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Thread: Air Canada pulls a Hans Solo

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quench View Post
    Attachment 8161

    Quite inexplicable.
    I don't think so. When humans are trained in routine, the brain will strongly gravitate to strive for the same conditions even when there are warnings that something is different. There is a much higher gap/difference required to snap the brain out of an habitual pattern. In this case, it sounds to me like there was enough deviations from the norm they picked up themselves combined with the radio warning that they snapped out of the trap and aborted at the last minute. 59 feet is pretty low... how tall is the tail of a large plane?

    I can give so many examples where habit and routine + a belief in what I expect to be a certain way, completely blind me to problems staring me straight in the face. The brain has a lot of processing designed to save us from having to apply active energy to think all the time.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    More info from the same link:

    • The incident pilots advanced the thrust levers when the airplane was about 85 feet above ground level. Flight data recorder data indicate the airplane was over the taxiway at this time. About 2.5 seconds after advancing the thrust levers, the minimum altitude recorded on the FDR was 59 feet above ground level.
    • Both pilots said, in post-incident interviews, they believed the lighted runway on their left was 28L and that they were lined up for 28R. They also stated that they did not recall seeing aircraft on taxiway C but that something did not look right to them.


    As a reference, the tail of a 787-9 is 55.5 ft high (UA001, the 1st airplane in the line on the taxiway, is normally done with a 787-9)

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  3. #23
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    I'll steal a comment from AVHerald: "We'll never come close to understanding and preventing occurences [sic] like this if we simply write it off as "stupid"."

    It is pretty clear their confirmation bias overrode all of the other indicators like lights on the runway, the wrong colour landing lights etc.

    Several interesting notes:
    - they decided to around on their own prior to the tower coming to the party.
    - they passed just behind the first plane, and were right in front of the second plane when that plane turned on their lights after the first plane gave warning on the radio (so either the lights, or the radio warning triggered the go-around)
    - from the description, diagram, and photos they advanced the thrust levers right in front of the second plane so they would have been lowest awfully close to the tail of the second plane.

    This was a LOT closer than was implied early on.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
    I don't think so. When humans are trained in routine, the brain will strongly gravitate to strive for the same conditions even when there are warnings that something is different. There is a much higher gap/difference required to snap the brain out of an habitual pattern. In this case, it sounds to me like there was enough deviations from the norm they picked up themselves combined with the radio warning that they snapped out of the trap and aborted at the last minute. 59 feet is pretty low... how tall is the tail of a large plane?

    I can give so many examples where habit and routine + a belief in what I expect to be a certain way, completely blind me to problems staring me straight in the face. The brain has a lot of processing designed to save us from having to apply active energy to think all the time.
    Good point; confirmation bias, I am sure, will come up as a factor.
    The pilot sounded tired on the radio to me.
    Having only one controller doing 3 jobs also a factor, that one has come up before. The controller had equipment to verify the landing aircrafts alignment.

    I like the "where is this guy going" that should be added to GPWS verbatim.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quench View Post
    I like the "where is this guy going" that should be added to GPWS verbatim.
    I do wonder why lateral deviations are not part of it. Ground Proximity Warning is really Non-Runway Proximity Warning.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I do wonder why lateral deviations are not part of it. Ground Proximity Warning is really Non-Runway Proximity Warning.
    Strikes me as complicated and I have seen MANY airliner approaches where you may not be lined up until VERY late.

    Besides, what's that special thingie that works much like a VOR?

    Or that crazy histogram-adjusted pink line depiction...

    Do we need any MORE things distracting pilots, WHEN IN FACT they had TOTALLY ADEQUATE situational awareness?
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Strikes me as complicated and I have seen MANY airliner approaches where you may not be lined up until VERY late.

    Besides, what's that special thingie that works much like a VOR?

    Or that crazy histogram-adjusted pink line depiction...

    Do we need any MORE things distracting pilots, WHEN IN FACT they had TOTALLY ADEQUATE situational awareness?
    You're joking right?

    What's that crazy dial/tape thing called altimeter? Why do we need GPWS again? Oh right, human factors...

    I think a runway track deviation warning using EGWPS that gives a warning in ground proximity wouldn't be a bad idea.

    It would have prevented this almost total disaster.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    You're joking right?
    No...AND I forgot the low-silica 700-900 nm passive radio distance and ranging system...(which ACTUALLY DID prevent this near-total disaster).

    And descending in the clouds towards something that is ALWAYS hard is a different level of risk than miss identifying really dim blue lights from really dim white lights.

    And, let me restate two things: Bobbies objection to a potentially distracting TOPMS

    and

    Evan wants one MORE system when magenta lines are available.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    You guys are really funny. I finally retired last month so I don't have to deal with it anymore. I will be very content to fly my cub with NO RADIO, NO STARTER, and still manage to get her up and down in one piece.Click image for larger version. 

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    Congratulations, BB. I always enjoy your contributions and hope you will remain here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    You guys are really funny. I finally retired last month so I don't have to deal with it anymore. I will be very content to fly my cub with NO RADIO, NO STARTER, and still manage to get her up and down in on piece.
    Congratulations. Enjoy your rapid decompression, so to speak.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    You guys are really funny. I finally retired last month so I don't have to deal with it anymore. I will be very content to fly my cub with NO RADIO, NO STARTER, and still manage to get her up and down in on piece.Click image for larger version. 

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    Dear Lord...an inherently unstable tail dragger. These must be banned and replaced by tricycle-gear aircraft!!!
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    You guys are really funny. I finally retired last month so I don't have to deal with it anymore. I will be very content to fly my cub with NO RADIO, NO STARTER, and still manage to get her up and down in on piece.Click image for larger version. 

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    You can always install a battery-powered Aspen avionics PFD and HSI.
    .... or use the Mark IV eyeball natural horizon and navigator.

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  14. #34
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    Enjoy your retirement Bobby. How many hours in the end. Jet hours that is ?
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    Enjoy your retirement Bobby. How many hours in the end. Jet hours that is ?
    TT 25k Turbine 15k Tail wheel (The way real pilots learned to fly) 6k

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    TT 25k Turbine 15k Tail wheel (The way real pilots learned to fly) 6k
    The day that you retired, another pilot joined an airline for the 1st time. Very young, about 20 years old, he spent the last 2 years preparing for this. 2 years ago, he had zero hours. 2 years ago, he had his 1st flight in a Cessna 172 equipped with a Garmin G-1000 PFD and ND, with a GNS GPS and navigator and autopilot. Flying more than 1 hour per day (weather permitting) in a sunny Miami airport, taking off and landing from long asphalt runways, dragging with power every approach to keep a 3-deg glideslope, always keeping white over red on the PAPI. 4 months later he had his PPL, 2 weeks later he got his twin endorsement in a Seminole (also equipped with a G-100o and AP), then he did his instruments rating and CPL flying mostly in the twin (he needs twin hours) and, 9 months after zero hours, with 500 flight hours, ha got his CFI. Next day he started flying as a CFI in the same institution ("flight school" is too small a name for this place), flying the same 2 planes he flew as a student, and has been doing so for the last 15 months and making barely any money at all, just a nominal and symbolic $ because he cannot do it for free (it would be illegal), but the basic idea is that you gain hours and the school has free instructors, instructors that don't have any motivation or passion for teaching, other than making hours towards a completely different goal. During those 15 months he interviewed with many airlines, those that fly regional jets under the regional brand of one of the 3 bigs. Those that you think you are flying American, United or Delta, when in fact you are not even flying their regional brand. One of them pre-contracted them. 3 months ago, with still fewer hours than needed for the ATP, he started ground school and sim training with that airline, in parallel with his flight instructor activities to gain the latest hours he needed. Yesterday he flew his hour number 1500. Today, 2 years after his first flight ever as a prospect PPL, he sits in the right seat of an ERJ with some 90 pax behind, and a captain next to him that is maybe 5 or 7 years older than himself and had a very similar path. He invested about 150 grands to get here. He will spend some years to recover that much, In the long run, it will be a good business though. He never flew a plane without tv screens as instrument and without at AP. He never will. He never wore other thing than a white shirt with epaulets while flying. He never will. He never flew in an uncontrolled airport with a grass or dirt strip. he never will. He flew 1500 hours in piston airplanes. He will never fly one hour again in another thing than a jet. The flight school he leaves behind has a fancy, important-sounding name, something like "PPCTP" that stands for Professional Pilot Career Training Program", but is known as a "puppy mill". The same day that this pilot seats in this right seat of an RJ for the first time, a 747 captain with 25K hours total, including 10K hours in pistons, which includes 6K hours in taildraggers, most of them without even a radio, a starter or even an electrical system at all, most of them in uncontrolled airports with a grass or dirt strip, leaves the left seat of his Jumbo airliner for the last time.

    How does it feel?

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  17. #37
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    uHe never flew a plane without tv screens as instrument and without at AP. He never will. He never wore other thing than a white shirt with epaulets while flying. He never will. He never flew in an uncontrolled airport with a grass or dirt strip. he never will. He flew 1500 hours in piston airplanes. He will never fly one hour again in another thing than a jet.
    Why should he? The job has changed, and the less confused you are about it the better. The job is to fly a glass cockpit, to manage a digital autopilot, to use the magenta lines, to administer and troubleshoot complex, computerized avionics, to know everything about doing that without mistakenly thinking old world instincts can be universally applied. The basics will always be the basics. It the flight school isn't teaching them, then it's not a flight school and needs to be shut down. The supplementals will always be the supplementals. If the operator isn't teaching them ON TYPE, then it's not a safety-oriented operatpr and it needs to be shut down. But, I'm sorry, you don't need to know your way around an HSI or how to launch a taildragger to fly the 777. You need to know when it isn't kosher to use open descent mode and what the autothrust mode is when you do use it. You don't need to master the engine out technique on a cable-driven elevator twin turboprop to fly the A320. You do need to know the automatic stabilizer trim behaviors and not to shut down flight control computers in flight via the breaker panel. You don't need to know how to barrel-roll a Stearman to fly a 737NG. You do need to know that you cannot execute an automated go-around on a single autopilot. In short, you need to master the machine you are flying and the technique required to fly it as it is designed to be flown, which, in modern transport aircraft, is via a flight control system and glass navigation cues most of the time.

    I do admire a pilot who can wrangle a Piper Cub onto a country lane in a 20kt crosswind while keeping his cigar lit, but that's a different game altogether. When I'm in seat 34C I want the pilot to be trained on what I'm sitting in. And when things go wrong, I want the pilot to be trained on what I'm sitting in.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    The job is also to hand-fly and do it well when needed, to not the be afraid to hit the "gimme my frigging plane back" button, to do "click click, clack clack" if needed, if the "system" is not responding as expected (even if you don't even know at that time why it isn't, even if it was your mistake in the first place), your job is also not to ask "what is it doing now" but do whatever it takes to make it do what you need first, and then ask "why was it doing that". Many accidents happened as a result of not managing the system well, most of them could have been avoided not only by managing the systems well in the first place, but by taking crisp manual action after the system failed to do as expected. As you sort of said, it is not one or the other but one and the other. But the bias is there. It is interesting to see how you mentioned glass cockpit, digital autopilot, magenta lines, complex computerized avionics. But where are the " fundamentals"? Only in "the basics will be always the basics". No launching a taildragger, but knowing that in a 777 open descent is not kosher. Not engine-out technique with a cable elevator, but the behavior of the automatic pitch trim in the A320. Not rolling a Stearman, but to know that automated go arounds need 2 autopilots. You said you master the machine you are flying, and who can oppose that? But wouldn't it be nice that the pilot of a 777 in open descent will pay more attention to the airspeed and immediately manually advances the throttles the moment that the speed goes a knot below target and the TLs do not start to advance by themselves as (wrongly) expected? Or that the pilot of a 737 swiftly reverts to manual flight to complete the go-around after his single-AP automated attempt failed failed (as expected)? Or that the pilot of a 777 will immediately firewall the throttles after initiating a go-around after touchdown when he didn't hear, feel, or measure the engines spooling up, the acceleration of the plane, his body pressed against the back of the seat, etc...? Or that the pilots of a 737 reverts to manual flight after the AP/AT fails at keeping the speed due to a known issue with the radio-altimeter, and if they go as far as activating the stickshaker they at least manage the approach to stall in an appropriate way (that never includes activating automation in the middle of the fight)? Or that the pilots of an A330 don't actively stall and keep stalling the plane all the way to the ocean after they failed to perform the simple memory items for a correctly identified UAS? In all these cases, the first mistakes, related with automation and systems, where type-dependent. The second ones were failures on universal pilot skills. The first ones should be avoided with initial and recurrent type specific training, in the airlines. Where are you going to learn the second ones if not in the universal basic training, in the 1st 1500 (or 200) hours? Aerodynamics, the 3 Newton's Laws of Motion and manual flight using the 4 typical controls are not type specific.

    And, the most important thing:

    Q: "Why should he? The job has changed"
    A: Because being a pilot is not just a job.

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  19. #39
    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    ....and don't forget that most people accepted the fact that Sully getting US Airways Flight 1549 down into the Hudson came down to his previous experience and skills as a glider pilot.

    When I fly, my idea of heaven is having a Captain who is ex-military with a whole bunch of years experience behind him hand flying his aircraft. Todays pilots actually probably only have 20 to 30 minutes maximum hands on during a 12 hour flight. It is entirely possible that they have never actually flown the real thing before, qualifying instead in a simulator.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


  20. #40
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    The universe may explode...

    Although this is not a black and white issue.

    I was thinking about what tail dragger skills are so special...

    Good rudder skills on roll out? Contrast this with Evan who is judgmental when an ATP touches rudder pedals.

    What good is a non controlled airport? What good are cryptic steam gauges? (might weed out weaker pilots... but not 100%).

    Who the hell needs a stabilized approach in a Cub?

    Part of me is with Evan... train 'em to do their job..hand propping experience doesn't make my trip in 32A safer.

    I do agree with Gabriel that hand flying and maneuvering and being familiar with side slips and full flap power off 'dives' and a concern with airspeed and attitude (and hard pull ups and AOA) are important and do come from light plane operation more than RJ operation.

    And one more nuance... there's subtleties - Puppy mill practice for the test-to hell with wisdom. Practice the hell out of full power, max climb... but just not to the detriment that pulling up a little bit too much =[Gabriel's long list].

    I am not sure that these skills only come from tail draggers. Too much of it rests with the individual pilot. How quick the auto pilot goes on and off and whether skills are honed or you just go through the motions.

    Apologies to the pros... more outsider pontification on how we think your industry should be run*. Just a statement that there's a middle ground out there (which Evan will dismiss and Gabriel will agree to at some length).

    *and a big dose of ironing to be telling ATL and VNav and Bobby how more hand flying and light AC experience and fundamentals are important.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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