed through with it because they could not have mitigated the bashing they would have taken in the press.

skypine27
04-04-2010, 08:08 PM
....why are we crashing airplanes then? We have one of the worst safety records in recent years and I'm curious to know why this is?

Fatigue. We have the worst pairing of any airline I've flown for.

And FedEX is number 5 for me.

iarapilot
04-05-2010, 02:09 AM
Fatigue. We have the worst pairing of any airline I've flown for.

And FedEX is number 5 for me.

Man, you really get around. ;) Joke lang!

Lifizgud
04-05-2010, 06:09 AM
And the pairings seem to be getting worse. No matter how you try to get rest, seems like the beating is worse. Wish I had a switch I could throw to sleep sometimes...

Flaps50
04-05-2010, 08:26 AM
I've never been as chronically fatigued as I feel after working here for a number of years now flying the Mad Dog international. I remember when I checked out before the contract thinking that the trips were manageable with the layovers we had, but after they turned up the optimizer and trimmed the layovers to get the cost down on the international trips it was light night and day fatigue wise. I remember thinking virtually overnight how much more tired I was after they implemented the shorter turns and added more 24 hours layovers in the March of '07 time frame. The problem is not acute fatigue for one pairing, but the accumulative effects after months and years of doing this stuff.

ptarmigan
04-05-2010, 08:50 AM
All this talk of fatigue is fine and good, but what to the numbers say, do they support it? How do the schedules compare to our competitor, UPS, and similar carriers? How about the international carriers, such as Emirates?

How much flying were the accident crews doing before their events? Were they off for a significant period of time? Are crews that are flying more having more, or less events?

All of this discussion sounds good, but so does a lot of the stuff that comes out of Washington politicians, until you start to think about it.

Not saying it is or isn't, just that all is not always as it appears at first glance.

steel
04-05-2010, 09:29 AM
Please be careful to compare apples to apples. What our scheduling team does/did may be far different than what other compainies do/did. In other words, what we are/were used to doing may be substantially different from what others are/were used to doing. Fatigue is a factor here. Twenty-four hour turns aren't helping anyone internationally. Asia flights Eastbound aren't helping either.

But what do I know? I love the job, but I'd like it to be safer.

JetJocF14
04-05-2010, 10:13 AM
One thing I believe is that we might have done some of this ourselves. How many times have I heard I can't sleep in 24 hours I prefer either 18 or 36 hours. Then the company says OK lets try 18 or less. Figure a 1 hour show before departure, one hour drive, 1 hour for @hit, shower, and shave. Now that 18 dosen't look like 18 any more. The best your body can do is to shift its internal clock about 4 hours in a 24 hour rest cycle. Just thinking out load.

ptarmigan
04-05-2010, 10:24 AM
Please be careful to compare apples to apples. What our scheduling team does/did may be far different than what other compainies do/did. In other words, what we are/were used to doing may be substantially different from what others are/were used to doing. Fatigue is a factor here. Twenty-four hour turns aren't helping anyone internationally. Asia flights Eastbound aren't helping either.

But what do I know? I love the job, but I'd like it to be safer.

Fatigue is a factor, but is it more of a factor, what is the effect of that factor, and how do all the various issues impact each other? Just asking the question. It is easy to point to it, but there are a lot of other factors. For example, someone says that they are more fatigued here than their previous job. Well, they are also OLDER now, than they were. How much is it the schedule and how much is the age? I don't know, just giving one example of how we need to look at all the factors before deciding that fatigue is the cause of our safety record. We could miss something major by deciding that fatigue is our scapegoat here without further research.

Lifizgud
04-05-2010, 12:08 PM
Well, as a chronic RA holder, I can tell you that I've been right at RLG as long as I can remember, and since the normal "commuter" line is 5 days on x3 for the month, I can tell you that I get trips that habitually have a 24-hr layover, back to MEM for your "off for 10.5", then called again for another, and finally an AM O&B or 6HR trip to finish. The result is a continuous day/night swap, all for 8-9 hrs leveling, then back for a repeat. After 5 days you'll see maybe 22-24 hrs leveling for 5 full days of work. Do this all 3 times and magically, you work all 15 days and JUST reach RLG. According to my taxes, I made about 12% less money last year, but I've been working 50% more. I can honestly say I'm a lot more beat after this schedule, but hey! I'm being rewarded with less coin to take home...at least I still have a job...

golfandfly
04-05-2010, 01:57 PM
Ptar,
I am not telling you that fatigue was or was not a factor with Fedex80. Let's not base this discussion on this one incident. I'll bet there were many fatigue related incidents that don't result in hull losses. Altitude deviations, runway incursions, etc., occur and don't make the news.

I can tell you I am much more fatigued than before, and have noticed the other pilots feel the same. Fedex is squeezing about all they can out of us these days. This is just my personal observation....

FDXFLYR
04-05-2010, 08:57 PM
We don't hear guys calling in fatigued, why is that if the schedules are worse than they were pre 4A2b? Just talking about fatigue won't change anything, only when it costs the company money when a crew calls in fatigued, will something actually change.

meatloaf
04-06-2010, 04:25 AM
Fatigue is a factor, but is it more of a factor, what is the effect of that factor, and how do all the various issues impact each other? Just asking the question. It is easy to point to it, but there are a lot of other factors. For example, someone says that they are more fatigued here than their previous job. Well, they are also OLDER now, than they were. How much is it the schedule and how much is the age? I don't know, just giving one example of how we need to look at all the factors before deciding that fatigue is the cause of our safety record. We could miss something major by deciding that fatigue is our scapegoat here without further research.

Compare a bidpack from a few years ago--any airplane, any domicile--to a current one. Notice the shorter layovers, more legs per day, and the optimized schedules.

The Optimizer was designed to save airlines money. That's fine and reasonable since most airlines are daytime operators. We are not, and that cost savings model is apparently more important than our safety record, NASA sleep studies that no longer exist, or the concerns of the masses that actually fly this stuff.

If you can't see fatigue as a major issue, you are either very senior, retired, or a management plant.

2005 Blues
04-06-2010, 07:56 AM
I know pilots see fatigue as a serious issue. The problem is, the company won't see fatigue as a serious issue as long as the freight continues to move on time. Until they see a statistically significant uptick in fatigue calls, there is little incentive for them to turn down the optimizer.

Friends don't let friends fly tired . . .

NTSing
04-06-2010, 06:45 PM
IMO our company is being penny smart but pound foolish. Our schedules are continually going down hill monthly. They are saving money in the short run but pushing us hard not realizing, or caring, that we're not robots. I can tell you I used to fly 10 legs a day at a commuter with no auto pilot, no electric trim and reduced rest (8 hrs) over nights. As hard as that was what I'm doing now is sometimes more difficult. The constant strain of circadian disruption at work (how many crossings and time zones was that) coupled with bad schedules and trying to shift back when you get home only to become discombobulated again returning to work is very difficult. Yes, we're all a little older now but I am dead tired most of the time out on a trip. The company needs to turn the optimizer down and realize the danger of what they're doing to the guys on the pointy end of the stick. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it comes to mind.

2005 Blues
04-06-2010, 08:15 PM
I agree with you, brother. We all do. But until it makes $en$e (or cents) to the company, they aren't gonna de-optimize our schedules just to make our lives easier. That's why fatigue calls are so important.

MX727
04-06-2010, 09:03 PM
NASA sleep studies that no longer exist

Careful what you wish for. The NASA sleep study recommended more of a 3 on 2-3 off schedule to prevent fatigue. I'm fairly certain the commuter wouldn't like that one bit.

FLMD11CAPT
04-06-2010, 09:33 PM
C'mon fella's...........lets be serious..........everyone knows that at Big Orange and Purple it's all about safety..........until it's about money......then it's all about money...........:(:confused:

solinator
04-06-2010, 09:55 PM
On the FedEx MD-11 crash, does anyone know this pilot?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omgazSExHtM&feature=related

He says a lot of stuff about how the MD-11 has a smaller horizontal stabilizer, etc., (minute 2:35 of the video) and on landing, the plane has reduced "authority" on pitch. I am not sure what... he is trying to say... No mean to add flame to the thread, but a previous post got me interested in this particular crash, and went looking for a video. Seeing that crash made me want to throw up. :( (RIP Flight 80 crew)

I love the MD-11--not that I've flown one--it's such an impressive looking plane. It's hard to understand why some say that it has characteristics that make it "hard to fly"... Does that mean hard to land? Does it have a specific roll, or pitch behavior at slower speeds? Do the engines not help? And for my own ignorance, is it "tail heavy"?

asiabased
04-07-2010, 12:47 AM
If most airplanes have a safety envelope the size of a dinner plate then the MD11 safety envelope is the size of a saucer. If you stay in the center of the envelope (particularly in the landing phase) then the airplane is easy to fly and land with nice characteristics. Once you venture outside the envelope it becomes terribly unforgiving. Most pilots stay right in the center of the envelope with immediate corrections back to the center when things change. If you fly near the edge of the envelope without correcting, sooner or later you're going to get bit.

990Convair
04-07-2010, 06:18 AM
The "11" was the second easiest transport category aircraft I have flown behind the 757 which is like having training wheels on your plane. This whole "dinner plate saucer" talk is nuts. It's very easy to land, very mechanical and similar to a heavy 727-200 in the flare. One thing that makes the "11" tough is the mission. Two guys, flying metric China on L888 trans-Asian with difficult sleep patterns is a challenge.

Also, while there have been isolated accidents at other smaller carriers (2 that I know of, china and the recent Russian carrier) there have been NO accidents at airlines that flew them FOR YEARS - AA, DL, UPS, Varig, Finnair, Swissair, World, Lufthansa...etc (elec fire notwithstanding). The problem, I believe is the stark difference (not difficulty) between the MD-11 and the MD-10. The problem here is the common type. We are the only airline when compared to the aforementioned that have guys bouncing from MD10 to MD11. You have folks that may:

1. Fly an MD-11 international for years (due to high seniority and Int'l preference) then get drafted for a domestic MD-10-10 trip to Denver or SLC in Wx having not seen a -10 for eons.

2. Conversely folks that can't hold international and are very proficient in the MD10's feel getting launched internationally in a heavy MD11 that they last flew long ago.

3. RFO's or junior Capt's that have flown neither for quite some time and have developed NO FEEL.

So, if our new VP of flt training/stds is watching, here's one line guy's recommendation:

4 month international bid cycles that are posted and bid on. The successful bidders will ONLY fly MD11's, period. Upon successful bid award, you come to MEM or ANC and get two hours of bounce and go's in the sim, no jeopardy, and paid for by the company as training on a day off. Snapshots from the marker inbound with every weight, CG, and wind imaginable with the instructor highlighting differences. When you rotate off the 4 month international bid and go back to domestic, you do the same thing in the MD10 sim.

The problem is the DIFFERENCE between the beasts coupled with our system form and scheduling history.

ptarmigan
04-07-2010, 07:46 AM
Not that simple, the crews who had the issues were generally not flying both fleet types. Fatigue also is not the predictor of problems you might expect.

The easy, obvious answers being stated here aren't supported by data. Been to RGS this year?

pipe
04-07-2010, 08:08 AM
The "11" was the second easiest transport category aircraft I have flown behind the 757 which is like having training wheels on your plane. This whole "dinner plate saucer" talk is nuts. It's very easy to land, very mechanical and similar to a heavy 727-200 in the flare. One thing that makes the "11" tough is the mission. Two guys, flying metric China on L888 trans-Asian with difficult sleep patterns is a challenge.

Also, while there have been isolated accidents at other smaller carriers (2 that I know of, china and the recent Russian carrier) there have been NO accidents at airlines that flew them FOR YEARS - AA, DL, UPS, Varig, Finnair, Swissair, World, Lufthansa...etc (elec fire notwithstanding). The problem, I believe is the stark difference (not difficulty) between the MD-11 and the MD-10. The problem here is the common type. We are the only airline when compared to the aforementioned that have guys bouncing from MD10 to MD11. You have folks that may:

1. Fly an MD-11 international for years (due to high seniority and Int'l preference) then get drafted for a domestic MD-10-10 trip to Denver or SLC in Wx having not seen a -10 for eons.

2. Conversely folks that can't hold international and are very proficient in the MD10's feel getting launched internationally in a heavy MD11 that they last flew long ago.

3. RFO's or junior Capt's that have flown neither for quite some time and have developed NO FEEL.

So, if our new VP of flt training/stds is watching, here's one line guy's recommendation:

4 month international bid cycles that are posted and bid on. The successful bidders will ONLY fly MD11's, period. Upon successful bid award, you come to MEM or ANC and get two hours of bounce and go's in the sim, no jeopardy, and paid for by the company as training on a day off. Snapshots from the marker inbound with every weight, CG, and wind imaginable with the instructor highlighting differences. When you rotate off the 4 month international bid and go back to domestic, you do the same thing in the MD10 sim.

The problem is the DIFFERENCE between the beasts coupled with our system form and scheduling history.

You're not making sense. It's MD-11's that are crashing. If the common type is the problem, then why aren't guys from ANC crashing MD-10's when they do one leg in an MD-10 every six months? Because one airplane is more dangerous than the other - period. Data is data. You need only compare accident rates. It's abnormally high per flight hour on the 11. Now, factor in that it flies the long haul and evaluate the data per "operation". Off the charts.

You are the only pilot I have ever heard compare it to a 727. The thing is, you can dribble the 727 down the runway, pound it into the concrete, land it in a crab - downwind gear first, and then taxi to the blocks. Do any of those individually in an -11 and chances are that somewhere in the sequence a main gear strut collapses or a wing spar fails and you're on fire and on your back.

I ain't making this stuff up - you can read about it all over the net. Can the airplane be flown safely - of course. Is it as good (safe) a design as other airplanes in its class - absolutely not. Clean maneuver speeds of 290+ are not indicative of good design.

PIPE

Laughing_Jakal
04-07-2010, 09:49 AM
Clean maneuver speeds of 290+ are not indicative of good design.

PIPE

Unless....of course it is a T-38! :D

MoneyShot
04-07-2010, 10:17 AM
I laugh when I see people saying that the MD-11 is harder to fly than any other widebody out there. Especially when everyone at FedEx comes from challenging backgrounds of some sort. UPS doesn't have these problems, do they? And please let Flight 80 rest in peace. It's a challenging job we all do and conditions got the best of two of the best.

Cargo Pirate
04-07-2010, 11:15 AM
It is amusing the way we train, to a very low level of math/engineering.
The MD-11 has the highest approach speed of any 121 airplane. High MVsquared = more energy=harder to land.
If you can find a lift diagram you will see that the MD-11 lift curve drops off drastically at just a few know slower than approach speed. If you lose speed due to any reason, your vector heads down. Gear, wing spar, LSAS, tail strikes, elevator size, and other issues make recovering from a big sink different from other airplanes.
I do believe we have over-simplified landing technique and there is good info being put out now by standards and RGS.

The Walrus
04-07-2010, 11:32 AM
It is amusing the way we train, to a very low level of math/engineering.
The MD-11 has the highest approach speed of any 121 airplane. High MVsquared = more energy=harder to land.
If you can find a lift diagram you will see that the MD-11 lift curve drops off drastically at just a few know slower than approach speed. If you lose speed due to any reason, your vector heads down. Gear, wing spar, LSAS, tail strikes, elevator size, and other issues make recovering from a big sink different from other airplanes.
I do believe we have over-simplified landing technique and there is good info being put out now by standards and RGS.

So if you are on speed at say 100 ft, and then add crosswind controls just as the aircraft chops the power at 50 ft, you probably will find yourself in a world of hurt?

Cargo Pirate
04-07-2010, 11:48 AM
"So if you are on speed at say 100 ft, and then add crosswind controls just as the aircraft chops the power at 50 ft, you probably will find yourself in a world of hurt?"

Yes, that would be bad.
By procedure we are supposed to input crosswind controls before 100 ft. but I have found myself behind the airplane a few times.
Crosswind controls affect lift in a big way on a high wing loaded aircraft.

990Convair
04-07-2010, 12:19 PM
"So if you are on speed at say 100 ft, and then add crosswind controls just as the aircraft chops the power at 50 ft, you probably will find yourself in a world of hurt?"

Yes, that would be bad.
By procedure we are supposed to input crosswind controls before 100 ft. but I have found myself behind the airplane a few times.
Crosswind controls affect lift in a big way on a high wing loaded aircraft.

Which is why our technique of adding ZERO knots until you get over a 20KT Xwind adds to the problem. So, for a 30KT Xwind you are only adding 1/2 stdy state, or 5 kts to a jet that only uses 5kts above Vref? That is a problem in my book. You are right, in any aircraft, you cross-control, you add drag to the equation and with just 5kts to play with and a reliance on auto-thottles, you could be in trouble quickly. I'll take some extra knots like the good old days, you know, for Grandma, the kids, the dog....

990Convair
04-07-2010, 12:36 PM
You're not making sense. It's MD-11's that are crashing. If the common type is the problem, then why aren't guys from ANC crashing MD-10's when they do one leg in an MD-10 every six months? Because one airplane is more dangerous than the other - period. Data is data. You need only compare accident rates. It's abnormally high per flight hour on the 11. Now, factor in that it flies the long haul and evaluate the data per "operation". Off the charts.

You are the only pilot I have ever heard compare it to a 727. The thing is, you can dribble the 727 down the runway, pound it into the concrete, land it in a crab - downwind gear first, and then taxi to the blocks. Do any of those individually in an -11 and chances are that somewhere in the sequence a main gear strut collapses or a wing spar fails and you're on fire and on your back.

I ain't making this stuff up - you can read about it all over the net. Can the airplane be flown safely - of course. Is it as good (safe) a design as other airplanes in its class - absolutely not. Clean maneuver speeds of 290+ are not indicative of good design.

PIPE

Pipe,

It's you that isn't making sense. What's the Vclean speed for a loaded B747? How about for a loaded DC-10-30 or -40? Over 250KTS, but that has ZERO to do with it.

You must not have been listening when they told us WHY MD11's break on landing. As much as you'd like to think it's the approach speed or a design flaw in a strut or a spar, you're wrong. It's not a hard landing either. It's how you RECOVER from a hard landing, or not. The EWR crash and NRT crash are because the elevator was unloaded during a bounce recovery. Period. Quit trying to make it appear that the jet is made of balsa, it isn't.

Unload the wing of a 480,000 pound ANYTHING and hit terra-firma on one gear and I'll bet it breaks too, unless the wing goes first.

ptarmigan
04-07-2010, 03:58 PM
Which is why our technique of adding ZERO knots until you get over a 20KT Xwind adds to the problem. So, for a 30KT Xwind you are only adding 1/2 stdy state, or 5 kts to a jet that only uses 5kts above Vref? That is a problem in my book. You are right, in any aircraft, you cross-control, you add drag to the equation and with just 5kts to play with and a reliance on auto-thottles, you could be in trouble quickly. I'll take some extra knots like the good old days, you know, for Grandma, the kids, the dog....

Don't be too sure. Too much energy can be bad as well and cause unexpected outcomes in all the areas mentioned.

Adlerdriver
04-07-2010, 04:47 PM
Yes, that would be bad.
By procedure we are supposed to input crosswind controls before 100 ft. but I have found myself behind the airplane a few times.
Crosswind controls affect lift in a big way on a high wing loaded aircraft.

Which is another can of worms. Cross-wind controls in before you enter the flare. Sure would be nice if we had the choice on that one.

How many times have you had a cross-wind drop off to nothing in the last 200 feet. But we're forced to induce a significant amount of drag, change power settings and aircraft attitude in the last 200 feet all because there may or may not be a cross-wind by the time we get to the touchdown zone.

This is supposedly because someone thinks it's too hard to kick the nose around and drop the wing in the flare? Not really.

ptarmigan
04-07-2010, 05:10 PM
Cross controls at any altitude are a non-issue, just add POWER when you do it!

Albief15
04-07-2010, 05:26 PM
Which is another can of worms. Cross-wind controls in before you enter the flare. Sure would be nice if we had the choice on that one.

How many times have you had a cross-wind drop off to nothing in the last 200 feet. But we're forced to induce a significant amount of drag, change power settings and aircraft attitude in the last 200 feet all because there may or may not be a cross-wind by the time we get to the touchdown zone.

This is supposedly because someone thinks it's too hard to kick the nose around and drop the wing in the flare? Not really.


My friend Adler,

Like you, I sort of thought this was wierd too for a while. Then it hit me... We ain't single seat guys anymore (dammit), and this is not for the benefit of the pilot flying (say...for instance..the FO). This is there so the P-NF (say...the poor b-stard who signs for the jet) doesn't have to GUESS if you are going to save it in the flare or not. If you nail the X-wind by zeroing out the drift at 200 feet, odds are if the crosswinds diminish as you approach the ground you can always take the amount of rudder and aileron OUT. The result...if you do that like a monkey and don't reduce power, is simply an increase in airspeed and a slightly long landing/float. By the same token, the courtesy also works for the FO, as you aren't guessing if these fine gentleman (or lady) on the left will "save" it at 20 feet with enough rudder kicked in end game.

Conversely, failure to put in the right corrections, then trying to fix it end game, can result in a sink/side drift in the last 50 feet that the PNF needs to analyze, assess, and correct...all in a VERY short period. 99% of the time the other guy nails it...hell...we are all solid pilots, right?

The problem, however, is that "oh...*******" one percent situation. Better to know at 200 - 100 feet the other pilot is NOT getting it done verses finding out end game.

By the way--wonder where this epiphany of understanding came from? Anyone who was an RTU/FTU IP and rode around in a back seat realized there were times when even with a high performance fighter, there were a couple spots a student could put you (if you let them) that were close to unrecoverable. Some of the most solid F-15 drivers I ever knew had students scape tails, drop in landings, or in the worst case (a solo student) turn off a high speed too fast and put a jet on its side (your new Sigma Chi name: Jowler!). The whole 200-100 foot thing would not be an issue if we got to fly the MD-11 solo. We don't. So--it allows us to jump into a cockpit with a dude/dudette we've never met, know nothing about, and hopefully still have a few extra heartbeats to say "go around!" if it looks dorked up. Doing IND-ORD turns with the same pilot all week....kick it out in the flare I say. Showing up in Sydney after a 10 hour flight facing 25 knot crosswinds with with someone I've never met before? In that case, the 100-200 foot buffer helps me help them...

Just my two cents. I'm new. I reserve the right to still be AFU.

FDXFLYR
04-07-2010, 06:52 PM
MAC/AMC taught big plane drivers to feed in crosswind controls only after landing was assured, which was interpreted to mean wheels over the runway. I still do that today in the MD-11 and it works just fine, I just have to tell the captain before hand so he/she knows what to expect.

I know this is not what the company wants but then, they're the same group of nuts who told us to operate in the highest mode of automation and what happened? Just as the ole' Tiger guys in ANC have been preaching all along, our flying skills deminished until today the company policy now is to do exactly what the Tiger guys have been saying all along.

skypine27
04-07-2010, 11:00 PM
Then it hit me... We ain't single seat guys anymore (dammit), and this is not for the benefit of the pilot flying (say...for instance..the FO). This is there so the P-NF (say...the poor b-stard who signs for the jet) doesn't have to GUESS if you are going to save it in the flare or not.

Albie, question for you as I don't see it that way....

The Airbus and 757 fleet are taught the industry standard, "keep the crab in until the flare then put in the correction", method. I presume the 777 fleet is as well (someone on it can let us know).

Only the -11 is taught the strange, C-172, start the slip at 200 AGL thing. So I don't believe its a PF/PNF thing?

(But isn't this thread about how "great" an -11 base in HKG under the current LOA would be?)

Albief15
04-08-2010, 03:58 AM
I'm new. I reserve the right to still be AFU.

Please see above :D

Adlerdriver
04-08-2010, 05:27 AM
My friend Adler,

Like you, I sort of thought this was wierd too for a while. Then it hit me... We ain't single seat guys anymore (dammit), and this is not for the benefit of the pilot flying (say...for instance..the FO). This is there so the P-NF (say...the poor b-stard who signs for the jet) doesn't have to GUESS if you are going to save it in the flare or not.

Nahhh. No offense, but I don’t buy that. He doesn’t have to guess if I’m going to hand fly the departure or approach, use auto-brakes, 50 flaps or any of the other options we encounter daily. That’s because we brief those things or use our standards. How we choose to land in a cross-wind should be no different. Have a standard and then brief the other guy if you plan to do something different.


If you nail the X-wind by zeroing out the drift at 200 feet, odds are if the crosswinds diminish as you approach the ground you can always take the amount of rudder and aileron OUT..

Again, I have to differ. You can slip an aircraft in a no wind situation. Now, maybe I’m the one AFU but once I get those cross-controls in, I have a much harder time getting feedback on the cross-wind. Also, using your “benefit of the PM” logic, is he now going to be wondering if you’re going to get the unnecessary x-wind controls out? Sounds like adjustments like that in the flare might be just as challenging and “fraught with peril” as just planning on kicking it out if the flare to start with. ‘Cuz maybe, just maybe, there won’t be a cross-wind by the time you get to the flare. Why make a bunch of changes you won’t need and have to un-do? Just so the guy to your left isn’t wondering about something you could have told him about at top of descent? Albie, did you give someone else your login password? ;)

SabreDriver
04-08-2010, 05:42 AM
Fatigue also is not the predictor of problems you might expect.



Oh really.... I would respectfully disagree. There is plenty of factual research out there that directly contradicts your statement.

But like Albie, I reserve the right to be AFU.

SD

ATLCFI
04-08-2010, 08:22 AM
Albie, question for you as I don't see it that way....

The Airbus and 757 fleet are taught the industry standard, "keep the crab in until the flare then put in the correction", method. I presume the 777 fleet is as well (someone on it can let us know).

Only the -11 is taught the strange, C-172, start the slip at 200 AGL thing. So I don't believe its a PF/PNF thing?

(But isn't this thread about how "great" an -11 base in HKG under the current LOA would be?)

I flew the Airbus and we had the option to use the crab or slip method. Same with 757 which I'm currently flying.

It depends on what you flew before getting here as to which method you'll probably use. In my squadron in the military the wing down top rudder was a standard. It allows you to line the longitudinal axes of the plane to the centerline of the runway to detect early the amount of wind correction that is needed.

Either way its up to the individual to master it and communicate their technique to the other pilot.

NoHaz
04-08-2010, 08:42 AM
Either way its up to the individual to master it and communicate their technique to the other pilot.


Not in the 11. Any crab is debriefed as how not to do it.

Haywood JB
04-08-2010, 09:00 AM
I may be mistaken, but in the Bus, 72, and 75, for the FO's at least, they wanted to see a crosswind input no later than 50 feet. Not so for the captain(which leads to Albie's comment of not knowing if my captain is going to pull a x-wind correction out at the last second!)

More cents...or nonsense...

HJB

Huck
04-08-2010, 01:29 PM
Why make a bunch of changes you won’t need and have to un-do?

Because that's what works best in the sim.....

asiabased
04-08-2010, 03:28 PM
I was told in md11 training we put the cross controls in at 200 feet to give the autothrottles time to react.

ptarmigan
04-08-2010, 04:05 PM
I was told in md11 training we put the cross controls in at 200 feet to give the autothrottles time to react.

How about just putting the power where it needs to be and not waiting for the automation to figure it out?

Adlerdriver
04-08-2010, 04:43 PM
I was told in md11 training we put the cross controls in at 200 feet to give the autothrottles time to react.

Well, considering the newest effort to reform the auto-throttle cripples(you know who you are) in our midst - a.k.a. "flying pure" and avoiding mixed mode automation - I'd say that reasoning is no longer valid.

asiabased
04-08-2010, 06:09 PM
Well, considering the newest effort to reform the auto-throttle cripples(you know who you are) in our midst - a.k.a. "flying pure" and avoiding mixed mode automation - I'd say that reasoning is no longer valid.

I agree. I'm just passing on what I was told years back in training.

Daniel Larusso
04-09-2010, 09:39 AM
It never ceases to amaze how we've taken what is just a simple part of flying for pilots with experience & turned it into something needs to be thought about/analyzed. Personally, I don't care what you do, just do it right which for me would be what ur comfortable with. That's how other airlines teach it. We've somehow managed to make X-winds into a red-tab procedure that needs to be briefed starting at dinner, and only a Captain can do in the company's mind. Like others have said, I think we'd better off if we just flew the plane, stop making everything into a collossal threat requiring a procedure. Instead we'll hear that our problems are because of sloppy ties....

vschip
04-09-2010, 02:16 PM
Instead we'll hear that our problems are because of sloppy ties....

Or our inappropriate use of the parka...:rolleyes:

HazCan
04-09-2010, 02:42 PM
Or our inappropriate use of the parka...:rolleyes:

Well done, LMAO!!

MX727
04-09-2010, 02:48 PM
But you'll look super sporty with the "blouse/jacket" hanging out below the parka.

skypine27
04-09-2010, 06:30 PM
But you'll look super sporty with the "blouse/jacket" hanging out below the parka.

Zero cracks me up even though he's not trying to. Genuis at work.

Busboy
04-11-2010, 06:21 AM
...The EWR crash and NRT crash are because the elevator was unloaded during a bounce recovery. Period. Quit trying to make it appear that the jet is made of balsa, it isn't.

Unload the wing of a 480,000 pound ANYTHING and hit terra-firma on one gear and I'll bet it breaks too, unless the wing goes first.

Care to give a few examples? Just off the top of my head, I can't think of another widebody having a wing break off during ANY landing. And, I'm sure that the MD-11 is not the only aircraft that has had the pilot "unload the elevator" after a bounce, in the last 40 years.:confused:

DaRaiders
04-11-2010, 06:51 AM
Care to give a few examples? Just off the top of my head, I can't think of another widebody having a wing break off during ANY landing. And, I'm sure that the MD-11 is not the only aircraft that has had the pilot "unload the elevator" after a bounce, in the last 40 years.:confused:

It's true. Pilots of Boeing and Airbus designed aircraft have never, in the history of aviation, unloaded the elevator after a bounce. That is why the wings on those planes never break off.



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