Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Air Berlin pilots suspended after unnecessary go-around at Düsseldorf Airport

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    8

    Default Air Berlin pilots suspended after unnecessary go-around at Düsseldorf Airport


  2. #2
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,098

    Default

    I suppose it's valid given how many $/min it takes to operate an airliner...the little excursion probably cost a few $.

    And maybe they were not legally high enough when they left the 'runway environment' and started 'flying over crowds of people'?
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent. UK.
    Posts
    11,405

    Default

    So....Let me get this right.....he's been suspended.......from a job that effectively doesn't exist anymore ?
    Last edited by brianw999; 10-20-2017 at 12:25 PM.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


  4. #4
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    I have mixed feelings about this... the incident was supposedly referred to the BFU for investigation and I wonder if they had anything to do with the suspension.

    The key thing is: this isn't a go-around, it's a fly-by. Since airline pilots do not train for fly-by's, it's probably not something you want them to do with passengers aboard.

    What I see on the video appears to be a safe, well-executed maneuver in VFR conditions (with stall protections in effect), but what concerns me, as always, are the stealth factors.

    From a systems standpoint, the key difference between a fly-by and a go-around lies in the interdependencies between the activation of TO/GA and the activation of GA autopilot and navigation modes. If the thrust levers are not placed into TO/GA, certain nav cues are not activated, the FD is not providing GA guidance, the modes are not SRS and GA-TRACK, the F-PLN is not go-around, etc. If the pilots are expecting these things, that could trigger the old cascade into 'what's-it-doing-now'.

    Assuming this was well-planned and briefed beforehand, which hopefully included the pax (ATC clearance was requested) and the pilots knew the unusual systems ramifications and made provisions for nav, then I don't really have a problem with this.

    But, since we don't get to choose our pilots, and because we have come to learn that there are still cowboys out there with outstanding stick-and-rudder skills who don't know their aircraft well enough, and because we have come to learn that many accidents are precipitated by degraded situational awareness caused by the aircraft doing something different than their expectations, often during unusual circumstances, often in blended-automation, often at low altitudes where there is no tolerance for error, I think it's best to officially frown upon this sort of thing. It introduces the potential for error.

    But it's also my impression that AB pilots are top-notch and hopefully this suspension is only a short, ceremonious thing. They still have eight days left to get reinstated...

  5. #5
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,098

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    The key thing is: this isn't a go-around, it's a fly-by. Since airline pilots do not train for fly-by's...
    Mr. Black and white, please list the procedures for a go-around and the procedures for a fly by.

    Let's see....add power.
    Manage pitch and bank and attitude and airspeed (and AOA if Gabriel has any authority over you).
    Assure that the aircraft is not descending towards a touch down. Adjust flaps, raise gear
    Climb to a 'safe altitude' Turn, if needed, to a new heading.
    Navigate as appropriate.
    Fly the plane.

    For a go-around, it might be a surprise!
    For a fly by, it's not a surprise.

    Which one is probably safer per billion incidents of each?

    I know...MY procedure may not apply to that PARTICULAR airplane.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Mr. Black and white, please list the procedures for a go-around and the procedures for a fly by.
    Well, you could read what I just wrote above, but...

    There is no procedure for a fly-by. Nobody expects airline pilots to do fly-by's. A go-around can be executed in managed guidance, where almost nothing bad ever happens. A fly-by requires* either selected guidance or manual flight (afiak without flight directors) where all the unthinkable errors seem to go down.That's the safety issue I see.

    In the right hands on the right day, fine. When you plunk down in seat 33A, are you confident that you are in the right hands? Or should we play it safe?

    * I CONCEDE THAT THERE MIGHT BE A WAY TO DO THIS IN MANAGED GUIDANCE THROUGH THE FMGC BUT I HIGHLY DOUBT IN WOULD BE DEEMED WORTH THE TROUBLE.

  7. #7
    Member BoeingBobby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    MIA
    Posts
    928

    Default

    I'm staying out of this one!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Posts
    5,887

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    stealth factors systems standpoint interdependencies TO/GA GA autopilot and navigation modes thrust levers are not placed into TO/GA nav cues not activated FD GA guidance modes not SRS GA-TRACK F-PLN not go-around
    This is the correct procedure for a flyby:

    AP ==>> Click click
    AT ==>> Click click
    FD ==>> Clack

    --- 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 ---

  9. #9
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    This is the correct procedure for a flyby:

    AP ==>> Click click
    AT ==>> Click click
    FD ==>> Clack
    Then what?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Posts
    5,887

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Then what?
    Then fly the airplane.

    Keep speed above minimum and maximum for the config, check speed before changing the config, use pitch and power in a coordinated way to achieve the desired speed and climb performance, use bank to achieve the desired heading.

    What is the procedure to hand=fly a circle to land approach? Or a traffic pattern?
    Well, the same.

    --- 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 ---

  11. #11
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Then fly the airplane.

    Keep speed above minimum and maximum for the config, check speed before changing the config, use pitch and power in a coordinated way to achieve the desired speed and climb performance, use bank to achieve the desired heading.

    What is the procedure to hand=fly a circle to land approach? Or a traffic pattern?
    Well, the same.
    Well, no, it's not. The procedute for circle-to-land is to descend and end up on the runway. There is no descent/ascent transition involved, which is again a place were risk arises and errors occur.

    I'm referring to the known fact that risk of pilot error is amplified by transitional phases of flight and non-standard, unpracticed and improvised maneuvers.

    It should be easy enough (the AB crew did a fine job as far as I can tell), but what if one of those stealthy* human factors leads to error? (*stealthy means you don't foresee it happening to you)

    For example, what if you decide to do a nice, slow fly-by using auto-throttle and then you turn off the runway heading at around Vref + 5, bank significantly, pitch up slightly to achieve a shallow climb AND (being go-around -minded) retract flaps to 15, and thus, between the bank and the configuration change, you significantly raise the stall speed and the AoA before a modest increase in power has become effective thrust?

    If this was a go-around and procedure was followed, you would have first advanced the levers to TO/GA and remained wings level until you had positive climb, and then you would now have correct guidance to navigate the pre-determined F-PLN go-around.

    As I said, I have mixed feeling about this. The AB incident seems to have been done in a safe, expert manner so no harm done. But what if it hadn't been, or what if the next crew that tries this isn't so expert or prepared?

    I think that is what the company or the BFU is saying here: leave the showboating to the non-revenue flights. Better safe than sorry.

    And I seem to remember anothor Airbus that tried this and ended up in the trees...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Posts
    5,887

    Default

    Evan, doing a flyby is easy. All the mistakes that you mention can happen in any phase of manual flight. The transition from descent to climb doesn't pose any especial difficulty in manual flight, not any more than transitioning from descent to level flight, for example. Can it be done wrongly? Yes, ans the Air France accident you mention demonstrates. Take offs, approaches, landings and even cruise flight can be done wrongly and end up in fatal accidents.

    The Air France pilot, unsurprisingly now in the hindsight, was so bad pilot that even today he believes that the all-mighty computer wanted to land against his desires to climb.

    A pilot should not go below Vref, if they go things can go wrong, in a flyby (as it happened in Air France) or in an approach (as it happened in Asiana and Turkish) or in cruise (as it happens to Pinnacle).

    But a flyby is much easier, for example, than an approach, because you have more room for power, speed, vertical speed, etc... In an approach you don't want to go below Vref (in fact Vapp) but also you don't want to go faster than that. In a flyby, anything above Vref and below the speed limits for the flaps setting is ok. In an approach you want a specific vertical speed, that which keeps you in a 3deg approach slope that ends exactly in the TDZ of the RWY. In a flyby, any non-negative vertical sped si good enough. And so on.

    Flybys are not common at all, but they are still more common than you might think. They are performed so the control tower can check potential damage or gear status, in uncontrolled airports they are sometimes performed to check that the RWY is clear, it is performed in ceremonial ways when an airline retires a type from the fleet, in airshows where an airline displays their new type, etc...



    An how much did that scare that passengers? (you can jump to 4:45)



    Another 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 ---

  13. #13
    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent. UK.
    Posts
    11,405

    Default

    All these “what if ********** happens to cause an accident are rubbish.

    Nothing irregular happened.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


  14. #14
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    But a flyby is much easier, for example, than an approach, because you have more room for power, speed, vertical speed, etc... In an approach you don't want to go below Vref (in fact Vapp) but also you don't want to go faster than that. In a flyby, anything above Vref and below the speed limits for the flaps setting is ok. In an approach you want a specific vertical speed, that which keeps you in a 3deg approach slope that ends exactly in the TDZ of the RWY. In a flyby, any non-negative vertical sped si good enough. And so on.
    Have another look at that video. That is a fly-by executed in clean configuration at a higher speed where the issues I cited aren't present. The things that introduce risk of error (as we've learned through lots of experience) are transitional in nature, such as reconfiguration, bank angle and flight path vectors that alter the stall speed, AoA, lift and drag during low energy/low altitude flight. Opportunities for error + no margin for error.

    But let me ask you instead... why do YOU think the AB pilot was suspended over this? What do you think their reasoning was?

  15. #15
    Member BoeingBobby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    MIA
    Posts
    928

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    why do YOU think the AB pilot was suspended over this? What do you think their reasoning was?
    This is supposed to be in blue isn't it?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    This is supposed to be in blue isn't it?

    No, I'm serious. If this was a perfectly safe maneuver (as it certainly seemed to be), then what's the big deal? A bit more fuel burn AB is never going to pay for? A bit more wear on an aircraft AB is giving up on? Frightened passengers AB no longer cares about?

    Or is this, in fact, about safety?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Posts
    5,887

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    But let me ask you instead... why do YOU think the AB pilot was suspended over this? What do you think their reasoning was?
    PR. Or discipline (the pilots in my videos did that with permission from and coordination with the airline). The chain fails at its weakest link.

    And the second flyby (3rd video) is not clean but takeoffish config.

    --- 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 ---

  18. #18
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    PR. Or discipline (the pilots in my videos did that with permission from and coordination with the airline). The chain fails at its weakest link.

    And the second flyby (3rd video) is not clean but takeoffish config.
    Well, almost clean, and much faster, plenty of energy, and no low-altitude mid-field bank action...

    On another note, can we discuss the inherent danger of playing Aerosmith during those sterile cockpit phases of flight?


  19. #19
    Member BoeingBobby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    MIA
    Posts
    928

    Default

    Wait, wait, a German airport, a German airline and a German pilot but no comments from our German friend?????

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    Wait, wait, a German airport, a German airline and a German pilot but no comments from our German friend?????
    What is more, his home airport too.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •