Go Back   Airline Pilot Central Forums - Find your next job as a Pilot > >
Safety Accidents, suggestions on improving safety, etc
 

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.


User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-02-2014, 04:27 PM   #11  
Gets Weekends Off
 
cardiomd's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2009
Position: Seat: Vegan friendly faux leather
Posts: 963
Default

I think he is referring to Langewiesche's assertion that Sully used alpha protection when landing, remaining in normal law, when dead-sticking the airbus. It is verly likely that Sully "knew" he was in normal law, so even though his inputs would have resulted in a stall without the computer intervention, he ended up with a pretty much minimum descent rate landing which is what he wanted.

I don't see the "pilot-hate" that ayecarumba sees either.

Palmer's book "Understanding AF447" is a great read, but very basic / aimed at non-aviators. It gets into significantly more detail than the Vanity Fair article, which I also thought was a pretty good summary of the issues involved for those not familiar.
cardiomd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2014, 04:12 PM   #12  
Line Holder
 
ayecarumba's Avatar
 
Joined APC: May 2012
Position: assume it
Posts: 45
Default What does "he was a commercial pilot" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagbn View Post
OK, ayecarumba, I'll bite.

You state, "[Langewieshce's] opinion: Sully & Skiles deserve none of the credit for carrying out one of the few successful ditchings in history, the computer deserves the glory."

I pulled out my copy of "Fly by Wire" last night. I skimmed basically the entire book. I could find nothing remotely approaching your assertion. Instead, I found several instances of Langewiesche effusively praising the crew. Perhaps you could quote to me the exact language where you contend Langewiesche throws Sullenberger and Skiles under the bus.

As far as throwing his ass in the box with someone he's never flown with, etc., you do realize that Langewiesche was once an airline pilot?

I will agree with you that Langewiesche was a bit over-the-top in praise of the Airbus design philosophy. He does address the paradox of the "uncrashable" airplane having a mishap record no better than the 737 in the chapter "The Paradox" in "Fly by Wire."

Once the truth of AF447 came out, it conflicted rather uncomfortably with some of Langewiesche's praise of the Airbus system. I would have liked to see him address that issue more forthrightly in his most recent article. Instead, he avoided it.

As for AF447, the aircraft suffered a simple, basic, easily handled malfunction. I've had two airspeed indicator failures, both in Navy airplanes, which is nearly a non-event in AOA-gauge-equipped aircraft. All the Air France crew had to do was hold the same attitude and power setting they'd been staring at for over an hour and everything would have been fine. The fact that these three Air France pilots crashed a perfectly good airplane after a transitory airspeed indicator failure is outrageous, and in my opinion every pilot should be ashamed of the performance of this crew. The airspeed indicator started working again within a couple minutes; the criminally incompetent pilots held the airplane in a full stall for many minutes thereafter, crashing a perfectly good airplane.

Why this mishap has not prompted the FAA and other regulatory agencies (or airlines themselves) to mandate AOA gauges in commercial airliners beggars belief. AOA is the single most direct and valuable measure of the aerodynamic health of the wing, and commercial aircraft hide that information from the pilots. I have no idea why. It's idiotic.

Sorry for the lag in response time...a quick look around this forum tells me a lot of guys aren't getting out on their layovers!

I have not read LWs book on the USAir event. Rather, my opinion of his editorial slant is shaped by his other articles (like the AF447 piece in VF), appearances, interviews, and books he has written about commercial aviation.

Here is a quick sampling:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/bo...book.html?_r=0

and the reviewers conclusion:
"...This prickly and uneven but plainspoken book will not make Mr. Langewiesche many friends among commercial pilots, about whom, as a group, he is not admiring."

and another piece that is critical of his lack of objectivity on an unrelated story:
'When Journalism is Too Good to Be True,' It Usually Isn't: William Langewiesche Edition - Hit & Run : Reason.com

So, though he is careful to damn Sullenberger with the faintest of praise, he is not a friend of the professional pilot, nor the profession. Thus the origin of my "thrown under the bus" analogy. Read/watch his many interviews and Youtube appearances...he thinks if you pay McDonald's wages, there will be no effect on airline safety. He is critical of Sullenberger for making the point that as airline pay erodes, so does the quality of the individual seeking it as a career as he completely disagrees.

That's just my opinion and I understand we may differ, and that is ok. I respect your opinion and merely state mine.

The danger is that the NYT reviewers, other journalists, and the general public look to someone like LW and his books/articles, his stated bona fides as a "commercial pilot" (which, btw, I can't really find information about online at least...except this little gem:
Q&A with author William Langewiesche | NEAL THOMPSON
"He picked up flying jobs over the years, but never wanted to become full-time professional pilot. "...this could be a whole other thread, but after the UVA/Duke LaCrosse rape stories, what does it mean when the journalist says he was a "Commercial Pilot?"), and it shapes their thinking, opinions, and ideas.

This profession has been battered enough and is under relentless assault, so LW and his ilk, are not helping any of us.

Hope that kinda helps 'splain myself.
ayecarumba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 02:19 AM   #13  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ptarmigan's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Position: B777 Captain
Posts: 547
Default

Just released a book on this topic. Honestly, one of the reasons I did this was the trashing of pilots in the Vanity Fair article. Pilots prevent far more accidents than they "cause" and the truth is we don't "cause" any. It is far more complex than that!
ptarmigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 10:57 AM   #14  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Jul 2007
Position: It's still a Guppy, just a bit longer.
Posts: 637
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptarmigan View Post
Just released a book on this topic. Honestly, one of the reasons I did this was the trashing of pilots in the Vanity Fair article. Pilots prevent far more accidents than they "cause" and the truth is we don't "cause" any. It is far more complex than that!
Thank you for taking a stand. I have also gotten fed up with the trashing of pilots lately. More recently we saw that article about the UBS study and pilotless planes. Like you say, nobody knows how many accidents have been prevented daily around the world by pilots just doing their job.

I have followed William Langeweische for over a decade. He is one of the more talented writers in journalism. His articles are exceptionally researched and remarkably well written. I'm not talking aviation articles, his other work in Vanity Fair is impressive. I read his stuff.

Another piece he did on aviation is here, where he explains the accident chain concept quite well: (https//www.vanityfair.com/culture/2009/01/air_crash200901/amp)

... Where you also pick up subtle and not so subtle cues that he likes pilots about as much as Smisek and Lorenzo.

The problem is, and you can pick it up easily from his aviation writing, he has a very personal chip on his shoulder with professional pilots specifically. It completely tarnishes what is otherwise great journalism. He also has an over the top admiration for Bernard Ziegler, the guy behind the A320 platform, despite recognizing that the platform is no more safer than non-bus platforms due to some poor human factors design. Case in point - - AF447 could not have happened in a 777. If there is one thing you can appreciate in that article, despite the between the lines pilot bashing, is that he makes a strong case against ab initio. Not being able to understand basic aerodynamics because you learned to fly planes in an airbus sim after a few hours in a Seneca was, after the temporarily clogged thales pitot, the biggest contributor to that crash. That wasn't the only A330 thales set up that failed, hence the reason for the AD. Nobody heard about the others because they were managed properly. Ask the NWA 330 guys. They had a similar scenario. Successful outcome.

The fact is that Langeweische claims, vaguely, to have flown "commercially" to "pay the bills" (really?) and thinks that pilots are the weakest link. That's how I know he never flew professionally. Unless he had access to ASAP/FSAP data, without being an airline guy, he wouldn't know that for every accident where pilots failed, countless accidents were prevented.

We need a more vocal pilot group, more Sully's who are as articulate and can talk to the media. He does an incredible job but he's doing it without much help.

No, planes don't fly themselves. No, we aren't the weakest link. The weakest links are inadequate inexperience, poor training, and bad cockpit culture.

The safest form of technology in aviation is the kind that works with the pilots, not the kind designed to replace the pilots. Good a writer as he may be, Mr. Langeweische is too arrogant to accept that reality.
Airway is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 01:21 PM   #15  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ptarmigan's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Position: B777 Captain
Posts: 547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airway View Post
Thank you for taking a stand. I have also gotten fed up with the trashing of pilots lately. More recently we saw that article about the UBS study and pilotless planes. Like you say, nobody knows how many accidents have been prevented daily around the world by pilots just doing their job.

I have followed William Langeweische for over a decade. He is one of the more talented writers in journalism. His articles are exceptionally researched and remarkably well written. I'm not talking aviation articles, his other work in Vanity Fair is impressive. I read his stuff.

Another piece he did on aviation is here, where he explains the accident chain concept quite well: (https//www.vanityfair.com/culture/2009/01/air_crash200901/amp)

... Where you also pick up subtle and not so subtle cues that he likes pilots about as much as Smisek and Lorenzo.

The problem is, and you can pick it up easily from his aviation writing, he has a very personal chip on his shoulder with professional pilots specifically. It completely tarnishes what is otherwise great journalism. He also has an over the top admiration for Bernard Ziegler, the guy behind the A320 platform, despite recognizing that the platform is no more safer than non-bus platforms due to some poor human factors design. Case in point - - AF447 could not have happened in a 777. If there is one thing you can appreciate in that article, despite the between the lines pilot bashing, is that he makes a strong case against ab initio. Not being able to understand basic aerodynamics because you learned to fly planes in an airbus sim after a few hours in a Seneca was, after the temporarily clogged thales pitot, the biggest contributor to that crash. That wasn't the only A330 thales set up that failed, hence the reason for the AD. Nobody heard about the others because they were managed properly. Ask the NWA 330 guys. They had a similar scenario. Successful outcome.

The fact is that Langeweische claims, vaguely, to have flown "commercially" to "pay the bills" (really?) and thinks that pilots are the weakest link. That's how I know he never flew professionally. Unless he had access to ASAP/FSAP data, without being an airline guy, he wouldn't know that for every accident where pilots failed, countless accidents were prevented.

We need a more vocal pilot group, more Sully's who are as articulate and can talk to the media. He does an incredible job but he's doing it without much help.

No, planes don't fly themselves. No, we aren't the weakest link. The weakest links are inadequate inexperience, poor training, and bad cockpit culture.

The safest form of technology in aviation is the kind that works with the pilots, not the kind designed to replace the pilots. Good a writer as he may be, Mr. Langeweische is too arrogant to accept that reality.
Hi. I mostly agree with all you wrote. My one exception is that these pilots had more experience and were more competent than what many have been led to believe. Check out the book, I get into those details quite a bit and several other factors that have not be discussed, really, anywhere. It is a more insidious situation than many would realize. There is another aspect as well.

I was talking with another safety professional a couple of days ago and he made a really good observation regarding the NWA 6231 accident. If you were to ask a pilot what to expect if their pitot gets clogged they can likely answer correctly, for the most part. However, if you instead say "you are flying and notice that your airspeed is increasing. Also, your flight controls are getting a lot heavier. What would you make of this situation?" Seriously, try asking fellow pilots this question.
ptarmigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 06:31 PM   #16  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Jul 2016
Posts: 365
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptarmigan View Post
Hi. I mostly agree with all you wrote. My one exception is that these pilots had more experience and were more competent than what many have been led to believe. Check out the book, I get into those details quite a bit and several other factors that have not be discussed, really, anywhere. It is a more insidious situation than many would realize. There is another aspect as well.

I was talking with another safety professional a couple of days ago and he made a really good observation regarding the NWA 6231 accident. If you were to ask a pilot what to expect if their pitot gets clogged they can likely answer correctly, for the most part. However, if you instead say "you are flying and notice that your airspeed is increasing. Also, your flight controls are getting a lot heavier. What would you make of this situation?" Seriously, try asking fellow pilots this question.
Valid points all around...it's not experience that matters, it's quality experience. It's a career of positive and safe habits in the cockpits- in addition to a young copilot/FO to keep the arrogant grey beard captain in line when he thinks he is invinceable.
C130driver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2017, 06:33 PM   #17  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ptarmigan's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Position: B777 Captain
Posts: 547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by C130driver View Post
Valid points all around...it's not experience that matters, it's quality experience. It's a career of positive and safe habits in the cockpits- in addition to a young copilot/FO to keep the arrogant grey beard captain in line when he thinks he is invinceable.
Brilliant, agree completely!
ptarmigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2017, 12:33 PM   #18  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Adlerdriver's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2007
Position: 777F FO
Posts: 3,057
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by C130driver View Post
Valid points all around...it's not experience that matters, it's quality experience. It's a career of positive and safe habits in the cockpits- in addition to a young copilot/FO to keep the arrogant grey beard captain in line when he thinks he is invinceable.
I think it's safe to say that use of CRM principles throughout the industry have effectively squashed this stereotypical captain (small c). Culture issues in some countries may still come into play at times. However, US airlines have been pretty successful in removing the threat of the over-bearing "grey beard captain" with invincibility issues.

The experience level of the crew involved in AF 447 may be great on paper and more than some might assume, however, results speak for themselves. The introduction of the NWA 6231 accident into the discussion, IMO, really does nothing to further this theory that either situation would have or should have overwhelmed a competent crew. Mr. Langeweische may beat up on pilots and the profession in general and have little standing to do so. However, trying to build either of these accidents into insurmountable events that no one would be expected to handle in an effort to defend our industry from his criticism is misguided.

One of the basic tenants of aircraft operation is the use of known pitch and power settings. Pitot static malfunctions can create confusion but only if they are viewed as a singular event with no knowledge of events leading to them. An aircraft in level flight holding a stable airspeed at FL350 doesn't just start to overspeed or stall spontaneously. The same goes for a 727 climbing at a fixed power setting with a normal pitch attitude and no indications of an unusual attitude.

If these crews were as experienced as is being claimed, there would have been a better analysis of the situation, never mind the lack of basic checklist discipline resulting in the 727 pitot heat being left off. 727s don't climb like a fighter while accelerating and A330s can't have full aft stick inputs while descending in a nose high attitude. Putting their aircraft in an unrecoverable situation because erroneous indications aren't recognized doesn't strike me as the actions of truly experienced crews, regardless of how their resume reads.
Adlerdriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2017, 06:24 AM   #19  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ptarmigan's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Position: B777 Captain
Posts: 547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adlerdriver View Post
I think it's safe to say that use of CRM principles throughout the industry have effectively squashed this stereotypical captain (small c). Culture issues in some countries may still come into play at times. However, US airlines have been pretty successful in removing the threat of the over-bearing "grey beard captain" with invincibility issues.

The experience level of the crew involved in AF 447 may be great on paper and more than some might assume, however, results speak for themselves. The introduction of the NWA 6231 accident into the discussion, IMO, really does nothing to further this theory that either situation would have or should have overwhelmed a competent crew. Mr. Langeweische may beat up on pilots and the profession in general and have little standing to do so. However, trying to build either of these accidents into insurmountable events that no one would be expected to handle in an effort to defend our industry from his criticism is misguided.

One of the basic tenants of aircraft operation is the use of known pitch and power settings. Pitot static malfunctions can create confusion but only if they are viewed as a singular event with no knowledge of events leading to them. An aircraft in level flight holding a stable airspeed at FL350 doesn't just start to overspeed or stall spontaneously. The same goes for a 727 climbing at a fixed power setting with a normal pitch attitude and no indications of an unusual attitude.

If these crews were as experienced as is being claimed, there would have been a better analysis of the situation, never mind the lack of basic checklist discipline resulting in the 727 pitot heat being left off. 727s don't climb like a fighter while accelerating and A330s can't have full aft stick inputs while descending in a nose high attitude. Putting their aircraft in an unrecoverable situation because erroneous indications aren't recognized doesn't strike me as the actions of truly experienced crews, regardless of how their resume reads.
Yes, easy to say that. Much is missing from your understanding of the entire scenario. I recommend you read the book!
ptarmigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2017, 07:36 AM   #20  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Apr 2011
Position: retired 767(dl)
Posts: 4,041
Default

I'm just lost on why the skipper wouldn't be on the flight deck when entering 50,000+ft. C/B's. Starts there, gets worse. Bringing the chick along didn't help.
badflaps is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
 

 
Reply
 



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Subcontract Airlines (Part 121 "Regional") winglet Regional 47 05-15-2016 10:45 PM
Air France ends dedicated freighters J Dawg Cargo 14 06-12-2010 10:33 AM
Air France to begin non-stop flights from Seattle to Paris vagabond Hangar Talk 0 02-20-2007 03:16 PM
Interesting Business Week SWA article ⌐ AV8OR WANNABE Major 0 10-25-2006 01:43 AM
banner year for Air Cargo Freighter Captain Cargo 0 07-09-2005 10:27 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:59 AM.


vBulletin® v3.9.3.5, Copyright ©2000-2018, MH Sub I, LLC dba vBulletin
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Website Copyright ©2000 - 2017 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1