Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




Makanakis
09-06-2016, 10:18 PM
Just preliminary but still nice to read:

UAE Civil Aviation Authority releases preliminary report on Emirates EK521 accident (http://www.aviationtribune.com/safety/uae-civil-aviation-authority-releases-preliminary-report-emirates-ek521-accident/)


Kapitanleutnant
09-07-2016, 12:27 AM
At EK, the culture there is to make you a robot of the automation. They seem to take out the airmanship equation to flying.

They are required under penalty of a warning letter... to turn on the autopilot by 10,000, and below that on descent. Mandatory!

The RAAS system is to be followed like the bible. It blurted out, "Long Landing" and even with 9,000 ft remaining to land, as I recall, it is a requirement to go around at EK.

Anyways, rumour around the expat world is that these guys have been asked to resign. Typical of Emirates... Shoot first, ask questions later.

K
Former EK Robot/Part number

FlyingSlowly
09-14-2016, 08:43 AM
Doesn't it say something about fundamental airmanship more than automation...

Yes I understand, automation reliance has caused issues...easy to blame the airline culture or the SOPs. But this is different.

What is the first thing taught from day one of flight training...especially if you have an instructor who teaches go-arounds BEFORE teaching landings? TO/GA power (or full throttle, as the case may be)...everything else second.

This terrible accident and the one at SFO both could have been so much worse, so I wonder if they will get the attention they need.

They both speak volumes about serious gaps in fundamental flying skills in some pilots at some foreign carriers...in a way that goes very far beyond a degradation in skills from over-reliance upon automation.

We need AVIATORS, not BUTTON-PUSHERS in flight decks around the world...whether its a Cessna 172 or a B777.

This is one of those issues that I fear will only get worse, given the surging global demand for pilots...


UBA727
09-14-2016, 12:56 PM
Doesn't it say something about fundamental airmanship more than automation...

Yes I understand, automation reliance has caused issues...easy to blame the airline culture or the SOPs. But this is different.

What is the first thing taught from day one of flight training...especially if you have an instructor who teaches go-arounds BEFORE teaching landings? TO/GA power (or full throttle, as the case may be)...everything else second.

This terrible accident and the one at SFO both could have been so much worse, so I wonder if they will get the attention they need.

They both speak volumes about serious gaps in fundamental flying skills in some pilots at some foreign carriers...in a way that goes very far beyond a degradation in skills from over-reliance upon automation.

We need AVIATORS, not BUTTON-PUSHERS in flight decks around the world...whether its a Cessna 172 or a B777.

This is one of those issues that I fear will only get worse, given the surging global demand for pilots...

So you say this is only a problem at "some foreign carriers"?

DCA A321 FO
09-14-2016, 05:36 PM
The RAAS system is to be followed like the bible. It blurted out, "Long Landing" and even with 9,000 ft remaining to land, as I recall, it is a requirement to go around at EK.


That's crazy!

Probe
09-14-2016, 07:45 PM
So you say this is only a problem at "some foreign carriers"?

The rush to automation is unfortunately making it to a lot of 1st tier airlines as well. I heard Cathay is pretty bad about it as well.

One of the two airlines that merged into the current airline I work for is shockingly reliant on automation. Much more so than any US carrier I have ever seen, and I have ridden in the cockpit of every major US carrier a lot of times.

tailwheel48
09-14-2016, 08:30 PM
Reliance on automation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. If I was in the back of a Cathay B777 executing an engine out missed approach in Hong Kong, I would hope that the automation was working properly, and that the crew was using it. Quite frankly it's foolish to expect a pilot to hand-fly a complex arrival into a busy international airport after a long haul flight. All you're going to accomplish, is to overload the monitoring pilot.

For the handful of situations where automation has contributed to an accident or incident, there are likely thousands of 'situations' where automation has prevented something bad from happening.

For the most part, widebody long-haul crews may get to fly two or three legs a month. Trying to pretend that you're as proficient at hand flying as a guppy driver who flies forty legs a month into low risk airports is a fools errand.

Winston
09-14-2016, 10:15 PM
Reliance on automation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

Sure it is. Obviously. Undoubtedly.

Not to get bogged down in a semantic argument, but:

re∑li∑ance
rəˈlīəns/

noun

dependence on or trust in someone or something.

"the farmer's reliance on pesticides"

synonyms: dependence, dependency More archaic a person or thing on which someone depends.

plural noun: reliances


The various levels of automation afforded to us are helpful to us, but only to the extent that that help does not become a crutch that we rely on... that we NEED.

There will come a day in the near future that self-driving cars will become the norm. I'm OK with that because I rationally comprehend the average increase in safety and efficiency that tech will provide, but when the poop hits the disc in ten years or so I have zero doubt that I will be less able to rise to the occasion as well as I would have been when I was 18 years old.

The sad reality is that in most quarters in the world today, we have fairly full acquiescence to the technology without it's actual technical maturation.

We live in a transitional time: pilots, REAL PILOTS are still required, but it's just so easy to let the computer do it 99.9% of the time...

Probe
09-14-2016, 11:16 PM
Reliance on automation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. If I was in the back of a Cathay B777 executing an engine out missed approach in Hong Kong, I would hope that the automation was working properly, and that the crew was using it. Quite frankly it's foolish to expect a pilot to hand-fly a complex arrival into a busy international airport after a long haul flight. All you're going to accomplish, is to overload the monitoring pilot.

For the handful of situations where automation has contributed to an accident or incident, there are likely thousands of 'situations' where automation has prevented something bad from happening.

For the most part, widebody long-haul crews may get to fly two or three legs a month. Trying to pretend that you're as proficient at hand flying as a guppy driver who flies forty legs a month into low risk airports is a fools errand.

I have a reasonable amount of long haul time, and agree that over time you lose your proficiency. But, that doesn't mean you give in, and give up. Most of us would hand fly the departure to at least 10k, if not all the way to cruising altitude, for our couple of legs a month.

We are paid what we are, not for the easy days, but for the bad ones. It is our job to do what we can to maintain our abilities as best we can, even if you only get 1-3 legs a month.

More and more companies are forcing the use of automation on their crews. This will not end well. The approach end of RW 27 at SFO, and the runway lights in Hiroshima not long after, were both taken out by crews from the same airline. Not to mention and Air France A330 and Air Asia A320 losing control in level flight, and falling 35,000 feet to their demise.

tailwheel48
09-15-2016, 06:24 AM
I have a reasonable amount of long haul time, and agree that over time you lose your proficiency. But, that doesn't mean you give in, and give up. Most of us would hand fly the departure to at least 10k, if not all the way to cruising altitude, for our couple of legs a month.

We are paid what we are, not for the easy days, but for the bad ones. It is our job to do what we can to maintain our abilities as best we can, even if you only get 1-3 legs a month.

More and more companies are forcing the use of automation on their crews. This will not end well. The approach end of RW 27 at SFO, and the runway lights in Hiroshima not long after, were both taken out by crews from the same airline. Not to mention and Air France A330 and Air Asia A320 losing control in level flight, and falling 35,000 feet to their demise.

Most of the automation incidents occur at the end of very long flight. Hand-flying to altitude, while fun, certainly does nothing to mitigate the risk at the end of that flight if it occurs 12+ hours later.

Familiarity with, and competency in use of the automation is the best risk avoidance strategy.

Packrat
09-15-2016, 09:07 AM
Familiarity with, and competency in use of the automation is the best risk avoidance strategy.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

Probe
09-15-2016, 11:28 PM
Most of the automation incidents occur at the end of very long flight. Hand-flying to altitude, while fun, certainly does nothing to mitigate the risk at the end of that flight if it occurs 12+ hours later.

Familiarity with, and competency in use of the automation is the best risk avoidance strategy.

If, at the end of that 12 hour flight, something happens (even a go around) that requires manual flying skills, it will have been good to hand fly your 1-3 departures a month to altitude.

Adlerdriver
09-17-2016, 10:17 AM
This whole attitude of excuses is a huge source of this problem. It's a busy airport, I just flew 12 hours, I don't want to overload the PM, etc. These are all just cop outs. Sure, there are times some factors may combine to create a situation that warrants max use of automation. But, if you're making these excuses every time you fly and actually feel uncomfortable leaving the automation off after takeoff or clicking off the autopilot and auto-throttles at ~10K or at least significantly prior to a one-mile final, you have a problem.

You owe it yourself, your company and passengers (if you have them) to challenge yourself and the PM when conditions permit. Are you magically going to bring the A-game when stuff does happen after a 12 hour flight if you never even try to do it on a regular basis? Whatever excuses have been keeping it from happening wonít matter at that point.

Most of the automation incidents occur at the end of very long flight. Hand-flying to altitude, while fun, certainly does nothing to mitigate the risk at the end of that flight if it occurs 12+ hours later. I don't think you can definitively say what benefit hand flying at various points in a flight may or may not have. It certainly can't hurt. You know what probably will mitigate risk at the end of a 12+ hour flight?.... making a regular practice of hand flying after a 12+ hour flight. Didn't you just spend about half that 12+ hour flight not even on the flight deck resting in the bunk? Give me a break.

Familiarity with, and competency in use of the automation is the best risk avoidance strategy. Of equal importance is familiarity and competency with manual manipulation of the flight controls and throttles.

Competency with automation is certainly important. I would suggest that the attitude that automation is going to drastically reduce your workload in the approach environment is another huge source of the problem with over-reliance on automation. Understanding what to expect from automation and how to employ it is the first thing. In addition to that, the ability to recognize when it has failed to deliver the expected response (due to failure, improper use or improper expectations) require just as much, if not more, attention and pilot awareness as hand flying.

Iíve seen the problem children throughout my career: The pilot who lets the speed get 10 knot slow waiting for the auto-throttles to do their job.....the guy who uses up a thousand feet of runway hoping the auto-brakes are going to kick in........barely paying attention to the level off, expecting the A/P to handle itÖ..letting the jet over speed because the VNAV is AFU instead of putting himself back in the loopÖÖgetting vectored to final with his hands in his lap and feet flat on the floor reaching up to occasionally change the speed or heading bug........all basically along for the ride watching the airplane fly itself. As opposed to hands and feet on the controls, knowing what will happen next, recognizing immediately when it doesn't and being ready to intervene at a momentís notice to ensure the airplane does what he wants with no delay. If you think being at that state of awareness and readiness as you monitor the automation is significantly less difficult than hand flying, then I would suggest you're doing it wrong.

As others have pointed out in this thread, giving up and just becoming a button pushing, automation monitor isnít a good solution. If the company SOPs allow, stop making excuses and do whatever you can to be as proficient in ALL aspects of operating your aircraft as possible. The airlines forcing max automation on their pilots are making a big mistake, IMO.

ShyGuy
09-17-2016, 11:36 AM
We need AVIATORS, not BUTTON-PUSHERS in flight decks around the world...whether its a Cessna 172 or a B777.

What Cessna 172 did you fly? The one I learned on didn't have any buttons. A VOR gauge with an INOP sticker and an ADF needle which pointed to pretty much wherever it felt like, ground stations be damned.

tailwheel48
09-18-2016, 06:43 PM
This whole attitude of excuses is a huge source of this problem. It's a busy airport, I just flew 12 hours, I don't want to overload the PM, etc. These are all just cop outs. Sure, there are times some factors may combine to create a situation that warrants max use of automation. But, if you're making these excuses every time you fly and actually feel uncomfortable leaving the automation off after takeoff or clicking off the autopilot and auto-throttles at ~10K or at least significantly prior to a one-mile final, you have a problem.

You owe it yourself, your company and passengers (if you have them) to challenge yourself and the PM when conditions permit. Are you magically going to bring the A-game when stuff does happen after a 12 hour flight if you never even try to do it on a regular basis? Whatever excuses have been keeping it from happening won’t matter at that point.

I don't think you can definitively say what benefit hand flying at various points in a flight may or may not have. It certainly can't hurt. You know what probably will mitigate risk at the end of a 12+ hour flight?.... making a regular practice of hand flying after a 12+ hour flight. Didn't you just spend about half that 12+ hour flight not even on the flight deck resting in the bunk? Give me a break.

Of equal importance is familiarity and competency with manual manipulation of the flight controls and throttles.

Competency with automation is certainly important. I would suggest that the attitude that automation is going to drastically reduce your workload in the approach environment is another huge source of the problem with over-reliance on automation. Understanding what to expect from automation and how to employ it is the first thing. In addition to that, the ability to recognize when it has failed to deliver the expected response (due to failure, improper use or improper expectations) require just as much, if not more, attention and pilot awareness as hand flying.

I’ve seen the problem children throughout my career: The pilot who lets the speed get 10 knot slow waiting for the auto-throttles to do their job.....the guy who uses up a thousand feet of runway hoping the auto-brakes are going to kick in........barely paying attention to the level off, expecting the A/P to handle it…..letting the jet over speed because the VNAV is AFU instead of putting himself back in the loop……getting vectored to final with his hands in his lap and feet flat on the floor reaching up to occasionally change the speed or heading bug........all basically along for the ride watching the airplane fly itself. As opposed to hands and feet on the controls, knowing what will happen next, recognizing immediately when it doesn't and being ready to intervene at a moment’s notice to ensure the airplane does what he wants with no delay. If you think being at that state of awareness and readiness as you monitor the automation is significantly less difficult than hand flying, then I would suggest you're doing it wrong.

As others have pointed out in this thread, giving up and just becoming a button pushing, automation monitor isn’t a good solution. If the company SOPs allow, stop making excuses and do whatever you can to be as proficient in ALL aspects of operating your aircraft as possible. The airlines forcing max automation on their pilots are making a big mistake, IMO.

I'm curious as to what automation level you want to practice at? Simply handflying the aircraft while using the monitoring pilot to manipulate the flight director seems pointless. You could probably train a chimpanzee to do that. Certainly any twelve year old proficient in PlayStation could do it.

Are you suggesting flying a departure on raw data? Is that how you 'practice'?

Are you suggesting handflying a raw data approach? Even in high traffic, complex arrival situations?

Are you suggesting violating company (and consequently FAA) procedures by turning off autothrottles? Use of autothrottles is mandated by my companies FAA approved Flight Manual.

I stand by my assertion that automation has prevented more incidents than it has caused. All the automation accidents that I'm aware of were caused by pilots who were unfamiliar with the limitations of their systems.

The notion that one is simply a 'button-pusher' because you use the automation to make the operation safer is nuts. I've done my time cranking and banking a B737 into Tegucigalpa, and I enjoyed that kind of flying when I was doing it. Widebody international flying is a different kind of beast.

I maintain my stick and rudder skills by flying my C170 taildragger into short dirt strips. I'm pretty confident that the day that all three auto-pilots on my WB fail, I'll manage! In the meantime I'll strive to operate as safely as possible, which will include max use of all the automation available.

Adlerdriver
09-19-2016, 08:21 AM
I'm curious as to what automation level you want to practice at? Simply handflying the aircraft while using the monitoring pilot to manipulate the flight director seems pointless. You could probably train a chimpanzee to do that. Certainly any twelve year old proficient in PlayStation could do it.

Are you suggesting flying a departure on raw data? Is that how you 'practice'?

Are you suggesting handflying a raw data approach? Even in high traffic, complex arrival situations?

Are you suggesting violating company (and consequently FAA) procedures by turning off autothrottles? Use of autothrottles is mandated by my companies FAA approved Flight Manual.
How about no auto throttles or auto pilot to start with. Maybe advance to turning off the flight director. Itís really not that big a deal. Flying an RNAV arrival or departure using ďraw dataĒ or no lateral FD guidance would be pretty non-standard. But, getting vectored around the pattern to a visual or ILS? Why not? I just jumpseated in the cockpit of an RJ yesterday flying into a large metropolitan airport with lots of traffic, flying a STAR followed by vectors to an ILS. No auto-throttles, they didnít use VNAV and they had auto pilot off by 8K. Flight director wasnít that helpful when the ILS turned into a visual so they turned it off. Iíll bet you could do the same thing (if your company allowed) and you might actually have a little fun. The size of your jet or the location youíre flying it in doesnít really have any bearing on the situation. If the arrival is really THAT complex or youíre concerned about the traffic situation, then maybe thatís not the day to do it. There needs to be a little judgment involved, right?

No, Iím not telling you to violate company policy. It seems like youíre a product of that culture which happens to view automation as king rather than a balance of both automation and manual flying. It sounds like the ďgroup thinkĒ mentality where everyone confirms each otherís viewpoints and it becomes difficult to imagine that there are others on the outside who donít share the same attitudes. If your company thinks that little of your pilot groupís ability to maintain airspeed with manual throttles, then I guess thereís not much you can do. Just know you are a minority (at least in the U.S.) and mandating use of auto-throttles is not a widely used practice. The fact that the FAA bought off on it is kind of irrelevant. Do you really think a government agency with their history is going to step off the fence and plant a flag on a specific policy? Theyíll be happy to sign off on company Xís requirement to maximize automation and turn around and approve Yís plan to allow manual flying.

If you use a flight director like a kid on play station or an ignorant animal blindly following rote commands, then I can see why you feel the way you do. I prefer to use it as an aid, rather than a crutch, looking through it and setting pitch and bank angles I know to be correct and what I would be using without it. My first flight director was analog and only popped into view when the ILS was captured. It had a vote, but we were always cautioned to use the raw data and look through it. I have carried that attitude throughout my career and it has served me well. I really donít care if I use it even today. Whether itís on or off, I still feel like I get some benefit from manually flying an ILS with primary reference to raw data. Iíd suggest you give it a try with the FD off, but considering you canít even turn the auto-throttles off, thatís probably a pipe-dream. Maybe next time in the sim. So, are you grounded if the auto-throttles are MELed? Iíve flown ANC-OAK and ANC-IND in the MD-11 with no auto-throttles. Kind of a pain at cruise, but not that big a deal, especially if you make a regular practice of turning them off.

I stand by my assertion that automation has prevented more incidents than it has caused. All the automation accidents that I'm aware of were caused by pilots who were unfamiliar with the limitations of their systems.

The notion that one is simply a 'button-pusher' because you use the automation to make the operation safer is nuts. I've done my time cranking and banking a B737 into Tegucigalpa, and I enjoyed that kind of flying when I was doing it. Widebody international flying is a different kind of beast.

I maintain my stick and rudder skills by flying my C170 taildragger into short dirt strips. I'm pretty confident that the day that all three auto-pilots on my WB fail, I'll manage! In the meantime I'll strive to operate as safely as possible, which will include max use of all the automation available. Iím not anti-automation and it certainly has a valuable place in our profession. I also agree that it is imperative that pilots know their system in order to use it properly and readily identify failures or even improper use by their crew before that develops into a serious event. I simply donít view a reduced level of automation as a less safe method of operation in all situations.

If you evaluate the circumstances on a particular day and decide max automation is the best option, then thatís the way to go. I guess where we deviate is coming to that conclusion on every flight. Obviously, youíre not doing anything wrong and are bound by your company procedures. Since I have the choice, I think there is high value in making a regular practice of basic hand flying without automation. You donít Ė and I doubt weíre going to change each otherís mind, so it is what it is. I know it has helped me in more challenging simulator training and every day flying. I have a better feel for the aircraft; Iím more familiar with typical pitch and power settings and simply more comfortable and confident flying the jet. I spent almost 10 years on the MD-11 and I really liked hand flying it. Iíve only been on the 777 a little more than a year, so I like to take every opportunity I can to fly it. Not everyone has a C170 to fly around in. Even if they did, I would suggest the skill set in a heavy transport category jet and a taildragger are different enough for me to question the cross-over benefit. But, maybe it works for you.

Widebody international flying is still just flying a transport category jet from A to B, it just takes longer. There may be more potential to encounter situations that warrant a higher level of automation. But, not by definition and not every flight, IMO. As I said, weíre on different pages here and itís unlikely thatís going to change.
Tailwinds.

Sliceback
09-19-2016, 06:15 PM
Are you suggesting violating company (and consequently FAA) procedures by turning off autothrottles? Use of autothrottles is mandated by my companies FAA approved Flight Manual.




What airline's approved Flight Manual mandate the use of autothrottles?

Most airlines are allowed to do CAT III approaches without autothrottles. How do they do that???

Kapitanleutnant
09-20-2016, 08:20 AM
Emirates Airline pretty much mandates the use of auto throttles at time by the words in their OM-A: Thou shalt use the highest level of automation at all times.

You guys not flying for Middle East airlines don't know one extra burden of not hand flying. First, they are made to engage the A/P below 10,000 ft for each dept and not disconnect until below 10,000 ft.

The punitive culture at Emirates (from which I left 1 year ago after 8 years with them) is such that if you screw up a SID, STAR, VNAV or didn't put the landing flaps down by 1500 AGL, you received a visit to the chief pilots office and the possibility of a warning letter.

When time comes to upgrade, unlike in US and European legacy carriers, it' NOT based on seniority. They look at things like how many days sick leave did this FO take, and how many (if any) warning letters did he receive, and whether his grades on his PPC (annual recurrent) were stronger than aver who for 1 hour will grill the FO with questions and hypothetical situations and knowledge level of the FCOM and OM-A.

So.... the point here is that if you want to upgrade at a place like Emirates, you need to play THEIR game... and that game is USE THE AUTOMATION TO THE MAX EXTENT.

We all complained about this but to no avail. EK wants robots in their cockpits.

This is a prime example and good reason the accident happened in Dubai a few weeks ago. The crew still had 2500 meters to stop the aircraft but because the rule there is to go around if you get the RAAS "Long Landing" callout, that's what the crew did.... all to the specific rules of EK. And look at the result.

Kap
Ex Emirates Robot

contrails
09-20-2016, 08:36 AM
Emirates Airline pretty much mandates the use of auto throttles at time by the words in their OM-A: Thou shalt use the highest level of automation at all times.

You guys not flying for Middle East airlines don't know one extra burden of not hand flying. First, they are made to engage the A/P below 10,000 ft for each dept and not disconnect until below 10,000 ft.

The punitive culture at Emirates (from which I left 1 year ago after 8 years with them) is such that if you screw up a SID, STAR, VNAV or didn't put the landing flaps down by 1500 AGL, you received a visit to the chief pilots office and the possibility of a warning letter.

When time comes to upgrade, unlike in US and European legacy carriers, it' NOT based on seniority. They look at things like how many days sick leave did this FO take, and how many (if any) warning letters did he receive, and whether his grades on his PPC (annual recurrent) were stronger than aver who for 1 hour will grill the FO with questions and hypothetical situations and knowledge level of the FCOM and OM-A.

So.... the point here is that if you want to upgrade at a place like Emirates, you need to play THEIR game... and that game is USE THE AUTOMATION TO THE MAX EXTENT.

We all complained about this but to no avail. EK wants robots in their cockpits.

This is a prime example and good reason the accident happened in Dubai a few weeks ago. The crew still had 2500 meters to stop the aircraft but because the rule there is to go around if you get the RAAS "Long Landing" callout, that's what the crew did.... all to the specific rules of EK. And look at the result.

Kap
Ex Emirates Robot

Sounds like a terrible operation.

Thanks for posting this info.

Adlerdriver
09-20-2016, 11:17 AM
This is a prime example and good reason the accident happened in Dubai a few weeks ago. The crew still had 2500 meters to stop the aircraft but because the rule there is to go around if you get the RAAS "Long Landing" callout, that's what the crew did.... all to the specific rules of EK. And look at the result. Come on. Blaming a company policy for that accident is a bit ridiculous. What if ATC told them to go around or the company policy for stable approaches wasn't met. Are you going to blame those things for the same type of accident? Any go around shouldn't be inherently dangerous, it's a routine maneuver.
They didn't fly the airplane. The reason for the go around (whether you think it's valid or not) has no bearing on the outcome. That's all on the crew.

Grumble
09-21-2016, 11:26 AM
Reliance on automation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. If I was in the back of a Cathay B777 executing an engine out missed approach in Hong Kong, I would hope that the automation was working properly, and that the crew was using it. Quite frankly it's foolish to expect a pilot to hand-fly a complex arrival into a busy international airport after a long haul flight. All you're going to accomplish, is to overload the monitoring pilot.

For the handful of situations where automation has contributed to an accident or incident, there are likely thousands of 'situations' where automation has prevented something bad from happening.

For the most part, widebody long-haul crews may get to fly two or three legs a month. Trying to pretend that you're as proficient at hand flying as a guppy driver who flies forty legs a month into low risk airports is a fools errand.

As a professional pilot, it's expected you can do both. Fully utilize the tools of the airplane, and hand fly when they fail. Reliance on automation is a serious problem, as is not understanding how it works.

Skyone
09-26-2016, 02:46 AM
Come on. Blaming a company policy for that accident is a bit ridiculous. What if ATC told them to go around or the company policy for stable approaches wasn't met. Are you going to blame those things for the same type of accident? Any go around shouldn't be inherently dangerous, it's a routine maneuver.
They didn't fly the airplane. The reason for the go around (whether you think it's valid or not) has no bearing on the outcome. That's all on the crew.

Routine maneuver? When, may I ask, was the last time you did a go-around AFTER touchdown? Not touchdown after performing the go-around. In your last several proficiency checks, did you practice this maneuver or touch and go's? In twenty years of flying the 777/767/757 at three different airlines, not once have I been required to perform a g/a AFTER touchdown....20 ft., yes, resulting in a touchdown.

Secondly, you seem to have a lack of understanding of Dr. James Reason's Swiss Cheese model. A lot of negative training involved, also.

I'm not defending or blaming the crew, only that factors involved in this event are not evident at first blush. And basic training for children of the magenta line is not there. Finally, an airline that at one time was contemplating that all landings on a certain type of 4 engine aircraft be autolands......well tell me that this isn't one more lined up hole in the Swiss cheese with regard to relying on only automation.

Adlerdriver
09-26-2016, 06:31 AM
Routine maneuver? When, may I ask, was the last time you did a go-around AFTER touchdown? Not touchdown after performing the go-around. In your last several proficiency checks, did you practice this maneuver or touch and go's? In twenty years of flying the 777/767/757 at three different airlines, not once have I been required to perform a g/a AFTER touchdown....20 ft., yes, resulting in a touchdown. July 2016......Jan 2016 before that......July 2015........Jan 2015...... and so on. We've been practicing bounded landing recoveries followed by a go-around at FedEx since 2009, especially in the MD-11. That training was adopted by the other fleets, so I regularly do it in the 777 recurrent training/proficiency checks as well. So.... yes, a routine maneuver. Maybe at some point in those 20 years, you could have suggested a change to the training? Do those airlines not solicit feedback on the training programs or have an method to allow changes to be suggested?

Secondly, you seem to have a lack of understanding of Dr. James Reason's Swiss Cheese model. A lot of negative training involved, also. Of course I'm familiar with the swiss cheese model. While somewhat dated, that concept is still valid in helping to explain why a particular accident happened. It does very little in terms of accident prevention. I suggest you (and maybe your company) consider some of the more modern safety concepts being advanced by people like Dr. Tony Kern. In general terms, this is a focus on error control on an individual level rather than attempting to create systemic barriers to error that can still eventually result in lining up the holes.

I'm not defending or blaming the crew, only that factors involved in this event are not evident at first blush. And basic training for children of the magenta line is not there. Finally, an airline that at one time was contemplating that all landings on a certain type of 4 engine aircraft be autolands......well tell me that this isn't one more lined up hole in the Swiss cheese with regard to relying on only automation. I suppose one of the "factors" involved that you refer to is that a professional 777 crew wasn't trained to push the power up (and make sure it stays there) for a go-around. Isn't that equivalent to training an NFL quarterback to throw a football or a Navy Seal to load his weapon? I guess there might be a problem with the hiring/screening process if a major international airline has to train their pilots to execute a basic, entry level skill like a go-around.

As long as airlines are going to allow various hiring practices that result in low-time, low-experience pilots flying modern airliners while mandating maximum use of automation, there will continue to be accidents. Creating "children of the magenta" and then having to go back and try to fix their shortcomings isn't a good plan.

Skyone
09-26-2016, 07:31 AM
July 2016......Jan 2016 before that......July 2015........Jan 2015...... and so on. We've been practicing bounded landing recoveries followed by a go-around at FedEx since 2009, especially in the MD-11. That training was adopted by the other fleets, so I regularly do it in the 777 recurrent training/proficiency checks as well. So.... yes, a routine maneuver. Maybe at some point in those 20 years, you could have suggested a change to the training? Do those airlines not solicit feedback on the training programs or have an method to allow changes to be suggested?

Of course I'm familiar with the swiss cheese model. While somewhat dated, that concept is still valid in helping to explain why a particular accident happened. It does very little in terms of accident prevention. I suggest you (and maybe your company) consider some of the more modern safety concepts being advanced by people like Dr. Tony Kern. In general terms, this is a focus on error control on an individual level rather than attempting to create systemic barriers to error that can still eventually result in lining up the holes.

I suppose one of the "factors" involved that you refer to is that a professional 777 crew wasn't trained to push the power up (and make sure it stays there) for a go-around. Isn't that equivalent to training an NFL quarterback to throw a football or a Navy Seal to load his weapon? I guess there might be a problem with the hiring/screening process if a major international airline has to train their pilots to execute a basic, entry level skill like a go-around.

As long as airlines are going to allow various hiring practices that result in low-time, low-experience pilots flying modern airliners while mandating maximum use of automation, there will continue to be accidents. Creating "children of the magenta" and then having to go back and try to fix their shortcomings isn't a good plan.

Actually, I agree 90% with what you say. Airlines that fly the MD11 have learned from issues AFTER accidents with rejected landings. I got my type rating on the a/c in '95, and we didn't practice rejected landings. At that point there had been no evidence of a threat with a rejected landing. Mainly because most aircraft pilots had flown previously had not the level of automation sophistication.

I disagree with your assessment of the Swiss cheese. It is still very relevant in that factors beyond the day have major contributory effects on accidents. Better training, company policies, fatigue, SMS, just culture, perceived threats from management can all lead to the holes lining up. As pilots what can we do about it? Manage our environment; threat and error, leadership, decision making, communication, s.a., knowledge, etc.

But remember to take in the startle effect. Sometimes seconds are at sake and the startle effect takes more seconds to realign the cognitive functions. That's why GPWS, TCAS, V1 cuts, mins, etc., are practiced year in and year out to condition out the startle effect. But when certain maneuvers are not practiced, and there are not regulatory requirements to do so, well we see what happens. Evidence based training is finally making it's way forward. Already handling sims practicing rejected landings are being implemented. The new way forward in training is eye tracking. Evidence has proven with highly automated cockpits that the airspeed indicator is almost ignored. Why so many stalling accidents recently with the highly automated cockpits?

So finally, if you have never flown outside a FAA, EASA type agency, one might be surprised at the affect of culture on all aspects of the operation and pilots' actions, decisions, and overall thinking towards their "airmanship". I guarantee that when it comes to decision making, you and your colleagues very seldom take into consideration what FedEx management might have to say afterwards or the result on your career. The captain of the Mangalore 737 accident, when landing long, had these factors to deal with. Two warning letters with regards to hard landings previously, one more and fired, and any go-around resulted in an explanation to the chairman. Result was a long landing on a contaminated runway, to an overrun down a slope killing many. EK requires a safety report for ANY g/a for any reason. At FedEx, you probably have a deidentified FOQA. EK does not deidentify the data and requests explanations on "pinged" events. So for new captains, many times the mahogany table has a bigger affect on thinking than the mahogany casket.

Professional Standards committe? A number of us hAve tried to get something in place over the years. Met with deaf ears, because management wants control over ALL aspects from safety, training, standards, operations etc.

So, overall, we agree. But your airline does not have culture interfering with all aspects of operations. What concerns me is most accidents end up being pilot error. Unsophisticated managements see accidents rates drop because of their embrace of automation. Now if we could eliminate most pilot interaction......

Sorry for the length, but trying to explain why corporate culture plays such an important aspect in decision making. One cannot compare sophisticated unionized airlines like FedEx, DAL, AAL, UAL, BA, QANTAS, etc., to heavy handed management run airlines that the rest of the pilot world has to contend. But then again, I still have my pension intact here. Sorry, just had to throw that in.

Adlerdriver
09-27-2016, 06:05 AM
OK Sky,
I get the management and the corporate culture issues are far more of a factor than we might appreciate in the US.

This whole line of discussion started when someone attempted to lay the blame for this accident at the feet of the management policy regarding long landing automation. My point was that a simple go-around decision (whatever the reason) isn't (shouldn't be) on par with a V1 cut or reject in terms of risk. Automation or not, startled/unexpected or not, if I pilot doesn't have the basic muscle memory and natural instinct to physically push the power up because he wants his airplane to climb......that's not management's fault (other than maybe hiring criteria).

I'm not saying the cheese model is irrelevant. I am saying that when it's discussed these days, it's usually with caveats that it has limitations.

Eye tracking detecting lack of airspeed cross-check doesn't surprise me in the least. Hence my continued emphasis on manual throttle use whenever appropriate (if company procedures allow).


But then again, I still have my pension intact here. Sorry, just had to throw that in. As do I (and our UPS brothers) thankfully. :D

Kapitanleutnant
10-01-2016, 11:36 PM
Well said, Skyone!

Kap

N19906
10-09-2016, 12:56 AM
I'm sorry, gentlemen.

I'm late to this conversation, but after running through this thread, I went back and read the preliminary accident report.
After all the back-and-forth over basic airmanship and appropriate levels of automation, I came back to the data point in the report that says that:
Between the initiation of a go-around/"missed approach" it was FIFTEEN SECONDS before power was applied!!!
Did I miss something?!?!
I'm speechless, frankly. I may fly a piddling regional turboprop w/ 10,000hp and only 76 pax, but I still FLY IT!
I understand that EK proceedures are automation heavy, but really?!?!
What kind of atrophy developed for the PIC to forget basic pitch/power/thrust-required relationships?
When I first started down this (cursed) career path, my mentor mentioned something he had an issue with:
At TWA, they were very focused on crew using the highest level of automation to gain maximum fuel savings. Spike observed that those crewmembers following the company dictates most closely were the ones most likely to bust their proficiency checks. (He hand-flew as much as he could.)
It's terribly unfortunate that EK follows the same mindset.
I just finished my annual check this evening, and both of my instructors over the last two days thanked us for making their lives so easy.
My normal SOP is to hand-fly to level-off, and below 10,000'. (We have no autothrottles, we have no restrictions). We do the entire US west coast, so that includes SFO, LAX, SEA and YVR. I will revert to automation if conditions demand, (temporarily).
Yes, it can be challenging, and I encourage my FO's to do the same thing, to gain experience and self-confidence. I realize that heavies only flying a few legs a month is different, (observed that in the USAF, (ick!)), but we're paid for our bad days, not our good ones. (As a previous poster eloquently observed).
I'm sure that the crew involved were professionals, but dammit,(!), we're also supposed to be "pilots", at some basic, fundamental level. It seems like they lost that.
Let the arrows fly.

Essentially, I'm with Alderdriver on this.

Sliceback
10-09-2016, 08:29 AM
IMO weak pilots flock to automation. Everyone needs to use it as appropriate. Sometimes it's not the answer but IMO the weaker guys are often slower to revert to manual flying. Instead they continue struggling with the automation when 10, 20, or 30 seconds of manual flying would stabilize the situation/automation confusion and allow resetting the automation to an appropriate mode. Instead they hesitate in the 'what's it doing now?' phase unsure of the automation and themselves.

And the flip side is they sometimes revert to manual flying, thereby increasing their workload, when there's a simple correction available with the automation.

N19906
10-09-2016, 06:27 PM
Now, for a more temperate comment. :)
(My apologizies, the initial reading of that report got me quite spun up last night.)

Will this play out the same way as Asiana at SFO?
I assume it was a professional, well-trained crew. Was there some assumption of auto-throttle modes that was flawed? Some automation that was assumed to be there, but wasn't? I'd consider a go-around once you've set the aircraft down, (WOW switches made), to be an extremely uncommon event.
We treat skips or high bounces as a missed approach, and default to our standard calls. (Our airplane is a bit fussy, and a challenge to land smoothly, so we wouldn't even bother trying to salvage a poor attempt.)
As for going around once you've set down because the airplane starts *****ing at you, (judgement vs. the computer?), ...
All I can assume, being ignorant of the 777's automation laws, is that they expected the throttles to be there, and they weren't, (disarmed/ deactivated by touchdown), and the time lost in recognizing the situation, coupled with the spool-up time, accounts for those fifteen seconds.

That's a looong time to be bleeding energy.

As for comments regarding EK's managment culture, I really wouldn't want to be working under that philosophy. Doing a "carpet dance" to justify your missed approach? Appalling.
We have a one-paragraph stand-alone statement in our FOM which explicitly states that the company supports a no-fault missed approach policy. If you go-around, for any reason, you will never be asked to justify your actions. Safety first.

joepilot
12-03-2016, 11:53 AM
If I remember correctly, go-arounds in the 777 begin with pressing the TOGA button, (on the throttles) which both rotates the aircraft ( with the autopilot engaged) and gives you go-around power. Also, if I remember correctly, touchdown disconnects the autothrottles. I can fully understand why the crew was surprised that the autothrottles did not advance as they expected if they had never practiced a go around after touchdown.

Joe

sailingfun
12-04-2016, 12:48 PM
If I remember correctly, go-arounds in the 777 begin with pressing the TOGA button, (on the throttles) which both rotates the aircraft ( with the autopilot engaged) and gives you go-around power. Also, if I remember correctly, touchdown disconnects the autothrottles. I can fully understand why the crew was surprised that the autothrottles did not advance as they expected if they had never practiced a go around after touchdown.

Joe

I have always been taught that selecting TOGA and advancing power were accomplished as a single step. Having failed at that they then failed to realize the throttles had not advanced. Having failed at that they missed all the obvious clues that the power was at idle of which there are many.

captjns
12-04-2016, 05:00 PM
If I remember correctly, go-arounds in the 777 begin with pressing the TOGA button, (on the throttles) which both rotates the aircraft ( with the autopilot engaged) and gives you go-around power. Also, if I remember correctly, touchdown disconnects the autothrottles. I can fully understand why the crew was surprised that the autothrottles did not advance as they expected if they had never practiced a go around after touchdown.

Joe

No excuse, not justification! My heart goes out to the passengers who paid hard earned Rupees for a safe an competent crew!

I can only hope that the airline will realize that money nor position should never buy the seat no matter the connection to whoever. The fare paying public derserves better.



Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1