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Thread: Yeti Airlines DHC6 at Lukla, on October 8th, 2008, crashed on runway

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Yeti Airlines DHC6 at Lukla, on October 8th, 2008, crashed on runway

    I remember this one, it happened several years ago but I bring it now because the final report is out and it relates with an important thing that we have been discussing in this forum: pilot experience.

    I don't remember a so sincere report regarding airline safety culture:

    And then...

    The primary cause was the flight crew's misjudgement, based on the weather information from all the preceding aircraft and Lukla Information, to enter into cloud patch on final wherein the aircraft encountered the rapidly uplifting fog on short final resulting in control flight into terrain.

    Probable contributing factors have been:

    - failure on the part of the regulatory body and company safety management to check the wrong practices being followed by pilots especially in STOL airfields like Lukla on a timely basis.

    - Operator's priority of economical aspect over safety such as their unequal treatment between pilots landing in adverse weather and diverters, creating a 'Must Land' situation.

    And then...

    The captain (41, ATPL, 8,185 hours total, 7,180 hours on type) was pilot flying

    http://avherald.com/h?article=40df1dd9/0011&opt=0

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    ...it relates with an important thing that we have been discussing in this forum: pilot experience...
    Struggling to know what to discuss. I think the factor we want is "What is the effect of experience on safety."

    Instead this crash seems more about "What is the effect of safety culture on safety" (And perhaps, what is the effect of routine rule-busting captains on safety (and I don't think that's directly linked to experience)).



    PS: Indiana Jones' video article was displayed on my yahoo news feed.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Struggling to know what to discuss. I think the factor we want is "What is the effect of experience on safety."

    Instead this crash seems more about "What is the effect of safety culture on safety" (And perhaps, what is the effect of routine rule-busting captains on safety (and I don't think that's directly linked to experience)).
    Exactly. I think that the question could be "Is it ok to let a pilot with "only" 700 hours in the 747 be a captain in the 747?"
    And my answer would be, that's not a factor in itself. A 700 hours pilot can be much better pilot (and captain) than a 10000 hours one.

    Look at my signature, rephrase it a bit in this context, and you'll get an idea of what's in my mind.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    A 700 hours pilot can be much better pilot (and captain) than a 10000 hours one.
    It seems to me we've seen a lot of accidents involving less experienced F/O's saying, "uh, maybe we should, I dunno... go around?" while the 15,000 hours guy the left seat is thinking "I've done this a million times, relax..."

    It comes down to 10,000 hours of flying with discipline and respect for all the hidden dangers vs 10,000 hours of getting away without all that. In either case, the more hours you spend doing it, the more instinctive it becomes.

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    ...[experience]...that's not a factor in itself...
    Noted.

    And might I suggest we also revisit the operations of regional jets operated by the finest in puppy mill material.

    Except for four one oh it dude and the sad, brief oversight of remembering that there was a really sharp left turn, but forgetting that there were actually two differing sharp lefts available*

    ...how many of them have 'we' crashed? Fewer of them than we have doing relentless pull ups on Airbii.

    *Please note that the scientifically developed procedure for the -900 does not include the ole fundamental of checking the HI indication vs. your assigned runway.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    The Captain of Flight 202, 61-year-old Pervez Iqbal Chaudhry, had 25,497 hours of flying experience...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airblue_Flight_202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Exactly. I think that the question could be "Is it ok to let a pilot with "only" 700 hours in the 747 be a captain in the 747?"
    And my answer would be, that's not a factor in itself. A 700 hours pilot can be much better pilot (and captain) than a 10000 hours one.

    Look at my signature, rephrase it a bit in this context, and you'll get an idea of what's in my mind.
    Harr. You definitely like to discuss that topic, dont ya? You'd be astonished if I showed my precision manuals B744 fsx log book to you. I don't agree with you. 700 flight hours in a 747 semipro simulator? I feel honored, but I stay with my opinion.
    If I had less than 1000 flight hours (which I have), I definitely prefer somebody like Les Abend as my captain. And that's true independent from the a/c type that we discuss.

    Evan, more than 25k flight hours? Even if that were valid for all a/c types that, let's say a 60 year old pilot, has ever flown in his entire life, I think that somehow it is a kinky number.
    I still don't have an exact comparison with Les Abend, but I think that he agrees with me, more than 25k flight hours? For that you somehow have to be a pervert. Since I am a Jetphotos member, I had a dream. Les Abend has been a Jetphotos member. So, I don't know how much I am allowed to tell about him. A Boeing 777 flight captain who fulfillled more than 18,000 flight hours until the year 2009. If you ask me, you can fly 18,000 flight hours in 36 years, so, how old is he today.

    PS: Van Zanten hadn't owned 12,000 flight hours when he died, at the age of 50. But afaik, that was the last 747 flight instructor who died due to his own pilot error. He might have gained 18,000 flight hours, that's not a problem if he had been able to celebrate his 55th birthday (1982)!
    Today, Van Zanten would be a 90 year old aviation Guru, 747 flight instructor and probably a former chief of the KL-B742 flight captains (comparable with an Air Force Colonel).
    He would have reached the magical 60 year limit in 1987, two years before LH joined the B744 club.
    If he had survived his own mistake.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 02-23-2017 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Van Zanten
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    Quote Originally Posted by LH-B744 View Post
    Harr.
    Evan, more than 25k flight hours? Even if that were valid for all a/c types that, let's say a 60 year old pilot, has ever flown in his entire life, I think that somehow it is a kinky number.
    And why would you say that? I retire in July at 65 and have just over 25k!

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    The Captain of Flight 202, 61-year-old Pervez Iqbal Chaudhry, had 25,497 hours of flying experience...
    Again- I will flame this thread (emphasis on thread) as 'listing anecdotal incidents' of experienced pilots behaving badly does nothing to further safety.

    Shall we fire all experienced pilots? is that the suggestion?

    I see this topic differently. Misbehavior is Misbehaviour.

    Remove bad behavior and then ask what IS the effect of experience?

    Was it a good thing that Sully's EXPERIENCE was on US Air 1549, or was it a good thing the SULLY was on 1549, would an RJ crew behave just as well, would Gabe have done the same, or did he simply get lucky?

    Gabe likes to say that the experience is there for the oh-crap-there's-no-procedure-for-this moment...along with saying that the FO might be every bit as competent at hand flying an ILS to 200 feet and landing.

    I run to the outstanding RJ safety record and then turn around and ask why the youngest guys are flying the no-autopilot Beech 1900 down to 200 feet at crummy little airports 5+ times a day while the best and most experienced guys take rest breaks on 10 hour flights in automitron jumbo jets set on autopilot almost the whole time and then do their token landing a couple of times per week (acknowledging that most of those folks do try to spend some meaningful time on the yoke).
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Again- I will flame this thread (emphasis on thread) as 'listing anecdotal incidents' of experienced pilots behaving badly does nothing to further safety.

    Shall we fire all experienced pilots? is that the suggestion?

    I see this topic differently. Misbehavior is Misbehaviour.

    Remove bad behavior and then ask what IS the effect of experience?

    Was it a good thing that Sully's EXPERIENCE was on US Air 1549, or was it a good thing the SULLY was on 1549, would an RJ crew behave just as well, would Gabe have done the same, or did he simply get lucky?

    Gabe likes to say that the experience is there for the oh-crap-there's-no-procedure-for-this moment...along with saying that the FO might be every bit as competent at hand flying an ILS to 200 feet and landing.

    I run to the outstanding RJ safety record and then turn around and ask why the youngest guys are flying the no-autopilot Beech 1900 down to 200 feet at crummy little airports 5+ times a day while the best and most experienced guys take rest breaks on 10 hour flights in automitron jumbo jets set on autopilot almost the whole time and then do their token landing a couple of times per week (acknowledging that most of those folks do try to spend some meaningful time on the yoke).
    You get into an elevator and there are two women. You look at one of them and say "Madam, you are certainly beautiful". Are you saying that the other one is ugly?

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Shall we fire all experienced pilots? is that the suggestion?
    Yes! As usual you have read all my words and have a clear grasp of the point I'm trying to make: Fire all the experienced pilots!

    The Captain of Flight 202, 61-year-old Pervez Iqbal Chaudhry, with his 25,497 hours of flying experience, continued a circle-to-land approach despite not having visual with the runway, despite the protestations of his F/O to go-around, despite being below MSA for the heading he was on, in IMC...... because...... he probably had 25,497 hours of experience doing it that way and getting away with it. Who know, had he gotten away with it this time, his F/O might have adopted that practice as well. We learn to do the things that reward us. The more they reward us, the more entrenched our behavior becomes. So, in the case of poor safety culture combined with a great deal of luck, more hours = more dangerous in the cockpit.

    And in the case of strong safety culture, more hours = more practiced and reliable in the cockpit.

    In other words, above a certain threshold, hours tell us nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Again- I will flame this thread (emphasis on thread) as 'listing anecdotal incidents' of experienced pilots behaving badly does nothing to further safety.

    Shall we fire all experienced pilots? is that the suggestion?

    I see this topic differently. Misbehavior is Misbehaviour.

    Remove bad behavior and then ask what IS the effect of experience?

    Was it a good thing that Sully's EXPERIENCE was on US Air 1549, or was it a good thing the SULLY was on 1549, would an RJ crew behave just as well, would Gabe have done the same, or did he simply get lucky?

    Gabe likes to say that the experience is there for the oh-crap-there's-no-procedure-for-this moment...along with saying that the FO might be every bit as competent at hand flying an ILS to 200 feet and landing.

    I run to the outstanding RJ safety record and then turn around and ask why the youngest guys are flying the no-autopilot Beech 1900 down to 200 feet at crummy little airports 5+ times a day while the best and most experienced guys take rest breaks on 10 hour flights in automitron jumbo jets set on autopilot almost the whole time and then do their token landing a couple of times per week (acknowledging that most of those folks do try to spend some meaningful time on the yoke).

    Not only well written, but I agree with you 100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Yes! As usual you have read all my words and have a clear grasp of the point I'm trying to make: Fire all the experienced pilots!

    The Captain of Flight 202, 61-year-old Pervez Iqbal Chaudhry, with his 25,497 hours of flying experience, continued a circle-to-land approach despite not having visual with the runway, despite the protestations of his F/O to go-around, despite being below MSA for the heading he was on, in IMC...... because...... he probably had 25,497 hours of experience doing it that way and getting away with it. Who know, had he gotten away with it this time, his F/O might have adopted that practice as well. We learn to do the things that reward us. The more they reward us, the more entrenched our behavior becomes. So, in the case of poor safety culture combined with a great deal of luck, more hours = more dangerous in the cockpit.

    And in the case of strong safety culture, more hours = more practiced and reliable in the cockpit.

    In other words, above a certain threshold, hours tell us nothing.
    Evan, I do not have a problem with MOST of what you have written here except, "more hours = more dangerous in the cockpit. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    Evan, I do not have a problem with MOST of what you have written here except, "more hours = more dangerous in the cockpit. "
    Well, what I wrote was: "in the case of poor safety culture combined with a great deal of luck, more hours = more dangerous in the cockpit."

    What I meant by that is any risky behavior that is reinforced by success and repeated over a lifetime becomes ingrained, instinctive and very hard to overcome. A pilot with low hours and risky habits is more likely to be swayed back into taking the safe approach. We see all these accidents where the senior pilot with the high hours and a really lax discipline for safety is warned (sometimes repeatedly) by his junior first officer but dismisses the warnings and continues the dangerous approach. Success in scoffing procedures and regulations + high hours = confidence and arrogance, and that equals danger. The danger lies in the confidence—and arrogance—that, over time, becomes instilled in the mind of a lifelong reckless pilot (or any other professional).

    But I can also see how, over all those hours, a risky pilot might learn to be more careful. He might have come very close to disaster and learned some hard lessons over the years. The point I'm making isn't that high hours can make a pilot more or less likely to do something dangerous. It is that high hours alone can't tell us this, one way or the other.

    I think the only way to gauge the skill and safety of any pilot, regardless of hours, is from one of the other cockpit seats. Hopefully, with your stratospheric time in the cockpit, you still get the occasional checkride...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    You get into an elevator and there are two women. You look at one of them and say "Madam, you are certainly beautiful". Are you saying that the other one is ugly?
    No, but to counter:

    What I see you and Evan doing is seeing a beautiful woman on an elevator on a couple of occasions and using that to support a discussion that women on elevators tend to be fashion models.

    I get it that experience doesn't matter when you are grossly violating good safety procedure...but who gives a rat if it's a 25,000 hour pilot grossly violating good safety practice or a 50 hour pilot grossly violating good safety practice- when they crash, we roll our eyes at the 'violations'.

    Yeah, sure you can say that "experience doesn't matter much when you are reckless"- I CONCUR with that.

    But I expect more out of this forum than to cherry pick high-hour guys who grossly violate rules and try to make a discussion on "the effect of experience".
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Yeah, sure you can say that "experience doesn't matter much when you are reckless"
    But it does! It can make you more confident, more practiced and more instinctive in your recklessness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    But it does! It can make you more confident, more practiced and more instinctive in your recklessness.
    Fine.

    For the record, it was you who said "above a certain threshold, hours tell us nothing"...i.e. above a certain number, experience doesn't matter.

    That being said, cherry picking two high hour pilots that grossly disregarded safety procedure still does not make a meaningful dataset.

    For your example, please note they had already diverted. Foreign approaches, potentially long difficult day, fatigue, maybe even some old-age mental degeneration...all that could easily equal an overload situation as much as it equals the all-pilots-who-crash-are-idiots-and-wantonly-violate-procedure...your home base as we all know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Fine.

    For the record, it was you who said "above a certain threshold, hours tell us nothing"
    Yes, I said that. A certain threshold of hours is needed to be proficient and reliable, but above that, hours don't tell us who is safe and who is reckless.

    ...i.e. above a certain number, experience doesn't matter.
    No, I didn't say that. (Or even i.e. that...) As I just said, experience matters. It can make the safe better at safety and the reckless more relaxed with recklessness.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    No, but to counter:

    What I see you and Evan doing is seeing a beautiful woman on an elevator on a couple of occasions and using that to support a discussion that women on elevators tend to be fashion models.
    That's exactly NOT the point. Let's go back to the beginning.

    LH-B744 was almost outraged that the captain of the other accident had just 700 hours on the 747.

    Some slots above you said "I will flame this thread (emphasis on thread) as 'listing anecdotal incidents' of experienced pilots behaving badly does nothing to further safety." Well, furthering safety was not my intention in this thread. Rather, it was to show that many hours on type is no guarantee of good pilot skills or behaviors.

    You very well mentioned the regional airlines, with an excellent safety record in conditions that are typically more challenging than in the long-haul flights, despite having the least experienced pilots. I am more concerned by the puppy mill attitude than the experience.

    BB, have you ever moved from captain in one type, to captain in another type in which you didn't have experience (other that the sim to get the type rating and the initial line experience, and then your first flight in the real plane would be a revenue flight where you would be the captain but flying with another captain in the right seat and a safety pilot in the jumpseat for about 10 flights / 50 hours). What do you think of this practice? Is it a concern for you? Should captains always be demoted to FO when they move to a new type? What are the chances for an airline introducing a new type to their fleet, or a manufacturer introducing a new type?

    I am not concerned with this. A good pilot is a good pilot in any type. And a good captain will always be a good captain. Of course you will need type-specific study and instruction to familiarize yourself with the specific procedures, systems and handling characteristics.

    Read my signature. If you demonstrate that you are a good pilot, with a good judgement, a correct risk assessment, responsible, disciplined, knowledgeable, and able to handle all normal, abnormal and emergency situations, with a good leadership and CRM, you can be my captain any day. I don't care what your credentials are (as long as they are legal at minimum). Can having many hours help you acquire all of the above? Of course!!!! Will having many hours make you acquire all of the above? Not necessarily. Not by themselves. Not without many things in the equation, other than hours.

    I will judge for what you are, for how you behave, for what you do, and for what you don't do. Not for a number in your logbook or a paper in a frame in your wall (again, as long as they meet at least the minimum requirement).

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Yes, I said that. A certain threshold of hours is needed to be proficient and reliable, but above that, hours don't tell us who is safe and who is reckless.
    And just to expand on that point, something that regulators and educators absolutely hate to admit: the number of hours required to become proficient and reliable varies depending on the person. Sometimes dramatically. That throws a real wrench in the works for training/testing programs because hours are very easy to measure while competence sometimes is not. Never mind all the other intangibles like how different people react differently in emergencies, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    No, I didn't say that. (Or even i.e. that...) As I just said, experience matters. It can make the safe better at safety and the reckless more relaxed with recklessness.
    It can also make the incompetent more relaxed with incompetence. I think a shining example is the accident a while back at SFO where you had a pilot who apparently couldn't hand-fly an approach but it took thousands of hours and a severely bent airplane for that fact to come to light.

    You wrote above that the only way to gauge skills is from another seat in the cockpit. In some cases, that's absolutely true. But there are a lot of skills that might be needed in extreme circumstances, that don't come into play in routine flying. So the hypothetical cockpit observer could spend many hours with someone flying fat dumb and happy, and have no idea they'd react badly when the s**t hits the fan.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

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