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  • In that case I humbly stand corrected.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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    • Here's an interesting piece on cnn.com by Les Abend arguing that the airline should not be blamed: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/21/opinio...html?hpt=hp_t3

      I'm not sure I buy his argument: basically that the airline flew that route because ATC told them to and they had no choice. It seems to me that the concept of "filing a flight plan" may be in play also...
      Be alert! America needs more lerts.

      Eric Law

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      • Originally posted by elaw View Post
        Here's an interesting piece on cnn.com by Les Abend arguing that the airline should not be blamed: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/21/opinio...html?hpt=hp_t3

        I'm not sure I buy his argument: basically that the airline flew that route because ATC told them to and they had no choice. It seems to me that the concept of "filing a flight plan" may be in play also...
        He also says, "From over 800 flights traversing Ukranian airspace during the week before the crash of Malaysia Flight 17 it was*the only airplane targeted by a missile."

        Hell of a way to rationalize it. That is the equivalent of about 123 planes falling out of the sky each day on a worldwide basis. Pretty sure that would bring air travel to a grinding halt within an hour or so.

        By the way - what about the other plane that was both targeted and removed from the sky by a "high powered missile, probably from Russia", 3 days prior. I guess he's as oblivious as Ukraine ATC and Eurocontrol.

        And, oh yeah, about those airlines that did avoid it.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by retox View Post
          You realize you accurately quoted just ONE single word in your response?

          The rest is a half-literate rant where you stuff a bunch of very ridiculous words into my mouth. What the hell is that about?

          Fuck Putin. Russia is already an also-ran. Cut them off at the balls economically, cut off Gazprom, support Ukraine so they can remain independent, and STAY THE HELL OUT OF THEIR AIRSPACE. Done.
          Clearly not a guy who thinks our deficit is a major problem. Maybe after YOUR rant you can estimate the cost of your "solution". The statement is what you might hear in a bar somewhere. But you just know if the powers that be ever implemented it, the guys in the bars would figure out a way that it was a "good policy" ruined by an "incompetent administration". Meanwhile, the rest of the world has to deal with the nasty complexities of reality where none of the solutions are so easily implemented.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by elaw View Post
            Here's an interesting piece on cnn.com by Les Abend arguing that the airline should not be blamed: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/21/opinio...html?hpt=hp_t3

            I'm not sure I buy his argument: basically that the airline flew that route because ATC told them to and they had no choice. It seems to me that the concept of "filing a flight plan" may be in play also...
            I have this nagging feeling that people on this board have said airline captains don't have to do ANYTHING the consider unsafe. Is that an exaggeration? I mean, if I thought something was unsafe, refused, and got fired, I'd figure some company somewhere would value my professional concern not only for the company's bottom line but for the lives of the passengers I might have saved. Is that too rosey a picture of commercial aviation, that a captain could refuse an order and keep working?

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            • They're learning!

              WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines Tuesday they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby.

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              • The Federal Aviation Administration issued a 24-hour ban on Tuesday after a rocket fell near Ben-Gurion International Airport, and some European airlines followed suit.
                Am I the only one that sees the problem here?

                Whatever happened to foresight?

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                • Originally posted by Evan View Post
                  Am I the only one that sees the problem here?

                  Whatever happened to foresight?
                  Yes, you are the only one.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by retox View Post
                    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines Tuesday they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby.
                    Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian airlines, KLM, Air France and Air Canada are suspending service to Ben-Gurion for 36 hours.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by EconomyClass View Post
                      I have this nagging feeling that people on this board have said airline captains don't have to do ANYTHING the consider unsafe. Is that an exaggeration? I mean, if I thought something was unsafe, refused, and got fired, I'd figure some company somewhere would value my professional concern not only for the company's bottom line but for the lives of the passengers I might have saved. Is that too rosey a picture of commercial aviation, that a captain could refuse an order and keep working?
                      I am disappointed with Les Abend's article.
                      First, the thing about "800 other airplanes were not targeted". Shit, 3WE was right. In my previous 800 take-offs no engine failed before V1, so why would we brief a rejected take-off?

                      Then, Les says that pilots are not allowed to change the routing, except in an emergency. That partially true.
                      1- You can request, another route, and if there is a good reason for that you will typically get what you request for or other suitable alternative.
                      2- "Emergency" (or mayday) is one of the two magic words that the pilots have. "Emergency" works when you need to deviate from the current clearance and you can't get a suitable clearance "in good terms" (point one). "Emergency" has the power to effectively leave ATC with the sole role of clearing the airspace where the the pilot said he intended to go, and it hasn't any authority over the plane any more. A pilot in emergency is legally allowed to deviate from any procedures and regulations as he deems necessary for the safety of the flight, and that includes not following the ATC clearance. Of course, the pilot may need to explain his actions later. It doesn't need to go as far, and typically the pilot and ATC will work as a team and find a way that works for both. But the power is there.
                      3- The second magic word is "unable". This word gives the pilot the right not follow a new clearance, that is to reject a clearance. This word is typically used for "hard" constrains. "Cleared to land RWY XYZ" / "Unable: runway XYZ is too short". "Climb to FL430" / "Unable, my ceiling is FL410". "Increase your descent and reduce speed" / "Unable, I am already at idle, I can one or the other, not both". But it can also be used for judgement calls. For example, the ATC tells you turn right but that would head you into some clouds that you judge dangerous (either objectively, for example a thunderstorm, or subjectively, for example you are a low time IFR pilot and don't feel that you're up to the task).

                      So this is how all this could have worked in this case, in the different phase of the rule making, policy making, flight planning and actual flight:

                      Eurocontrol: Could have closed that airspace or not clearing airplanes into it.

                      Airline operations (with or without the above): "Until further advised operations over the area XYZ are forbidden".

                      Flight dispatcher (with or without the above): Can have filed a different route.

                      Transit clearance (with or without the above)
                      ATC: MY17 cleared to Kuala Lumpur via X, Y, Z.
                      MY17: Unable: that route would put me over a war zone area that my airline has banned / that I judge unacceptably dangerous.

                      In flight, the plane had other route, but due to traffic, ATC tells to deviate over the war zone
                      ATC: MY17, we have another airplane in emergency and we need to re-route you. Turn right, straight KABOM, then join W18.
                      MY17: Unable: that route would put me over a war zone area that my airline has banned / that I judge unacceptably dangerous.

                      The flight plan was filed, cleared, and being flown towards the war zone. The FO is reading the newspaper and tells to the captain: "Look, our flight will put us just almost over the same spot where this airplane at 25000ft was shot down by a SAM yesterday.
                      MY17: XYZ control, I have just learnt that a plane was shot down yesterday just where we are heading now. I need to turn North to fly around that zone.
                      ATC: Cleared, turn North, heading ABC. (that's the easy version, and the typical one too. Let's see the hard one).
                      ATC: Negative.
                      MY17: Ok, what about South?
                      ATC: Negative.
                      MY17: I need a detour around this zone. What do you suggest?
                      ATC: I have nothing to offer.
                      MY17: Look, I am NOT flying over that zone, ok? If you can't clear me around it I will declare emergency and fly around anyway.
                      ATC: As I said, I have nothing to offer. Sorry.
                      MY17: Control, MY17 is declaring emergency. Turning North heading ABC.
                      ATC: Negative.
                      MY17: I have declared emergency and I am already in the turn.
                      ATC: Negative, you are not cleared to turn.
                      MY17: Negative my ass. Or come here and stop me. I've declared emergency, this is the third time, I don't need your clearance, and I am turning North heading ABC, whether you like it or not. You better clear the airspace.
                      (I have never seen a case reaching this far, but the authority is materially and legally with the pilot in this case).

                      Don't take me wrong. In this post I am not judging what Eurocontrol, the airline, the dispatcher and the pilots did or didn't. I'm judging Les Abend for saying that the airline and the pilot had to do what Eurocntrol told them and they had no choice but to silently comply, regardless of whether that would put them over a war zone or headed into a mountain. That's bulshit.

                      --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                      --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                      Comment


                      • Why are the black boxes being examined in the UK?

                        The British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) tell me they are one of only two so-called "replay units" in Europe with the necessary equipment to listen to what has been recorded on the cockpit voice recorder. The other is in France.

                        They have the kit to analyse in minute detail what can be heard in the last few minutes of flight MH17. The information is incredibly sensitive so investigators gather in a sealed room so that only those who should be listening can listen.

                        There are four speakers on the walls creating a surround sound - anything to help the investigators hear exactly what went on. They may even hear any explosion.

                        The AAIB will not tell me when they expect to get their hands on the black boxes. But investigators are confident that, depending on the extent of the damage, they can retrieve information from the boxes within 24 hours.

                        One of the boxes records technical information relating to the performance of the aircraft and the other takes down sounds such as pilots' voices and, potentially, an explosion.

                        Investigators will be able to collect information as long as there is no damage to the black boxes, which are designed to withstand a plane crash.

                        But experts say it is not clear how useful the data on them will be.

                        David Gleave, a former air accident investigator who is now an aviation safety researcher at Loughborough University, said: "The black box may show absolutely nothing of interest at all.

                        "It's not set up to record something like this. They're set up to record things like human error, what's happening in the cockpit, equipment failure.

                        "If the missile exploded in close proximity to the plane and the tail was severed fully off it wouldn't have recorded anything from the cockpit at all.

                        "If it exploded further away and the crew started to fight against it before the plane came down, there may be 20 seconds of data.

                        "You might get a pulse in the cabin pressure, the controls may have started to vibrate. If it was a heat-seeking missile and exploded near one of the engines you might get vibration recorded on one side but not the other. But it is likely to have exploded very close to the plane."

                        "In this case, if it was a missile attack, it's likely there'll also be lots of physical evidence so how would you remove that or tamper with it? There's no point tampering with the boxes if you couldn't remove the physical evidence as well," he said.

                        Comment


                        • Explosive residue

                          Does anyone know if chemical analysis of aircraft fragments is likely to offer a signature of the explosive, and then indicate its country of manufacture ?
                          or even weapon type ?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Quench View Post
                            Does anyone know if chemical analysis of aircraft fragments is likely to offer a signature of the explosive,
                            Possibly.
                            and then indicate its country of manufacture ?
                            or even weapon type ?
                            You can determine the type of explosive used by the byproducts left after the explosive chemical reaction, maybe even reconstruct the approximate original formula of the explosive. If the formula is of a very exclusive type used specifically for one country in one type of missiles, maybe you can tell which it is. But if this explosive is a "standard" one used in different types of missiles from different origins, then it will be hard to tell the origin. Water is H2O, and ammonium nitrate is NH4NO3, be it in Russia or in the USA. (I know that ammonium nitrate will be hardly used as warhead in an advanced missile, just giving an example).

                            --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                            --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                            Comment


                            • No evidence of direct Russian involvement say US intelligence offcials:

                              WASHINGTON (AP) Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

                              They say the passenger jet was likely felled by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and that Russia "created the conditions" for the downing by arming the separatists.

                              The officials briefed reporters Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week's air disaster, which killed 298 people.

                              They said they did not know if any Russians were present at the missile launch, and they wouldn't say that the missile crew was trained in Russia.

                              A senior official said the most likely explanation was the plane was shot down by mistake.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                                I am disappointed with Les Abend's article.
                                First, the thing about "800 other airplanes were not targeted". Shit, 3WE was right. In my previous 800 take-offs no engine failed before V1, so why would we brief a rejected take-off?
                                Capt Abend has a fairly lengthy history of expressing opinions that may be characterized as..."interesting", to say the very least.

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